Fighting Muskets

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Joolz
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Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:45 am

Another recent project - for those out there who like to wade into the melee brandishing their musket, but don't like the prospect of a £300 repair/replacement bill when their lock/stock/barrel gets walloped - musket simulators.

These are full size (1.5m) copies of a generic early French/English style musket, made from solid stained beech with a stainless steel barrel, held in place with a tang screw (as originals), and further bolted through the solid stainless ramrod into the barrel. A solid ramrod was chosen for added strength and resistance to sword cuts (which would have turned a wooden ramrod into matchwood).

The only other metal work is a stainless lock plate. All other fittings (lock, trigger guard, butt plate) can be added, but were omitted because that would have rocketed the cost of the project and defeated its objective.

The barrel can accept a plug bayonet.

Joolz
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Musket Lock 1.JPG
Musket Action 4.JPG
Musket Overall.JPG


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby the real lord duvet » Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:01 pm

and pre 1870 so not subject to VCRA .... Can be bought off ticket......

All important selling points for the person who can't have a real gun.



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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:45 pm

You are right in that a Realistic Imitation Weapon of a pre-1870 firearm is not covered by the VCR Act and therefore freely available without the need to prove membership of an approved organisation.

However, this was originally designed as a WMA sparring weapon, which arguably also gives it a further classification as an item of fencing or martial arts equipment, should you ever need to go down that route......

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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby wurzul » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:43 am

Joolz,
You sellng these?



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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Tym » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:39 pm

What is the costs for the item?



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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:46 pm

..And no place in historical re-enactment,,,show me a weapon that looks like these............


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:20 pm

Steve,

I think you have missed the point somewhat. I have made no attempt to claim that these muskets are an exact replica of an extant early 18thC musket, French or English. They lack most (all) of the associated metalwork, for a start. If you want an exact replica, I can suggest a few places to go for a musket which will be perfectly suited to historical reenactment, which you can even fire (should you have the relevant paperwork). They will cost you, however, between 2 and 3 times the cost of this example. And you certainly will get what you paid for. It is your choice. However, should you wish to take it into a melee or a bayonet practice session, and allow someone armed with a cheap 'beater' hanger to hack away at it repeatedly then that, too, is your choice.

If, however, you choose to use something which is designed and built from the very start for the purpose of being hacked about by a beater, then that is also a matter of personal preference.

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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:20 pm

OK ,I could have been more polite........Muskets are for shooting(my four are.....) ...If someone gets to a range where I have to use my gun as a club/shield it's all gone tits-up.....And this is a re-enactment board,not a martial arts ones........Sorry,but I just don't get the point....... :?


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:38 pm

steve stanley wrote:If someone gets to a range where I have to use my gun as a club/shield it's all gone tits-up
Not at all events though- maritime events are done in very close quarters, for example. It also saves getting a very expensive musket damaged in a fight, as well as risks around potentially loaded pieces etc. From a spectacle point of view increases the accuracy of seeing clubbed muskets and bayonet techniques used, far more prevalent and likely than sword use.

It's directly comparable with the swords that a lot of folk carry, not just cos they are blunt but also beefed up from actual historical examples to cope with reenacmtent swordplay and simplified for ease of production and reduced cost. For example, the Armourclass "early baskethilt" swords that many carry.

Martial arts and reenactment cross over too- weapons training done as a demonstraton is a very common thing ( pretty much the mainstay of what I do these days) and dummy muskets were used for such for a fair number of years- anything from a scabbarded sharp to a crudely shaped stick to beefed up dummies to accurate replicas with spring-loaded bayonets.

Just cos you don't see a need doesn't mean there isn't one.


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:51 pm

Fair enough for training use........As you said,horses for courses,I just don't see it as suitable for public events........It's be like using fibreglass armour....... :?..I admit to a bias.....I'd sooner carry a correct sharp I can't use than a re-enactment blade...works for my mental picture............


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:43 pm

Steve,

To take part in re-enactment (as opposed to living history) without an appreciation of (Western) martial arts seems, to me with a foot in both camps, as very strange. Without the element of hand-to-hand skill at arms (bayonet work, clubbing, using the musket to parry and guard) reenacting this period would be reduced to just drill and standing in lines opposing each other and discharging volleys. That, to me, is extremely unrealistic and not representative of period warfare. It also makes for a very dull public display in comparison.

