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Old 02-06-2018, 11:44 AM
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Default Help, please.

1st, been on Woody's for years, just on the "fish.n" forums. 2nd, I'm good with modern firearms, but when it comes to "smoke poles" my knowledge is that when I was a kid a Hawkins .50 was popular and that most have gone to in line (what ever that means) now.
My problem is that a friend "left" me the only two guns he owned, and I need to know what I've got. If it helps, he was HEAVY into Revolutionary War re-inactment and used these guns for it.
The small bore is thick walled .50 cal with no markings that I can find. The big one is thin walled and .75 cal with markings beside the hammer...behind "GRICE 1762" and in front what looks like a fancy mushroom or crown with "XXX" in the bottom and G.P. or G.R. under it. The barrel length on both is around 42 in. I hope the pics help. Thanks for any info.
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Last edited by Batjack; 02-06-2018 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:05 PM
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I'm not really into Rev. war muskets but the top one appears to be british, maybe a brown bess. The crown on the lock is, I think, a british proof mark. I would think Grice is the lockmaker built in 1762. It is a reproduction of a Rev. war musket, not an original built in 1762. Others will know more about this.
The bottom one looks like a custom built flintlock longrifle. Any markings, such as the barrel maker etc. should be under the breech of the barrel. The lock is possibly a large siler. It also has double set triggers. Before shooting this rifle I would have it checked out by a gunsmith as it shows a lack of maintenance evidenced by the brown rust on the lock, trigger plate and triggers. I would be concerned about the condition of the barrel.
Both look to have been used a great deal. They both have a flash guard attached to the pan to divert the gasses from the touch hole from burning the shooter in line to the right. And they both have hammer stalls attached, this shows a level of sophistication on your friends part. These protect the frizzen face and provide a degree of safety if used properly.
Most of this is an educated guess.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:31 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'm sure that the rust comes from the fact that it took several years in a "un lived in" house before probate cleared and it got to me. He was VERY concerned with his "trade" as re-inactor and his guns.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:47 PM
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Top weapon looks like a Bess.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:06 PM
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First thing I would do is to check to see if either one was loaded. Take out the ramrod and slide it in the barrel until it bottoms out, now make a pencil mark on the ramrod at the end (muzzle) of the barrel. Remove the ramrod and lay it alongside the barrel and line your mark with the muzzle. The other end should be slightly behind the touch hole. If the gun is loaded then the end of the ramrod will be an inch or so in front of the touch hole.
I would do this ASAP because you just never know with older rifles.

The top rifle is a Brown Bess by Pedersoli. Sold by Cabela's for $1099.99
https://www.davide-pedersoli.com/tip...rown-bess.html
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:57 PM
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While the top one is certainly a "Brown Bess" and almost certainly a reproduction musket, Pedersoli is not the only maker of reproduction muskets. (Reproduction because there are fewer than 5 known original Brown Bess muskets in the excellent condition apparent from the picture. All of those are in museums and valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.) At least a dozen different companies have made reproductions of the Brown Bess since the 1970s. If it is a Pedersoli, you have a very good, very functional, reproduction, but there were other companies making reproduction weapons just as good as Pedersoli.

The original .75 caliber Short Land Pattern Musket (Brown Bess) was manufactured under license to the Crown by many different British businesses from 1768 through 1838. It's predecessor, the (46" barrel) Long Land Pattern Musket, was the first standardized weapon ordered by the UK beginning in 1722. The crown and "GR" on the lock plate are there to indicate that the weapon was made under license to King George of England, and the "1762" would represent the year "Grice" received the grant as holder of a Crown Patent (license) but not necessarily the actual maker under the 18th century rules (subcontractors).

A "modern" reproduction weapon normally would have engraved on the barrel, the nation the barrel was made, along with the statement, "black powder only." Many reenactors had their reproduction weapons "defarbed," which means removing all modern markings and making the weapon look as authentic as possible. Therefore, it is possible the the barrel markings were removed. Marked or not, modern reproduction Brown Bess muskets are valued (I think) in the $800 to $1,800 range.

The .50 cal looks to me to be a reproduction "Early Virginia" style longrifle. The "unrefined" look to the lockplate, and absence of any brass, silver, or plated finishes, could make this a "Southern Poorboy" instead (I am not experienced enough to tell the difference by the pictures) but the differences are small. In the original weapons, .50 cal was not the "standard" but it is still not impossible that the weapon is an original flintlock made before 1840. I really do not know what a reproduction (or original) Early Virginia long rifle would be worth. I do own an 1840s percussion rifle in .45 cal that cost me $800 a year ago - and it is NOT in as good of shape as your .50.

With both muzzleloaders, the barrels and stocks are designed to be separated for detailed cleaning. Instructions on how to take down the weapons are readily available in the internet. I suggest you do so. Some "defarb" specialists mark the weapons they modify on the barrels where the marks would be covered by the stock. While you are doing that, GENTLY clean the weapons, lightly coat the interior of the barrels with gun oil, and protect the exterior with an application of "type F" transmission fluid (really, it is perfect for preserving metals and will not harm wood).

Even if both are reproductions, they appear to have been cared for and seem to be in good shape. They are excellent firearms you are lucky to possess.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:42 AM
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The bottom rifle really looks to me like an early Dixie Gun Works repro I think they called a squirrel rifle. They quit making it in the early 80's replacing it with the Tennessee Mountain rifle. The lock really looks like a Dixie lock as do the triggers and trigger guard.

My first flinlock was the left-handed Dixie Tennesse Mountain rifle bought in 1982. It was the first production left-handed rifle. I still have it and it has been a reliable and accurate rifle that i still shoot.
I suspect the rifle above dates to the 70's but without more pictures it is hard to be sure.

Both the rifle and the Bess are clearly reproductions. The Bess is often considered the "prettiest" military flintlock of all time. They can be fun to shoot and much more accurate than you might believe.
Both the guns should be good shooters and a great way to get into this sport.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for all the info, I'll put it to good use.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:37 PM
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Good deal. I am nearby if you want to get together to help you get started just PM me.
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