Sunday 31 January 2016

A Brescian Brass-Mounted Flintlock Blunderbuss.

A Brescian brass-mounted flintlock blunderbuss with elliptical muzzle by Picin Frusca of Brescia. Early 18th century. Steel barrel 54cm engraved at breech and signed “Lazaro Lazarino”. Engraved and signed lock. Molded highly figured stock, folding butt en suit with sprung release button behind escutcheon. Cast and chased brass mounts comprising pierced foliate side plate, belt plate and trigger guard with shaped panels within raised borders and each with foliate finials. Scroll trigger, iron belt hook with ring shaped mount and foliate finials and original brass tipped ramrod.


18th-Century-Small-Arms-Manual PDF.

Thursday 28 January 2016

17th Century Supplies and Provisions List For Immigrants.

Provisions List 1630 A Catalog of such needefull things as every Planter doth or ought to provide to go to New-England Victuals for a whole yeere for a man... 8 Bushels of meale 2 Bushels of Otemeale. 1 Gallon of Aquavitae 1 Firkin of Butter 2 Bushels of pease. 1 Gallon of Oyle. 2 Gallons of Vinegar. Apparell. 1 Monmouth Cap. 1 Wast-coat. 1 Suit of Frize. 2 Paire of Sheets. 3 Falling Bands. 1 Suit of Canvas. 3 Paire of Stockings. 1 Paire of Blankets. 3 Shirts. 1 Suit of Cloth. 4 Paire of Shooes. 1 Course Rug. 7 Ells of Canvase to make a bed and boulster. Armes. 1 Armor compleat. 1 Sword. 1 Bandilier. 60 Pound of Lead. 1 Long peece. 1 Belt. 20 Pound of Powder. 1 Pistoll and Goose shot. Tooles. 1 Broad Howe. 1 Shovell. 1 Felling Axe. 1 Grindstone. 1 Narrow Howe. 1 Spade. 1 Gimblet. 1 Pickaxe. 1 Steele Handsawe. 2 Augers. 1 Hatchet. Nayles of all sorts 1 Whipsawe. 4 Chissels. 2 Frowes. 1 Hammer. 1 Broad Axe. 1 Hand-Bill. Household Implements. 1 Iron Pot. 1 Gridiron. Trenchers. Dishes. 1 Kettel. 2 Skellets. Wooden Platters. Spoons. 1 Frying pan 1 Spit. Spices Sugar. Cloves. Mace. Fruit. Pepper. Cinnamon. Nutmegs. Also there are divers other things necessary to bee taken over to this Plantation, as Bookes, Nets, Hookes and Lines, Cheese, Bacon, Kine, Goats, &c. From: New England’s Plantation, or, A short and True Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of that Country. By Reverend Francis Higginson, London, 1630.

