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Thread: Looking to buy inexpensive musket.... Enfield vs. Springfield.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    19

    Default Looking to buy inexpensive musket.... Enfield vs. Springfield.

    Hello all! I just posted about what equipment is good but wanted to make this gun post a bit different. I am looking to purchase an inexpensive musket for Gettysburg. I portray an Infantry private. I have heard a great deal about 1853 Enfields and 1861 Springfields and then more about Lorenz. Secondly... for reenactors guns does it matter if it is rifled or a smoothbore? Also Armi Sport vs. Euroarms vs. etc? Which is better or worse? Pros and cons for everything above as well.

    Also... I would like peoples opinions on these. I am just looking to get information and if I get a deal that is in my price range I may be interested. But for right now im just gathering information.

    Thank you for your help! It is appreciated as I am new in all of this!

    - Matt -

  2. #2

    Default

    Its a toss up when it come to Springfield or Enfield in my opinion. Both are great muskets. They have their pros and cons but it depends on 1) Unit portrayal standards 2) Time period (early on there was a HUGE mix of muskets available). Personally I lean toward the Enfield mainly because the fact of the sights (I love to live fire) they are "graduated" in 100 yard increments as to the Springfields 100, 300 and 500 yard flip up sights. Then theres the fact of "polished steel" on the 61's and the "blued" on the Enfields. I love maintaining my piece but the extra time spent on polishing your 61' Springfield could mean more time eating or if you have rank, tending to your duties.

    When it comes down to it, ask pards in you unit what they think you should use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Central Va
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    237

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    Matt, welcome aboard...
    Much of your question will depend on what impression(s) you plan to do, also what your unit had/has or using. Some units have guideline preferences on what model or type of long arm they desire members to have. Many others dont care what model or caliber it is as long as its a three-band military issued musket.

    ArmiSport and Euroarms were the two primary makers of reproduction long arms for decades. Unfortunately Euroarms is now gone. Both of these were fairly good weapons, but few if any being made on a large scale are 100 percent correct. Some have tweeked and "defarbed" theirs for a bit more authentic touch. If your planning to be able to do multiple impressions, many will chose a weapon that can fit into more than one impression. Generally speaking... Even though majority of weapons saw at least some use on both sides, some saw longer or more use on a given side. If your doing predominately Federal then three band M1853 Enfield or 1855, 1861, 1863 Springfield generally would be the better fit, depending on your unit. If Confederate, M1853 Enfield, or 1816,1842 Springfield smoothbores, tend to be the general favored preferences. Variations will exist depending on specific unit portrayed and/or date-time and theater. Most tend to determine and chose which given weapon could best cover the most time frame for what they intend to portray.

    The days of "inexpensive" muskets are moreso a footnote in history these days. New ones have just about tripled in price in the last 10 years, and used ones while less expensive are still holding a good amount their value to a good degree due to the 150th cycle demand. It might take awhile searching and watching but one can still normally find one from someone exiting the hobby for a decent price.

    Good luck...
    Lieut Frederick Sineath
    14th Virginia Infantry Regt Co.I
    - 106th Penna Vol Co.F

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    63

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    Hey Matt,
    I really depends on the impression you are doing. You should be able to find out what the 10th ILL was issued for you regular impression. For gettysburg a '61 springfield or an Enfield will be fine. There is no good Lorenz repop on the market. Todd Watts has defarbed a few of the Loyalist Arms Lorenz repro's, but for the money your better off with an Enfield or Springfield. As for price, just keep your eyes on the classifieds, good deals pop up from time to time, just be ready to jump on them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,678

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    The standard answer:

    Ignoring the search function, the use of which would turn up numerous threads on this topic...The Armi Sport US Model 1842. Best reproduction musket "out of the box" to date. There is a 150th anniversary edition, which is not worth the extra money but is nicer. Also a very cool rifled version with a long range rear sight. It works for US, CS early to mid-war especially but it is not out of place at virtually any event. Plus smoothbore muskets are under-represented in the ranks.

    If you want an Enfield, the Pedersoli P53 requires much less defarbing than the Armi Sport version. Like the 1842, it is pretty darn good right out of the box for about the same price.
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    172

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    Matt,
    Are you planning to reenact more than just Gettysburg? If not, it's foolish to buy a $600+ weapon for one event.
    Unless you buy it for the event and sell it after: like I did for the 15th Iowa at Shiloh.
    Jason K.
    Prodigal Sons Mess
    36th Illinois Co. "B"
    Old Northwest Volunteers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    19

    Default Reply

    Thank you everyone for the responses! I appreciate it! To answer the last question I will hopefully be doing this for many many years! I really enjoy it! Also... Are there any noticeable differences in firing and having a rifleled or smoothbore one?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    63

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    The Enfield and 61 Sprinfield will be rifled. The 42 sprinfield can be smoothbore or rifled. In reenacting there is no difference in firing them...both go bang. If you are live firing at a Range, Hunting, or doing NSSA shoots you would see a difference between rifled and smoothbore. Shooting live I'd want rifled. Reenacting.....smoothbore. As Craig said, they are underrepresented.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    3,370

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    Muskets are smoothbore, such as an 1842 Springfield. The 1853 Enfield and '61/63 Springfields are rifled. The '42 is longer, heavier, and doesn't stack well with the others. It also requires a larger powder charge. Not much difference in how they all handle using blank cartridges, but there will be if firing live rounds.
    For me, the Enfield is the most forgiving of the bunch.

    Talk to your NCO's. They should know what your unit tends to prefer. If they can't answer questions like this, something's odd.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

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