MSVTC Scottish Flintlock-Any experiences?

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Nov 12, 2007
Southwest Florida
As you may have seen from my other thread, I'm contemplating a flintlock to complement my percussion guns. I was grouching about the prices, but I believe I may have found one I'm willing to pay for.

I've always been a fan of the Scottish style all-steel flintlocks. I have some Scottish blood in me from about 15 generations back, and it's a portion of the family history that has always fascinated me. I love the look of these guns, and just came across them at Middlesex Village Trading Companie for $375

So, a couple of questions: Does anyone have any experience with this company? I seem to think I've heard before they're reputable. Any experience with the guns? Are they shooters or just lookers? How would they stack up as a beginner rocklock? I have plenty of experience playing with percussion revolvers, but no experience with flinters. PRHR_right.jpg
Harold Yazel built this for me little over a year ago , match barrel, custom all
the way, price 375.00 and hundred dollars more for the Flint version. I know it
isn't what you want, but this is made in the good USA. Good luck on your pistol

Like you i have more experience with percussion guns than i do flintlocks, to cure this i bought a Pedersoli flintlock kit from Dixie gun works and the cabelas traditions trapper on sale for $299.00

The top pistol is the trapper and the bottom is the pedersoli with the hammer on half cock and the frizzen closed, note the relative position of the flint to the frizzen on each lock.

This photo is of the hammers fully cocked.

From everything i've learned from the experienced flinters here, kwhi43 primarily, the ideal lock will enable the flint to hit the frizzen in the upper 2/3rd of the frizzen, something the trapper doesn't do. Granted the flint is not positioned properly in the trapper ( i've been playing with a lot experimenting with proper pan priming) and is worn out, but it still sparks good enough to ignite the swiss 4f powder i'm using. The best i could do with a new flint was to get it to strike the frizzen in the middle.

Maybe the experienced flinters here can explain the differences in these two locks and which is better and why and add a few tips on how to set the flint properly :)

I looked at the scottish style flintlocks also, i liked the metal stock, but i think i read somewhere that it was a 2 piece stamped metal stock and that seemed like it might be a problem down the road plus i live in Phoenix and that sucker could get REAL warm to the touch.
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In the Trapper try turning the flint upside down. This will result in it striking
the Frizzen higher up. There is no right side up, just whatever works to put
the sparks in your pan.


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Thank you Sir, i will try that. I haven't gotten to take the pistol to the range yet, but i have sparked off several pans of powder experimenting with the amount and position of the powder in the pan.
I have a brace of SORTA those India-made Scot Murdock pistols -- those are the plain, military, cheap ones believe it or not. Mine have fancy barrels and a silver plate for monograms on the grip. Highland officers I believe actually got brass-framed pistols and the enlisted men, the rank and file, got all steel pistols as one of the five wepons they carried.

These are fine for what they are, and shooters, however, I will say they are not the gun I would choose in a limited collection or as a first, not by any stretch -- these are a luxury item meant I think to be used more as a novelty.
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What caliber ?

What is supposed to be the max safe load as opposed to "recommended load" ?

I notice the dixie gun works one (Murdock pistol) is advertised as .52 caliber with a "recommended load" of .30 grains fffg powder.

The Walker is supposed to be safe (the modern ones anyway) for 60 grains of fffg in a revolver with thin chamber walls.

Isn't .30 grains a little anemic (to little) for a large bore pistol (45 to 70 cal range) with a much thicker chamber wall, larger, heavier projectile, and longer barrel.

Wouldn't a load in the 60 to 70 grain range be more appropriate for this type of pistol.

The golden question is can they handle it ? What do you load yours with ? For how long have you been doing it and has there been any problems.
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And remember that it's a pistol. If you load it too hot it may be more than your hand can handle.

Packman - you may check out the Traditional Muzzleloading Forum and to find some more information on these. I've seen them used by reenactors but never handled one myself. You may also check out Loyalist Arms out of Canada - sometimes they have replicas as kits that need finishing and assembling at a cheaper price. Hard to say what they might have at any given time.

Last, according to Middlesex Trading, these can be fired with a live charge.

