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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…
Read Friedrich Gerstacker's "Wild sports in the far west"

Those old boys were TOUGH!
 

AtlatlMan

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Fusil de Chasse then would be my choice. Compared to a Bess or Charleyville (At least the ones I have handled) a French Fusil is a joy.
A Fusil de Chasse would be my first choice, love those French curves, but I had been told a FdC would've been unusual post F&I and non existent post 1800 in English speaking North America.
 
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A Fusil de Chasse would be my first choice, love those French curves, but I had been told a FdC would've been unusual post F&I and non existent post 1800 in English speaking North America.
Yeah, I don't buy that, so whoever told you that thinks after the F&I they kept using clumsy Brown Bess's and Charleville's for wing shooting etc. and quit using the better handling FDC why? Because they were French?

If I was an English speaking hunter in 1800 North America I would still choose a FDC given the choice.
 

AtlatlMan

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Yeah, I don't buy that, so whoever told you that thinks after the F&I they kept using clumsy Brown Bess's and Charleville's for wing shooting etc. and quit using the better handling FDC why? Because they were French?

If I was an English speaking hunter in 1800 North America I would still choose a FDC given the choice.
It was more that French style civilian arms weren't something that would have been seen much unless you were in direct proximity to French settled territory, and that the style of stock fell out of fashion as the 18th century moved on, so I was told.
 
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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?
Well, re-enactors have to use what's available commonly. They are regular working guys for the most part, and re-enacting is a fun, educational hobby. To be all ruffled about the markings on a lockplate or worry about 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Besses at an everyday re-enactment is like 'stitch counting' someone's shirt threads. Sure, for a major movie, you want firearms to be precise, but people shouldn't go overboard.
 

AtlatlMan

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Well, re-enactors have to use what's available commonly. They are regular working guys for the most part, and re-enacting is a fun, educational hobby. To be all ruffled about the markings on a lockplate or worry about 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Besses at an everyday re-enactment is like 'stitch counting' someone's shirt threads. Sure, for a major movie, you want firearms to be precise, but people shouldn't go overboard.
Perfect is the enemy of the good, and nobody likes stitch counters. I am myself of the school that if it's good enough that you're not making any gross misrepresentation to the public, it's generally good enough, and I have known many guys who took the same tack. I'm simply trying to do my due diligence and tap into the knowledge available here.
 

AtlatlMan

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I suppose in the interest of the thread I should simplify the general talking points I started out with: I would like to do a militia/frontiersman impression from the French and Indian War period, and a militia/frontiersman impression that with some tinkering could fit the 1800-1840 period, for 1812, Seminole Wars, and Texas, and I would ideally like to buy just one long gun and one pistol that would fit in to both.
 

Beau Robbins

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Jesus, I need at least three guns to get me completely through both sides of the civil war. I can't think of less than two that would conceivably get you through both sides of the rev war. It's like asking which one uniform should you get to reenact all the wars with? 🤔
 

AtlatlMan

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Jesus, I need at least three guns to get me completely through both sides of the civil war. I can't think of less than two that would conceivably get you through both sides of the rev war. It's like asking which one uniform should you get to reenact all the wars with? 🤔
Clothes outside of the fancier uniforms don't hurt the wallet as much in one go as a musket...
 
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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.

There were entire regiments equipped with Flintlocks at the 1861 first battle of Manassas from what I read.
 
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It was more that French style civilian arms weren't something that would have been seen much unless you were in direct proximity to French settled territory, and that the style of stock fell out of fashion as the 18th century moved on, so I was told.
Lets see, during the F&I the French and Native Americans aligned with her were in Canada, New York, Penn, Ohio, Michigan, Cain-tuck-ee, Tenn, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana. Raiding up and down the frontier. Winning skirmishes, losing some and their weapons here and there. I am sure since they were out of fashion the settlers just let them lay.
Sounds like someone else is making your mind up with what they think you should carry.

I still say, carry and shoot a Bess for an hour and carry and shoot a FDC for an hour, I would carry the FDC and leave the Bess behind, as evidenced by I got rid of a Miroku Bess after having it for a short time and will only get rid of my FDC when I can no longer shoot due to old age.... not for awhile though.
 
