One of the widely used and almost as widely misunderstood popular names given to a group of firearms is "Committee of Safety Musket". As it has come to be used in many circles today, it might mean any American-made musket of the Revolutionary War period. This is far from accurate usage. Many muskets were made in the

Colonies at that time which had absolutely no

connection with any of the various committees or councils of safety. On the other hand, many of the muskets purchased and issued by the committees of safety were foreign arms or nondescript weapons of other periods picked up wherever they could be found.

Thus, if the term is to be used in a pure sense to designate a group of arms, it can only refer to that small number of muskets made by American gunsmiths directly under contract to the committees and councils of safety and following their specifications. These muskets were few in number and made for only a short period. The first committee contracts were let in the late spring and early summer of 1775. after the battles of Concord and Lexington had already taken place. Then, as soon as new state constitutions were written and formal governments established, the committees and councils of safety were disbanded and their functions taken over by other bodies.

During the short period of their lives, however, the committees did establish specifications for the guns to be made for them, and thus it is possible to know what such a musket looked like. Such specifications still exist from almost every colony.

and thev are remarkably unanimous. Muskets were

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