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matt denison

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J. G. Terry said:
I can't address the Italian or India made flintlocks. The experience with Italian made cap lock guns has been spotty on the best day. Got two 1853 Enfield copies from a large large mail order company. Of these guns one was usable and the other was junk. The third was a second hand two band rifle musket that was acceptable. Point being that not all Italian cap lock repros are good grade firearms. Make sure of what you are getting.

What is acceptable and what is not acceptable is in the eye of the beholder. There are some things mentioned here that I would never accept. I don't buy a gun so I can tear it down, re build it, then tell everyone on the internet how great I think it is.
 

Blackfingers

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Laffindog, what you just alluded to is nothing more than one of the 10 most popular Defensive Mechanisms. We all use them, no harm done, I too am guilty.
 

Alden

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Blackfingers, yes, it's a defensive response, a defense mechanism...

...to buying something of poor quality.

Getting defensive, an emotional reaction, doesn't logically explain or justify buying something of poor quality. In fact it is the RESULT of it when recognized. You are trying to be kind and making an excuse for their psychology but are really only reinforcing Laffindog's point.

That's not to say Laffindog might not have a dog in this fight but he does have an experienced perspective and really isn't competing against India-made guns; no reputeable purveyor of above average quality ANYTHING is.
 

Loyalist Dave

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As to the Pedersoli Brown Bess not being authentic, one of the main problems often cited is the flat side plate and that comes from Dr. De Witt Bailey's works. However in the book, The Brown Bess, by Erik Goldstein (A Curator at Colonial Williamsburg) and Stuart Mowbray - they argue that most original British (Tower) and Irish (Dublin Castle) marked P1769 SLP's still extant actually have the FLAT side plates and only the very earliest P1769's MAY have had rounded sideplates.

The next thing cited as being wrong about the Pedersoli Bess is the lockplate markings for P1769 SLP's. This actually has a lot more merit from original guns. As per 1764, the British changed from having Private Contractors' names and dates inscribed on the locks TO only having Tower or Dublin Castle marked on them. It is possible that SOME left over locks marked "Grice" and "1762" marked locks were used in the earliest models or when taken from unserviceable muskets and fitted to new P1769's in later years, but there would not have been the huge numbers of them seen in the repro's today.

One suggestion to this "problem" of the early locks with the flat sideplates, as Loyalist Dave has mentioned, is to get a rounded sideplate from TRS and fit it to the musket.

Actually the four mistakes are merely cosmetic, as I pointed out, but for a SRP of $1500 for a full musket, it's my opinion that they should be corrected.

If Pedersoli can completely retool their Hawken to produce a left-handed version for 2015, there is no excuse for the continued poor accuracy of their Bess, or at least why not offer a 1st Model as well?

To begin, the barrel is too short. It should be 46" if you are going to use it for F&I, and can be ignored with a wink-and-a-nod for the AWI. Barrels were shortened by specific units in small numbers up to and during the AWI, but the vast majority of the Bess muskets used would've had 46" barrels folks.

Second the original 1769 "Short Land Pattern" Bess which was issued to troops that were sent to North America had rounded side plates. They arrived here in North America in limited numbers. What was produced and kept on racks in England does not change what should be "seen" here...

Third, the lock is marked "1762", but the straight locks were not introduced until the 1777 version. OK so how does the armory make straight sided locks in 1762, fifteen years before tentative production and new Bess with that lock plate begins? ESP??? OH and the 1777 upgrades of the Bess were not seen in North America as they were brand new and so many of the older model, 1st Model Bess existed, many in unfired and unused condition, that it was decided not to issue the 1777's.

Again if you can completely swap the location of the lock mortise on a Hawken, you can change the lock mortise and the side plate on the lock of the Bess, and end all arguments.

Fourth, and only slightly more troublesome to the maker than swapping out the side plate, are the butt plate comb and the trumpet ramrod thimble.

The "issues" might not even be up for discussion if the lock was changed...., reenactors might ignore the barrel length, might opt for after market parts, retro-fitting of the butt and side plate. The modification of the lock plate could still incorporate the same lock hardware, instead of a completely different lock. True it would not be a correct "1756" lock in size, but it would be better.

As I said these are purely cosmetic.

It's funny how some people are critical of folks "defending" the India made bess, alleging it's purely from price, THEN they defend their Pedersoli Bess as the end-all-be-all vs. an actual copy from The Rifle Shoppe Inc.....which is a defense based on price....usually the first salvo is the "proofing argument", but if you're Ike in Germany, and your India made musket has been proofed in the German proof house (at a higher standard btw than the Italians proof the Pedersoli in the Italian proof house) then that argument is moot.