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Brokennock

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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.
Unfortunately my man, your question, here, has two problems.
1st, the question itself, and it's title. As you've seen, people don't always read things as you think you wrote them, sometimes they don't read at all, sometimes they scan the o.p. and skip the replies just to get their 1.5 cents in. Thus, you will have people expound on the hunting and target versatility of their favored smoothbore. Didn't take but 5 or so replies after your reminder here for another to crop up.

Second, the breadth of the question.
You've narrowed you parameters in subsequent replies and that helps, but, your time frame is just too vast.
Their really just isn't one gun that covers the whole thing. Maybe, maybe, you could get by with two,,,, with some really creative backstories,,,,,,,, maybe.
Having this be the case encourages overspeculation and people creating their own truth or finding creative ways to deny historical evidence (much like certain elements of our society today) in order to support their gun or style of preference.

Honestly, the most creative I can get with backstory and "justification" is far stretched and would need a greater budget. A greater budget than two India guns most likely.

Best of luck on your quest.
 
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Perfect is the enemy of the good, and nobody likes stitch counters. I am myself of the school that if it's good enough that you're not making any gross misrepresentation to the public, it's generally good enough, and I have known many guys who took the same tack. I'm simply trying to do my due diligence and tap into the knowledge available here.
I recall reading somewhere, some Civil War enactor was actually 'worried' because his lockplate had a date out of kilter with the 'battle' they were re-enacting.....if my memory is correct, that has to be one of the most egregious examples of "lockplate" doinking ever recorded in human history....:)
 
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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?
I have a 1795 Springfield replica that to me is a wonderful musket. It looks very much if not exactly like a 1766 Charleville. I am not into living History, but if I were, I would use this musket for the revolution through the fur trade into the Mexican war. And if I was to cover the Civil War, I could show up as old John Burns at the battle of Gettysburg. He is reported to have shown up at the battle with a 1795 or a 1816 musket.
 

Beau Robbins

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I recall reading somewhere, some Civil War enactor was actually 'worried' because his lockplate had a date out of kilter with the 'battle' they were re-enacting.....if my memory is correct, that has to be one of the most egregious examples of "lockplate" doinking ever recorded in human history....:)
I don't know what doinking is, but making sure your material culture is congruent with the context of an event is widely practiced/ required.
 
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I still think a fairly non-descript fowler or private purchase light infantry style fusil could cover that range without being out of place. Especially if playing a civilian/militiaman. It wouldn't make sense if you are planning on portraying actual infantry from that big a range.
 
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Unfortunately my man, your question, here, has two problems.
1st, the question itself, and it's title. As you've seen, people don't always read things as you think you wrote them, sometimes they don't read at all, sometimes they scan the o.p. and skip the replies just to get their 1.5 cents in. Thus, you will have people expound on the hunting and target versatility of their favored smoothbore. Didn't take but 5 or so replies after your reminder here for another to crop up.

Second, the breadth of the question.
You've narrowed you parameters in subsequent replies and that helps, but, your time frame is just too vast.
Their really just isn't one gun that covers the whole thing. Maybe, maybe, you could get by with two,,,, with some really creative backstories,,,,,,,, maybe.
Having this be the case encourages overspeculation and people creating their own truth or finding creative ways to deny historical evidence (much like certain elements of our society today) in order to support their gun or style of preference.

Honestly, the most creative I can get with backstory and "justification" is far stretched and would need a greater budget. A greater budget than two India guns most likely.

Best of luck on your quest.
Do you think that people in the past used old guns that were handed down to them, or they adhered to some form of rules or social pressure as to what firearm they should be using ? I am just trying to make the point that when it comes to firearms pretty much anything goes, in the past as well as today. The exception would be in military living History.In the first months of the Civil War, the southern armies used all manner of guns, from flintlocks to double-barrel shot guns. I went dear hunting in the 1980s with 1895 Chilean Mouser that was handed down to me. I wonder, 100 years from now if there was a living History group who was to portray deer hunting in the 1980s, would someone be chastised if he showed up with an 1895 Chilean Mouser ? Just a thought to stimulate the little gray cells.
 
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I think going by that logic, you wouldn't be wrong to take an 1895 Chilean Mauser, but a modern bolt action rifle popular in 2000-2025 would be more appropriate for someone "reenacting" the first quarter of the 21st century as those would be what are more commonly seen in use in the period. For example, some of us are still out there shooting traditional muzzleloaders, including antiques from over a century and a half ago, but we are oddities, not the norm of our era.
 
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