Dutch Muskets of the American Revolutionary War

Discussion in 'Revolutionary War' started by FlinterNick, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. Jan 12, 2019 #1

    FlinterNick

    FlinterNick

    FlinterNick

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    Do some readings on Dutch Musket of the American Revolutionary War.

    Often overlooked by Reenactment groups of the American Revolution and F&I War periods are the various types of Dutch made weapons widely available.

    I'm not too keen on the Dutch pattern muskets but it seems like they share many features of early long land muskets and later French designs. Many European militaries were adopting the steel banded musket over the traditional pinned barrel approach, this can be seen with many dutch pattern muskets from the earlier 1730 patterns through the muskets shipped to America in 1776.

    Older Dutch Muskets were stocked to the muzzle requiring the use of a plug bayonet, a feature seen on very early British James Muskets.

    Finding original patterns to construct / base a Dutch Musket on can be rather complicated especially since so many originals were serviced with forged parts.

    I once saw a fella selling a 'Dutch Musket' on Gunbroker with some unique feature and ideas that stood out.

    1. Iron Furniture, other than brass barrel bands.
    2. Octagon breeched barrel.
    3. A British Style Flintlock, round faced.
    4. Wooden Rammer.
    5. Walnut Brown Bess Style Stock.
    6. Caliber is .70-.78 on most Dutch guns.

    Having visited the American Revolutionary War Museum in Philadelphia I did see a few Dutch Musket specimens and Belgium Contracted muskets. The Belgium contract muskets were simplified copies of the Brown Bess, mostly short land. The Dutch Musket seem to be very different in that many used both pins and brass barrel bands. Markings on the muskets suggest that many were in militia service before the Revolutionary War.

    http://www.ladybemused.com/jaeger/NRA/Dutch Arms in the American Revolution.htm
     
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  2. Jan 24, 2019 #2

    BillinOregon

    BillinOregon

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    Great thread, and thanks for that link. These are very distinctive and interesting arms.
     
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  3. Feb 3, 2019 #3

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    Maryland had a stockpile of muskets from before the F&I, with the F&I adding to the number of guns, some of which they called "old" when the AWI broke out. We don't know if "old" meant old, English "dog-lock" muskets, or if they were referring to 1st Model LLP Bess muskets, OR if they were referring to early Dutch muskets, perhaps with club butts, but perhaps similar to the Bess, or all of the above.

    Here are some links to Dutch muskets patterns that may very well have seen use in the AWI
    http://emuseum.history.org/view/obj...ate:flow=d5ee03ff-80ca-4857-b687-4a7c408f04f3
    http://www.revwartalk.com/dutch-german-type-flintlock-musket-by-aubert/

    No..., not really. They are not seen as most living history reenactors do not purchase custom made muskets, but rather factory made guns, and the Dutch patterns are simply not available. Alas most fellows who do American "militia" do it with a SLP Bess, or with a custom or semi-custom fusil or fowler...the SLP Bess being very "incorrect" for them, especially when doing the F&I War ;)

    LD
     
  4. Feb 3, 2019 #4

    FlinterNick

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    I once saw a guy selling a repro Dutch musket as he called it with a TOW Octagon to round barrel and a Pedersoli stock and lock. Thats about the only time I've ever seen someone call a repro of parts a Dutch gun. He tried to drill it for a wooden 5/16 rod then realized the forestock didn't have enough wood to house it beneath the barrel. So the rod only went to the entry pipe lol.

    I did see one custom dutch musket made by John Bosh with TRS parts and one by Clay Smith.

    Sittingfox in FL makes a nice Dutch Gun, however the lock is not dutch at all.

    Personally I'm not a fan of original Dutch muskets I've seen.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2019 #5

    Loyalist Dave

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    Yeah, fan or not though, if you were militia, you used what you could get your hands upon. A lot were purchased because they were apparently cheap.
    Now I've see a person who bought a Colerain, Dutch barrel, and used it to make a Committee of Safety musket for his Militia impression. https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/652/4/COLE-75-DUTCH , which is I think the same barrel that you mentioned above. He never called it a Dutch gun though, but based it on several CoS Muskets that survived to this day.

    He had scrounged parts for a Bess, but Pedersoli stopped selling barrels, and he got a Bess stock from Dunlap Woodcraft in VA..., which is why I came to know who they were. He also made the Pedersoli lock look flat faced, instead of rounded. He had to trim the barrel to the stock too..., and then had to adjust the ramrod for the barrel since the location where the bayonet sat was then thicker than where it would've been, 4" farther away from the wedding bands. From a distance it looked British, but up close you saw the differences.

    LD
     
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  6. Feb 4, 2019 #6

    FlinterNick

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    Dave Keck of PA makes some nice customized stocks that I've seen used on 'militia' muskets.

    American made muskets will always fit the call for a period musket, just as long as the lock isn't a 1777 charleville or a later period tower lock.

    I had often thought about gather parts for an American assembled gun with French Influence, basically using a 1754 lock with a .69 46 inch barrel, just restocked and pinned down. Not the easiest project but I've seen some originals with these elements.