LD
 
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Loyalist Dave said:
Actually the four mistakes are merely cosmetic, as I pointed out, but for a SRP of $1500 for a full musket, it's my opinion that they should be corrected.

If Pedersoli can completely retool their Hawken to produce a left-handed version for 2015, there is no excuse for the continued poor accuracy of their Bess, or at least why not offer a 1st Model as well?

First, I would love to see Pedersoli make a LLP Bess and my choice would be the P1740 with a double bridle, banana shaped lock and the early molding around the lock and sideplate, plus the heavier model trigger guard that became common on the P1742. Failing that, I would like a P1742 with the simpler molding around the lock and sideplate. The P1742's have been well documented as being the most common LLP used during the FIW.

Dave I am not trying to be picky, but what do you mean by "a 1st Model Bess?" The 1st Model Bess was the P1718 LLP under the British Ordnance Department. I think you may mean the P1730 LLP with banana shaped lock, no external bridle and wavy lock aprons that extended down towards the buttplate? Or do you mean a P1742 with simpler molding and the double bridle lock?

Loyalist Dave said:
To begin, the barrel is too short. It should be 46" if you are going to use it for F&I, and can be ignored with a wink-and-a-nod for the AWI. Barrels were shortened by specific units in small numbers up to and during the AWI, but the vast majority of the Bess muskets used would've had 46" barrels folks.

In the last 10 years, I have run across a surprising number of British re-enactment units who researched and found their units had been issued SLP's before they left Great Britain. So I'm not so sure it can still be said the vast majority were LLP's. However, no one would argue a P1757 LLP would be "wrong" for AWI to be sure.

Loyalist Dave said:
Second the original 1769 "Short Land Pattern" Bess which was issued to troops that were sent to North America had rounded side plates. They arrived here in North America in limited numbers. What was produced and kept on racks in England does not change what should be "seen" here...

From "The Brown Bess" by Erik Goldstein and Stuart Mowbray, The Pattern 1769 Short Land Musket British, Page 92 concerning rounded or flat sideplates.

"However, other scholars disagree, claiming that Militia or Marine-style flat sideplates were used on the P1769’s from the very beginning. They propose that the early type with a Long Land Pattern-style sideplates was either made in very small numbers or not at all. Disregarding the documentary evidence [as written by DeWitt Bailey and others]these scholars point to physical evidence, observing that they have never seen a Pattern Short Land Pattern musket of the supposed early type having a Long Land Pattern Sideplate - even on muskets known to have been captured very early in the Revolutionary War."


Loyalist Dave said:
Third, the lock is marked "1762", but the straight locks were not introduced until the 1777 version. OK so how does the armory make straight sided locks in 1762, fifteen years before tentative production and new Bess with that lock plate begins? ESP??? OH and the 1777 upgrades of the Bess were not seen in North America as they were brand new and so many of the older model, 1st Model Bess existed, many in unfired and unused condition, that it was decided not to issue the 1777's.

OK, I admit you lost me on this one. Even Bailey writes the flatter bottom P1755/6 locks were used from the very beginning of P1769 production.

The use of a Contractor's Name and date are wrong for a P1769 SLP, though. This from both Bailey and ""The Brown Bess" by Erik Goldstein and Stuart Mowbray. The lock should just have "Tower" or "Dublin Castle" on it with no date.

Loyalist Dave said:
Fourth, and only slightly more troublesome to the maker than swapping out the side plate, are the butt plate comb and the trumpet ramrod thimble.

OK, I think you lost me again here about the "trumpet ramrod thimble." Even Bailey states the furniture for the P1769 SLP was "P1756 style furniture" and that included the trumpet shaped front rammer pipe.

I agree the buttplate tang is not correct and I am staring at my Pedersoli Bess vs originals listed in both Bailey's books and "The Brown Bess" by Erik Goldstein and Stuart Mowbray.

Loyalist Dave said:
The "issues" might not even be up for discussion if the lock was changed...., reenactors might ignore the barrel length, might opt for after market parts, retro-fitting of the butt and side plate. The modification of the lock plate could still incorporate the same lock hardware, instead of a completely different lock. True it would not be a correct "1756" lock in size, but it would be better.

As I said these are purely cosmetic.

Again, I am not sure what you mean by "if the lock was changed," as per the information I posted above.

