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Your most 'interesting' muzzleloader transaction ?

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And the flip side of that is finishing the rifle and the customer that ordered can't come up with the cash. The builder then sometimes must carry the thing for months waiting for somebody to buy it. The steady income depended on by that sale fell through, so now the builder is also out the money for the parts until he sells it. It is not so much a problem with a usual rifle, but an odd order can make the gun virtually un sellable. Suppose it is a chunk gun with a false muzzle. Most matches don't allow false muzzles.

Similar problems come up when there is a partial deposit and the buyer can't complete the payment, Make the deposit non-refundable? that just causes the buyer to bad mouth the builder. It becomes a can of worms. An ideal thing would be to have an escrow hold the funds with a deadline for completion, but even then people get sick, people die, estates want to cancel the sale and get the money back, etc. The builder has to protect himself. He has no big company with thousands of customers to ensure a steady income, that he won't be stuck for $700 in parts, etc. No one is going to pay his salaray anyway because an order fell through.
That's true also. Those type guns are what I'd be looking for. I see it from both sides.
 

sussexmuzllodr

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Only once with a muzzle loader did have a hard time on a build with the .62 smooth bore, researched the builder got good reviews commissioned the gun with a 1 year build time paid up front trusted the guy well 3 years later and one very hard time received the gun, Every time I could get a hold of him there was a different excuse, nice build and satisfied with the work but never again. Actually I believe these folks should be identified to protect future buyers from the lies and bull s@@@ that goes on with these things. I was taught that if you tell a man something you live up to it, if you really think about it all a man really has is his word.
In my case I pm,d both the owner of this forum and the individual involved. we will see to what the responses are.
SM
 

zimmerstutzen

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I have no doubt that I’ve missed out on some wonderful custom rifle opportunities due to being unwilling to take the leap of faith of full payment up front. Like it or not our interest in muzzleloading arms is pretty confined to persons ‘of an age’, otherwise known as senior citizens. I myself fit in that category.
The point being the older the custom rifle maker the more chance there is of order interruptions due to poor health among other things. I therefore restrict my purchases to the already made variety.
Yeah, 20 years ago, there was a rather infamous gunsmith and supplier of BPCR items who had been making a good name for himself. He was taking the orders in, receiving deposits on items to be produced. He had developed some highly desired parts for obsolete arms. Don't know the cause for discord, but his wife's attorney lowered the boom, froze his accounts, had his shop locked down as a marital asset, pending a property division that went on for over a year. Guy lost everything and what had been a good name. Literally hundreds of people bad mouthing him over refunds and unfilled orders. I understand he felt there was no way he could start over and rebuild the old business with his reputation ruined and even if he wanted to, there was no way to repay those who lost money.
 
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Yeah, 20 years ago, there was a rather infamous gunsmith and supplier of BPCR items who had been making a good name for himself. He was taking the orders in, receiving deposits on items to be produced. He had developed some highly desired parts for obsolete arms. Don't know the cause for discord, but his wife's attorney lowered the boom, froze his accounts, had his shop locked down as a marital asset, pending a property division that went on for over a year. Guy lost everything and what had been a good name. Literally hundreds of people bad mouthing him over refunds and unfilled orders. I understand he felt there was no way he could start over and rebuild the old business with his reputation ruined and even if he wanted to, there was no way to repay those who lost money.
Yep..that's why I will buy a completed gun with cash in hand. He gets the cash & I get the gun.
 

Timber Wolf

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This is an “interesting” thread. Several years ago I attended a local gun show put on by a small firm that only did two or three shows here. Right inside the door to one side a local collector had a tablet set up. He was selling some stuff he had bought at an estate sale in his neighborhood as well as trading for himself. He had a CVA .50 percussion rifle and a shoe box full of paperwork, an unopened pound of 2f, powder measure, capper, caps, short starter, etc., etc. He had taken it in on trade and just wanted rid of all of it for $100 to recoup what he had in it. I did some quick math and figured there was $50-$60 worth of stuff in the box alone so I handed over the $100 and left with the rifle and stuff.

