Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine

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Britsmoothy

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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:

Fast lock, just like mine. Fast for a large military lock.
 

toot

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boy that sure was a good flinch trying to fire it on half cock, works every time to see if one is flinching. that is why they call them FLINCH LOCKS!
 

Artificer

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"Flinch Locks" was a common jocular term for Flintlocks the first time I competed at Friendship in 1974 and it was a old saying then. Yep, have to sheepishly admit I did my fair share of flinching when learning to shoot my old Brown Bess Carbine as well.

Military Flintlocks were known for having a rather long "throw" or travel of the cock/hammer between half cock and full cock. The thinking was it gave more time for the large Military Cock/Hammer to acquire better speed and therefore be more consistently "sure fire." However, that also greatly increases the lock time (the time between pulling the trigger and the gun goes off) and that makes it more difficult to shoot for accuracy. One has to REALLY have good follow through with a long Cock/Hammer throw.

The problem is the Pedersoli Lock is on the LONG side of throw, even for a Military Lock.

Dave Person has an excellent thread on how he reworks Pedersoli Besses and an important improvement for good shooting is shortening the Cock/Hammer Throw and speeding up lock time to be able to shoot them better/easier. I wish I had known that when I shot my Brown Bess Carbine for competition back in the Mid/Late 70's.

Gus
 

Dave Markowitz

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Thanks LD. I got ahold of some sheet lead and cut it like shown in your picture. I will give it a try the next time I take out the gun.
 

toot

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I be leave that sheet, 1/16 inch thickness lead was standerd issue to the BRITISH solders back in the day for holding the flint in the cock jaws ?.
 

Many Klatch

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I find that it is impossible to get the jaws of the cock tight enough using the screw driver slot. Drill a hole through the ball at the top big enough that a steel rod can be inserted. Then use the rod to tighten down the jaw. You'll find you can get another full turn or two after you have tightened as far as you can with the screw driver.
 

Artificer

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I be leave that sheet, 1/16 inch thickness lead was standerd issue to the BRITISH solders back in the day for holding the flint in the cock jaws ?.
I found original references to that as early as the FIW, so you indeed are correct. However, some British Units in the period were supplied with cast lead flint wraps in a sort of a long oblong shape and that already had a hole in the center. This so when it was wrapped around the flint, the hole allowed the rear of the flint to butt up against the Cock Screw/Top Jaw Screw, as Loyalist Dave mentioned earlier. Original Examples are shown in the book "A Soldier Like Way," I believe.

Gus
 

toot

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I used to go every OCTOBER to FORT LEGIONIER in PA. to reenact the battle and in the QUARTERMASTERS HUT there were round wooden kegs the size that were nail kegs when i was young, and they were full of sheet lead that were for using to keep the flint tight in the cock jaws. also 1 inch musket flints were in the same kind of kegs, must have been in the thousands??
 
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