Pedersoli Brown Bess

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sooter76

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I've never handled one up close, so can someone more knowledgeable tell me how accurate it is to the 1769 Short Land Pattern? What does it have that it isn't supposed to? What is it missing that it should have?

Same question for their Charleville repro.

Thanks...
 

nwtradegun

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for a production gun it is as close as you can get. it incorporates several models into it. the first thing you need to do is mic the bore. it can vary from 729 to 750 . mine was 729.
 

Artificer

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I can't speak for the Pedersoli Charleville as I have not owned one in over 35 years. However, I have the Pedersoli Bess in my lap as I type this to try to ensure I get it correct. I love this Bess, but there are definitely things that are not correct for a 1769 SLP Musket. Let's see if I get the list of problems correct.

1. The sling swivels are grossly oversized WIDE. Mine was made around 2000, so I'm not sure if they got that corrected. However, slimmer sling swivels are available from other Sutlers.

2. Wrong Date on the Lock Plate and it should not have the contractor name "Grice" on it. It should have "Tower" or "Dublin Castle" on the Lock Plate. Some of the originals found do not have Year Dates on the locks and only have the Tower or Dublin Castle markings.

3. The Top Jaw Screw should not have a hole in it this early. This did not come about until the mid 1770's in the LLP Musket.

4. The front tang of the buttplate is too short and not correctly formed for the SLP 1769. This can be corrected by brazing more brass onto the tang, shaping it and inletting the modified tang.

5. The butt stock is a little too straight. It should have a little more drop in it.

6. OK, this one is often argued about, so let me begin with that caveat. The "specs" or period documentation called for the brass side plate to be rounded, BUT all the ones still extant have flat side plates and that includes the ones with the earliest lock dates. This documented in " The Brown Bess," by Goldstein and Mowbray. BTW, The Rifle Shoppe sells a rounded side plate for replacement, but it is NOT a drop in fit and it needs some inletting and of course the holes drilled. http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pages/new_items/(199).htm

Having noted these things, the Pedersoli Bess is widely accepted at FIW and AWI reenactments as it comes from the factory.

Gus
 
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dave_person

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HI Sooter,
You just got the best scoop from the "man". Gus knows his stuff. I was one of those that argued with him about the sideplate but now I am convinced his case is compelling and correct. I refurbish Pedersoli Besses for re-enactors and living history participants to make the gun more historically correct. I have one sitting in my lap as I write. I will add just a few more things. The Pedersolis (and all other commercial reproductions) retain too much wood. Quite a bit can come off the forestock and around the lock panels. The lock panels are too wide and the barrel tang apron too pronounced. Usually, the trigger guard, lock, and rear ramrod thimble are inlet too deep instead of being flush with the wood surface. There also should be a lug brazed to the barrel for the forward swivel screw. The sole of the butt plate should be about 1/4"-3/8" longer, and the stock should have more drop. As Gus mentioned, the most serious cosmetic detail is the engraving on the lock plate. All that said, they are well made and reliable guns.

dave
 

pargent

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Froggy guns first the 1763 the stock shape is not as rounded as is on originals.
The later musket is copied from an 1815 example. The Bess is a very close copy of the musket they used to copy from , except the breech end of the barrel is much smaller in OD , NB this type was fairly common in most parts of the world except North America ,this way the Pedersoli fits into many uses :- SLP bess , Marine , Milita ,Volentiere , Sea service , Dragons , LI ....
 

sooter76

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Thanks all... I knew there were differences, but wasn't sure how pronounced. It sounds like most inaccuracies can be rectified. I've been wanting a 1742 pattern but haven't had much luck in finding one so I'm thinking I might go the Pedersoli route.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Well if you wanted a 1742 "upgraded" model, there are a few things you can do to the Pedersoli. First, you need that Rifle Shoppe Round Bess Plate. You also will want to swap out the Short Land Pattern (SLP) butt plate, for a Long Land Pattern (LLP) butt plate which will have to be fitted. Often folks will also retro fit in a piece of wood where the cast brass nose cap sits, then wrap that with brass reinforcement as was done back then.

You can't change the lock shape, so having somebody weld over the "6" in the engraving of "Grice 1762" and then having a "4" engraved in its place so that it reads "Grice 1742" is a waste of money (imho). I believe (I will have to check Dr. Bailey's book) that the 1742 version still had the "banana" lock..., which is obvious from a distance. So not having the "bent" or "banana" shape, no reason to spend the cash altering the engraving.

