The image above is of a 100% American made Revolutionary War Military Musket created for the New Hampshire Militia in about 1777. Not one piece or one part of this Colonial musket is from any European manufactured military Arm.
In a time when industrial manufacturing of finished goods was forbidden by the Crown, this musket and thousands like it were stealthily created one at a time, by local gunsmiths. This tedious work, as well as keeping all of the people’s private Arms in good repair, kept the estimated 2500 gunsmiths in the newly Declared united States of America very busy during the War for Independence.
The American Firearms Culture was righteously born and forged in the fires of liberty. Hammered into form beginning with the American Revolution against the forces of global tyranny. Only a handful of these “one off” Arms survive today. Most were made to a specific state militia pattern without a makers mark, therefore the name of the local gunsmith who made it is not known.
“[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor…” ~George Mason, Virginia Constitutional ratification convention, 1787.
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No, I wish I did though. I can only dream that someday I may be able to touch one of these rarest of all Arms from the American Revolution.
A few years ago in my spare time I began building from reproduction parts, a similar Arm, with a unique twist. similar to those made by creative smiths from that period which used surplus parts from both British and French Arms that were damaged and left in America after the French and Indian War.
Like mine, these were fitted with a homemade large caliber rifled barrel. Yet holding to the robust military style of the time they also accepted a bayonet. These were among the best of the custom made long range sniper rifles that stung the Redcoats severely from extreme range throughout the war… Even then America was a nation of hunters and defensive snipers… –JT
“If there be one principle more deeply
rooted than any other in the mind of
every American, it is, that we should
have nothing to do with conquest.”
to Edmond C. Genet, 1793.
Do you own that gun ?