shootable or deathtrap?

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Johnny Tremain

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Found this line of muskets.
shootable or wall hanger?
[url] http://www.militaryheritage.com/musket4.htm[/url]
 
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TFoley

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Well - the advert actually reads -

'We sell historically accurate muskets as a non-firing state. This allows us to comply with local, state, national and international firearms regulations. A certified gunsmith may alter this musket to a firing state by drilling the vent hole and test firing it. We are not legally responsible for any alteration from its present non-firing state.'

They look nice, but if was MY hands around a gun and MY face lying on the stock, I think I'd prefer it to be made AS a shooter from the word go. A good let-out clause there, eh? Basically that 'anything subsequently done to this item, even if by a qualified gunsmith, is nothing to do with us...'

Of course, YOUR opinion may differ, but I prefer to see a name like Pedersoli on any front-stuffer that I'm going to shoot with an explosive mixture of sulphur, wee and bat-poop.

My $0.02

tac
 

Musketeer

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These guns are made at various factories in India, and are sold by Military Heritage, MVTC, and Loyalist Arms. MVTC and Loyalist both sell shootable version (touch holes have been drilled through), while Military Heritage only sells "non-firing" versions (no touch hole in the barrel) so they can get around bans on the imporatation of shootable firearms that exist in some countries. Actually, I think Loyalist will also sell you a non-drilled-out version or a gun and lock seperately for the same reason. In any case, these guns are shootable. There have been numerous discussions of these guns on the Forum in the past, and the general concensus is that, while they aren't up to Pedersoli workmanship levels, they aren't too bad, and they are generally worth what they charge for them.
I have a Heavy Dragoon pistol from MVTC that I'm quite fond of. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it's perfectly funtional.
The trouble with a lot of stuff made in India is that their quality control is notoriously bad, so that you may get ttwo muskets from the same lot where one is beautiful and solid and the other is a piece of junk. If you're looking for a shooter, I'd go with MVTC or Loyalist, as they both sell their guns to be shot and so are more selective in picking and choosing only the quality pieces and sending the duds back (and even making their own in-house adjustments and final finishes on them); whereas, Military Heritage seems to be aimed more at the wallhanger crowd. :thumbsup:

P.S. If you haven't already, check out this thread on MVTC's new fowler: http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid/182146/ This seems to be indicative of most folks views on these guns, mine included. :)
 

bnail

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I agree with Muskateer here. The quality control is iffy. The key is to find reputable importer who is dependable and has a good reputation for customer service. I've heard some nasty stories about military Heritage, so I'd examine Loyalist arms and MVTC closely to see who can best help with spare parts and accessories.
Good luck :thumbsup:
 

Swampman

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Loyalist Arms is an excellent company. These muskets are a good value and as safe as the other imports.
 

Stumpkiller

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We had a flare up a while back when one of the members here got hold of one that was allegedly very poorly breeched. Accusations flew, the importer joined here and responded. It was a he-said, she-said and the general concensus seemed to fall with the importer.

To my way of thinking they are over-polished to the point of washing away features and are probably worth the investment. I'd keep a close eye on it and, as they themselves suggest, test fire it away from humans.
 

Mike Brooks

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You get what you pay for. If you want a $500 gun made in india that's exactly what you'll get. This outfit is as good as any of the others that are selling them.
What are they making their barrels out of? I'd be leary of the quality of the barrel and the breeching job.
 

Owenbrau

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Loyalist ships the lock and stock/barrel separately for the same reason, as they are only shipping "parts", not a complete weapon.

I've had lots of luck with my Loyalist Arms Doglock. There was one issue at the begining, which they fixed no problem. It shoots reliably, although I have no idea how accurate it is since it's never been to a real range yet.
 

Musketeer

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Stumpkiller said:
We had a flare up a while back when one of the members here got hold of one that was allegedly very poorly breeched. Accusations flew, the importer joined here and responded. It was a he-said, she-said and the general concensus seemed to fall with the importer.
Yeah, that did get pretty ugly, didn't it? :shocked2: :grin:
 

tg

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"while they aren't up to Pedersoli workmanship levels,"

that may be a questional bench mark of quality to many...
 

TANSTAAFL

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tg said:
"while they aren't up to Pedersoli workmanship levels,"

that may be a questional bench mark of quality to many...
Ahrrr, it is to me, just hearing the word Pedersoli can give me a bad case of buck ague shakes.
 

