FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - MUSKETS USED BY THE AMERICANS
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FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - MUSKETS USED BY THE AMERICANS

FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - MUSKETS USED BY THE AMERICANS




      

FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - MUSKETS USED BY THE AMERICANS




Brown Bess muskets were used more than of any other kind in the first year and a half of the war. Many were owned by the various colonies, counties, cities, and towns, and were issued to their militia: many an American soldier carried as his private property the Brown Bess of his father or grandfather: many were captured from the English on both sea and land and used against them.

Foreign Muskets. The Continental Congress purchased from the Dutch, Spanish, and French West Indies and mother countries, and from Prussia, several thousands of muskets anything that would shoot old and new assorted sizes and shapes. In the beginning France wished to appear neutral while at the same time giving aid, and secretly appointed as agents the commission houses of Rodrigue, Notalez et Cie, and Pliarne, Penet et Cie. From them came in March, 1777, the Amphirite to Portsmouth, N. H., bringing 12,000 muskets and the Mercury to Philadelphia with 11,000. This supply, added to those already in use, was sufficient to equip the whole American Army for the rest of the war. These muskets were from the royal arsenals and armories, and were a mixed lot, containing scatterings of all the regular muskets and perhaps musketoons made between 1718 and 1777, with the model 1763 forming the bulk of the lot, and the very early and the latest models in very small numbers. Lafayette, coming in 1777, brought the Americans as a present a mixed lot of firearms, about 250 of which were muskets, and it is believed that the most of those muskets were model 1763, Charleville manufacture. Arms of that model and armory were and sometimes are now called Lafayette muskets. Of all the French muskets the model 1763 is most interesting to modern Americans, because it is the one the United States adopted as a model when the armories at Springfield and Harper's Ferry began to produce arms in 1795 and 1796. The model 1777 is also interesting, although to a less extent, because of its lock, brass pan included, being so far in advance forty-five years of the American adoption of the same design. All of the French musket models from 1717 to 1763 described under Colonial Firearms were doubtless in use by the Americans during the Revolution, with the possibility of their using also some of those between 1766 and 1777. There is more probability that these last were used by the Americans than by the French.

Musketoon (cavalry) Model 1763. Length 3 ft. 8$ in.; barrel about 41 in.; caliber about AW 0I an inch; the fore end goes almost to the muzzle; musketoons do not take a bayonet; bands, butt plate, and side plate of brass; both muzzle and middle bands are two-strap; forward sling swivel attached to middle band, rear one on under edge .of butt; on left side an iron ring traveling on an iron rod extending between rear band and forward screw in side plate; iron ramrod with nail-head (sometimes called button) end. Musket Model 1766. Differing only from model 1763 in having a thinner and lighter barrel and a spring fastened to the under part of the barrel to bear on the ramrod and hold it from slipping from its canal; bayonet like 1763 model except that a flat spring around the socket replaces the turn-band.

Sawyer, Charles. Firearms in American History. Boston: The Author,

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