Collection Can I use this?


Aug 1, 2020
Hello! I've got a Connecticut valley arms bobcat .50 call rifle I was looking to see is I could use this in reenactments. (It is black not synthetic just painted wood but I was going to sand that off and refinish the wood) just looking to get opinions on it. The unit I'm with is the 2nd Kentucky infantry and they only use three band Enfield and can't use anything else but I'm just looking to see if everyone uses those. Or could independent reenactors(if that's a thing) could use anything?

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Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
May 7, 2016
Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie. Its out of my wheelhouse as I only deal with original items but I bet I can get you an answer. paging @captaindrew


Oct 18, 2016
South Jersey
the Confederate unit that i am in you can use pretty much any musket that was used back then. If your gun was lost or broken you would grab any gun that was lying on the ground and use it. you really didnt care just as long as its fires and there is bullets for it. Also, back then as true today most guys or gals have a favorite gun that they like to shoot no matter what. when you get enlisted and you bring along your favorite gun that you know it like the back of your hand and the capability of it too.


2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
May 4, 2015
Boonville, MO.
My guess is probably not unless you're doing a very early war impression, or you're acting like home guard troops. Early war or home guard troops had the possibility of using civilian weapons, but I think your chances are slim.


Sergeant Major
Nov 21, 2014
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're probably not going to be able to carry that particular rifle reenacting. First of all, there were very few civilian arms that made their way into the army after the initial "yippee let's all go to war like our ancestors did" enthusiasm wore off. Civilian guns are in a plethora of calibers, meaning that a unit will have ammunition resupply issues, so they were sometimes rebored to a standard caliber. This was expensive and time consuming and regular arms became available more quickly. 2) Civilian arms were hard to repair, given that they used non-standard parts. So once your mainspring broke, you were not using that gun again. 3) Civilian arms did not mount a bayonet, making them inadequate for military purposes. It may seem silly to us, but the ability to put a pointy thing on the end of the gun was a legitimate military concern when procuring arms. 4) That particular gun has a synthetic stock, which is in no way authentic to the 1860s time period. So, in a word, it's wrong. 5) It has been standard in reenacting for at least 40 years that Hawken or plains style longarms are not acceptable for use on the field at the majority of reenacting events. If your unit won't stop you from carrying it, the event staff will, and you will make your unit look bad. 6) That old "they used any old gun that was lying around" saw is a myth. Disregard it. The South never had serious problems procuring arms. Caps, lead, decent powder, yep - but if nothing else, the Federal government was a prime supplier of functional infantry arms. 7) Carry the rifle your unit recommends. The Enfield is a standard gun in reenacting. 8) Don't show up as a walk-on participant with a hunting gun. You will not be allowed to field and may simply be shown the door, an unhappy result all around.
I can see this is your first post, so I'm letting you down easy here. Just a word of warning: Your question: "I have this non-standard reproduction hunting gun; can I reenact with it?" has been used to troll Civil War reenacting fora for 20 years. I have answered you question assuming that you wanted a real, and compassionate answer. However, you would do well to surf older threads for a while and get an idea of what's being discussed, or has been discussed in the past. If you come back with "can I wear blue jeans?" or "can I wear this leather coat I found in SalVal?" you may not get as polite a response.


Jul 17, 2015
Having been a reenactor in the past, I'll venture to say most likely you will NOT be allowed with that gun into a reenactment.

Stay in close contact with the unit you want to reenact with and somebody will probably be able to hook you up with an acceptable gun until you get one.