As I walked around the show several people asked to look at the rifle and I offered it to them for a $100. I figured to just walk with the box o’ stuff and be happy. Only had one guy act interested but he finally said “I would keep it if I were you”. I did end up leaving with it and did some research. It is pretty apparent it was built from a kit, and although not bad it does need a little TLC to finish it and make a really nice rifle out of it. It appears to be a CVA Mountain Rifle and has a “Made in USA” barrel. I understand CVA did these for a time when they could not get Spanish made barrels. One of these days I will get around to finishing it and shooting it. In the meantime I am not into it for much.

But the story does not end there. I ended up running into this fellow a while later in the course of my day job and he asked where he knew me. I told him I had bought the muzzle loader from him at the show. He said “oh yeah, hey I have another box of black powder stuff, run by my house and I will dig it out and give it to you”. So I did, and he did. Good deal (for me).
 

oreclan

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So I keep an eye out for used Bess and Charleville muskets. Even with discounts, a reenactor is looking at a minimum of $1200 for just the musket and the bayonet when it's new. Biggest stumbling block in the hobby is the gun price. :confused: So my goal is to rescue the musket, and get it into reenactor ready condition, and break even by selling it to a newbie for what it costs........

So there are some sellers out there that have "sat" on their musket, not using it much, bought decades ago, and they then see what the new ones go for, and think that knocking the price down to $1000 for the musket will get them a nice profit, without looking at the fact that a "kit" musket costs that much and the warranty is still in effect, not to mention the muskets from India have kept the price of used Pedersoli and Jap muskets down. These overpriced used Bess sit on the auction sites, and get no bids, then..., get taken down, unsold. When I've sent personal messages to the sellers with an offer, they get irate...., oh well.

So what I do is I figure, based on the photos posted, what I am willing to pay for the musket, including shipping. If it's in poor shape (rusty, etc) I bid less, as I will have to overhaul the piece to bring it back to "reenactor ready"..., and what I do is a LONG way from what Dave Person does with a factory Bess. ;)

So I saw this rusty Bess with a dark brown barrel, and a very dark lock. So looking further, the lock read "Grice", but the engraved date wasn't clear, and I saw the previous owner had swapped out the flat sideplate for a rounded one, similar to a LLP Bess. I figured it was a Pedersoli. So I placed a bid, and was high bidder (at that moment). Usually folks outbid me, as I've done this dozens of times, and not won. I figured that as I had scrounged several months before, a never used Pedersoli Bess barrel, if the barrel was roached on the auction-site Bess, I at least could add the musket to my collection by replacing the barrel.

I won the darn thing...., $750 bucks including shipping 😶

The money went into a money order, and a week later, the musket arrived. YUCK it was rusty...., no wonder I won, but it looked like surface rust. So after ensuring the musket wasn't loaded, I dunked the barrel and ramrod into my "barrel tank" (a PVC pipe with one end sealed, and filled with Evaporust). The lock (in pieces), the sling swivels, and the butt plate screws went into a ziplock bag full of Evaporust. Twenty-four hours later, I fished out the metal, rinsed, and did a light polish with emory paper and oil. The interior of the musket barrel got 4-0 stell wool on a cleaning brush at the end of a cleaning rod and power drill. Put it back together, and what did I see?

I had a Pedersoli Bess, which somebody had spent money and installed an after-market butt plate, with a longer metal portion on the comb, and had installed a rounded side plate. Further, they had corrected the lock with an earlier date than the incorrect "Grice 1762". This was a Bess upgraded for use in F&I events, to be closer to what an F&I Bess should look like, and the metal was fine, having only had surface rust. The bayonet fit well and cleaned up too. So pretty much I got a Bess & bayonet, that cleaned up would probably have gone for $1000... for $750.

FIRST AND ONLY TIME that I've been that lucky, and THAT Bess is lovingly stored in my collection. 😇

Here's the musket when it arrived

View attachment 47697

Here's the lock, close-up, just out of the box...,
View attachment 47696

Here's the lock cleaned up and reinstalled....

View attachment 47699

Here's the butt plate and the side plate

View attachment 47701 View attachment 47702

For some reason I didn't shoot a photo with the barrel finished. OOPS!

