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  1. #1
    Member armouredtrooper's Avatar
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    Black powder rifles

    Hi gents,
    I'm interested in purchasing a military black powder replica that the Canadianicon Militia would have used in the early 1800's. It would have to be fully operational so that I might hunt with it. Since I don't know much about these types of firearms, any help would be greatly appreciated. Also where could I find one?
    Cheers.

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    Last edited by armouredtrooper; 11-18-2007 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Needed to add info.

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    early 1800's (ie, war of 1812) would have been either an India Pattern (3rd model) Brown Bess, or a rifled Baker rifle.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    I have had an original "all correct" 1808 Brown Bess Tower Musket - India Pattern over my fireplace for almost 30 years. She's not for sale, but this is what the an early India Pattern should look like.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

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    1808 Brown Bess Tower Musket - India Pattern (Photo Montage ..... click here)

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    If you didn't mean quite that "early" and don't want to go the flintlock route as suggested by Claven2 and Badger, then you would need to seek out one of the following:

    1. For the period of about 1855 through 1867, a .577 cal. Pattern 1853 three-band Enfield Rifle Musket - plenty of reproductions available, primarily because of the US Civil War re-enacting community ... Enfield-pattern rifles were the second most common rifles (after the U.S. Springfield) used by both sides during that conflict! (British arms suppliers had a gloriously profitable time of it back then ...)

    - Marstar carry the ArmiSport line of Enfield replicas:

    LINK: http:/http://www.marstar.ca/gf-armis...d-rifles.shtm/

    - Loyalist Arms in Nova Scotia carry the Euroarms reproduction:

    LINK: http://www.loyalistarms.freeservers....scarbines.html

    Note: if you want a decent quality firearm, useable for serious hunting, don't bother with the "economical" alternatives, such as the one offered by Loyalist Arms for around Cdn$415.00 - that one is made in India, I believe, so the over-all quality is likely not very good, and is also smoothbore rather than being properly rifled, since it is aimed at the military re-enactment crowd who just load and shoot blank charges in their demonstrations.

    Also, you'll note these vendors offer a Pattern 1858 2-band Enfield Rifle - however, if you want something which properly duplicates what was used by the Canadian Militia, that model is not correct, as it is really the Naval Pattern rifle, which Canadaicon never acquired. The main difference is that the furniture (i.e. nosecap, triggerguard and buttplate) of the Naval Pattern Short Rifle were brass - same as on the 3-band Infantry Rifle - so it was easier for these modern manufacturers to just keep using those components on their Short rifle repros. The original Land Service Short rifles (which is the only version Canada ever used) had iron furniture. Such Short rifles were relatively limited issue anyway, compared to the 3-band rifle - they only went to Sergeants of Infantry regiments and to all enlisted personnel of units specifically designated as "Rifles". Mind you, if you'd prefer the convenience of the "Short Rifle" (though it is actually only 6" shorter than the 3-band rifle, anyway) and don't mind the "incorrect" brass furniture, then I suppose you could consider one of these ....

    - You may also want to look around for a used Enfield Pattern 1853 reproduction. In that case, you'd be very fortunate indeed if you could locate one of the early English-made Parker-Hale reproductions, which are unquestionably the best-made and most authentic - though likely to be well over $1000 for a used rifle. These rifles were made entirely in the United Kingdomicon, and thus have British proofmarks. They haven't been made for years, however - despite their undoubted quality, they just couldn't compete with the much less expensive Italianicon-made replicas. (Caution: there is a more current "Parker-Hale" replica on the market which is really just the Euroarms repro with the Parker-Hale name on it (and thus would have Italian, rather than British, proofmarks) ... don't get sucked into paying too much for one of those, thinking that you are getting one of the creme de la creme P-H originals.

