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Thread: Live Fire Civil War Weapons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    75

    Default Live Fire Civil War Weapons

    Hello!

    Well, I went out to an N-SSA Skirmish this weekend with the Midwest Region. The event was hosted by the Union Guards; a very authentic unit portraying the 19th Indiana of the Iron Brigade, Hardee hats are required for this unit These guys know their stuff when it comes to loading a minie ball down the barrel!

    nssa.jpg

    The Union Guards had a visitor's shooting station set up with the following weapons:

    1841 Mississippi Rifle (hated it - too heavy)
    1864 Springfield 3 banded rifle musket (loved it - will probably buy this one)
    1842 Springfield smooth bore (love it - will buy this one too)
    1855 Springfield "shortened" 2 band (didn't really like it much)
    Henry (hated it ... worst rifle I ever shouldered)
    Smith Carbine (didn't like it either)

    They sucked me in by setting the targets up at 25 yds ... I hit all of them with 64 Springfield ...

    Targets at 25 yds
    25yds.jpg

    When I asked if they would move them back to competition range (50 yds) they initially said no, but I talked them into it. At 50 yds I was only 2 for 4 I was told that most N-SSA shooters are in the 60% range.

    Targets at 50 yds
    50yds.jpg

    The smooth bore was also a lot of fun ... competition ranges are 25 yds ... with one round at 50 yards. Rifle & carbine are at 50 yds with one round at 100 yds (at 100 yds the targets look like periods at the end of sentence).

    I'll tell you what, there is nothing in reenacting like standing on a firing line with 7 or 8 others loading real ammunition and trying to get off as many shots as you can in a 5 minute time period. It really gets the adrenaline flowing! Your hands get greasy and you pick up the filth of live fire black powder shooting ... I loved it. It is a part of the living history experience that I will now be able to relate better to the public.
    Last edited by terry.dull; 08-26-2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: add pics
    142nd PVI - Dull, Samuel Sgt Maj, Daniel 1st Lt, Romanus Sgt, Walter Pvt, George Pvt
    6th PA Heavy Artillery, Dull, Uriah Pvt, Jacob Pvt, William Pvt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    127

    Default

    Skirmishing is the most fun you can have without actually shooting anyone.
    I shoot a Pedersoli Enfield 2 band, an Enfield Musketoon(also Pedersoli), an Armi Sport 1842 Smoothbore, and a Pietta Colt 1860 Army.
    Last edited by California Joe; 08-26-2013 at 12:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Warsaw. Mo
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    Not specifically related to the topic, but dropping a nice whitetail doe at 100+ yds. is also a real experience!

    Bushwhacker
    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h8...clothes007.jpg


    Bushwhacker
    Pvt.;10th Mo. Infantry/Artillery CSA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    Skirmishing is the most fun you can have without actually shooting anyone.
    I shoot a Pedersoli Enfield 2 band, an Enfield Musketoon(also Pedersoli), an Armi Sport 1842 Smoothbore, and a Pietta Colt 1860 Army.
    I've not tried an Enfield ... I thought I might like it better ... everone says the stock is to high and straight as compared to a Springfield. Any comment since you use both?
    142nd PVI - Dull, Samuel Sgt Maj, Daniel 1st Lt, Romanus Sgt, Walter Pvt, George Pvt
    6th PA Heavy Artillery, Dull, Uriah Pvt, Jacob Pvt, William Pvt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Where logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
    Posts
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    Default

    I've been shooting in the N- SSA for over thirty years. It certainly gives one a much different perspective of reenactments and living histories. I cuerrently shoot a high hump Richmond rifle musket, a Mississippi rifle, and a Cook & Bros. cavalry carbine. Working on getting a bullet that will shoot accurately out of my Lorenz.
    Paul Manzo
    "Never had I seen an army that looked more like work"......Col. Garnett Wolseley