Provision Suggestions 1639 What Provision is made for a Journey at Sea and what to carry with us for our use at Land by William Wood from New-England's Prospect, being a true, lively and experimental Description of that part of America commonly called New-England, London 1639 Many peradventure at the looking over of these relations, may have inclinations or resolutions for the voyage; to whom I wish all prosperity in their undertakings; although I will use no forcive arguments to persuade any, but leave them to the relation; yet by way of advice, I would commend to them a few lines from the pen of experience. And because the way to New-England is over the sea, it will not be amiss to give you directions what is necessary to be carried. Many I suppose, know as well, or better than myself; yet all do not; to those my directions tend. Although every man have ship-provisions allowed him for his five pounds a man, which is salt beef, pork, salt fish, butter, cheese, pease pottage, water grewel, and such kind of victuals, with good biskets, and six shilling beer; yet it will be necessary to carry some comfortable refreshing of fresh victuals. As first, for such as have ability, some conserves, and good claret wine to burn [burnt wine is brandy] at sea; or you may have it by some of your vintners or wine-coopers burned here, and put up into vessels, which will keep much better than other burnt wine; it is a very comfortable thing for the stomach, or such as are sea-sick; sallad-oil likewise, prunes are good to be stewed, sugar for many things; white biskets, eggs, and bacon, rice, poultry, and some weather sheep to kill aboard the ship, and fine flour baked meats will keep about a week or nine days at sea. Juice of lemons, well put up, is good either to prevent or cure the scurvy. Here it must not be forgotten to carry small skillets, or pipkins, and small frying-pans, to dress their victuals in at sea. For bedding, so it be easy, and cleanly, and warm, it is no matter how old or coarse it be for the use of the sea; and so likewise for apparel, the oldest cloaths be the fittest, with a long coarse coat, to keep better things from the pitched ropes and planks. Whosoever shall put to sea in a stout and well-conditioned ship, having an honest master, and loving seaman, shall not need to fear but he shall find as good content at sea as a land... Now for the encouragement of his men, he [the head of a family with servants] must not do as many have done (more through ignorance than desire) carry many mouths and no meat; but rather much meat for a few mouths. Want of due maintenance produceth nothing but a grumbling spirit with a sluggish idleness; when as those servants be well provided for, go through their employments with speed and chearfulness. For meal, it will be requisite to carry a hogshead and an half for every one that is a labourer, to keep him till he may receive the fruit of his own labours, which will be a year and a half after his arrival, if he land in May or June. He must likewise carry malt, beef, butter, cheese, some pease, good wines, vinegar, strong-waters, &c. Whosoever transports more of these than he himself useth, the overplus being sold, will yield as much profit as any other staple commodity. Every man likewise must carry over good store of apparel; for if he come to buy there, he will find it dearer than in England. Woollen cloth is a very good commodity, and linen better; as holland, lockram, flaxen, hempen, callico stuffs, linsey woolsies, and blue callico, green sayes for housewife's aprons, hats, boots, shoes, good Irish stockings, which if they be good, are much more serviceable than knit ones; all kind of grocery wares, such as sugar, prunes, raisins, currants, honey, nutmegs, cloves, &c soap, candles, and lamps, &c. All manner of household stuff is very good trade there, as pewter and brass, for the use of that country; warming-pans and stewing pans be of necessary use, and good traffick there. All manner of iron wares, as all manner of nails for houses, and all manner of spikes for building of boats, ships, and fishing stages; all manner of tools for workmen, hoes for planters, broad and narrow for setting and weeding; with axes, both broad and pitching axes. All manner of augers, piercing bits, whip-saws, two handed saws, froes, both for the riving of pailes, and laths, rings for beetle heads, and iron wedges; though all these be made in the country (there being divers blacksmiths) yet being a heavy commodity, and taking but a little storage, it is cheaper to carry such commodities out of England. Glass ought not to be forgotten of any that desire to benefit themselves, or the country; if it be well leaded, and carefully packed up, I know no commodity better for portage or sale. Here likewise must not be forgotten all utensils for the sea, as barbels, splitting knives, leads, and cod-hooks, and lines, mackrel hooks and lines, shark-hooks, seines, or bass-nets, large and strong, herring nets, &c. Such as would eat fowl, must not forget their six foot guns, their good powder, and shot of all sorts; a great round shot called Barnstable shot, is the best; being made of a blacker lead than ordinary shot. Furthermore, good pooldavies [a heavy canvas] to make sails for boots, roads, anchors for boats and pinnaces, are good; sea-coal, iron, lead, and mill-stones, flints, ordnances, and whatsoever a man conceive is good for the country, that will lie as ballast, he cannot be a loser by it. And lest I should forget a thing of so great importance, no man must neglect to provide himself, or those belonging to him, his ammunition, for the defence of himself and the country. For there is no man there that bears a head, but that bears military arms; even boys of fourteen years of age are practiced with men in military discipline, every three weeks. Whosoever shall carry over drums and English colours, pattesons [spear that is carried in front of troops], halberds, pikes, muskets, bandeleroes, with swords, shall not need to fear good gain for them; such things being wanting in the country.

