See this photo? This was 20 years ago. I am on the left. I have not worn this outfit in about 15 years (thankfully), but I have that same musket, and it still works well.
We are all familiar with the credit card commercial with the Vikings and barbarians, where they say, “What’s in your wallet?”
So okay, “What is?”
Here are laminated cards that I just put in my wallet:
National Rifle Association Life Member
National Rifle Association card for Instructor, Certified Rifle and Certified Muzzleloading Rifle.
Florida State Parks Historic Weapons Firing Safety Program Safety Supervisor.
American Legion Member of Sauls-Bridges, Post # 13, Tallahassee (I am a veteran.)
National Association of Interpretation Life Member
Do you know anyone with similar credentials? I want to establish that what I am about to say is not just an opinion, but technical skill and expertise.
There was a discussion on facebook by some of the reenactors who dislike the safety rules that have been implemented in the state parks.
Quit whining and suck it up cupcake, because what is so difficult? There is a reason why they do a safety check of the muskets. And there is a reason why they are requiring flashguards on the flintlocks. These are rules that we can work with, despite opinions. And if you have paid close attention, we have had pretty much all of them in the past 20 years; it is just in the last 5 years that we started to make them official. What some of you thought optional is now required.
People, safety is not an option. I have had my flintlock since 1992, and the first thing I did when I brought it was to put on a brass flashguard. It is still there.
The problem is not the safety rules.
People in the 1830s were intimately knowledgeable about their firearms. It was their very survival and they had to keep them in top working shape. Things would wear out and they would fix them. Just as if you drive your car every day, at some point you will have to replace parts and get things fixed. And if you do not do periodic maintenance with your car, you will go out one day and it will not start. People were highly skilled on the workings and use of their firearms because they had to be.
What I have seen on muskets and rifles the past few years, shows that there is a general need for many reenactors to become familiar with the maintenance of their firearms. Here is what I have seen.
Firearms that are not cleaned since the last event they were fired. And that was a year ago.
Nipple plugs for percussion locks that are worn out or loose.
Other parts that are loose and would only take a minute to tighten up.
Hammers for the percussion or flintlocks that are not striking in the proper location.
Worn out springs for the hammer.
Worn out trigger safety.
Barrel and parts deteriorated and metal eroded from black powder.
Touch holes that have widened from being fired hundreds of times, and now shot out a jet of sparks every time it is fired.
Barrels with so much powder residue that your ram rod will not fit in the barrel.
Some of these things can easily be fixed. Others require the help of a gun smith. A few years ago I needed to get help to have my frizzen tempered. You might have to get a new liner installed with your touch hole. You may need help getting a new main spring replaced.
When I see some of you complain about the flashguard, I hate to tell you this; but you are really showing that you need to become more familiar with your firearm. The problem is not the flashguard. The problem is elsewhere, and it would be a great benefit to all when you figure it out.