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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 use 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.
I was also going to use my grandfather's rifle to hunt deer with in the 1980s. It was an 1873 trapdoor Springfield that he acquired in the early 1900s. I did not take it though, I decided not to. But in my neck of the woods, it was not all uncommon to see an original trapdoor Springfield on the rack of a gun store in the early 1980s. So my point being, is firearm usability was always determined by the owner, not by style. Your points are well taken sir, I enjoyed the exchange of thoughts.
 
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As others have stated no one gun will be perfect for the entire time frame.

You might as well save your breath (typing fingers) his posts indicate he is going to buy whatever his friends suggest.
 

Beau Robbins

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Unfortunately the" anything goes" approach fails immediately without a particular portrayal in mind. It gets really expensive fast as well, and leads to people getting discouraged. A plain as dirt fowler might fit one context but not another, just like a short land Bess will keep you from effectively participating in early F&I events. More often than not, known historical facts about what certain people did have are available to the point of nullifying speculation. It's best to pick a portrayal first before deciding on the kit, since the known research will dictate what one needs. If you have a gun that you want to reenact with, find out what portrayals you might take on that were historically known to have the same. You'll likely find a couple, but no where near anything. Where you live and what events are within your traveling range may alter your ideas as well.

The reason so many reenactors and units suggest not purchasing any kit before being absolutely sure about what you need, is to save you a lot of money in the long run. Being patient, buying once, and only crying once is a much cheaper, satisfying, and long term sustaining strategy. Dissatisfaction is a real and constant problem as one learns and grows as a reenactor. For those that just want to make stuff up as they go, become a writer, or stick with D&D.
 
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Without much thought, the most versatile gun we use in my family is the 20b SxS smoothbore. This gun has taken deer, water buffalo, hogs and sheep with round ball (no patch) and has taken rabbit, squirrel, upland birds, waterfowl, turkey, crane, raccoon and fox. This one has a front and mid bead. If you stack the beads like a number 8, the tip of the 8 becomes your point of impact. Both barrels print a ball in the same hole at 35-yards, but out to 55-yards the balls separate just 6 or 7 inches. We figured out that at 75-yards the right barrel with the 8 split on the bullseye will group well enough to stay in the vitals of a big whitetail. With shot size from 9-BB and non-toxic if necessary, there is nothing that gun can't do with shot out to 40-yards and with ball out to 75-yards. And you have two shots. I don't know much about re-enacting, but it seems a SxS shotgun was used in Europe and the Americas certainly in the early 1800's.
 

Carteret Kid

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How about a 1690s French Marine musket. By Marine the French meant overseas department. Every French merchant ship going to the New World was supposed to carry 10, to sell to French colonials.
It looks a lot like a Fusil De Chasse upscaled to .69 or 16 guage. It would be a seviceable hunting gun. As for period it would work for Pirate era on up to end of Rev war.
As Grand Pa's bird gun would have been not out of place in late Rev war or pre 1812 frontier.
Loyalist Arms had them. They said more are on order now.
 

stephenprops1

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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.
From history I have read that John Burns was a veteran of the War of 1812. At the Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, John appeared to help the Union Army. He was wearing his old uniform and carrying his same flintlock rifle (musket?) that he had carried about 50 years before. The union officer humored John, giving him a position along the front. When the battle started the same soldiers that had laughed at the "old veteran" were impressed at how accurately John shot, felling several Confederates. The commanding officer told one of his men, "Get that man a better rifle!"
 

Brokennock

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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.
How long do you think a gun from the 1750s would last? Especially a gun that would be owned by someone in a family of modest to moderate means?
There is a big difference between a late 19th century cartridge gun being taken care of an passed down and a 1750s flintlock, muzzleloading blackpowder gun....

Maybe you missed the part where I said, "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."
Maybe, on an enormous stretch of backstory imagination, maybe, a wellmade gun, made specifically for the original purchaser, who was quite well to do, might, maybe have passed down through the family, still being used, for 100 years......
But an example of such a gun is not going to bought now on the cheap from India.
 

Brokennock

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Without much thought, the most versatile gun we use in my family is the 20b SxS smoothbore. This gun has taken deer, water buffalo, hogs and sheep with round ball (no patch) and has taken rabbit, squirrel, upland birds, waterfowl, turkey, crane, raccoon and fox. This one has a front and mid bead. If you stack the beads like a number 8, the tip of the 8 becomes your point of impact. Both barrels print a ball in the same hole at 35-yards, but out to 55-yards the balls separate just 6 or 7 inches. We figured out that at 75-yards the right barrel with the 8 split on the bullseye will group well enough to stay in the vitals of a big whitetail. With shot size from 9-BB and non-toxic if necessary, there is nothing that gun can't do with shot out to 40-yards and with ball out to 75-yards. And you have two shots. I don't know much about re-enacting, but it seems a SxS shotgun was used in Europe and the Americas certainly in the early 1800's.
Sure it is a versatile gun for your current practical application.... my smoothrifle and Fusil des Chase are my versatile guns for the same current application,,,,, but none of these help the o.p. None of them are an appropriate arm for reenacting the vast time period the o.p. is trying to cover. He isn't looking for a one gun does all hunting gun,,, he is looking for a one gun covers all reenacting gun. As stated in his o.p. and his 1st reply post.
 
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From history I have read that John Burns was a veteran of the War of 1812. At the Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, John appeared to help the Union Army. He was wearing his old uniform and carrying his same flintlock rifle (musket?) that he had carried about 50 years before. The union officer humored John, giving him a position along the front. When the battle started the same soldiers that had laughed at the "old veteran" were impressed at how accurately John shot, felling several Confederates. The commanding officer told one of his men, "Get that man a better rifle!"
Yes indeed. Most of the trade guns that we see in collections and museums were in use well in to the early twentieth century. Old guns did get used.
You might think of it as a range today. You may see someone with an M1, or an old bolt action. My grand dads Winchester 33wcf from I think 1888, was used in a hunt about five years ago by a cousin.
But then as now it was unusual to have a very old gun. Twenty would be much more common then fifty
 
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How long do you think a gun from the 1750s would last? Especially a gun that would be owned by someone in a family of modest to moderate means?
There is a big difference between a late 19th century cartridge gun being taken care of an passed down and a 1750s flintlock, muzzleloading blackpowder gun....

Maybe you missed the part where I said, "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."
Maybe, on an enormous stretch of backstory imagination, maybe, a wellmade gun, made specifically for the original purchaser, who was quite well to do, might, maybe have passed down through the family, still being used, for 100 years......
But an example of such a gun is not going to bought now on the cheap from India.
I can see this discussion is really upsetting you.
 

Brokennock

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But then as now it was unusual to have a very old gun. Twenty would be much more common then fifty
Yup. And fifty more common or likely than nearly 100.

A gun one's great-grandfather or great-uncle had in the F&I being used in 1810? Maybe, doubtful, but maybe. Being used in the Civil War? Highly unlikely. Technically possible, but unlikely, to the point of not being a fair representation.
 
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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?
There plenty of Brown Besses at the Alamo although I don't know what pattern(s) there were. Plenty of flintlocks too even though caps were a few years old by then as well. Here's a thought;
 
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Well my first deer rifle was a 1909 Argentine Mauser. I do agree in that both sides used pretty much everything they could shoot at first when the Revolutionary War started. The Civil War too but mostly from the South.

I also think a nice lightweight smoothbore maybe large caliber would work for most purposes.
 
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