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Login Name Post: Sources for a Trade Gun        (Topic#305651)
PhilRich 
32 Cal.
Posts: 6
12-13-17 12:27 AM - Post#1656578    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

Does anyone here have any experience with the Gun Works guns? The NW Trade Gun is about $600 cheaper than their other offerings, the difference would be in fit and finish and not in the lock and barrel?

 
Trot 
45 Cal.
Posts: 699
12-13-17 03:32 AM - Post#1656580    

    In response to PhilRich

No experience whatsoever, but it has a Siler lock. An excellent lock, but completely wrong for a trade gun.

 
Rich Pierce 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4074
12-13-17 10:01 AM - Post#1656632    

    In response to Trot

To make a proper trade gun is expensive. To make a smoothbore that is like a trade gun is less expensive.

trade guns should have walnut or beech stocks depending on which originals we are copying. For a decent precarved stock, $200.

Round faced English locks for most of them, no bridle. $175. Or a correct French lock.

Very slender, lightweight octagon to round barrels, very thin at muzzle. $250 custom barrel.

Small parts including guard, trigger, bolts, sideplate, underlug, thimbles and sight, buttplate, ramrod, plus finishing materials $100.

I think that’s $725 in parts.

To save money ppl will use plain maple stocks, off brand Siler locks, and heavy no name barrels, often not tapered. Sometimes made of tubing. This results in a smoothbore gun that looks like a trade gun from 50 feet but feels nothing like a 5.5-6.5 pound trade gun. Still fun to shoot.

Edited by Rich Pierce on 12-13-17 10:07 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
DickS 
40 Cal.
Posts: 164
12-13-17 10:17 AM - Post#1656635    

    In response to Rich Pierce

If we are referring to trade guns as being light muskets with cast brass serpent side plates as marketed 1780 - 1880s there are numerous variants, depending on who ordered them, who made them, where they were to be sold, etc.
Unless a close copy of an existing piece is being made, most modern reproductions are generic. A piece could be made to be appropriate for a particular decade or two.
The characteristics in the previous post are an excellent summary of what should be incorporated.
There are parts available that work well. For some variants, there is no ready supply. The late double throated round tail HBC lock hasn't been reproduced. If you want to make a repro of the late percussion gun, you're on your own.

 
Smokey Plainsman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 671
12-13-17 04:59 PM - Post#1656696    

    In response to Rich Pierce

So the Pedersoli apparantly weighs about 6 lbs. Here is a review from Murphy's Muskets:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJFl83iI0FQ

Seems pretty good to me. But it's not historically correct? He modified his serpent plate to make it look like the originals.

Were Indian trade guns all the same exact model with the same features, or are their variations?

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6514
tenngun
12-13-17 05:27 PM - Post#1656700    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

Depended on the time. The Dutch French English and Americans all made trade guns or some were sub contracted to Belgium companies. Over the years they changed a lot. After the F&I war the English were the prime supplies and the guns were standardized. The guns made in Belgium were made to English standards. After the revolution America makers also made trade guns in the English pattern. They copied the English version as close as they could, down to English proofs. American,Belgium and English guns can all be laid in a group and it’s hard to pick one from the other.There was some little variation of the side plate but only in length and thickness.
They did make a ‘chiefs gun’ that looked more like a civilian fowling piece. The stock was more graceful it had a silver thumb piece on the wrist and the trigger guard was smaller. They also came in different barrel lengths from 31 to 42 inches.
The Pedi gun is close, but the dragon side plate or more correctly sea serpent side plate is a modern piece unlike what was used in the past. I don’t know how much trouble it would be to fit a proper side plate on.

Edited by tenngun on 12-13-17 05:31 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Wes/Tex 
Cannon
Posts: 7702
Wes/Tex
12-13-17 06:30 PM - Post#1656712    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

Ask Britsmoothy. He's got one and did a couple things to his...don't recall all but he's pretty happy with his. OK...not 100% authentic but if you're a shooter, so what!