Be advised that there is some controversy over the quality of "Indian" guns. From what I've seen, I will say that there have to be some skilled smiths in India to make a functioning flintlock from scratch and some are more historically accurate than others. The question is not one of skill, but of what materials are used in constructing the barrel. Be careful of what you ask. Some guys get downright testy when you bring up Indian muzzleloaders, so search first.
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So, a couple of questions: Does anyone have any experience with this company? I seem to think I've heard before they're reputable. Any experience with the guns? Are they shooters or just lookers? How would they stack up as a beginner rocklock? I have plenty of experience playing with percussion revolvers, but no experience with flinters. PRHR_right.jpg

Although I have not dealt directly with Middlesex, after a lot of on line research of the dealers in Indian made guns and after reading countless contentious threads at various muzzle loading and re-enacting forums, I had decided they were my best choice for a Long Land pattern Brown Bess. This was just before Thanksgiving.

However, I ended up finding the exact model I wanted at my local black powder dealer/gunsmith that came from Loyalist out of Nova Scotia. He made me a deal and threw in a fitted bayonet for about what I would have paid for the musket alone from Middlesex. If not for that, I would have gone with them.

That said, I would not choose the Scottish style pistol as my first flintlock or any smoothbore for that matter. Sure it will go bang and make smoke, but unless you are a re-enactor, or fending off a boarding party of pirates at close quarters, no smoothbore is going approach the usefulness of a rifled barrel flintlock pistol past 15 or 20 paces. They have no sights anyway.

Of course, because they are smoothbore, one can load them with shot to use as a scattergun.

I used to think I wanted one of the Murdoch style pistol, until I started seeing used replicas occasionally show up at gun shows. I also inspected 2 or 3 of them at Dixie back in the 1980's. They all had one thing in common. Because they are made entirely of steel in the white they are absolute rust magnets. The reason I looked at 3 of them when at Dixie was that every one they brought out of stock had surface rust.

Obviously, one will have to be fastidious in keeping them oiled--including the grip--or conversely only handle them wearing gloves.

After acquiring a nice Pennsylvania flintlock style rifle, I eventually also got a similarly style flintlock pistol with a rifled barrel that included primitive sights. I can actually hit targets more consistently at distance than I can with my C & B revolvers and since it has a nice walnut stock, I don't have to worry so much about rust from handling.

I finally did obtain a smoothbore flintlock on the cheap. It's one of those .69 cal Tower or Sea Service affairs. I've shot it a few times--mostly on Independence day, and it looks great on the wall. However, I only paid $50 for it.

If you are willing to spend $300 to $400 for a flintlock, I would highly recommend first getting a nice Pennsylvania, Kentucky, or Hawken style wood stocked pistol that is going to have a rifled barrel with both a front and a rear sight. I think you will ultimately get more use out of it.

If you watch the auction sites there are always a few rifled barrel Italian made flintlock pistols in great condition in the $250 to $325 range.

Of course just having bought a monster smooth bore Brown Bess, I'm hardly one to be arguing about practicality, but my excuse is that it was simply on my 'bucket list" and now it's checked off. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


P.S. The reason that some of these India made gun come unvented is because they all come that way out of India. Evidently India has some very strict laws and punitive taxes on the manufacture of firearms. To avoid these laws and taxes, the small cottage industries that produce these guns do not vent them and thus are able to sell and export them as decorator products.

It appears that the two Canadian sellers (Loyalist and Military Heritage) also do not vent the weapons, which allows them to sell to the US out of Canada. Any seller who vents the gun technically becomes an firearms manufacturer by doing so.

This does not appear to be an issue for Middlesex, Veteran Arms, or Flintlock Sales & Gunsmithing in the US. To the best of my knowledge, the Murdoch is one of the few India made firearms that Dixie carries and they obviously don't feel compelled to deal with the issue.

The fact that these guns are initially sold as decorators only--is of course part of the fuel in the fire of the debate over their safety. Some choose to accept the reasons given and some do not.
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As I understand it, Loyalist Arms does sell vented guns. None of the reenactors I've spoken with who use them have mentioned needing to drill vents in them, but some have mentioned smoothing them out and one guy shortened the stock a bit on a French musket to fit his wife (they are both active in a F&I Troupes de la Marine unit).

