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RE: [War Of 1812] Carbines and Fusils

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  • Jim Pierce
    Ron, I suspect the reference to Black Muskets probably referred to Sea Service Muskets that had been japanned . Japanning was a common Royal Navy practice
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
      Ron,

      I suspect the reference to "Black Muskets" probably referred to Sea Service
      Muskets that had been "japanned". Japanning was a common Royal Navy practice
      during the period for muskets borne aboard warships.



      Fair Winds,

      Jim Pierce
      "A drop of Nelson's Blood wouldn't do us any harm"





      >From: ronaldjdale@...
      >Reply-To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      >To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [War Of 1812] Carbines and Fusils
      >Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 10:23:36 -0400
      >
      >A number of years ago I was looking at lists of stores in the arsenal at
      >Quebec.?? There were a number of "Black Muskets" in stores just before the
      >war.? These later morphed into carbines and later?became India Pattern
      >muskets.?? This all makes sense if the norm for the Canadas was still Short
      >Land Pattern.? The India Pattern, originally for arming the East India
      >Company army, could be referred to as a "Black Musket" not because of its
      >colour but in reference to those expected to shoulder them.? The reference
      >to carbine makes sense given the shorter barrel (39" vs 42").? However,
      >whether or not these were ever issued to anyone other than Provincials or
      >Militia escapes my memory.
      >
      >The Inspection Return for the 41st on Oct 11, 1809 indicates that there
      >were no fusils issued to the regiment and that four were "wanting."? They
      >were still "wanting" in the return of June 1810 but had been received by
      >the time of the May 1811 return.? The 10th Royal Veterans showed that none
      >were issued and none wanting in that regiment.
      >
      >In a?Return of Small Arms etc?at Fort George in June, 1812, ?the following
      >are of interest:?
      >
      >1553 English Musquets
      >1030 French Musquets
      >16, 738 Flints Musquets
      >60,000 English Musquet cartridge and ball
      >140,000 French Musquet cartridge and ball
      >666 Carbine Musquet cartridge and ball
      >11.10 lbs of Dutch thread
      >10.0 ditto of twine
      >2, 140 Paper dozen sheets
      >64, 200 English lead musquet balls
      >
      >French muskets are .69 calibre.? Obviously the carbine cartridges contain a
      >ball that is neither .69 nor .75 calibre.?? No pistol balls are listed.
      >
      >Ron
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • J.Bruce Whittaker
      ... Service ... practice ... Greetings List, For those who may not know what japanning is: it was the painting wood or metal to copy the lacquer ware that
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Pierce" <highlandpeat@...> wrote:
        >
        > Ron,
        >
        > I suspect the reference to "Black Muskets" probably referred to Sea
        Service
        > Muskets that had been "japanned". Japanning was a common Royal Navy
        practice
        > during the period for muskets borne aboard warships.

        Greetings List,
        For those who may not know what "japanning" is: it was the painting
        wood or metal to copy the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan
        during the period. It was usually black paint and varnish. It copied
        the look of the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan. The Japanese
        had the lacquer trees to make the lacquer finish but were not inclined
        to disclose the secret of its manufacture to the West. Or so I have
        been told. Of course it protected the muskets from rusting aboard ships.
        Regards,
        Bruce Whittaker
      • BritcomHMP@aol.com
        In a message dated 06/09/2007 10:22:26 Central Standard Time, ortheris@rogers.com writes: The Japanese had the lacquer trees to make the lacquer finish but
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
          In a message dated 06/09/2007 10:22:26 Central Standard Time,
          ortheris@... writes:

          The Japanese
          had the lacquer trees to make the lacquer finish but were not inclined
          to disclose the secret of its manufacture to the West. Or so I have
          been told. Of course it protected the muskets from rusting aboard ships.



          -------------------------------------------------

          This process was also used on metal sword scabbards on campaign. I have a
          very nice 1796 pattern Lt. Cavalry sword with a scabbard treated in this manner.
          I was extremely lucky in that when I bought it I was about to clean this off
          until I did a little research. Still that was 25 years ago!

          Cheers,

          Tim



          ************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
          http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Dale Kidd
          Bruce, et al: If I may take your explanation a step further... The japanning on muskets was a coating which was brushed and then baked onto the metal parts.
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
            Bruce, et al:

            If I may take your explanation a step further...

