One of the most common questions the 95thRLHS get asked concerns the availability and cost of that most essential item of equipment – the British Infantry Rifle (aka Baker Rifle).
There are a number of suppliers in the UK, for example:
All of the weapons available are essentially smooth bore shotguns (including the Baker Rifle) and are fired using a charge of black powder.
Therefore, in order to own one and use it as a working re-enactment piece, you must:
1. be over 16 years of age;
2. possess a current Shotgun Licence;
3. possess an Explosives (Acquire Only) Certificate.
In addition the weapon will need to be kept secure when not in use. The Firearms Officer of your local Police Authority will advise on the level of physical and/or alarm protections that you may need to put in place during the Shotgun Licence interview.
NOTE: that genuine, rifled weapons and all pistols (whether smooth bore or otherwise), require a Firearms Licence and accordingly the possession of such items is subject to much stricter control here in the UK.
Cost varies according to the supplier used and also as a factor of the quality and demand for the weapon in question. A basic quality Baker Rifle will run to over £450+.
The French Charleville musket, 1776 pattern, will cost around £400+ and if you seek a high quality weapon, such as those manufactured by ‘Pedersoli’, then prices start at around the £800 mark.
If you decide to buy a rifle there can be a considerable waiting time before your prized possession actually reaches you. So if you are planning to take an active part at events, it’s best to allow a 6 month lead in time for the weapon to pass through the hands of the manufacturer, shipping company, import agent and proofing office etc.
However, the wait is well worth it and you will be handsomely repaid the very first time you get to fire your rifle for real.
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