Monday, March 8, 2010

My New Blunderbuss

I bought a blunderbuss over the weekend. I wasn't really looking for one but it was a good price and it is not one of the India-made ones that most places are selling.

It has a steel rammer so it is probably meant as a circa 1800 coach gun rather than a circa 1700 ship's weapon. Outside of that, the details aren't far off. The barrel has been japaned or blued which was done to protect steel barrels at sea (the other option was to use a brass barrel). The barrel has a nice shape. It has been fired but not often. I can see a tiny bit of powder cake at the breech but outside of that, it's spotless. The fittings match the pistol kit I'm working on. The lock is unremarkable. It is small - more like a pistol lock - but it has a great spark.

This may end up being a loaner piece for crew on my boat. I still have my carbine and my new pistol. Still, a big-barreled gun gets people's attention. I will also probably use it at the Grand Encampement.

An episode of Lock and Load with R. Lee Ermey looked at shotguns. You can see the first part here. He gets to the blunderbuss at three minutes. The slow-motion footage of him firing a musket and the blunderbuss is great. It also shows the relative superiority of the blunderbuss at 20-feet which would be typical for fighting on board a ship.

UPDATE: The third time I tried the lock the frizzen broke. Fortunately I was able to buy a rifle frizzen over the Internet that was the same size and shape. That means that the original lock is probably a rifle lock.

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