Starter Flintlock - Brown Bess kit?


PDA






dougiefreshhh
August 18, 2009, 11:24 AM
Hi All:
After much soul searching, I've decided to dive into the world of muzzleloaders.

Wanting to start at "the beginning", I want to get a manageable flintlock, but am unsure of starter kit vs. purchase.

I'm pretty handy, and am willing to take on a Brown Bess type starter kit, but can't seem to find a place to purchase "ready to go kits". I've sound sites that offer ton's of options for their kits, but can't find a place that offers a Brown Bess equivalent to the Kentucky/Hawken starter kits offered at Cabelas.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thx,
Doug

If you enjoyed reading about "Starter Flintlock - Brown Bess kit?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
higene
August 18, 2009, 11:37 AM
Methinks you may be confusing kits as used by vendors. Kits in one sense refers to guns that you assemble. Cabelas starter kits are a rifle and all the stuff that you need it to go off a few times. I have never seen a Brown Bess as a kit to be assembled although there may be some.

There is lots of experience on this site and people are willing to share. Ask questions about what you are not sure about and you will get honest responses.

Good Luck and welcome to the sport.

Higene

;)

PS starting at the beginning - Sam Fadala makes some good books that have a lot of information as does the first thread in this section - Blackpowder essentials.

dougiefreshhh
August 18, 2009, 12:11 PM
Sorry for the confusion.

By kit, I mean all the bits, unassembled, where the wood just needs to be finished, and then assembled.

ArmedBear
August 18, 2009, 12:14 PM
Right here: http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_162_193&products_id=3525

dougiefreshhh
August 18, 2009, 12:18 PM
Perfect!
Exactly what I'm looking for.

Thanks!

Cosmoline
August 18, 2009, 12:19 PM
They're not too cheap, but you can get them. Track of the Wolf and some smaller outfits also offer them. They are not what I would consider an entry-level kit. A poor boy, fusil or trade gun would be much easier and less expensive.

ArmedBear
August 18, 2009, 12:21 PM
Never shot a smoothbore, myself.

Cosmoline
August 18, 2009, 12:27 PM
I think a smooth bore is a fine way to start. They don't have the accuracy of a rifle but they're also easier to put together (less fussing about the barrel/stock fit) and easier to keep going at the range.

The Bess kit at Dixie is Pedersoli's, which have a great rep. But you'll need to have some moderate experience with the chisels to make it look good.

mykeal
August 18, 2009, 07:53 PM
You are in for a difficult experience. Starting with a flintlock is doing it the hard way. Flinters require some special care and feeding, so starting with a percussion cap gun is highly recommended over a flintlock.

4v50 Gary
August 18, 2009, 09:55 PM
Might I suggest the kit assembly class at Conner Prairie in Oct. Buy a Chambers kit and take the class.

dougiefreshhh
August 19, 2009, 01:37 PM
Thanks all for the great feedback. Much appreciated.

Someone suggested that I start with a percussion cap muzzleloader vs a flintlock...much easier.

I'm trying to get "feel" of how much more work is involved in operating/owning a flintlock vs. a percussion cap smoothbore.

Any advise is greatly appreciated.

dj

Cosmoline
August 19, 2009, 02:10 PM
I really disagree with the idea that caplocks are easier. I've found the opposite to be true. I had a number of caplocks all of which had complex ignition problems with their patent breeches. With a flinter you have a HOLE in the side of the barrel. That's it. So solving an ignition problem involves prodding that hole and putting some fresh 4F in the pan. I've never had a flinter ignition failure I couldn't fix in under a minute. In contrast I've had Pedersoli caplocks with systemic problems that required total reworking of the breech chamber and that STILL didn't give me reliable ignition.

The flintlock is extremely simple. The rock hits the frizzen, sparks off some very hot steel which then ignites your pan charge. This throws out flames that ignite the main charge. It's a system designed to work within a broad range of conditions and it's very forgiving. They'll even work well in the rain if you take some simple precautionary measures like a cow's knee and a water barrier along the barrel/stock channel. A glob of grease will do the trick.

A flintlock is also easier to build. You don't bore your flash hole until you've locked down the barrel and the lock. With the caplock you have less wiggle room because the hammer has to hit the existing nipple position precisely.

