Potential New Recruit

Discussion forum about joining the 2nd Battalion 95th Rifles, ask your questions here!

Potential New Recruit

Northants Mick
Forum Recruit
Joined: 01 Oct 2017, 08:19

02 Oct 2017, 17:32 #1

I’m really quite excited! I’ve just emailed my interest in joining and am eagerly looking forward to hearing more details. I’ve been reading about the Peninsular War for a couple of years now and already have a small library built up, but being part of a re-enacting group I hope will give a much better insight into what it actually like to have been one of Wellington’s soldiers.

I’ve seen you guys and other re-enactment regiments in action a few times over the years at various displays (English Heritage’s History in Action weekends for example) but have to admit to being a little naive. I didn’t realise for example that your weapons were actually real and needed a shotgun certificate. I foolishly thought you just fired gunpowder to make noise and smoke without realising the rifles could actually fire ammunition as well.

I was in the territorial’s about 30 years ago during the cold war and joke to friends it was so long ago that we practically used muskets. I just hope you guys don’t have to ‘bull’ your boots to the standard we used to have to.

If I’m honest the one thing that is putting me off is the cost of all the equipment needed although that of course is also part of the appeal and I am heartened by comments ion this forum and the website explaining that hopefully it doesn’t all have to be purchased on day one.

Anyway, I thought I’d just briefly introduce myself and look forward to next step and hope to chat some more before planning for the initial training weekend which I understand is the first step for a potential new recruit.
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Paul Durrant
Site Admin
Joined: 04 Jun 2007, 20:42

06 Oct 2017, 17:44 #2

Northants Mick wrote: I’m really quite excited! I’ve just emailed my interest in joining and am eagerly looking forward to hearing more details. I’ve been reading about the Peninsular War for a couple of years now and already have a small library built up, but being part of a re-enacting group I hope will give a much better insight into what it actually like to have been one of Wellington’s soldiers.

I’ve seen you guys and other re-enactment regiments in action a few times over the years at various displays (English Heritage’s History in Action weekends for example) but have to admit to being a little naive. I didn’t realise for example that your weapons were actually real and needed a shotgun certificate. I foolishly thought you just fired gunpowder to make noise and smoke without realising the rifles could actually fire ammunition as well.

I was in the territorial’s about 30 years ago during the cold war and joke to friends it was so long ago that we practically used muskets. I just hope you guys don’t have to ‘bull’ your boots to the standard we used to have to.

If I’m honest the one thing that is putting me off is the cost of all the equipment needed although that of course is also part of the appeal and I am heartened by comments ion this forum and the website explaining that hopefully it doesn’t all have to be purchased on day one.

Anyway, I thought I’d just briefly introduce myself and look forward to next step and hope to chat some more before planning for the initial training weekend which I understand is the first step for a potential new recruit.
Hi Mick,

Great to hear from you. Yes, we'd be lying if we said it wasn't an expensive hobby. However, the way we work it is that you build up your kit gradually and as your training takes time, this allows for the cost to be spread out. Not only that, but you will end up having kit that, through tireless research, is as close to the original articles as possible.

The biggest initial outlay will be the weapon itself: be prepared to pay upwards of £500 (not inc licence) unless a second hand one comes along.

All that aside though, once you have your kit together, it will last you a lifetime!
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Northants Mick
Forum Recruit
Joined: 01 Oct 2017, 08:19

08 Oct 2017, 17:29 #3

Hi Paul, thanks for taking the trouble to reply. You haven’t put me off although since I first posted I’ve been thinking more and more about the weapon, because one of my main motivations is to try to get some insight into the day to day life of a soldier from the period. I realise that re-enacting will never be anything like real life, but loading and taking care of the weapon, changing flints in the cold and the rain, visibility being affected by smoke etc. is all part of that so while I’m not really into guns per se, I’ve spent some time looking at you tube clips about the Baker rifle and have also started quickly looking at places that may sell them. I have seen prices mentioned anywhere from £400 to £4,000 for a replica and seen that you can get smooth bore versions (shotgun license) or properly rifled (firearms certificate). Presumably 90% of the time this doesn’t make the slightest difference as you’re not actually firing anything, but as there is a shooting range not too far from me, although I’ve no idea about their facilities or membership, even though I've never previously been into guns or shooting (except with the TA back in the day)  I thought it might be worth actually getting a rifled version because that would obviously give a better idea of what it was really like for the 95th, although I guess once over in the Peninsular, recruits didn’t get a lot of target practice (or did they?). I guess a rifled barrel would be a lot more expensive than a smooth bore but then am also thinking that might be cheaper than getting a smooth bore but then a year or so later thinking I might want to upgrade what do mist others use?. I also read on the forum about being able to extra permission under the shotgun license to take it aboard for events, although I assume there are all kinds of restrictions about how it is transported, is it any harder to take a rifled version under  a full firearms certificate?
 
PS it’s been about a week or so and I don’t seem to have had any response to my original email from the website about joining.
 
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Paul Durrant
Site Admin
Joined: 04 Jun 2007, 20:42

08 Oct 2017, 18:07 #4

Sorry you haven't heard from Recruitment. I'll shake him and see if he's still alive.

That's some of the reasons I joined this re-enactment group. I wanted to know about the daily life and minutiae of a Rifleman in Wellington's army.

We all use smoothbore as we rarely fire live. I think one of our members has a rifled barrel and one has two barrels that he can switch should he want to fire rifled (I believe that's up for sale).

When you apply for a licence I think a European passport is now included. Ask for one anyway (no extra cost). Sometimes it's easy to travel with them (ferries aren't too bad), airlines are more difficult but you just need to follow their rules to the letter.

Most of the re-eanctment weapons are made in India and imported to suppliers here in Europe and the US. They're the ones in the £450-500 bracket. The ones in the thousands are probably home grown from the likes of Peter Dyson (or from the states, The Rifle Shoppe). These are far more authentic, and come with accurate reproduced features and walnut stocks. Worth it if you have the money. Until the value of the Euro went rocketing, it was worth buying one from a French company called Armae who were slightly cheaper than UK but also included the sword in the price. You can then get it drilled and proofed over here. Sadly now probably not worth it with the exchange rate... 

Anyway, some food for thought, I hope...
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Northants Mick
Forum Recruit
Joined: 01 Oct 2017, 08:19

08 Oct 2017, 18:53 #5

Very useful, thanks. Clearly buying a weapon and learning how to maintain it will be a big decision and hopefully not one I need to think about too much yet and only after I've come along and met you guys in person a couple of times and had more chance to pick your brains.
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GaryB
Forum Recruit
Joined: 09 Jul 2017, 20:22

09 Oct 2017, 12:46 #6

Hi Mick,

I was in your position six months ago and I am currently working through my recruit training. If you proceed with your application and you are accepted into the group you will not regret it. They are a great bunch, very knowledgeable and most of all very friendly.

Gary
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