Phil correctly says, once we are talking about marine engagements, on the confines of a ship, the above is true tenfold.

Even on the field, the use of swords, unless you were cavalry, was very limited and hand-to-hand fighting with a musket was far more common than swordplay. For the reenactor, carrying a sharp sword into a melee, or an expensive (or, god forbid, potentially loaded) real musket into the fray, well, the risks are equally obvious.

As someone who has practised all aspects of musketry, including those used when you have discharged your shot and are left with, effectively, a pike or a club, I can see the point. And the precedent in history is unquestionable.

And on a more personal note, as a craftsman, making this by hand using nothing but steel, hardwood and fifteen years of patiently acquired skills, I also object to it being equated with cheap plastic armour, but that is just me taking pride in my work.....

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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:59 am

OK,mea culpa,we've gone off badly here........I misinterpreted this initially as a 'dummy musket'...knee-jerk reaction ....I now realise it's designed for an area of which I have little knowledge...My apologies all round & will now remove foot from mouth........... :)


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:21 pm

No harm done, Steve.

It's the eternal question.....what does a man armed with a (single shot) musket do when he has discharged his weapon, and doesn't have the time or range to reload and get another round off. He either reaches for his briquet/hanger (which, certainly in Napoleonic times, was rarely done - there are very few accounts of this) or he uses the weapon already in his hand to best effect - as a pike or as a club. He would certainly have been trained to do this, after all, the alternative was death or retreat!

On the reenactment field, you can certainly do this (I would argue that it is an essential part of a skirmish, but that's because I like the hands-on stuff as much as the bangy stuff!), but you risk mangling a £3-400 musket held on ticket. Or rather, someone else is going to mangle your expensive musket for you!

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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:23 pm

I tend to die............Or run away! :D


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Mark P. » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:40 am

Joolz wrote:
To take part in re-enactment (as opposed to living history) without an appreciation of (Western) martial arts seems, to me with a foot in both camps, as very strange. Without the element of hand-to-hand skill at arms (bayonet work, clubbing, using the musket to parry and guard) reenacting this period would be reduced to just drill and standing in lines opposing each other and discharging volleys. That, to me, is extremely unrealistic and not representative of period warfare. It also makes for a very dull public display in comparison.



Actually I think that is an extremely accurate representation of C18th period warfare!


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:43 pm

I won't deny that importance was placed on sheer mass and momentum in fire and movement, with the hope that the enemy line would break and flee the field (Frederick the Great said as much, although he knew the value of a bayonet charge!).

However, we have both given very sweeping statements from opposing positions, and although bayonet fencing treatises from this period are thin on the ground, bayonet drill was practised (using short pike tactics as its basis), as was butt work (oo-er), which had been a part of infantry tactics a hundred years earlier. This was not done just for fun!

My assertion is that standing there and loosing volleys and not much else, is a re-enactorism, for many reasons:

No plug/fixed bayonets allowed on the field (for obvious reasons)
No getting closer than 20 yards (because of minimum safe discharge distances)
No desire amongst many musket-equipped re-enactors to engage in close combat (see Steve's comments above)
No opportunity to use bayonet-equipped rifles in their primary role (against sabre-equipped cavalry)

The only exception to these conditions, is when re-enacting marine engagements, where every feature of a musket including the bayonet and the butt have a valid purpose.

I think this is a reflection of the fact that close order infantry tactics preclude the 'one-on-one' nature of butt and bayonet work, which is more of an open order tactic, as one may find in an onboard naval melee, or on broken ground. However, the use of close order bayonet work is a feature of tactics used against charging cavalry (as mentioned above) and also against charging Highlanders!

But to say that hand-to-hand fighting was such a rare occurrence on the 18thC battlefield that it is not worth depicting in re-enactment, is to deny the part that it plays in contemporary drill, and to deny the spectacle for the viewing public not to mention the enjoyment of the participant!

Edit: A cursory glance through a few accounts shows hand-to-hand combat - bayonet work etc. - to have been of significant importance in the battles of Ramillies (1706), Leuthen (1757) and Minden (1757) - the first and last were primarily though not exclusively against cavalry, which we can't re-enact. I'm sure if I had the time I could dig out dozens more instances.

Do you not feel that something is missing, when you take your musket onto the field - that it has so much more potential as a weapons system than just a bang stick!!!?

