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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;
I don’t know if any of the Texicans had besses at the Alamo. Certainly the Mexican army was armed with ‘India model’ surplus
I am put in mind of Lisa, thirty years before who owned a bess, though I’ve often wondered if it wasn’t an officer fusil that looked like a bess. So if not at the Alamo maybe at San Jacinto o the Texacan side side
 

Montgomery

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It has been mentioned but I will add to it, "a fowler or smoothbore style, very simple & plain, with no distingusihing pieces, ie, butt plate, trigger guard, lock style etc that would date it too accurately. I am a firm believer these types of firearms were used by the avg. person day in and day out and handed down etc until they literally fell apart or were destroyed etc. I can not imagine anyone back in the day getting rid of a "working, sound, reliable" firearm regardless of its style or age, unless they had too. IMHO:ThankYou:
 

Mas Casa

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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.
Based on your criteria I would recommend a Long Land pattern musket. It will cover all the periods you mentioned and there is some historical president for shortening the barrel a few inches.

At the price point you mentioned such a gun can be found from Loyalist Arms or maybe Discriminating General. More expensive options would be a Wilson contract musket or Dutch musket as several colonies bought these arms prior to and during the French and Indian War.

I would suggest to anyone though, if doing any kind of reenactment or living history event, the biggest draw from the public's perspective will be your weapons followed by your clothes. Having a "close enough" may not do you, the public, or the people you're paying homage to justice. Save up the money and put it to good use.
 

Mas Casa

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This is very much looking like the best choice for my purposes.
NW trade guns didn't really come into play until after the American Revolution. Those constructed prior to then were essentially English copies of French FdC in stock shaping and caliber. For what you'll spend on an India gun now perhaps look at a Chamber's New England Fowler/Colonial Militia Musket.
 

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the public's perspective will be your weapons followed by your clothes. Having a "close enough" may not do you, the public, or the people you're paying homage to justice.
❤️👍👍👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

Excellent, well said.....

Too many fail to see the difference between justification of questionable historic items, clothing, or practices, through supposition and speculation, or settling for "close enough" due to lack of research, when it is just for themselves, and the perception the public gets when this is done and how it affects their perception of, and what they are learning about, history.
For that matter when one engages in to much justification, speculation, and personal projection,,,,, it affects one's own historical learning and relative experience negatively. One may be having a great time,,, but not getting as close as one could to the historical experience.
 

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I don't reenact - never had an interest in the whole dress-up thing. But I can understand the interest that many folks have and I appreciate the need to keep history alive and accurate assuming it's a true and honest recreation and not a bunch of guys dressing up like soldiers or mountain men without authenticity. That's why we have Halloween.

My focus is on collecting and shooting the correct and primary long and sidearm (when appropriate) for each American war. I don't start by trying to figure out which gun I can buy that lasts for the longest stretch and as many periods or conflicts as possible. Similarly, an approach to reenactment outfitting that starts with what minimal equipment can be purchased to fit into as many periods or personas as possible seems to be disingenuous if serious reenactment is the goal. Considering the truly serious reenactors and reenactment groups I've had the privilege of meeting, the time, energy, interest, and money they invest in reenactment is not insignificant. Their knowledge of the period or war they are reenacting is extremely impressive. I'm not guessing they would appreciate or welcome a reenactor that does the minimum to fit into as many groups as possible. Seems like it would be better to invest fully and accurately in one period first. Unless of course, the goal is to join up with some friends for Halloween. Then you can dress up in your Jeremiah Johson outfit and carry an AR.
 
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It has been mentioned but I will add to it, "a fowler or smoothbore style, very simple & plain, with no distingusihing pieces, ie, butt plate, trigger guard, lock style etc that would date it too accurately. I am a firm believer these types of firearms were used by the avg. person day in and day out and handed down etc until they literally fell apart or were destroyed etc. I can not imagine anyone back in the day getting rid of a "working, sound, reliable" firearm regardless of its style or age, unless they had too. IMHO:ThankYou:
People would use something until worn out. Waste nought want nought.
However our population was estimated at two million in 1776, almost four in 1790 would go to twelve by 1830, six times higher.
Assuming one gun per person, one gun at lest per adult male and multi guns for some families, most guns would have been manufactured around the time bought.
We have natural growth, plus immigration.
We could say two million guns in America in 1776, and twelve million in 1830 then it’s probable that ten million or about eighty percent manufactured after 1776
The French,Spanish and Dutch, and some German states sent over tons of guns for the war. And of course America captured large numbers of guns from British forces. Some of those guns were already twenty years old or older, and these got in to civilian hands. Although many got scraped and rebuilt.
We do a lot of ‘schools’ of guns, but there was more than one franken gun made of miss matched pieces.
That said tge pure volume of guns that the growing population of America needed swept old guns into a minority that got smaller every passing year.
 
