Looking to buy a REAL musket

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by TheTyler7011, Jan 9, 2020.

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  1. Jan 9, 2020 #1

    TheTyler7011

    TheTyler7011

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    Hey guys, just wanting to know what you think the market is like for a genuine 1763/66 charleville or a long land pattern Bess. Ambrose antiques has some good rev war weapons in the 7k-12k range. Is that really what it would run me? I know the price drops way down as soon as it’s no longer Rev war, especially if it’s 19th century. But I’m really wanting one that was used. Perhaps an auction is my best bet.

    Would it be hard to find one of these for 5 grand?
     
  2. Jan 9, 2020 #2

    Eric Krewson

    Eric Krewson

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  3. Jan 9, 2020 #3

    Zonie

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    My only comment is, before spending that kind of money, a person MUST take the time to thoroughly research all of the features and peculiarities of the gun being considered.
    There are a lot of counterfeit guns out there because when we are talking about that sort of money, crooks are bound to come out of the woodwork.

    This is especially true with the Brown Bess because there are so many modern reproductions on the market which can be modified to look very close to what a real Bess looks like.

    It would be a sad day to learn that you've spent $6000 for a gun that is only worth $900.
     
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  4. Jan 10, 2020 #4

    Stantheman86

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    I just bought two 1861 Springfields for about $1100 a piece.

    I know. Apples and Oranges but they're the real deal.

    Brown Besses and Charlevilles with Revolutionary War provenance are a law unto themselves and are a whole different ballgame. I would say any of that kind of stuff falls more into "permanent parts of our Historical Record that must be protected " vs something you can shoot, plus like was said you gotta make sure it's genuine.

    You have to ask yourself what you are looking for. I myself am not gonna live fire a $9000 1766 Charleville with Continental Army provenance signed off on by a proven Expert.
     
  5. Jan 10, 2020 #5

    TheTyler7011

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    I’ve sold like 6 original 1861’s this year, I’m pretty familiar with them! I’ve owned a few original 1795 Springfields and 3rd model Brown Bess’.

    I wouldn’t want it to shoot, but I’m lying if I said I wouldn’t do it once :)
     
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  6. Jan 10, 2020 #6

    gemmer

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    There are quite a few 1816s out there, mostly converted to percussion, as well as 1842s. Some are shootable as is. Check the N-SSA forum. Others can be returned to shootable condition with breaking the bank. I shoot an 1816 relined by Bob Hoyt and reconverted to flint.
     
  7. Jan 10, 2020 #7

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    Any long land pattern Brown Bess in a condition to shoot safely even once is going to cost a lot, probably between $9000-$15000 depending on the pattern, condition and historical significance. Patterns before the 1756 in good shape are so rare that they could go for a lot more. Any long land Bess in good condition with full length barrel (not shortened during service) is very rare.

    dave
     
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  8. Jan 10, 2020 #8

    sheba

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    I would buy or have made a nice custom Bess etc.Most of these will be very close to an original and have the advantage of being new .Also if you like you can have the custom smith age it for you if you like.Actually custom smith Nate McKenzie has a nice first model Bess for sale for $3400
     
  9. Jan 10, 2020 #9

    Stantheman86

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    Screenshot_20200108-234509_Chrome.jpg
    I've heard Militia House will build you a very nice Musket.

    It seems the line between "too collectable to really shoot" and "original shooters are better than repros" falls right at Flint vs Percussion.

    Original 61 and 63 Springfields that can shoot can be had for less than a Pedersoli . Brown Besses or Charlevilles? Even 1816's? No way.
     
  10. Jan 15, 2020 #10

    FlinterNick

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    When purchasing an original, you should always do extremely through research as to what the original pattern was. Reasons why is because many original flintlock muskets were converted and then reconverted from percussion to flint and the reconversions are assembled with reproduction parts. This brings down the value.

    For example original 1763 and 1766 Charlevilles often have replacement parts on them cannablized from repro muskets, most commonly the Navy Arms Charlevilles

    Same with the Brown Bess muskets

    More times often than not, I’ve found that later period flintlock muskets are the most complete patterns. 1816, 1840 flinters, later New Land Pattern Brown Bess Muskets and 1822 Charlevilles.
     
  11. Jan 15, 2020 #11

    FlinterNick

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    Most original period guns can’t be live fired. The ones I’ve seen that can be are third model Brown Bess’s and later period Charlevilles 1822. These guns were made with better quality steel barrels.



     
  12. Jan 15, 2020 #12

    FlinterNick

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    Most original Brown Bess’s and Charlevilles from the AWI or F&I war were ‘beat to hell’ used to a point of failure.

    The most complete collection of near mint Brown Bess’s I’ve seen is in Williamsburg, the foundation purchased a set of 1748 long land patterns for display back in the 1970’s or 1980’s. The guns were in such good condition they’re thought to have never been fired.
     