Loyalist Dave said:
It's funny how some people are critical of folks "defending" the India made bess, alleging it's purely from price, THEN they defend their Pedersoli Bess as the end-all-be-all vs. an actual copy from The Rifle Shoppe Inc.....which is a defense based on price....usually the first salvo is the "proofing argument", but if you're Ike in Germany, and your India made musket has been proofed in the German proof house (at a higher standard btw than the Italians proof the Pedersoli in the Italian proof house) then that argument is moot.

LD

Though this last paragraph of yours was in reply to my post, I assume you are not talking about me. I have pointed out things wrong about both Pedersoli and India made guns.

Gus
 

Ike Godsey

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Loyalist Dave Said:

Third, the lock is marked "1762", but the straight locks were not introduced until the 1777 version. OK so how does the armory make straight sided locks in 1762, fifteen years before tentative production and new Bess with that lock plate begins? ESP??? OH and the 1777 upgrades of the Bess were not seen in North America as they were brand new and so many of the older model, 1st Model Bess existed, many in unfired and unused condition, that it was decided not to issue the 1777's.


OK, I admit you lost me on this one. Even Bailey writes the flatter bottom P1755/6 locks were used from the very beginning of P1769 production.

In 1756 the "Straight Edged Lock" came in use on the P1756 LLP.
In 1769, the SLP used the same type of lock -> P1756.
In 1777, the lock for the SLP was reduced in size.

The Pedersoli Bess lock is close but not matching to the size of the 1777 SLP lock.

So IF a British Regiment was issued with SLP before 1777 it must have a P1756 style (and size) lock.

Ike
 

Ken Cormier

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When I first started down this path. I bought a dubious quality fantasy flintlock from Spain. What I quickly learned is instead of buying cheaply is to save up and get a quality gun. There is no reason to buy a cheap anything as it has been my experience has a always been YA GET WHAT YO U PAY FOR.
 
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Ike Godsey said:
Loyalist Dave Said:

Third, the lock is marked "1762", but the straight locks were not introduced until the 1777 version. OK so how does the armory make straight sided locks in 1762, fifteen years before tentative production and new Bess with that lock plate begins? ESP??? OH and the 1777 upgrades of the Bess were not seen in North America as they were brand new and so many of the older model, 1st Model Bess existed, many in unfired and unused condition, that it was decided not to issue the 1777's.


OK, I admit you lost me on this one. Even Bailey writes the flatter bottom P1755/6 locks were used from the very beginning of P1769 production.

In 1756 the "Straight Edged Lock" came in use on the P1756 LLP.
In 1769, the SLP used the same type of lock -> P1756.
In 1777, the lock for the SLP was reduced in size.

The Pedersoli Bess lock is close but not matching to the size of the 1777 SLP lock.

So IF a British Regiment was issued with SLP before 1777 it must have a P1756 style (and size) lock.

Ike


Thank you for the further explanation. Dave's and your posts inspired me to go back to Bailey's Book, though I just lost the post I had written when I hit the wrong button. Gosh Darn it!!

The P1756 lock is listed as 6 7/8" to 7 1/16" long with "A Norm" of 7". The Pedersoli lock is only 6 3/4" long, so Dave made a fair criticism the lock plate is too short.

The P1756 lock and the Pedersoli lock BOTH have the correct Long Sear Spring that results in only one screw showing behind the cock on the lockplate, so the Pedersoli is correct. They both had the earlier feather spring finial (frizzen spring finial) so the Pedersoli is correct here as well. (The P1777 lock has the NEW short sear spring so the ends of TWO screws can be seen behind on the cock on that lock.)

Bailey also writes, "Beginning in 1765 large numbers of locks were re-worked by Ordnance lock contractors (Chiefly William Grice) and the Board’s engraver, so that undated Tower locks will be found on locks as early as the Pattern 1740.”

By 1765, the FIW was over and the broken damaged Muskets used by British Regulars were reworked by British Ordnance at The Tower. Some of the very first production P1756 LLP Muskets had left over and then New Old Stock Banana Shaped P1740 Locks on them until they ran out and then started using the newer Flatter Bottom P1756 locks. I SUSPECT the P1740 locks Bailey mentioned in the paragraph above were some of the Left Over and New Old Stock Banana Shaped Locks from the early/first production P1756 LLP’s. The reason I speculate this is those banana shaped P1740 locks were still new in 1756/1757 and would not have been as worn out/damaged as the locks on P1748 and especially older and most likely more worn out P1742 muskets.

