Are the Military Heritage brown besses any good?

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Well, then even more questions need to be asked.

Over the decades of working on and selling Repro UnCivil War Musket and Revolver parts, I found the Italian and UK Parker Hale parts were made on the Interchangeable pattern, BUT parts would not interchange between manufacturers. IOW, if you had a gun from any of these manufacturers, you HAD to buy repair parts from that company (except nipples in some cases) or the repair parts would not fit/work in that manufacturer's guns.

So I had to stock Parker Hale Parts, Armi San Paolo parts for Navy Arms/Euro Arms guns, and Armi San Marco Parts for Armi Sport guns. I could be mistaken, but I don't think Uberti and Pietta Arms parts will fit the other makers' guns? Further, there were even more Musket and Revolver makers, whose parts would not fit other makers' guns and that I did not stock because most NSSA shooters did not use them, mainly because they were lower quality guns/parts and/or the guns and parts were not approved.

So the really important question is, can one get repair parts from each maker of Indian Muskets and are they made on the Interchangeable Parts system, so the parts will fit and one does not require custom gunsmithing?

Gus
 
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P.S. to the above post. I also worked on Italian Zoli Zouave Rifle Muskets. Zoli had stopped making them and parts by the 1980''s, but I did find that since they were made on the Interchangeable Parts System, that I could repair most of them by knowing which of other's makers parts fit or could be fitted and work in those guns.

Of course U.S. made original guns from the U.S. M1841 Rifle and Model 1842 Muskets onward were made on the Interchangeable Parts System, but those parts would not interchange with any Italian made guns, either.

I also worked on both Pedersoli and Miroku Brown Bess repro muskets. Those parts would not work in the other maker's guns even though they were both made on the Interchangeable Parts Systems.

I also worked on original U.S. "M1816" Type Muskets (M1816 through M1840) and those parts were "hand made" and NOT made on the Interchangeable Parts System. So I had to buy original parts where/when I could and buy repro parts that I could fit to those locks. However, that work is far beyond the ability of most hobbyists.

I have worked on more original and repro BP arms that the above, of course, and I can't even begin to explain where/how I found those parts or had to make them.

Gus
 

Shot deer

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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.

If I do I'll let you know. Thanks for the info!
 

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Also, when I was the Team Armourer for the U.S. International Muzzle Loading Team, I never knew what type of original or repro gun I might be called upon to do emergency repairs on. What made that worse, was most of those parts were not made to the Interchangeable Parts System, either.

So before I went to my first World Championships in 1996, I contacted Dixie and Track of the Wolf and a few other companies and bought all kinds of gun parts I did not normally stock or use. Good thing I had them, because I was able to use them or modify them to fix whatever went wrong. The worst case, though, may have been having to fit an Italian made Hammer to an Original Remington Revolver. It took my 9 1/2 hours one night in the Hotel Room in Covington, UK with my standard and diamond files, stones and Emory Cloth to fit it to the Revolver, so the Team Member could shoot the next morning and that was only an emergency repair. I also had to reharden and anneal it after we got back, so it was a permanent fix. Now the repairs didn't cost anything to U.S. Team Members, but can you imagine what the Labor Charge would have been for that, if they would have had to pay??!!

Gus
 
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Rockvillerich

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Also, when I was the Team Armourer for the U.S. International Muzzle Loading Team, I never knew what type of original or repro gun I might be called upon to do emergency repairs on. What made that worse, was most of those parts were not made to the Interchangeable Parts System, either.

So before I went to my first World Championships in 1996, I contacted Dixie and Track of the Wolf and a few other companies and bought all kinds of gun parts I did not normally stock or use. Good thing I had them, because I was able to use them or modify them to fix whatever went wrong. The worst case, though, may have been having to fit an Italian made Hammer to an Original Remington Revolver. It took my 9 1/2 hours one night in the Hotel Room in Covington, UK with my standard and diamond files, stones and Emory Cloth to fit it to the Revolver, so the Team Member could shoot the next morning and that was only an emergency repair. I also had to reharden and anneal it after we got back, so it was a permanent fix. Now the repairs didn't cost anything to U.S. Team Members, but can you imagine what the Labor Charge would have been for that, if they would have had to pay??!!

Gus
Hey Gus, Did you happen to know Tom Hobbs? He also worked with, and made guns for the International Team, as well as teaching me a lot about the craft.
 

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I remember Tom Henley, the shooter, but am not sure about Tom Hobbs. There are many, many people I remember by face in both ML and Modern Shooting, but don't remember their names. So I may know him, but don't remember his name. Is he from Maryland?

Gus
 

RAEDWALD

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The Indian muskets are made to a pattern but not at all interchangeable. All hand made by eye. A very good eye but by eye nevertheless.
 

Melnic

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"So if a part DOES break in one of these fine Indian muskets, just what exactly are you supposed to do if you want to keep shooting it? :confused:"

I think the solution is a period correct solution....
 

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So if a part DOES break in one of these fine Indian muskets, just what exactly are you supposed to do if you want to keep shooting it? DE
Smokey, unless one knows much more than the average Hobbyist, you are stuck taking the gun to a competent ML gunsmith, if you have one in your area. If not, then you have to return the lock (better still the whole musket) and have the company fix it and return it. Either option is going to cost more to a LOT more to fix than a gun made on the Interchangeable Parts System, because of the amount of time and hand work necessary. Especially so if the person has to make the part from scratch.

