India-made flintlocks

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I wish that all the various vendors and importers of India-made historical replica guns, the Veteran Arms, the Military Heritage, the Loyalist Arms, the whole lot, could get together in an industry union, if you will, to join with the India-based manufacturers, and work to ramp up the quality of the India-trade guns overall. I'd like to know how many factories there are in India making these interesting guns, which do fill a need in the re-enacting hobby. Wouldn't is be fun to see u-tube videos of the factories and interviews with the craftsmen and entrepreneurs who run the businesses? These guns are often bad-mouthed without reason; let's give the Italians a run for their money! I believe each importer carefully guards his sources; maybe a bit of co-operative openness would benefit all. Thanks, all.
 

Sidney Smith

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Italian made guns are orders of magnitude farther up the quality ladder than anything coming out of India. There is no comparison here.

If all a person can afford is an India made gun, ok. I can't fault someone for living within their means. However, if you can afford more, then you'd be a fool not to buy something better. To me India made means substandard junk, period. No one will convince me otherwise. A person can make attempts to promote India made, however, they are simply kidding themselves. When you're in a hobby a while, you get to know what is good, and what is bad, and what to stay away from. In my opinion, India made falls into the two latter categories.
 

Surfinator58

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I've been shooting black-powder now for 40 years and they used to say the Italian guns were crap nobody would touch them because they were considered inferior now the tide has changed and magically Italian guns are considered Superior well I'm not buying it I'll stick with the guns that I have whatever I shoot I enjoy and you can say all you want about Currie burners but I would never spend $7,000 on a custom Flintlock that was only worth $5,000 I do all my own Gunsmithing and wood work and I consider India guns to be like a 90% kit I've seen track of the Wolf guns come back with inferior fitting of metal Parts lock work in wood so you don't always get what you pay for
 

Rudyard

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Indian artizans CAN make good stuff but its all about the price between the workmen & the go between merchant he will peddle the poorest item at the highest profit the buyer will tollerate . While he gives the actual workmen the' knock back'. You pay peanuts you get Monkeys sort of thing so you get grades from' it will pass' to' NRA distgusting' quality .The workmen rarely speak English they struggle with all kinds of poor work shops . Its India or the India I knew when I was engaged in the tradeing in India in 1973 onward till I gave up on the effort.. .Given their lot even the top US makers could hardly be blamed for poor results . BUT to say the workmen are not fully capable is rather unfair, This asserted you will get levels of skill same as our country men will attain or be comfortable within the price range and market, .I have 'worked up 'lots of these guns to be regular 'fire risks', Reenactors used to chase me for them .Even Chuck Dixon bought one thinking it was my work .& it hung on his beams much to my ammusment .& my own Reenactor musket was a composite of broken rejects from three separate wrecks I changed common India Patts to a semblence of earlier private Purchase arms composit fore pipe , nice rounded sideplate much wood reshapeing new older style guard . They ALL stood UK proof .. Sydney does have a point .But I thought it only fair to give a wider picture of these guns and the part skilled enough Indian gun makers have to put up with . I only know of Loyalist Arms but though I never bought a gun from them we had other bussiness and know them for a dedicated & honest principaled Company .
Regards Rudyard

Champion of the under dog since I know what they had to put up with .
 

maillemaker

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I suspect that it would not take much internet sleuthing to identify the actual manufacturers in India if you were willing to do so.
 

Surfinator58

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Agree in fact I found one of the makers on the internet at no other place but YouTube and it was the same manufacturer who made my flintlocks from military heritage if you go on YouTube it's under fabulous India firearm reproduction or you can just search YouTube as India Flintlock and it will come up I also included a report from HP white an industry leader now-defunct that was specializing in Metallurgy testing if you read the report you'll see the metal used is a high-grade steel equal to that of us manufacturers as well as European manufacturers not to say the India guns aren't Rough Around the Edges which they are I have addressed this in previous remarks but they are strong and well made and will hold up well under the same conditions that pedersoli Uber D and many of the European manufacturers like cva Traditions etc etc will
 

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SirFrancis

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All guns can be labeled as junk. Some say Indian guns use shoddy workmanship and “non firearms spec” DOM tubing for barrels. Some say American “leaded steel” barrels are unsafe too. Some castigate Spanish guns or some of the Japanese guns as all junk. I’ve personally seen Italian made colt copies that make anything coming out of India look like they were hand finished by a master.