However, production of both Marine and Militia Pattern Muskets was going on before, during and after 1765 when the locks Bailey mentioned were re-worked and BEFORE the P1769 SLP’s were made. So it is quite possible, if not probable that any reworked Older P1740 Banana Shaped Locks were used on THOSE Muskets as they were considered “Slightly Inferior Arms” and at least to the Militia as “Inferior Troops.” I think it is also important to note that Bailey does not mention any of those Earlier Pattern re-worked Banana Shaped locks were used on P1769 SLP’s.

Gus
 

Ike Godsey

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Maybe that helps?

w789.jpg
 

pargent

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Preproduction (pre69 ) muskets were made by Tower contractors as complete guns , these muskets were the same as the later 69 SLPs ,these muskets were shipped to India to arm line REGTs. on rotation there .Over 2000 of these and possibly more were shipped ,Grice was one of the contractors .
Also after 1760 Grice supplied locks for various tower orders for other arms for land, horse and sea services .Grice during this time frame also made and supplied prototypes upon request for Tower and made a very wide range of firearms and components for private purchase .It must also be made clear that between 1775 and 1815 that for the British Empire the conflicts in North America were an annoying sideshow (politicaly , militarialy , and financial ) rightly or wrongly .
 

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So, Phil, are you saying Pedersoli-type guns, more or less, existed during the F&I War? Ach du lieber!

Now I know they'd have been more likely to be used by British Marines shooting pineapples out of trees in the Caribbean, but...

He hasn't carried or fired them yet but Ike is more than satisfied with his $1k-each primary and backup India-made 1st Model Bess'.
 

Ike Godsey

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Alden said:
So, Phil, are you saying Pedersoli-type guns, more or less, existed during the F&I War? Ach du lieber!

Now I know they'd have been more likely to be used by British Marines shooting pineapples out of trees in the Caribbean, but...

He hasn't carried or fired them yet but Ike is more than satisfied with his $1k-each primary and backup India-made 1st Model Bess'.

I am always amazed about the ability of some mebers here, to turn something thats said here upside down...

Ike
 

TomM1

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I really appreciate the replies placed on this topic.

Spent this last weekend at the Chantilly Show, and was surprised at the number of repros available for sale. Looked like a good number of types were available in the $200-400 price range to boot.

Question - of the companies talked about here - which ones mark their products so you can tell the original source????

Now - I saw some crappy looking ones, and I saw some that looked real good.

I am also familiar that people tend to dumped their problems at gunshows.

I am beginning to think I might take a chance with one of the earlier French or English guns made in India. I can fix an ugly/oversized stock as well as polish metal. What exactly are the issues one should be aware of with the locks?
 
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With respect to the locks, The frizzen needs to be properly hardened. One test is a good shower of sparks into the pan.

The other test is to run a file along the face of the frizzen. The file should slide along the face of the frizzen and not cut metal. Look at the face of the frizzen. The Frizzen should have some long scratches showing the flint is cutting small pieces of steel from the face of the frizzen. The face of the frizzen should not have a washboard appearance. The washboard appearance is a probable indicator of a soft frizzen that the flint digs in and bounces along.

You want to have a reasonable trigger pull. The force to cock the lock should have some effort to indicate the mainspring is strong enough to drive the flint along the frizzen face. The cocking effort should be smooth. You want a reasonable trigger pull. The land pattern or other military muskets will have a reasonable trigger pull that is designed to be used in military actions. The lock should hold at half cock and not be a light pull.

When dry fired the frizzen should finish in the open position after delivering a good shower of sparks into the pan.

The barrel should be clean and a proper fitting jag and patch should go down the bore with no indications of a sudden opening or bulge in the barrel. Now both my Loyalist Arms muskets are slightly restricted at the muzzle and open up after about a foot. There are no restriction, then very easy, then restrictions. Mine indicate a choke not a bulge. The patches should not have a lot of rust. Some may be present as even good cleaning and protective oils may not get all the rest or leading out of the barrel.

If you have any doubts, pass it up.
 

Ike Godsey

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TomM1 said:
I am beginning to think I might take a chance with one of the earlier French or English guns made in India. I can fix an ugly/oversized stock as well as polish metal. What exactly are the issues one should be aware of with the locks?

From all I know about india guns, there are different qualities in makes around. If I were to buy in the US, I would look for the better quality ones. There are three shops I would look at:
www.flintlockrepair.com
http://www.loyalistarms.freeservers.com/
http://veteranarms.com

It is my belief, those three got the best quality india made muskets.
If you have any issue just contact them and you get help.
 
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I agree with Ike.

I have two Loyalist Arms muskets. They are very good in representing the long land pattern muskets of the F&I war.

I like what I have heard of Earl Kathan of Flintlock Repair.

Nothing is beter than a detailed inspection.
 
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