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Date Posted: Friday, February 18, 8:14am
Author: Jeff Gibbs from the 6th TX INF
Subject: Musket Purchase Recommendation

From the 6th TX Infantry's newsletter and editor, Phil McBride.


A musket remains a new reenactorís biggest expense. Eventually, if you are going to play, you just gotta bite the bullet and buy one. And things just got tougher in that regard:

The news hit the internet Civil war forums last month that Euroarms America has shut down. That leaves Armisport without an Italian competitor for the American reenacting market. Consequently, Armisport prices have already shot up in recent months and are likely to go up even higher.

Probably the best, and most authentic, all round musket model a Confederate reenactor can own is a Springfield 1842 smoothbore musket. Today, Blockade Runner sells 1842 Armisport Springfield smoothbores for $700, plus $50 for the bayonet, and $30 for shipping for a total of $780. Wow. Thatís very very expensive.

Meanwhile, Veteran Arms in Georgia (the state) is selling Indian (the Asian country, not the Comanches) made 1842 Springfield smoothbores with a bayonet included for $475 and $40 shipping. Hmmmm. Thatís $515 compared to $780, a difference of $265. Thatís a BIG gap. If I did not already own an old Armisport í42 that I bought used ten years ago, Iíd order a Veteran Arms í42 ASAP before their price rises. Brandon Wintters has two muskets from Veteran Arms and will vouch for them. Iíve handled Brandonís weapons and they feel and look right and heís had no problems in firing them safely.

As an FYI, there is pretty solid documentation that the 6th Texas had 1853 model Enfields for the first year, until their capture at Arkansas Post in January, 1863. After their exchange in May Ď63, they were issued 1854 Austrian Lorenz rifled muskets that they used until the end of the war in 1865. Loyalist Arms in Canada sell Indian reproductions of the Lorenz for $475, but with the uniquely shaped 4-sided bayonet and $80 international shipping, the cost totals $650. I carry one now and like it a lot. Itís about an inch shorter than an Enfield, but is lighter and has a sassy cheek-piece carved into the stock. The ramrod has a hole in the bulb to put a patch through for cleaning. The Loyalist Lorenz is a smoothbore, unlike the originals, and has a larger caliber barrel than the originals (.62 vs .54 barrel size, not enough to be noticeable). So, Iím promoting the Loyalist Arms Lorenz as another good option for a new reenactor. Both Yanks and Rebs carried Lorenz muskets throughout the war, although they were certainly not the preferred weapon.

As to Enfields, Middlesex Arms, a Maine company, sells a smoothbore Enfield (probably from India) for $515, bayonet for $40, and shipping for $40, for a total cost of $595. Blockade Runner sells Armisport Enfields for $630, $45 for bayonet, and shipping $30, for a total of $705, a difference of $110. Iíve not seen a Middlesex Arms Enfield reproduction, so I canít recommend them over an Armsport, only point out they are a less expensive option.

But again, the real deal to consider is the Veteran Arms 1842 Springfield smoothbore w/bayonet for a shipped total of $515. Thatís the best deal around for a proper reenacting musket.
Editor Phil

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