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jagerfury

Cost of shot and powder?

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I can’t find it anywhere listed in the Renaissance or the clockwork and chivalry book. how much does powder cost per pound? how many shots do you get out of a pound of powder? how much does lead shot cost?

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I have had a think about this today (lol!). Then I looked at my notes and a few online guides, and poked around the museum I was in.

I reckon the gunner kit would come with a fair chunk of lead and powder - maybe enough for 30+ balls? Otherwise, a bandolier with 15 measured containers of powder (with grain sizes balanced between fine and coarse) would come in at 20-22d - but, note, that's with the bandolier. 

Powder weight should roughly equal the weight of the ball if the powder is not very good, down to half if it is good powder.

I reckon 12 bullets to the pound of lead for a musket, 24 for a pistol. I'm still researching - but I have found that powder was sold during the ECW for £4-£5 12s a barrel and round shot £12-13 a ton - but that's in bulk to the belligerents.

So I can answer your how many shots per pound of powder question, using the above formula (between 12-24 musket balls, and 24-48 pistol balls), but haven't done the math for the pound of powder price. But, if you aren't being issued it, lets say a shilling or two, if you're lucky - but a lot more if the vendor can get away with it, arguing scarcity "because of the war" and with good reason - and with varied quality on offer, depending on the vendor's honesty and availability. For a shilling, I'm guessing it might be a bit lacking in punch! I haven't got the lead price per pound yet (it's late, so I'm not doing the math this minute!).

But these are my best guesses, not definitive answers.

Edited by doomedpc
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Bear in mind, for combatants in the war the cost would be covered by the "owner" of the regiment. Outside the main armed camps, while gentlemen might be used to buying fancy guns (although they would usually just carry around their sword instead), most others wouldn't have done so before the outbreak of hostilities (unless they were ex-mercenaries, or somesuch).

Edited by doomedpc
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6 minutes ago, doomedpc said:

Bear in mind, for combatants the cost would be covered by the "owner" of the regiment. Outside the main armed camps, while gentlemen might be used to buying guns (although they would usually carry around their sword instead), most others wouldn't.

Understood, but when your PC's are now operating as secret agents on detached duty getting restocked with powder and bullets becomes an adventure in itself. And funding your clandestine operations becomes another important adventure point. So I want to be relatively accurate when I bleed the PC's dry of their shillings!  😈

Edited by jagerfury
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I guess they could ask Captain Rydley to hook them up but I think they already promised him they weren't going to cause any trouble in King's Lynn.

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In the civil war period, at least the regimental commanders would have provided kit. You don't have to go to far forward to find the regular army didn't! The bullets and weapons were about all you got free then, most of the rest of your kit would be paid for out of your "bounty" (the amount you were promised when you joined) and/or pay!

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Oh, no, I think it is very fair to say such things are scarce and to use getting them as a hook ("everything has been requisitioned!"). Lots of people held back munitions too - I think Rupert burnt down Birmingham on his retreat north, because they wouldn't sell him weapons (they hid them) on his progress south. I can imagine a pre-war purveyor to gentlemen, a smuggler, or the like, being the only means in a pinch!

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1 minute ago, doomedpc said:

Tell Talon they cost squillions!

He keeps on trying to play the "but I'm a noble!" card. Claiming plenty of wealth. I counter with, "You're a Frenchman in England, something went terribly wrong back on the continent..." 😮

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I'm over-generalising here, but a Frenchman in England should (by the rules of etiquette, which not everyone follows!) be offered courtesy by other nobles - while being treated with suspicion and as fair game by any non-nobles!

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From a colonial perspective, I have a book entitled "Guns on the Early Frontiers" by Carl Russell that describes the Dutch trade with the Mohawk Indians in the first half of the 17th century, despite a law in New Netherlands that carried the death penalty for selling firearms to Indians.  It cost 20 beavers for one gun and about 10-12 guilders for a pound of gunpowder.  A guilder was about the modern equivalent of 4 USD, Russell says.  So, if you don't have $40-50 in your wallet, your characters might have to "give a dam" at checkout for their gunpowder.  

Edited by Julich1610
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Of course, the book was written in 1957, so a dollar in 1957 would be worth  $8.93 today.  With a cost of $90 - $100 or more in today's dollars, the beaver pelts become a more attractive alternative at checkout.

Edited by Julich1610
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According to Thomas Poggel, Verschossene Bleikugeln - Historische Facetten einer archäologischen Fundgattung, in:  Concilium medii aevi 19 (2016), pp. 87-100 the weight of shots differs according to the time period (and weapon used) (the pounds here are metric pounds = 500 g):

before 1618:

Harquebus ca. 8 shots/ pound; ca 58-63 g/ shot

Arquebus:  ca 17 shots/ pound; 27-29 g/ shot

Musket: ca 11 shots/ pound; ca. 42-45 g/ shot

after 1618:

Musket: ca 17 shots/ pound, 27-29 g/ shot (a French musket used shots in the range of 23-25 g/ shot or 20 shots/ pound in 1666).

Wilhelm Dilich (1571-1650) calculated 100 pounds/ 50 kg of lead per musketeer per year, That would mean around 2000 rounds per soldier and year.

Regarding powder:

It seems that, depending on the used shot the powder in a prepared bandoleer was bewteen 15-20 gr. Multiply that with the shots and you need between 30  to 40 kg (or 132 to 176 Imperial pounds).

Unfortunately, I cannot find any prices for powder or shot.

Zei
Edited by Der Rote Baron
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On 6/25/2018 at 1:26 AM, jagerfury said:

Understood, but when your PC's are now operating as secret agents on detached duty getting restocked with powder and bullets becomes an adventure in itself. And funding your clandestine operations becomes another important adventure point. So I want to be relatively accurate when I bleed the PC's dry of their shillings!  😈

"Bleed the P.C's dry!" steady on old boy, the Doctor is still trying to pay off his blasted University fees you know. And getting all those pamphlets printed up informing the godly folk of his modest and yet oh so heroic adventures cost a pretty penny I can tell you. So if anyone knows where a brave party of adventures could pick up some cheap black powder with no questions asked we would be most grateful. 

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