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Its iron ramrod is held by three thimbles, of which the bottom one is an old Queen Anne ribbed pattern, and the others simple rolled sheet brass. Its stock is the popular civilian club butt form, but the non-essential buttplate, escutcheon, sideplate, raised carving and bottom ramrod pipe are not included.
The Queen Anne period, three-screw flat lock design with its reinforced cock has an unbalanced profile which suggests possible Colonist manufacture.
Yet, unlike the mother country’s own militia regulations—in which the authorities controlled the arms and stored them together in a secured central location between muster days—each American had to provide his own arms and keep them at home. Massachusetts, for example, required only “a good fire arm.” Because Britain had done little in past years to furnish her Colonists with military arms, the militia employed a wide assortment of smoothbore muskets, carbines, fusils, trade guns, light or heavy fowling pieces, and rifles—of varied lineages and bore sizes.
In addition, as the new United Colonies hurriedly attempted to create a regular army by enlisting militia members into Continental Line regiments, many of the recruits left their personal arms at home for the hunting demands and physical protection of their families.
The Northern American Colonies had been settled to enrich the mother country by exporting raw materials to England’s factories and then serve as a market for their finished goods.
A French pinned fowler barrel is stocked to the muzzle, indicating the early lack of socket bayonets. 1715-1750 Although technically a hunting gun with the fore-end of its maple stock reaching to the muzzle of a European barrel, this family fowler, which omits all but the basic components, is typical of many of the existing arms carried into the field by the American forces early in the Revolution and by the militia throughout the war.
The lock area of the stock, in turn, was made thicker by the Colonists, probably to strengthen that most vulnerable location from fractures.
The convex side plate is also inset deeper than normal.
Militia Organizations: In the beginning, the only existing American military groups were the individual militia systems of each colony.
These units were usually identified by their town or county locations and included all men from 16 to 60 years of age.