Are the Military Heritage brown besses any good?

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Artificer

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As much as I like my Pedersoli SLP Bess, I DON'T like the fact they didn't mount a TRUE Front Sling Swivel Loop on the barrel. Dave Person did an excellent job explaining/showing how to solder one on the barrel and inlet it, though.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think Mirouku had a Front Sling Swivel Loop on the barrel of their Bess, either?

Even as little as most reenactors sling their Muskets, I saw quite a few torn up forearms on both Makers' Muskets because of that, over the years.

Gus
 

RAEDWALD

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Is that all? Or just some that make it to market?
The British importer for several years reports no failures and a German contact tells me they have had no failures in Germany. I shall ask St. Etienne when I next go to have something proofed there. Given the steel and thickness of wall I would be surprised if any fail even after the German proof fired 5 times without cleaning and bore size ball.

For a comparison to the wonderful products of the period. I was reading Ezekiel Baker's (of Baker Rifle fame)'Remarks on the Rifle' 11th edition of 1835 and he remarks that in 1832 several thousand new muskets (flint at that date) in store were re proofed and 30% burst using 16 drams (438 grains). This he blames upon the government inspectors in Birmingham neglecting their duty as a higher proof at 630 grains had previously only had a 5% failure rate. Granted that the powder used was probably weaker than say modern Goex, but these failures were with the hand hammer forged wrought iron coil barrels of the day. The Indian steel is night and day stronger for the task and we do not shove more than 120 grains into ours to match the service charge of past days.
 

FlinterNick

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As much as I like my Pedersoli SLP Bess, I DON'T like the fact they didn't mount a TRUE Front Sling Swivel Loop on the barrel. Dave Person did an excellent job explaining/showing how to solder one on the barrel and inlet it, though.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think Mirouku had a Front Sling Swivel Loop on the barrel of their Bess, either?

Even as little as most reenactors sling their Muskets, I saw quite a few torn up forearms on both Makers' Muskets because of that, over the years.

Gus
When I had purchased this miruko bess the sling swivel was incorrectly drilled through the middle thimble lug; this caused both the stock and thimble to wear and crack. I had to fasten/braze a ‘U’ shaped lug to the barrel to support both a new thimble and sling swivel, I took the idea from the 1730 bess that used slotted lugs. It was that or restock .... and I hate restocking these repros it’s just not worth the cash.
 

Artificer

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When I had purchased this miruko bess the sling swivel was incorrectly drilled through the middle thimble lug; this caused both the stock and thimble to wear and crack. I had to fasten/braze a ‘U’ shaped lug to the barrel to support both a new thimble and sling swivel, I took the idea from the 1730 bess that used slotted lugs. It was that or restock .... and I hate restocking these repros it’s just not worth the cash.
Great idea!

Gus
 

FlinterNick

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Great idea!

Gus
Thanks ! I always try to avoid a complete restock if I can. Which is why I favor the Charleville so much more, because often its just the forearm that needs to be replaced which many can duplicate for around $50-100$.

The Miruko Bess's are great repro's especially the locks, but they really cut back on the wood quality. Pedersoli Stocks are by far much better, denser and heavier.

FYI I always carry a bunch of heavy round barrel cast lugs for the sling swivels, its an easy repair and adds another anchor point to the barrel. I order them from Jess Melot at the Rifle Shoppe. Track of the Wolf is usually out of them.

The 'U' Shaped lug I had bang out from hard stock, and then file down. For future projects I just milled out a 3/8 square hardstock.

Nick
 

FlinterNick

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Wow! I would have bet all the money in the world (if I had it!) that it's a flared barrel. I could see the .840 though.
The miruko barrel is actually around .735 caliber, its an older bicentennial model. These were made with super strong LIGHT barrels. You'll notice the barrel walls are very thin, around .0265 thin, the tapper is done very well from the breech to the muzzle, very very close to some of the originals Brown Bess light Fusils and commercial Brown Bess muskets.

I've always suspected that the Miruko company had copied a Liege or commercial Brown Bess short land musket because of the tigger guard, stock shape and barrel design. and then copied an older Pedersoli Tower lock.
 

Rockvillerich

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The miruko barrel is actually around .735 caliber, its an older bicentennial model. These were made with super strong LIGHT barrels. You'll notice the barrel walls are very thin, around .0265 thin, the tapper is done very well from the breech to the muzzle, very very close to some of the originals Brown Bess light Fusils and commercial Brown Bess muskets.

I've always suspected that the Miruko company had copied a Liege or commercial Brown Bess short land musket because of the tigger guard, stock shape and barrel design. and then copied an older Pedersoli Tower lock.
The Miruko Bess is a copy of a late Tower musket that happened to have a bent trigger guard...the same model sold to, and used by the Mexican army at the Alamo.
 