The trigger guard is also a different shape, but it's a very subtle difference, so you could replace it if you wish, but not many folks will spot that difference. Very few will spot the carving on the lock mortise and the tang area are not correct for a LLP bess either..., so again you don't need to do that.

What you'd end up with is a quasi 1742 that has been upgraded a bit, with the reinforced nose on the stock, and the metal ramrod. IF you're supposed to have a musket from colonial stores or provided for colonial troops, you might take the time and effort to have the rammer converted over to wood..., though the "trumpet" ramrod thimble at the front of the stock can be a devil to hide that it's been exchanged for a thimble that works for the wooden rammer. (that's the Ãœber modification in my opinion. Pretty cool but not super needed...and colonial guns were modified by the colonies in lots of ways, so you could have a metal rammer.)

Still as it is, out of the box, it's accepted even at F&I events.

LD
 

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If anyone could get the Banana Shaped P1740 Lock Plate into the Pedersoli Lock Panel on the stock, it would be Dave Person, but there is just not enough wood to handle the downward curve on the rear of lock plate and still have a correct wood finial behind the rear of the lock plate.

So I have to politely disagree that one cannot upgrade the Pedersoli Musket to an upgraded P1742, unless one fits a new/replacement stock.

Loyalist Dave made a neat point about the trigger guard not being correct on the Pedersoli. I had to break out the books to see what he was referring to. The P1740 Trigger Guard that was used until the end of the 18th century had a little more brass protruding at the top of the front of the Trigger Bow. This was no doubt meant to reinforce the Trigger Guard around the Rear Sling Swivel Hole. With a Leather Sling in place, it would be VERY hard to notice the difference unless you are looking for it, though, as Loyalist Dave mentioned.

To the best of my knowledge, the late Kit Ravenshear sort of pioneered modifying the Pedersoli Musket to make it look like a shortened P1756 Long Land Pattern (LLP) Musket, that did not require changing the flatter bottomed P1755 Lock Plate on the Pedersoli Musket. Kit made the modifications mentioned earlier, PLUS he weld filled the last two Date Numbers on the Lock Plate and re-engraved them to make an earlier/correct date of 1755. Below is a link showing a Musket that Kit so modified. http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/KRB2.shtml

HOWEVER (and this may once again put me on the spot), the more I have learned, the more I have come to believe that while a Pedersoli so modified like Kit Ravenshear did them, makes the Pedersoli MORE correct for AWI ”“ it is not correct for FIW. I seem to recall Kit did these modifications to make the Pedersoli more correct for AWI, though I may be mistaken. Please allow me to explain.

In Dr. DeWitt Bailey’s more recent works, he points out time and again that British Ordnance made a concerted Policy NOT to send Muskets with Steel Rammers to North America during the FIW. He even mentions that Regular British Regiments who had been armed with the then “new” P1756 LLP Muskets with Steel Rammers were deliberately rearmed with Wood Rammer Muskets before being sent here in the FIW. The reason for that was there was a MUCH greater threat to the British Home Islands from the Continent in the Seven Years War and Steel Rammer Muskets were saved for that threat. So they saved their Steel Rammer Muskets for use on the Continent. Thus, the chances of a Steel Rammer LLP Musket coming here during the FIW were downright miniscule to nonexistent, with the notable exceptions of the steel rammer P1756 .66 cal. CARBINES that were documented to have come here during the FIW.

HOWEVER, things were completely different in the AWI. Britain was not fighting a World War when the AWI broke out, so they sent their “First Line” Steel Rammer LLP and even some SLP Muskets to retain the Colonies. So a Kit Ravenshear or other maker’s modification of the Pedersoli Musket, is really only correct for the AWI.

I wanted to point these things out to SAVE you from the expense of modifications to the Pedersoli, in case you are thinking of using it at FIW events and we may have confused you into thinking these modifications would make the Musket correct for FIW. Again, you don’t have to do anything to the Pedersoli as it comes from the factory, for it to be approved to use in FIW events.

Gus
 
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buzz

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Love my short bess from PML
OWNED MINE FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS
Bore exact at .750
Great sparker and at 20 yards prb hits 5" circle consistantly.
But I shoot more shot in mine and taken a few turkey and duck
 
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