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Mercian Pete

Blank Firers

I am a total Newbie to this forum and should say "hello" to 2/95 members before anything else. I have been in email and telephone contact with Paul and others for a couple of months now and will be coming to spend the weekend with you at Spetchley in two weeks time.

I've been following a few of the re-enactors Facebook pages and I see that some members of 2/95 attended the show at Newton Regis to assist Re-enactment Supples display their blank firing rifles and muskets.

I should wait until I see you to ask, but I am intrigued. What did you think? I like the idea that they are handmade in England rather than being foreign imports whilst the notion of not having to go through all the pantomime of applying for a shotgun certificate is equally attractive. Not to mention the fact that they could be used in different locations without thinking through firearms legislation too deeply. Last of all, I am guessing that they do away
with all danger of negligently firing your ramrod at fellow re-enactors?

Is all of that outweighed by any negatives? (I don't intend to start acquisition of anything until I have met up with you and done enough to be accepted as a member!)

I'd enjoy hearing what your re-actions were.

Pete W
Paul Durrant

Hi Pete, nice to see you on the forum. All welcome!

I'm glad you've brought up the subject of 'Re-enactment Supplies'. Their name has just recently cropped up in conversation...

Before we discuss blank firers can we just point out that the photograph of us on the webpage of 'Re-enactment Supplies' is not us firing blank-firers and we do not support this company by any means (known to me at least!). A bit naughty them using it like so.

Regarding these blank firers, where to start? They are..what's the word... er, horrible? They look to me like oversized toys basically. Glorified cap-guns if their video is anything to go by.

They may do away with the need for the long wait for a shotgun licence but they also do away with the experience of firing with black powder: of biting the end of a cartridge, of spitting out the paper, of priming, loading ramming, aiming, waiting for the yell of command perhaps, then the trigger squeeze (hoping the flint will spark!)... then that moment of satisfaction when you see the pan erupt and the muzzle spout smoke and flame!

Speaking for myself, it's not what battle re-enactment is about. We try to get as close to the experience of a Rifleman as the 21st Century allows us to and as far as firing in the field goes, the only thing missing is the ball (and the subsequent slaughter of course!).

As for accidents (firing ramrod, etc) - we train ourselves up and follow a strict safety protocol that hopefully will never result in such things happening.

I think that, when you come over to Spetchley, you'll understand.

Look forward to seeing you.
Mercian Pete

Cheers Paul. I was just fascinated and have loads of questions for when I meet up with you all.

Your answer doesn't surprise me and even on YouTube etc I think I can discern the difference in sound etc. I like your description of "what it's all about". To be honest I just want to get on with it having waited quite a long time!

I'm looking forward to Spetchley very much.

Paul Durrant

Loads of questions are good! We like!

As for 'getting on with it', we quite understand. However, our process of getting you trained up and uniform made, etc will cover the time it takes to invest in your weapon. But there's nothing to stop you from getting the ball rolling and applying now for your shotgun certificate. You'll need it regardless of what group you join.

Hello Pete
Welcome to the Forum and hopefully we'll see you at Spetchley.

I think Paul has very tactfully given you an answer - it is indeed often a long process sorting gun licences but as Paul also says there is wait involved anyway while kit is made specially for you - there's not very much you can buy off the peg!
Like the old saying  "If its worth doing its worth doing well" and that is what we aspire to.
John Waller

While the conversion to blank fire may be done in the UK I'm pretty sure all his guns are indian made imports. Only really useful for stage use or if you have been a very naughty boy in the past. Expensive as well 537.99 for a b/f rifle and you would need to buy your own blanks at 20-25 for a box of 50. You would get through more than that most battle weekends.

Hi Pete and welcome to our forum. I think Paul D has covered the issue of blank firers pretty well, I would have been a lot more colourful about it. LOL.

I look forwards to meeting you at Spetchley and taking you through the process of firing a black powder weapon.

Serjt Dave {one of the evil twins}.
Mercian Pete

Thanks everyone.

See you next week.


I think they look and sound shite,but hey what do I know

most dischuffed with them using our image on their website as well!!!!

Mercian Pete

I am grateful for everyone's insight into the blank firer thing.

I have my warning orders for Spetchley now and will see you there on the Friday afternoon. I think I am beginning to understand 2/95's approach to being a quality living history group and appreciate that things won't happen overnight and I am very content with that. I can see why attention to detail is important and personally, I like that approach. I currently work in a National Trust property where the curator takes a very similar,professional attitude to things (and which, by the way could form a fantastic backdrop to a re-enactment event at some point!). I'm just excited at the prospect of joining in which is the bit I want to "get on with"  


I have emailed the site in question and he did agree to saying that the photograph contained none of his own stuff, however, upon entering the site I note that nothing has changed.

E-mailed him again to reiterate the point.

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