My earliest reference, though I can't lay my hands on the quote right off the bat, is from the 1690's when the Virginia legislature thought it was a good idea to import old "surplus" military arms that could be sold rather cheaply to poorer members of the Virginia Militia. However, they could not sell them as either some members of the militia were too poor to buy any gun OR they would not accept the military guns as they were "too heavy" for hunting and other uses. Unfortunately, there is not much documentation on what happened to those guns.Was wondering if any military arms were made available to civilians during the colonial, revolutionary or civil war years? This could include arms of the European armies of the period. Piney Creek
That's the $ 64,000.00 question!!None of the records that I've seen in the archives show them being sold off in large amounts..., although it is a criminal offence to sell any of Maryland's muskets IF it was issued to the person. Maryland also replaced personal muskets and rifles from time to time from Colony arms.
So what happened to surplus muskets??
I am recreating just this with putting an 1860s period type leaf sight on my Pedersoli 1795 Springfield and possibly going to look into getting it rifled. It's just this kind of thing that was probably done after the Mexican war or at the outbreak of the Civil War. Keeping them flint made more sense for people/Militia etc worried about cap supply but with ready supplies of flint.I've wondered how many flintlock muskets remained flinters but also got sights and rifling, and maybe shortened in civilian use. We'll never know. Just something thought about.
The French musket ball would likely have been .65 to .66 caliber--radically undersized to fit in the fouled .69 cal. barrel. Similarly, the .75 caliber, "12 to a pound" British musket would have used a ball in the .69/.70 cal. range. No, the Brown Bess ball will not fit down the muzzle of a Charleville or similar U.S. musket..690 DIA. FRENCH vrs. .730 DIA BRITISH, i think not. yes a FRENCH cartridge will work in a BESS but not the other way around.