Historical accuracy in big manufacturers

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dogfood

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I suppose this could have also gone under the percussion subforum, but for some reason it seemed to make a bit more sense for me to put it here.
I've long seen on this forum and others the criticism (not unwarranted) that factory produced sidelocks are seldom, if ever, historically accurate in their appearance.
I totally get that manufacturing methods are going to be different.

My question is this: does anyone have an insight into why the guns put out by the big manufacturers like Pedersoli, InvestArms, etc don't model their guns off of surviving examples, and not a vague nothing of what a sidekick is supposed to look like? I know that styles changed over time and geography so not every school could be represented. But that doesn't mean that the gun they do produce have to have no connection to any place/time in history.

I might be misunderstanding the criticism, but my impression has been that the combination of the shape of the stock, choice of furniture, and style of lock are not generally reflective of anything and even all those component pieces might not be as well.
If my takeaway is correct, what gives? Is the average consumer of these guns not going to care or notice? Is it a price point thing somehow? Ergonomics?
As for me, I'm not what the reenactment world terms a "stitch counter" but neither do I like to be farby, even when just out shooting by myself. I'd much prefer something that looks period correct over something that's not, but I'm still relatively new and while I can tell that such and such manufacturer's model X is wrong, I generally can't articulate how it is. They just look different to the originals I've seen in person and books/internet.
I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.
Thanks,
-dgfd
 

rich pierce

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It started with Navy Arms, Dixie Gun Works, Thompson Center, Numrich Arms proving that one can sell many thousands of guns that are not closely modeled after originals. The cost of doing it right is high in research and in development.
Next hurdle is that most originals weighed 9 pounds give or take and shooters new to muzzleloaders who are used to 7 and a half pound, short guns simply are not ready for a full sized longrifle. So at the least many makers chose shorter slimmer barrels.
Machine inletting square ended tangs, trigger guards, and trigger bars is hard compared to square. Much easier to make and inlet a perfectly rectangular TC tang with a rounded end. And so on.
The next hurdle is that folks coming from the modern side are used to getting a complete high quality shotgun good to go for less than $500 and a rifle fully equipped for less than $800.
 

dave_person

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Hi,
There are so many reasons the mass produced repros don't measure up. First, and foremost, is price. They cut corners to keep costs down. They are attempting to reproduce firearms made at a time when labor was cheap and materials dear but now materials are cheap and labor dear. Another problem is that once a model is developed based on a historically inaccurate prototype, it is very hard and expensive to change the tooling to upgrade it, so the original flawed model is perpetuated. The muzzleloading market is so small and price is such a dominant driver that most of the major manufacturers have little incentive to upgrade their products. Part of the blame lies with us as well because most will not pay the price required for a historically accurate gun.

dave
 
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Hi,
There are so many reasons the mass produced repros don't measure up. First, and foremost, is price. They cut corners to keep costs down. They are attempting to reproduce firearms made at a time when labor was cheap and materials dear but now materials are cheap and labor dear. Another problem is that once a model is developed based on a historically inaccurate prototype, it is very hard and expensive to change the tooling to upgrade it, so the original flawed model is perpetuated. The muzzleloading market is so small and price is such a dominant driver that most of the major manufacturers have little incentive to upgrade their products. Part of the blame lies with us as well because most will not pay the price required for a historically accurate gun.

dave
I'm curious to know the ratio of folks that know the details of an original weapon to those that are quite satisfied with the items available to us today? I believe that, to me, the traditionalists are too few to change market drivers. JMO.
 

pilot

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I believe 99% of the people buying their first muzzle loader are only interested in buying something legal to hunt deer with. Their purchase has nothing to do with traditional or historically correct. What percentage of new muzzle loaders even have a side lock? Those that care are few and far between.
 

