Argentine Bess

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Columbus, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. Apr 17, 2019 #21

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    First of all, thank you for taking the comments as constructive criticism, so you may indeed improve your product. That is very good to read.

    "Our Brown Bess Musket price is 1200 Dollars + Shipping.

    Way we are making and 1793 Tipe 1 ???
    Way Not??
    That model be used for the British invations on 1806 here, in Argentina!
    America is NOT ONLY NORTH AMERICA!!!"

    That makes perfect sense for why you are replicating that Pattern Musket, as it was THE Pattern used in Argentina.

    However, for the North American Market and especially for Reenactors, may I be so bold as to suggest that Pattern will not sell as well, because it can only be used for War of 1812 reenacting and there isn't nearly as many of those Reenactors as FIW and AWI Reenactors. (I say this as one who has reenacted all three time periods, by the way.)

    I believe you would have a real hit on your hands if you recreated the P 1756 Long Land Brown Bess Musket with the standard 46" length barrel. Many, if not most both FIW and AWI Reenactors have been discussing for years that though this model came in very late to the FIW here (and may have never been actually used here during the conflict, because they arrived after most of the fighting here was over, except Pontiac's Rebellion) the P 1756 would still be more than welcomed by both FIW and AWI reenactors, as one Musket they could use for both time periods. That is a huge selling point for this model musket.

    I would love to be able to tell you the P1742 Musket, which was THE main Musket used here in the FIW, would be good to replicate, but I believe that would be bad advice to you. Most Reenactors want a Steel Rammer Musket, so the P 1742 would probably not sell that well, even though it is the more authentic Musket for FIW use.

    As to the quality of steels available in Argentina, I already remarked the way your M 1814 Musket Lock sparked so well, you had to be using quality steels.

    Again, Thank You for taking my comments in the spirit intended as constructive criticism. I do wish the best for you in your endeavors.

    Gus

    P.S.
    For others here in North America, I would add the firearms Industry in Argentina has been making quality firearms with quality steels for many years. (I hope the Moderators will allow the following as evidence of this, even though it is about modern guns.) Colt licensed Argentina to make copies of the M1911 Pistol many years ago and much more recently, Argentina has been making copies of those pistols and sold through Springfield Armory. When they first came out in the 1980's, I grabbed four or five WWII era M1911A1's owned by the Marine Corps and compared them with the two Argentina made M1911's supplied by Springfield Armory. I was thrilled with the quality and how well parts interchanged and worked. I used those pistols over quite a few years to make a pretty fair number of "Duty," IPSC and "NM Pistols" and they worked and functioned as good as any WWII Colt or other Contractor made Pistols. So there is absolutely no doubt that good steels have been and are available to the makers of the M 1814 and Brown Bess Muskets.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  2. Apr 17, 2019 #22

    Stantheman86

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    Some flint military pistols would be hot sellers too.......Americans love pistols :)

    People will walk right by any number of beautiful rifles or muskets to pick up something like an 1840 Johnson pistol or a French .69 flintlock naval pistol because they're just so neat.

    Also many buyers of repro muzzleloading arms in the US are "casual" users who bring them along to fire a few rounds out of to finish out a range day. Look at Dixies website , the French AN IX pistol has like 10 reviews "coolest gun ever" "my modern gun friends even love this thing " "buddies always tell me to bring that 'huge pirate pistol' on range days"

    Where a musket like the 1795 Springfield has no or very few reviews. The average "these guns are fun" buyer with $$ to burn on toys doesnt want to pack up a mile long Musket on range day but a big pistol is just too easy to bring along for some "range fun".

    Just some constructive advice from a guy who is around "gun people" and veterans who buy all kinds of firearms pretty much every day.

    I myself love a nice muzzleloading pistol and own several.
     
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  3. Apr 18, 2019 #23

    Artificer

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    Yes, those Muskets having only begun to be made in the last year of the War of the Austrian Succession and having been retained for use for Regiments on the Continent, wound up being superseded by the P 1756 Muskets. It would not surprise me the only use they ever saw would have been in English Militia Units.

