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A comparison of original vs reproduction Enfield musket

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Long Land Brown Bess Musket
Long Land Brown Bess flintlock musket
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Rogers Rangers Brown Bess flintlock musket
East India Pattern Brown Bess Musket
India Pattern Brown Bess flintlock musket
Ship's Flintlock Carbine
Brown Bess Ships Carbine flintlock musket
Ketland Flintlock Fusil
Ketland fusil flintlock musket
1717 French Flintlock Musket
1717 French flintlock musket
1777 French Flintlock Musket
French 1777 Charleville flintlock musket
1777 French Flintlock Carbine
1777 French dragoon carbine flintlock musket
Flintlock Fusil de Chasse
fusil de chasse flintlock musket
1740 Potzdam Flintlock Musket
1740 Potzdam flintlock musket
1757 Spanish Flintlock Musket
1757 Spanish flintlock musket
New England Flintlock Fowler
Cookson fowler flintlock musket
Early Trade Flintlock Musket
early commercial trade doglock flintlock musket
Baker Flintlock Rifle
Baker flintlock rifle musket
1816 Springfield Flintlock Musket
1816 Springfield flintlock musket
Double Barrel Flintlock Shotgun
double barrel flintlock shotgun
English Lock Fishtail Fowler
English lock fishtail flintlock musket
English Matchlock Musket
matchlock musket
Dutch Flintlock Blunderbuss
Dutch blunderbuss flintlock musket
Early Doglock Blunderbuss
doglock flintlock blunderbuss
1853 Enfield Rifle Musket
1853 Enfield rifle musket caplock
British Heavy Dragoon Flintlock Pistol
British Heavy dragoon flintlock pistol
British Eliot Light Dragoon Flintlock Pistol
Eliott Light dragoon flintlock pistol
British 1756 Sea Service Flintlock Pistol
British 1756 Sea Service flintlock pistol
Flintlock Ketland Trade Pistol
Ketland trade flintlock pistol
Double Barrel Flintlock Pistol
double barrel flintlock pistol
1733 French Flintlock Pistol
1733 French flintlock pistol
1773 French Flintlock Pistol
1773 French sea service flintlock pistol
German Flintlock Pistol
German dragoon flintlock pistol
Scottish Murdoch Flintlock Pistol
Scottish Murdoch flintlock pistol
Royal Highland Regiments Flintlock Pistol
Scottish Royal Highland Regiment flintlock pistol
English Doglock Pistol
English lock doglock flintlock pistol
Double Barrel Percussion Pistol
double barrel caplock howdah pistol

Somebody wrote in and asked how our reproduction Enfield musket compared to the original pattern. To be honest, I hadn't really thought about it because the 1853 Pattern Enfield was not my idea, they had been made for decades for the European market before I stumbled onto them. I'm really not into 19th century stuff all that much, so I don't have a lot of reference material on them. Since nobody had ever asked, I never really questioned it.

Then "Steve" wrote in.

Using his questions for inspiration, we spent some time "after hours" tearing apart a couple of old original Tower marked muskets in my collection to see how things compared with one of our reproduction 1853 Enfields. At the very least, it was an excuse for Jeff and I to take apart original guns, which is always interesting.

Below are some photos and note showing the details. Click on the photo to see a larger image and use your browser's "back" button to get back to this page.

          The first thing we did was disassemble the repro to see if the locks interchanged. It was a perfect fit. Here is the repro lock shown abouve the original 3-bander (still in the original musket).
          Here is the repro lock next to the original. The engraving is mostly worn on the old lock, but in the right lighting conditions you can still see it. Notice the mislocated Crown/VR on the repro and lack of a manufacture date. The lettering of "Tower" is also smaller on the repro.
          Here they are on the inside. We didn't try it, but it looks like the internals would interchange. The original lock has an assortment of maker's and inspector's marks inside it. The lock was made, if my research is correct, by Thomas Moxham who was a Birmingham gunsmith in the 1850's and had done work for the Crown earlier in the century as well.
          Here you can see that the rear barrel bands are the smae. The middle band on the original was a replacement, so no point in comparing them. The barrel on the original is a "country made" replacement (more on that later), and the correct rear sight was not installed, so we couldn't compare sights either.
          The triggerguards are similar, but not quite exact. Notice that the iron sling swivel on the original has been replaced with a brass one.
          Here is the repro triggerguard compared to a different original, in this case, a carbine. Other than the original lacking a sling swivel and the Sandskrit regimental markings, the repro looks identical to this one and it looks like it might even interchange. (In the photo, it appears that the repro is shorter, but it is a trick of the camera angle and flash. I was holding two guns in one hand and a camera in the other)
          The buttplate tang on the repro is slightly larger. Notice the original's tang screw is drilled off-center, and that you can still see file marks from when it was built. The file and rasp marks seem to be the norm for military arms as they were produced to be weapons, not showpieces. In my collection of original guns there are file marks, rasp marks, and crude repairs all over the place.
          The muzzle on the original was cut back, probably because of a dent or wear. This is not uncommon in old guns. The nosecaps are identical with the exception of the file marks, wear and less-than-perfect casting of the original. Notice also that the repro's bayonet stud/front sight is oversized. This photo also shows that the original's forward sling swivel has been replaced with a brass one (like the rear one) and the rammer has been repalced with an off-pattern one that lacks the correct tulip-shaped tip.