Musketeer

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tg said:
"while they aren't up to Pedersoli workmanship levels,"

that may be a questional bench mark of quality to many...
You may be right. I handled and shot a Pedersoli Bess a few years ago, and it seemed pretty nice, but I didn't get to spend a lot of time with it. I based that comment mostly on the fact that most people seem to really like their Pedersolis. I've heard about some of the complaints folks have with them too, but a lot of folks do seem to use Pedersoli as a benchmark of sorts, so I figured I would too. :grin: :hatsoff:
 

kb466

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As I did over in the Smoothbore section, I am going to try to summarize and break down the pros and cons of the Pedersolis and the Indian Muskets:

PEDERSOLI'S--Pros:
1. Reasonably good fit and finish.
2. No question as to safey if properly used.
3. Parts available
4. Walnut(?)stock. I am not convinced this is the same as true English walnut, but I can be corrected.
5. Reported generally reliable

PEDERSOLI'S--Cons:
1. Oversize breach and /or "out of shape" parts compared to originals.
2. Resulting in "feel" and handling different from originals.
3. Relatively expensive.
4. May have non-original markings.

INDIAN-MADE--Pros:

1. Much less expensive.
2. In pictures, look to be closer to originals in shape and contour.
3. Hand-made, often using hand forged parts; closer to original manufacturing techniques.
4. Generally reported to be reliable (at least lately).
5. Original style markings.

INDIAN-MADE--Cons:

1. Stock is Indian Rosewood. Though attractive and capable of being finished to closely resemble walnut, it is not walnut.
2. Hand-made. This is both a pro and a con. Because each is individually made, getting replacement parts can be problematic.
3. Quality control issues. This seems to be much less of an issue lately, but still should be noted.
4. Fit and finish--These are hand-made arms and the fit and finish reportedly does not meet the standards of the more modern machine-made and standardized Pedersolis. This issue seems to be less an issue lately.
5. Some are reported to be overly polished and too shiny.

Those are the issues with these muskets as I see them. People are welcome to add to the list. I would be interested in others' thoughts on this.
 

TFoley

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Well - I hears ya. And reads your words. Pedersoli might not be the brightest star in the firmament by you, but here is one VERY big 'but'.

Every single weapon made by Persersoli is PROOFED as safe to fire with the loads for which it was designed - it has been the law in Italy, in particular Gardone Val Trompia and Brescia, where these weapons are made, since around the middle end of the 16th century - the same as here in UK.

The Pedersoli company all have faces you can meet at any big gun show in Europe - and they stand behind their guns because they have the official backing of the Italian government Proof houses, the way we here in the UK and Germany and Switzerland have ours.

I would not put my trust in any gun that was not proofed, regardless of how safe you might say it was. As you note, every one of these Indian exports is handmade to a different standard. What standard is that, may I be so bold as to ask?

You can get pretty good working rubber arms these days, but they have yet to perfect a working rubber eyeball, let alone a head.

tac

'Show me the proof, and I will believe'
 

Old Charlie

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I only have one Pedersoli and it is a pistol. It is a dam fine gun.
Old Charlie
 

Swampman

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Pedersoli makes an excellent product as far as quality goes. I've owned quite a few of them. A little more care in the "historically accurate" department would be nice. I doesn't cost anymore to build one right.
 

kb466

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Personally, my biggest complaint with the Pedersolis is the "historically accurate" department. It usually involves an enlarged breech area. In fairness to Pedersoli, they do this to prevent some half-wit from blowing up his musket (and maybe the half-wit, too) by using smokeless powder or some such thing. Lawsuits being what they are, I understand their concern. Though you end up with an oversized, overweight musket, you can be sure that it is safe. As noted above, along with the proofing, that is worth something.
 

Mike Brooks

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Well, this oversized breech thing is interesting. In general contemporary guns have much smaller breeches than originals did.
Which models have smaller breeches? Original Bess's breech I think were something like 1 3/8". french guns were all 1 1/8" or bigger. How big of breeches do these spagetti guns have?
 

CrackStock

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TAC,

I am accustomed to redneck proofing. It involves double charging and single loading, wedging the gun in an old tire, tying a piece of string on the trigger and pulling from behind a big tree.

May not be as impressive as having a fancy proof mark, but achieves the same end. Not so?

CS
 

Johnny Tremain

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Did think this was gonna turn to a Indian vs Pedersoli event.

I had a Pedersoli, it was a hunk of junk, the main reason I made my own. After 8 shots the frizen broke, and it took me 8 months to repair it. The trigger guard was so thin forward of the spoon. It broke from normal use and cleaning.

Even in the begingins of Harper's Ferry Arsenal, guns were made by 20 different smiths and helpers. It took until 1803 for them to make a set of standards that everyone had to follow for interchangability.

Id never seen this muskets before, thats why I brought them to the attention of the group. If I was in the market for a smoothbore musket, Id buy one just becuase it is hand made and adjust it as needed. For thats what I had to do with my Pedersoli.

Thansk for all your in put. Think Im staying with my home made Virginy rifle.

My next project is to find a tiny 45 cal rifle for my wife. Even the cub is to big.
 

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