Are the Military Heritage brown besses any good?

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Shot deer, Feb 2, 2019.

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  1. Feb 26, 2019 #121

    FlinterNick

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    I don’t think millitary muskets would be flared at the muzzle because it would possibly negate the use of a socket bayonet. Its possible some Dutch guns were flared, the Dutch tend to pattern their arms for both millitary and civilian use. The 1710 Dutch musket was very similar to the Brown Bess and was in high demand almost through the F&I War, these were still found useful during the AWI, they were often described as ‘old and ugly’ by 1775.
     
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  2. Feb 26, 2019 #122

    Shot deer

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    Why would someone not realize the value of a pedersoli?

    And I'll be going for a miruko!


    Legolas
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  3. Feb 27, 2019 #123

    FlinterNick

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    Pedersoli muskets start around 1200-1500 way over priced ... they are high in supply resell for around 800-1000 used. They’re priced too high mostly bc distributors know they can get high profits due to a low market for repro muskets. Perdsoli muskets are very good but they’re most are not very authentic. Pedersoli also hasn’t modified or changed their musket product line.... years back they tried to sell a Spanish musket which was met with very little demand for its high 1700 price tag.

    Mirukos have been selling higher due to the demand and lack of new production. They’re sort of a collectors item now.

    Customized guns always sell higher..... even damaged.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  4. Feb 27, 2019 #124

    Shot deer

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    Then are the mirukos still in the 700-1000 range?
    I'll have to (try) to get one this spring, money willing, because my brother is making me splatterdashers to reenact with lol.


    Legolas
     
  5. Feb 27, 2019 #125

    FlinterNick

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    Depending on the condition they can run as low as $500.00. Many collectors buy up Miruko’s because the parts are pretty good quality, especially the Locks and Barrels. The parts are often used on customized guns.
     
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  6. Feb 27, 2019 #126

    Shot deer

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    Would the $500.00 ones be really poor condition? Oviously it won't be the best condition, but I'm just wonderin'.
     
  7. Feb 27, 2019 #127

    FlinterNick

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    Mostly what drive the price down is the stock, if the stock is very banged up then it might need to be restocked which is very difficult (restocking a completed musket isn’t fun)and expensive to do. My Miruko is holding up very well for a 30 year old musket but I’ve had to restore a lot of it around the lock mortise, forearm and forestock. If I listed it today I think I could get around 800-900 for it mostly because its in really clean shape.

    but it won’t take long for a reinactor to destroy it lol.
     
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  8. Feb 28, 2019 #128

    Shot deer

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    I will probably fall on the musket and snapped it in two:D
    Just kiddin', I hope I don't.....

    Are you into reenacting? You might have said, but I haven't found it, so I guess not.
     
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  9. Feb 28, 2019 #129

    Artificer

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    I never harmed my Brown Bess Carbine reenacting 18th century, but shattered the wrist on the fifth time I did UnCivil War reenacting with it. Took quite some time for me to figure out how to install two threaded brass rods around the screw that goes up from the trigger guard to the thumb piece, to reinforce the area. What made it worse was I actually had to finish breaking the rest of the butt stock off, so everything would align after epoxy bedding everything back together. It made me heart sick to hear the crrraaacccck until it snapped in two. Good news was after it was done, even I could barely tell the work had been done.

    Gus
     
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  10. Feb 28, 2019 #130

    Shot deer

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    Glad too hear it worked for you!
    I know how bad the sound is when the stock is cracking lol.
     
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  11. Feb 28, 2019 #131

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    Grin. Thank you.

    Good news was after I figured out how to repair the stock with that darn large screw going right up through the wrist, I never had to do it again. However, if I or any forum member ever needs to know how to do it, I can pass that info along.

    Gus
     
  12. Mar 1, 2019 #132

    Rockvillerich

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    Yep, been there and done that! I drilled down through the wrist of my Indian Bess and epoxied in a 1/2" hickory dowel in to strengthen it best I could prior to falling on it, lol. So far so good, though it hasn't had anything terrible happen to it, yet. A couple of my decent long guns have scars from reenacting, and film work, which is why I own and use less valuable guns for these kinds of activities.
     