To be fair, the guns I've seen and handled personally from Loyalist include French 1728's and one artillery carbine in about .66 caliber. They are rougher than the custom guns I've seen. Most could use a bit of sandpaper and a refinish job. But the owners use them because they're a lot cheaper for reenacting guns that are going to get banged around in the woods than custom replicas.

I've never handled a Murdoch in person, but I think if the OP would troll around on some reenacting forums, he could maybe lay hands on a used one cheaper and see if it's his thing.

You are correct about Loyalist. I mistakenly listed them along with Military Heritage.
However, Military Heritage out of Canada does not vent their guns.

Here's a link to their one of their listings and if you scroll down to the end you will see their note about not drilling the vent.

Long Land Pattern

Of all the sellers, MH seem to have the most complaints about product quality and a total lack of service.

Obviously Dixie also doesn't vent the Scottish pistol.

I read so many threads during the time I was hunting for a musket that it all began to run together and I sort of lost track of who would do what.

I also called Track of the Wolf during the same time since I had read on one of the forums that they also sold the Indian made guns---even though I couldn't find them listed on their web site.

The guy who answered the phone told me that he had 3 or 4 of the Long Land Pattern muskets in stock, but that they also did not ship them vented. He mentioned the manufacturing technicality as the reason, but I didn't question him any further as to why they wouldn't when others sellers did vent the guns.

When I found the Loyalist Arms' Bess locally, it was vented, but later I guess I just assumed the owner/gunsmith had done it.

One complaint that I have heard over and over is about the wood. The Indian guns use teak instead of walnut. Teak is harder to work and varies quite a bit in color. However the one I got looks great.

Yeah, there are a lot of retailers dealing in Indian guns. And I think they're using different makers too. Just calling a gun an "Indian" flintlock is probably kind of like comparing a Jennings .380 to a Les Baer 1911 and just calling both "American" guns.

IIRC, there is an outfit in the US that is a retailer for Loyalist, but I can't recall who.

BTW - finding these guns on Track of the Wolf is done by going to the category. For instance, try "Flintlock Military Guns" and see what turns up. I've seen repros of the Potzdam muskets and Heavy Dragoon pistols at TOTW, but I also think they sell them unvented.

One other thought I had was getting a Loyalist kit (some are sold in kit or parts form) for the gun I wanted and adding a US made barrel and walnut stock. The locks generally seem to spark though I've heard that frizzens need rehardened about once a season from reenactors who do several events a year, firing maybe 100 shots or so in a weekend. I haven't worked out the economics of it yet, but I wish there was a choice between a gun that I didn't know the quality of the barrel on and a $2,000+ custom job.
But if you want something like a Long Land Bess there's not much middle ground. Too bad Pedersoli didn't copy the 1728 Pattern Bess instead of the later Short Land version.

On the inaccuracies like using teak instead of walnut or some of the incorrect hardware I've seen on a couple guns, I don't think many people will notice that. Even among reenactors, many use Pedersoli Bess or Charleville knockoffs because they were the only thing readily available for so long even though they're not accurate for anything before the Revolution.
One of the two Loyalist retailers in the US is called the Muzzleloader Shop, and it happens to be located North Little Rock, AR not too far from where I live now.

I didn't even realize there was an exclusive black powder shop in the area until I saw the guy's link and picture on the Loyalist Arms site. They used a picture of the owner presenting a flintlock pistol to the late Charleton Heston---I'm guessing back when Heston was president of the NRA.

Anyway, that's how I found the shop. It's not a huge operation, but his business card indicates he's been in business here since 1980. His shop/store is actually located behind his house. One side is his retail store and the other side is a gunsmith shop.

He seemed to have a pretty good stock of stuff including a pretty large selection of rifles, muskets, C & B revolvers, powder, cast balls, and all kinds of accessories, but I was rushed the day I bought the Bess from him, and have not had a chance to get back.

Besides, he was shutting down for the week of Thanksgiving and then for the last two weeks of December for Christmas.

Now that he's open again, I need to go back and take a good look at what else he has, but what with Christmas expenditures and just getting hit with $2500 worth of dental work not covered by insurance, I may need to stay away from such temptation for awhile.

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