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Old March 17, 2014, 11:57 AM   #1
Chestnut Forge
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Bess

If the gods of smoke and brimstone smile on me, then this evening I will be picking up my new to me Brown Bess.
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Old March 17, 2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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cool be sure to post the pictures . what make and model of Bess did you get . ive got an Ranger Bess, its one of those maybe they did maybe they dint guns but its a nice looking & handling and shoots very well and if I can ever figure out how to post pics I will . I got it from the same dealer I picked up my model 77 charleville that's also a nice looking gun .
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Old March 17, 2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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It is a Lyman. I think all of them were made in Japan. I was told that it started life a full length Long Land, but was cut down to the ranger style. Bbl it a shade over 29 inches and has a brass front sight soldered on. I will get pics up in a bit.
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Old March 17, 2014, 07:57 PM   #4
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Pics

Sorry about the fuzzy pics, I have to reduce the resolution so much to up load.
BTW, the gun came with 28 .715 ball, 300 .36 ball and about 30 pounds of #6 shot. Plus pillow ticking patches. Going to the range in the morning..
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Old March 17, 2014, 08:37 PM   #5
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Outstanding! Gotta love smoothbores
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Old March 18, 2014, 08:45 AM   #6
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nice that's what my Ranger Bess look's like but the barrel's 34" on mine. let us know how you make out at the range . I use paper cartridge's in my musket's .735 ball over 75 gr. ffg in a paper wrap cartridge like they used in the military's of the time.
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Old March 18, 2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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That is one short Bess. It's not that short Besses weren't made, but that the normal Bess was 44" (First Pattern), 42" and then India Pattern 39" (used during the Napoleonic Wars).

I'm going to take my First Model (44") to school to work on the sear spring. It's way too strong. I need the repair points (we have to earn 750 points this semester on repair work).
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Old March 18, 2014, 12:51 PM   #8
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At my first observation I immediately thought of it being a Canoe rifle. Being so short. But since its a Bess. I've never seen a short one of those until now. Congratulation's on a interesting rifle purchase and pix's here for all to see.
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Old March 18, 2014, 02:21 PM   #9
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The guy I got it from cut it down from 39" to 29" to make it a bit easier to handle in the woods. I just put it all back together. I had it torn completely down to inspect it. Didn't want a surprise when the hammer fell. I'm going to play with it as is for awhile, then I will start tinkering. If it were an original I'd leave it alone. I wanted to get out to shoot today, but it will be tomorrow. I will try for pics and maybe video while at the range.
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Old March 18, 2014, 07:01 PM   #10
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As for short barrels....

The .76 caliber Dragoon Carbine had a barrel length of 26" and a .78 caliber grenade launching carbine had a 28" barrel.
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Old March 19, 2014, 07:32 AM   #11
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I forgot to mention: The front lock screw was too long, I have no idea why. It was pushing the frizzen spring away from the lock. A little file work and all is well.
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Old March 19, 2014, 09:15 PM   #12
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Congrats! Looks like a great Bess and I like the length of it - ought to be very handy! 30 # of shot! That's pretty nice as well! Let us know how she shoots - nothing like the versatility of a smoothbore! RB, Buck and shot . . a "do all gun"! Enjoy and happy shooting!
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Old March 20, 2014, 09:33 AM   #13
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All of my shooting buddies tell me that I need an AR15. "It's a survival rifle" is one of the reasons that I'm told to get one. I always counter with A large caliber, smooth bore flintlock is a better survival gun. Any piece of hard stone of ceramic with make sparks. I can load anything from light bird shoot to big round ball. And can make my own powder. Try that with a fancy semi rifle.
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Old March 20, 2014, 03:31 PM   #14
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Chestnut Forge, if you run out of shot small pea gravel will work for close up.
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Old March 20, 2014, 03:55 PM   #15
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And sand or fine gravel would remove rust and fouling...
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Old March 27, 2014, 08:56 AM   #16
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Range Report

Well, it didn't do as well as I would have liked. Shooting at 25 yards, starting load of 70 gr of ffg and a .715 pbr it was all over the place. I worked up to 100 gr and it settled down a bit. I need to work out the best ball/patch combo. I did try it with shot also. 120 gr powder measure full of #6 shot over 70 gr of powder at 25 yards gave me a pattern that no grouse or pheasant could get through. I also try what my buddy called the "street cleaner" load. 10 .375 ball over 90 gr of the ffg. Had a good shot spread. I have a punch on order for wads and overshot cards. Cutting them by hand with a razor was a big pain. I plan to use it more as a shotgun, so I focused on that side of shooting. I made up a couple of shot capsules to try. Printer paper rolled around a socket from my toolbox. A couple of cards cut from a manila folder. After I rolled and glued the paper around the socket. I put a card in, snipped the paper so it would fold over the end and glued another card over that. Slide the tube off the socket and fill with shot, then folded the top shut with a dab of glue. The size was just right to slide down the bore. They held a better pattern than loading with wadding.
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Old March 27, 2014, 10:03 AM   #17
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Hi . you may also want to try paper cartridges for the round ball as well . a paper cartridge that fits your bore can often give good results . I use a .735 rb. with artist news paper I get from staples over 75 grs. of 2f . I roll them in the pattern 76 style but glue them like a French cartridge they fit close as I can thumb them down the bore to start them. I also dip the ball end in a mix of 50/50 beeswax/olive oil to keep the fouling down . oh forgot to mention my Bess bore is .758 but I use the same cartridge style in my 1777 charleville get very good results. YMMV .
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Old March 27, 2014, 11:42 AM   #18
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Chesnut,
To get the right ball patch combo, you have to know what the actual bore diameter is. Just because it may say .75 on the barrel does not necessarily mean that is the true measurement of the bore's diameter. I have a Bess marked .75 and it is a .735. Of course you probably already know this, but just in case.......
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Old March 27, 2014, 01:15 PM   #19
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I haven't measured it yet, I've just been having fun.
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Old March 28, 2014, 11:43 AM   #20
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Fun's the name of the game if its not fun why bother. Ive really gotten into shooting smooth bore muskets the military ones , and I read every thing I can so I get close to a proper shooting exp. I measured the bore and learned to roll paper cartridges I even got a 18th c style cart. box to take to the range with me when I go shooting . am I a good shot well I have fun.
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