How many guns?

Discussion in 'General Reenacting Discussions' started by tenngun, Oct 5, 2016.

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  1. May 19, 2019 #61

    TFoley

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    Here in UK I have nineteen but only two are muzzleloaders. Three of the others ARE also BP-shooters though. Does that count?
     
  2. May 19, 2019 #62

    bang

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    I would consider that durring war time more weapons would be provided by voluntary, confiscated from enemy or conscripted to facilitate fast load and fire. For the most part the ownership of more then one does not seem economically feasible for the time on the vast average. We know from the history of gatlingun (sp) to machine gun that high rate of fire is a suppression effect for forces movement upon and or flanking to invoke effective fire onto the enemy. The effect of 100 gun fired every 30 seconds vs 100 fired every 10 seconds. For sure won't get 1 shot 1 hit but it will keep heads down.
     
  3. May 23, 2019 #63

    gharrod

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    No such thing as "too many guns". I admit I have more than I need, but not as many as I want. And even at age 73, I still have several on my 'want list' to scratch off as time, gun safe space, and finances permit.
     
  4. May 23, 2019 #64

    Kansas Jake

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    I'm with you gharrod. I keep thinking I should just sell a couple of unmentionables to fund some things I want more, but then when I look at them, I think, I might just need it or want to shoot it some day. I try to rotate through them all at the range, but my real interest are the smoke poles. I don't shoot any of them(muzzleloaders) real well because I take a different one out most of the time so none feel neglected.
     
  5. May 24, 2019 #65

    gharrod

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    =================================
    No 'safe queens' here either. EVERY gun I have gets shot, even Civil War originals (all gunsmith OK'ed, of course).
     
  6. May 24, 2019 #66

    Zonie

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    Before we get too far down the, "I have XXX guns in my closet" sort of posts let's remember, the subject of this topic is, how many guns would a person living 150-250 years ago have owned.

    On that issue, I'm guessing most families had only one. It would probably be a smooth bore that could be used for hunting and defense when needed.
     
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  7. May 25, 2019 #67

    reeladventuresstjohn

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    One long gun to put meat on the table and protect the family from Redskins, and the French or British, depending on the period. The Long gun hanging over the door with a”go to” powder horn. Over the fire place mantle is a large (one to two pound size) storage horn to keep the family’s powder dry, and refill the every day goto horn...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2019
  8. May 25, 2019 #68

    Rifleman1776

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    Since my guess is only as good as yours, I'll surmise that families living slightly above the poverty level would have had two. A rifle or smoothie and a pistol. When riding on a horse or in a buggy or wagon thwarting robbers was a constant threat. A pistol would be critical for a fast response. This was especially true in cities at night.
     
  9. May 25, 2019 #69

    smoothshooter

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    I suspect even estate inventories at times are not an accurate representation of how much "'stuff " someone owned, for various reasons.

    Family members may have taken any number of tools, guns, articles of clothing for themselves upon the death of the person in question since the recent owner had no further need of them. If someone had been ill for a time before dying, they may have sold one or more valuable items prior to dying to raise money for food, livestock feed, labor around their place, medicine and doctor's bills, etc.
     
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  10. May 25, 2019 #70

    Coot

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    Today there are far fewer original 18th c pistols than rifles or fowling pieces which leads to the idea that pistols must have been far less common. Certainly they are smaller & easier to keep in a chest or drawer so one would assume that they would actually be more likely to survive than a long gun. Since a pistol was principally a close range self defense gun, it was not as useful as a long gun (hunting, militia muster, home defense) & were more of a luxury item. If your first gun was a rifle, make the second a smoothbore or vice versa. Post ACW, with lots of mass produced surplus revolvers on the market, pistols would become much more common in the hands of the "ordinary man".
     
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  11. May 25, 2019 #71

    tenngun

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    That’s an interesting point of view. As Rifleman states a pistol makes a logical choice but the number of surviving pistols is low.
    Makes one wonder. Interestingly the fur companies American and Canadian sent a lot of pistols west,but the surviving numbers are few. I wonder if the small size would have led to a lot of canibilized parts for other services. Just thinking out loud here not making an argument one way or the other.
     
