View Full Version : WOW! thats a big hole!

December 20, 2009, 12:04 AM
the muzzle of the Brown Bess.

anybody shoot one of these suckers?

a guy at my local range ordered one(real one) from somewhere that had to send to a ffl.

its a pretty fun looking gun. the guy said it was too valuable to shoot tho.

December 20, 2009, 11:03 AM
Too valueable to shoot??

How much was it? 50-60K dollars?

Short story: I used to be heavily into Buick muscle cars. There's a guy in my old club (this was only 4 years ago) who has the prototype 1970 Buick GSX- a one of zero produced car. Unique, the only one in existence, ever, etc. he restored it to pristine condition, as it was at the 1970 Show car circuit, at considerable cost and effort

He drives it to shows :) That's a fairly irreplaceable object, but he enjoys the hell out of the car

Tell your acquaintance to shoot the the damn thing!

December 20, 2009, 11:18 AM
If it really is an old original, the more important question would be if it's safe to shoot. Unless it actually is an unfired original, without any flint scrape marks on the frizzen, shooting it some more should have no effect on its value.

If it's really an old original, not a reproduction, it's very likely that the barrel might be pitted and there might be hidden corrosion weakening the barrel. If that is the case, I would say that the gun is too valuable to proof test.

4V50 Gary
December 20, 2009, 12:16 PM
It must be a replica that was ordered. When the British developed better powder in the late 18th Century, they reproofed their guns and found that many barrel makers had hidden the latent defects. Bulged barrels had been hammered back down. Seams had been welded. Hence, one must be very careful in firing antiques. It's better to go with a replica with modern steel.

BTW, the ball is generally an undersized .69 caliber for the .72 caliber Brown Bess. You can patch the ball for a tighter fit and greater accuracy, but the balls were loose to allow for faster loading. Volume of fire took precedent over accuracy.

December 20, 2009, 04:08 PM
if it was a replica it is an old one, it looked old, but i dont know much about them.

Jim Watson
December 20, 2009, 04:49 PM
Big hole?
The British have always liked 12 gauge and that is what a Brown Bess is, near enough at .75 cal. Continental shooters, and us Colonials with support from the Frenchies, lean towards 16 gauge, which gets you a .69 musket.

December 20, 2009, 06:10 PM
.75 inch bore is actually a 11 gauge and a .69 inch bore is actually a 14 gauge. The Continental army most likely used the .69 bore musket because that was what was available to them from the French.

Converting bore size into gauge: Divide the size of the bore into 1.67 inches and then cube the answer, that is your gauge.

Example, if the bore is .835 inches, 1.67/.835 = 2, 2 cubed = 8, a gun with a .835 inch bore is an 8 gauge.

December 20, 2009, 11:17 PM
BlE, Nice formula if you are good at math. I just look it up on line. I have a 62cal English Dragoon 1746 flint smooth bore. I cant hit nothing with it, but it does make a big hole. If I want to have a good time. I load it like a shotgun, 20 ga. 40gr of 3f hard card 50gr of #9 hard card. Don't use wads.
Not even in my 12 sxs. Anyway I put a bunch holes in my target. And some in the guys targets on both sides of me. BP is a blast wheather revolver, pistol, rifle amd most of all shotgun. Why did the guy have to have it shipped to a ffl dealer? BP guns and antiques don't need to have ffl.
I don't care how old it is. If my local smithy say it is in good shape. We would be shooting that bad boy.:D:D
Ryder I still think your shotgun is sweet. Yea wanna trade?:D:
Love the forum............

December 20, 2009, 11:30 PM
I'm wondering whether the rifle in question was "original". Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but.....an original Bess would be an antique - more than 100 years old (and it's a muzzleloader) and therefore, as noted above, not subject to transfer laws that govern modern firearms.

Jim Watson
December 21, 2009, 11:04 PM
Good math, BLE, but considering what passed for mass production in those days, I have to figure they used undersized balls and depended on cartridge paper wadding to take up the slack.

December 22, 2009, 01:41 AM
i think he may have bought it from out of country. dont know exactly. ill have to ask the range/shop owner next time i go shoot.

December 22, 2009, 07:46 PM
Illinois requires an ffl transfer for b/p pistols and probably rifles, and maybe some other uninformed states.