Indian Muskets

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by TheTyler7011, Mar 19, 2019.

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  1. Mar 29, 2019 #141

    Artificer

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    Extremely well said, Dave. Thank you.

    Gus
     
  2. Mar 29, 2019 #142

    Artificer

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    Thank you for posting that.

    Since the NSSA is primarily a ML live fire shooting organization, I have long admired they went to these steps of "Pre and Post Production" Inspection (the latter normally only when changes were made or failures to conform were found) to keep standards of Function, a reasonable standard of Authenticity, and Safety for their Membership. I have seen examples of reproduction firearms the Ordnance Committee has rejected mainly from Pre Production, though also a couple of Post Production over the years and I always applauded their work.

    This is why I wonder if an 18th century reenacting organization has come up with a reasonable criteria to inspect repro Arms of that period?

    Gus
     
  3. Mar 29, 2019 #143

    Tanglefoot

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    I don't have much experience with East Indian muskets, but I wanted to share with the group some experience with a "replica" of a percussion Officer's Belt Pistol that purported to be a copy of one carried by British officer. A friend of mine traded for it and was very pleased with it until he fired it. He first removed the lock and the breeched barrel, cleaned storage grease from the lock works and scrubbed the bore. It was smoothbore, 20-gauge, and he loaded it with (first) 30 grains of FFg, a cork wad, a measured charge of shot (No. 7-1/2, as I recall) and a card wad. It wanted musket caps. He shot it with that load two or three times then moved up to 40 grains of powder. One shot and he noticed that there was a gap starting between the breech plug and the breech end of the barrel. Long story short, he called me and when I arrived we did a detail disassembly. When we started to unscrew the breech plug, we found that it was not threaded at all and neither was the barrel. They were press-fitted ...... and soldered together! He hung it on the wall as a reminder and never fired it again, of course.
    Not every piece you come across is built to the same standards, y'all. Be very cautious.
    There floats my stick.
    Tanglefoot
     
  4. Mar 29, 2019 #144

    FlinterNick

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    Indian Repro’s as good as the originals ?

    Haha well I suppose it depends on the condition of the gun.

    But I can honestly say that many 1816, common rifles, 1840 and 1861 Springfields originals I’ve seen shot are clean and almost look new at 180 yearas old.

    Somethings get better with age, in my opinion a well cared for musket is one of them.

    I don’t doubt that Indian Repros are good for some folks, I just don’t trust the quality of the gun. I’m a believer in you get what you paid for and cheaper is not always a good thing.

    And to boot.... the Indian Repro’s to me just don’t look anything like the originals. Compare the MiddleSex Long Land 1756 to a Rifle Shoppe 1756 or an original, the gun is not same from butt to nose and then if you have any questions... Pete hangs up on you.

    Some modern Repro’s are not exact copies of the originals but are designed very well. Pedersoli and Miruko do/did make some fine Repro muskets that were close enough to the originals and quality guns.

    I stand by my Navy Arms Charleville as one of the best repro muskets ever made and very much like the original aside from a few small details.
     