 
Smokey Plainsman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 671
12-13-17 07:17 PM - Post#1656719    

    In response to Wes/Tex

Nice, thank you. Murphy from Murphy's Muskets modified his serpent to make it look more like the originals. I'd do that too.

Seems it'd be real fun with round ball. My Pedersoli smoothbore Harpers Ferry pistol is really nice, always have wanted a smoothbore long gun. I've thought about an M1842 musket but want to explore flintlocks and the Indian trade guns seems great since they're light and handy. And of course it can shoot shot like a modern cylinder choked 20 gauge.

 
Wes/Tex 
Cannon
Posts: 7702
Wes/Tex
12-13-17 09:27 PM - Post#1656741    

    In response to Trot

  • Trot Said:
No experience whatsoever, but it has a Siler lock. An excellent lock, but completely wrong for a trade gun.


There's a kit for the Queen Anne lock all ready to put together.

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6514
tenngun
12-14-17 10:00 PM - Post#1656952    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

The pedis I have seen are fine looking guns and are close to true NWG. They are far from perfect but have the form and function of the most HC ones. 99% of the time you can’t tell one from the other.
However if you are investing the money you can get a more correct gun for about the same price.
Mine has a plain maple stock, walnut was what was used in the old days. I have seen some with fine tiger striped wood, something that was not used back then. Many people get them browned when blue is the correct color. Ect ect. None of us have a perfect copy, we just all have to pick how much change we are willing to live with. The pedi will give you fine service.

 
Smokey Plainsman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 671
12-14-17 11:27 PM - Post#1656959    

    In response to tenngun

Thanks! Wow the originals were blued? I thought that wasn't a thing until the 19th century... interesting.

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6514
tenngun
12-15-17 02:18 AM - Post#1656966    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

Blueing goes back at least till the middle ages. French and dutch guns were often in the white. Guns were browned in the old days, but most of the brown we see on old guns today is patina, a nice way to say rusted.
Blueing was a cold blue. It went on as an acid and would produce a brown rusty finish after a week or so. then boiling water was poured on turning it a blue black.

 
Rich Pierce 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4074
12-15-17 06:32 AM - Post#1656985    

    In response to tenngun

While correct that a proper bluing is done by browning and boiling, on cheap trade guns, the very cheapest guns available, fire bluing is widely believed to have been the method used.

 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6029
Loyalist Dave
12-15-17 08:37 AM - Post#1657010    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

  • Quote:
Seems pretty good to me. But it's not historically correct? He modified his serpent plate to make it look like the originals.



The Pedersoli is a quasi-Northwest Trade gun. I own one, and compared to what I think they based their gun upon, a NW Trade Gun similar to this one, it's not too bad.

I own one and it shoots well, BUT the ramrod thimbles were improperly installed in the stock, and tore out (pins should have been installed a bit deeper). The Lott lock has an oddly hardened frizzen..., you can seen the line formed when they quenched it..., but it sparks OK, yet they color case hardened the lock. Typical of Pedersoli, they placed a wood screw in the lock plate in front of the frizzen spring bend..., I guess they worry that the owner will lose the lock screw and this helps keep from losing the lock itself? (they do the same thing on the Frontier rifle).

I swapped out the trigger guard for a brass, fowler guard, and the side plate for something more toward the lines of a "neat fuzee" instead of a post 1800 trade gun..., just cosmetics for the living history that I do.

You can understand why they use two screws instead of the more common nails in the butt plate. Can you imagine the loss in damage to the butt stocks during production anytime one of those nails diverted during installation of the butt plate, even when using pre-drilled holes?

LD


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 13317
Rifleman1776
12-15-17 09:31 AM - Post#1657024    

    In response to Rich Pierce

  • Rich Pierce Said:
While correct that a proper bluing is done by browning and boiling, on cheap trade guns, the very cheapest guns available, fire bluing is widely believed to have been the method used.



I believe fire bluing is what John Braxton used on his incredible Jaegers. However he did it, the bluing was so beautiful and 'deep' it looked like you could reach your arm down into it. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse to build one for me. I refused. And regret it to this day, some 40 years later.

 
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