            The japanning on muskets was a coating which was brushed and then
            baked onto the metal parts. When finished, it was shiny black in
            appearance, similar to the black laquered pottery imported from Japan.
            Sea Service muskets used by the Navy (except Marines, whose muskets
            were kept "in the white")often had all of the external steel except
            the pan cover japanned... barrel, lock plate/pan, hammer, trigger, and
            ramrod (on later model with steel rammer). In some cases, there is
            even evidence of brass fittings having been japanned as well.

            I am actually quite looking forward to getting myself a Sea Service
            pattern musket at some point down the road, and blackening the steel
            parts to a "japanned" black finish (though I will doubtless take the
            easy way out, and duplicate the effect with a modern heat-resistant
            spray paint). It should make maintaining the darn thing a great deal
            less onerous. In fact, if anyone has a good reliable Sea Service
            pattern Bess they're looking to dump, I'd be willing to trade a Third
            (India) Pattern for it.

            ~Dale

            PS. Bruce, it was great to finally meet you, and I look forward to
            seeing you again in the future.


            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "J.Bruce Whittaker" <ortheris@...>
            wrote:
            > For those who may not know what "japanning" is: it was the painting
            > wood or metal to copy the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan
            > during the period. It was usually black paint and varnish. It copied
            > the look of the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan. The Japanese
            > had the lacquer trees to make the lacquer finish but were not
            inclined
            > to disclose the secret of its manufacture to the West. Or so I have
            > been told. Of course it protected the muskets from rusting aboard
            ships.
            > Regards,
            > Bruce Whittaker
            >
          • Patrick Schifferdecker
            The original formula for Barrel Black this was: To one gallon of vinegar add a quarter of a pound of iron rust, let it stand for one week; then add a pound of
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
              The original formula for Barrel Black this was: "To one gallon of
              vinegar add a quarter of a pound of iron rust, let it stand for one
              week; then add a pound of lamp black and three quarters of a pound
              of copperas; stir it up at intervals for a couple of days. Lay five
              to six coats on the gun with a sponge, allowing it to dry well
              between each application; polish with linseed oil and soft woollen
              rag; it will look like ebony."

              --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Dale Kidd" <ucpm_gunner@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Bruce, et al:
              >
              > If I may take your explanation a step further...
              >
              > The japanning on muskets was a coating which was brushed and then
              > baked onto the metal parts. When finished, it was shiny black in
              > appearance, similar to the black laquered pottery imported from
              Japan.
              > Sea Service muskets used by the Navy (except Marines, whose
              muskets
              > were kept "in the white")often had all of the external steel
              except
              > the pan cover japanned... barrel, lock plate/pan, hammer, trigger,
              and
              > ramrod (on later model with steel rammer). In some cases, there is
              > even evidence of brass fittings having been japanned as well.
              >
              > I am actually quite looking forward to getting myself a Sea
              Service
              > pattern musket at some point down the road, and blackening the
              steel
              > parts to a "japanned" black finish (though I will doubtless take
              the
              > easy way out, and duplicate the effect with a modern heat-
              resistant
              > spray paint). It should make maintaining the darn thing a great
              deal
              > less onerous. In fact, if anyone has a good reliable Sea Service
              > pattern Bess they're looking to dump, I'd be willing to trade a
              Third
              > (India) Pattern for it.
              >
              > ~Dale
              >
              > PS. Bruce, it was great to finally meet you, and I look forward to
              > seeing you again in the future.
              >
              >
              > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "J.Bruce Whittaker" <ortheris@>
              > wrote:
              > > For those who may not know what "japanning" is: it was the
              painting
              > > wood or metal to copy the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan
              > > during the period. It was usually black paint and varnish. It
              copied
              > > the look of the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan. The
              Japanese
              > > had the lacquer trees to make the lacquer finish but were not
              > inclined
              > > to disclose the secret of its manufacture to the West. Or so I
              have
              > > been told. Of course it protected the muskets from rusting
              aboard
              > ships.
              > > Regards,
              > > Bruce Whittaker
              > >
              >
            • ronaldjdale@netscape.net
              Thanks Jim amd Bruce, But the point is that the same muskets in stores were progressively known as black muskets, then carbines and finally India
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
                Thanks Jim amd Bruce,



                But the point is that the same muskets in stores were progressively known as "black muskets, " then "carbines" and finally India Patterns, if I recall correctly.? I will have to dig through my filing cabinet to refresh my memory on the exact reference.? If I recall, in the same batch of information was a reference to cutting down highland swords for issue to Provincial dragoons.



