Last of the Mohicans, The
The Last of the Mohicans is the 1992 historical war drama based on the classic James Fenimore Cooper novel of the same name and a 1936 feature film adaptation. Directed by Michael Mann, this historical epic tells the story of Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Poe, the adopted son of Huron Indians, who is caught in the conflict between the French and the British in North America during the French and Indian War of 1757.
The character of "Nathaniel Poe" was not named as such in the original book, and is a modern construct from the original character of "Natty Bumppo", whose name did not seem so strange to the audiences of the author's time. The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Poe, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig, Johdi May, Steven Waddington, and Wes Studi.
The following weapons were used in the film The Last of the Mohicans:
Pennsylvania Flintlock Rifle
The rifle used by Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis) is the Pennsylvania Flintlock Rifle. The long rifle was developed from the German Jaeger Rifle which eventually evolved into the Pennsylvania rifle by lengthening the barrel, slimming the stock and downsizing the caliber (the original Jaegers were designed to hunt boars and were .62 caliber!).
Brown Bess Flintlock Musket
The Brown Bess appears as the standard flintlock musket of the British army as well as the French. Always seen with a bayonet. The Huron and the Mohicans use them as well, most notably Magua (Wes Studi). The French army would have actually been armed with Charleville muskets, made in France. The French soldiers in the movie may have used Brown Besses, but they did not do so during the Seven Years War (F & I War, in the Americas).
Other flintlock muskets featured in the film were firearms known as "Trade Guns", a lesser quality flintlock that had fewer parts and less craftsmanship, developed specifically for trade with the Indians (i.e. they let the 'locals' get the more cheaply made muskets). They were issued to the Colonists volunteers to represent 'private purchase' weapons of the civilians. The Trade muskets were issued to Indians allied to the British Army as they were the 18th century equivalent of 'lend lease' to friendly Indian tribes. The muskets seen below were used in the production and were real firing muskets (modern replicas) of civilian muskets. In addition, rubber versions were used by extras and stuntmen for the many battle scenes requiring the weapons to be swung at each other. According to MPM2008 (who graciously provided these images), over 400 Brown Bess muskets were destroyed during the production. Chingachgook (Russell Means) and Uncas (Eric Schweig) both carry these muskets in the film.
All of the British officers, most notably Maj. Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington), use Flintlock Pistols as their sidearm. Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) takes a Flintlock pistol from an officer when they are attacked and later uses it to defend herself against the Huron.
Flintlock Grenade Launcher
A British soldier led by Maj. Heyward, is shown firing what appears to be a flintlock Grenade Launcher. These launchers were usually a Brown Bess Muskets with attachments which were cup shaped to fire grenades. He is seen firing the weapon into the air using it like a mortar.