Talk:Brown Bess

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Incorrect assertions[edit]

From the article: "Stress-bearing parts of the Brown Bess, such as the barrel, lockwork, and sling-swivels, were customarily made of iron; while other furniture pieces such as the butt plate, trigger guard and ramrod pipe were found in both iron and brass. It weighed around 10 pounds (5 kg). It could be fitted with a 17-inch (430 mm) triangular cross-section bayonet. There were no sights on the weapon although the bayonet lug on the barrel may have been used in that manner, similar to the bead on a shotgun."

Several of the above assertions are incorrect, according to military manuals and practices of the day. The guns were most certainly aimed when fired, using a forward sight.

To wit: the well-known military text "A Plan of Discipline for the Use of the Norfolk Militia" by William Windham, 1759, 1768 edition, includes a plate illustrating a firelock and labeling the various parts.

Several of the parts have names that are not those commonly used by collectors and modern historians; here below are listed, on the left, the names from the primary source, followed by, on the right, the incorrect modern names:

Sight - bayonet lug;

Butt of the Rammer - flat button end of the rammer;

Front loop, second loop, third loop - rammer pipes, from muzzle back;

Tail pipe - the rearmost rammer pipe;

Hammer - frizzen;

Cock - hammer;

Swell of the Stock - swell;

Small of the Stock - wrist;

Swell of the Butt - comb;

There are some parts for which we commonly use the same name that is given in Windham's book:

Barrel; Stock; Muzzle; Feather Spring; Trigger Guard; Butt

Additionally, according to De Witt Bailey in "Pattern Dates for British Ordnance Small Arms 1718-1783", pg. 5, the bayonet "stud" was always referred to by the Ordnance as the "sight".95thfoot 04:59, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

New Land Pattern[edit]

Most books on the subject seem to agree that this had a 42" barrel, reverting to the length of the Short Land Pattern and not, as stated on this page, a 39" barrel. This is one of the reasons that a light infantry pattern was developed with the lighter 39" barrel. (Otherwise, why bother?) Having used a Short Land Pattern for some time, now, I have long thought the reason that the guards took on the New Land Pattern was that the longer barrel length is more practical for the taller soldier - the muzzle sits against the shoulder, and not under the armpit! (talk) 15:42, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

The New Zealand Wars[edit]

This rifle was also used by the Maori(native people of New Zealand) during the "Musket Wars" and the "New Zealand Wars". We have one in the Auckland Museum with an intricately carved butt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

File:Brown Bess Musket firing.jpg[edit]

The photo of a man firing what is said to be a Brown Bess musket on the Brown Bess page.. it is not a British Brown Bess musket, but instead appears to be a French type musket. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

You appear to be correct. Although the filename is Brown Bess Musket firing, the file description says it's a French musket (possibly a Charleville musket) plus it doesn't resemble any of the other muskets pictured in this article so I've removed it. Barret (talk) 13:10, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

File:New Land Pattern.jpg[edit]

I'm not convinced that the image described as a New Land Pattern Musket is what it claims to be. It doesn't match the description or images in De Witt Bailey's 'British Military Longarms 1715-1815' (Bailey being one of the leading authorities on the subject). The New Land Pattern doesn't have the peculiarly truncated stock shown in the Wikipedia file, and the cock of the flintlock should be flat, not rounded as here (it looks more like the lock from an 1809 Model India Pattern). RoryKat (talk) 19:31, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Page title[edit]

I apologise if this sounds a bit petty but seeing as Brown Bess is the gun's nickname is it appropriate to use that as the title of this encyclopaedic entry? Surely it would be better to rename the page Land Pattern Musket and have Brown Bess redirect to it? Just my opinion. LameCat (talk) 14:33, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

India pattern and sights[edit]

I removed information about the India pattern supposedly being the most accurate as I do not believe this to be true. The material was unsourced.

I also changed the sentence that claimed that the weapon had a crude sight. The Brown Bess that I own does not have a sight and I have never seen a period accurate one with a sight (I have seen crude sights attached to modern Brown Bess muskets but these have been homemade jobs and were not period accurate). That said, I am not familiar with all models. If anyone has information about sights being used on any specific models or during any particular time period either comment here or modify the article with cites.

Engineer comp geek (talk) 19:26, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

"Brawn buss" as German? Not likely.[edit]

I'm a native speaker of German with a good vocabulary, and I know of no German word close to "braun" or "brawn" that means "strong", I thus doubt that unsourced claim. "Buss" could well be from or related to the German "Büchse", gun/rifle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 30 April 2015 (UTC)


Kipling's poem most possibly "hits the mark"...

This statement just muddles the story even further. Are you saying that Kipling’s verse may not be referring to a weapon, but to a female camp-follower? Valetude (talk) 16:58, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

I think it's saying that there is a double meaning there. I'm not actually sure. I came here because I cannot figure out what that section is actually saying at all. At first glance it looks like it's saying the nickname came from Kipling, which is (hopefully) obviously ridiculous, as it was written in 1911. I assume it's saying that the musket were nicknamed "Brown Bess" which was ALSO a nickname for a camp follower, as a sort of a soldier's joke, but it would be nice if it would just clearly say so. Even then I think they need to give better evidence then something Kipling wrote about a hundred years after the fact, especially since most people would assume when reading the Kipling piece that he's actually talking about the WEAPON while making you think he's talking about a FEMALE, until you come to the end and realize what he means...."Oh, pierced many a heart, hah-hah, I get it, bullets". I don't see it as "evidence" that soldiers referred to camp followers as "Brown Besses". If they did, then my bet would be on a combination of that and the previous "Brown Bill"; soldiers love a joke with double meanings. I also removed the above quote about "most possibly hits the mark". I assume they meant "most likely is accurate", but the double-meaning is not the right tone, it sounds like something taken directly from a magazine article on the same topic, and I think the reader, or at least qualified experts being quoted, can be the ones to judge which theory "most closely hits the mark" (the correct phrase). AnnaGoFast (talk) 02:50, 4 March 2018 (UTC)