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  5. Mar 30, 2019 #145

    Rockvillerich

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    Back in the early 1980's a very cool fellow named Jerry Cunningham, when working for Montana Rifle Barrel Company, wrote a paper while tested a large number of barrels of various dimensions with all sorts of overloads and obstructions, including huge charges, multiple patched balls, and obstructions using barrels of 12L14, and 1214 Bismuth, free-machining carbon steels with a 69,000 psi tensile strength, 65,100 psi yield and a 15.3 % elongation.
    With increasing numbers of round balls seated on the powder the lightest charge tested that bulged an octagon barrel was a .36 cal 13/16" X 35" with 400 grains of 3F, and four balls. The .45 cal. 13/16 " X 35" bulged when they got to 600 grains of 3F, with six balls, while the .45 cal 15/16" X 42" barrel bulged at 800 grains of 3F. The .50 cal. 7/8" X 35" barrel tested was of 1214 Bismuth, and bulged at 800 grains of 2F powder with eight balls. The .54 cal. 15/16" X 35" barrel, also of 1214 Bismuth bulged at 1000 grains of 2F with ten balls. The .58 cal. 1" barrel of 1214 Bismuth bulged at 1000 grains of 2F with ten balls, and the .62 cal. 1" X 35" barrel of 1214 Bismuth also bulged at 1000 grains of 2F and ten balls The largest of these bulges was .005" per side on the .50 cal 7/8" barrel. Obstructions also required pretty drastic charges to burst these barrels. The .36 cal 13/16 bulged .009" at 800 grains of 3F with eight balls 4" off the powder. The .45 cal. 13/16 burst into four pieces with a charge of 500 grains of 3F, five balls, 4" off the powder. The .45 cal 15/16 burst into four pieces charged with 800 grains of 3F, 5" off the powder. The 7/8 .50 cal burst into five pieces with the balls still inside loaded with 500 grains of 2F, and five balls 4" off the powder. The .54 cal 15/16" burst into two pieces with 500 grains of 2F, and five balls, 8" off the powder. The .58 cal 1" bulged .23" with 600 grains of 2F, and six balls, 12" off the powder. At 1500 gains of 2F, and fifteen balls 8" off the powder the .62 cal 1" barrel blew into seven pieces the the balls still inside.
    The largest charges that did not damage these barrels with the balls seated on the power were, for the .36 cal 13/16, 200 grains and two balls. .45 cal 13/16" 400 grains and four balls. .45 cal 15/16" 600 grains and six balls. .50 cal 7/8" 500 grains of 2F and five balls. .54 cal 15/16" 700 grains of 2F and seven balls. .58 cal 1" 700 grains of 2F and seven balls...and the .62 cal 1" also managed 700 grains of 2F and seven balls with no damage.
    The .54 cal 1" barrel was also tested repeatedly with 130 grains of 2F powder and a patched ball as the breach plug was unscrewed from eight to two treads holding the breach plug with no effect.
    I've shared this information not to say black powder can't be dangerous, but these tests do convince me that we can shoot black powder rifles without great fear of them blowing up if we use reasonable caution.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  6. Mar 31, 2019 #146

    Tanglefoot

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    Responding to Rockvillerich's comments: You bet!
    I wasn't discussing testing the Indian-made pistol for safety, pressure testing the barrel, or using multiple charges. Not my point at all, amigo.
    I was simply sharing the information that at least one example of those pieces we were discussing was made poorly, with the breech plug soldered in place instead of threaded-and-screwed together. That solder joint started separating after just a few rounds at modest pressures. It was dangerous, especially if you're one of the people who holds it in his hand while testing it. That was my point.
    So far as your conclusion about using reasonable caution, I agree but would like to add that "reasonable" for me involves being extra careful. One pound of powder is 7010 grains. Until early in WWII, the standard bursting charge of a fragmentation hand grenade was 500 grains of 3Fg black powder.
    When you tip up a horn that contains a pound of powder during a pouch-and-horn match or in the deer woods, you're cuddling the equivalent of 14 hand grenades under your elbow. That has nothing to do with barrel testing, but knowing that has always made me more careful rather than less.
    Tanglefoot
     
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  7. Mar 31, 2019 #147

    arcticap

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    That is certainly worth noting whether or not the gun originated from India, Pakistan, Japan or any other country.
    Buying from a reputable dealer is one of the themes of this whole thread.
    Who knows where a gun originated, who imported it and made it?
    Anyone could probably visit a multitude of places, visit a bazaar and hand carry one back to the US or funnel it through another country.
    A region of Pakistan is well known for making cheap copies of all kinds of guns and selling them to tourists.
    I thought that the area was Peshawar, Pakistan but in looking it up I found a place named Darra Adam Khel which is 25 miles away.

    "Darra Adam Khel is a town in Frontier Region Kohat It has gained fame and notoriety for its bazaars packed with gunsmiths and weapons merchants. The town consists of one main street lined with multiple shops, along with some alleys and side streets containing workshops. It is mostly inhabited by Pashtuns of the Afridi clan, that is the Adamkhel.

    A wide variety of firearms are produced in the town, ranging from anti-aircraft guns to pen guns. Weapons are handmade by individual craftsmen using traditional manufacturing techniques, which are usually handed down from father-to-son. Guns are regularly tested by test-firing into the air. Darra is controlled by the local tribesmen. Darra Adam Khel is an unkempt village of two storey wood and adobe buildings in the sand stone hills near the Kohat Frontier region. It is the gun factory of the Tribal Areas, located around 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Peshawar on the road to Kohat. The drive takes around forty minutes. Darra (Adam Khel denotes a clan of the Afridi Tribe) is inside Pakistan but has certain special laws as compared to rest of Pakistan. Most of the people here seem to make or sell just one thing, i.e., guns, while the second largest business of the inhabitants is transport.