  13. Mar 1, 2019 #133

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    Unfortunately, we were doing a "Tactical" or UnCivil War "War Game." I was going quickly from standing to prone and without thinking, reverted back to my military training of going down on my knees and leaning on the upright Brown Bess Carbine stock as I went to prone. (More than one generation had been taught to do that from the M1903 Springfield through the M14, but it WON'T work with an AR.) There was so much blank firing going on, I didn't hear anything, but as I raised he Bess to fire, it was then I noticed I had shattered the stock and not just broke it. There was a least one, if not two, big chunks of wood from the wrist area on the ground as I looked around and the Thumb Screw could be seen in the shattered wood area. Not t long afterwards, I made a deal where I bought an excellent used Parker Hale 2 Band Rifle to go with my Confederate Marine Impression, so the Brown Bess lay to the side for QUITE some time. Just like a Cobbler's kid goes barefoot, I did not have much time to work on my own guns.

    Almost 15 years later I got back into AWI reenacting, so I HAD to see if I could fix it. It was expensive enough getting the rest of my Private Soldier's Impression in the Major's Coy, 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, the Black Watch and if I had to buy a new Bess, it would have delayed it much longer. However, that Darn screw going up from the trigger guard and into the Thumb Piece did not allow a screw to be screwed down from inside the rear of the barrel channel, through the wrist and down into the butt stock.

    I was in a hardware store looking around and found some 1/8" machine screw threaded Brass Rod. That was small enough in diameter that I was able to drill two holes on each side of the Thumb Piece Screw in the forward and rear section of the wrist and so the two brass rods would not be seen from the outside of the stock.

    Before I used Brownell's Accra Glas in the holes and around the two pieces of Brass Rod, I did something else I call an "internal dovetail." Down inside each of the four holes, I flared the holes larger, but left the entrance holes rather small. The idea was when the two holes on each side aligned and filled with Accra Glas, it would be like an Hour Glass or Dove Tail Shape of epoxy bedding with the brass rod running through the lengths of both sides. OK, it may have been over engineering, but I knew it would make the wrist extremely strong.

    Fortunately the trigger guard, Thumb Piece and Screw helped to align everything. I also mold released those parts and then forced Accra Glass into the holes and into the threads on the rods and put extra in there so there would be no voids. The excess squooshed out and then I wrapped surgical tubing around the wrist to hold everything in place while it set up. Then I cleaned some of the excess "squooshed out" epoxy, but left enough "proud" or above the surface of the stock so there would be no exposed holes. MUCH better to file down some excess to the wood than not having enough to fill in the holes.

    OK, so after it set up and cured, I took the Trigger Guard, Thumb Piece and Screw temporarily back out and found there was sort of a pillar of bedding around the screw. Since the force of recoil on that "might" have cracked the wrist in the future, I reamed the screw hole a few thousandths larger. That way the recoil would not work on that horizontal screw. I then filed the excess epoxy off, stripped the stock, stained it very lightly and gave it four coats of Tru Oil. I got the shine off the finish with mild abrasive pads and rubbed the dickens out of it with a terry cloth rag. That way I got a "warm glow" of the finish instead of a high shine.

    Afterwards and even though I knew where all the "glue or epoxy lines were," even I could barely tell they were there. It also made that wrist area at least three or four times stronger than before.

    Gus
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  14. Mar 2, 2019 #134

    Rockvillerich

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    Good job! I find repairs add character to working guns.
     
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  15. Mar 2, 2019 #135

    Shot deer

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    They (repairs) certainly do add character.
    Every scratch and nick usually tell a story. Some are scratches and nicks from the woods, and some are from being dropped down the...........

    Legolas
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  16. Mar 4, 2019 #136

    Killashrub

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    This may be worth a read for you but if you are one of those "That post is too long." Types then just skip half way down.