The reality is, Indian guns are safe but the ones we see are usually not of the best fit and finish, because they’re made to a price (and it’s a low one) and are inconsistent from supplier to supplier (because they’re essentially handmade and to differing requirements.) Indian or Italian will both be decidedly inferior to a well-tuned American custom build.
 
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Like anything it depends on whose buying it.

I know a little more detail about some historical firearms than someone who does not. So, when I see an Indian Made Brown Bess, Or Charleville or Baker Rifle all i really see is a mess.

Incorrect shaping of the entire gun and its components.

Incorrect wood, Teak and South Asian Rosewood is just way too hard and closed grained for gunstocks.

Locks often are made poorly and require tuning and reworking to shape the parts.

DOM (drawn over mandrel) tubing is not a type of barrel design I think one should not consider of the highest quality, for a few reasons. it’s basically a sheet of steel hammered into a tube and then welded. The welding that closes the seam needs to be done to perfection or the gun could fail at the breech or at the muzzle. While the originals were made this way, they were done with extensive proof testing, as there was an actual failure rate, not all barrels made it to the field. And on Indian guns….. the vent holes are not even drilled.
 
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All guns can be labeled as junk. Some say Indian guns use shoddy workmanship and “non firearms spec” DOM tubing for barrels. Some say American “leaded steel” barrels are unsafe too. Some castigate Spanish guns or some of the Japanese guns as all junk. I’ve personally seen Italian made colt copies that make anything coming out of India look like they were hand finished by a master.


The reality is, Indian guns are safe but the ones we see are usually not of the best fit and finish, because they’re made to a price (and it’s a low one) and are inconsistent from supplier to supplier (because they’re essentially handmade and to differing requirements.) Indian or Italian will both be decidedly inferior to a well-tuned American custom build.

Safety is not really a major concern i agree. Poor gun are practices will often lend one a gun that will hold a greater amount of risk to it.

The DOM barrel I’m not sold on though, there are better options available.
 

toot

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has any one heard of INDIAN guns used by the indigenous people, used for hunting ever blowing up? they use the same guns as imported. just courious?
 

ronaldrothb49

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My problem with India guns is the people who sell them clearly state they are for display or movie props only. Yes I know some of them give you info on how to make them into a functioning gun, but if you read the FINE PRINT they clearly state they take no responsibility for any modification that you do to make it a functioning firearm.
 

Russ T Frizzen

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Yeah, it seems all the vendors seem to sell the same product, wondered if all the guns come from the same factory?
India made guns are not made in factories as we think of factories. Maybe "artisan shop" is a good term. While I have never owned one of these guns, I have friends who have them. None of the barrels have failed and they all required work to make them truly functional. Their biggest complaint was the excessive weight. I've fired their guns and they went off reliably every time. I wouldn't buy one myself, but with a bit of work they make a decent beginner's gun.
 

maillemaker

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Yeah, it seems all the vendors seem to sell the same product, wondered if all the guns come from the same factory?
It is possible. It's also possible that it's a competitor. I used to import medieval armor from workshops in India and copying is rampant. Workers move from what workshop to another.
 

maillemaker

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My problem with India guns is the people who sell them clearly state they are for display or movie props only. Yes I know some of them give you info on how to make them into a functioning gun, but if you read the FINE PRINT they clearly state they take no responsibility for any modification that you do to make it a functioning firearm.
This is the only issue.

Indian guns may be fine to use as firearms. I've never heard of one failing due to a quality issue of the gun itself. I am certain that the Indians can make quality products if they desire to do so. Likewise I suspect that modern manufacturing and steel qualities will probably result in a stronger product than what was created hundreds of years ago.

But all of this is irrelevant.