    In the arcades off the main road are workshops. Hundreds of closet-sized rooms where men and boys make working copies of the entire world's guns with nothing more than hand tools and a small drill press. The tools are astonishingly primitive, yet the forges turn out accurate reproduction of every conceivable sort of weapon, from pen pistols and hand-grenades to automatic rifles and anti-aircraft guns. The copies are so painstakingly reproduced that even the serial number of the original is carried over. A Darra gunsmith, given a rifle he hasn't seen before, can duplicate it in around ten days. Once the first copy is made, each additional copy takes two or three days due to the templates created. Handguns, being more complex, take a little longer.

    In Darra, almost three-fourths of the people are in the gun trade……" --->>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darra_Adam_Khel


    And its population is approximately 300,000! ;)


     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  8. Mar 31, 2019 #148

    Rockvillerich

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    Sorry, didn't at all mean to downplay the danger of anything like a soldered breech plug. That's very scary, and a good thing to have caught by inspection. We do need to be careful, with our black powder arms...just pointing out why I can't help being skeptical of blown up muskets knowing what it took to damage the ones I've encountered over the years.
     

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  9. Mar 31, 2019 #149

    Tanglefoot

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    Rockvillerich,
    No need to be sorry, pardner. I got that. Just wanted to be sure others got my point. That soldered breech scairt the bejeepers out of me! If ol' Mole Eye had double charged that piece of junk the way he usually did with a new iron instead of playing with small charges, I'm guessing it would have morphed from gun to grenade, with the breech plug blowing straight back to the right lens of his spectacles -- or maybe impacting his forehead. Since I was the onliest one close by at the time, it would've been my job to render first aid and I wouldn't be able to figure out where to put a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. O'course, it's possible that a chunk of the dang thing might've hit me instead, and then I wouldn't care any more.
    Keep yr horn tip up,
    Tanglefoot
     
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  10. Apr 11, 2019 #150

    TheTyler7011

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    Hello, l actually do have a real Brown Bess. Here ls a picture of a real 3rd Model next to an Indian 3rd Model. The repro ls noticeably bulkier, thicker, and heavier with very strong springs. l have had to do work on the Indian repro. The springs were too strong and tight. All lm trying to say ls that l don’t think l will ever validate people saying how dangerous and terrible they are. l will admit l don’t know how the guns were made back ln the day, l was wrong to say those things.

    You do get what you pay for, l agree. But for under $700, these things are awesome. And l will always think that. lf you want a real one (like l did) spend the thousands, lf not enjoy a repro :)
     

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  11. Apr 11, 2019 #151

    crankshaft

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    I suppose one could reshape the wood, trim it down some.
     
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  12. Apr 11, 2019 #152

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Agreed.
    Since India guns are referred to as "assembled kit guns " (with a few expletives thrown in!! LOL) I plan on treating mine as such.
    I'd rather make a Noob mistake reworking my India gun while practicing some gun building skills than screw up a TVM, TOW or God forbid a Kibler kit!!
    You can only improve them with any work you do to them and hopefully learn something in the process.
     
  13. Apr 11, 2019 #153

    Rudyard

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    Well The India made muskets are often as not poor copies with ill shaped stocks of in different woods .But there cheapish and serve well enough if' worked up'. I' worked up' lots of them improuved their lines went over the locks balanced the springs hardened all needed parts , 'Engraved ' Crown GR' if good,' Dublin Castle', if so so & Rappa forge if poor ! .( Sorry coundn't resist it ).Some , mostly blunderbusses got ' Egg' , 'Nock'. &' Probin'. But under the cocks Ide cut 'Duck" 'Don't' &,' Keep' respectively. Some side plates bore' Liberty or Deth' as seemed appropriate . Rough as bags .But they were a positive fire risk for sparkers .And my own two Coronels purchase variant LI ' Carbines one wood rod in composite fore pipe, and one Do but steel rod served me just fine . All the muskets & rifles in' Sharpes' series were of this origin and their armourers had to get up them to function well enough but they where cheap & cheerful .If nothing like or even approaching an original Bess .

    I was once asked by a reenactor if the India pattern he found " Was OK to cut down to a musketoon"?. He didn't realise it was a mint original Bess & b' net by Osbourne ! . Needless to say I pointed out the folly of such a plan .But it illustrates that Re Enactors often see the gun as just part of the kit with little or NO idea about shooting anything . The artisan of India CAN assuredly make GOOD quality items but in between is the Merchant who demands a low price of the makers so that's what he gets All they think about is profit margins they Rupee & Piasa every deal to death . Something I know first hand having traded in India in the 70s .." Youth was cheap , Wherefore we sold it , Gold was good we hoped to hold it And today we know the fullness of our gains. " From Kiplings Xmas in India . Rudyard
     
