9/8" for Brown Bess muskets (9/8" wide x 1"~1¼ long)
8/8" for Brown Bess or Charleville muskets (1" wide x 7/8"~1-1/8"long)
7/8" for Rifles (7/8" wide by 3/4"~1"long)
With regard to flints, Cuthbertson writes "The flints should always be screwed in firm, between a thin piece of lead, it having a more certain hold, than leather, or any other contrivance.... a Soldier ought to have...a small bit of wood, shaped like a flint, to use at exercise, in practicing the firing motions..."
5/8" Hardwood dowel with one end hollowed out to accept the ball when rolling cartridges or for tucking in the end of cartridge paper when rolling blanks, as specified by Timothy Pickering in An Easy Plan of Discipline for a Militia (1770). He writes, "A piece of wood about six inches long is to be made round so as to fit exactly the size of the ball; this is called a former: make one end of it hollow to receive a part of the ball...". From Cuthbertson "...that all the cartridges may be exactly proportioned to the bore of the firelocks, a sufficient number of wooden formers, of a proper size, must likewise be provided."
The cartridge must fit snug in the block. Countless times I've found rounds on the battlefield that look as though they were rolled on a pencil or felt pen former. These undersized tubes will fall out of your pouch when you are running or falling to the ground. The proper paper tube cartridge must have some fricton between it and the wood block. These formers will make rounds (live or blank) for Charleville or Brown Bess.
|Cartridge Paper - The safety regulations for many groups require the blank rounds be properly made. That means a good paper, no staples, no more than 125 grains of powder, and the round fits well in the block. A good paper easily tears with the teeth, but doesn't fall apart when the cartridge is extracted from the block or doesn't stay folded in shape. I've seen people using common newspaper which is unsightly; white copy machine paper which doesn't tear easily; and brown restroom paper towels which falls apart. The best paper I've found is artists newsprint. Instructions on how to roll a blank cartridge are on the 40th Foot website. A pad of 100 sheets, cut to the proportions specified by Timothy Pickering in his 1775 work An Easy Plan of Discipline for a Militia. $3.00|
Provincial Musket Tool - copied from original found at Seven Years War (1760's) site in the N.Y. Champlain Valley. It might be British and/or Provincial. See Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia, pg. 264, #6. About 3¼" tall. $10.00 each
Stall - Brown Bess or Charleville $5.00 each. Made of leather with
matching thong. The free end of the thong is slit for inserting onto the
musket swivel or can be tied to the swivel or trigger guard. Available
in black, natural light brown (pictured), or buff leather. This item is
sometimes called a "Frizzen Cover" (Frizzen being a term used
in 18th C. civilian context).
Hammer stalls and flash guards are authentic and did exist in the 18th Century. Regarding hammer stalls, Cuthbertson wrote "...On Service, leather Hammer-stalls are undoubtedly an advantage to a Battalion, when loaded, and resting on their Arms, as accidents may be prevented by having them fixed upon the hammers of the Firelocks..." The following are orders for the Royal Artillery Regiment, issued at Philadelphia on 2 June 1778 in anticipation of the march to New York which culminated in the Battle of Monmouth. "It is left to their [officers] discretion in time of real Action to disencumber such men as they may think proper entirely of them [arms], taking care that they be lodged in their Ammunition Carriages and to prevent any possible Accident happening therefrom, thumb stalls have been ordered to be provided which the men are constantly to keep on the hammer of their pieces except when posted centrys." Source: Great Britain, Royal Artillery Regiment Library, Woolwich, Brigade Orderly Book, James Pattison Papers.
Musket Parts - I don't have them, but a source for Brown Bess parts (Japanese and Italian), and Charleville parts is Paul Ackermann www.ackermannarms.com. Paul can make repairs to ramrods and bayonet lugs, tune and repair locks, hone barrels and crown muzzles, repair and refinish stocks, and reharden hammers (frizzens). Paul is a 1st New York member, and the West Point Military Academy curator of arms, and can be reached evenings at 845-658-9248. Paul recently acquired the stock of parts and kits from the family of the late Ed Woodland. As you may know, the mainsprings on newer Italian Brown Bess are awful, but replacements are available. The older Italian Bess mainsprings can be replaced, but it takes drilling and filing to make the replacement springs fit. This is not something you can do in the field.