So if you have to get your Musket fixed once or twice by someone else while you own the gun, good chance any money you saved from not buying a better made musket, will disappear.

I would DEFINITELY NOT buy a used India Musket that I could not do a thorough inspection on before I bought it and it won't have a warranty, when it needs repair.
Gus
 

Rockvillerich

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I remember Tom Henley, the shooter, but am not sure about Tom Hobbs. There are many, many people I remember by face in both ML and Modern Shooting, but don't remember their names. So I may know him, but don't remember his name. Is he from Maryland?

Gus
Yes, Tom lived in Ellicott City, and was one of the H's in H&H barrels. He shot with the CSS Alabama on the NSSA, and was a regular at Friendship.
 

satwel

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I would go with a Dixie Gun works or Navy Arms Brown Bess by Miruko, they're always for sale on Gun Broker, I'm actually thinking about selling mine. Its a short land but had period correct markings and room for stamps, they also run about as much as an Indian made gun. They're also very reliable, best repro Brown Bess Lock ! and the barrel is high quality. You can also easily restock them with Dunlap stocks.
Are you sure about Dunlap stocks fitting Miruko parts? I bought a beat-up Miruko Short Land Pattern intending to restock it. When I called Dunlap, they told me their Short Land Pattern stock would not fit the Miruko parts, just Pedersoli.

Thanks
 

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Artificer said:
I remember Tom Henley, the shooter, but am not sure about Tom Hobbs. There are many, many people I remember by face in both ML and Modern Shooting, but don't remember their names. So I may know him, but don't remember his name. Is he from Maryland?

Yes, Tom lived in Ellicott City, and was one of the H's in H&H barrels. He shot with the CSS Alabama on the NSSA, and was a regular at Friendship.
I would probably have known him from his days shooting at the Spring and Fall NSSA Championships. However, I run across some folks at the Hampton Gun Show who should know him, so I will ask next time I'm there.

Gus
 

Dave Markowitz

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Hey Gus, Did you happen to know Tom Hobbs? He also worked with, and made guns for the International Team, as well as teaching me a lot about the craft.
There's a name I haven't heard in awhile. I met Tom Hobbs when I was a kid in the 1970s. My father, Ron Markowitz, was a founding member of Marriotsville Muzzleloaders which used the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore Range. I used to wander around the AGC grounds with other kids during shoots.
 

Rockvillerich

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There's a name I haven't heard in awhile. I met Tom Hobbs when I was a kid in the 1970s. My father, Ron Markowitz, was a founding member of Marriotsville Muzzleloaders which used the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore Range. I used to wander around the AGC grounds with other kids during shoots.
Hey Dave, I also met Tom at a match at the Marriotsville range when Tidewater muzzleloaders were still using the old Church road Davidsonsville range, I think 1974. Ron Griffie, Chuck Blender, Speedy Hogart, Larry Gartner George Maizer, Wayne Dunlap, and company...a tough group to shoot against. It took me a couple of dedicated years to get up to that level of competition. Sure learned a lot from those guys.
 

SirFrancis

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So, if I’m to sum up the wisdom in this thread, it would be that there aren’t any really good ready-made solutions, but that if one wants a Bess, the options would be, in this order of correctness:

-Rifle Shoppe Bess kit
-TOTW Bess kit
-getting lucky on gunbroker and finding a nice Miroku or custom
-Pedersoli (even used ones in my experience are always at least $900-950 all-in)
-India guns, whether from Loyalist, Veteran, Middlesex Village, or Military Heritage, plus perhaps some other less well thought of sources.

It would be enlightening to hear if anyone has practical experience with the pros and cons of the different India-made options, since they are, hands down, the easiest and least painful way to experience a Bess.
 

hinamanra

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So if a part DOES break in one of these fine Indian muskets, just what exactly are you supposed to do if you want to keep shooting it? :confused:
Well, What would you do if a Thomson Center, CVA, Traditions, or any semi or custom gun breaks and you want to keep shooting it? Repair it. These are the most simple of mechanisms. If you're just an operator, then take it to a gunsmith, pay the guy or gal and write it off as a stupidity fine. By God could anyone today actually live in the 18th century.
 

FlinterNick

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Are you sure about Dunlap stocks fitting Miruko parts? I bought a beat-up Miruko Short Land Pattern intending to restock it. When I called Dunlap, they told me their Short Land Pattern stock would not fit the Miruko parts, just Pedersoli.

Thanks
The Dunlap stocks are designed to accept Pedersoli parts with minimal work, you could fit Miruko parts on a Dunlap stock you would just have to fit the parts. You would likely have to part ways with the trigger guard and butt plate. The barrel on the Miruko is a little bigger in the breech, but not much so you’d have to channel it would slightly. The Pedersoli and Miruko Bess’es are very similar in size in all aspects accept the Brass fittings but that’s an easy work around.

I’ve seen plenty of miruko’s restocked with Dunlap stocks, but the project is not for the beginner.

You could always call Dave Keck in PA to duplicate a miruko stock but that’s costly. AT least $400 for a new stock.

Jess Mellon of The Rifle Shoppe has several Brown Bess pattern stocks, however the long and short lands are likely not to going to take the miruko barrel which is smaller than the Colerain Barrel so you’d have to go with a light fusil or something similar.
 
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