FlinterNick

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The Miruko Bess is a copy of a late Tower musket that happened to have a bent trigger guard...the same model sold to, and used by the Mexican army at the Alamo.
Awesome info ... I think the lock is a copy of a Pedersoli lock I’ve known a few people who’ve replaced the Grice lock with the miruko lock with almost no complications aside from the plate being a little thinner. That’s just too ironic for me
 

Shot deer

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The miruko barrel is actually around .735 caliber, its an older bicentennial model. These were made with super strong LIGHT barrels. You'll notice the barrel walls are very thin, around .0265 thin, the tapper is done very well from the breech to the muzzle, very very close to some of the originals Brown Bess light Fusils and commercial Brown Bess muskets.

Is there any varients of that miruko barrel in smaller calibers? Just wondering
 

FlinterNick

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Is there any varients of that miruko barrel in smaller calibers? Just wondering
Over the years since 1970s they’ve been made with .70 - .76 calibers. The best production run was the 1990s. Better walnut wood was used, and the furniture was changed with a straight trigger guard. Rammer pipes were also more authentic.
 

Rockvillerich

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Awesome info ... I think the lock is a copy of a Pedersoli lock I’ve known a few people who’ve replaced the Grice lock with the miruko lock with almost no complications aside from the plate being a little thinner. That’s just too ironic for me
The Mirukos were made a very long time before Pedersoli produced muzzle loaders. My brother bought one in 1973 or 74. The locks are very similar, to the point where I've modified the Miruko's to accept Pedersoli main springs without much trouble.
 

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The Mirukos were made a very long time before Pedersoli produced muzzle loaders. My brother bought one in 1973 or 74. The locks are very similar, to the point where I've modified the Miruko's to accept Pedersoli main springs without much trouble.
Pedersoli had been making Brown Bess Flint Locks since the early 1970's for British Manufactures and customized guns. The Grice Lock was first used on the 1756 Long Land Repro by Coach Harness in 1974-1978. Pedersoli had also made its own Brown Bess prior to that period using a lock marked Tower, some navy arms muskets provided by Pedersoli were marked Stowe. If you compare the miruko lock marked Tower to the Pedersoli lock marked Tower, they're almost identical other than the side lock bolts and plate thickness in the rear. Personally I think Miruko did a better job on the lock than Pedersoli, the Miruko lock on my musket is almost 35 years old, spring is powerful and frizzen sparks like new.
 

Boatncamp

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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?

This has been a wonderful hour long read with lots of information and discussion but I think it has not really done justice to the original post. As I read their website Military Heritage arms come in a “non-firing state” to circumvent any possible law violations by the company, putting it to end purchaser to drill the vent hole. Are you prepared to do this?

I am too new to reenacting myself so let me chime in to offer some advice as you have posted that is your reason for purchasing the musket. There are many variables to what gun to purchase. Other post have suggested that you seek out information from the group that you wish to participate with. No one has asked where you live and therefore what unit you wish to participate with. There are many options all depending on how much you want to travel. I live in upstate NY and wish to portray a local frontiersman during the early part of the AWI. A “Fusils de Chasse” will be my primary firearm as most of the frontiersman brought with them their own gun. But I too digress.

If you have not already done so, I suggest that you check out Townsends and Sons on Youtube as they have a series of videos on getting started in reenacting. I do not think that I have deep pockets but I must as I have already purchased one Pedersoli rifle and three muskets over the past two years as I have done my research and come to realize that my original thoughts of a long hunter with a nice Pennsylvania long rifle were not accurate to my area. Not to say that there were not some fighting in this area, just not common and frequently came from another area such as southern PA or VA.

After viewing the series and thinking about what you might want to portray, (or before) search out the groups around you. Talk to people, do you have other people that you know that are doing it? Do you have historical sites around you where you would want to participate in? How far are you looking to travel to do this? Again, the firearm that you will carry will depend on who you are portraying and where you are from. Continental soldier = newer military musket. Militia from a large town = older military musket. Civilian militia = personal firearm appropriate to your region.

As for purchasing a firearm, I have to say that hands on is the best way to do this. Unfortunately, that may be very difficult. The shop that I purchase all of my modern firearms from does not deal in any traditional black powder arms. MOST of the shops in my area do not. That leaves buying on-line which can save you money but also cost you money too. I am no newbie to smoke poles. I purchased my first TC Hawken somewhere around 1975 after falling in love with the movie Jeremiah Johnson (named my first son Jeremiah). One of the muskets I purchased online came from a fella that caveated his listing with “I don’t know much about flintlocks” and “all sales final”. It is made by Stoeger and in excellent condition so I took a chance. When it arrived I found that it too did not come drilled. I did a lot of research and it was marked with the proper place to drill the vent hole so I took the chance and did it. I have only tested it with 65gr of 3F and it seemed to do fine. I will test it this spring with 120gr of 2F. But I am still somewhat leery of it. It also is not truly representative of anything other than it is “in the French pattern” but without a bayonet lug. I also purchased an Ultra Hi Short Land Pattern Brown Bess, but it does not have sling swivels so again I will have to drill it to install. Fortunately, they place a lug and barrel pin in the proper location. So, if possible, buy your first gun hands on. When you hook up with a group they may have some loaner pieces to use until you get your own. Someone in the group may be getting out of it and have something for sale.