Provisions List 1675 Provisions List from An Account of Two Voyages to New-England by John Josselyn 2d edition, London, 1675 The common proportion of victuals for the Sea to a Mess, being 4 men, is as followeth; Two pieces of Beef, of 3 pound and 1/4 per piece. Four pounds of Bread. One pint 1/2 of Pease. Four Gallons of Beer, with Mustard and Vinegar for three flesh dayes in the week. For four fish dayes, to each mess per day. Two pieces of Codd or Habberdine, making three pieces of a fish. One quarter of a pound of Butter. Four pound of Bread. Three quarters of a pound of cheese. Beer as before. Oatmeal per day, for 50 men, Gallon I. and so proportionable for more or fewer. Thus you see the Ships provision, is Beef or Porke, Fish, Butter, Cheese, Pease, Pottage, Watergruel, Bisket, and six shilling Beea. For private fresh provision, you may carry with you (in case you, or any of yours should be sick at Sea) conserves of Roses, Clove-Gilliflowers, Wormwood, Green-Ginger, Burnt-Wine [brandy], English Spirits, Prunes to stew, Raisons of the Sun, Currence, Sugar, Nutmeg, Mace, Cinnamon, Pepper and Ginger, White Bisket, or Spanish rusk, Eggs, Rice, juice of Lemmons well put up to cure, or prevent the Scurvy. Small Skillets, Pipkins, Porrengers, and small Frying pans... Apparel for one man, and after the rate for more L S D One Hatt 0 3 0 One Monmouth Cap 1 10 0 Three falling bands 0 1 3 Three Shirts 0 7 6 One Wastcoat 0 2 6 One suit of Frize 0 19 0 One suit of Cloth 0 15 0 One suit of Canvas 0 7 6 Three pair of Irish Stockins 0 5 0 Four pair of Shoos 0 8 0 One pair of Canvas Sheets 0 8 0 Seven ells of course Canvas to make a bed at Sea for two men, to be filled with straw 0 5 0 One coarse Rug at Sea for two men 0 6 0 Sum total 4 0 0

How To Throw A Tomahawk For beginners By Keith H. Burgess Part Two

How To Throw A Tomahawk For beginners By Keith H Burgess Part One

Using The Axe By Keith H Burgess

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Flintlock Candle Lighter Pistol.

 "Mid-18th century. 3" barrel, 7" overall. European walnut stock. This is a variation of the more commonly known "tinder lighter." The pan is loaded with a small amount of black powder, the cock is cocked, the hammer is set, and then the gun would be fired. However, in this case, no tinder is ignited, but the top half of the barrel flips up, and a pre-installed miniature candle whose wick was in the powder pan will come up lighted".

Monday 25 January 2016


The Pistol - Restoration
The pistol and it's songbird travelled 200 years to reach us. It went through the torments of time, through the faulty interventions of inexperienced watchmakers. When it got to us it was a shadow of its former self. Broken. Beyond repair. With patience, skill and humility, Parmigiani restored the piece to its former glory.http://blog.parmigiani.ch/category/restoration#Parmigianifleurier #SIHH2016 #sihh
Posted by Parmigiani Fleurier on Thursday, 21 January 2016

Making A Ramrod By Keith H Burgess Part Two

My wife keeps telling me that I should show & talk about things that may seem insignificant to me at the time, because not everyone knows about these things. So I hope this two part video is of interest to someone.
Regards, Keith.

Makin A Ramrod By Keith H Burgess Part One

My wife keeps telling me that I should show & talk about things that may seem insignificant to me at the time, because not everyone knows about these things. So I hope this two part video is of interest to someone.

Regards, Keith.

Sunday 24 January 2016

A New Ramrod For My Pistol.