    Gus
     
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  4. Apr 18, 2019 #24

    FlinterNick

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    However Gus it should always be regarded that the Irish Muskets from Dublin Castle, and various Irish contractors had been making Brown Bess Muskets with Steel rammer since the 1720’s. The main reason why these guns were not copied by the British Contractors was because of costs, they had so many muskets from the Pre-Bess Era and 1720 muskets that switching to a Steel rammer was just not practical.

    Some original Dublin Castle Brown Bess Muskets have been found with the steel rammer, smaller diameter pipes, however the stocks on these guns were heavy. Imagine a 1740 Bess drilled for a .235 diameter rod channel, the forestock would be excessively thick and the forearm would be thicker on the outside diameter (not thick where it ought to be thick between the barrel channel and the rod channel for lugging).
     
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  5. Apr 25, 2019 #25

    Artificer

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    Indeed, as mentioned before, you never know what you will find with the Irish Board of Ordnance Muskets. That plus the fact that all written records at Dublin Castle of the Ordnance Department were burned long ago in a fire, we will probably will never have anything like the documentation we do on the British Ordnance Department. Not having some of those records leaves us in a quandary as to when and why the Irish Department tended to use Iron/Steel Rammers earlier than the British Ordnance Department, though we do have some clues from other sources.

    Initially, the Irish Board of Ordnance was only responsible for British Regiments stationed in Ireland and the British Ordnance Department at the Tower was responsible for British Regiments stationed in England, Wales, Scotland and the rest of the world, from what I have been able to gather. Maybe because the Irish Ordnance Board had far fewer Muskets to be responsible for, that they were able to do more “R&D” work than the British Board at the Tower?

    I know I have read where Cuthbertson stated there were problems with the early Iron/Steel Rammers bending too easily and thus could not be re-bent straight, nor put back into the rammer pipes. The problem is I can’t lay my hands on the documentation right now. I think it might be in his 1768 version of his “Cuthbertson's System for the Complete Interior Management and Oeconomy of a Battalion of Infantry,” but I can’t find that on line right now. The following is from his 1776 printing, which does not contain it, but that is probably because William Grice found a better way to temper Steel Rammers in the late 1750’s and AFTER the time Cuthbertson wrote the first printing in 1768.

    “The iron-ramrods must be chosen straight, and free from flaws, with the pipes of the firelocks firm, to render the returning more secure and expeditious; the spring below the tail-pipe, which confines the point, should also be strong, to prevent the weight of the ram-rod from throwing itself forward, in the motion of presenting, and that the point may not stick at the swell of the firelock; and be thereby rendered difficult to draw, a plate of iron must be fixed there, to oppose its entering the wood.

    Like me, some folks may find or have found it confusing when Original Documentation on Brown Bess metal Rammers list them as being both Iron and Steel in the same time periods during the 18th century. So when I found the following information from Dr. De Witt Bailey in his book “Pattern Dates for British Ordnance Small Arms , 1718 – 1783,” I thought other folks may be interested as well.

    From the Glossary on Page X.

    Steel Rammer. Although the ramrods generally introduced from 1748 were metallurgically Iron followed by untempered Steel, these were superceded at some unspecified date prior to 1767, (through the efforts of contractor William Grice) by tempered Steel ramrods. Steel is used throughout this study to avoid confusion.”

    OK, I realize this is just a theory of mine and I may be reading too much between the lines, but it sounds to me that perhaps part of the reason the British Board did not come out with an Iron/Steel Rammer Musket until 1748, was they had problems with untampered or improperly tempered Steel Rammers that bent to easily and then would not go back into the Rammer Pipes properly. When they got into BIG TIME production of the P 1756 Arms that all had Steel Rammers, such a problem would have been huge, had they not gotten the Steel Rammers tempered correctly. I suspect Grice and other contractors were contacted about correcting the problem and it was Grice who came up with a way to both properly temper the Steel Rammers and in large enough quantities necessary for the British Board of Ordnance.

    Gus
     
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  6. Apr 25, 2019 #26

    Loyalist Dave

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    The major problem is the price. Even if total it was $1400, not $1400 plus $200 to ship. As Gus mentioned, for that price the lock mortise and tang carving should be correct.

