Thursday 26 February 2015


I need an antique smoothbore flintlock pistol, preferably .60 to .62 caliber but will settle for smaller or larger. Any condition considered, I don't mind doing some repair work.
I am prepared obviously to pay a handlers fee plus freight costs. No licence, registration or permit to purchase is required here in NSW Australia.

This is the sort of pistol I am looking for. Preferably 18th century, but would settle for earlier or later.
Regards, Keith.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

British Tars, 1740-1790: Ship on Fire at Night, c.1756

British Tars, 1740-1790: Ship on Fire at Night, c.1756: "Ship on Fire at Night," Charles Brooking, 1756, Yale Center for British Art. The eponymous ship on fire is a big one. She&#3...

Making Covered Buttons.







Firearms Legislation !!! A Message to all anti-gun people.

Saturday 21 February 2015


It is NOT the guns, it IS the people. Stricter gun control does nothing but penalise the law abiding gun owner.

Monday 16 February 2015

18th Century Angling Equipment.

This 18th century treen was used to carry a selection of hooks, weights & line.

An 18th century fishing treen or Fisherman's companion, made from Boxwood.

This metal minow lure was made in the 1720s.

Brass wire being used as a leader on this original forged hook.

Saturday 14 February 2015

The Correct 18th Century Term For The Steel On A Flint Lock.

The Flint Lock Hammer.
The part of the flint lock that is struck by the flint which is held in the cock, is called a “hammer” or steel. The reason it has this name is because the earlier Snaphance lock had a steel that reminded people of a hammer. See below.
Here on the Snaphance lock on the left you can see the shape of the hammer, & on the right, we see the hammer on the later flintlock.

Here again the lock on a pistol shows the hammer shape of the steel.

This is the lock on my Flintlock Fusil.

Here you can see the hammer boot or cap in place on the hammer.

Hammer Stall Documentation.
Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt immediately gave the order, Off hammer caps'
Thorp, 1808.
...On Service, leather Hammer-stalls are undoubtedly an advantage to a Battalion, when loaded, and resting on their Arms, as accidents may be prevented by having them fixed upon the hammers of the Firelocks..."
Cuthbertson. (pg 93, XIII).
It is left to their [officers] discretion in time of real Action to disencumber such men as they may think proper entirely of them [arms], taking care that they be lodged in their Ammunition Carriages and to prevent any possible Accident happening therefrom, thumb stalls have been ordered to be provided which the men are constantly to keep on the hammer of their pieces except when posted centrys." Great Britain, Royal Artillery Regiment Library, Woolwich, Brigade Orderly Book, James Pattison Papers. 1778.

The hammer stalls shall always be made of red Russia leather.

The men arms to be clean and in perfect repair, to be completed
with stoppers, pickers and brush, and hammer caps, which ought to be
made of
black leather.
On service, leather Hammer-Stalls are undoubtedly an advantage
to the
battalion, when loaded and resting on their arms, as accidents
may be prevented, by having them fixed upon the hammers of the
(Cuthbertson, Bennett. System, for the Complete Interior Management

and Oecomomy for a Battalion of Infantry , Bristol, 1765.
page 93)

The term used now for the hammer on a flint lock is “frizzen”. This term was first used for the hammer on a flintlock in the 19th century. No one it seems knows where this name originated from, though it seems quite possible that it originated from my following findings:
Flint & Steel/Flint & Frezell or Fusil.
Frizzle ,fri'z'l), sbl dial. Also 7 frezel, 9 friz- (z)el. [? Corruption of FUSIL.] (See quot. 1892.) 1629 Z. BOYD Last Kattell Soule 1266 He is euer readie to strik fyre with his frezell and his flint,
1670-80; < French: musket, Old French fuisil, foisil steel for striking fire <Vulgar Latin *focīlis, derivative of Latin focus fire.
(in the sense: steel for a tinderbox): from Old French fuisil, from VulgarLatin focīlis (unattested), from Latin focus fire.
A light flintlock musket.
Origin of fusil
French, steel in a flintlock, firearm, from Old French fuisilsteel for a tinderbox, from Vulgar Latin*focīlis (petra), fire-(stone), from Late Latin focusfire, from Latin, hearth.
The author's English style steel.

Author's Tinderbox.

Showing an open tinderbox with tinder inside & the flint & steel beside it.

At the Sign of the Golden Scissors: Full Dress, Half Dress and Undress Caps

At the Sign of the Golden Scissors: Full Dress, Half Dress and Undress Caps: Attributed to Copley We as reenactors/costumers don't generally stray into the area of using silk gauze as a fabric for a cap. A cou...

Thursday 12 February 2015

At the Sign of the Golden Scissors: Round Earred Cap

At the Sign of the Golden Scissors: Round Earred Cap: What is a round earred cap?  Is it a cap that is round above your ears?  Or is it a cap that goes around your ears? Mrs. Gill,  Tate M...

Monday 9 February 2015

At the Sign of the Golden Scissors: Worth a Bookmark

At the Sign of the Golden Scissors: Worth a Bookmark: New and recent sites that are important to re-enactor and costumer alike.  Some links you will need to keep an eye on for the future and som...

Sunday 8 February 2015

Saturday 7 February 2015

A Gap Between Powder & Ball. DON'T DO IT !!!

I made a statement on social media today, and immediately got challenged. I don't mind getting challenged, in fact I think it is a good thing. But when that challenge also includes some dangerous misinformation, it can be a problem for other people reading it.

I stated that when loading a muzzle-loading firearm, you should never leave a gap between the powder charge and the ball or shot load. The nature of Black Powder is different to smokeless gunpowder, and the build up of pressure in the gap left between powder and ball, can cause the barrel to bulge or to fracture. Smokeless gunpowder of course should NEVER be used in a muzzle-loading gun under any circumstances.

So always seat the ball or shot load firmly on the powder charge without crushing the powder.

Black Powder Loading Manual By Sam Fadala.

The Lyman Black Powder Handbook.

Monday 2 February 2015

My Leather Sword Scabbards.

Ben just emailed me asking about sword scabbards, so I thought to make my reply easier, I would post what images I have of my own creations. Ben asked if he could make one like a large knife sheath, well that is basically what I did for both of mine.
The leather for my basket hilt sword is quite heavy, and there were three layers to get through. So I found it easier to clamp the pieces together and use a drill in stead of an awl.

I did not have enough length of leather to make this scabbard in one piece, so I had to add a piece on the end.

At the hilt end of the scabbard I added an extra strengthening piece which you can also see in the image below.

After the main body of the scabbard was finished, I covered the whole in clothing weight leather.

The hanging straps are from some old horse tackle that I had laying around. I am not claiming that this is a copy of any original, it is simply the best I could come up with in my limited skills at scabbard making.

This is my hunting sword and scabbard, which was a little easier to make, because it is short and all one piece construction. I did use an awl on this one.

This is the leather scabbard frog I made up based on a Ranger frog used for a bayonet. I wanted an angle on the sword so it would not just hang down straight.

Original 18th century sword and frog.

The backs of two frogs.

More sword frogs.