I have made a video on making ramrods this afternoon. Not one that shows the actual making, but a description of the process & a talk on ramrods in general. Right now Part One is still loading, & I have Part Two to edit. But while you are waiting, here are some stills from the video.

Ramrod with an antler tip.

Rations While At Sea.

Saturday 23 January 2016

More on that Pistol Stock Design.

Searching for more information on the pistol that I purchased, I have been concentrating on the design of the stock.  Here are another two stocks of the same design as mine both dating early to mid 18th century.

My Pistol, no date and no identification markings.

This one dated 1750.

This one dated 1730. National Maritime Museum London.

Thursday 21 January 2016

Historical Trekking Useful Australian Plants. The Bloodwood Tree.

Use in bush medicine.
Occasionally a bloodwood tree will shed a piece of bark, hence opening a "wound" through which a blood-like kino will flow. The sap flows until it crystallises, covering up the hole in the bark. Australian Aboriginals collect this substance as bush medicine. They apply the sticky gum directly to sores or cuts and it works as an antiseptic. If the sap is in a dried form, it can be crushed into powder and boiled in water to use as an antiseptic wash.[6]
Another use of the bloodwood sap by Aboriginal people is to tan "kangaroo-skin waterbags".[1]

A List Of Standard Equipment Carried In A Hudson Bay Trade Canoe.

My sincere thanks to Russell Simmons for sharing this link with me.

One of the two main types used by the Nor’Westers was the canot du maître or Montreal canoe, up to 40 feet (12 metres) in length, with a capacity of 4 tons (3.5 tonnes) and manned by ten paddlers. At the western end of Lake Superior, the goods were transferred to canots du nord, or north canoes, smaller vessels with half the carrying capacity but light enough for two men to lift across portages. Birch bark was strong enough to carry economical loads, yet sufficiently light to be spun away from rock outcrops with the flick of a steersman’s wrist.
Fashioned from the bark of the yellow birch the canot du maître weighed less than 300 pounds (136 kilograms) yet was capable of carrying 4 tons (3.5 tonnes) of crew and freight. Only an axe, a crooked knife, a square or Indian awl, plus some spruce roots and pitch (spruce gum) were required to build a canoe.

Australian Survival and Preppers..: The NRA Takes Aim At Australian Firearms Legislati...

Australian Survival and Preppers..: The NRA Takes Aim At Australian Firearms Legislati...: http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/01/22/06/18/nra-takes-aim-at-australia

Lorenzoni Repeating Flintlock Pistol

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Australian Survival and Preppers..: The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess.

Australian Survival and Preppers..: The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess.: The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess. I will tell you a little about our group, who we are and what we do. Firstly we are an 1...

A Jamestown settler describes life in Virginia, 1622

Well beloved good friend Henry Hovener
My comendations remembred, I hartely [wish] your welfare for god be thanked I am now in good health, but my brother and my wyfe are dead aboute a yeare pass’d And touchinge the busynesse that I came hither is nothing yett performed, by reason of my sicknesse & weaknesse I was not able to travell up and downe the hills and dales of these countries but doo nowe intend every daye to walke up and downe the hills for good Mineralls here is both golde silver and copper to be had and therefore I will doe my endeavour by the grace of god to effect what I am able to performe And I intreat you to beseeche the Right Hon: & Wor: Company in my behalfe to grant me my freedome to be sent either to me I dowbte not to doo well & good service in these countries humbly desyringe them also to provyde me some [appointed] fellowe & a strong boye to assiste me in my businesse, and that it may please the aforesaid Company to send me at my charge a bed wth a bolster and cover and some Linnen for shirtes and sheetes. Sixe fallinge bands wth Last Size pairs of shoes twoo pairs of bootes three pairs of cullered stockings and garters wth three pairs of lether gloves some powder and shott twoo little runletts of oyle and vinnegar some spice & suger to comfort us here in our sicknesse abowte ffyftie pounds weight of holland and Englishe cheese together, Lykewyse some knyves, spoons, combes and all sorts of cullerd beads as you knowe the savage Indians use Allso one Rundlett wth all sortes of yron nayles great and small, three haire sives, two hatchetts wth twoo broad yrons and some Allum And send all these necessaries thinges in a dry fatt wth the first shippinge dyrected unto Mr. Pontes in James Towne here in Virginia And whatsoever this all costes I will not onely wth my moste humble service but allso wth some good Tobacco Bevor and Otterskins and other commodities here to be had recompence the Company for the same And yf you could send for my brother Phillipps Sonne in Darbesheere to come hether itt [were] a great commoditie ffor me or suche another used in minerall workes And thus I comitt you to the Almighty. Virginia 13 January 1622.

