Dear Les,

Thank you for your helpful reply to my question. That gives me a starting
place to do some research. Since I am considering having this hypothetical
firearm kill my protagonists, I should know what it is and how it works.
lest I create an unrealistic death scene! My characters should pick
themselves off the page and scold me in that instance. "How do you expect
me to die, when you shoot me with a gun that hasn't been invented yet!"

The precise year would be 1813; the proposed murderer would be a well
established landowner of a fairly large holding located in the town of
Bethlehem, just across the Normanskill from the city of Albany. He'd be the
current head of household of this multi-generational old Dutch family.
If you were heading out of your Dutch farmhouse in 1813 thinking it
possible you will have to shoot a man, what would you shoot him with?

Susan D. Rosenberg, M.D.
aspiring writer of historical fiction

In a message dated 12/31/03 8:08:14 AM Pacific Standard Time, LesJaneB

The time period you are researching is nearing the end of the flintlock
period, however, you are still in the flintlock time frame. Many homes
would have had the "left overs" from the Revolution which would typically
have been capture "Brown Bess" British muskets. There were a number
of "contract musket" makers spread across New England and New York. These
were American produced muskets and there would have been a number of them
as Revolution left overs. Many folks would have had "fowling pieces," which
were basically shotguns used for hunting birds, but many could also
withstand the discharge of a solid ball for deer, bear etc.

If you give us a particular time and place we might be able to supply the
name of a contemporary local gun maker who could have supplied your

Hope this helps. Les Buell

P.S. Steve or Jim, you may have more to say on this topic then I do. Les