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There would have been far fewer guns than people. Though the Militia Acts legally required most men to be armed for militia duty, it is well-documented in the period that they were all too often not. Many had little idea how to even use firearms apparently. Aside from the fact that many simply couldn't afford a gun, you also have to take into account that women, children, and slaves would generally not have had guns. Firearms weren't particularly important to townsfolk so fewer of them would have owned them, and I would think its safe to say that many rural households probably had only one gun, if they had one at all, although they may have had several boys. Out on the frontier where guns were more necessary, there were probably more armed men (though that is a presumption), but even into the "Wild West" era and late 19th century, there are accounts of posses having to borrow guns to arm their members because they didn't have enough their own guns.

Wealthier people would have been more likely to have both family heirlooms of high quality and newer purchased guns. Poorer people would have been more likely to have older weapons that would have been passed down or purchased second hand than newer guns if they had any firearm at all just like they are more likely to drive older cars today than a brand new 2022 Mercedes.
 
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I think we could argue numbers and percentages, many less people lived in town in terms of percentage of the population.
Your scenario even knocks tge number of available guns in 1776 to be lower, to be old guns in use in 1820.
I think I read once that France sent one hundred thousand arms to America. That’s about three guns to every american soldier during the whole of the war.
I never researched it and that number may be wrong, then some of those may count the French army’s guns
I bet ten percent of guns used in battle had to be replaced after the fight
And armory kept guns may have had a loss from storage mishaps.
And folks owning a gun might not be gun guys. A gun pulled out for militia duty and never shot may be in pretty poor shape after a couple of decades being largely ignored
 

Brokennock

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As to what @tenngun was saying about the ratio of new manufactured to old guns and the growing population,,,, as well as speaking to the comparison made elsewhere about many of us hunting with antique guns.
Our predilection is a luxury of our modern times. It is a pleasurable option for us. I seriously doubt many serious frontiersmen, settlers, young men getting ready for militia or military service, ooh'd and aahh'd over a 20, 50, or 80, year old gun.
I'm sure there were collectors and oficianados,,, but they probably weren't going off to seek their fortune, fight an enemy, or feed their family in time of need with their old guns.
 
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I'm sure showing up with it at a First Manassas event would draw endless ire. Any thoughts on this?
There were Springfield 1795 flintlocks used in the first year of the ACW and even most of that war in its western theater. Obvious by the 1795 date that the FIW and RW periods would be excluded. The Brown Bess was used early on by Confederate militia units and prison guards. The reason that it isn't used by the N-SSA competitors is the safety rules for loading imposed by lawyers & insurance companies.
ETA: Just checked N-SSA list of approved weapons dated 01/01/2022 and no flintlocks were listed.

There were entire regiments equipped with Flintlocks at the 1861 first battle of Manassas from what I read.
Correct, 1795 Springfields but that date with FIW events....

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.
The Charleville musket was issued to a substantial number of American soldiers during the ARW and was used as a prototype by the Springfield armory when they started production. Probably there was a bias against using anything British in the years immediately following that war.
I don't have direct knowledge of their opinion, thusly qualifying my comment; but, have read texts that said that the 1766 was copied.

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.
Loyalist Arms had them. They said more are on order now.

On Loyalist Arms site but not listed at muzzleloadershop.com/ in Arkansas. May be worth to call them at (870) 929-6257 or (501) 758-2222 to see if they can get it for you.
View attachment 180092
Linkage to Loyalist Arms musket
Price:
US $649.00 / Can. $780.00

Consolidated all my responses into one post.

IMHO, a Brown Bess may be your best choice. It is possible but probably better in theory than execution to get a percussion lock + conversion barrel for later period events.
Due to my family history of arriving after the last rendezvous, participating in the ACW and immediate years afterwards; I do N-SSA and SASS(ACW to the early frontier days). Reduces what I have to deal with to (1850-1888).

My advice would be to consider narrowing down the historical range to focus better on your persona.

That is my 2¢,
 
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Carteret Kid

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There were Springfield 1795 flintlocks used in the first year of the ACW and even most of that war in its western theater. Obvious by the 1795 date that the FIW and RW periods would be excluded. The Brown Bess was used early on by Confederate militia units and prison guards. The reason that it isn't used by the N-SSA competitors is the safety rules for loading imposed by lawyers & insurance companies.
ETA: Just checked N-SSA list of approved weapons dated 01/01/2022 and no flintlocks were listed.