    I suppose I will be one of the ugly ducklings here. I purchased a Long Land Bess from Heritage about 2 or 3 years ago. I was skeptical as well as most are but I was and still am an M14 collector and it reminded me of the talk of the Polytech and Norinco M14's that always popped up on the M14Forums. Someone asking if they should buy one and a flood of people would say they are garbage etc. Out of my 16 M14's four of them were Polytech's and 2 of them were Norinco's. These rifles were great rifles for the price and I wondered why all the hate. Heck two of mine were even accurate to GI M14 standards. One of my Polytechs could do about 1.5 moa with German Surplus ammo. However quality control wasn't spot on with Chinese M14's. Some Polytech's/Norincos would have light machining marks, ugly stocks (swap for USGI), Ugly hand guard (swap for USGI), Ugly ban era fake flash hiders, no bayonet lug, and the gray parkerizing that most don't prefer. But for less than half of what a Springfield Armory or a third what a Fulton Armory M14 cost, the uglier Chinese M14's were definitely usable. At least for a plinking rifle

    What quality control was sacrificed didn't effect the ability of the rifle. Heck the Chinese M14's even have chrome lined barrels and most commercial M14 company's don't. People would post saying that the bolts were soft and they would compress, I heard the Chrome would flake, I heard the receiver wasn't of the right hardness and the bolt would bash you in the head eventually. So I decided to do my own homework. I found out after hours and hours of research and talking with Lou of LRB as well as Ron Smith of Smith Enterprises that the receiver and bolt hardness problems were of the days when Polytech was trying to develop the M14 to be sold. They had the hardness wrong. They were working with Smith Enterprises at the time. Smith received a couple of the Polytech's for evaluation. He told them what the problem was and they fixed it. Now that was before they were producing them to be sold. But why is that rumor still going around I thought. I haven't had that problem. None of my friends that own them have. I have a Polytech with over 5000 rounds through it and I bought it used with probably around 2000 through it by the previous owner. But everyone who has never owned one says it will. So I did some more research. Fulton apparently took the info about the soft bolt and incorrect hardness for the receiver info from Smith and ran with it. I don't blame them. A company comes along making M14's for a third of what yours cost I would try to down them too.

    Fulton got smart. After getting the dirty information in gun magazines and giving the M14 community a scare they offered to replace the possibly soft bolt of your cheap crappy Chinese rifle probably made with child labor with one of there awesome bolts and they could also replace your possibly incorrectly hardened (Forged) receiver with one of their awesome receivers (cast). That's when I realized. It was all about money. Was my conclusion right? I personally think so but that is just an opinion it is up to you to make your own opinion. So back to heritage muskets. I decided what the heck I will get one if it is terrible oh well I have a wall hanger to put over my framed declaration of independence and framed portrait of Sam Adams.

    I received the musket about 2 or 3 weeks after putting the order in. It took a while due to some movie or tv show taking all of the toys for us losers to buy. I threw a flint in, cocked it, and let her go. Nice sparks. I ordered a .715 ball mold and a larger one I think it is a .730 ball mold. I drimmeled a vent hole slightly smaller than a toothpick (not scientific at all) then I made some paper cartridges revolutionary style. After that, it was off to the range. Now if you don't think I wasn't in the same skeptical boat as you. You are wrong. I tied a string to the trigger, ripped the paper and poured the 120 grains of 2f Goex in and stuffed the .730 ball with paper down the barrel, set the rifle on the ground aimed at the berm with a sandbag bracing for recoil, unrolled the string about 30 feet away and behind the small building near the line (I am a member of this range and no one else was there) yelled fire in the hole just for good measure, then yanked the trigger. I heard a boom and looked around the corner. Sand in the air and musket still where I left it I walked over to it. Other than sand all over the musket it was fine. I loaded it up again walked my string over to the building again and repeated the process. Same outcome. I checked the barrel for bulging, checked to see if any separation was present, etc. Nothing. Those two shots were loaded specifically for this and the remainder of them is my general load that I still use to this day of 80 grains of 2f Goex (now I use home made) and the .730 until it gets fouled then it is the .715 ball and then I let her rip. I fell in love. I have put hundreds of rounds, shot, and buck n ball through it. I have never had a single problem. Every outing when I brought it home to clean it I would check it over for bulging etc. Did that for probably half a year. Now I don't.