I believe the real difference is that caplock firearms are much easier to mass produce. Flintlocks tended (and still tend) to be best if hand made from a lock stock and barrel. Plus it's much easier for an army to supply or a store to ship industrially manufactured caps or primers than to find a reliable supply of fints.

arcticap
August 19, 2009, 02:23 PM
I'm trying to get "feel" of how much more work is involved in operating/owning a flintlock vs. a percussion cap smoothbore.

It's more than just how much more work is involved, it's whether or not you would like one more than the other, that is if you like muzzle loading at all.

Their ignition systems are different beasts. The flintlock spews a lot more smoke and hot gases out of the vent hole, the pan is flashing near one's face and the flint locks tend to have slightly slower lock time (although not always). Then there's the fine tuning of the lock and the constant adusting of the flint as it wears down. Fitting the flint into the jaws of the cock, the limitation of powder choice to black powder only, and aquiring all of the skills to efficiently shoot a flintlock and solve potential problems is a slightly longer learning curve.
Percussion caps, musket caps or 209 primers are more easily inserted onto a nipple for fast, reliable ignition.
Would you rather start a camp fire using a piece of flint and steel or would you rather uses matches or a BIC lighter?
One way can be more tedious and more work.
It's up to the individual to choose which they prefer.
Percussion guns are similar enough in loading and cleaning to determine if one likes muzzle loading enough to dive into it deeper.
Even the basic inexpensive rifles would allow someone to first get some flint or percussion shooting experience before building an expensive kit.
Used guns can be bought and resold again without much loss of money.
If someone had a friend or muzzle loading club in their area, a new shooter should inquire, visit and arrange to try out a few shots to see if they have a preference of guns. See what's involved with cleaning one after every shooting session.
Without doing that there are only books, videos and dedicated websites loaded with information and helpful tips.
Many of us are self taught by reading and then doing. There's books at the local library, magazine articles and archives here on THR.
Percussion is simply easier to do without a mentor and requires less hands on experience to start shooting right away. For instance, forgetting to load powder into a flintlock can be more troublesome than with a percussion gun. Not everyone has a CO2 ball discharger handy or a removable vent liner, and pulling a ball with a ball screw is not very easy. That can ruin someone's day. With a percussion gun, just take off the nipple and dribble a few grains of powder under it and then shoot the ball out, which only takes about 30 seconds to a minute.
Check out this sticky thread that lists Black Powder Videos 101. There's one about ignition systems:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=322119

higene
August 19, 2009, 02:29 PM
Comparison implies experience in both platforms. I see nothing wrong with getting the experience with the percussion first. I personally am doing similar experiments.

I got a deal on a .54 Lyman flintlock and bought it. I shot it a few sessions and decided to go to percussion for my building experience. I bought a Traditions 32 caliber percussion pistol and built it. I made several mistakes which I suspected I would. Next I built a Lyman Plains pistol. Great pistol, less mistakes, and experience gained. Next I built a Percussion Lyman .54. - Great rifle, best build, and a good platform for comparison.

In My Humble Opinion you would be better off starting with a Lyman kit in flint or percussion and building from there. They are an easy build and there is lots of experience on doing them on this site. You end up with a rock solid (pun intended) weapon which is highly tradeable. Also, consider flintlocks mostly burn real BP. Consider the necessity of getting real BP. I had to send $100 off for 5 lbs. You are also going to need a possibles bag. It is my opinion that they should just give BP guns away because you spend so much money on the little gizmos at $5 - $50 a pop they can make their money on them. The sad part for me is that a lot of the gizmos can be made and I usually make the second one for pennies on the dollar.

Consider that the total cost of all the kits I have built so far is less than a Brown Bess kit.

It is not my intent to change your mind or influence the path you take but I have learned that life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself.

When I get discouraged I remember a story about Davie Crockett. When he was in Congress he was asked if he ever got lost when he was in the woods. Davie replied: No Sir I have never been lost, I did get a might confused one time for a couple of weeks.

Good Luck and God Bless

Higene

:scrutiny:

Cosmoline
August 19, 2009, 02:43 PM
Also, consider flintlocks mostly burn real BP.

That's a valid issue. The flinters live off of the real stuff and will choke on the fake stuff. If you don't have access to real black powder and don't want to order in a bunch that does favor the caplocks.

Fitting the flint into the jaws of the cock, the limitation of powder choice to black powder only, and aquiring all of the skills to efficiently shoot a flintlock and solve potential problems is a slightly longer learning curve.

