Sunday 28 February 2016

PLEASE SIGN: Fair and sensible firearms legislation for muzzle-loader users.

Please sign my petition.

"To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled".
Parliament House
6 Macquarie Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000.
The Petition of Keith H. Burgess.
President of the New England Colonial Living History Group.
Brings to the attention of the House the matter of firearms licensing in relation to muzzle-loading pistols (percussion locks excluded).
At this present time, working replica (replicas of original 17th and 18th century antique muzzle-loading pistols) muzzle-loading pistols of the lock types matchlock, wheellock, tinderlock, doglock , snaphance, and flintlock can only be owned by a person possessing a category H gun licence, and these pistols can only be legally fired on a registered gun range. This requirement excludes the use of these antique replicas for Living History and Historical Re-enactment purposes. It also excludes the use of these antique replicas for use as a back-up safety for muzzle-loader hunters hunting on private property who are hunting with single shot muzzle-loading rifles or smoothbores.
Historical Re-enactment groups and Living History organisations have re-enactment rules which preclude the use of live ammunition and preclude the use of a ramrod during any and all re-enactment displays. There is also a permit requirement; this permit is for historical re-enactment organisations wishing to conduct an historical re-enactment event involving the possession and use of firearms by participants. Clause 61 - Firearms Regulation 2006.
Replicas of muzzle-loading pistols of the lock types mentioned are slow to load and require a good deal of knowledge and training to ensure the workability of this type of gun. Ignition even when used by a competent person can not be guaranteed. Therefore these muzzle-loading guns are not suitable for criminal use.
The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to change the licensing requirement for these replica antique muzzle-loading pistols (percussion locks excluded) from the present category H class licence to the category B class licence.

Saturday 20 February 2016

Our Group's Woodsrunner Skills List.

Woodsrunner’s Skills.
New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760.
This is a list of basic skills in which I personally would expect an 18th century woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with in our group.
·      Flint & steel fire lighting
·      Wet weather fire lighting
·      Fire-bow fire lighting
·      Flintlock fire lighting
·      Flintlock use, service & repair
·      Marksmanship with either gun or bow.
·      Field dressing & butchering game
·      Blade sharpening
·      Tomahawk throwing
·      Making rawhide
·      Brain tanning
·      Primitive shelter construction
·      How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket
·      Cordage manufacture
·      Moccasin construction and repair
·      Sewing
·      Axe and tomahawk helve making
·      Fishing
·      Hunting
·      Evasion
·      Tracking
·      Reading sign
·      Woods lore
·      Navigation
·      Primitive trap construction & trapping
·      Open fire cooking
·      Fireplace construction
·      Clothing manufacture
·      Drying meat & other foods
·      Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation
·      Knowledge of native foods & preparation
·      Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.
·      Scouting/Ranging.
·      Basic first aid.
·      Finding and treating water.
·      General leather work.

Thursday 18 February 2016

The kettle That wasn't.

For some time now I have been trekking without a kettle, mainly because I am trying to make my pack lighter & the brass trade kettle is a little weighty. A kettle is however very useful for collecting rain water, cooking & boiling water. I have been using my tin cup, but found it unsatisfactory for boiling water; awkward to place on the fire. So I started the search for a smaller lighter kettle.

My search came up empty handed, but I did find some interesting items that are period correct, & could be used as a kettle. So here is my creation. I know from my research that tin cups that have presumably lost their soldered handles heating water in a fire have been repaired using wire for new handles, so I decided to make a kettle from what I had available. The work was fairly simple, though I did have some trouble making copper rivets from sheet copper. In the end I used two copper rivets & two iron rivets to attach the bail brackets.

So this is NOT a copy of a period kettle as far as I know, it is simply something I found in a deserted cabin that had been for the most part burnt except for one corner near the fireplace & chimney that was still intact. This kettle is obviously home made & shows evidence of some other type of handle having once been attached to this bowl.

Floris Van Schooten 1585-1655

Cornelis Jacobsz (1570–1643)

18th Century copper cake mould.

Diderot Coppersmith.

Detail from Diderot images re coppersmithing above. Note the copper bowl second from right. 

Kettle made from a copper helmet.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Archaeological Finds. Fort Stanwix.

18th Century Colonial Militia Laws of Virginia

18th Century Colonial Militia Laws of Virginia 
…Every horse-man shall be furnished with a serviceable horse, a good saddle,… carbine or fusee, and bucket, holsters, a case of pistols, cutting sword or cutlass, double cartouch box, and six charges of powder…And every footman [as opposed to horse-man] shall be furnished with a firelock, musket, or fuzee, well fixed [in good order], a bayonet fitted to same, or a cutting sword or cutlass, a cartouch-box, and three cartridges of powder; and appear with the same at the time and place appointed for muster and exercise, as foresaid; and shall also keep at his house, one pound of powder, and four pounds of ball; and bring the same into the field, when he shall be required….
November 1738.

Friday 12 February 2016

Can you identify this. Powder Measure & Pricker.

A reader sent these images to me in the hope that I could identify this powder measure. What is unknown is the reason for the channel on the measure, was it meant to hold something? A gun tool for instance? It has a file cut which has gone right through the measure making a hole. Your thoughts please, could this be a marker for a lower measure of gunpowder? Or is the hole a mistake, filed too far? The silver band is apparently fixed in place & will not move.
Can anyone date this measure?

The file cut and hole is just to the right of the silver band at top.

Here you can see the channel that extends under the silver band.

An enlarged image showing the file cut and hole.
Silver band is level with the cut-away end of the measure.

Showing part of the pricker that is tied to the measure with cordage.

Fitting A Gun Flint In The Lock DVD.

Conservators begin work on HMS London's 'absolutely beautiful' gun carriage | Culture24

Conservators begin work on HMS London's 'absolutely beautiful' gun carriage | Culture24

Can you identify these containers?

Does anyone know what these containers were used for? I posted a similar container not too long ago and now these have come to light via a friend. A more likely use than I first thought could be containers for gunpowder? Any ideas on when these were made or in use? Where were they made?