Armory Bright?

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La Tiger

Private
Joined
Jul 3, 2015
Messages
38
Location
Louisiana
I've got an M1842 Rifled Musket on the way, and I was wondering what grit emery cloth would replicate the 19th-century armory bright finish? Thanks in advance.
 

Don Dixon

Corporal
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
443
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
Armory "bright" was not polished. It was simply "in the white" as the grinding and finishing wheels left the metal. Your reproduction - I hope it is a reproduction - M1842 is probably more polished from the Italian factory than an original U.S. weapons would have been from the armory. In the 1862 edition of his textbook on ordnance and gunnery for U.S. Military Academy cadets, Captain Benton wrote about the Federal Army’s standards for cleaning and maintaining a rifle musket or musket. He observed that French Army testing had indicated that small arms barrels could withstand 25,000 discharges without becoming unserviceable. With good care the life expectancy for a military firearm should be approximately 50 years. The crucial issue was proper care by the soldier, which, of course, required effective training and supervision by his non-commissioned officers and officers. Benton wrote that “The practice of supporting the barrel at each end, and rubbing it with a strap, buffstick, ramrod, or any other instrument, to burnish it, is pernicious, and should be strictly forbidden.” But that is exactly what many Civil War noncommissioned officers and officers required their troops to do. Polish was more important than functionality. [emphasis in original] (Benton, Ordnance and Gunnery, 334 and 339)

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
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