Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine

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Dave Markowitz

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I think I need an intervention. :) In the past month I picked up an India Pattern Brown Bess from IMA and today I got this used Pedersoli Brown Bess carbine at Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop. According to Greg Dixon, the previous owner brought in two of them since he was getting out of reenacting. At $750 I couldn't resist.

The bore is in good shape with a little minor rust and there was a bit of rust on the outside but that cleaned up easily with a bit of WD40 and steel wool.

The previous owner added sling swivels. The upper swivel is attached only to the stock, not to a lug attached to the barrel, and is positioned that it could foul the rammer. I may have a lug welded to the barrel a bit closer to the muzzle so that the swivel rests on the upper ramrod pipe when the gun is vertical.

I'm looking forward to making some smoke with it.

bess-carbine.jpg

lock.jpg

nose-cap-swivel.jpg

sideplate.jpg

wrist.jpg
 

Le Loup

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I think I need an intervention. :) In the past month I picked up an India Pattern Brown Bess from IMA and today I got this used Pedersoli Brown Bess carbine at Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop. According to Greg Dixon, the previous owner brought in two of them since he was getting out of reenacting. At $750 I couldn't resist.

The bore is in good shape with a little minor rust and there was a bit of rust on the outside but that cleaned up easily with a bit of WD40 and steel wool.

The previous owner added sling swivels. The upper swivel is attached only to the stock, not to a lug attached to the barrel, and is positioned that it could foul the rammer. I may have a lug welded to the barrel a bit closer to the muzzle so that the swivel rests on the upper ramrod pipe when the gun is vertical.

I'm looking forward to making some smoke with it.

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I do NOT recommend welding anything to the barrel Dave!!!
Keith.
 

Artificer

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Indeed, a low temperature silver solder is all one needs to attach a sling swivel lug to the barrel. BTW, from my own experience with my circa 1976 Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine, my Rammer lost the button because of a poor solder joint. So if you are going to solder a lug onto the barrel, that is a good thing to check and do as well, if needed.

Gus
 

Renegade Dan

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I will intervene for you Dave! Send me the Brown Bess carbine and I will take good care of it for you. I will send it back when I think your ready and able to handle more than 1 brown Bess.

Seriously, Congrats on a nice Smoothbore. :thumb:


RD
 

Loyalist Dave

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I think I need an intervention. :) In the past month I picked up an India Pattern Brown Bess from IMA and today I got this used Pedersoli Brown Bess carbine at Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop. According to Greg Dixon, the previous owner brought in two of them since he was getting out of reenacting. At $750 I couldn't resist.

The previous owner added sling swivels. The upper swivel is attached only to the stock, not to a lug attached to the barrel, and is positioned that it could foul the rammer.
You did quite well. The sling swivel IS in a bad location and it will bind the ramrod, and mess with it being returned. Also the tip of the Pedersoli Bess rods since 1990 have been notorious for coming loose, when reenactors "ping" the breech too hard during inspection.

Why Not..., simply move the swivel location to where there is already a barrel tenon and already has a hole? IF the tenon itself isn't large enough to accept the size hole needed for the swivel bolt, it may be easier to beef-it-up than adding a new tenon, digging a hole for it in the stock, then aligning a hole for the bolt. ;)

Fill the old hole with a small wooden dowel, thinned to fit and stained, then glued, OR simply put a steel pin into the stock, and most folks won't really know it's a "pin for nothing" as there are other visible pins, present.

Pedersoli Carbine Swivel Location.png

LD
 

Dave Markowitz

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LD, that is a great idea for relocating the sling swivel! Don't know why I didn't think of it.

I'm thinking of drilling and putting a cross pin in the ramrod tip to secure it. Any reason not to do that?
 

Loyalist Dave

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I'm thinking of drilling and putting a cross pin in the ramrod tip to secure it. Any reason not to do that?
Nope, Good Man! :thumb:

When you fasten the button on with the pin, put some silver solder paste on the ramrod end, put the button on and pin the button. THEN hit it with a butane torch until you see the solder start to melt and flow and stop. Allow to cool. You will have a pin and solder, and that button won't be going anywhere!

LD
 

Rat

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Hey welcome to the Bessie Carbine club. I've had one for quite a few years, I love that musket. Don't know what "vintage" it is. Throw that dumb flash guard away and you have a really cool musket. Glad the re-enactors did not damage it too badly. Some fine steel wool, and then scotch-brite, with plenty of oil on a jag should clean up the bore. Hope you do more than just make smoke. I hunt with mine, (see pic at left) and she's killed many a grouse, and turkey. I'd like to have sling swivels on mine, but have not, and probably won't ever get around to it. Anyhow, enjoy. Really nice guns, I only had to tweak my lock a little bit to get really good fast reliable ignition.

I've never had a problem with my ram-rod, but "pinging" the breech is something that I would never have any reason to do. I can just slide the ram-rod down gently, and tap the breech, and know if it is loaded or not. Or, I can see/visually determine if the ramrod is all the way down the barrel or not. However, I believe that overkill is just right, and agree with Dave 100%. Pin that sucker! :)
 

Dave Markowitz

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@Rat Check out this sight and you can find out when yours was made: https://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/IDC/idc.html For example, mine has "BP" stamped inside of a square on the barrel near the serial number, which is the date code for 2001.

