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As galloping express riders and ringing church bells spread across New England during the early hours of April 19, 1775, thousands of farmers and tradesmen carrying a variety of firearms poured out of their homes and headed toward Lexington and Concord to intercept the British Army column approaching from Boston. Yet, despite their deeply held convictions, these provincials had no realistic chance to win.In opposition against the finest army and navy in the world, the Colonists possessed no trained armed forces, no established central government, no financial reserves and no industry to supply their effort.The American stock mounts a bulbous Dutch lock, a convex French S-shaped iron sideplate, a cut-down British brass buttplate, an English trade pattern escutcheon and a crude locally cast brass trigger guard secured by four nails.A French pinned fowler barrel is stocked to the muzzle, indicating the early lack of socket bayonets. 1715-1750 Although technically a hunting gun with the fore-end of its maple stock reaching to the muzzle of a European barrel, this family fowler, which omits all but the basic components, is typical of many of the existing arms carried into the field by the American forces early in the Revolution and by the militia throughout the war.The double-strap upper barrel band from a French Model 1754 musket had a cone-shaped ramrod pipe brazed to the bottom by the Colonists who were probably influenced by similar Spanish and Dutch designs. 1775-1783 Major parts from a British Long Land 1756 Pattern musket, which was still the primary arm of their infantry early in the Revolution, were remounted by the rebels on a maple stock to create this firearm.The provincial restocker also provided a New England petal-type raised carving around the barrel tang. In doing so, they reused the lock, trigger guard, sideplate, and buttplate, but omitted the original escutcheon, fourth rammer pipe and raised beavertail carving surrounding the barrel tang.
American-made muskets played a crucial role in the early battles of the War for Independence, including the Battle of Bunker Hill.
An uneven, hand-forged iron trigger guard, however, is obviously American-made. 1760-1780 A French Model 1717 musket furnished most of the elements remounted on this American cherry stock.
The wooden rammer is secured in two upper, sheet-brass thimbles. It might have been an arm captured during the Colonial Wars with French Canada, or an early arm among the foreign aid shipments during our Revolution. 1717 lock with its vertical bridle, a typical French flat S-shaped sideplate, a double-pointed trigger guard, a long butt tang, and a 47" barrel.
America-made muskets are prominently featured in Don Troiani’s “Bunker Hill.” Of the 300,000 muskets used by American line troops during the Revolutionary War, in excess of 80,000 were the products of America’s some 2,500 to 3,000 scattered gunsmiths using mixed components.
The immediate American needs had to be satisfied quickly by obtaining existing guns.