    The Dunlap stocks are expensive ! and most are pre-fabricated for a specific pattern. I have often thought about restocking my Miruko Charleville with a 1795 stock but I doubt the barrel tapper is the same. I'll just have to go with whatever TRS has for the 66. But on a personal note, I don't like restocking old guns, getting everything to line up is frustrating.

    http://knobmountainmuzzleloading.com/FredMillerStocks.html

    http://www.ladybemused.com/jaeger/neumanNRA.html

    Nurmich Gun Parts corp also has a pretty cheap copy of a Pedersoli Brown Bess Stock, priced at $104 I've hesitated to buy it only because if its cut for the Pedersoli barrel, the colraine barrels are bigger in the breech, the 1.3 breeched barrels are mostly .69 caliber.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2019 #7

    Loyalist Dave

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    Numrich writes: The overall length is 50-1/4". This stock is patterned after the 1762 Grice third model Brown Bess Musket Rifle....I think the "Grice" and the length means it's for an SLP, but they also say "third model", which would mean it's not for replacing a Pedersoli stock, but for restoring a surplus 3rd Model such as you get when you order a restoration kit from IMA https://www.ima-usa.com/products/or...intlock-parts-set-nepalese-gurkha-marked-lock. Tough to tell where the typo is when they refer to the piece as a "Musket Rifle". :confused:

    LD
     
  8. Feb 5, 2019 #8

    FlinterNick

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    I knew someone who had purchased one and was very disappointed in that The barrel was a Colraine Bess barrel and it was just too big in the breech to be housed.

    But you could make some type of decent project out of it, like we were saying a militia musket. You could slim down the forearm bulge, get a barrel breeched around 1.3 and throw some brass bands on it, it might work. On another note I do remember the fella who bought it complained about the wood grain being poor, might have been sap wood cut.

    Those IMA kits look cool, I just really wouldn't want to make a Brown Bess Stock from a Blank, that's a lot of wood, too much wood....nightmares.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2019 #9

    Ranger Boyd

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    That Grice 1762 marked lock is the one Pedersoli puts (or used to, at least - haven't seen a new one in a while) in their 1769 pattern short land. Apparently the original that they patterned it after used a leftover lock for the 1756 pattern long land (hence the date), which you may recall was the first straight bess lock (i.e. not banana shaped), which fits with common B. O. practices.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2019 #10

    FlinterNick

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    The Grice Lock by Pedersoli (and I believe Kitt Ravensheer) was originally designed for the Coach Harness Long Land musket made in the 1976 bicentennial. William Grice was contracted for Long Land Muskets not the short land, the 1762 lock is actually perfect for any long land repro. The Lock was design was held on by Pedersoli, they pretty much bought the coach harness pattern and adjusted it down to a short land pattern, and reduced some of the Brass and the the stock was slimmed. Not sure why they abandoned the Long Land, the market for long land is in high demand.

    British Shortland muskets of 1769 and 1779 were not marked by the gun makers, the 1769 pattern used the 1756 lock marked Tower, its possible some 1756 locks that were serviceable but the British contractors would have benefited more from building new locks with new contracts and selling off surplus parts from older muskets. In 1779 the British used a different lock, it was slightly smaller with less expensive parts on the Frizzen Spring and the cock was modified to a military style upper post, this would be the precursor lock for the later third model.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  11. Feb 5, 2019 #11

    Loyalist Dave

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    Thanks for the info Ranger Boyd, but I'm not confused about the "Grice 1762" lock . ;)

    I was wondering, because the Grice lock doesn't jive with "third model", and "Rifle Musket". I've seen Numrich Arms aka "Gun Parts Corp" write conflicting info in the past, as I've been a customer from time to time for 30 years now, and came to find out in several cases...nothing of what they had written about a part was what I'd have called "accurate" in description. Well, they had back then, and probably still have, thousands of parts, so screw-ups in descriptions of odd or obsolete parts was/is understandable.

    Dunlap Woodcraft currently charges $350 for a stock to fit the Pedersoli parts of a Bess. That is on par with what Pedersoli used to charge a decade ago for a replacement stock (well from the supplier here in The States) and Track offers a 1st model stock for $349 before shipping. Since Dunlap is just down the street from me..., and I don't pay for the shipping nor insurance that way, I went down and got one just as the chap who showed me his CoS musket had done. The price for a good stock was to me, reasonable, and when I bought it, the price was a bit less. :D

    So eventually I will get the rest of the parts and make my own Frankenbess. I used a lot of the parts I had previously scrounged to restore a buddy's musket last year.

    LD
     
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  12. Feb 5, 2019 #12

    FlinterNick

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    New Stocks by Pedersoli are upwards near $800; I guess they don't want to break down a new kit.

    I've seen lots of nice Dunlap stocks on Bess's made from Maple and Black Walnut, very nice presentations. I tried to contact them about a Charleville stock however they no longer make them. My only option is TRS which I think might might work since the navy arms charleville was pretty close to the original pattern 1766, I might need a new butt plate and trigger guard and I think the ram rod was smaller / thinner.

    Gotta love those Frankenbess's ! I think they're actually much more suited for reenactments than the Pedersoli's or Indian Guns ! The Quartermaster once asked me about my miruko, I told him I had to modify it bc it was broken by the previous owner, he debated the repair with me but I had told him that most British Musket in American hands were often regarded as 'Old and Ugly', you'll never find any two that are identical.

    Nick
     
  13. Feb 5, 2019 #13

    Ranger Boyd

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    Gotcha. That is indeed confusing at best...
     
  14. Feb 5, 2019 #14

    Rockvillerich

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    Committee of safety muskets made sometimes made with a mix of Dutch British, and hand-made parts, so I was wondering if this was what was being described. The Hudson Valley fowlers are also of Dutch heritage, and were used by northern militia in the revolution, since providing your own firelock was encouraged by extra pay, people brought whatever they had at hand, though matchlocks were listed as being not an excepted arm. The odd looking Hudson Valley pattern is surprisingly well balanced and comes up completely naturally for something looking so ungainly.
    At the moment Ken Gahagan is the only maker I know of producing these interesting guns, but they are quite expensive and of very limited quantity. Lenard Day made some early Dutch style club butt smooth bores back in the day, and I ended up with one in a trade. Like the Hudson Valley guns they point well while looking a little strange.
     

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