Flintlock .78 inch Musket, Long Land Pattern, 1742 (c)
The Long Land Pattern, commonly called the 'Brown Bess', was the standard British Army musket for most of the eighteenth century. As most male citizens of the American colonies were required to own a musket for militia duty, weapons like this would have been in common use on both sides during the American War of Independence (1775-1783). The Brown Bess weighed about five kilograms and fired a ball weighing about 40g. It had an effective range of about 80m. Muskets were most effective when they were fired in volleys (large numbers of men all firing at the same time).
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers