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Title India pattern Brown Bess musket (Volunteer)
Nationality British
Period c 1803
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This example has a swan-neck cock, the ring-neck version being introduced in 1809. The lock is marked 'Gill' on the inside, almost certainly for John/Thomas Gill Partnership, an ordnance contractor for the British Army in this period. The barrel has Tower Wharf private proof marks, along with some sort of inspection stamp of a letter under a crown.

In the ramrod channel, the stockmaker's name in full appears at the base of the channel, now largely covered in old varnish and grease. Further along the channel towards the muzzle, there are other inspectors' marks, also partly obscured in the same manner. It has the original iron ramrod with a screw thread at the base to take a worm. It is missing its bayonet. I have now fitted a flint in the jaws with a small piece of leather to hold it in place. The lock is in excellent condition mechanically and I have lightly oiled it. It has all its original screws throughout; there is some minor filling about six inches down from the front swivel, but this has been neatly done. Apart from this, the woodwork is in very good condition throughout, with a fine beeswax finish.

This is the classic weapon that won the Napoleonic Wars for Britain, both in Spain and at Waterloo. I would stress that the reason this weapon is in such good shape is that it is a Volunteer example, not having any Board of Ordnance stamps either on the barrel, lock or stock. The Volunteer weapons survived in invariably better shape than those used by the line regiments simply on account of having better treatment, armourers always being on hand to maintain the weapons carefully, unlike those which saw service in the field, which tend to show far more wear and tear.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Firearms : Flintlock Longarms : British : 18th Century]


I wanted to thank you for the perfect service that you did selling and packing the swords. Everything worked perfect. At the airport I had no troubles at all, the airline took the package without been astonished at all.

H S, Austria, 19.10.2007

I recieved the medal today and I am very pleased with the quality. It is in excellent condition, both the medal and the ribbon, for an original.

M T, UK, 30.11.2006