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North Star West Trade Guns

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poordevil

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What do you, who have them, like about the NSW trade gun? Barrel lenght, Cal. finish. Can dates be put on the locks as the fox stamp can? Can size .570 balls be used in the 24ga/.58cal? What do you feel about the 16ga barrel on the NW trade gun?

I want one in the worst way (thats the best :hatsoff: ) and want to get it right

thank you kindly
P
 

mmahlock

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If you really want to get a trade gun that fits a specific time period read S. James Gooding's book Trade Guns of the Hudson's Bay Company 1670-1970. It will give you all the information you should need. If you carefully read the Appendix I you should be able to construct a gun that fits any period you want. :thumbsup:
 

Le Grand

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We might ask "which NSW trade gun?" Your own persona will tell you which one you should really have. For all around shootin', the 24 or 20 gauge are probably best. From what I hear, a .570 ball could be used with a thin patch in the 24 gauge but North Star West recommends the .562" balls. (They also sell ball moulds in that size.) So, tell us what you've narrowed your choice down to.
 

poordevil

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If I was to order right now, it would be 24 ga 30" brown barrel Tombstone Fox markings and if they will put a date on it something like 1824-1835.

I want to shoot 570. So I might go up to 20ga and shoot 570's with the rare 600 once in a while.

If I could get it in 16ga I would jump, but I was told that the company prefers to keep its 16ga barrels 37' long. I would want 30-32ish.

P
 

atki

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I like my 20ga 36 inch barrel NSW gun. It's well made, good wood, and it shoots everytime I pull the trigger.

One of the best things about it was ordering it. They were great to work with and very informative. I told them what I thought, they asked questions and I ended up with a great gun that fits me and my persona.

WB
 

Le Grand

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Then go for that 24 gauge with a 30" barrel. You won't be disappointed. And if you want to shoot .570" balls, then you should shoot .570" balls. The gun might ask for a thin patch and it might not but you'll make it work. All new guns need to be played with for a while before real favorites in loading can be found. About the date on the lock, you'd better ask NSW about that. They're the ones with the real answers. And ask about a 16 gauge with a shorter barrel. Barrels can be cut off, it's stretchin' 'em that is tougher.
 

Rod Lassey

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Mine's a Caywood in 24 guage, and I shoot .570 balls in it---it should work the same in a North Star. I don't patch the balls, though, I use blanket scraps as wadding instead. Works for me.

Though I don't own one, I've examined a number of NSW guns, and they are top quality, you can't go wrong with them.

Rod
 

Le Grand

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About using blanket scraps as wadding, according to Joe Meek, that's authentic!
 

PGTMG

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poordevil said:
If I was to order right now, it would be 24 ga 30" brown barrel Tombstone Fox markings and if they will put a date on it something like 1824-1835.

I want to shoot 570. So I might go up to 20ga and shoot 570's with the rare 600 once in a while.

If I could get it in 16ga I would jump, but I was told that the company prefers to keep its 16ga barrels 37' long. I would want 30-32ish.

P

You only mention PRB and for that your barrel length if fine. You might consider going with a longer barrel if you are going to shoot shot.

but get what you want.
 

tg

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I have had two of NSW guns both were top quality and shot well, as mentioned above the .570 ball may need a thin patchs or wadding/overshot card but it will all work itself out with a little help from you, I had a 36" and a 41" barreled gun and liked the longer barrel myself but I have come to prefer the longer barrels on any ML longarm after 30+ years
of playing with them, I think a 16 gauge would be a good choice in any smoothbore.Many people shy away from the longer barrels but most like them after they use them a while.
 

Rod Lassey

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LeGrand, Upper Missouri fur trader Henry Boller mentions the blanket wads, too.

That's why I shoot them, I can easily document the use of wadding like that. Maybe I could get better accuracy with a patched ball, but I like trying to replicate the way things were originally done. Kinda perverse of me, but I figure if the guys I'm trying to emulate could do something, then I should be able to, as well---or at least try.

Rod
 

Le Grand

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Kind'a pre-verse of you? Well, I don't know 'bout that. I kind'a guess those blanket waddings were cut with a knife and then folded until they'd go down the bore. It would be a bit strange to think that the Indians had wad punches in those days although such punches were sure to exist. Do you use two waddings, one over the powder and another over the ball? How do you cut your waddings or what with?
 

Le Grand

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Poordevil, You say if you would order right away it would be for a 24 gauge. But then you say if you could get a 16 ga. with a shorter barrel you'd jump at it. Let me ask, if you would go for the larger bore, why not consider the 20?
 

poordevil

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Thats what I am asking myself. I like things a bit different. That is why I got the P-H musketoon way-back-when instead of the $99 Zouve.

I think the 58cal Trade gun would have a slimer profil. Neat and trim.

As for the 16ga. The only modern shotguns I have are 16ga...4 of them.

Knowing the bigger the bore, the more options one has in loading, I am still pondering.


P
 

Le Grand

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I guess, considering your thoughts on the 16, I'd go with the 24. While the 16 is capable of heavier shot loads, the 24 can certainly approach those loadings. And, for me, the big advantage to a 24 is the .58 caliber ball. You are most likely to be shooting a lot more round ball than shot loads. Then, after having and enjoying the 24 for a while, get a 16 with the longer barrel. You can sure bet, there is nothing quite like having it both ways.
 

bucktales

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poordevil,
I have a NSW Early English I acquired in a trade with Swampy.
20 ga, 36" jug choked, and an antique finish. I have not shot ball from it but this year, it has been my go-to pheasant gun. It balances and points like a natural and ignition is fast and reliable.
I'm already looking forward to Spring turkey season, as I have a load developed.
In other words, I'm pretty satisfied with it. :thumbsup:
 

Rod Lassey

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Le Grand---you've got it, I just chop up a bunch of blanket chunks with my knife, no wad punch or anything so fancy. About an inch square or so, it really doesn't matter. I poke one in the muzzle after the powder, put a ball atop it, and another wad on the ball, and ram the whole works down. If I have time, I'll put a bit of grease on the wad between powder and ball, I've found it keeps the fouling a bit softer, but it's not at all necessary. Quick and simple, and best of all, historically correct.

Rod
 

Le Grand

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Rod, Maybe I'll give that a try someday. First of all I'll have to fill the bullboat full of blanket scraps... And I'll sharpen my knife too. But I will try it.
 

Tommy Bruce

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Go for the longer barrel in 16 gauge. I think you'll be amazed at how well they handle and you will not find it any harder to manuver in the woods. (I'm also a 16 gauge fan, inherited an old double which isn't worth a whole lot but I've never missed with that gun) Good luck in your search.
 
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