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry.dull View Post
    I've not tried an Enfield ... I thought I might like it better ... everone says the stock is to high and straight as compared to a Springfield. Any comment since you use both?
    Shooters often compare the Enfield 1853 with a Springfield 1861 or an Enfield 1858 with a Zouave. It's just a matter of personal preference, what ever you are comfortable with. Some people prefer the more forward set rear sight of the Enfield because it gives a clearer sight picture. The stocks on my Pedersolis are made from American walnut, which is about a pound lighter than English walnut or other European hardwoods; making them easier to wield than their Armi Sport counterparts.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2011
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nighthawk View Post
    I've been shooting in the N- SSA for over thirty years. It certainly gives one a much different perspective of reenactments and living histories. I cuerrently shoot a high hump Richmond rifle musket, a Mississippi rifle, and a Cook & Bros. cavalry carbine. Working on getting a bullet that will shoot accurately out of my Lorenz.
    Hey Nighthawk, what do you think would draw more reenactors to skimishing?
    142nd PVI - Dull, Samuel Sgt Maj, Daniel 1st Lt, Romanus Sgt, Walter Pvt, George Pvt
    6th PA Heavy Artillery, Dull, Uriah Pvt, Jacob Pvt, William Pvt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Huntsville
    Posts
    605

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    Hey Terry!

    I went to a skirmish last weekend, too! It was at the Brierfield Iron Works. It was put on by the 3rd Georgia. It was great, got a medal for revolver shooting even though I still have to shoot 2" to the right to hit the bullseye!

    Most of the year it's so darn hot down here we don't wear coats while shooting, but I love the cooler weather when I can wear my Columbus Depot jacket made from a Charlie Childs kit! But even in the summer I get to use my Wambaugh, White & Co Louisiana shirt that I made from one of their kits. I swapped a gun barrel for a hand-made Kepi from The Company Tailor. I like wearing accurate clothes while shooting.

    If anyone wants to see if there is a skirmish near you, check out this interactive map:

    https://www.google.com/maps?t=m&ll=4...classic&dg=opt

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

  9. #9

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    I used to have an 1863 Springfield that I shot live. It was a wonderful rifle, as you report. Live firing gives you a very good feel for what you personally can do with a musket, and influences how you feel on the reenacting field. Even when I'm just firing blanks, I tend to think "That would be a hit" "Nah, that woulda gone high." "Nope. Would miss by a mile."
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  10. #10

    Default

    Hallo!

    As shared, N-SSA weapon choice is personal. Although Once Upon a Time, IIRC, the N-SSA 2nd or 6th Wisconsin pushed M1855's.

    I have shot the Enfield P1858 R and the P1853 RM. In my druthers, I preferred the "Springfields" over the "Enfields" as I disliked the high stock comb of the Enfield under my cheek bone, and the Enfields' flat butt plate as compared to the Springfields' curved one.

    There has been some migration, or cross-over between CW Reenacting and N-SSA Skirmishing. IMHE, mostly reenactors who were already dressed and kitted out going into the N-SSA's competitive shooting. When the subject has come up, what hear/heard was that Reenactors often did not like the lack of "military" aspects missing in the N-SSA, and on the other side of the coin Skirmishers did not like the "constraints' of camping, clothing, and gear on the reenacting side.

    Of course, there are individual and unit exceptions whose personal Mental Pictures, and unit cultures, allowed them to bring "reenacting" level material culture into N-SSA costume competitive shooting. Once Upon a Time, I help lead a revolution with lads like Earl Coates trying to improve upon the many 1950's era N-SSA kits. But that revolt was only partially successful as only new units being formed and coming in had the stricter uniform requirements imposed while the older units retained their Status Quo in being grandfathered in.
    (And some units had to wait until that Older Generation retired or died away to being in a new era of "wool.")

    My hat is off to the (few) individuals and/or units that have worked to make those changes!!!
    As second in command, my N-SSA unit had me research uniforms and equipment, and shared my research and documentation at our first business meeting of the new year. Our commander thanked me for the work, stuck it in his brief case, and moved on to the next item on the agenda. It never saw the light of day again.

    As Herr Rob has shared, IMHO, "live fire" with Period rounds gives one a whole other reality and knowledge base when it comes to what a CW soldier experienced with his weapon versus a weak side of reenacting where many lads have not idea or concept, and as my best ex old Pard believed... he was the best and deadliest shot ever. Which parallels the Berdan Sharpshooter presentation at Antietam 135 where the spectators were informed that a NM1859 Rifle with its "six inch bullet" off-hand consistently reached out and struck targets at "1800 yards."

    My point is not to appear to pick on reenactors or skirmishers. But rather to show that, in BOTH Reenacting and Skirmishing, one can "maximize" the best of both Worlds at the same time if one so desires and does so! IMHO,, it is sad that more lads do not.

    Others' mileage will vary...

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

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