    I only have this one single musket from this company. And I don't know anyone else that has one personally to compare. So I cannot say for sure they are 100% aok. Maybe mine was the lemon that was actually great out of all their muskets that are supposed to blow up. I don't know. It isn't like with the Poly and Norinco M14's where I owned 6 of them and had friends and relatives with a couple here and there all with no problems. But I can tell you my one that I have is a fine musket and has been worth many times what it cost. In fact I plan to buy the Captain Cook Flint double barrel shotgun.

    My only dislike with the musket from this company is the stock is a light density wood I don't know what it is and the finish isn't that spectacular however it isn't horrible. But like with the Chinese M14's just because its ugly doesn't mean it cant shoot.

    Here it is a while back with my sharps and some other toys at the range. It turns heads. Well most black powders at ranges do these days. But the huge brown bess lobbing a huge piece of lead down range with an audible thump at the berm turns heads just a little more. And when I manage to hit the 12 inch plate at 100 yards with it from time to time, everyone knows who hit it. I have had quite a few people try it out that were interested in it young and old. Every one of them wore a smile.
    [​IMG]
    Disclaimer, If a heritage musket blows up in your face because you read this and thought you should get one it isn't my fault. That's what you get for buying crap from India.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2019
  17. Mar 4, 2019 #137

    Shot deer

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    That is an interesting post, and I don't mind the length!

    If I ever get one, and it blows up, I won't hold you accountable;)

    Just askin', how many shots have you fired out of the Bess? Is it still holdin' up well?

    Hmm, now you got me wonderin' bout' it all.

    Yes, my post is very choppy:D
     
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  18. Mar 5, 2019 #138

    Killashrub

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    I have probably around 300 to 400 rounds through my brown bess. I decided to try Heritage and maybe I got lucky. When I get my next flintlock from them I will let you know how it went. I have heard they have spotty customer service. I only dealt with them one time and that was to find out when my package was arriving. They responded in a couple days from my send date for the email. Like I said maybe I got lucky. If you do decide to go with them good luck and let me know how it went. And if you decide not to I understand.
     
  19. Mar 5, 2019 #139

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    The problem with the India guns is not so much with the poor wood (though that is a factor to consider), but rather is if you get a poor or bad lock. Since the locks are handmade, there is no source of parts that are made to be fitted to them. So to get them repaired, it has to be the work of custom gunsmith.

    Yes, I know the original Brown Bess's were handmade, BUT they had to meet some of the highest inspection scrutiny of the times before British Ordnance would accept them. Now, British Ordnance did in some emergency situations accept "Dutch Brown Bess Type" Arms that were not up to British Standards, but those were the first guns they gave away to the colonies or surplus sold the minute they no longer needed them or better still, could replace them with British Ordnance quality arms.

    India made guns today can go from downright poor to not even up to the "Dutch' standards (let alone British Ordnance Standards) and finally somewhat close to Dutch Standards (though the India stock wood would never have met that criteria). However from what I have heard and got involved in, Loyalist Arms is the best place to buy them. A couple of years ago, I helped a Forum Member from Germany explain to Loyalist Arms the type of Brown Bess guns he wanted, as he could not quite get it across to them. When he received them in Germany, the barrels passed German Proof testing with no problems. He also informed me the locks worked and sparked very well. So If I were to every buy an India Bess, I would go to Loyalist Arms.

    Gus
     
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  20. Mar 5, 2019 #140

    Straekat

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    Spare locks and other components are available from India at:

    http://rajasthanarmoury.com/accessories1.htm
     
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