Nepal Brown Bess from IMA

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by TNBandit, Apr 30, 2019.

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  1. Apr 30, 2019 #1

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    32 Cal

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    New project. Been looking at these "kits" for a couple of years or more and with the advice of the fine folks over on the British Militaria forum I finally bit the bullet and ordered one. If some of you don't know the story the owner of IMA found and purchased 55,000 antique weapons from the Nepal government that had been sitting in a palace in Kathmandu for well over 100 years. Seems they never threw away or sold anything. When their military got more modern guns they put the old ones away in the palace. With respect to the Brown Bess muskets they have a variety of choices. Complete guns or kits like I bought. Original East India Company markings on the locks or Gurkha marked locks. They wanted $500 more for the EIC marked locks and so I chose to go with the Gurkha markings. They were both made in the same factories by the same people so I couldn't justify the extra money. What arrived was a barrel still attached to what was left of a badly rotted and broken in half stock plus a bag with the lock and some other small parts. The first lock they sent was missing the bridle, the sear and the screw that holds them in. I assume it was being used for parts and was sent accidently. But IMA has some of the best customer service in the business and they sent a nice complete replacement and covered the shipping both ways. Also included is a new stock that reportedly came from India. Here are a few pics of the package I received as well as progress pics of where it's at currently. $700 is a lot of money but it's half the price of a Pedersoli repop and it's got history. Approximately 240 or so years old. Soaking parts in vinegar and lightly brushing with a wire brush and steel wool to remove the rust. Still a LOT to do but I'm a history nut and have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War so although these muskets were half a world away in Nepal they are basically the same as what were used here with a few exceptions. Enjoy. Advice always welcome. More pics to follow as this project gets worked on.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Apr 30, 2019 #2

    Heelerau

    Heelerau

    Heelerau

    45 Cal.

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    Coming along nicely, I had to get my mates lock tuned and it is a good sparker.

    Cheers
     
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  3. May 9, 2019 #3

    eggwelder

    eggwelder

    eggwelder

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    i like restoring old things like this, i am currently seeking parts for P1839. looks good
     
  4. May 12, 2019 #4

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

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    Done
     

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  5. May 12, 2019 #5

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

    45 Cal.

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    Pretty sharp looking. You did a good job on the restoration. Is it going to be fired or just use as a wall mount? If me, I'd have to try it out on a deer........
     
  6. May 12, 2019 #6

    wcubed

    wcubed

    wcubed

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    Wow! Very nice!

    What did you use on the wood?
     
  7. May 13, 2019 #7

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    32 Cal

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    Just got some .69 caliber balls in the mail yesterday and rolling up some paper cartridges tonight. Now if the rain would stop...
     
  8. May 13, 2019 #8

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    TNBandit

    32 Cal

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    Well now there's a funny story. I used Fiebings Medium Brown leather dye. I like it because of it's very thin viscosity and it penetrates well. 3 coats of that and 3 coats of Tru-oil.
     
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  9. May 13, 2019 #9

    wcubed

    wcubed

    wcubed

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    Very nice job.

    I had to stain a ramrod that I made to match the coloring of a 150+ year stock, and none of the commercial stains I had laying around were dark enough, so I ended up using a dark brown RIT dye that I had on hand. It came out close enough for a first try!
     
  10. May 13, 2019 #10

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Cannon MLF Supporter

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    That's a pretty standard "restoration" formula. I like the same thing though I use either boiled-linseed-oil (BLO) or in some cases Tung Oil (modern WWII restoration). :thumb:


    Good job on the musket!

    LD
     
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  11. May 15, 2019 #11

    smoothshooter

    smoothshooter

    smoothshooter

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    This lock, like almost every other original Brown Bess lock, has much better geometry than the Italian reproductions. The flint jaws should point sharply down toward the vent hole when in the fired position like your gun does to get the best sparks.
    Why couldn't they have picked an original Bess to copy and make all those tens of thousands of copies of repros of that had the better geometry than whatever specimen they chose to copy?
    It's not like they're that hard to come by.
     
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  12. May 15, 2019 #12

    rickystl

    rickystl

    rickystl

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    Congratulations. Great job on the restoration. Now she will start a new life. LOL

    Rick
     
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  13. May 16, 2019 #13

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    You make such a good point about the innacuracies of repro items. It seems that quality control in design is not emphasized or checked by historians, or product engineers, but by artistic and marketing people. The reason for it is that it takes a lot of labor and time to design a prototype, and the pressures by senior management and the accountants of accelerating production to start the revenue stream override those of the quality control types. Often, the Project Managers' get a project assignment that truncates at the "develop and get to market" stage, and it doesn't take in to account the costs of the product life cycle. That's the fault of senior management, and it ultimately sullies the companies' reputations.
     
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  14. May 16, 2019 #14

    Jeff Kaufmann

    Jeff Kaufmann

    Jeff Kaufmann

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    Nice looking work Bandit!
     
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  15. May 20, 2019 #15

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

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    Very nice! These are ideal stoppers due to the .75 caliber bore. Lots of knock down!!
     
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