Brown bess

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The preferred choice of musket, also labeled as flintlock, firelock, or smoothbore in the British Army and subsequently in the American Army during the American Revolution was the Brown Bess.

This article will examine the source of its name, the two main types used during the Revolution, origin and manufacturing facilities, use and accuracy, and the mechanics of how it works. The first question that arises in any discussion on the Brown Bess is how the musket or flintlock got its name. Bess is a flintlock more on that later and took the place of the matchlock that was first introduced from the time of Edward the IV, approximately One theory attributed the name Bess in reference to Queen Elizabeth.

But since Elizabeth died inover eighty years before the Bess flintlock, this explanation is highly unlikely. However, some stress that the usage of Bess was in honor of the previous queen. Brown Bess could be a corruption of this. However, taking all this into consideration, one may only have to understand who the soldiers were who carried this weapon. This led to difficulties with ammunition and replacement parts.

To address this problem, armies began to adopt standard patterns.

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The earlier standard of flintlock was the Long Land Pattern musket. It was in use from to with minor versions in the designs for, and The version was the first of British muskets to adopt brass hardware. The barrel was 46 inches with an overall length of The weight was It had a barrel bore of.

The typical round or shot in use was around. The Bess was fitted with a 17 inch triangular cross-section bayonet. The Long Land Pattern was found throughout the British infantry right up to and including the American Revolution. It was this weapon that was widely used during the French and Indian War. A version was also shipped over to the Americas. Many of these rifles were stored in British armories in the colonies.The weapon in common use during the Napoleonic Wars was the musket.

The British musket, commonly known as the Brown Bess, was the weapon with the longest service life over all its variants of any firearm in history. It was first introduced in as the Long Land Pattern, and was phased out in the late s when they were replaced with a percussion cap musket. One hypothesis is that the "Brown Bess" was named after Elizabeth I of England, but this lacks support.

It is believed that this name was not used to refer to the early Long Pattern Land musket but arose in late years of the 18th century when the Short Pattern and India Pattern muskets were in wide use.

Early uses of the term include the newspaper, the Connecticut Courant in Aprilwhich said " The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tonguea contemporary work which defined vernacular and slang terms, contained this entry: " Brown Bess: A soldier's firelock. To hug Brown Bess; to carry a fire-lock, or serve as a private soldier.

Popular explanations of the use of the word "Brown" include that it was a reference to either the colour of the walnut stocks, or to the characteristic brown colour that was produced by russeting, an early form of metal treatment.

Others argue that mass-produced weapons of the time were coated in brown varnish on metal parts as a rust preventative and on wood as a sealer or in the case of unscrupulous contractors, to disguise inferior or non-regulation types of wood.

However, the Oxford English Dictionary OED notes that "browning" was only introduced in the early 19th century, well after the term had come into general use. Similarly, the word "Bess" is commonly held to either derive from the word arquebus or blunderbuss predecessors of the musket or to be a reference to Elizabeth I, possibly given to commemorate her death.

More plausible is that the term Brown Bess derived from the German words "brawn buss" or "braun buss", meaning "strong gun" or "brown gun"; King George I, who never spoke English and commissioned its use, was from Germany. Bess may therefore be a corruption of buss. The OED has citations for "brown musket" dating back to the early 18th century which refer to the same weapon.

Stress-bearing parts of the Brown Bess, such as the barrel, lock, and sling-swivels, were customarily made of iron, while other furniture pieces such as the butt plate, trigger guard and ramrod pipes were found in both iron and bras, although the India and Sea Service patterns used in had these exclusively in brass. It weighed around 10 pounds 4.

brown bess

The weapon did not have sights, though it could be aimed using the bayonet lug as a crude sight, which would be rendered impossible once the bayonet was fitted.

Military tactics of the period stressed mass volleys and massed bayonet charges, rather than individual marksmanship. The large soft projectile could inflict a great deal of damage when it hit and the length of the weapon allowed longer reach in bayonet engagements. As with all similar smooth bore muskets, it is possible to improve the accuracy of the weapon by using musket balls that fit more tightly into the barrel.

The black powder would quickly foul the barrel, making it more and more difficult to reload a tighter-fitting round after each shot and increasing the risk of the round jamming in the barrel during loading.

Since tactics at the time favoured close range battles and speed over accuracy, smaller and more loosely fitting musket balls were much more commonly used. The Brown Bess had a barrel bore of.

The training for the Marines for engagements at sea was to fire individually, kneeling to reload behind the cover provided by the ship's bulwarks and the hammocks in the hammock nettings. Because of the ranges in play during ship-to-ship combat. Marines were not exclusively employed as musketeers but were also used to augment the gun crews, only being called away to replace small-arms men as the battle progressed.

Many variations and modifications of the standard pattern musket were created over its long history. The India Pattern musket was the weapon used by the British during the Peninsular War and therefore is the weapon used by line infantry characters in Show the Colours.Thank you for perusing our inventory.

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When inquiring please try to provide maker or model or photos or drawings for us to go on. Telling us "I have this gun, it's really old and about 60 inches long" just doesn't cut it. Sorry, no original box.