It's like anything else, you *can* spend a lot of time perfecting your lock, but you really don't have to. Esp. with a musket or trade gun you have a big old lock, you stick a rock in there with some leather pad around it and you're good to go. Nothing has to be perfect. It will work within a broad range of variables with an array of sizes, shapes and rock types. That's what I love about these guns.

forgetting to load powder into a flintlock can be more troublesome than with a percussion gun.

You just feed some 4F through your flashhole and shoot the thing out. No problemo.

dougiefreshhh
August 19, 2009, 03:08 PM
Thanks Gents. Those videos are great.

There is something about the flintlock that keeps me coming back to it. Maybe it is the early American history buff in me. Caplocks speak "civil war era" to me.

Since the dixie bbess kit is about $150 less than a completed bbess from cabelas, I kind of like the idea of putting it together myself, and spending the difference on the BP, accessories, etc...

Maybe I'm simplifying this a bit, but with the dixie kit, it basically looks like I need to finish the wood, and attach all the hardware. What am I missing here?

Thx,
dj

fyrfyter43
August 19, 2009, 03:11 PM
By kit, I mean all the bits, unassembled, where the wood just needs to be finished, and then assembled.

If that's what you're looking for, then your best bet is a kit from Lyman or T/C.

What most other vendors call a "kit" is really just a parts set, requiring a great deal more work than one of the factory kits. Another option is to buy a rifle "in the white" from vendors like or Tip Curtis.

Cosmoline
August 19, 2009, 03:11 PM
Also check gunbroker. A nice Pedersoli BB was up for $600 or so a little bit ago.

JamesKelly
August 19, 2009, 04:05 PM
Lord, just reading how much involved work it is to shoot a flint does surely wear me out.

All the muzzle loaders I shoot, except revolvers, are flint.

They all go bang & scare the faint of heart.

Smoke, fire, sparks--a flintlock puts the FIRE back in firearm.

Some get nervous about all that smoke & flame in their face. Best quote I've heard on that is "If the thought of your nose hairs catching fire actually bothers you, get a crossbow."

Pedersoli makes reliable guns with heat treated steel barrels, just like a real gun.

Dixie is a reliable source. Not a real big difference in price between kit & finished Brown Bess sometimes.

That Brown Bess is a Man's gun--Go for it!

arcticap
August 19, 2009, 06:40 PM
Gunbroker has a new factory assembled Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine for $799.

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=137008620

The same Dixie Brown Bess Carbine kit is $825

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_92_186_190&products_id=3475

Cosmoline
August 19, 2009, 06:48 PM
Now, she may kick a mite ;-)

dougiefreshhh
August 20, 2009, 10:56 AM
the carbine?

TomADC
August 20, 2009, 11:33 AM
Dougiefreshhh, not a flintlock but a kit, I just finished it yesterday, stock needed sanding, stain etc, and minor fitting of metal parts to the stock. The barrel required bluing I used a Wonder Blue kit easy to used and worked just fine.
I'd think you'd have about the same work, but just for GP's look at the Spiller thread the last couple of pages and see what that kit looked like, way out of my skill level.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL174/1021972/18168454/372275421.jpg

arcticap
August 20, 2009, 11:50 AM
Middlesex Village Trading offers the full length Brown Bess and also the 34 inch carbine which is referred to as the "Roger's Rangers Musket". The price of each is only $595.
And they also offer the earlier full length East India Pattern Brown Bess for $475.
All of these Indian made guns are excellent sparkers and represent a great value for the price. The wood is softer but that's part of the reason why they are less expensive. Many reeactors buy them.
Check out the whole MVT website and FAQS page to see everything they offer.

Click on the photos:

http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/BritishMuskets.SHTML

Here's 2 recent reviews of MVT muskets by Dave Markowitz:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=461734

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=460402

Cosmoline
August 20, 2009, 12:38 PM
the carbine?

Oh yeah. The Bess, even in the nine pound full size form, is a notorious thumper with military level charges. Those 10 bore roundballs were designed to stop a charging warhorse in its tracks.

Re. the Middlesex Village muskets, they have a mixed rep as you can see from searches. The reenactor crowd hate them for being inauthentic and way too shiny, but these complaints are both silly and anachronistic. The lobsters did in fact love to keep their Besses polished to high shine and if you brought one forward in time I'm certain he would grab the shiny one and leave the dull Pedersoli behind.