    ARGENTINE 1400 Dollar Bess.jpg

    As for the barrel thickness..., I doubt that it's a liability trend as has been suggested, but suspect perhaps it is seamless tubing, which is then machined. There are some very good steels available.

    If the price was the same as an India origin Bess, I'd say "Jump on it" as the wood is better and they appear well made. Correcting the wood carving and the flats then would be a joy, not a disappointment. (I wonder if replacement parts are interchangeable, as the India origin locks do not necessarily interchange.)

    Especially I'd get one, if I did Napoleonic, OR if I was doing War of 1812 at Ft. McHenry, and you could use it as a different sort of gun for fur-trade (maybe cut it down?) There is also the Mexican-American War for all you lads down in Texas, plus there is the 11th Tn Regiment CSA [beginning impression] or even if I wanted to supervise a conversion over to caplock for AWI use.... but not at that price.

    IF they came out with an LLP rounded side plate version, especially if they sent their barrels over to Chile where there is a proper, C.I.P proofing house, and had the barrels proofed..., even if the price was the same as the Pedersoli, they'd give Pedersoli a "run for their money". ;) (imho)

    Note the crisp points on the side plate flats of the three below LLP muskets...you don't even have to keep the teardrop, but you do need an "edge" where the flat of the mortise or opposite side meets the rounded portion of the stock....for those prices.

    FIRST MODEL BESS SIDE PLATE.jpg

    LD
     
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  7. Apr 26, 2019 #27

    AAOG

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    All is ok... I say before that "errors" can be solved easily for us on the next Brown Bess !! But all of you can't understand at this time is THE PRICE IS 1200 + 200 FOR SHIPPING!!
    1400 dollars is the price for the Charleville Musket.
    Thanks.

     
  8. Apr 26, 2019 #28

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    I build Besses and have restored originals. I am not very impressed with the gun shown. Way too much wood left on, over polishing likely with a buffing wheel, very poorly formed lock panels and tang apron. The whole wrist area is not done well. As I wrote in another thread, I am so glad I am not stuck buying production repros and can build whatever I want to the standards the originals were made. To remind folks what a Bess should look like here is a militia musket based on earlier patterns of the musket:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    dave
     
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  9. Apr 26, 2019 #29

    AAOG

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    Beautiful gun Dave!!!
    You are forged or melted all the components of this beautiful Bess? You are drilled the barrel too? You are maked the lock too?
    Or you are purchased that pieces from other kits or stores?
    What is the price and time for delivery of your work?
    I'm a relative new member here and i want to know more about your works!
    You can make your Bess from Zero into your workshop and deliver it in 60 days by 1200 Dollars like me??
    How you can? Speak us about it!!!
    Really, your Bess is beautiful!!
     
  10. Apr 26, 2019 #30

    yulzari

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    AAOG. From a European perspective it would indeed make the guns more attractive if there were an option to receive them proofed in CIP approved proof house. As mentioned above the closest to Argentina is indeed the Banco de Pruebas de Chile, Santiago. It obviously adds to the cost but it would save the trouble and cost of gaining an official proof as required in Europe and in competitions. If you are looking to sell muskets and not compete head on with Pedersoli etc. can I suggest a snaphaunce musket or a Baker or Brunswick rifle? The Baker was certainly taken to Argentina in the war with Spain by the British Army. Even just a snaphaunce lock.
    PM sent.

    Buena suerte con tu trabajo. Te deseo éxito. Tu ingles es mejor que mi español.
     
  11. Apr 26, 2019 #31

    FlinterNick

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    Incredible Wilson Musket Dave !

    Rifle Shoppe does supply the top repro kits.

    What stain do you use? Is your finish Linseed oil ?

    Thanks

    Nick
     
  12. Apr 26, 2019 #32

    FlinterNick

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    Agree Dave, for $1200-1400 the musket better be the way you want it. The Wood carving on the tang also flips up slightly, I’ve never seen that on any Bess or trade musket.

    I know the Nepal guns manufactured during the Napoleonic Wars were off pattern, I think Miruko copied them for the Dixie Gun Works and Navy Arms muskets.
     