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Excellent condition, fired but not much. Harpers Ferry dated with bayonet, well used with poor bore but displays well. Assembled Locks. In addition we stock hundreds of parts for flintlocks big and small:. Loading Block — Hardwood — Specify Caliber. English manufacture, near new, 24" blued.

Brown Bess

Vintagenew and unfired. Iron mounted with set triggers, new condition and appears little used. Comes with a percussion lock conversion so it can go both ways. Iron mounted with set triggers, new condition and appears little used or maybe unfired.

N-SSA prize awarded inused in competition but super clean. Well made custom smoothbore flintlock in. This one might have started life as an English fusil kit? In any case it's nice and hardly used. Brass mounted Lancaster style flintlock rifle, wooden patch box, set triggers, nicely carved stock, made from a TVM kit. Signed on barrel "J. Very early Bicentennial commemorative in new, unfired condition. This has the crest of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers engraved in the wrist escutcheon and a soldier's name engraved in the butt plate tang.

If you don't want the markings the escutcheon can be replaced and the butt plate tang filed clean. Spanish "Jukar" percussion rifle. An oldie but a goodie starter gun. Italian "Ardesa" full stock flintlock rifle with set triggers and brass inlays and patch box, excellent condition. Kit gun completely assembled and ready to shoot but sill in the white i.

New, never used, very well assembled by someone who knew how to do it right. You can put your own touches on this one when you finish it. We are still inventorying them so e-mail or call with wish list. Another one from the good old days, very clean with a honey blond stock. This one hasn't seen much use at all. Just came in, very good clean condition, Bicentennial era made with a blond stock, bright metal and sparks great--just like all of the Japanese ones do. Also just came in, also very good clean condition, Bicentennial era made with a darker varnish on the stock and bright metal, another good sparker.

Brand new, frizzen struck once but never fired, no box, clean, clean clean.The Land Pattern Musket, better known as the "Brown Bess" was the standard infantry weapon of the British Army for over years until being replaced in the midth century. A flintlock musket, the Brown Bess saw service wherever British forces marched.

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As a result, the weapon took part in conflicts in nearly every corner of the globe. Though phased out of frontline usage with the arrival of percussion cap and rifled weapons, it remained in the ranks of some armies into the latter part of the 19th century and saw limited use in conflicts as late as the American Civil War and Anglo-Zulu War Though firearms had become the predominant weapon on the battlefield by the 18th century, there was little standardization in their design and manufacture.

This led to increased difficulties in supplying ammunition and parts for their repair. A flintlock, smoothbore musket, the weapon was produced in large quantities for over a century. In addition, the musket was fitted a socket allowing a bayonet to be fitted to the muzzle so that the weapon could be used as a pike in close fighting or defeating cavalry charges.

Within fifty years of the Land Pattern's introduction, it had earned the nickname "Brown Bess. The origins of the name are unclear, however some suggest that it may be derived from the German term for strong gun braun buss. As the weapon was commissioned during the reign of King George I, a native German, this theory is plausible.

Regardless of its origins, the term was in colloquial use by the ss, with "to hug a Brown Bess" referring to those who served as soldiers. The length of the Land Pattern muskets changed as the design evolved. As time passed, the weapons became increasingly shorter with the Long Land Pattern measuring 62 inches long, while the Sea Service Pattern and Short Land Pattern variations were The most popular version of the weapon, the East India Pattern, stood 39 inches. Firing a. The weapon weighed approximately 10 pounds and was fitted for a inch bayonet.

The effective range of the Land Pattern muskets tended to be around yards, though combat tended to occur with masses of troops firing at 50 yards. Due to its lack of sights, smoothbore, and usually undersized ammunition, the weapon was not particularly accurate. Due to this, the preferred tactic for this weapon were massed volleys followed by bayonet charges.

British troops using the Land Pattern muskets were expected to be able to fire four rounds per minute, though two to three was more typical.

Introduced inthe Land Pattern muskets became the longest-used firearms in British history. In addition, it saw extensive service with the Royal Navy and Marines, as well as with auxiliary forces such as the British East India Company. Its principal contemporaries were the French. In the early 19th-century, many Land Pattern muskets were converted from flintlocks to percussion caps.

This change in ignition systems made the weapons more reliable and less apt to fail. The final flintlock design, the Patternended the Land Pattern's year run as the primary musket for British forces. Ina fire at the Royal Arsenal destroyed many Land Patterns that were slated for conversion.

As a result, a new percussion cap musket, the Patternwas designed to take its place.

brown bess

Despite this, converted Land Patterns remained in service throughout the empire for several more decades. Share Flipboard Email. Kennedy Hickman. Military and Naval History Expert.This lighter and shorter inch barrel musket became the preferred musket of manufacture by the Board of Ordnance for the British Army in Prior to this, this pattern was developed and adopted by the armies of the East India Company, hence the name.

Throughout the Napoleonic Wars nearly 3 million of these brown bess muskets were manufactured and distributed to Britain's infantry regiments. The only change in their manufacture during this period was the switch from a swan-necked cock to a reinforced style in This 3rd Model Brown Bess offered here was the more common swan-necked style. Aside from being a pound lighter and 3 inch shorter barrel, the main differences from the previous "Short Land" pattern and the India pattern were ones of style removal of the thumb plate and only three pipes for the ramrod instead of four.

