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Drill Muskets

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:08 am
by Joolz
Here’s a little project that’s been keeping me busy these past few weeks.

The brief was for a ‘glorified’ piece-of-pipe-nailed-to-a-plank that members of the public could handle and use for drill ‘practice’. The only specific criteria were that it should be full size, have a ram-roddable steel barrel and the stock should be hardwood and in the style of an English Civil War fish-tail matchlock musket. No other functionality was specified, or provided for in the budget, and the metalwork was accordingly kept to the very minimum (no trigger, cock, lock, butt plate, etc. etc.).

Here’s what I came up with: the stock is steamed beech, stained. All the metalwork (barrel, barrel bands, dummy lock plate, fixings) are maintenance-free stainless steel. The design and construction has been driven primarily by an extremely tight budget and timescale, with only just enough ‘authenticity’ to pass muster at twenty paces (and I’ve handled and studied enough originals to know the differences), and yet without compromise on materials or build quality.

It is what it is, and should give years of service introducing the wider public to the ‘feel’ of drilling with a ‘real’ musket without any of the pitfalls of letting them chuck about a £350+ replica.

Overall length is just shy of 60”/5ft, barrel is 42”, weight is around 7.5lbs/3.5kg.

It’s been an interesting challenge, to say the least.

Joolz

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:32 pm
by John Waller
Looks a damn sight better than a lot of working 'replicas' seen at ECW reenactments. Nice.

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:22 pm
by Andy R
John Waller wrote:Looks a damn sight better than a lot of working 'replicas' seen at ECW reenactments. Nice.
I'd agree with that. We were just lamenting the lack of decent matchlocks this morning. :(

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm
by stephen wheatley
Very nice work, are you selling these? What tools do you use for rebating the barrel into the stock?

SW

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:51 pm
by Joolz
Thanks guys.

The barrels on these are 1" OD stainless pipe. I've inlet both the barrel and the 1/2" OD ramrod using routers, finishing off with chisels at the breech end. The 'barrel' is also secured through a tang at the breech end, inlet into the stock, similar to originals. I've tried to simplify the design where possible, to cut down the time taken and therefore the cost. You will have maybe noticed that, unlike 'real' examples, the stock is also ambidextrous - the hollow for the thumb is the same both sides rather than being right-handed only. As I said above, this is not an exact reproduction of an extant original - that was never the brief or the budget.

I've made 20 of these for a corporate client, plus a few over for me and some mates. I have no intention of making them for 'retail', as it was only possible to keep costs reasonable by making such a large batch. In my experience, reenactors wouldn't pay for one of these if I priced them up singly (unless I charged my labour out at well below minimum wage, of course).

Joolz

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:53 pm
by Joolz
I completed a couple more of these yesterday.

What strikes me is, how on earth is a kid doing Key Stage 3 English Civil War History going to be able to do loading drill with one of these, without standing on a chair????

Answers on a postcard, please.....

Joolz

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:36 pm
by Graham Cooley
My 6 year old daughter manages with a replica that was made about 20 years ago. In comprision the length difference would be about the same but the one we have is much lighter as the barrel is plastic and the wood softwood. Having said that she has spent some time practicing since she was 5.

In relation to the cost. I think you would find a number of reenactors who would pay the asking price for such a replica. I certainly would for a couple (or even more depending on price) and have spent substantial amounts on childrens helmets and similar items in the past. So if you are interested in selling a couple feel free to get in touch.

Graham
graham.cooley1@btinternet.com

Re: Drill Muskets

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:12 pm
by magog001
obviusly these are cival war period but would you consider doing a india pattern bess? whe can get denixes for £85 is your proposed price higher or lower than that?