Supplies for Virginia colonists, 1622

Wednesday 6 January 2016

On Firearms Control In Australia By Robert Borsak.

Today I was asked by Fox News in London to comment on whether or not Australia's firearms laws work to stop crime in light of the decision by President Obama to reform American gun laws.
Our advocacy is being internationally recognized and it is about time that law abiding firearms owners get a fair go.
The show will air soon and we will get a copy of the segment as soon as we can get our hands on it.
In the meantime, here are my thoughts as an Australian law abiding firearm owner:
As President Obama attempts to reform America gun laws, the issue of gun control and violence is yet again in the spotlight. My thoughts and sentiments on this are not centred around American gun control or gun culture per se, but rather the Australian experience.
It is deeply disturbing that every time the issue of gun control is debated in America or other jurisdictions for that matter, Australian guns laws are hailed as the gold standard – a benchmark for leaders to achieve. Well, they are not.
As a starting point, we are not America, we do not have a constitutional right to bear arms, and in fact our constitution does not afford ordinary citizens many rights at all. Instead, what we have is an array of draconian and impractical state and national firearms laws, underpinned by a ‘Howard’ mentality that somehow regulating law abiding people will deter crime.
But the facts and evidence fly in the face of many of these ‘anti-gun’ lies and misinformation.
In late 2015, following intensive discussions with Robert Brown and I, the NSW Deputy Premier and Police Minister, Troy Grant, rightly pointed out what the Shooters and Fishers Party have been saying for over 20 years, “Greater than 97% of all firearms incidents reported in NSW relate to unregistered, or unbranded, or unmarked firearms… NSW has an illegal firearm problem”.
This has been the reality in Australia for decades. The vast majority of firearms crimes committed are done so with the use of an illegal or unregistered firearm by an unlicensed individual.
Logic dictates then, does it not, that the Government should focus the vast majority of its time and resources on curbing the illegal firearms trade and tough sentencing measures? Rather, successive governments have spent over a billion dollars on targeting law abiding firearms owners through failed registration schemes, confiscation and pointless “tough gun control” measures.
Further, independent and statistical research indicates that the regulation, including banning, of firearms, has little to no causal effect on the rate of crime. The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research published a working paper on The Australian Firearms Buyback and Its Effect on Gun Deaths, which ultimately concluded that the NFA did not have large or long-term effects on reducing firearms homicide or suicide rates in Australia.
Our gun laws are nothing to be proud of. In fact, they represent one of the most vile and draconian attacks on personal freedoms and culture. They have been formed, and continue to be formed, on lies, political mileage and misinformation.
In 1996, the Howard Government decided that we couldn’t be trusted with semi-automatic rifles and pump action shotguns anymore, yet it seems criminals didn’t get the message?
Even today, the ordinary Australian citizens cringes or questions me when I tell them I love shooting and hunting. I don’t blame them though. I blame the collective efforts of politicians like John Howard, anti-gun groups like The Australian Greens and Gun Control Australia, and most of the media. This atmosphere of paranoia and ignorance was created by them. It is our job to unwind the damage and further our rights in the process.
Licensed firearms owners are among the few classes of people that are acknowledged and endorsed as fit and proper persons. Criminals are not allowed to obtain firearms licences period. Ownership and use of a firearm is a highly held privilege. With that privilege we have the right not to be associated with or disadvantaged by the action of senseless cowards. Relaxing firearms laws to make it easier and more practical for law abiding citizens to enjoy their sport and cultural pastimes is not going to result in a mass shooting or spike in gun crime.
To my fellow law abiding firearm owners, and to anyone who truly values personal freedoms and fact based decision making, I say this: The fight for the roll back of these firearms laws will be a generational struggle, but united, we have a strong and growing voice that will not be silenced!

