The article is about Second Amendment Sanctuaries in Virginia. But what really caught my eye was the part where, referring to the formation of local militias, Founding Father George Mason was quoted.
“Threat’ned with the Destruction of our Civil-rights, & Liberty,” wrote George Mason, the volunteers pledged that “we will, each of us, constantly keep by us” a musket, six pounds of gunpowder, and 20 pounds of lead.”
Not being a reloader myself, I wondered what that specified amount of lead and powder would translate into in today’s average AR “Modern Musket” round.
Using my Google-fu, I found a conversion that said there are 7000 grains in 1 pound. So 20 pounds of lead would give you 2545-ish rounds of .223 projectiles. That’s about 85 full magazines at 30 rounds per, if my math is right.
For a 62 grain 5.56 round, twenty pounds of lead would give you 2258-ish rounds – enough to fill about 75 30-round magazines.
Even recognizing the fact that a colonial lead ball was much larger than today’s lead projectiles (averaging 490 grains in this article), 20 pounds of lead still gets you 285 musket balls. At an average rate of fire of 4 rounds a minute, that’s well over an hour of sustained fire.
I’ve never been in the military, but that doesn’t sound like a bear hunt to me – that sounds like a shootin’ war. Or at least a medium size skirmish. With such stores required of the average volunteer militia man, it seems patently obvious that the Second Amendment wasn’t crafted for “hunting” – it was crafted to keep firearms and sufficient ammunition for a battle in the hands of The People.
So now that we have a means of comparison to the colonial militias – how many of us have that kind of ammo on hand? I have *mumble mumble* thousand, but I think I need to step up my game a bit. Given that I also own *mumble mumble* AR platform rifle(s), I think I need to step up my magazine game too.
And for the spectators in the peanut gallery getting the vapors – NO- I do not “plan on shooting anyone”. I’m playing “what-if” games with myself – that’s ALL. Kindly stuff your red flag plans for me, mmkay?
I enjoy mentally placing myself into historical settings to see how I think I might do. Heck, I’m even in the early stages of hand-sewing myself an 18th century outfit as a woman of the Virginia/Pennsylvania frontier might have dressed. So it’s nothing unusual for me to imagine what I would do if the Revolutionary War were “today” instead.
I don’t imagine I’d be a Deborah Sampson type, but I don’t think it would be a stretch for me to defend my homestead with my own musket, feed the militia from my own kitchen, (since women couldn’t be in the militia) and/or help to staff a medical aid station.
Except today – instead of stays, a shift, a musket, bandages and herbs, I’d have body armor, tac pants, an AR, and IFAKs.
The Founders knew exactly what they were doing. The rights and needs stay the same, it’s just the equipment that changes. Herbs and torn linens get replaced with tourniquets and hemostatic gauze. Twenty pounds of lead gets replaced with 75 thirty-round magazines of 5.56, and the Minuteman’s musket gets replaced with a semi-automatic rifle. (Only because most of us can’t have select-fire. Gee thanks, NFA).
The Founders crafted the wording of the Second Amendment very carefully. They knew that times change and so does equipment. The rights (and thus the need for self defense) stays the same. They knew that we might need to defend ourselves from our own government, and they reinforced our ability to do so.
So ya hear that, Virginians? (And the rest of us, too) You better get shopping cuz you need at least 75 thirty-round magazines worth of ammo ready. George Mason said so.
[Editor’s Note: Having 75 Mags in a duffel/ready bag with batteries, IFAK replacements, and water is precisely the type of resupply tactic that would make sense to sustain a squad. As magazines and supplies on the body get used, feed from the bag. It’s also heavy, hit the gym. But as for the current efforts in Virginia, it is suit and tie time folks, not rifle and ready bag.]