Correct, 1795 Springfields but that date with FIW events....


The Charleville musket was issued to a substantial number of American soldiers during the ARW and was used as a prototype by the Springfield armory when they started production. Probably there was a bias against using anything British in the years immediately following that war.
I don't have direct knowledge of their opinion, thusly qualifying my comment; but, have read texts that said that the 1766 was copied.



On Loyalist Arms site but not listed at muzzleloadershop.com/ in Arkansas. May be worth to call them at (870) 929-6257 or (501) 758-2222 to see if they can get it for you.
View attachment 180092
Linkage to Loyalist Arms musket
Price:
US $649.00 / Can. $780.00

Consolidated all my responses into one post.

IMHO, a Brown Bess may be your best choice. It is possible but probably better in theory than execution to get a percussion lock + conversion barrel for later period events.
Due to my family history of arriving after the last rendezvous, participating in the ACW and immediate years afterwards; I do N-SSA and SASS(ACW to the early frontier days). Reduces what I have to deal with to (1850-1888).

My advice would be to consider narrowing down the historical range to focus better on your persona.

That is my 2¢,
They are still out of stock. Restock Notification pending.
 

54ball

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1671349908800.png

Carolina Trade Gun.
17th Century to maybe even ACW and beyond.
Found in The Platte Wrecks 1715.
Found on Queen Anne's Revenge Black Beards ship.
Found in the Sawani River Florida..loaded with shot and ball wadded with Palmetto 1750ish
Depicted in "Death of Wolf" painting post 1763
Boone given an old "shotgun" after they took his rifle by the Shawnee 1770
The Blue Guns of the Williamsburg Boys 1775
Relics Found of Trade...Texas 1783
Possible Milita Use 1812
10,000 Muskets and Guns found at the "Negro Fort" 1816
Cut down Guns used by the Plains Indians post 1830
Carolina Gun Proof data British Proof Houses...1850s (may simply re print of earlier data)
Possible CW militia use
Pre-cursor of the NW gun sold by Hudson's Bay to the 1920s
Hidden in plain sight.... somebody's silly lamp or over the mantle at Cracker barrel.
 

AtlatlMan

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View attachment 183573
Carolina Trade Gun.
17th Century to maybe even ACW and beyond.
Found in The Platte Wrecks 1715.
Found on Queen Anne's Revenge Black Beards ship.
Found in the Sawani River Florida..loaded with shot and ball wadded with Palmetto 1750ish
Depicted in "Death of Wolf" painting post 1763
Boone given an old "shotgun" after they took his rifle by the Shawnee 1770
The Blue Guns of the Williamsburg Boys 1775
Relics Found of Trade...Texas 1783
Possible Milita Use 1812
10,000 Muskets and Guns found at the "Negro Fort" 1816
Cut down Guns used by the Plains Indians post 1830
Carolina Gun Proof data British Proof Houses...1850s (may simply re print of earlier data)
Possible CW militia use
Pre-cursor of the NW gun sold by Hudson's Bay to the 1920s
Hidden in plain sight.... somebody's silly lamp or over the mantle at Cracker barrel.
At a glance, barely seems different from a Long Land Bess. Devil in the details of course, but only so much.

I've noticed this too looking at Dutch muskets, even some German muskets, they're basically early Besses with slight differences.
 

54ball

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At a glance, barely seems different from a Long Land Bess. Devil in the details of course, but only so much.

I've noticed this too looking at Dutch muskets, even some German muskets, they're basically early Besses with slight differences.
That's the profile.
They are much, much thinner. They are quite dainty...almost fragile when you handle an accurate representation.
They are very similar to English and French Fowling pieces.
Like the earlier Dutch Club Butts and Buccaneers of the late 17th...early 18th Century Carolina's commonly had rear sights. Personally, I believe the Carolina Gun had a great influence on the American longrifle. So much so I believe they were the rifle.... before the rifle.

The Northwest Gun ....
This is another that may fit the criteria. These could have been sold as percussion conversions/Percussions on the old flint pattern, by the Hudson's Bay Company into the 1920s.
One was found in grave on an Island on the Great Lakes. It has the classic NW large bow.... It's a NW Gun. That grave gun may date to the 1750s-60s.
So...
It appears there were two main patterns of very common English Trade Guns, The Carolina Pattern traded throughout the "South"1700-1783 and the NW Gun traded through Hudson's Bay 17??-1920s.
 
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