Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brown Bess

In the days of lace-ruffles, perukes, and brocade
Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise -
An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes -
At Blenheim and Ramillies, fops would confess
They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

Rudyard Kipling, "Brown Bess," 1911

The Brown Bess musket was the standard "all services" weapon for about a hundred and twenty years...putting the boots to Napoleon and was reliable enough to even find fifty year old guns in service in the war between the States. Its name is German actually, the German words Braun Buss mean "Brown Gun", with the word "brown" in this case having the connotation of being "strong". It shoots a three quarter inch ball twice a minute with a grouping of five inches at fifty yards.
The top picture is me at the Royal Armoury in Leeds, with a short Land Pattern Brown Bess with a MOST unusual rear site. I was not rifled.
The second picture down is a lock which I cleaned up...the third picture is what it looked like before I cleaned it. I had just got a wonderful tool...a vibrating tub filled with rice, barley, sand and brasso into which you drop those rusty old pieces and let them hum for a couple of days. Wonderful tool! Of course, we won't mention how hard it was to get some of those screws out!

And the next two down are from Pedersoli's musket repair manual. Just in case I need parts. Which of course I DID.

Gosh I like messing with flint locks!!!

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