Wise words there Andrew.
Wise words there Andrew.
So I would guess that the 16th Michigan Volunteers in 1864 will never be done as an impression.
Stirring the pot, hey, Bill???? :)
Most reenactors can't afford to buy a Lorenz, an Enfield and a Springfield to allow for proper armament as mentioned for this one original regiment, for example.
Additionally, we don't always do the exact same unit at every reenactment; scenarios call upon us to be many units at various times, and those who insist upon "being" a single specific unit (whether they were present at that battle or not) do as much a disservice to history as they claim others do.
So we are left to purchase a single (or occasionally a couple) weapon to fit our needs as we see them and can afford.
As with many things within this hobby, there is no one always-correct answer; there are just too many variables, and limited funds. So, often we must compromise, preferably in the least offensive way possible.
Buying three rifles wasn't my intent. I could also have mentioned the 10th Texas. Issued Lorenz rifles in '63, but did not have any when they surrendered. They switched to .577/.58. I have seen copies of the ammunition returns, but not the weapons.
Aha! All we need is an authentic reproduction/copy of the M1854 and we are good to go.
(Or convince a unit of lads to go and restore some originals to their CW era condition/appearance/state... ;) :) )
Curt makes an excellent point. Original M-54s can still be refurbished or "put together" and will make excellent (re)enactor weapons for about the same cost as a de-farbed reproduction and much less than a "custom."
No one is arguing that US 1861s, 63-4s were not in wide use (en toto). Except more than half of them were not available for issuance in appreciable numbers
until mid-to-late 1863 and the rest later than that. In contrast, the Union only canceled their P53 contracts in Sept 1863 as it was at that point in time when domestic production was finally able to meet their needs. By then, if my research in British Arms & Accoutrements is close to correct, there were more Enfield rifles in the ranks (both sides) in America than any other single model. The 1861s being distinct from the 1863-4 models. The overall point here is the Enfield "works" for a broader number of scenarios without being out of place or anachronistic than any other single model. Obviously the 1863-4s would be the least versatile, appropriate at late war events only.
Second, the Armi Sport Enfield repros are no great shakes, but their repro 1861s are much worse and not much can be done about it. The only decent Armi Sport repro is their 1842. This point is beyond serious debate. That leaves Pedersoli as the best choice for a US 1861 or Enfield. The Pedersoli Enfield is about $300 less than their US 1861, works better for a greater variety of scenarios and is less prone to malfunction by design. Hence, the thinking goes "This is kind of a no-brainer." All that said, I almost always use an 1842 because I just plain like it better. I justify my decision making on that point by convincing myself smoothbores are under-represented at most events. The human mind is happy to be deceived and will rationalize things. I would happily use my US 1855 put together, but the National Battlefield Park does not consider it a "reproduction." New Park Superintendent, new rules...or rather stricter enforcement of the existing rules. To me, the repro Enfield is over-represented virtually everywhere precisely for the reasons stated above.
I think there was a wise old owl once who when asked a similar question said, "Three". He may have been talking about something else but it is still the right answer.