That said, they're not made to the same standard as the Italian ones, let alone the US custom ones so you may have to do some tweaking.

billnpatti
August 20, 2009, 03:07 PM
Take a look at what Sitting Fox has to offer. You can find them at www.sittingfoxmuzzleloaders.com. I think you will be pleased with their offerings and especially their prices.

engravertom
August 21, 2009, 02:56 PM
If you really want a Bess,nothing else will do!

The Bess kits will require some good rasp work, to smooth out the ridges from the stock duplicating machine. Then, good sanding and finishing of the stock. You may have to re drill some holes for some of the hardware. The brass may need some heavy sanding to get it ready for the final polish.

Post your progress here, so we can watch, and answer any questions.

Welcome to smoothbore firelocks!

Tom

Chuck S
September 5, 2009, 08:46 AM
Hey, guys, what are the issues about shooting black powder substitute in flintlocks? I just got a Long Land reproduction after a 5 month wait and damage by UPS. All my knowledge is "book learning" on these systems. Getting ready to buy some supplies for this beast.

First thing I gotta learn is to stop banging it against the ceiling of the house! Longer than my Krags and M1917!

-- Chuck

fyrfyter43
September 5, 2009, 09:37 AM
Hey, guys, what are the issues about shooting black powder substitute in flintlocks?

Unless you really like being aggravated, I wouldn't bother trying to use a substitute in a flintlock. Ignition would be VERY unreliable at best.

higene
September 5, 2009, 12:36 PM
I have shot substitutes in a 1/2 to 1/2 ratio with GOEX (real in first then substitute). I have heard that one only needs 10 - 20 grains of real on the bottom. I used 4f in the pan, 2f on the bottom and then the substitute.

:what:

Das Jaeger
September 5, 2009, 02:09 PM
sounds like a real pain in the butt Higene ? Not to mention the difference in horsepower ( burn rates ) that would cause .
Besides not being able to get REAL black powder , I don't understand why anyone would want to purposely NOT shoot it out of a Rock-Lock anyways ? What am I missin here ?

Jaeger :confused:

arcticap
September 5, 2009, 02:36 PM
There's a fellow named Herb that has posted extensive test targets and chronograph data of duplex loads on American Longrifles and the MLF that were fired through his flintlock and chronographed.
777 is a very powerful powder and each powder has it's own performance characteristics.
Using a 5-10 grain starter load of BP along with 777 or other sub powders is a way to obtain the performance of Swiss without the hard fouling which means more shots without swabbing.
Why should flintlock shooters have their choice of powders limited when BP can be used like percussion shooters use percussion caps, simply as a way to help ignite the main powder charge.
Everyone has their preference of gun and ignition type and powders too.
Some burn cleaner than others, some are more powerful and some ignite easier.
So why not be able to enjoy the benefits according to the dictates of one's pocketbook and ease of procurement?
Every product has it's own set of advantages and disadvantages. Once people realize that sub. powders can peform very well in flintlocks in a duplex load, it opens up more possibilities for shooting their gun, whether that's for hunting, target or self-defense.
If every one wanted to exclusively shoot Swiss, there isn't enough of it produced to supply every shooter in the whole world each year. Swiss powder manufacturing is only a relatively small percentage of the entire world BP production.
And sub. powders are made in the U.S.A. while a lot of black powder is imported.:)

Das Jaeger
September 5, 2009, 02:44 PM
Rock-Locks shot real BP the best ?
Go figure .

Das Jeager

Das Jaeger
September 5, 2009, 03:14 PM
My point was , that having to use three different size powders seams to be a pain in the butt . Also , my post was to Higene anyways , not you , but thanks for schooling me in a point that I wasn't trying to even make . :neener: :banghead::D
Plus I always thought from being brainwashed by Flinter people that the Holy Black was the best functioning powder for Rock-Locks , I honestly thought it was the best powder for them .

Sincerely , Das Jaeger , you hurt my feelings , booo hoo hooo :D

arcticap
September 5, 2009, 04:46 PM
Here's a post of a range report by Herb that show
the chronograph readings of some duplex flinter loads
using only a 5 or 10 grain starting booster charge of Goex.
Notice that the velocity of equal volumes of 777 &
Swiss are almost identical, and that 777 is faster than Goex.
It's also interesting that there was no wiping between shots.

