Cameron from TwangnBang visits Colonial Williamsburg and gets a wonderful history lesson from several of the personnel who work at the museum.
All of that and he gets to actually shoot a musket and a fowler at the site’s firing range. That, too, is a fascinating process, and the discussion of the history of these weapons during the Revolutionary War period is riveting.
The reloading and shooting time expected of the British army at the time was a minimum of 15 shots for every three-and-three-quarters minutes. That’s reloading the rifle and shooting it approximately once every 15 seconds or less. Amazing!
Cameron moves on to the blacksmith and gunsmith shops to see how a musket barrel is forged and formed. This is something that you just don’t get to see every day and is alone worth the price of admission for any early firearm enthusiast.
Journeyman Gunsmith Richard Sullivan and Apprentice Gunsmith Eric Von Aschwege take us through the process of demonstrating and explaining just how a barrel is forged and hammered into shape. Sullivan then takes us into a room where a large flywheel contraption reams out the barrel.
Next, Gunshop Interpreter William Fleming shows us how a barrel is rifled with a ‘rifle saw’. It’s a steel cutter that is activated by walking it back and forth.
The guns are made for sale to the public, and every piece is carved or forged on site. What a unique and wonderful piece of history it would be to own such a weapon.
Finally, Military Programs Interpreter Jason Bailey gives a very interesting presentation on the arms and other contents of the original, Colonial Williamsburg magazine. He spoke about what weapons and accouterments individuals were required to have on hand at their homes, as well as what was held in the magazine building for dispersal to the troops in case they were called up.
This is one of the most intriguing living history museums I’ve seen, and this video offers only a taste of what is found at Colonial Williamsburg.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.