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Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
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Location
Millersville, Maryland
I recently purchased a .54 Pedersoli Mortimer Flint Combo from my now deceased neighbor's wife. Her husband was an avid Muzzleloader and BPCR enthusiast and I wish I could have learned more from him in the short time I knew him. Yesterday I got a call from his wife to come by and make an offer for what was left of his collection. I stopped in and naturally got it all. I picked up a Hopkins & Allen Underhammer Rifle .45 cal with a 24" and 31" barrel wedge pin style. I picked up an Indian made Brown Bess Carbine and Pedersoli Brown Bess Musket 41" barrel .75 cal but they have lots of rust as his nephew used them and cleaned them poorly and put them in a closet when he dropped them back off to my neighbor's wife. I picked up a Thompson Center Renegade .54 caliber Flintlock with a Green Mountain 33" barrel (twist rate unknown) and lastly the crown jewel... an original Mortimer of London Double Barrel 10 gauge percussion shotgun. I have some questions though....

1). What is the best way to remove hard rust from a muzzleloader like a Brown Bess ? I feel it will not be so hard as they have smoothbores and large round barrels making it easier to clean. I will post pictures tomorrow as the rust is quite a sight and would've had a soldier back in the day thrown in the brig... lol

2). Can I contact Green Mountain Barrel Company and give them the serial number off my barrel to get the information about the rate of twist ? Is this feasible or are their no records kept of that ?

3). The Mortimer of London according to both my neighbor and her son was her husband's go to Canadian Goose Shotgun. He used it every year with its last use being December of 2021. His son did not know the load his father used nor what year the shotgun was produced just that his father said it was most likely produced before the American Civil War.

3a).What is a good starting load for a 10 gauge shotgun in terms of powder ?
I would like to fire some "blanks" just powder and some fiber wads to see if the gun fires well just by loading a charge of powder and some fiber wads.
Then once I find that the shotgun fires I will try placing shot inside of the barrels with the powder charge. I know the shotgun worked as of 2021 cause my neighbor's son recorded his father shooting it but it has sat idle for almost 2 years and I just dont want to fill it full of shot just yet. I know I saw someone post about using 120gr FFG, 3oz of shot in a new Brown Bess. I dont want to go that high but I am looking for an insight on what a good load would be for Canada Geese. I have some bismuth and a T Shot (.20") mould I use for casting shot for my unmentionables since Bismuth wont destory an old barrel and is non toxic. I want to know what a good load range to start and play with would be.

I will post pictures of the muzzleloaders over the next couple of days to this thread if I have time to give everyone some insight. I thank all who replies to this thread.
 
I know I saw someone post about using 120gr FFG, 3oz of shot in a new Brown Bess.
That was me lol... a not to stout load in my opinion. I personally own a Veteran Arms Brown Bess Carbine and Pedersoli Brown Bess Musket. Best way I have found to keep em clean is good gun oil, parafin oil and some sort of wax to keep the moisture off. Barricade works well so does GRIP in my opinion. Hoppe's No.9 is good too. As far as thick rust you'll need to arm yourself with some steel wool, wirebrushes and some goo rust removing oil. I would stay away from WD40, PB Blaster and Aerokroil as they leave a film behind which can gunk things up. Best way to do it is to take the whole gun apart. Im talking lock and barrel off stock so that you can clean each one good. Get yourseld a mainspring vise, a .75 cal cleaning kit, some brass pin punches and some good gunsmith turn screws. They'll clean up nicely for sure.

As for the Green Mountain question... I couldnt say I suppose they would keep that on record I guess the worst you could do is ask and get told that there is no information. Im sure someone on here can help out with that.

Finally, that 10 gauge.... you my friend have a holy grail in my opinion. Mortimer of London are some of and were some of the finest shotguns and fowlers ever produced. I have always wanted one in 10 or 12 but they are too expensive every time. Luckily for you ya got one and someone got it to you because they knew you would care for it. That speaks volumes. As for loads I would start at 80gr FFG and work up 10grs at a time. I would consult @Britsmoothy if I were you, he is British and owns a 10 gauge if my memory serves me right. He also hunts birds same as what you'll be wanting to do. He might be able to set you straight.

In the mean time.... I wanna see that Mortimer..... lol.

EDIT: I goofed up
 
Last edited:
That was me lol... a not to stout load in my opinion. I personally own a Veteran Arms Brown Bess Carbine and Pedersoli Brown Bess Musket. Best way I have found to keep em clean is good gun oil, parafin oil and some sort of wax to keep the moisture off. Barricade works well so does GRIP in my opinion. Hoppe's No.9 is good too. As far as thick rust you'll need to arm yourself with some steel wool, wirebrushes and some goo rust removing oil. I would stay away from WD40, PB Blaster and Aerokroil as they leave a film behind which can gunk things up. Best way to do it is to take the whole gun apart. Im talking lock and barrel off stock so that you can clean each one good. Get yourseld a mainspring vise, a .75 cal cleaning kit, some brass pin punches and some good gunsmith turn screws. They'll clean up nicely for sure.