The bore is in good shape. I ran a wet bronze tornado brush up and down several times, and a bunch of patches wet with WD40 or Kroil. Then I hit the bore with a couple of patches smeared with Flitz metal polish. I cleaned that out and and borescoped it. Looks good. Except for the minor exterior rust the gun was well maintained.

I am considering browning the barrel, since it's not an authentic piece anyway and I am not reenacting, and that it would both reduce glare and help protect the metal. I have some Laurel Mountain Forge cold browning solution that I'd use. Haven't decided on browning it yet, though.
 

Rat

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Vintage 1992!! (BB) (which I used to think signified "Brown Bess"!!) I didn't have much luck browning mine, (I'm not so great at finishing metal)(except on motorcycles) and it would wear/shiney spot where I carry it in my right hand a lot. So I re-polished it back to the natural steel, or "in the white", and then let it go grey. I posted about this recently, but I just put my sweaty hands on it a lot, minimize any oil on the barrel, and it turned a nice gray/grey. Anytime it does get any surface rust I just gently work that over with an oily cloth, but don't try to completely remove it. It took a few years to get there though, and I did the same with my Jeager. Both those barrels seem to be very rust-resistant. Rarely get any surface rust on it, sometimes a tiny bit near/around the general area of the touch-hole.

I've heard good things about the Laurel Mountain stuff, should work good. I think it would look great with a browned barrel. do it!
 

Britsmoothy

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The bores on pedersoli guns are chrome plated. It's very thin but goes a long ways to protecting them from lack of care.
 

Many Klatch

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I bought my Bess Carbine used back in the 90s. I have put thousands of rounds through it since. Had to replace the Frizzen twice when the thin Pedersoli hardening wore through. It was easier and cheaper to buy a new Frizzen from Dixie than it was to reharden the metal. The flash guard really messed up my glasses so I took it off when I decided that I wasn't going to reenact military anymore. Had to have the touchhole lined after a couple of thousand shots. The touchhole was almost 1/8". Mine likes a .715 ball and 90 grains of 2F. It is a good dependable shooter and fun as well. Enjoy
 
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The PederBess is a good shooter from all accounts!! It misses the mark in many areas to be considered a true replica, it is more of a "Bess inspired" modern recreation.
 

Rat

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I bought my Bess Carbine used back in the 90s. I have put thousands of rounds through it since. Had to replace the Frizzen twice when the thin Pedersoli hardening wore through. It was easier and cheaper to buy a new Frizzen from Dixie than it was to reharden the metal. The flash guard really messed up my glasses so I took it off when I decided that I wasn't going to reenact military anymore. Had to have the touchhole lined after a couple of thousand shots. The touchhole was almost 1/8". Mine likes a .715 ball and 90 grains of 2F. It is a good dependable shooter and fun as well. Enjoy
So far, I get best accuracy with 140-150 grains of Fg, and a .690 ball with denim patch. My gun absolutely shoots more accurate as I increase the powder charge. I have shot .71" balls, but my accuracy improved with the .690" balls. Lately I've been playing with .690" "chewed" balls, and a .023" patch, and that seems to be better, but I have not shot the chewed ball a lot. Two over powder felt wads seem to shoot better than one, and I also plan to experiment with felt wads dipped in pure (no lube) hot bee's wax. (which I call the "wax biscuit") Plan to do that soon now that the snow is melting away.
 

Dave Markowitz

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So I shot the Bess carbine today.

My first shot was a patched 0.735 ball. That’s a VERY tight fit so if I shoot any more of them, I’ll try them bare. Some smoothbore shooters do well with an over-power card or wad, bare ball, and an over ball card to hold it in place. I also have some 0.710 balls which should be easier to load with a patch, but I didn’t bring them today.

I put around 15 rounds of the paper cartridges with .690 balls and Goex 2Fg black powder through the gun. The last loaded nearly as easy as the first. I noticed that after about 10 shots there was a crud ring forming in the breech so it required extra pressure to fully seat the ball. I really liked loading from paper cartridges. I’m going to make up some for my fusil de chasse.

Compared with my longrifle, it has a much slower lock time, so follow through is even more important for good shooting.

I had a number of misfires due to lack of spark. I think what was happening was that the top jaw screw would loosen, because when I tightened it back up the gun would alway off. Obviously I need to fix that.

Recoil was noticeable but not bad.

Video:

 

Loyalist Dave

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So I shot the Bess carbine today.....
I had a number of misfires due to lack of spark. I think what was happening was that the top jaw screw would loosen, because when I tightened it back up the gun would alway off. Obviously I need to fix that......
A couple of little details for the Bess repros..., first you must have a hole in the back of the leather or the lead around the flint so that the back of the flint rests against the jaw screw. Second, many folks find better results by wrapping the flint in lead. Don't do this for a rifle lock, but for a military musket lock, this sometimes helps a lot.
LEAD FLINT WRAP BASIC.jpg

LD
 
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