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AtlatlMan

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Yes, a thing intended to do everything will do nothing well. Things change over the years in more ways then are given credit. But if one is looking to invest in a gun that one can squeeze the absolute most out of in regards to personas and living history, what guns can stretch the longest? An English trade gun from say, the French and Indian War all the way through the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade? A 1795 musket would serve you through at least the Texian Revolution, maybe even the Mexican War. I'm sure showing up with it at a First Manassas event would draw endless ire. There is the venerable Brown Bess, but a first pattern Long Land appropriate for F&I, would probably not still be pulling duty by the early 19th century even way out in the sticks. Of course I knew more then one guy who just bought a 3rd pattern India Bess and just used it for everything from F&I through the early 19th century, their groups being less picky. Any thoughts on this?
 
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As far as historical a twenty year old in 1756 could have got a gun that was brand new, or used and maybe twenty years old when he got it.
So fifty years later he could now own a still functioning seventy year old gun.
But
Look at all the models of bess or Charlie that existed. While there were a few improvements we can’t say the guns of Wellington were better then Marlboros
One of the things that drove the change was they were replaced every twenty years or so.
When the Texicans stood to revolt some one might have had the gun Daddy owned and forty or fifty years old, but I doubt few were over twenty.
 
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Could a civilian militia member have served in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, and 1812? With equipment shortages in the militia an old man of 70 showing up in 1812 with a 1st model Bess wouldn’t get sent home. I don’t imagine it would have been easy or common though. But if the musket and equipment might be ok, the 50 year old clothes I would imagine would look very much out of place.
 
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Rancocas

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Lads, I'm asking specifically for input on what sorts of reproductions can be used for the widest spread of impressions and time periods for reenacting purposes in the interest of thrift, not the general utility of the gun.
Smoothbore trade gun. Chief's grade if your persona has some money. Plain, if you are a poor man.
Differences in side plates, barrel length, and some other minor things, but in general not a whole lot of change between 1750 to 1850.
 

ronaldrothb49

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there was a Brown Bess picked up on the battlefield after Shilo. Look through Rifles of Colonial America you will find rifles converted to percussion, These were already 50 years or more old when they were converted. The British sent thousands of obsolete firearms to the colonies. At the start of the Civil War the arsenals were opened, and the thousands of obsolete weapons stored in them were put to use. When the NMLRA was getting started there wasn't the wealth of modern made parts they were shooting the old originals. I have a rifle right now that belonged to my dad, Probably older than I am and it works just fine. It is safe to say that as long as a rifle was serviceable there is a good chance it was used.
 
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Atlatlman, I think there is a difference between reenactors and the old real-time historical person, one a pretend play person, the other actually living through it. . The reenactor is trying to replicate the most authentic, affordable, acceptable element in history while the real-time, fearful, persona brought what he had to the fight or was given an unfamiliar tool of destruction and most often expected to be proficient with it even the very next day. Real blood vs ketchup and molasses. A colored bandage on a grassy field vs a shattered arm or leg or worse yet a gut shot with a ,69 caliber Maxie ball in muddy hollow of twisted laurel. God forgive us…
 

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