Pedersoli Brown Bess

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When I first got in to Ml I bought a big red book on shooting ml. I think it was called the black powder hand book, but I’ve bought a lot of books over the years and lost a lot, or gave them away. And lost a lot when I went in the navy a few years later.
The third or fourth chapter was about a gent that had several originals that he shot reguarly.
My Mowrey could shoot one inch groups off a rest at fifty yards and I wasn’t impressed by his groups, but they were fine groups For a smoothie. And he took deer,elk and moose,along with turkeys and small game.
 

shaman

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Thanks all for the comeback.

Well, that explains why there was not much talk about the 'Bess being used for hunting. It'd be a bit like someone today showing up at the check station with an M4 with arsenal markings. Although my guess would be a lot of battlefield pickups made it into private hands. There was probably also a lot of winnowing going over the Appalachian Divide. The 'Bess and its ilk probably stayed East. When you look at what was preferred on the Frontier, folks were paying a huge premium for lightweight arms that used a minimum of lead and powder to get the job done. The 'Bess is a gaping maw for both.
 

FlinterNick

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I know lots of folks that use Bess’s for hunting.

It has its limitations for sure in terms of weight and accuracy.

Personally I’ve never hunted large game with a bess, only small game. As a turkey gun its not bad.

I also don’t mind my guns on the heavy side.
 

smoothshooter

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Manual Lisa had a ‘sporterized Bess’ and we have an account of border ruffians in Texas being siezed about 1850 with some cut off besses.
Every ship had to carry a style of musket in the eighteenth century. These were privately made and not all the same. Many were patterned after the bess. And these were the first trade guns.
The English pre bess matchlock masker had evolved the proto-bess stock before William.
Bess and bess style guns filled the armory for militia men. And no doubt many got in to private hands.
In general a bess was the kings musket. And a civilian with one had best be able to explain it.
We know civilians got their hands on some. But In general they were uncommon for civilians
After about 1779 or so, why would anyone in America care about getting caught by the British with a British musket?
It would seem like they would have been used for hunting and general-purpose guns more if they had been a smaller caliber and more economical to feed.
I hunted with a repro for several years wit pretty good results, but if I were to do it again, I would cut the barrel back to about 36 inches and take a rasp and sandpaper to the comb and lower it about a quarter of an inch.
 

smoothshooter

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When I first got in to Ml I bought a big red book on shooting ml. I think it was called the black powder hand book, but I’ve bought a lot of books over the years and lost a lot, or gave them away. And lost a lot when I went in the navy a few years later.
The third or fourth chapter was about a gent that had several originals that he shot reguarly.
My Mowrey could shoot one inch groups off a rest at fifty yards and I wasn’t impressed by his groups, but they were fine groups For a smoothie. And he took deer,elk and moose,along with turkeys and small game.
I think the guy that shot and hunted with the original Besses was named DICK WELLER.
I still remember when I was about 15 years old reading over and over an article someone wrote about him and the Brown Besses he had and hunted with. There were several good black and white photos as well.
It ignited an intense interest in British muskets that lasts to this day.
 
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After about 1779 or so, why would anyone in America care about getting caught by the British with a British musket?
It would seem like they would have been used for hunting and general-purpose guns more if they had been a smaller caliber and more economical to feed.
I hunted with a repro for several years wit pretty good results, but if I were to do it again, I would cut the barrel back to about 36 inches and take a rasp and sandpaper to the comb and lower it about a quarter of an inch.
If not in the army, and in civilian clothing one might face a short drop and sudden stop, or an indefinite cruise on the good ship Jersey
 

smoothshooter

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If not in the army, and in civilian clothing one might face a short drop and sudden stop, or an indefinite cruise on the good ship Jersey

What I was getting at was that by late 1780 or so the British were largely confined to coastal areas, and the chances of an American not part of a Loyalist unit being captured by the Brits would have been almost non-existant. Everyone would have known where they were at all times and so avoiding any contact with them if you didn’t want any was easy.
And of course after the war it would not have mattered at all.
 
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