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 The Bess arrived

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Randy Johnson



Number of posts : 152
Age : 64
Location : Connersville, IN
Registration date : 2014-03-17

PostSubject: The Bess arrived   July 6th 2016, 8:26 am

My new First Model Brown Bess arrived yesterday.
The first impression was how heavy it is. I have grown accustomed to a shorter .65 caliber fusil, and the transition to a long barreled, (46 inches) .75 caliber, full sized musket is going to take some adjustment.
The walnut used for the stock is above average which was a pleasant surprise. The only thing I'm a little unhappy with is the wood ram rod. It is correct for the time period of the musket, but it tapers to such a small diameter that I don't have a lot of confidence in it being able to do the job on a long term basis. Some kind of iron rod may wind up being used for competition with the wood one being just for show. In almost fifty years of shooting muzzleloaders I have never broken a ramrod. I don't want to end that particular drought. Middlesex Village offers a 46 inch barrel Bess with an iron rammer. I will first try them, and if that fizzles out I will get one for the Pedersoli and have an extension forge welded on.
The mold shows up today, and while I don't have everything that will be dedicated to the musket yet, the range box will make it possible start playing with it this weekend or early next week at the latest.
I'll try to get some pictures up after the first range session.
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lighthorseman

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PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 6th 2016, 11:09 am

Is it a 3/8" rod?....Log Cabin shop has 48" hickory replacement rods with a steel tip. ....otherwise I would get a 1/2"-5/8" rod for a wiping stick and use it only at the range and carry the wood rod for hunting. If you get a steel rod, unless there is already a provision for it to fit your gun......the steel rod will probably just bang around and could even fall out....being a smaller diameter than the wood. Wood is correct for 1rst pattern Long Land Model. They did change over to steel but would have had to change thimbles as well.

Or you could go to The Rifle Shoppe and get replacement steel rod and thimbles.
http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pages/english_arms/(549).htm

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Randy Johnson



Number of posts : 152
Age : 64
Location : Connersville, IN
Registration date : 2014-03-17

PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 6th 2016, 1:22 pm

I think it is a 3/8 rod tapering down to 1/4 or maybe a little less. When I first pulled the rod out I thought the end going in the gun was broken. It's hard to describe, but it kind of zig-zags the last three inches or so. At any rate, I have non-tapered rods that can be used at the range and will try using the rod that came with the musket to see how it works.
If it doesn't, thanks for the link. I had already looked there but completely missed the steel rod. There are a couple of tricks that can make it stay in the thimbles.
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lighthorseman

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PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 6th 2016, 1:38 pm

Some of the besses are made to take either wood or steel rods. My "militia" gun has a tapered wood rod as well as a metal rod......perhaps yours was built that way as well.

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Randy Johnson



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Age : 64
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Registration date : 2014-03-17

PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 13th 2016, 11:00 am

I am finding that ordering something from The Rifle Shoppe is one of the more difficult things one might attempt. Multiple phone calls have gone either unanswered - even by a machine - or unreturned when a machine picked it up.
Typing the company name into a search engine brings up numerous threads on numerous message boards that describe horrible customer service and years (as in plural for year) long waits for paid for orders to be filled. The potential is there for the company to be filling a much needed nitch but it sounds like they don't care.
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lighthorseman

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PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 13th 2016, 12:52 pm

Randy

Your observation is well founded. I have known a lot of gun builders that have done business with them over the years and most have experienced similar frustration, but I don't know of anyone who didn't get their order filled eventually.

I too have a tapered wooden rod with my smooth rifle and recently have considered getting a second hickory rod made for carrying with me in the field. Presently with recent surgery I have been walking with a hickory staff I pick up in the woods of Alabama and so maybe a thicker rammer wouldn't be out of the question........perhaps a bit more of a hassle, but considering many carry bi-bods or hiking sticks with rifle mount, I'm not sure it's not that inconvenient. In the mean time I suppose I would continue to try TRS.

Hang in there!

Doug

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Randy Johnson



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Age : 64
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PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 13th 2016, 2:47 pm

I found another source
http://stores.butchsantiquegunparts.com/categories/british-brown-bess-flintlock-musket-parts.html
And will send him a money order in the morning.
I know that a lot of folks use range rods, but try as I might I can't ever remember doing it myself. I might use a dedicated rod for cleaning at the end of the day, but never for loading. I just really like the metal ramrod that came with the fusil and would prefer one with the Bess.
Off the subject, while I have been typing this a big whitetail - it's about 200 yards and without glass I don't know if it is a buck or a doe - has been making some serious damage on a soybean field. Maybe next November the fusil or the Bess will even the score.
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lighthorseman

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PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 13th 2016, 3:37 pm

A great resource!!! Very Happy

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Randy Johnson



Number of posts : 152
Age : 64
Location : Connersville, IN
Registration date : 2014-03-17

PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   July 14th 2016, 5:57 am

I had never really looked at The Rifle Shoppe website before and was surprised/happy to see that they offered the parts to make a Twig screw-barrel pistol. The parts set is priced low enough that I would have bought one in a heartbeat. Now though after no contact four days after the initial phone call plus the numerous horror stories, I wouldn't even consider doing business with them.
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Randy Johnson



Number of posts : 152
Age : 64
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Registration date : 2014-03-17

PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   August 1st 2016, 8:22 am

I finally got around to shooting the Bess last Thursday. I drove down to the NMLRA range only to find that it was closed because of some event the coming weekend. The primitive range was available, so I drove up there.
For those of you who have never shot there, level ground is a tad on the rare side on the primitive range. Just about all shooting is from maybe 20 to 40 degrees uphill. I would have preferred the first session be more horizontal but you have to take what you get.
Several things came out of the first session. The trigger pull was awful. Some honing on both the sear and full cock notch, along with a little grinding on the sear spring with a Dremmel tool have that down to where my rifle is. There were several phissssh-bangs instead of the almost instantaneous ignition I'm used to in a flintlock. An exchange of emails with the builder has established that the touch hole liner is a Chambers White Lightning, and that a 1/16 drill bit should solve that problem.
The next session, I will be using slightly thicker patching because what I used in the first session was pretty much destroyed.
Now that I know I can keep the shots on paper I can head to the public DNR range for the next session. It's a lot closer than the drive to Friendship.
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lighthorseman

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PostSubject: Re: The Bess arrived   August 1st 2016, 12:00 pm

Sound like you're figuring it out.......keep us appraised of the progress! t up

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