Adjuntant- Jim Perry
QuarterMaster- George Skic
PayMaster- Don Post
April 10th -Dedication of Plaque at Captain Outwater's Grave -ALL HANDS REQUIRED TO ATTEND!
April 23-24- Battle of Bound Brook, NJ
May 14-15- Capture of Charlestown, SC.
June 4-5- Battle of Conneticut Farms 225th at Liberty Hall in Union, NJ
June 25-26-Battle of Springfield 225th
July- None scheduled yet
August 6-7 - Rev-War Days at the Red Mill Museum, Clinton,NJ
September 3-4- BAR 18th Cent. weekend, Nassau, NY (optional)
October 2nd- Lord Stirling Festival, Bedminster, NJ
Other events we are invited to, which members may choose to attend:
All BAR events
Long Pond, (Heard's Brigade event) Sept. 24-25
Whitpain, Pennsylvaia, Oct 8-9 Cont'l Line event
Dey Mansion Oct 22-23
Flintlock muskets require special care and maintenance to function correctly. The barrels need to be kept very clean and oiled, the flint must be replaced, positioned correctly for the musket, The lock must be clean and lubricated, and the pan/frissen assembly cleaned and oiled. Parts need to be inspected- the lock and flashpan are part of the pre battle inspection.
First, when you show up at an event with your firelock, you are proclaiming that your musket is safe to use. That means that YOU should have inspected it before you left home for safety. What do you inspect, and how? At battle preinspection, each musket should be checked for a well fixed, (not loose) flashpan, a half cock that does not release when the trigger is pulled, a well set flint, and an empty barrel. Those are not the entire list of what you should check however.
Inspecting your musket-
1) the barrel is empty. Run your ramrod down the barrel, and listen for the ping of it hitting metal at the bottom. While it is down, resting on the bottom, check its length. If it is sticking out abnormally, you have something solid in there. Sometimes tourist drop something done a barrel- check it before going out to the field.
2) The pan and frizzen are clean, and so are the pivot and contact points.
3) The Lock works properly- the flint is set, sparks well, and the half cock holds when the trigger is pulled. CHECK THE LOCK ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE CHECKED THE BARREL AND PAN and you know the gun is not loaded!
4) The flint is tight, sharp, and it is not hitting the barrel. Tighten it again.
5) The flashguard is positioned properly, and is not loose.
6) The stock is not cracked or broken so that there is a hazard.
7) The barrel is bright and clean.
8) The ramrod is not damaged, especially the tip is not loose.
9) The lock screws are snug.
10) Put your touch hole prick DEEP into the touch hole. This not only checks that the touch hole is clear, it also checks that nothing is stuck deep in the bore, like a patch, tool, etc.
11) Check your cartridges: You should be carrying only blanks. Keep live rounds ALWAYS separate from your blanks.
So you have your gun and its time for fun! Wipe the frizzen and pan off with a rag, to remove the oil. If you heavily oil your barrel, you might run a dry clean patch down the barrel to remove it
When you prime, add enough powder to the pan to cover the bottom.
Do NOT fill the pan. Maximum for good ignition is up to the touch
hole. The sparks should flash up into the touch hole, the
powder shouldn't have to burn down to it. This will speed ignition
and keep flash and external fouling reduced.
If you have a misfire, keep the musket pointed down range and in a safe direction! You might only have a hang-fire. If it goes off slowly, you want it go off safely!!!
Check the pan. If the powder in it did not ignite, dump and reload, and try again. Never reload with out dumping if you are not sure the gun has fired. For safety, never reprime and hold an open cartridge in your hand as you fire. A spark could blow off your hand, and your fingers might poke someone in the eye as they leave!
When the gun does fire, you can easily tell by looking at the open pan- a just fired flintlock will have smoke rising from the touch hole. Since you may not, in a volley fire, see if you gun belched smoke, and probably won't feel any recoil with blanks, ALWAYS check the touch hole for smoke before you prime!
