The 79th used two kinds of weapons. From the start of the war until 1863, the unit carried .69 caliber 1842 Springfields (  above left). These are available from most of the larger sutlers.  The 1842 Springfield is available in either smoothbore or rifled versions. Both are acceptable. The 1842 Springfield has metal springs to hold the barrel bands in place ( detail above right )

52From around Vicksburg in 1863 on, the unit carried 1853 Enfields ( right), British manufactured weapons in .577 caliber.  On the Enfield, the three barrel bands are secured by screws on the underside of the band.

While the original unit carried different weapons at different times, you only need to buy one. We certainly do not ask you to purchase two weapons, but of course if you choose to buy another weapon at some point in the future, that is up to you.
There are different weapon manufacturers out there, and the quality varies from maker to maker. As with any other purchase, please consult a member of the unit before buying. Armi-Sport and Euroarms, both out of Italy, are the two most common manufacturers. When purchasing a weapon, buy a bayonet with it. Bayonets are not one size fits all, so if you buy online, most sutlers will offer to send you a fitted bayonet at some extra cost. If buying at a reenactment, search through the available bayonets to find one for your weapon. Most bayonets today are manufactured overseas, also.  It is possible to locate American-made bayonets.

A sling ( made of leather ) is optional, and a matter of personal preference.

A  note about carrying an actual Civil War weapon ( called an “original” ).

Reenactor weapons can take a beating at events, and originals are simply too valuable to carry in the field. Buy a reproduction, you will be happier in the long run.

One thought on “Weapons

  1. It’s no surprise they carried Enfields after Vicksburg. Ironically, the Confederates were BETTTER armed than the Federals, so Grant ordered his men to exchange firearms once Vicksburg was captured. The 79th arrived there just after Vicksburg fell I believe, to reunite with W.T. Sherman, their former Brig. Gen. from the 1st Bull Run.

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