Joolz
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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:47 am

Lace Wars & NFOE do fix bayonets on the field....Do have highly-scripted hand-to-hand.....So they're not just bang-sticks! :)


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby cannontickler » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:30 pm

Joolz wrote:I won't deny that importance was placed on sheer mass and momentum in fire and movement, with the hope that the enemy line would break and flee the field (Frederick the Great said as much, although he knew the value of a bayonet charge!).

However, we have both given very sweeping statements from opposing positions, and although bayonet fencing treatises from this period are thin on the ground, bayonet drill was practised (using short pike tactics as its basis), as was butt work (oo-er), which had been a part of infantry tactics a hundred years earlier. This was not done just for fun!

My assertion is that standing there and loosing volleys and not much else, is a re-enactorism, for many reasons:

No plug/fixed bayonets allowed on the field (for obvious reasons)
No getting closer than 20 yards (because of minimum safe discharge distances)
No desire amongst many musket-equipped re-enactors to engage in close combat (see Steve's comments above)
No opportunity to use bayonet-equipped rifles in their primary role (against sabre-equipped cavalry)

The only exception to these conditions, is when re-enacting marine engagements, where every feature of a musket including the bayonet and the butt have a valid purpose.

I think this is a reflection of the fact that close order infantry tactics preclude the 'one-on-one' nature of butt and bayonet work, which is more of an open order tactic, as one may find in an onboard naval melee, or on broken ground. However, the use of close order bayonet work is a feature of tactics used against charging cavalry (as mentioned above) and also against charging Highlanders!

But to say that hand-to-hand fighting was such a rare occurrence on the 18thC battlefield that it is not worth depicting in re-enactment, is to deny the part that it plays in contemporary drill, and to deny the spectacle for the viewing public not to mention the enjoyment of the participant!

Edit: A cursory glance through a few accounts shows hand-to-hand combat - bayonet work etc. - to have been of significant importance in the battles of Ramillies (1706), Leuthen (1757) and Minden (1757) - the first and last were primarily though not exclusively against cavalry, which we can't re-enact. I'm sure if I had the time I could dig out dozens more instances.

Do you not feel that something is missing, when you take your musket onto the field - that it has so much more potential as a weapons system than just a bang stick!!!?

Joolz



Hi Joolz............its a sad fact of our hobby, but its often true to say that the reenactor is the last person on the planet that should be allowed to attempt to accurately recreate a period or historical warfare.
due to the dreaded " reenactorism " attitudes present in many, if not all, reenactment societies, the period correct fighting techniques are usually chucked straight out the door as soon as someone decides they don't want to do it that way or because they've decided they know better than history books..............items which a vast amount of reenactors never bother to actually look at........ :wtf:

The period fighting techniques of armies do not just stop dead as soon as you leave one period in time and move into the next new period in time, armies adopt fighting styles across a range of areas for application within a multitude of fighting scenarios, this is common sense in order to defeat a varied range of enemies across a planet if you wish to conquer.
The fighting styles of the 17th century army would certainly carry forward ( and did carry forward ) into the 18th century until a new Treatise for the deployment of troops or Art of war was written and adopted or a new technique was required to defeat a new type of enemy.
The British army is also notorious for dragging its feet as far as changing its ' basics ' in regard to the " it worked last time " attitude .
of course to properly recreate a period warfare battle in front of the public, we would require volunteers from whichever reenactment group to actually be blown apart by heavy calibre cannon that were firing live rounds, have a lot of spare buckets at hand to pick up the bits of guts, arms, legs, eyeballs, ears and various other body parts we hacked off each other in what has now become a rather intense fight for your very life and probably need quite expensive insurance to cover us for the vast loss of life within reenactment circles each year............i can't see a problem myself, but each to their own i suppose. :lol:

Lets put it this way, ANY battle within ANY period of history which involves large blocks of troops heading towards each other, is at some point also going to involve very close quarter, bloody, messy, horrifying, murderous acts upon each other and if your out of ammo and all you've got left in your hands is your gun, your certainly going to need to know how to use it to kill as many of the enemy coming straight at you as you possibly can before you yourself die from a dexterous fellow with a bayonet on the end of his musket or sword in his hand or even on top of half a ton of horse bearing down upon you.
It seems to have been forgotten here that certain armies across Europe in the 18th century still kept half pike units within the ranks for the protection against various weapons at closer quarter and horse until we see the phasing out in the 1720's / 1730's.