LD
Kit Ravenshear (RIP) used to back date Besses. Have the rr thimbles been moved also and an "old" mortice left in the channel?
 

fireman1

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I have a bad habit......I'm an un-repentant gun trader. :( I've been lucky to score many guns at less that half of the going rate...sometimes 25%. Funniest one is when the gunshop counter guys says "they are going for $1400 on line but that is too much. That's why I put $400 on it.:D

All cartridge guns, mostly C&R or niche shooting sports stuff. BPCR, Cowboy etc. I've had many cool guns and let them go. The upside is that wheeling and dealing has helped feed the family when the kids were young or helped pay for a lot of the expensive guns I have now. There were a few BP guns in there but I'm pretty new to the BP world so I haven't owned many but a couple were deals. $10 C&B single shot, $85 Hawken by TC, another TC with powder, ball etc for $125. My latest BP purchase has been the most interesting.

I recently bought a Pedersoli Brown Bess from an older guy. I feel like it was great deal. A very nice condition Bess, a quality cartridge box with shoulder belt, bayonet and sling. It also had about a dozen flints, and 12lb of ball, .715 and .730. $875 shipped. Funny thing was he wanted it shipped to a licensed FFL!:doh: Local shop was $50 for the transfer but basically received it for me for a $20.
 

Winchester97

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I once tried to buy a rifle from a member here. I think he advertised the wrong rifle for the price. After nearly a month I got my money back, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth over it. Presently I am buying a rifle from a member here that is not going well either. I paid, he sent, gave me a tracking number and the post office tells me my package will be later than thought, but it is in route to the next destination. Priority mail doesn't seem to mean much to the post office. Nothing to do but wait I guess.
You might start a package search request. I had a fowler held up in the mail for 3 weeks, after my search request, the tracking picked back up and I got it safe and sound about 3 days later. Guess they were propping a door open with it someplace.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I don't know if this is a most interesting transaction but it certainly was one that dropped in my lap. I have a friend who allows me to use the range on his property. He is an avid gun fan and a very active NRA recruiter. He appreciates muzzleloaders, but does not shoot any that I am aware of. One day he says "Larry, I have a new in the box Pedersoli, 58 cal, flintlock pistol, for sale". Would you be interested, the guy wants $200.00? Needless to say I am now the owner of a Pedersoli. This was about 3 or 4 years ago and I still haven't shot it.
Flintlocklar 🇺🇲
IMG_3023.jpeg
 

Josephg

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I got a call one day from a gun shop owner. Told me he heard I knew all about the rifle he had for sale. Told him, yes and I might be interested in buying it. We made an appointment to meet at his shop forty miles away the next morning. I get to the shop and he never shows up. Well, there was a gun show that weekend. I called a friend who is always at the show. Did you see a big guy carrying a rifle like this? Yep, he was here and he sold the rifle to so and so. I never even got to see it. So loaded with that information, I went to his shop and asked him why he stood me up. Told me his mother was sick and he had to tend to her. I asked him if she had got sick at the gun show. He did a lot of sputtering. I never did like that guy.
 
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I don't know if this is a most interesting transaction but it certainly was one that dropped in my lap. I have a friend who allows me to use the range on his property. He is an avid gun fan and a very active NRA recruiter. He appreciates muzzleloaders, but does not shoot any that I am aware of. One day he says "Larry, I have a new in the box Pedersoli, 58 cal, flintlock pistol, for sale". Would you be interested, the guy wants $200.00? Needless to say I am now the owner of a Pedersoli. This was about 3 or 4 years ago and I still haven't shot it.
Flintlocklar 🇺🇲 View attachment 47935
That's amazing....I hear about all these sweet deals but never seem to run across one myself! We'll done sir!
 

Treestalker

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I traded for a round ball mold on this site, I was very generous with my side of the trade. The mold I received cast balls so lopsided you could see it with the naked eye, it wasn't a cheap mold. The other guy is a top notch builder and shooter so I don't see how he could have missed the molds flaws but I let it slide. I think he dumped a bad mold on me because he could, some folk are like that.
Eric, I'm sorry that happened to you; yes there are pond scum out there who will take advantage of their reputation to pawn junk off on the public. I congratulate you on being man enough to blow it off; it's better than he deserves, and there was a time in this country when he would not have gotten away with it. Please PM me with your needs; if I have what you need, I'll see to it you are treated fairly. George.
 