Here are some more. For each target, I fired
a fouler on the bottom right target first, because the
first shot with a clean bore or powder change is usually
lower in velocity and out of the group. There was no
wiping between shots or cleaning between groups. All
shots are .490 cast balls with white 7 ounce denim from
Wal Mart patches and lube is Murphy Oil Soap and alcohol.

Top left, 80 grains Goex 3F. Note velocity of first shot
is lower, and the fouler was out of the group (see No. 1
on lower right). Mean velocity for six shots is 1832 fps
with 63 spread, but excluding the first, mean is 1840 fps
with 29 fps spread. Group is 1.1". Target 2, 80 grains
Swiss 3F, mean for six is 1985 fps, 28 fps spread, group
0.95". Note that the first shot on the sighter target (#2)
was out of the group.

Target 3, top right, 70 grains Pyrodex RS with 10 grains
Goex 2F as a booster (I tapped down the powder in the
measure and added the 10 grains black on top, and dumped
it down the bore), mean velocity for six is 1686 fps, 53
spread, group is six in 1.55" but five in 0.9".

I build rifles as heirlooms (this one was for a Weigle relative
of mine) and so I test replica powders in case the owner
can't get black powder some years in the future. Have to
hope he'd have some black powder for boost charges and
pan priming.

Target 4, lower left, is 70 grains of Triple 7 2F with 10 grains
Goex 2F booster on top. First six shots, mean velocity is
1881 fps with 138 fps spread. Then I shot five more but
added an over powder wad to the loads, for a mean velocity
of 1921 fps and 76 fps spread, but better accuracy, four in 1.0"

Target 5, center bottom, is 70 grains of Triple 7 3F with
10 grains Goex 2F booster and an OPW. Eight shots mean
velocity 1962 fps, 80 spread. Seven shots in 3.2" but five
in 1.08". I don't know why shot 2 was out of the group.


http://img40.photobucket.com/albums/v122/HerbGLT/50Wigletest2.jpg

Here are velocities from a .54 Henry Albright flintlock I built,
42" Green Mtn barrel. A direct comparison of .530 Hornady
balls, .020 pillow ticking, MOS/alcohol lube and a 3/4" thin
leather OPW for all loads. 80 grains.
Goex 3F, mean velocity (MV) 1652 for six, ES 90 fps.
Goex 2F, MV 1525 fps for five, ES 20 fps
Swiss 3F, MV 1810 fps for five, ES 103 fps (had trouble with
loads here)
Swiss 2F, MV 1724 fps for five, ES 25 fps

Triple 7 3F, 70 grains with 10 gr Goex 2F booster:
Six shots 1799 fps MV, ES 66 fps
Triple 7 2F, 70 grains with 10 gr Goex 2F booster:
Six shots 1703 fps MV, ES 51 fps.
Pyrodex RS (I didn't record it, assume 70 gr w/ 10 gr Goex 2F booster)
eight shots 1504 fps MV, ES 50 fps.

Couple days later,
80 Goex 3F, loaded as above, 5 shots MV 1662 fps, ES 37 fps.
75 Pyrodex RS with 5 gr Goex 2F boost, 5 shots MV 1506 fps, ES 27 fps.
75 Triple 7 2F with 5 gr Goex 2F boost, 8 shots MV 1736 fps, ES 44 fps.

80 Goex 3F, thinner leather OPW, 5 shots MV 1662 fps, ES 37 fps.
75 Pyrodex RS with 5 gr Goex 2F boost, 5 shots MV 1506,
ES 27 fps (same as before!) Also same accuracy, groups were 1.45" at 50 yards.
75 Triple 7 2F with 5 gr Goex 2F boost, 9 shots MV 1724 fps, ES 44 fps.
This group of nine shots was in 2.1", the same as before.
The Goex loads went 2.55" first and then 2.55" the next time!
This was a very good barrel. I did not wipe between
shots nor clean between powders, 37 shots in this test.

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=2333.msg23044#msg23044

fyrfyter43
September 5, 2009, 09:09 PM
And that all leads one right back down the same slippery slope that brought us such abominations in the BP world as inlines, scopes and 209 primers, and even electronic ignition systems.. A flintlock loaded with real BP and a PRB will kill a deer just as dead as all that junk. And it's been doing it for hundreds of years.