RanchRoper

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I would be one of those guys who likes the tradition of an old style long rifle, but cannot afford a custom, 100% period correct rifle. My Pedersoli Frontier is close enough for me that I can shoot traditional, it puts a smile on my face, and correct enough to attend a rendezvous too if I wanted to. Plus I had enough money left over to buy caps, powder and lead.... :)
 

MC One Shot

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I would be one of those guys who likes the tradition of an old style long rifle, but cannot afford a custom, 100% period correct rifle. My Pedersoli Frontier is close enough for me that I can shoot traditional, it puts a smile on my face, and correct enough to attend a rendezvous too if I wanted to. Plus I had enough money left over to buy caps, powder and lead.... :)
We have a winner. I believe that this statement is true for the majority of muzzleloaders and reenactors. I believe that the majority of us all started with Navy, Dixie, TC, Lyman etc in early years and then some of us have graduated to custom PC/HC muzzleloaders at a greater price. I know many people that are still shooting the same mass produced ML they bought in the 70's or 80's. People will generally start with something that they can get by on upgrade to a better quality factory ML or they save and scrimp for a few years and then get a PC/HC ML for their persona. Then there some of us who have changed their persona few times and have several custom built MLs. Again there are others that have done the same and are more than happy with their Pedersolies etc. I still have my kit built TC Hawken from the 70's and the Uberti kit built Santa Fe from the early 80's. WOW! I've been at this for this long... An my teacher told my parents I had no attention span...
 

sportster73hp

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I am sure there are those that don’t know the mass produced are not hc/pc and just want to shoot bp. Then they find that there is a community dedicated to this lifestyle and the experienced people start telling them how wrong they are and try to shame them into a better gun when they were happy with a cheap one.
Me, I don’t care what others say but i do listen. My first was a traditions Tennessee, and i still own it . I do have other toys to shoot bp.
 

Eric Krewson

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All the early production guns were produced before CNC came along, there is no reason not to produce a historically accurate gun now except for a drop in interest from the consumer. A consumer who generally doesn't know a correctly built Hawken from a football bat and what's more could care less.
 

Fly103

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I shoot a pedersoli Pennsylvania rifle. I chose it because it looks much more period correct than anything traditions makes but was stll at a price point i could afford. When I set out to buy my first flintlock I came up with a short list of requirements I wanted to meet.

Price- under $1000
Full stock with somewhat correct architecture when viewed from 15ft away.
I also wanted a 40" or greater barrel length for a true (in my eyes) "longrifle" look and feel.
.50 caliber since I already had a good stock of balls, patches for my traditions hawken.

I considered a pedersoli frontier which looks a little more correct I think but I couldnt find one in stock in .50cal and I absolutely despised that buckhorn sight. I also considered a Kibler kit and i will probably order one in the future but i wanted to be shooting this spring, not 6 months from now.

Chris
 

Nameless Hunter

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All the early production guns were produced before CNC came along, there is no reason not to produce a historically accurate gun now except for a drop in interest from the consumer. A consumer who generally doesn't know a correctly built Hawken from a football bat and what's more could care less.
Very true, and covers a lot of other fields of interest as well. The difference is the size of the field and access to education to explain the difference. 5 years ago I was shooting an inline and didn't really care. I sold the inline and now have mint pre warning TC "Hawken", a GPR 54, and a Kibler on the way. Why? I found this site.
 

Walkingeagle

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I think the natural desire to fit in with like minded people is what brings them to this site, and eventually to more authentic gear. I know in my case if I hadn’t found my previous site then this site after the previous basically died, I would still be very happy with my .50 TC Hawken and likely have more money!
Walk
 
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Walkingeagle

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All the early production guns were produced before CNC came along, there is no reason not to produce a historically accurate gun now except for a drop in interest from the consumer. A consumer who generally doesn't know a correctly built Hawken from a football bat and what's more could care less.
Whats a football bat?
Walk
 

tenngun

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I remember back when I first heard of the Hawken shop. Today they still get praises for their high quality. But,
They took ten originals and carefully measured then produced averages. So what you get from them is an average, not a copy.
Ok, take a perdisoli Bess, age it, throw it in with a stack of originals, take a black and white photo, even experts would have a hard time picking it out.
My brother used to show classic MGs. Everything had to be perfect to place, and his cars did well in shows. But 99% of the people who ohhed and ahhed over those cars couldn’t tell winner from the loser.
At some point even the most perfect repo breaks down.
 

hanshi

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Not much around that's authentic if it comes across the counter. They often are simply "similar" + or -, some more so than others. But that's alright and it does get shooters out there with authentic technology. In truth, I wouldn't particularly care for a "bench copy" (replica, in other words) of a particular and original existing antique. "Something in the general style of", works best for me. I like my guns customized and with various specifics that work for me.
 

Dale Lilly

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"Ish" works just fine for me ... and I love customizing. I would not do that to a gun House made. Polecat
 

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