JamesT

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Well after years and years of satisfactory buying and selling I ran into a lemming. I recently listed for sale a Spiller and Burr revolver that I purchased new and defarbed myself. I feel I advertised it accurately saying what I had done to the pistol and its condition. I offered a good gun at a fair price. I advertised that it was fired very little and with light loads of 18gr. I am very confident of its condition and the services that I had offered for sale. I posted it for sale on a muzzleloading forum and wouldnt you know someone had claimed it for purchase within a matter of minutes no questions asked. I advertised it as fairly as humanly possible. They did pay promptly but soon after receiving it sent me a very rude condescending email telling me how the end shake was twice the allowable spec and it was coming back to me etc. etc. I know better and furthermore the .019 thousandths cylinder gap this individual claimed equates to 10 sheets of paper. Seriously? The pistol would be shaving lead and have so much gas escape it would never group. Id love to show this buyer how I could out shoot them using this pistol against anything they own. Modern or antique. They replied to me being so ignorant I chose to let them eat cake. I was slandered on that forum tho I chose not to defend myself and discredit them. I wish I had sold it to someone who would have appreciated it more and shot and enjoyed it. A gentlemenly conversation would have fixed it but this guy seemed to know all. I was a bit bothered of the dissatisfaction of the deal until I looked at some of the other posts by this individual on the particular muzzleloading forum. And then, Ah.... Sometimes you just have to consider the source.
James
 
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sussexmuzllodr

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Well after years and years of satisfactory buying and selling I ran into a lemming. I recently listed for sale a Spiller and Burr revolver that I purchased new and defarbed myself. I feel I advertised it accurately saying what I had done to the pistol and its condition. I offered a good gun at a fair price. I advertised that it was fired very little and with light loads of 18gr. I am very confident of its condition and the services that I had offered for sale. I posted it for sale on a muzzleloading forum and wouldnt you know someone had claimed it for purchase within a matter of minutes no questions asked. I advertised it as fairly as humanly possible. They did pay promptly but soon after receiving it sent me a very rude condescending email telling me how the end shake was twice the allowable spec and it was coming back to me etc. etc. I know better and furthermore the .019 thousandths cylinder gap this individual claimed equates to 10 sheets of paper. Seriously? The pistol would be shaving lead and have so much gas escape it would never group. Id love to show this buyer how I could out shoot them using this pistol against anything they own. Modern or antique. They replied to me being so ignorant I chose to let them eat cake. I was slandered on that forum tho I chose not to defend myself and discredit them. I wish I had sold it to someone who would have appreciated it more and shot and enjoyed it. A gentlemenly conversation would have fixed it but this guy seemed to know all. I was a bit bothered of the dissatisfaction of the deal until I looked at some of the other posts by this individual on the particular muzzleloading forum. And then, Ah.... Sometimes you just have to consider the source.
James
Was an attempt made at a Gentlemanly conversation Made? SM
 
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fireman1

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Well after years and years of satisfactory buying and selling I ran into a lemming. I recently listed for sale a Spiller and Burr revolver that I purchased new and defarbed myself. I feel I advertised it accurately saying what I had done to the pistol and its condition. I offered a good gun at a fair price. I advertised that it was fired very little and with light loads of 18gr. I am very confident of its condition and the services that I had offered for sale. I posted it for sale on a muzzleloading forum and wouldnt you know someone had claimed it for purchase within a matter of minutes no questions asked. I advertised it as fairly as humanly possible. They did pay promptly but soon after receiving it sent me a very rude condescending email telling me how the end shake was twice the allowable spec and it was coming back to me etc. etc. I know better and furthermore the .019 thousandths cylinder gap this individual claimed equates to 10 sheets of paper. Seriously? The pistol would be shaving lead and have so much gas escape it would never group. Id love to show this buyer how I could out shoot them using this pistol against anything they own. Modern or antique. They replied to me being so ignorant I chose to let them eat cake. I was slandered on that forum tho I chose not to defend myself and discredit them. I wish I had sold it to someone who would have appreciated it more and shot and enjoyed it. A gentlemenly conversation would have fixed it but this asshat seemed to know all. I was a bit bothered of the dissatisfaction of the deal until I looked at some of the other posts by this individual on the particular muzzleloading forum. And then, Ah.... Sometimes you just have to consider the source. There are some real dumbasses out there.
James
Sadly there are too many gun owners like that. One forum that I am quit active on has an excellent feedback system. It is easy to see who to avoid doing a deal with.
 
