Brown Bess vs Fowler

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Team, I own one of Pedersoli's copy of a Brown Bess. I enjoy hunting with and shooting that firearm much. I've really enjoyed developing shot loads and round ball loads along the way. I'm now considering picking up a fowler (yikes they can be expensive). Aside from form/handling, does a fowler offer anything over the Bess, like tighter patterns with shot (assuming a choke is used). From what I've read, it seems the folwer will handle "quicker/lighter"....both very subjective terms/ideas. I guess I'm looking for input/confirmation that it makes sense to buy another smoothbore in addition to my Bess. Thanks so much for your thoughts and input!
 
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I also have a Bess I enjoy shooting but honestly, I really love my OTHER TWO smoothbores even more. I have a Northwest Trade gun by Sitting Fox that is 20 ga/.62 caliber AND a Fusil de Chasse by Centermark that is also 20ga/.62 caliber. The lightest and easiest to carry and shoot off hand is the Trade gun and my FdC is a close second (it's slightly heavier since it has a 42" barrel). Sorry to ramble on but to answer your question - YES! you will enjoy owning and shooting other smoothbore guns and if a fowler is what you are leaning towards then by all means get one, you won't regret it.
 
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Some folks say they like a short barrel cause it’s easier in the woods I like a long barrel and have no trouble with iit.
Above has an FDC and a NWG loves them both, I always wanted a NWG and my FDC is my favorite gun, but when I got a NWG I just wasn’t real happy with it
We have a whole section about hand guns, I don’t enjoy hand guns at all
Some say a Charlie is a better gun then a bess. In America we chose to make Charlie’s for our army and not besses, in German states they oft made besses.
A bess is heavier then a fowler. Even if you got a Hudson River club butt style the bess will still top out.
But in the end it’s a flintlock smooth bore
You want tacos or pizza tonight for dinner?
 

dave_person

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Hi,
I am very familiar with Besses, NW guns, and true fowlers both original and recreated. A true British fowler is like a sports car compared to a truck-like Bess. A good fowler will have fired its charge by the time that big Bess flint cock has traveled halfway around its almost 120 degree arc. NW guns are kind of in between sporting fowlers and muskets. They are lighter but usually have second rate locks and other components. True English fowlers will generally have high quality components, fast and reliable locks, light, well balanced barrels, and well made stocks that fit the shooter. A Bess weighs 9-11 lbs, a good English fowler 5-7 lbs. Also a good quality English fowler will have a hook breech and barrel keys rather than pins. Of course there are may kinds of fowlers made in different places. American and colonial fowlers can range from clumsy composite guns made from old salvaged components, to long Hudson Valley guns, to French and English clones.

Here are 3 English fowlers along with a Dublin Castle Brown Bess. The top and bottom guns are originals from the 18th and 19th centuries. It gives you a sense about the size differences.
Ce28z1d.jpg

wbA6fxh.jpg


dave
 
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Hi,
I am very familiar with Besses, NW guns, and true fowlers both original and recreated. A true British fowler is like a sports car compared to a truck-like Bess. A good fowler will have fired its charge by the time that big Bess flint cock has traveled halfway around its almost 120 degree arc. NW guns are kind of in between sporting fowlers and muskets. They are lighter but usually have second rate locks and other components. True English fowlers will generally have high quality components, fast and reliable locks, light, well balanced barrels, and well made stocks that fit the shooter. A Bess weighs 9-11 lbs, a good English fowler 5-7 lbs. Also a good quality English fowler will have a hook breech and barrel keys rather than pins. Of course there are may kinds of fowlers made in different places. American and colonial fowlers can range from clumsy composite guns made from old salvaged components, to long Hudson Valley guns, to French and English clones.

Here are 3 English fowlers along with a Dublin Castle Brown Bess. The top and bottom guns are originals from the 18th and 19th centuries. It gives you a sense about the size differences.
Ce28z1d.jpg

wbA6fxh.jpg


dave

Thanks for that feedback! I forgot about the lock time on my Bess….it seems like it takes ages for the flint to get to the frizzen :)

The quicker lock time and more agile handling are great reasons to pick up another smoothbore! Thank you again!
 
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Thanks for that feedback! I forgot about the lock time on my Bess….it seems like it takes ages for the flint to get to the frizzen :)

The quicker lock time and more agile handling are great reasons to pick up another smoothbore! Thank you again!

I would also add the generally TERRIBLE Military Trigger Pull on many/most Repro Bess's, with obvious exceptions for custom built ones from folks like Dave Person or folks who know how to do a good trigger job on them.

Gus
 
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Indeed! Pulling the trigger on my Bess reminds me of jerking the lanyard on a howitzer :)

I began learning to do trigger jobs on percussion military locks in the Spring of 1974. However, for some strange reason I thought a large military flintlock was "too different." So I never worked the trigger pull on the Brown Bess Carbine I competed with from 1975-1980. HUGE DUUUHHH on my part I later learned in the early 1980's, when I finally began doing trigger jobs on them.

Gus
 

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