Unknown Bess? the at

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by tarawa1943, Jun 16, 2019.

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #1

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

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    I recently was high bidder on a beautiful Second Model Brown Bess. The pictures on the auction site and description were vague, except that it had a serial number. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised on how well built it was. Not real thrilled with the very high polished metal, but the wood (curled English Walnut?) and workmanship was quite impressive. The only markings are a 4 digit serial number and “black powder only”. I have not removed the barrel to check for other markings. With the help of other Bess enthusiasts, I have narrowed it down to an an early Pedersoli that may have been sold by Dixie or Navy Arms. They told me that the folks on this website would probably be more knowledgeable on the subject, so here I am. I was just about to order a Longland (Dublin Castle) Bess from Loyalist arms when this musket showed up on the auction site. And yes I still want a Long Land Bess, so I may end up with two.
    Thanks
     

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  2. Jun 16, 2019 #2

    Shot deer

    Shot deer

    Shot deer

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    In case they don't see it, you might try sending a conversation to either dave_person or Artificer. They are really knowledgeable.

    For my thoughts, I would agree that it is probably a early Pedersoli. That's all I can come up with for now.

    SD
     
  3. Jun 16, 2019 #3

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

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    I just realized that there is a section for “ identification”. If posted in the wrong form, please move my post. Thank you.
     
  4. Jun 16, 2019 #4

    Grenadier1758

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    The Grice 1762 on the lock plate is one indicator that it is a Pedersoli or possibly a Coach Harness gun. There should be Italian proof marks on the barrel if it is a Pedersoli.

    Go to Loyalist Dave's response in this thread (scroll up) to see a photo of a Pedersoli lock:
    https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/navy-arms-bess-question.114764/page-2#post-1571193

    If you use the search function (more) at the top right of the page and enter the keywords "Grice 1762" you will get a lot of hits to investigate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  5. Jun 16, 2019 #5

    Artificer

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    There may be proof marks on the bottom of the barrel that would identify it with certainty.

    One thing I did notice is the front sling swivel has a flat edge going from the barrel pin down to the swivel. Not sure where that came from as it isn't from Pedersoli in the period and I don't think a Coach Harness Bess.

    Gus
     
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  6. Jun 16, 2019 #6

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    The Identification section is reserved for original guns that were made before 1865 so, this is the right place to post the gun you bought. :)
     
  7. Jun 16, 2019 #7

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

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    The rear swivel is the same as front
     
  8. Jun 16, 2019 #8

    spudnut

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    I wouldnt worry about the high polish, one season will take care of that.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2019 #9

    Loyalist Dave

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    Correct. I am betting the high gloss was because the musket was sold by one of the smaller importers, akin to Taylor's & Company. Four digit serial numbers probably means 1970's vintage.

    LD
     
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  10. Jun 17, 2019 #10

    FlinterNick

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    Looks like an earlier pedersoli Bess.

    Definitely not a coach harness bess, coach harness Bess used the 1755 stock which has slightly more drop at the toe and a higher comb, also the Brass furniture is bigger, other than the rammer pipes and nose cap and thumb piece.

    The lock was probably buffed with compound for a high polish. The stock is a nice cut of walnut, looks dense.
     
  11. Jun 17, 2019 #11

    DickS

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    Back in the early '70s, I was at Numrich Arms, picking up a load of barrel blanks. While there, Ira Trast showed me a machine carved, unfinished stock for a Bess, made by a company "Wysowski Brothers", in NY State. Does that ring a bell with anyone? The carving machine was tape controlled. These were being made for Navy Arms. For a just off the machine stock, the stock was excellent. Surface could be finished with coarse sandpaper, metal parts would almost pop in. Anyway, I wonder if this musket might be an early Navy Arms, assembled on this side of the Atlantic.
     
  12. Jun 18, 2019 #12

    FlinterNick

    FlinterNick

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    Those nurmich arms Brown Bess stocks are made for Pedersoli Bess's, they're oversized around the lock panels and foreshock, the barrel channel is undersized so you can custom fit up to around a taper of 1.5 inches down to 900, Colerain barrels work on them. I know a few guys who have used them to make committee of safety muskets or unmarked guns.

    You can also use them to restock older Navy Arms Brown Bess's, the only issue is the trigger guard won't work too well without being hammered out and bent slightly.
     
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  13. Jun 18, 2019 #13

    DickS

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    Keep in mind that I saw this stock some 45-odd years ago.
    The right and left lock area panels were the sides of the plank from which the stock had been machined. There was an unfinished area on the bottom of the forend just in front of the trigger guard, no doubt where the blank had been gripped in the machine.
     
  14. Jun 18, 2019 #14

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

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    I am very happy with the purchase. I ordered a bunch of flints from IMA. I hope it sparks good enough to make some noise with the grandkids!
    Which company made a Long Land Bess?
     
  15. Jun 19, 2019 #15

    FlinterNick

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    Right now the only long lands in production are by Indian Gun made gun dealers such as Loyalist Arms and Middlesex Trading Co. Loyalist Arms does offer a decent long land; and they take more care in producing a quality product.

    The only other Long Lands are those offered in kit form; Track of the Wolf has a 1740 long land and The Rifle Shoppe has all patterns 1728-1755 including the inter period marine muskets and carbines.

    The only other reproduction long land was was offered in the 1970's and 1980's by Kit Ravensheer, these were distributed by coach harness. You'll only see them for sale on auction and they usually go for about 2,000$.
     
  16. Jun 20, 2019 #16

    fireman1

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    This thread is one of the cool things about this forum. Guys who have been into this hobby for 40 years or more and share their experiences. Thanks guys!!
     
  17. Jun 23, 2019 #17

    tarawa1943

    tarawa1943

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    I received the flints from IMA. do most guys use leather in the jaws of the cock or some sort of lead? I have tried a few of the flints with leather and I get various degrees off sparking. It does spark though!
     
  18. Jun 25, 2019 #18

    Pete G

    Pete G

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    Most military pieces use lead.
     
  19. Jun 25, 2019 #19

    TFoley

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    That is to say, a thin sheet of lead. Try your local model airplane store - they usually sell small pre-cut squares of thin lead sheet to use as counterweights on flying surfaces and so on in model airplanes. The pieces WE get here in yUK are exactly the right dimensions and thickness to use around the flint in the jaws, in fact, some models of BB actually have serrated jaws made for this purpose.
     
  20. Jun 25, 2019 #20

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    One method to get the lead wrap for the flint was to flatten a lead ball.

    A lead wrap works for a large musket lock. The lead can add too much weight to the smaller rifle and pistol locks. Also the lead requires frequent tightening in the jaws as it moves under the impact of firing.

    I find the leather wrap to be a better choice. That's my opinion and observation.
     

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