  13. Apr 26, 2019 #33

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    Thanks Nick and AAOG. I don't build for production and never intend to so my throughput and pricing is irrelevant. I build one or two muskets a year for re-enactors usually for the price of parts or sometimes I donate the whole project to a unit. My purpose is to help young guys and gals who cannot afford a correct firearm get started. In my opinion, the living history community does not need another mass produced musket that shows all the marks and cost cutting associated with that process. What they need is somebody to embrace the CNC technology that enables Jim Kibler to produce authentic guns at a very good price ( https://kiblerslongrifles.com/collections/colonial-rifle-kit). Imagine a Bess or Charleville produced of that quality for a similar price. A few years ago, I argued on this forum that no one can mass produce the hand made precision evident on originals but I was wrong. Jim is doing it and very successfully.

    dave
     
  14. Apr 26, 2019 #34

    AAOG

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    Thanks Dave!
    But the time production and the price everything is the condition to do the better handmade work... The people want buy your Bess for the India decorative reproduction price if it is possible!!
    We need adjust some details in our India Pattern N°1 (you are comparing our India Pattern with your model... Are not the same gun).
    We are accepted it some posts before!!!
    Our replica not be presented for us like THE BEST BROWN BESS OF THE WORLD!! is just an option more!!
    We are a little Italian family (father, son and uncle) working every day in our workshop dedicated to Muzzleloader guns in Argentina. We have induction furnace to melt steel, to melt brass, we have light cnc machines to be used on the first steps of the wood carving... And the classic tolls to work! Maybe we don't offer the best on Muzzleloader guns! We are in constant learning... But we made alll components, each part, each detalis inside of our workshop... We don't buy any component for our products...
    We are learning... And the relation Price/quality/production time is for a handmade work, very acceptable!!!
    If we buy the components kits, and take 6 months to buy a Brown Bess, we can arrive to the same like you! But we be converted on a finisher... And we, like you can't sell your finisher work by 1200 Dollars!!!!
    Of course, you be receive the congratulations of the people! Many more people, but can't pay for your work never on 3 lifes!!!
    We can't live selling 2 or 3 guns by year here... You are a lucky man!!! Congratulations for that!

    Martin.
     
  15. Apr 26, 2019 #35

    dave_person

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    Hi Martin.
    Thanks for your post and I understand where you are coming from. I build more than muskets each year but I don't need my entire income from gun making. I understand Besses very well including the late India patterns and the earlier ones. My knowledge is from handling and viewing many originals as well as from books. With the exception of Jim Kibler, every mass producer cuts corners for cost and price control and the end product shows it. As Kibler demonstrates, that general circumstance does not have to be the case but I suspect it will with muskets for a long time to come. Martin, I don't know who your market is, local, US, Europe? However, with cheap India-made imports, cheap India-made imports worked over to look a little better in the US and Canada, Pedersolis, and old Mirukos, what is needed in the US is just a better, more historically accurate commercially made musket. So my advice is, raise the price and use the extra cost to clean up the stock, carve the wrist and lock area better to bring it closer to the historical standards maintained by British Ordnance (not some Belgian, Nepalese, etc license holder). Then you would have something special and unique to offer. also, at least in North America, the India pattern probably is less popular with most re-enactor units because it was not used during our French and India war, war for independence, and colonial times.

    dave
     
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  16. Apr 26, 2019 #36

    AAOG

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    Thanks Dave for your words and your advice! We take note of every comments here!
    Our market is 60 % local... But we have an website in Spanish language and English language! That situation open our catalog to others countries. We are not specifically interested in a particular country... But when we are contacted for any possible customer, we study your exigency and program the work specifically for each customer... We don't have guns finished to sell... Nothing!
    We export one by one, directly to the customer home, from our workshop.

    Greetings, and thank you for your time and your advices!! All members here write your points of view and we accept the words... Our intention is say "hey!! We are on South America making muzzleloader guns, you know us" we are the only one Muzzleloader workshop authorized to produce functional muzzleloader guns on South America!

    Martin.
     
  17. May 22, 2019 #37

    Stantheman86

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    How does one go about ordering one of those Charlevilles?

    Is it a down payment type thing then pay the rest when its ready to ship?
     

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