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A Brown Bess Musket Converted by Kit Ravenshear - $SOLD
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Long Land Brown Bess Musket
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This page is about a Long Land conversion of a Short Land done by the late Kit Ravenshear
Until the Indian made Long Land muskets became available circa 2003, the only way to get one was an expensive custom made musket. All that had been available for decades were the Short Land muskets manufactured by Pedersoli in Italy or Miroku in Japan and imported under various trade names. For French and Indian War era reenacting and early American Revolution reenacting, the Short Land is just not correct, but it is all that could be had at affordable prices. There are some authenticity issues with the Italian Short Lands, the most glaring of which is the improperly marked lock.

The eminent gunsmith Kit Ravenshear (1930-1998) found a practical solution. For a fee, he would take a standard Short Land reproduction musket and "back date" it to represent a Long Land that has been shortened to have a 42" barrel. In the French and Indian War era, Long Lands were shortened for Dragoon use and other special purposes, so this was a way to have a historically correct musket without spending massive amounts of money.
Kit died ten years ago, and to own one of the guns he built or modified is quite a prize today. They rarely come up for sale because the people who own them usually do not want to part with them. We have been fortunate enough to have a couple of Kit Ravenshear converted Besses pass through our shop over the years and list these photos and information for educational purposes. These guns were sold years ago.
Kit's modifications to the Besses were to retrofit a Long Land sideplate, add brass to the buttplate to give it the correct long tang, weld in the incorrect lock markings and reengrave them with a proper date.
All of us, as antique gun enthusiasts, owe Kit Ravenshear a lot of gratitude. He was on the forefront of researching military arms of the period and much of what is "common knowledge" today is known because of his tireless efforts and a great wealth of knowledge was lost when he died. You can read more about Kit and even order a few of the books and pamphlets that he authored here.

Click photos to enlarge, use your "back" button to return

          A full view of the piece. When it was here, it came with sling, bayonet, hammerstall and flashguard. full view

          The proper Long Land sideplate has been fitted to replace the flat style found on Short Lands. All modern markings have been removed. sideplate

          A view of the breech, you can see where Kit removed all of the modern markings and stamped the barrel with period correct markings on the barrel, including "Viewed" and inspector's mark, and "Proofed". breech

          Here you can see the corrected lock markings. The factory lockplate was marked 1762. Kit welded up the bad date, polished it down and reengraved it as 1755. lock

          The butt plate has been modified by adding a longer, early style tang to it in place of the Short Land style. butt