The only thing that is relevant with a "gun" is this: Did the manufacturer make the item with the intent of it being a functional firearm?
If the answer is "no" then all liability falls on you for using a display piece for something it was not intended to be used as. If you are comfortable with that, great. But you need to understand that if something goes wrong, the manufacturer is not going to stand behind their product.
 
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This is the only issue.

Indian guns may be fine to use as firearms. I've never heard of one failing due to a quality issue of the gun itself. I am certain that the Indians can make quality products if they desire to do so. Likewise I suspect that modern manufacturing and steel qualities will probably result in a stronger product than what was created hundreds of years ago.

But all of this is irrelevant.

The only thing that is relevant with a "gun" is this: Did the manufacturer make the item with the intent of it being a functional firearm?
If the answer is "no" then all liability falls on you for using a display piece for something it was not intended to be used as. If you are comfortable with that, great. But you need to understand that if something goes wrong, the manufacturer is not going to stand behind their product.
Yes, you are right.
 
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Like anything it depends on whose buying it.

I know a little more detail about some historical firearms than someone who does not. So, when I see an Indian Made Brown Bess, Or Charleville or Baker Rifle all i really see is a mess.

Incorrect shaping of the entire gun and its components.

Incorrect wood, Teak and South Asian Rosewood is just way too hard and closed grained for gunstocks.

Locks often are made poorly and require tuning and reworking to shape the parts.

DOM (drawn over mandrel) tubing is not a type of barrel design I think one should not consider of the highest quality, for a few reasons. it’s basically a sheet of steel hammered into a tube and then welded. The welding that closes the seam needs to be done to perfection or the gun could fail at the breech or at the muzzle. While the originals were made this way, they were done with extensive proof testing, as there was an actual failure rate, not all barrels made it to the field. And on Indian guns….. the vent holes are not even drilled.
I seem to recall, maybe on the Military Heritage site, that the barrels are made of automotive tubing, and they state quite clearly that they are 'shootable'. One needs to study, be aware, and keep a clear head! Thanks.
 
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Agree in fact I found one of the makers on the internet at no other place but YouTube and it was the same manufacturer who made my flintlocks from military heritage if you go on YouTube it's under fabulous India firearm reproduction or you can just search YouTube as India Flintlock and it will come up I also included a report from HP white an industry leader now-defunct that was specializing in Metallurgy testing if you read the report you'll see the metal used is a high-grade steel equal to that of us manufacturers as well as European manufacturers not to say the India guns aren't Rough Around the Edges which they are I have addressed this in previous remarks but they are strong and well made and will hold up well under the same conditions that pedersoli Uber D and many of the European manufacturers like cva Traditions etc etc will
Interesting post! I didn't know HP was out of business, I'd heard that name my whole life!
 

Rudyard

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has any one heard of INDIAN guns used by the indigenous people, used for hunting ever blowing up? they use the same guns as imported. just courious?
Dear Toot . Ime fairly sure some native American Indian gun burst.for various reasons but All British guns where proofed so where unlikley to fail but no accounting for user errors Then as now.
Regards Rudyard
 

Rock Home Isle

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I wish that all the various vendors and importers of India-made historical replica guns, the Veteran Arms, the Military Heritage, the Loyalist Arms, the whole lot, could get together in an industry union, if you will, to join with the India-based manufacturers, and work to ramp up the quality of the India-trade guns overall. I'd like to know how many factories there are in India making these interesting guns, which do fill a need in the re-enacting hobby. Wouldn't is be fun to see u-tube videos of the factories and interviews with the craftsmen and entrepreneurs who run the businesses? These guns are often bad-mouthed without reason; let's give the Italians a run for their money! I believe each importer carefully guards his sources; maybe a bit of co-operative openness would benefit all. Thanks, all.
There is one manufacturer that makes very fine quality blackpowder firearms, but those guns usually go into the European markets and almost never come to the USA. I’ve seen a couple of these guns on YouTube videos, hanging on walls in the background. I bought one, years ago on GunBroker. I knew the gun was India Made when I bought it…almost no bidding against me…such a nice solid gun when it arrived.

I’ll post an image in a couple days…
 
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