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:51 pm

Not to mention the half-pike & folding pikes tried out by LI & Riflemen.....And the pikes carried by the rear rank of some US infantry regiments in the war of 1812.......... :eh:


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby cannontickler » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:20 pm

steve stanley wrote:Not to mention the half-pike & folding pikes tried out by LI & Riflemen.....And the pikes carried by the rear rank of some US infantry regiments in the war of 1812.......... :eh:


yes i wasn't mentioning those Steve mate.....
sorry for pinching your line from another forum about the ( lack of reading of history books by some reenactors ) as well..
yes.....you are allowed to call me, line stealing git, if you like.


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:22 pm

Putting aside the fact that we are not actually trying to kill each other, earlier period re-enactors (them muddy-evils, for instance!) have no qualms about wading in with a longarm (bill etc.). This can be done safely. So why not with a (blunt/ball end) bayonet on the end of a musket? (Better, of course, if it doesn't cost £400 and have the potential to go 'boom')

Steve, I'm not surprised the F&I guys do hand-to-hand with muskets - to not do so would be a missed opportunity. Of course, at this time, there were no helmets/breastplates/padded armour to protect the body/head, unlike our fellow mediaeval enthusiasts. Other than tight choreography, do they still thrust or just engage in parrying/pushing and butt-work? It must add a lot to the spectacle and to the authenticity.

I'm curious as to what they use in place of sharps when they bayonet fence.

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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:04 pm

Bayonet fencing has been tried with VERY experienced people with LOTS of practice......Easier to do for Lace Wars against Targes,but still calls for a lot of work..thrust tend to go under the arm on the 'anti-public' side...Equally tomahawk against clubbed musket happens....main point is,it's theatrical,not competitive.....I died beautifully when charged by a french marine last year...It's called falling over a low wall.......... :wink:


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Mark P. » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:36 pm

Joolz wrote:
Edit: A cursory glance through a few accounts shows hand-to-hand combat - bayonet work etc. - to have been of significant importance in the battles of Ramillies (1706), Leuthen (1757) and Minden (1757) - the first and last were primarily though not exclusively against cavalry, which we can't re-enact. I'm sure if I had the time I could dig out dozens more instances.

Do you not feel that something is missing, when you take your musket onto the field - that it has so much more potential as a weapons system than just a bang stick!!!?

Joolz


Don't know about the 1757 Minden but the 250th anniversary of the 1759 Minden was successfully re-enacted with bayonets and cavalry last year.
Not entirely sure that a non bang stick has 'so much more potential' than a bang stick, after all it don't go bang for a start.
If the non bang stick is being promoted as a way of allowing people to 'wade in' I think I'll pass, definitely the right time to die or run away.


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby cannontickler » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:43 pm

you'll notice a trend toward lying down and playing dead a lot in NFOE and Lace Wars here Joolz,
its co's we're all getting old and knacker easily.........!


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Joolz » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:51 pm

CT - I'm not so young meself, but I keep fit by poking people with swords (I head my local WMA chapter) - and bayonets, of course! But you're right, there seems to be a distinct lack of enthusiasm for experimenting with what is, after all, an important facet of 18thC combat.

Mark - please excuse the surfeit of 1757s (we are all allowed typos). Is there any footage of the anniversary battle - I would be interested to see how it was done. I have seen it done in Napoleonic reenactment, and it was a case of horses going round in circles whilst infantry waved at them with bayonets (sort of like a 50s cowboy/injun movie). I really can't see it being done (safely) any other way.....

As for bang sticks, 20 years as a ticket holder, and numerous attempts by various governments to restrict my pleasures, have taught me to be adaptive and squeeze as much enjoyment as I can out of a bit of wood with a pipe lashed to it!!

As the old saying goes, you can do everything with a bayonet except sit on it!

Joolz


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby cannontickler » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:42 pm

Joolz, this is French / Indian bayonet drill..............or one of the drill sets to be a bit more precise.

Image

and i've put this up just to annoy Steve to death.............i recon we could all get fit enough to do this by next year... :lol: :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOeB2yMU ... _embedded#!


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby steve stanley » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:06 pm

I need to go and lie down now......That French drill,(and others) are fully covered in a rather nice book from Canada...plus translations & a CD of the french commands which M.Raffle obtained for members of L'armee Francaise............