                Ron




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              • Jim Pierce
                But the point is that the same muskets in stores were progressively known as black muskets, then carbines and finally India Patterns, if I recall
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 6, 2007
                  But the point is that the same muskets in stores were progressively known as "black muskets, " then "carbines" and finally India Patterns, if I recall correctly.?

                  Ron,

                  I, for one, would enjoy seeing the reference you have in your files. It may make things easier. As for my original assertion that I suspect the muskets you refer to as "black" being sea service models...I'll stand by that guess for now on the premise that Quebec is, after all, a port and Sea Services, while varying in length, did tend to be shorter than army issued muskets (could that account for them being referred to as carbines?).

                  As to the contention that they were India Pattern Bess's? They absolutely could be technically, as Sea Service patterns were really just simpler versions (less hardware etc) of the various Bess patterns.

                  Fair Winds,

                  Jim Pierce
                  "A drop of Nelson's Blood wouldn't do us any harm"

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • ronaldjdale@netscape.net
                  My excavations into my files has begun and it seems that the files trump my aging memory. I see in a Return of Small Arms, etc., Quebec, June 30, 1812, (RG
                  Message 8 of 12 , Sep 7, 2007
                    My excavations into my files has begun and it seems that the files trump my aging memory.



                    I see in a "Return of Small Arms, etc.," Quebec, June 30, 1812, (RG 8, C-386, p. 61) that there were 600 English Musquets, 660 Black Musquets,? and 521 Carbines in stores.?? Ammunition was of two types:? English musquet and Carbine.?Thus, my memory that the carbines were in fact India Patterns is proved mistaken.?? The carbines are a different calibre and the "Black" muskets are obviously the same calibre as the English musket.?? In May of that year, the Ordnance stores in Quebec had shipped off "Five hundred carbines directed to be browned on the barrels" to be shipped to the Canadian Voltigeurs.? (C-386, p. 50).



                    On November 24, 1813, the Ordnance Office?at Quebec reported? that they had in stores 170 French musquets, 6,551 English musquets, 958 Black musquets, and 190 carbines.? They also had almost 5,000 sets of buff accoutrements.

                    I have a note to the effect that India Patterns had been sent out and lodged in the Quebec Stores in the spring of 1813 and this led me to believe that the Black muskets were India Patterns.? However, I must keep digging to find a document on that.? In the meantime, they may very well have been sea service muskets that had been japanned.

                    Ron

                    ?

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                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Larry Lozon
                    Patrick Schifferdecker wrote: The original formula for Barrel Black this was: To one gallon of vinegar add a quarter of a pound of iron rust, let it stand
                    Message 9 of 12 , Sep 7, 2007
                      "Patrick Schifferdecker" wrote:

                      The original formula for Barrel Black this was: "To one gallon of
                      vinegar add a quarter of a pound of iron rust, let it stand for one
                      week; then add a pound of lamp black and three quarters of a pound
                      of copperas; stir it up at intervals for a couple of days. Lay five
                      to six coats on the gun with a sponge, allowing it to dry well
                      between each application; polish with linseed oil and soft woollen
                      rag; it will look like ebony."



                      Or for those who wear modern shoes and polyester uniforms


                      "Two coats of TREMCLAD (RUSTOEUM) Paint and a good coat of floor
                      paste wax"

                      Yrs.,
                      L2
                      PS: Or for those who wear modern shoes and polyester uniforms


                      Two coats of TREMCLAD (RUSTOEUM) Paint and a good coat of floor paste
                      wax

                      I was prodded into posting this

                      Yrs.,
                      L2
                      Or for those who wear modern shoes and polyester uniforms


                      Two coats of TREMCLAD (RUSTOEUM) Paint and a good coat of floor paste
                      wax



                      Yrs.,
                      L2
                      PS: I was prodded into posting this, but have used this method and it
                      works!
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