  14. Apr 11, 2019 #154

    crankshaft

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    I hope there is no one here that thinks India can't make a good musket. Or China. India has launched over 100 satellites, since 1975, some were piggie backed on USA, USSR and other rockets. India has sent some on Indian rockets.
    People want cheep, they will get cheep. India will make it. And China. Or Mexico. Don't think for a minute India could not make an excellent musket. .
    Some people really do expect a $700 musket to be ever bit as fine as a $1900 musket.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  15. Apr 11, 2019 #155

    Sicilian Hunter

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    I
    I do not.
    My enthusiasm got the better of me at the time and now I have staked my sash on the issue because I invested too much on too little and can only recoop by turning it into a "Learning Muzzle loader".
    I don't feel its necessary to give others grief for making the decision I did and given what I know now I may not have bought an India musket.
    Conversely, if I was giving advice to someone else who didn't have the skills to build and/or the funds to buy something quality but was fired up about getting one I would tell them to look at one in person and compare several examples before dropping cash on the counter.
    Everyone starts some where.
    Hell, before Mark Baker owned his rifle, " Moriah" he was sporting a TC Renegade...
     
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  16. Apr 12, 2019 #156

    Rudyard

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    I don't know about $700 muskets ex India the local price of the common single barrel Muzzle loaders such as Mutiny Enfields were popular as where double ML various they would not exceed even $30 in the 70s . Yet many got to the US /UK market . . Yet the same makers , the actual makers who had no English of any account Could Do Great work . But seemed to allways get the 'knock back' by the middlemen who shipped such guns . It was all about the Rupee if I was looking for some original item They would sourse one & copy it even if it wasn't to my thinking worth copying . Miniature Enfield locks ?. bolted locks from a Manton rifle? odd stuff . But like the Wheel locks It was MY development but soon as some got made they where hawking them off to any who would buy them .There are NO scruples in an Indian Bundook Whallas day. Ive seen death traps sold cheerfully to some hapless rural buyer & he leaping into a rickshar beaming like a Cheshire cat .Pleased (for now). with his new gun." See the fun!"was a phrase I remember well .Ive taken tea with three Maharajahs in a day and scored some great Double rifles . But its hard work .So I gave up & went hunting traction Engines .. Hmmm Regards Rudyard
     
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  17. Apr 12, 2019 #157

    Rockvillerich

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    IMG_2796.JPG IMG_2797.JPG
    Actually you can remove a lot of wood, and get these things looking fairly respectable, but the butts are quite thin, which is much trickier to "fix". Here are pictures View attachment 8122 View attachment 8123 View attachment 8122 of an Indian heavy dragoon I slimmed down. The butt on these are too small as well so the improvement can only go so far. View attachment 8122
     
  18. Apr 12, 2019 #158

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Well done!!
    An ugly duckling turns into a Dragoon!!
     
  19. Apr 13, 2019 #159

    FlinterNick

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    Exactly why I don't like the Indian made guns, there's too much to rework in regards to the lock and stock.

    Reworking teakwood or rosewood is not fun, its like trying to inlet deck wood with a small chisel. I've tried reworking some of the lock panels and the wood cuts jagged and chips away.

    The locks just don't look right, they're chunky less graceful and have way too high grit polish on an oversized lock.

    Like I've said before, why pay $700 on a repro you have to rework with parts and labor or your own labor when you can get an authentic kit from Rifle Shoppe or Track of the Wolf for 1,000-1200... its just not worth it. In the end your efforts to save money will cost more money with a gun that doesn't hold up its value at cost. TRS or TOW muskets always return 2-3k even ones that were not assembled perfectly.

    I know many people who buy Indian guns always swear they won't rework them, and always end up reworking them.

    NOW.... I've seen a few Indian made repros that looked pretty good and were slightly off regarding authenticity.

    Regarding the safety of shooting them, the guns can be shot but the owner should always have the Indian barrel checked for safety reasons. I've seen many Indian muskets with incorrectly installed breech plugs and barrels that were bored poorly. Loyalist Arms often receives bad barrels and sells them off as unable to shoot live rounds, blanks only.

    Nick
     
  20. Apr 13, 2019 #160

    Rockvillerich

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    Funny, my friends buy Indian, Italian and Japanese guns, then I rework them, which is kind of fun. Yes the wood is chewy, and sometimes they're laid out so poorly there's not much you can do, but its somehow satisfying when you've found one that just needs to go on a diet. I was thinking of buying one of the really over-sized Bess rejects and making a wall-gun out of it.
     

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