Most misfires are caused by a problem with the flint. Keep and eye on your flint as you prime. Is it still sharp and properly set in the cock? Is it loose, turned or askew?
Battles usually have fast and slow periods. When you get a slow period, check your piece! Use your brush on the pan, the pick on the touch hole, Carry a bit of rag to wipe off the frizzen and the pan. Look over the frizzen swivel point, and clean it if it is getting fouled. A fouled frizzen won't spark well. If the fouling stops the pan from opening, you may misfire- or worse, the flash might be channeled into your face. Check your flashguard as well. How is your flint doing? When in doubt, change it! 6 or 8 blanks cost as much as a flint- don't be cheap with flints. Check that your flint is tight.
Keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction While you prime and load (in particular), and After you load, and in fact, ALL THE TIME! Black powder does go off while people are loading sometimes, so be safe in your muzzle direction.
BEFORE you clean it, check it to be sure it is unloaded.
Open pan, dump, check barrel with ramrod. EVEN if you already
checked when leaving the field, check AGAIN! "I didn't know
it was loaded" is not an excuse, it is a complete failure!
There are several ways to clean your musket. What ever method you use, make sure it leaves the barrel shiny, inside and out!
I recommend you remove your lock and place it and the lock screws in a safe place while you clean the musket. They are hard to replace!
Pour a generous amount of water down the barrel, letting the dirty, foul water run out (not on to your feet) several seconds, then dump the barrel. Repeat until the water comes out looking clean. Warm water not only works faster, but warms the metal, which will dry faster
Run a wet patch down the barrel. Replace with new patch and
repeat until the patch comes out fairly clean. Use one of the
cleaner patches to wipe off the outside of the barrel. Repeat
until the patch doesn't get dirty from wiping.
Run a dry patch down the barrel. Wipe the outside dry. Place the musket muzzle down to drain any remaining water.
Take your lock, and run water over the pan and frizzen area. Using a clean patch, scrub off any stubborn fouling. Make sure to get the pivot and contact points of the lock clean.
Dry the lock, place inside down while you oil the barrel. Run another dry patch down barrel. Oil the patch, and run it down the barrel. Use that patch to rub over the outside of the barrel. Use fine steel wool on any rusting on the outside of the barrel. If the barrel is bright and shiny, it is not rusty. If it is not rusty, you probably have maintained it right. In the 18th Century, muskets were kept bright and shiny, so the officers could see if your musket was clean.
Oil the ramrod and replace. Oil the lock and lock screws. Replace the lock. Polish your brass. You should not have to oil down the stock more than once or twice a year. Too much oil will make the stock soft and heavy.
Inspect your musket, top to bottom for damage, problems, or malfunctions. Replace the flint as needed. After cleaning your musket, do a THROUGH inspection. When you bring it to the next event, KNOW that it is ready to work, and nothing was left in the barrel. People have gotten hurt because someone lost a cleaning tool inside their barrel. Check it carefully after cleaning!
Flints are harder than steel. Hard contact of flint and steel
shaves pieces of steel off. Those pieces struck off are very hot
and show up as sparks. To get a good spark, your flint must make
proper contact with the frizzen. It should strike squarely, and
not hit the barrel or pan when the cock drops. The flint should
be almost razor sharp! Most muskets like the edge down, (bevel
up) but some like it reversed. The flint/cock should play nice
with the frizzen, without unnecessary roughness or contact. The
frizzen should be struck by the flint alone, about 1/4 of the
way down from the top, and drag along the about a third of the
face. You may need to use flints that are shorter than average,
or larger than average. If your cock falls hard and you break
flints too often, you may want to try using a lead strip instead
of a piece of leather to hold the flint. Reportedly they are more
shock resistant than leather. However, lead does not compress
as well, and you might find that your flints come loose.