As for India made guns vs others. Some will say that the India made guns are far more realistic in that they many of the parts are handmade not mass produced on CNC machinery (aside from the stocks which usually have teak stocks which is not all appropriate). If money is tight and you want a gun right away, then I would say check out Loyalist Arms or Veterans Arms. If you can wait, watch the online auctions for the piece that you decide is appropriate for your persona.
 

Rockvillerich

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This has been a wonderful hour long read with lots of information and discussion but I think it has not really done justice to the original post. As I read their website Military Heritage arms come in a “non-firing state” to circumvent any possible law violations by the company, putting it to end purchaser to drill the vent hole. Are you prepared to do this?

I am too new to reenacting myself so let me chime in to offer some advice as you have posted that is your reason for purchasing the musket. There are many variables to what gun to purchase. Other post have suggested that you seek out information from the group that you wish to participate with. No one has asked where you live and therefore what unit you wish to participate with. There are many options all depending on how much you want to travel. I live in upstate NY and wish to portray a local frontiersman during the early part of the AWI. A “Fusils de Chasse” will be my primary firearm as most of the frontiersman brought with them their own gun. But I too digress.

If you have not already done so, I suggest that you check out Townsends and Sons on Youtube as they have a series of videos on getting started in reenacting. I do not think that I have deep pockets but I must as I have already purchased one Pedersoli rifle and three muskets over the past two years as I have done my research and come to realize that my original thoughts of a long hunter with a nice Pennsylvania long rifle were not accurate to my area. Not to say that there were not some fighting in this area, just not common and frequently came from another area such as southern PA or VA.

After viewing the series and thinking about what you might want to portray, (or before) search out the groups around you. Talk to people, do you have other people that you know that are doing it? Do you have historical sites around you where you would want to participate in? How far are you looking to travel to do this? Again, the firearm that you will carry will depend on who you are portraying and where you are from. Continental soldier = newer military musket. Militia from a large town = older military musket. Civilian militia = personal firearm appropriate to your region.

As for purchasing a firearm, I have to say that hands on is the best way to do this. Unfortunately, that may be very difficult. The shop that I purchase all of my modern firearms from does not deal in any traditional black powder arms. MOST of the shops in my area do not. That leaves buying on-line which can save you money but also cost you money too. I am no newbie to smoke poles. I purchased my first TC Hawken somewhere around 1975 after falling in love with the movie Jeremiah Johnson (named my first son Jeremiah). One of the muskets I purchased online came from a fella that caveated his listing with “I don’t know much about flintlocks” and “all sales final”. It is made by Stoeger and in excellent condition so I took a chance. When it arrived I found that it too did not come drilled. I did a lot of research and it was marked with the proper place to drill the vent hole so I took the chance and did it. I have only tested it with 65gr of 3F and it seemed to do fine. I will test it this spring with 120gr of 2F. But I am still somewhat leery of it. It also is not truly representative of anything other than it is “in the French pattern” but without a bayonet lug. I also purchased an Ultra Hi Short Land Pattern Brown Bess, but it does not have sling swivels so again I will have to drill it to install. Fortunately, they place a lug and barrel pin in the proper location. So, if possible, buy your first gun hands on. When you hook up with a group they may have some loaner pieces to use until you get your own. Someone in the group may be getting out of it and have something for sale.

As for India made guns vs others. Some will say that the India made guns are far more realistic in that they many of the parts are handmade not mass produced on CNC machinery (aside from the stocks which usually have teak stocks which is not all appropriate). If money is tight and you want a gun right away, then I would say check out Loyalist Arms or Veterans Arms. If you can wait, watch the online auctions for the piece that you decide is appropriate for your persona.
Its true that the Indian parts are hand made, as were the originals, but nowhere near the quality of the actual Tower parts. One of my rifles has a late tower pistol lock on it that is still much tighter and smoother functioning than all but the very best of the modern reproductions even after a couple hundred years...easy on flints too. Best thing to do when buying an Indian musket is to check out several, and pick the one with the best workmanship. Some are much better than others.
 

Shot deer

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This has been a wonderful hour long read with lots of information and discussion but I think it has not really done justice to the original post. As I read their website Military Heritage arms come in a “non-firing state” to circumvent any possible law violations by the company, putting it to end purchaser to drill the vent hole. Are you prepared to do this?

