Are the Military Heritage brown besses any good?

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Juice Jaws

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So a I've been thinking about getting a brown bess. I've looked at a couple websites for prices and the Military Heritage 1st model brown bess(with the end nose cap) is 549.00 USD.
Model number MTS 008B Long Land (1st model) Brown Bess
Musket. What do you guys think?
We all have our money limits, but you will never be happy with a cheap gun. I would not buy a India made gun.
 

FlinterNick

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The Indian guns are just very cheap for a reason, they're poor quality. The locks are very chunky and over polished and the barrels on many are unusable due to flaws in bore and improperly turned breech plugs.

However I've seen some that are very good.

Many folks buy them and invest in a good defarb, however you'll be spending almost $500 for a Indian made musket defrab, by the time your done spending on you might as well have purchased a custom made gun.

The stocks are made of teakwood too, it doesn't take stain very well and its brittle.
 

RAEDWALD

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A Pedersoli Brown Bess is @$1400. An Indian Brown Bess is @$600. You get the quality you pay for. They both pass proof tests in Europe with no problem so both are safe. The metal in the Indian's is far superior to the original metal and well within the stress of any sensible black powder charge, as is the Pedersoli whose proofing is Italian and somewhat lesser than the British, German or French tests, although more stringent than the Spanish tests.

Loyalist does have a better reputation although I have not used Military Heritage myself.

Indian reproductions are not as finely made nor as accurate a representation as Pedersoli, being hand made, but perfectly sound. You will get a better musket from Pedersoli but is it worth more than twice the price of an Indian one? Both are safe. India is a country that makes and launches space rockets and a moon mission. India makes it's own main battle tanks. India is a country that makes Mach2 jet battle aeroplanes. The difference between Indian and Italian muskets is merely a matter of pocket and taste. Uidaipur in Rajasthan in India is a major engineering city where these muskets are made by more than one company. The wood is not walnut. Were it walnut you could add $300 to the price. The wood does serve quite adequately for the purpose though somewhat heavier. You can refine Indian muskets by your own handwork by thinning down the stocks making them more representative and by tuning the locks and hardening some interior parts but they function nevertheless. You pays yer money and you makes yer choice.

There is some cultural prejudice when photographs are shown of the workshops. Dress the labour in European or American clothing, have them work at benches standing instead of on the floor sitting, in buildings to keep out the cold and wet and not the dry heat of the Rajasthan Desert and you would call them artisan craftsmen. Take a look at the old photographs of the workshops in some of the European craftsmen and best gunsmiths of the late 19th century and you wouldn't keep a pig there and you wouldn't work for their wages and conditions but we revere their guns and applaud their quality.
 

FlinterNick

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A Pedersoli Brown Bess is @$1400. An Indian Brown Bess is @$600. You get the quality you pay for. They both pass proof tests in Europe with no problem so both are safe. The metal in the Indian's is far superior to the original metal and well within the stress of any sensible black powder charge, as is the Pedersoli whose proofing is Italian and somewhat lesser than the British, German or French tests, although more stringent than the Spanish tests.

Loyalist does have a better reputation although I have not used Military Heritage myself.

Indian reproductions are not as finely made nor as accurate a representation as Pedersoli, being hand made, but perfectly sound. You will get a better musket from Pedersoli but is it worth more than twice the price of an Indian one? Both are safe. India is a country that makes and launches space rockets and a moon mission. India makes it's own main battle tanks. India is a country that makes Mach2 jet battle aeroplanes. The difference between Indian and Italian muskets is merely a matter of pocket and taste. Uidaipur in Rajasthan in India is a major engineering city where these muskets are made by more than one company. The wood is not walnut. Were it walnut you could add $300 to the price. The wood does serve quite adequately for the purpose though somewhat heavier. You can refine Indian muskets by your own handwork by thinning down the stocks making them more representative and by tuning the locks and hardening some interior parts but they function nevertheless. You pays yer money and you makes yer choice.