Personally I prefer to carry one horn. Filled with 3F GOEX (made in America!...and cheaper and easier to clean than any of the substitutes!)

Why would anybody want to carry 3 horns with 3 different powders that won't work nearly as good as good old black powder???

arcticap
September 5, 2009, 11:15 PM
Why would anybody want to carry 3 horns with 3 different powders that won't work nearly as good as good old black powder???

1. Some substitutes are cleaner.
2. Some substitutes are more potent.
3. Some substitutes are cheaper.
4. Loading flintlocks can be slower anyway so that the extra step to load a duplex charge does not consume very much extra time.
5. It's not about a slippery slope, it's about shooting flintlocks successfully within the constraints of their ignition system which duplex loads accomplish quite well.
6. Using duplex loads conserves black powder by increasing the number of shots that can be primed using only a single pound of black powder when it's not always cheap, available, affordable or desirable for everyone.
7. Substitute powders are less hazardous.

Folks should realize that whenever they only have a small amount of BP left for shooting, then they can always switch to duplex loads to conserve their black powder until they're able to obtain some more.
Just take a look at the Tap-O-Cap percussion cap maker. Folks want alternatives to needing to buy store made percussion caps. The time it takes to make them isn't really an issue.
Other folks make their own black powder. But if it doesn't turn out as good as commercial powder, then they can always use it to prime with or to mix it with sub. powders in duplex loads so that it doesn't go to waste.
The time spent making it is a personal choice. :)

Loyalist Dave
September 5, 2009, 11:44 PM
Re. the Middlesex Village muskets, they have a mixed rep as you can see from searches. The reenactor crowd hate them for being inauthentic and way too shiny, but these complaints are both silly and anachronistic. The lobsters did in fact love to keep their Besses polished to high shine and if you brought one forward in time I'm certain he would grab the shiny one and leave the dull Pedersoli behind.

That said, they're not made to the same standard as the Italian ones, let alone the US custom ones so you may have to do some tweaking.

Wow, I don't know which is more inaccurate, the first paragraph or the second. I AM part of that "reenactor crowd" and we don't "hate" MV 1st Model King's muskets, nor are our well informed opinions "silly" mate. They are actually more authentic than the Italian models, which are pseudo 2nd Models, and few would've been seen here in the states. The MV muskets do arrive too shiny, but some work with a "green scrubby" from the dishwashing aisle of the grocery store will soon put that to right. For the absolute purist on a budget, some sanding of the stock to slim it down is all one needs to do. As for "high shine", Uh no..., when properly polishing a musket with brick dust, sweet oil, and a rag, you get a uniform gray, not a high shine, so it isn't anachronistic by any means.

I prefer the 1st Model King's Musket from Loyalist Arms, Canada.

A bess is not designed from precision shooting, and often is not a great choice for the beginning BP shooter. Heavy trigger pull, heavy gun, large ball so gives a good kick.

AVOID the carbine. They are often very bad examples of what was limited in distribution. Yes some rangers were given permission to shorten their muskets. Other than that, IF you ever want to get rid of it for something else, it's easy to find a person in the reenactment community looking for a Bess, but hard to find somebody who can use the carbine.

Loyalist Dave

fyrfyter43
September 6, 2009, 07:57 AM
1. Some substitutes are cleaner. FALSE. They may be advertised as cleaner, but in actual use are not.
2. Some substitutes are more potent. Maybe so, but BP ignites much easier in a rock lock, and still gets the job done.
3. Some substitutes are cheaper. Really? Show me one. I just checked Cabela's website. The cheapest substitute they have is Pyrodex at $19.16 per lb. shipped (for a 25 lb case, provided Cabelas can ship 25 lbs in a single case) . 3F GOEX is $15.97 per lb shipped from Grafs (also for a 25 lb case). With a little bit of shopping around, it can be found a bit cheaper.
4. Loading flintlocks can be slower anyway so that the extra step to load a duplex charge does not consume very much extra time. How is loading a flintlock any slower than loading a caplock??? In fact, a flinter can be faster to load, since you don't have to fumble around with caps or 209 primers.
5. It's not about a slippery slope, it's about shooting flintlocks successfully within the constraints of their ignition system which duplex loads accomplish quite well. Black powder has also been accomplishing that goal quite well for hundreds of years, without any need to carry multiple horns or expensive substitute powders.
6. Using duplex loads conserves black powder by increasing the number of shots that can be primed using only a single pound of black powder when it's not always cheap, available, affordable or desirable for everyone. But then you burn more of the more expensive substitute powders. Black powder, as I already demonstrated, is cheaper than substitute powders and with a little bit of effort is quite easy to obtain in this country, except possibly in Hawaii and Alaska. The last case of powder I ordered from Grafs was delivered to my place of employment within 5 days. A little bit of advance planning ensures that I always have enough BP on hand.
7. Substitute powders are less hazardous. Maybe in the eyes of the mindless twits at the BATFE, but not in practice. The same added potency you brag about also has a consequence if, say, a half pound were to go up in the horn at your side, or a couple pounds in a fire in your home.