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And the flip side of that is finishing the rifle and the customer that ordered can't come up with the cash. The builder then sometimes must carry the thing for months waiting for somebody to buy it. The steady income depended on by that sale fell through, so now the builder is also out the money for the parts until he sells it. It is not so much a problem with a usual rifle, but an odd order can make the gun virtually un sellable. Suppose it is a chunk gun with a false muzzle. Most matches don't allow false muzzles.

Similar problems come up when there is a partial deposit and the buyer can't complete the payment, Make the deposit non-refundable? that just causes the buyer to bad mouth the builder. It becomes a can of worms. An ideal thing would be to have an escrow hold the funds with a deadline for completion, but even then people get sick, people die, estates want to cancel the sale and get the money back, etc. The builder has to protect himself. He has no big company with thousands of customers to ensure a steady income, that he won't be stuck for $700 in parts, etc. No one is going to pay his salaray anyway because an order fell through.
Agree with all of the above response too. Its a tough situation to deal with. I guess the builder will have to rely on "draws" to get a gun built & sold. I still prefer to hold the gun in my hands to see how it feels, whether its barrel heavy or not, etc, etc. I don't have the patience to wait 6-8 months or even a year for a gun to be built. I might not live that long.......
 

NorthFork

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This is in response to the current slight thread derailment trend of bad dealings with builders. This is going to ruffle some feathers, some sacred cows will be sacrificed.

note: I never say ALL builders are bad apples

I have been a member and/or have lurked on many muzzleloader forums for YEARS. I cannot remember how many folks on the various forums that have been disappointed or even flat out screwed by builders. Gross lead time over runs, money paid but no rifle, nasty builder attitudes, and just general inconsistent and poor workmanship. And this includes some 'famous' builder names. There are too many bad apples in this bunch. Yes there are good builders but weeding the bad ones out can be difficult when shopping for a builder.

I agree with B P Maniac Shooter, it would be VERY difficult for me to shell out 1/2 down and wait months if not years for a 'custom' that may or may not even turn out like planned. Heck I or the builder could die before hand. This exact thing just occurred with a friend of mine with a custom recurve. Bow is 99% done, but builder is dead.
 

zimmerstutzen

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Agree with all of the above response too. Its a tough situation to deal with. I guess the builder will have to rely on "draws" to get a gun built & sold. I still prefer to hold the gun in my hands to see how it feels, whether its barrel heavy or not, etc, etc. I don't have the patience to wait 6-8 months or even a year for a gun to be built. I might not live that long.......

So you don't buy slightly green bananas?
 

zimmerstutzen

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This is in response to the current slight thread derailment trend of bad dealings with builders. This is going to ruffle some feathers, some sacred cows will be sacrificed.

note: I never say ALL builders are bad apples

I have been a member and/or have lurked on many muzzleloader forums for YEARS. I cannot remember how many folks on the various forums that have been disappointed or even flat out screwed by builders. Gross lead time over runs, money paid but no rifle, nasty builder attitudes, and just general inconsistent and poor workmanship. And this includes some 'famous' builder names. There are too many bad apples in this bunch. Yes there are good builders but weeding the bad ones out can be difficult when shopping for a builder.

I agree with B P Maniac Shooter, it would be VERY difficult for me to shell out 1/2 down and wait months if not years for a 'custom' that may or may not even turn out like planned. Heck I or the builder could die before hand. This exact thing just occurred with a friend of mine with a custom recurve. Bow is 99% done, but builder is dead.

In my life, I have been fortunate enough to pay cash for some large items, even my house. A third when the materials are delivered, a third when the structure is weather tight and a third upon completion, including punch list. For my barn, I was giving a new contractor a break and I had him order the materials and I paid the suppliers directly for materials, and the draws went on from there. A well established builder can float the cost of materials for a long rifle for a bit. Many could not.
 

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