    If the P'53 Enfield interests you, you should review this online article, written from the American civil War Re-enacting perspective, but chock full of interesting information on the original Enfield Riflesicon and the replicas ...
    http://authentic-campaigner.com/arti...en/enfauth.htm

    2. Although I presume that it is a muzzle-loader you are interested in, the other alternative for a Nineteenth Century black powder military rifle regularly used by the Canadian Militia would be a Snider-Enfield rifle - essentially these were a conversion of the muzzle-loading Enfield rifles to breechloaders, using the Snider conversion system. Adopted in 1866, the Snider-Enfield was intended by the British as a purely "stopgap" measure, pending development and adoption of a "purpose-built" military cartridge rifle (which came along with the Martini-Henry rifle, adopted in 1871.) However, Canada never did adopt the Martini-Henry (only a few thousand were ever acquired, most of which were never issued at all.) Accordingly, the Snider-Enfield was Canada's primary-issue military longarm from 1867 through 1898 ... when we finally adopted the Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle (sometimes called the "Long Lee-Enfield".)

    - Nobody makes a reproduction Snider-Enfield, so if this interests you at all, you'd have to seek out an original - relatively common in quite useable condition in Canada ... though not what you'd call "cheap'. Also, Sniders are very finicky when it comes to trying to get them to shoot with consistent accuracy, frankly ... and then you have to round up suitable cartridge casings and bullets and, ideally, reloading dies (which are available but quite expensive.)

  7. Thank You to GrantRCanada For This Useful Post:


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    FWIW, I have the Loyalist Arms copy of the IP Brown bess myself. It's actually surprisingly good for the money. Discriminating General also carries a Bess copy, but I can't recommend it. Quality is low.

    Pedersoli makes a long land bess that is SUPERB (after a little defarbing) but it's crazy expensive and they do not make an 1800's era IP ess - just a mid-1700's long land.

    Only other alternative is a custom gun from Rifle Shoppe parts. VERY NOT CHEAP.

    Another idea is to buy an Indian made gun, preferably a Loyalist Arms one, and get a good stock maker to make a nice walnut stock for it. I've toyed with this idea myself.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    There has been a great deal of online discussion of late regarding an Indian-made Brown Bess repro which suffered
    a rather spectacular barrel failure during a re-enactment event ...



    I understand that this barrel rupture (which apparently caused some injury to the shooter and others) happened
    while only blank charges were being fired! I also gather that it was the first occasion this musket
    was used - and this happened after only a few rounds had been fired!

    I'm not sure if it has been determined where this musket originated, but the concensus seems to be that it was
    likely one of the "non-firing replicas" (i.e. no touch-hole bored) which are marketed with the apparent intent that
    they have a touch-hole drilled following purchase for use as a re-enactment musket. The problem is that these
    are imported as non-firing 'wall-hangers', without any Proofing whatsoever, so that what is seen in the above photo
    is a real possibility even with blank charges ...the added danger being that the musket could end up being used
    with a full charge of powder and ball - thus much greater pressures, and danger! In fairness, it has also been
    suggested that this might be a case of the first 2 or 3 blank charges having failed to go off, unbeknown to the
    shooter (which certainly could happen in the noise and confusion of volley fire), so that he kept ramming a new
    charge down on top of the previous loads, until the first charge finally did ignite ... However, the real concern
    is the nature of this barrel rupture! Note that it appears to be failure of a seam - such as one might expect
    to be present in a simple "pipe" used as the barrel on a non-firing wall-hanger!

    Here is one link to a thread on the Britishicon Militaria Forums, where more pictures are posted, and also a further link
    to another forum discussion:
    http://p223.ezboard.com/fbritishmili...icID=158.topic

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    That certainly appears to be a piece of roller-formed tubing. It if it's welded at all, it's certainly not a proper job.

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    FWIW, I doubt it's a Loyalist Arms gun. They use seamless tubing for their barrels.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claven2 View Post
    FWIW, I doubt it's a Loyalist Arms gun. They use seamless tubing for their barrels.
    IIRC, that was mentioned on one of the other threads I referred to, but a subsequent contribution from a metallurgist indicated that, in the industry, the term "seamless tubing" can simply mean that the product is formed with a seam, but that it then undergoes a further rolling/burnishing process (internally and externally) to eliminate any roughness or detectable extra thickness along the seam line ....
    Last edited by GrantRCanada; 11-22-2007 at 09:06 PM.

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    Just confirmed - that's DEFINITELY not a Loyalist Arms seamless tubing repro. The LA guns all have beavertails that one does not.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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