There is some cultural prejudice when photographs are shown of the workshops. Dress the labour in European or American clothing, have them work at benches standing instead of on the floor sitting, in buildings to keep out the cold and wet and not the dry heat of the Rajasthan Desert and you would call them artisan craftsmen. Take a look at the old photographs of the workshops in some of the European craftsmen and best gunsmiths of the late 19th century and you wouldn't keep a pig there and you wouldn't work for their wages and conditions but we revere their guns and applaud their quality.
The only Indian muskets I would ever purchase are 3rd pattern Brown Bess muskets. Historically these guns were actually manufactured in Indian, most original stocks were made of a white oak, teak and a variety of asian beechwood species and maple if available. During the napoleonic wars wood was scarce in Europe, especially good cuts of walnut and the United States wasn't shipping to the UK during the Napoleonic Wars (most of the war).

Pedersoli steel is almost too hard. I've done some defarbs on Bess's and the barrels are almost impossible to stamp with period markings. Pedersoli locks are also not the best.

Pedersoli guns is that the stocks are of top quality cuts of European and American Walnut, very dense and the barrels are very heavy in the breech and even in the muzzle. The original barrels had larger bores and less thick barrel walls on the Bess's and Charlevilles they produce.

Loyalist arms does a better job on the Indian made stocks and barrels and won't sell any that have defects.
 

RAEDWALD

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The only Indian muskets I would ever purchase are 3rd pattern Brown Bess muskets. Historically these guns were actually manufactured in Indian, most original stocks were made of a white oak, teak and a variety of asian beechwood species and maple if available. During the napoleonic wars wood was scarce in Europe, especially good cuts of walnut and the United States wasn't shipping to the UK during the Napoleonic Wars (most of the war).
Not to start an argument Nick but this is all news to me. As far as I know all Brown Bess for the Board of Ordnance or for the Honourable East India Company were made in Europe (Britain and Belgium) and specified walnut. Beech was the rare second resort but all were European made and sourced to my knowledge.

Copy Brown Bess made in other countries (e.g. Nepal) did use local woods as did buyers or recipients of Ordnance Brown Bess (e.g. Portugal, Sweden, Russia) upon restocking. The masses of 'Brown Bess' made for civilian use were variable in their woods and the cheap Trade Muskets for Africa and America used some horrible woods, not to mention some horrible barrels. Always happy to learn however. What are your references?
 

FlinterNick

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Not to start an argument Nick but this is all news to me. As far as I know all Brown Bess for the Board of Ordnance or for the Honourable East India Company were made in Europe (Britain and Belgium) and specified walnut. Beech was the rare second resort but all were European made and sourced to my knowledge.

Copy Brown Bess made in other countries (e.g. Nepal) did use local woods as did buyers or recipients of Ordnance Brown Bess (e.g. Portugal, Sweden, Russia) upon restocking. The masses of 'Brown Bess' made for civilian use were variable in their woods and the cheap Trade Muskets for Africa and America used some horrible woods, not to mention some horrible barrels. Always happy to learn however. What are your references?
Yup you're correct, the Tower armories did specify walnut(as it should have been), however there were vast shortages due to shipping issues and the ongoing conflicts with France and its allies most of these cheaper Brown Besses made it to the British colonies in North America, Africa and Australia as surplus. Many were even sold cheaply to newly independent states in South America to fight the Spanish. The EIC Brown Besses used what wood was deemed suitable in surplus, much of it was not walnut but exotic woods, limited walnut was being shipped to the UK from its North American Colonies until 1809. Beech and Birch were just of the. many Eastern European woods that the British was able to import to India. Goldstein's book doesn't go into detail of the types of woods used by various contractors by the EIC however he does specify cheaper woods were used.

maple would have been a fine choice however the Americans attacked British North America in 1812.
 

spudnut

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Havnt heard good things about M H. Loyalist seems to be the go to or veteran arms.Ive owned several India made guns, they need some refinishing so if you view it as an unfinished kit theyre great for the price, wish I had kept the ones I finished and sold
 

Columbus

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So a I've been thinking about getting a brown bess. I've looked at a couple websites for prices and the Military Heritage 1st model brown bess(with the end nose cap) is 549.00 USD.
Model number MTS 008B Long Land (1st model) Brown Bess
Musket. What do you guys think?
You might want to rephrase your question and ask if those members who've bought India made guns had any thoughts or recommendations.
 

Grenadier1758

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To say that the Pedersoli Second Model Short Land Pattern Musket is a more accurate representation of a Brown Bess is a bit of a stretch. The Pedersoli musket is well made, but is only made to represent a musket made during the time of the American War of Independence (AWI). The Indian manufactured Land Pattern Muskets are offered in Long and Short Land patterns and the Third Model East India Company patterns.