I am too new to reenacting myself so let me chime in to offer some advice as you have posted that is your reason for purchasing the musket. There are many variables to what gun to purchase. Other post have suggested that you seek out information from the group that you wish to participate with. No one has asked where you live and therefore what unit you wish to participate with. There are many options all depending on how much you want to travel. I live in upstate NY and wish to portray a local frontiersman during the early part of the AWI. A “Fusils de Chasse” will be my primary firearm as most of the frontiersman brought with them their own gun. But I too digress.

If you have not already done so, I suggest that you check out Townsends and Sons on Youtube as they have a series of videos on getting started in reenacting. I do not think that I have deep pockets but I must as I have already purchased one Pedersoli rifle and three muskets over the past two years as I have done my research and come to realize that my original thoughts of a long hunter with a nice Pennsylvania long rifle were not accurate to my area. Not to say that there were not some fighting in this area, just not common and frequently came from another area such as southern PA or VA.

After viewing the series and thinking about what you might want to portray, (or before) search out the groups around you. Talk to people, do you have other people that you know that are doing it? Do you have historical sites around you where you would want to participate in? How far are you looking to travel to do this? Again, the firearm that you will carry will depend on who you are portraying and where you are from. Continental soldier = newer military musket. Militia from a large town = older military musket. Civilian militia = personal firearm appropriate to your region.

As for purchasing a firearm, I have to say that hands on is the best way to do this. Unfortunately, that may be very difficult. The shop that I purchase all of my modern firearms from does not deal in any traditional black powder arms. MOST of the shops in my area do not. That leaves buying on-line which can save you money but also cost you money too. I am no newbie to smoke poles. I purchased my first TC Hawken somewhere around 1975 after falling in love with the movie Jeremiah Johnson (named my first son Jeremiah). One of the muskets I purchased online came from a fella that caveated his listing with “I don’t know much about flintlocks” and “all sales final”. It is made by Stoeger and in excellent condition so I took a chance. When it arrived I found that it too did not come drilled. I did a lot of research and it was marked with the proper place to drill the vent hole so I took the chance and did it. I have only tested it with 65gr of 3F and it seemed to do fine. I will test it this spring with 120gr of 2F. But I am still somewhat leery of it. It also is not truly representative of anything other than it is “in the French pattern” but without a bayonet lug. I also purchased an Ultra Hi Short Land Pattern Brown Bess, but it does not have sling swivels so again I will have to drill it to install. Fortunately, they place a lug and barrel pin in the proper location. So, if possible, buy your first gun hands on. When you hook up with a group they may have some loaner pieces to use until you get your own. Someone in the group may be getting out of it and have something for sale.

As for India made guns vs others. Some will say that the India made guns are far more realistic in that they many of the parts are handmade not mass produced on CNC machinery (aside from the stocks which usually have teak stocks which is not all appropriate). If money is tight and you want a gun right away, then I would say check out Loyalist Arms or Veterans Arms. If you can wait, watch the online auctions for the piece that you decide is appropriate for your persona.

I'm in Northern Ohio, actually the NE, but I wouldn't mind traveling to the "13 colonies/states". I would probably be starting out as a militiaman, I'm thinking short/long pattern Brown Besses, or so that type and time of gun. And thats funny about your son. Any more info/suggestions/advice is most welcomed!
 

Grenadier1758

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As a militiaman, you would be getting a serviceable but not a first line short land pattern. You are looking for a long land pattern musket of possibly 1756 pattern or 36/40. The only companies offering the long land pattern muskets have guns made in India. That would be Loyalist Arms or Veterans Arms. Another consideration would be a French musket. So many were captured at Fort Louisburg and issued to militia and rangers.

My long lan
 

FlinterNick

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As a militiaman, you would be getting a serviceable but not a first line short land pattern. You are looking for a long land pattern musket of possibly 1756 pattern or 36/40. The only companies offering the long land pattern muskets have guns made in India. That would be Loyalist Arms or Veterans Arms. Another consideration would be a French musket. So many were captured at Fort Louisburg and issued to militia and rangers.

My long lan
I would get the 1756 Long Land Kit from The Rifle Shoppe. You could do most of the work on it and then send it a gunsmith with a request to build in the white, saves about 500$ on gunsmith costs.

At $1500-1600$ you’ll get around 3k for a custom Brown Bess. You’ll never realize that value with a Pedersoli or Indian Made gun.

Personally I think a miruko Bess is the best option, on auction they sell for around $700-1000 depending what was done to them. Its a Shortland but you can simply swap out the flat side plate with a convex side plate and it will more closely resemble a late 1760 era land pattern dragoon musket or sea service musket.
 
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