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  12. May 26, 2019 #72

    Rifleman1776

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    Interesting discussion with comments, including my own, based on guesses and suppositions. Survival of guns is, to me, a very mysterious thing. At the Arkansas State Championships I recently attended I was involved in a discussion started by a top ml builder. He said he was looking for a barrel, or whole gun, from a ca. 1970s ml rifle that had a surge of popularity because the breech could be easily removed for cleaning. The company, H&R, sold boatloads of these as they were very inexpensive. He was looking for a barrel for a project but could not find one. So, a boatload were sold, states banned them from ml hunts because of the breech plug issue. So, where are they today? Another example: when I was a kid (that was a long-long time ago) English Webley revolvers could be mail ordered from comic book ads. I never had the $12 or $15 to buy one but jillions of them were sold. Again, so, where are they today? Can't be found but, IMHO, that proves nothing.
    My readings of history, including some fictionalized history, is replete with instances of travelers on horse back and in wagons being robbed on rural trails. In cities (look up the history of the phrase "break neck speed") travel at night was especially dangerous. Defense was with a knife or pistol. I surmise there were a very lot of pistols owned by families. So, where are those pistols today?
     
  13. May 26, 2019 #73

    Bledfor Days

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    Every so often, someone will come to the range I shoot at on BP day with a couple of firearms that have been in their family for ages. They usually just want info on value and are they real antiques. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they're reproductions. I would assume a lot of these antique firearms are stashed away in attics etc...
     
  14. May 26, 2019 #74

    tenngun

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    I know aboard the Arabia there were barrels of cheap single shot boot pistols in the holds.
    There was a boat as big as Arabia one day ahead of her and one as big a day behind, andmany days to come.
    I wonder how many old guns went in to the metal drives of the first and second world wars.
     
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  15. May 27, 2019 #75

    mushka

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    I've a friend that owns a gun shop and the Webley's come in every once in a while when an old family member dies. They were bought when these people were younger and used for awhile then stored away over the years. Upon death they were discovered in drawers, closets, and attics, and sold because they were old and funny looking, or the decendents didn't like guns. They are out there and come to light occasionally.
     
  16. May 27, 2019 #76

    Artificer

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    After I was able to access more Arms owned by the individual Colonies, I was a bit surprised to find out that pairs of pistols were valued at about the same price as an individual musket. This doesn't make sense to our modern minds, but it seems it was true in the period. However, I must point out these were Military Pistols and would not have been available to the average citizen, unless he was in the Provincial Militia or actually on temporary active duty for the Colony.

    If we leave out the more affluent in early America, the average person in the towns/cities had to buy some kind of long arm for militia duty. They probably thought that was the only firearm they needed and since firearms cost much more of their pay in those days, they just didn't buy pistols. Many frontiersmen, farmers and laborers were too poor to buy one or a pair of pistols.

    It would really be interesting if someone/s get around to digitizing probate records from larger towns/cities from the 18th century, that could have a search function for arms and especially pistols. Then we might have a better idea how common or not was the private ownership of pistols.

    Gus
     
  17. May 28, 2019 #77

    Kansas Jake

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    I suspect most of the people who homesteaded or settled the Great Plains area only had one gun or no gun. They probably had a shotgun/smoothbore of some kind. In our area, most of the settlers came after the time period we are concerned with on this forum, but I bet many of those shotguns were front loaders until they became established and could afford something better.
     
  18. May 29, 2019 #78

    WRustyLane

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    There's a web site called "Empire Arms" that have Webleys all the time listed for sale on their site. They are quite common and available. I've seen them on just about every time they send me an update on military firearms. I think that all I've ever seen were .38 calibre.
     
  19. Jun 5, 2019 #79

    Rudyard

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    Very interesting I have scores of them A gentleman needs his battery! Rudyard
     

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