Because of the numbers manufactured, this pattern saw use as late as in the British army and militia. The hardiness of this Brown Bess made it popular with the U. Marines prior to and during the War of It's brass hardware was much more suitable for the service on the sea than the standard U.

Springfield Musket. They are also the musket of most British Napoleonic units in Great Britain. The locks have strong main strings and case-hardened hammers frizzen covers resulting in good sparks. The seamless tempered barrels are made of high-carbon steel BS no. We use a industrial case-hardening factory process that makes sparking both more reliable and longer lasting. Presently no other musket provider uses this technique.

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As with all our other flintlocks, the vent is not drilled read details below so we can ship easily to your door throughout North America and to Europe and the UK. Aside from that they are exactly like the originals. A fine addition to any collection. Sale Price Money-back Guarantee - Shipped to your Door. Our Guarantee. If upon receiving your musket you are not completely happy with your purchase, you may return it for a refund. All we ask is you cover the shipping costs.

It has to be returned in two weeks of receipt and be in its original state unaltered and unmodified. Non-Firing State. We sell historically accurate muskets and pistols in a non-firing state. This allows us to comply with various local, state, national and international firearms regulations, along with shipping company policy restrictions. A certified gunsmith may decide to alter a musket or pistol to a firing state by drilling the vent hole and test firing it.

brown bess

We are not legally responsible for any changes from its present state. Please read our Conditions of Use and Legal Disclaimer. The customer is expected to be aware of the laws of their locality that govern products of this nature.

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American Revolution: Brown Bess Musket

Also referred to as the 1st Model, this musket was the first of British muskets to adopt brass hardware. Developed in the s, this musket was used all the way up to the American Revolution.

There a number of versions to this musket. Additional changes were made to its design inhowever the basic look remained the same. The major change for the was the introduction of the double bridle to the lock. This is the version with Seven Years War war-time steel rammer conversion. While a new model was introduced inofficials were insistent that the new musket would not be issued until the Long Land Musket stocks with Regiments and in the armouries had been depleted.

This practice was confirmed when the 77th and 78th Regiments Montgomery's and Fraser's Highlanders were raised in for service in North America. Instead of receiving the new model, they received the model. In addition the reported replacement by numerous regiments of wooden rammers with steel ones also confirms the universal use of the model in the French and Indian War. The model is simply not suitable for French and Indian War reenactment. One historian suggested the Loyalist or Provincial Corps would have received the Long Land Muskets because that was what was in stores after the French and Indian War.

Most certainly the Long Land pattern would have found its way into the Continental Army as muskets were captured from the British and taken from colonial armouries, particularly at the beginning of the war before arms from France started to flow. The musket offered here comes with a steel ramrod. When this musket was first manufactured numerous regiments particularly in Ireland were supplied with steel ramrods.

One British Officer, General Hawley, objected to the steel rammers and subsequent rammers were made of wood.

Surprisingly at the same time the French Army had decided to switch to the steel ramrod! The British eventually switched back to the steel ramrod in the s when the version was introduced.

As well during the Seven Years War French and Indian War numerous regiments carrying wooden rammers were ordered to switch to steel ones. This specimen has been selected as the representative piece for 1st Model in the new museum's Colonial display. Grenadiers of the 34th, 35th and 36th Regiments of Foot carrying this musket c. They appear to not have nose caps. Nose Cap or No Cap? Many collectors and historians debate whether or not the Long Land had a nose cap in the French and Indian War.

The reproduction we have offer here is based on an original in the Canadian War Museum which shows no sign of a nose cap but has a steel rammer. It was not until the model Brown Bess was approved did the Long Land officially receive a nose cap. So the question becomes were nose caps added to the pattern long lands used in the French and Indian War?You can help the Assassin's Creed Wiki by uploading better images on this page. The Brown Bessalso known simply as the Flint Musket [1] and mistakenly as the Rifle[1] is a muzzle-loading, flintlock musket that served as the standard long gun of the British Army for over a century.

Among the first firearms in human history to undergo standardization, the Brown Bess was classified into a variety of distinct "land patterns", such as the India Pattern utilized by the East India Companyeach of which were produced to specific standardized lengths and weights. An epitome of flintlock muskets, the Brown Bess consists of a long, smoothbore barrel and a gunstock, both of which are carved from wood.

While early muskets were not built to standard specifications, the British Empire quickly came to see their necessity. Thus, the Brown Bess was a pioneer in this venue, with a variety of standardized derivatives, known as "land patterns", designed based on the geography of their intended deployment. Functionally identical, Brown Bess land patterns were distinguished chiefly by a variance in barrel length and overall weight and length.

Aside from this, to stay relevant, Brown Bess muskets received numerous upgrades over its more than a century of use. First developed in the early 18th century, the Brown Bess muskets had become the standard service long gun of the British Army by the Seven Years' War. Accordingly, it was the principal musket of the Continental Army as well. Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

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