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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Mark P. » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:56 pm

I went to the top of the thread and read the whole thing again and I'm not sure I'm convinced by the rationale behind this, dare I say it could be a re-enactorism in the making :o

I've selectively clipped some of your quotes so I apologise in advance if you think I'm misrepresenting what you are trying to say

Joolz wrote:To take part in re-enactment (as opposed to living history) without an appreciation of (Western) martial arts seems, to me with a foot in both camps, as very strange.

Only if you think the people you are portraying (mid c18th British R&F in my case) would have had an equivalent level of knowledge. From my point of view I just can't see much evidence of dedicated hand to hand combat training being used by mid c18th British R&F.

Joolz wrote:Bayonet fencing treatises from this period are thin on the ground.

Any there any mid C18th Bayonet fencing treatises that can be used as a reference?

Joolz wrote:Bayonet drill was practised (using short pike tactics as its basis).

Agreed but its just a single movement (the direct lunge with a theoretical variant of the lunge to the right).

Joolz wrote:As was butt work

Could this be proven is there a mid C18th source that can be used as a reference?

Joolz wrote:But to say that hand-to-hand fighting was such a rare occurrence on the 18thC battlefield that it is not worth depicting in re-enactment, is to deny the part that it plays in contemporary drill.

Although it did play a part in contemporary battles and is depicted in re-enactment I don't think hand to hand played a prominent part in contemporary mid C18th British infantry drill,

Joolz wrote:he uses the weapon already in his hand to best effect - as a pike or as a club.

Certainly 'to best effect' although the run away option was still popular e.g. Prestonpans and Falkirk

Joolz wrote:He would certainly have been trained to do this.

Why would he have certainly been trained to do this even if we think it would be a good idea from a C21st perspective?


This might be going over old ground by going back right to the start and If I've missed something obvious then I stand to be embarrassed :sweat: but I will have learnt something :silent:

A Minden vid, nothing really showing the cav though. It all seems a lot more ordered and spacious compared to the confused scrum I remember.
http://mt-online.de/lokales/blickpunkt/schlacht_bei_minden/3057849_Schlacht_bei_Minden_-_reenactment.html?em_index_page=1


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cannontickler
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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby cannontickler » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:18 pm

steve stanley wrote:I need to go and lie down now......That French drill,(and others) are fully covered in a rather nice book from Canada...plus translations & a CD of the french commands which M.Raffle obtained for members of L'armee Francaise............


Why that stinky Will never told me he was scabbing all the goodies just for the Frenchies.......you wait till i see him,
in fact i might nag him with some PM'd shots across his bow a minute........mutter, mutter, mutter.


it was a quick process until they made it efficient .

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Tod
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Re: Fighting Muskets

Postby Tod » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:08 am

From a receiving POV. Fencing with bayonets, fighting with swords or pole arms is a bit of entertainment when it comes to re-enactment. Doing 15th, 17th and 18th century gives me a wider perspective of what goes on. 15th century stir, 17th century go in at point but keep it low (out of the face) and end up in push, 18th century choreograph hand to hand and aim to miss. All keep one thing at the forefront and that is trying not to hurt the opposition.
It took me a few years to work out that most hand to hand should be three blows and you’re out any thing more looks like Errol Flynn. Most sensible groups ban thrusting with weapons and the one period that doesn’t actually uses almost sharps – 18th century. We had our share of injuries which is why we rehearse every thing. Rubber bayonets look rubbish, and sticking a ball on the end would get in the way of loading and look even worse.
I don’t know enough to say whether bayonet fencing or using a musket as a club was practised but I’m pretty sure that if you get a few hundred men charging at you with a damned great sword and shield on their arms you’re going to use what ever you can or leg it.
The other issue is numbers. Neither LW or NFOE has enough people to get into a “press” and start using bayonets in the way they demonstrate to the public, thrusting. I’ve seen our French/British do it and it looks daft as all you do is run round the side of a line of 6 and hit them in the back. You need hundreds to make that effective and even then against sword and targe it is doubtful that the thrust to the side would work unless you get both lines to hit each other at almost exactly the same time.
Having just read the memoirs of a Corp. in the British army from the latter part of the mid 18th century there is no mention of bayonet practice but there is of firing, but there is mention of using the bayonet in a battle/skirmish. To me that would seem to indicate that although you may learn to thrust and handle your bayonet you don’t get to practice fencing with it and in fact its more of a kill with what you can and how you can.
All this makes me agree with Mark who is usually the one with the bayonet whilst I’m the one he is trying to stick with it.




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