Das Jaeger
September 6, 2009, 08:22 AM
for sure about the real Black Powder stuff , but what realy matters today ,

which is going to taste better , to me , Malt-o-Meal or Cream-o-wheat this morning :D
Farina I say , more than just a cap and ball revolver cylinder space filler :D
Where's my brown sugar and Real Butter anywayz ! God knows nobody should be allowed to use margerine and white processed sugar in there guns , I mean cereal :neener:

Jaeger

DrLaw
September 6, 2009, 09:39 AM
So solving an ignition problem involves prodding that hole and putting some fresh 4F in the pan. I've never had a flinter ignition failure I couldn't fix in under a minute.

I have, and it really made me wonder about my choices. I found my answer at the muzzleloadingforum.com.

However, that said, I would not start with the Brown Bess for one reason, the trigger.

With other guns and the set triggers that they have, that takes away one of the bigger problems, trigger control. The other thing that tends to bother people new to flintlocks is the flash that goes off near your face. I was lucky, I was able to ignore it. How?

Because I couldn't see anything in front of the gun or anywhere near it once the flash and gun went off! :what:

But I had great trigger control. :D

The Doc is out now. :cool:

PS, however, if you really want a Brown Bess, go for it. It's your decision after all, for your fun, not ours!

4v50 Gary
September 6, 2009, 09:46 AM
The other thing that tends to bother people new to flintlocks is the flash that goes off near your face. I was lucky, I was able to ignore it.

I concentrate on the front sight. The gun takes care of the rest.

dougiefreshhh
September 24, 2009, 10:32 PM
thanks all.

ok, so if not a bess, then what do you suggest for starter flintlock (colonial era)?

Cosmoline
September 24, 2009, 11:36 PM
I really like the poor boy southern mountain style. It's no frills and weighs about 3 lbs less than a big military musket. The trade guns area also excellent starters. Track makes a reasonably priced kit.

As you can see from the bickering on this thread, the world of flintlocks has some rather intense devotees who are liable to snap if prodded. Don't worry about them. Trust me these guns are loads of fun to build and shoot!

JamesKelly
September 25, 2009, 10:37 AM
A friend roasted some wild boar meat over our Tuesday campfire. Good stuff. Kilt it with his Bess.

Brown Bess muskets are heavy, unreliable, inaccurate, slow to load and filthy dirty. So get a .22.

IM(not so)HO, a Bess is a great start for an 18th Century guy. Pedersoli makes a sound, functional gun which can be modified here & there if you find it inauthentic. All BB's in the Revolution did not have 46" barrels. When the muzzle wore out, the gun was cut down somewhat & a new bayonet lug attached. I have a very used/abused 1st Model with a 36" barrel. Rogers' Rangers were said to have cut down their Long Land pattern muskets to 36" for ease of handling (I'm told they kick a lot at that barrel length). If you want to confuse the Thread Nazis, swap the flat sideplate of that Pedersoli for a rounded, long land pattern. A long land pattern triggerguard would be more of a hassle but can be done.

Geeze, just get the Brown Bess & some GOEX or Swiss & be done with it. Leave the barrel at 42".There are a couple hundred years' experience in how to load and shoot them. And there is about 700 years real experience with honest black gunpowder.

arcticap
September 26, 2009, 03:57 AM
Trade rifles seem to be offered in a wider variety of smoothbore calibers and gauges as small as .54 caliber and 28 gauge.

North Star West is a reputable maker of kits and finished trade guns.

http://www.northstarwest.com/

For starter flintlocks, there's also the Indian made trade gun or the Baker smooth rifle which has a rear sight.

http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/

If you enjoyed reading about "Starter Flintlock - Brown Bess kit?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!