If everything seems to be set up right, working correctly, but you are not getting sparks, you may have a dirty or oily frizzen face. Wipe it off and try again. If it still does not work, you may need to have your frizzen face hardened. Case hardening of the face should suffice. If your spring is too soft, you may need to replace it.
Both the B.A.R. and Continental Line require that blanks cartridges be limited to under 120 grains, made of bond paper, not newsprint, and not be sealed with tape, or staples. You shouldn't use large amounts of glue either. In fact, you can make cartrdieges without any glue, and save time and effort. Roll the cartridge, then pull your former out from the end the diameter of the cartridge. Push the end in, once from the paper edge, then from the left and right. Once you have folded them flat, pull the former another eigth of and inch or so, and press the outer edge of the cartridge into the center. This will lock the bottom of the cartridge.
Once your cartridge is filled with a measured amount of powder, fold the cartridge top flat, fold the flat edges into the center, then fold the tail formed back over the bottom of the cartridge.
Keep your musket clean and oiled. Carry a wisk, pick and wiping
rag with your cartridge box, and a musket tool to change and tighten
flints. Check your flint at the first sign of trouble. If you
get a flash in the pan, check the touch hole with your pick. Use
slow periods to check your musket, clean the pan and frizzen,
check the flint. Change flints often- after every battle should
be a good start.
To keep your musket from rusting and to make the fouling easier to remove, you can use some light grease on the barrel area above the pan. It is easier to prevent rust than to remove it, and once pitted, your barrel can't be like new again. Too much oil in the barrel or pan will interfere with powder ignition.
A well maintained musket is dependable. So is the soldier who keeps it.
To the Friends of America in the State of New Jersey
The Army of the American States under my Command being lately
greatly reinforced, and having again entered the State of New
Jersey, I most warmly request the Militia of Said State at this
Important Crisis to Evince their Love of their Country, by boldly
Stepping forth and defending the Cause of Freedom. The Inhabitants
may be Assured that by a manly or spirited Conduct they may now
relieve their Distinguished State from the depredations
of our Enemies-I have therefore dispatched Coll. Neilson, Majors
Taylor, Van Emburgh, + Frelinghuysen together with some other
Gentlemen of your State to call together and Embody your Militia,
not doubting but Success will attend their Endeavors-
Trent town December 31, 1776
Needs to be started one day in advance.
1 tsp. of yeast
1 cup of water
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of rye flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbl sesame seeds
1 tbl fennel seeds
1 tbl poppy seeds
3 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup white wine.
In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the water and add a few pinches of the four. Combine all the dry ingredients, including the seeds, in a medium mixing bowl. Using a fork, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of water, olive oil, wine, and dissolved yeast, and knead for 10 minutes. You will have a stiff dough. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in the refringerator overnight.
The next day, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Keeping the dough as cold as possible while your work with it, form it into a log and cut it into 8 roughly equal pieces. Roll each piece through a pasta machine or roll by hand to 1/16 inch thinckness. Lay two sheets of dough at a time on an oiled baking sheet, brush lightly with olive oil, and season with kosher or sea salt. Bake for 15-17 minutes until nicely browned and crisp. Keep whole or break into pieces to serve.
Yields about 3 dozen pieces.
Obviously, some of these ingredients were hard to come by on the run. Feel free to leave out what you will.
The war has moved South. Next year is a big one for 225th Events. In January is the Battle of Cowpens. In March the Battle of Guilford Court House- both big militia battles. Last but far from Least, in October is the 225th of Yorktown.
Bellytimber- Food to keep the fires of Life burning
Calabas or Calabash- a type of melon, used as slang for a persons head.
Down look- a habitually unhappy looking face, often used in run away ads.
Rumpus- a fight
Newsletter vol. 1,
Newsletter vol. 2
Newsletter vol. 3
Newsletter vol. 4
Newsletter vol. 5
© 2005 By Outwater's Militia. All rights reserved.