Early 1800's -- What Gun Would You Choose?!

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Alden

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It's been an uneasy peace between us and Great Britain in the generation since their surrender at Yorktown. And it's not like we sided with the French against them since! Still, I suppose another war was inevitable given their actions. So be it...

The US Army needs you to help decide what gun to take us to war with -- what would it be?
 

Captjoel

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Here is a photo of one of our nations great hero's. He is John Burns veteran of the War of 1812 and civilian fighter at Gettysburg in 1863. Shown in the picture is his musket, used in both wars.
More information about John Burns burnshttp://www.army.mil/gettysburg/profiles/burns.html
 

Wes/Tex

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You get to choose teh M.1803 rifle or the M.1795 musket, or it's later variants...if available! Well...let me see. Guess it's going to be the second, since most of my guys can't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle!
 

satx78247

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How about a "clone" of the BAKER RIFLE, which reportedly worked well with both PRB and with bare RB too???


yours, satx
 

brubincam

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Do you need a special permit to hunt with a BASS FIDDLE in TEXAS :idunno:
 

Wes/Tex

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Since the Baker didn't show up in North America till teh 95th did in very late 1814, I'd say not likely you'd have seen one till wella fter teh war was officially and totally over! :wink: :haha:
 

satx78247

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Perhaps I'm wrong, but didn't some of the British soldiers in Canada have Baker's much earlier than that? = I've heard that the Baker was first fielded, in limited numbers, about 1805.

And then of course there were commercial ship's masters who might have been "encouraged" to bring one to the USA???

yours, satx
 

brubincam

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I'd probably be a pauper and carry a pointy stick--"WERE POINTY STICKS LEGAL" :idunno:
 

crockett

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One of the early musket styles, 1795 or 1812. You could load with buck and ball, so one shot might take out a couple of guys. Faster reloading than a rifle and you can carry rolled paper cartridges that don't work that well with a rifle. Any military unit could have a few riflemen for long range snipping but the musket as the standard arm.
The U.S. copied the French musket because it was better than the Brown Bess. Tests were held on the smaller .69 versus the .75 Bess. The 69 was deemed just as effective and used a smaller charge- more shots for the same weight. The French style had the barrel attached with the bands that could be removed-versus the pinned Bess barrel. Some early Bess models had a wood ramrod. The French used a steel, would not break and you could stick it in the ground while shooting, rather than return it to the ramrod hole.
Although we were a new country we gave the firearms top priority. I think Jefferson wrote a letter to North stating that he expected our pistols to be the finest in the world. When it came to firearms, it seems we always had the best.
 

54ball

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The 95 Springfield.
Much much more important than the arm or arms is the Army trained to use it. :thumbsup:

The British crossed the Chippawa early on July 5, and quickly collided with the Americans. Deploying his troops into line, Scott began to advance against the British. Riall, seeing the grey jackets of Scott’s troops assumed they were militia. As Scott’s regulars stood firm against British fire, Riall realized his error and exclaimed, “Those are regulars, by God!”.
 

Alden

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crockett said:
When it came to firearms, it seems we always had the best.
Not arguing with you but you might be interested in this. It's not the best book in the world, but of interest.

Misfire: The History of How America's Small Arms Have Failed Our Military

William H. Hallahan
 

nhmoose

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Not what I would choose but what the .gov would at the time would be the cheapest musket available. When it fails blame the solider for poor maintenance. Kind of the same as what is now won on bid for our troops.
 

JB67

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Yeah, I know I'm reviving a 5 year old thread, but I wasn't here 5 years ago. ;)

That said, the federal government did not have a large standing army in the early 1800s. It relied largely on militia units, and those units used whatever arms the members had. In New England, that would have been fowling pieces, or old Rev War arms of various origin.

So the gun you went to war with was likely whatever hung over your mantle.

One side note, Maine was against the war (1812), as they did a lot of trade with Canada and England (and still did, despite the war.) Massachusetts decided to not send its militia to defend Maine (then a district of Massachusetts,) and the entire eastern half of Maine fell under British occupation. That lack of support hastened Maine to seek statehood, which it gained in 1820.
 

tenngun

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Even without an army militia often had official muskets. A milita man could have his own arms powder and ball, but it oft had to conform to some standard.
Most people weren’t ‘gun nuts’ and often did little hunting. A boy in Maine May well have an old Rev war gun, a ‘66 Charley is not far removed from a spring field musket.
After the war rifles became very popular so a federal style rifle or smooth rifle may be in your kit.
Should you want to go to an event you may want to check with the people involved. I went as a militia man and was allowed to participate. However I got a bit of guff for having ‘wrong’ buttons on my coat. (Colonial style, but I’m 60+, and had no reason to not use old buttons on a new coat) and I was the only one with a rifle( I think there would have been more Missouri farmers with rifles at that time).
You don’t want to get in to a fight with people you want to vacation with. So even if you can prove your point on equipment the folks doing an event are trying hard to get it right. There for they have rules to prevent a Ren-fair type event. These rules may lead to them rejecting something correct but rare for that area.
 

Grumpa

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"Reviving a 5 year old thread" - That'll teach me to look at the post date! Alden hasn't posted on the Forum in 3 years! I was going to ask him where he has been, when I read your post.

Richard/Grumpa
 

Smokin' Joe

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Still a good thread, and I'll change it up with some arms that may be unfamiliar with most folks. I would use an 1809 or later produced Virginia Manufactory Artillery (36" barrel) or Light Infantry (39" barrel) Musket. Though Virginia Manufactory rifles and Virginia rifle contracts were well respected and used to great effect.
 

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tenngun

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OmGa blast from the past. Haven’t seen a post by Alden in many a year.I miss him, and a few others that are too long between post.
 

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