Jim Casco (Whitcomb's Rangers) now has Japanese Brown Bess hammers (aka frizzens), hammer springs, sear springs, and main springs. Jim's email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone 802-235-2457. Jim also has parts for the older Italian Bess's and is making springs out of real spring steel for about $50, as opposed to the awful springs on the new muskets. Jim can also do repairs, tune-ups, and restoration work. If you don't know Jim by name, he is the fellow who brings the proof and armory stamps to events.
Musket Sling - for 1st Model (Long Land) Brown Bess, 2nd Model (Short Land) Brown Bess, or Charleville. Prices range from $17 to $35. Sling swivels on muskets are generally 26 ½" apart. If your swivels are 29" apart or greater then order the longer Long Land sling. Many of the Long Land muskets have the sling swivels at the same location as Short Land muskets, so please measure before ordering as you might not need a longer sling. As a practical matter I've found that slings without buckles, or slings with buckles but without tongues, are the easiest to use and may be more authentic as very few period image show a sling with tongue holes. The photos of the buff leather slings shows the leather whiter than usually available. Buff leather ranges in color from off-white to straw color due to the oil and sulfer used to tan the leather. Leather slings are 1 3/8" (35mm) wide.
Slings are not stock items, but made in batches every few months for the orders that I have. All the stitching is done by hand, not by machine. One of the reasons for the delay is that my workbench isn't often clear so I can lay out hides of leather and cut straps. Also freshly tanned buff leather off gas sulfer, so these hides needs to air out a few months. While the sulfer isn't potent enough to be a hazard, it is enough to turn shiny brass buckles black in short order. So if you need a sling right away please look elsewhere.
|A - My "EA", a double D brass buckle stitched to end of sling. No tongue on buckle, the friction of the thick leather against the buckle holds the sling in place. This sling is shown in numerous period images, especially the David Morier paintings of the British infantry in 1751. Black or Natural Brown leather $25.00 . English Buff leather $30.00|
|B1 - Same as sling A above, but the "EA" buckle has an iron tongue and sling is pierced with holes for the tongue. Because of the iron tongue, this sling is difficult to use and is perhaps why so few are seen in period images. If you really want a sling with the EA buckle and iron tongue, consider the two-piece sling F shown below. Black or Natural Brown leather $25.00. English Buff leather $30.00|
|B2 - Same as sling B1, but with my "EX" D buckle with iron tongue. Black or Natural Brown leather $25.00. English Buff leather $30.00|
|C - My "EA", a double D buckle that slides along sling, as pictured in David Morier paintings of the British infantry in 1751. Buckle can be easily removed to polish buckle and pipeclay the leather. English Buff leather $ 25.00|
|Cuthbertson recommends that, "Slings without buckles are lightest, and most convenient to the Men at exercise..." The two slings below (D and E) are made without buckles.|
|D - This sling is and based upon an original in Scotland. A leather loop, or keeper, holds the sling to the desired slack. When tight, a small strap at one end of the sling is fastened to a leather button at the other end of the sling. This sling is made to fit a musket with 26 ½" between the sling swivels bars when they are drawn taut. If you need a greater distance, order the Long Land version and provide the swivel measurement. Black or Natural Brown leather $30.00. English Buff leather $35.00|
- This sling is on the Charleville displayed at Brandywine State Park.
Similiar to sling D above, but without the button/small
strap, and this sling has a second leather loop/keeper to keep the sling
in the desired position. This sling will fit either a Brown Bess or Charleville.
Black or Natural Brown leather $25.00.
|F - A sling made with two pieces of leather which allows the "EA" buckle with iron tongue to work with greater ease. Black or Natural Brown leather $25.00. English Buff leather $30.00|
|Hemp Webbing Musket Sling - The Continental Army had chronic supply problems with items made of leather, such as cartridge boxes, shoes, and shoulder carriages. This is documented in Gen. Washington's writings and is the reason his army was at times supplied with tin cartridge cannisters, shoes from France, and hemp webbing shoulder carriages for the cartridge boxes. Most surviving American muskets do not have sling swivels, so musket slings were probably among the items with a low priority. For those muskets with slings it is likely that webbing would be used so that leather could be set aside and used to make more important items such as cartridge boxes. I am now making a hemp webbing musket sling for Continental Army troops. This sling is 1¼" wide and has my brass EB buckle. The buckle is hand sewn to the webbing and the tautness of the sling is easily adjusted with this buckle. The end at the trigger guard is held in place with the provided linen cord. The sling is available in a Short Land length, approx 26 ½" between the sling swivel, and a Long Land length for when the sling swivels are greater than 29" apart. Short Land version $17.00, Long Land version $19.00.|