Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket unboxing and first impressions

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Bought one from Dixie to celebrate my coming milestone birthday. I call it my “turning 62 and not retiring” present to myself. The buying process was seamless, and you can’t beat Dixie’s $18.50 shipping although the price was not the cheapest (but they actually have some). Overall I am well pleased with the Trade Musket. It is slimmer and lighter than I expected. The wood is of course very plain but generally well done. It is a little proud at the tang and one spot on the left rear of the tang wood “arrow” embellishment got routed a little deep. Both are fixable if somebody cared to refinish the stock (I don’t).

A couple of additional less than stellar items are the “snake” and pan bottom. The snake does not lie flat against the stock, which is OK because I plan to remove it anyway. I know the serpent is HC, but it does not work for me, and it is my gun. A couple of brass washers will easily substitute and fix the issue. The bottom of the pan though is just plumb rough. It may work fine but there is no reason that it can’t be smooth and easy to wipe out. I have some polishing wheels for the Dremel that should take care of that. The rest of the lock looks good, both the function and geometry, at least to my newb eye. The touch hole appears to be centered on the pan at a very slightly high Sunset position, should be OK. Bore measures at .632, a little bigger than I expected but I don’t think it is a problem. I have a mold I have cast balls from and shot through another “20 gauge” BP barrel but I can’t remember the size it casts right now but suitable patches will make them work.

If it shoots as good as it looks I will be happy. I want a “better” Fowler type gun at some point but the Trade Musket should make a fair stand-in until one comes along.
 

Notchy Bob

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Nice report! It's good to hear of production made guns that look good out of the box.

This Pedersoli smoothbore was wisely named a "Trade Musket" instead of a Northwest gun by its builder. It is different from Northwest guns in several respects, that "serpent" being one of them. Pedersoli could have outsourced more authentic and better looking side plates, but they wanted to design their own for some reason. I never understood that. Some people have improved them, mainly by removing the brass enclosed within the serpent's curled tail, but since it is flush mounted and doesn't appeal to you anyway, there is no reason not to remove it. You don't really need washers or a sideplate at all unless the side nails or lock bolts are too long and you don't want to shorten them.

Enjoy your new gun! Let us know how it shoots.

Notchy Bob
 
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I'm pleased to read this, as I just posted asking for some tips on choosing a Trade Musket. Part of my interest is in the little Dragon/Serpent, so that's a necessity! I'll check out the Peder musket, maybe one will come up used. I'm not looking real serious or hard right now, just for future reference.
 
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I also see that Military Heritage has a pretty nice looking Indian Trade Musket. It can get confusing in that Indian (meaning the Natives) and the modern item being made IN India can confuse!
 

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