I have two Loyalist Arms muskets. My Land Land Pattern musket is really a bit too early for the Seven Years War (SYW), or the F&I War in the colonies. My officer's fusil is a late pattern more in line with a private purchased arm in the pattern of a Land Pattern Musket. My Loyalist Arms Muskets are of good quality and I have no hesitation firing blanks or round ball. These are more correct to the F&I reenactment events than the Pedersoli.

The muskets carried by the members of my regiment include muskets made by Pedersoli, Miroku, Narraganset, and Middlesex Village as well as Loyalist Arms. The best is the Narraganset (made, I believe from Rifle Shoppe parts). The others all function reliably enough with the Middlesex Village musket being a bit more problematic. Pedersoli muskets have worn through the case hardening of the frizzen fairly often.

I have not seen any Military Heritage Muskets, but I have seen several of the Discriminating General (former name of Military Heritage) muskets. Those were over polished on the outside and locks needed tuning.
 

Shot deer

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It does seem loyalist arms has better quality than M.H. I am looking for something to do reenactments,and hunting/target starget shooting.
I'm probably going to get a loyalist arms for the prices, etc, though I will look other places.
 

FlinterNick

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To say that the Pedersoli Second Model Short Land Pattern Musket is a more accurate representation of a Brown Bess is a bit of a stretch. The Pedersoli musket is well made, but is only made to represent a musket made during the time of the American War of Independence (AWI). The Indian manufactured Land Pattern Muskets are offered in Long and Short Land patterns and the Third Model East India Company patterns.

I have two Loyalist Arms muskets. My Land Land Pattern musket is really a bit too early for the Seven Years War (SYW), or the F&I War in the colonies. My officer's fusil is a late pattern more in line with a private purchased arm in the pattern of a Land Pattern Musket. My Loyalist Arms Muskets are of good quality and I have no hesitation firing blanks or round ball. These are more correct to the F&I reenactment events than the Pedersoli.

The muskets carried by the members of my regiment include muskets made by Pedersoli, Miroku, Narraganset, and Middlesex Village as well as Loyalist Arms. The best is the Narraganset (made, I believe from Rifle Shoppe parts). The others all function reliably enough with the Middlesex Village musket being a bit more problematic. Pedersoli muskets have worn through the case hardening of the frizzen fairly often.

I have not seen any Military Heritage Muskets, but I have seen several of the Discriminating General (former name of Military Heritage) muskets. Those were over polished on the outside and locks needed tuning.
I agree, the Pedersoli Brown Bess isn't really a good representation of a Shortland Brown Bess. While its a very fine musket, its really just a Pedersoli Brown Bess.

The 42 inch barrel was adopted as an official pattern until around 1770 and old stores of muskets were used before new ones were issued. So the 1756 was the official musket used at the onset of the revolution, through most of the conflict and wasn't ever retired at any given point. Shortland didn't come into plan until around the 1777, with a large mixture of 1769 and Contracted patterns from Liege and Colonial contracts and furthermore the Pedersoli lock is the 1756 lock with, Grice didn't make short lands, Grice is marked on many long land patterns.

The Middlesex Long Land has the period correct 46 inch barrel and some of the furniture is ok however the rest of the musket is not accurate, the lock is just not right, almost everything is wrong, the screw hole alignment, the cock, frizzen spring etc. The correct caliber is also .77 not .75. To be honest, I haven't seen too many people who were very satisfied with their purchases from Middlesex.

The most accurate Brown Bess's are by the Rifle Shoppe.

However... if you can find one, around 1976 Coach Harness with the help of Kit Ravensheer reproduced a 1756 long land that is almost dead on a drop dead accurate representation of a Brown Bess. By now they're older, you'll spend around 1500 at auction for one.
 

cankeney

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It does seem loyalist arms has better quality than M.H. I am looking for something to do reenactments,and hunting/target starget shooting.
I'm probably going to get a loyalist arms for the prices, etc, though I will look other places.
If you really want an Indian made musket Loyalist or Veteran Arms would be your best bet. I have had zero functional issues with muskets from both. I use them for reenacting. The main issue if you want to live fire them is wait until delivery before you buy a lot of shooting components because bore sizes can vary quite a bit.
 
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