Origin of the Silver Box

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Alone in the Past — Surviving the Russian Winter, 9th-Century Style

Not much different from colonial living in the 18th century.

The Well Equipped Woodsrunner.

This post is just to encourage people to improve on their equipment when ever they have the opportunity. In our busy lives we can sometimes lose track of the things that are truly important to us, things that give us pleasure, and in some cases security. These things are worth spending time and money on when they are available.
Collecting things is fun, but be careful to distinguish between what you like to have in your possession and what you need to carry in your pack and on your person. There must be some compromise between minimum weight & maximum self-reliance.

The compass is probably not a necessity, but it can make life easier when moving in unknown territory. The angling tackle and flint and steel to me are a priority.

Knapsack equipped for a long stay in the woods, with the added market wallet, oilcloth secured under the flap closure, blanket roll containing extra clothing for winter use and spare moccasins. 

I very much doubt that woodsrunners carried much in the way of a medical kit, possibly some herbs. But I think that anyone who spends time away from home in the woods should carry a medical kit regardless. This kit of mine is very basic, but if I were travelling far long term, I would be packing a modern medical kit.

Shot pouch and contents. Make sure you have a ball mould & lead ladle for re moulding spent ball retrieved from shot game.

Patched ball was not commonly used in smoothbores, and at the rages in which I hunt I have no need for great accuracy, but I do carry two patched ball in a loading block for faster reloading if I should need it.

These tools, grease, spare flint leather and flints are carried in my shot pouch.

These spare lock parts and tools are carried in my knapsack.

Carrying a quality powder horn is essential, it does not have to be flash looking, but it does have to be serviceable. No leaks at spout plug or base plug, and the base plug should NEVER be glued. It should be sealed with beeswax only, and secured with metal pins.

One of three gunpowder bags that I can use to carry extra gunpowder should I need to. A lighter option than carrying extra powder horns. When empty I use this one to carry spare tinder for fire lighting.

Good blades are essential to wilderness living and survival. Choose wisely, only use them for their intended purpose and look after them.

Rifle or smoothbore long gun is your choice. Consider what type of game you are likely to be hunting, and the type of area you are likely to be hunting in. Also consider your capabilities regarding weight of the arm and your eyesight.

A good pistol for a back-up can be useful, and sometimes necessary. Choose a pistol that matches your longarm if you can, especially if it is a rifle. Other options are smoothbore pistols and you can carry shot. I carry a .62 caliber fusil, but my pistol is .70 caliber. However I can still use shot, and I can use a leather patched . 60 caliber ball in this pistol.
This is a left hand lock pistol, so I can carry it under my equipment belt on the right hand side. I am not left handed.

These two leather covered glass water flasks have proved to work very well. Not too heavy, and easy to accommodate in my pack and haversack.

I tend to alternate between carrying my kettle or my tin cup. The cup is obviously lighter, but the kettle holds more. I think that when travelling alone the tin cup suits my purpose better, & if I am in company, then someone else can carry the kettle!

I do carry other items such as soap, comb, whetstone, metal file, wooden spoon, awl, housewife sewing kit etc, but these are personal choices that some may not bother carrying.

The housewife sewing kit how ever does have other uses besides repairing clothing, shelter & packs. The needles are good for removing splinters and if necessary used to sew up a wound that can not be closed with a bandage.