As for the Green Mountain question... I couldnt say I suppose they would keep that on record I guess the worst you could do is ask and get told that there is no information. Im sure someone on here can help out with that.

Finally, that 10 gauge.... you my friend have a holy grail in my opinion. Mortimer of London are some of and were some of the finest shotguns and fowlers ever produced. I have always wanted one in 10 or 12 but they are too expensive every time. Luckily for you ya got one and someone got it to you because they knew you would care for it. That speaks volumes. As for loads I would start at 80gr FFG and work up 10grs at a time. I would consult @tenngun if I were you, he is British and owns a 10 gauge if my memory serves me right. He also hunts birds same as what you'll be wanting to do. He might be able to set you straight.

In the mean time.... I wanna see that Mortimer..... lol.
I think you mean @Britsmoothy
 
Anyone got any ideas were some age Identifying marks are on the Mortimer 10 gauge ?
The proof markings are on the bottom on the barrels so you'll need to remove them from the stock. You'll need to tap out the two or three wedge keys and the barrels will slide off. Usually there will be a number either 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 ,11 ,12 , 14, 16, 20, 24, 25, 26, 28 or 32 these numbers denote gauge. There should be some English proof markings too little triagular patterned numbers and a seal in the center. These proof marks change every couple of years so that will put you in the ball park of what year it was built it. There might be an exact date but I highly doubt it. Like smoothboremurph said get some brass drift and pin punches and some good gunsmith turnscrews so you dont damage anything.
 
The proof markings are on the bottom on the barrels so you'll need to remove them from the stock. You'll need to tap out the two or three wedge keys and the barrels will slide off. Usually there will be a number either 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 ,11 ,12 , 14, 16, 20, 24, 25, 26, 28 or 32 these numbers denote gauge. There should be some English proof markings too little triagular patterned numbers and a seal in the center. These proof marks change every couple of years so that will put you in the ball park of what year it was built it. There might be an exact date but I highly doubt it. Like smoothboremurph said get some brass drift and pin punches and some good gunsmith turnscrews so you dont damage anything.
Thanks a ton, that really helps. I figured something was going to be somewhere I couldnt see.
 
Here is a couple of pictures I took of the Mortimer. You can make out where Mortimer is written on the lock and London is written on the barrel.
20231002_161102.jpg
20231002_161112.jpg
20231002_201054.jpg
20231002_201118.jpg
 
1). What is the best way to remove hard rust from a muzzleloader like a Brown Bess ? I feel it will not be so hard as they have smoothbores and large round barrels making it easier to clean. I will post pictures tomorrow as the rust is quite a sight and would've had a soldier back in the day thrown in the brig... lol

From time to time I have to overhaul some of my unit's Bess muskets, and some are India origin and others are Miroku or Pedersoli.

So I use a PVC pipe, and a glued cap as some have suggested. I removed the barrel, clean it, and then submerge it in Evaporust. I usually put the ramrod in there too. It works for me, and there are other products out there too. I do the same for the lock, after disassembly. Then I put the used Evaporust into a use translucent water jug..., and let the crud settle, which lets me use the cleared portion again.

In fact I purposely will surface rust the steel on an India musket, then Evaporust it, to knock off the mirror like polish. You get a proper light gray when done.

After rust removal, I rinse and dry the barrel and lock parts. I oil up the parts, and reassemble the lock, and I oil up the barrel and re-install it in the stock. :thumb:

OH and the lad would've been thrown in the guardhouse or stockade..., the brig is for sailors. :p

LD
 
From time to time I have to overhaul some of my unit's Bess muskets, and some are India origin and others are Miroku or Pedersoli.

So I use a PVC pipe, and a glued cap as some have suggested. I removed the barrel, clean it, and then submerge it in Evaporust. I usually put the ramrod in there too. It works for me, and there are other products out there too. I do the same for the lock, after disassembly. Then I put the used Evaporust into a use translucent water jug..., and let the crud settle, which lets me use the cleared portion again.

In fact I purposely will surface rust the steel on an India musket, then Evaporust it, to knock off the mirror like polish. You get a proper light gray when done.

After rust removal, I rinse and dry the barrel and lock parts. I oil up the parts, and reassemble the lock, and I oil up the barrel and re-install it in the stock. :thumb:

OH and the lad would've been thrown in the guardhouse or stockade..., the brig is for sailors. :p

LD
I will try this Evaporust, thanks for the suggestion. What is the best way to keep rust off it. I have now read on various posts here that the Satin Finish of these muskets is partly to blame. Do I oil the musket daily ? Or just oil is once and put it away. Also what oil do I store it with ?
 
I picked up a Thompson Center Renegade .54 caliber Flintlock with a Green Mountain 33" barrel (twist rate unknown)
You can wrap a piece of masking tape around a cleaning rod, near the handle, with a couple of inches sticking straight out like a little flag. Run a tight fitting oily cleaning patch down to the bottom of the barrel and note what position the tape is sticking out in relation to the barrel. Then slowly pull the rod out of the barrel watching how far the tape turns when it reaches the muzzle. This will approximate the twist (e.g., if the tape moves @180 degrees in a 33" barrel you are looking at a 1 in 66" twist rate.)
 

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