Gurkha-Marked East India Pattern Brown Bess

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Dave Markowitz, Feb 18, 2019.

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  1. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    I ordered this Brown Bess from IMA last week, and it came today. The metal is all original, while the stock is new. Overall it appears to be in pretty good shape but the lock needs a little work. It will hold at half cock but not full. After I fix that I'll be able to test for spark.

    There is minor pitting visible on the barrel. I plan to pull it from the stock to verify the condition below the wood line. As expected, the bore is rusty. I've run a few patches with WD-40 on them down the pipe but I'm planning to soak it in Evaporust.

    Assuming the barrel looks good below the wood line, I'll remotely test fire it using some fuse. IMA sells these as wall hangers but a lot of guys who buy these guns from the Nepalese cache are shooting them. It certainly won't be a high round count gun but if it's solid, I don't see a reason to not shoot it occasionally.

    EIC_Brown_Bess.jpg lock2.jpg
     
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Very cool!
     
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  3. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    I ran my cheapo borescope down the barrel. It's crusty.

     
  4. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    It will be interesting to see how the Evaporust works out.
    As long as it's degreased first, the bore should be left looking like bare metal.
     
  5. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    If that video shows the actual bore condition, I would not attempt to shoot that barrel. It's worse than the proverbial "sewer pipe." If you really want to shoot that gun, buy a reproduction barrel.
     
  6. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    I have a pair of Martini-Henry's from the Nepal Cache that were absolutely slathered in dark brown crusty looking stuff which we affectionately called 'Yak Lard' and once removed found the metal underneath to be very nice looking. You might try boiling the barrel rather than chemical treatments to remove what's in there and might be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Hoping for the best!:)
     
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  7. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    After letting the bore soak overnight I did some scrubbing today with a 12 gauge bore brush (which is undersized for the bore) and even wrapped some steel wool into the bristles. It's coming along. All the nasty brown scale shown in my video above is gone. The bore is rough but there do not seem to be any really deep pits. I've got it soaking in Kroil again for now. I figure that I'll wipe that out and use Evaporust shortly. It's a fantastic rust remover that's gentle on metal.
     
  8. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    Something brought to my attention on another board: Apparently, the India-pattern Bess was the preferred weapon of the USMC during the War of 1812, with the Corps acquiring 500 in 1805. Link.
     
  9. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    I've been doing some work on the Brown Bess over the past few days.

    I determined the reason that it's not going into full cock is that the sear spring is not applying pressure to the sear after it rotates a certain amount. Either the V of the spring isn't wide enough, the lower leg of the spring isn't long enough, or the sear is bent. I need to figure out how I'm going to fix it. I wondering if it's possible to use a replacement sear spring made either for a Pedersoli lock, or Track of the Wolf's Willit lock

    Today I removed the barrel to check for pitting under the wood line. It's not too bad. This is the breech end. Note the Nepalese marking.

    breech.jpg

    This is the worst of the external pitting.

    pitting.jpg

    It's not very deep.

    The barrel is currently soaking in Evaporust. After I get it out and get it wiped down, I'll borescope it again to see what the inside looks like.
     
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  10. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    After an overnight soak in Evaporust and some scrubbing, the bore is looking a lot better:

     
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  11. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    That's an amazing improvement.
    Gurkha! Gurkha!
     
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  12. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I don't know, I don't see much rifling left. You may want to treat it like a smooth bore.:p

    Just so everyone else knows i was making a joke. I know they are smooth bores.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  13. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    Neat
     
  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    That first video was absolutely horrifying. Nice clean up.

    I suspect the sear spring isn't pushing the sear down to engage the tumbler notch. If it won't do it out of the musket, it won't do it once installed in the musket.
     
  15. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    That is exactly what is happening. I have a couple of potential fixes in mind. Updates to follow.
     
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