  13. Jan 15, 2020 #13

    TheTyler7011

    TheTyler7011

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    What do you think about these? Sold in 2012 and 2013. The prices were 4500-5500

    would something like that be sketchy or can you pretty much trust auction houses?

    https://historical.ha.com/itm/milit...558.s?ic4=GalleryView-ShortDescription-071515
     
  14. Jan 15, 2020 #14

    TheTyler7011

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    Is their really that much of a difference between the ones used in the Rev War and 1795/1816 Springfields? I’ve owned some of those that are totally fine to shoot.

    I wouldn’t shoot a Rev war charleville a lot but I’m lying if I’d say I wouldn’t shoot it at least once
     
  15. Jan 15, 2020 #15

    Stantheman86

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    I'd like to fire 1 live ball through a musket , whether a Charleville or a Brown Bess, that was used by a Continental Army soldier with 100% Provenance.... Just for the experience.

    But like was said above, these got used in some cases up to the Civil War and beyond , a lot for "Drilling " arms for State Militia musters or at Military academies/ college programs. During that big accountability that was done in the 1850s all of the New York City arsenals had "unserviceable/parts gun" grade Flintlocks in their inventory that had seen 100 years of muster drilling.

    I think so few survive in good condition just because of their use in that particular time period kept them usable as Reserve/Drill weapons for so long.

    Many more percussion weapons like 61 Springfields survive because they were pretty much immediately obsolete right after the Civil War , and stored away for decades until they were surplused out to places like Bannerman's . It's not like National Guard armories drilled with rifle-muskets into the 1950s.....which is the chronological equivalent of Revolutionary War era muskets being used through the 1860s.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  16. Jan 15, 2020 #16

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    I suspect given that a musket actually used in the Rev War would likely have seen a lot of service that the lock would be worn and the vent hole corroded to quite large. As such, shooting it would probably would not give you the experience of the soldier who had it during the war and you may risk damaging it. Moreover, the process of cleaning and servicing it to put in shootable condition could easily destroy some of its historical value.

    dave
     
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  17. Jan 15, 2020 #17

    Stantheman86

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    I think many of them weren't fired as much as we think......the hard mileage of a century of handling and dry firing for Drills take a toll.

    I don't know everything, but I think the British were very heavy on Musket Drill but I don't know how much live firing they did on a regular basis. Use in battle was a small fraction of a weapons service life.

    Still, my odds of having a chance to shoot a "shootable " Revolutionary War era musket that was used in the War are pretty much 0. They're just too rare and valuable.

    Many also changed hands as opposing troops dropped old Flinters and picked up percussion weapons (Civil War).

    Union dead were found lying next to Flintlock muskets at Bull Run, it will never be known if these were State Militia guys who carried 1700s era flintlocks to the battle or if CSA guys dropped them to maybe pick up a conversion.

    Sometimes it's not the rounds, it's the mileage.
     
  18. Jan 16, 2020 #18

    FlinterNick

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    Not with a 1795 Springfield no, they were very much like a Charleville, with some minor differences, but you’d be hard pressed to find one good enough to shoot. If you do, you’d want to look for an 1808 contract musket, these heavier guns, larger locks, larger barrels that were made to withstand heavy use.

    The later guns 1816, 1835 Springfields and harpers ferry are same concept as the Rev War guns however are made with better materials. Steel used in 1820 was much stronger than the wrought iron used on muskets of the F&I and Rev War.

    Many 1816 muskets and 1835/40 Springfields produced around 1820-1840 were made with heavier barrels in anticipation that they would later be converted and rifled. These guns would be in good enough condition to shoot, depending on the specimen.

    1817 common rifles are often found with barrels reamed to .58 and .66 caliber because the barrels were cylindrical rifle barrels designed heavy, I’ve actually seen these shot at the Altoona PA range. Bobby Hoyt also does work on these types of guns.
     
  19. Jan 16, 2020 #19

    FlinterNick

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    Agree Dave, most Rev War guns were used to a point of being completely depreciated of any ‘useful’ value.

    I did come across a cut down 1754 Charleville Dragoon gun that was in decent shape, it was restored with Miruko parts and was being sold as useable but I had my doubts as to its authenticity.
     
  20. Jan 17, 2020 #20

    FlinterNick

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    Brian of Militia house makes a nice Brown Bess with the Grice Lock. He uses a Colerain or Greg Christian Barrel, Greg’s barrels are made via DOM like an original however I think the Colerain barrel is the better choice.

    His musket is very similar to the bicentennial Long Land by Coach Harness, that sponsored the Brown Bess’s by Kit Ravensheer and Sandy McNab.

    He also will build a TRS kit for you and does a great job.
     

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