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Repro Wesson "Buggy Gun" .45 Caliber

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by MathurinKerbouchard, Nov 2, 2007.

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  1. MathurinKerbouchard

    MathurinKerbouchard Member

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    So, I'm in a gun store in sunny Albuquerque, looking for my first muzzleloader. The one that i originally had my eye on was a .40 cal caplock with a nice maple stock. While i was looking, I noticed a funny looking little rifle. It was marked as a Wesson .45 cal. I picked it up and it ballanced really well for me. Given that it fit me well, was deer-legal .45 caliber, and 1/2 the price ($179) of the rifle I was originally looking at, I decided to buy it.

    The salesman told me it was a "buggy gun", and that they were popular in the 1850's and '60's.

    The manufacturer is Replica Arms Inc.

    I've googled Wesson buggy gun and come up nil. Ditto for the maker.

    Anybody have any info relating to the type?

    Thanks
     
  2. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    What's the thing look like?
     
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  4. MathurinKerbouchard

    MathurinKerbouchard Member

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    Arcticap,

    That's the animal!

    Sorry, I took some pictures, but I'm having issues uploading the pics from the camera to the computer. Mine has the same lock, stock, and double set triggers. It has a full stock and full octagonal barrel in .45 cal.

    So apparently it is not a "Wesson". That's OK, it's a pretty slick little gun. As soon as I can get the pics uploaded, i'll post them.

    I wonder what the rate of twist is? since it was probably built in the '70's, I wonder if it will have a slow twist for round balls, instead of a faster twist like 1:48 to stabilize maxi's. IIRC, Maxi-balls came out in the late 70's early 80's?
     
  5. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    There's different ways to determine the twist rate.
    Insert a very tightly patched cleaning rod all of the way to the bottom of the barrel, and mark the position with a piece of tape as a reference point. Then slowly withdraw the rod noting the amount of rotation of the tape for either the entire barrel barrel, or for a 12 or 24 inch section of it. Then extrapolate how much barrel length would be necessary to rotate the rod 1 full turn of twist.
    1/2 turn of rotation of the cleaning rod in 24 inches of barrel would represent a 1 in 48 inch twist.
    1/3 inch of rotation in 22 inches would represent a 1 in 66 inch twist.

    Most modern reproduction guns with shorter barrels have a 1 in 48 inch twist to provide enough rotation to stabilize both conicals and patched round balls.
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Which store in Albuquerque? Ron Peterson? Charlie's?
     
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd pick it up if I were you.
     
  8. MathurinKerbouchard

    MathurinKerbouchard Member

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    Thanks for the info on rate of twist Arcticap.

    Sistema, I picked it up at Ron Peterson's.

    I'll try again to upload the pics.
     
  9. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    I was rereading my copy of Colt's Single Action Revolver - The Legend, The Romance & the Rivals by "Doc" O'Meara and on page 13 of the book a picture caught my eye. It was a picture of your "buggy" gun and the caption underneath read "Rifles like this replica of an Edwin Wesson have many characteristics of the Plains Rifles, such as a shorter barrel and larger caliber than the rifles that were popular in the East".

    The picture of the gun was exactly the same as the others posted here. Going on this and other info I would say it is correctly called a Wesson gun. I lifted the following bit of info from the S&W website "Daniel’s experience came from apprenticing with his brother Edwin Wesson, the leading maker of target rifles and pistols in the 1840s."
     
  10. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Speaking of Edwin Wesson, he made target guns before the Civil War and it is very likely that some of his guns were carried by the various Union sharpshooter units (like Andrew's Sharp Shooters, 1st New York Battalion Sharp Shooters or even some members of Berdan's Sharp Shooters).
     
  11. MathurinKerbouchard

    MathurinKerbouchard Member

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    Finally, I was able to upload the pics.

    Here they are.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I like the looks of that rifle. The action is protected within a receiver, and the 2 piece stock gives it a profile similar to a lever or pump action rifle. It looks comfortable and I also like the traditional look of having a full stock under the barrel.
    The trigger housing and receiver seem compact and space saving compared to the more traditional style of fully wooden stocked guns.
    It's very nice overall and seems to be handy, and not all that common either.

    Apparently Replica Arms was located in Marietta, Ohio and was an Uberti importer, at least during the 70's:

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=270587&highlight=replica+arms
     
  13. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    The 2006 Dixie catalog still lists the Wesson rifle.
     
  14. Curator

    Curator Member

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    I have one of the "Wesson" replicas from Dixie. I bought it about 5 years ago. It came with a "fake" false muzzle (no rifling inside) but is a good copy of an original Wesson rifle. I also have an original Bristol at the museum where I work. Both are very similar. The Bristol is actually an "approved" copy of the Wesson, as he sold them the receiver castings.

    My Wesson replica is a pretty good shooter when loaded with paper patched bullets of the correct size. The twist rate is 1 turn in 22 inches. It shoots most bullets made for the .45-70 just fine if they are of soft lead. The original sights on the gun are worthless. A good tang sight is difficult to mount due to the stock bolt going through the wrist. I mounted one of the replica 4X telescopic sights from the era. In all I'm pleased with this rifle, and I think you will be too.
     
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  15. jamiebanker

    jamiebanker Member

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    Replica Arms

    I had of these as a kid that I shot in competition. Eventually shot the rifling out such that it was no longer accurate. Wouldn't want to part with it would you? **jamie.sweeney@comcast.net**
     
  16. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Interesting. I didn't know that the boxlock preceded the breechloader.

    Thanks for the pics!
     
  17. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Didn't Mowrey make a "buggy rifle"? It was similar to his Ethan Allen rifle.


    [​IMG]
     
  18. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    That's very cool.

    I really wish Blue Grouse Muzzleloaders was still in business. I'd really like one of their underhammer buggy gun kits.
     
  19. CAMPBELL49T

    CAMPBELL49T Member

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    I'm reading a book"The Muzzling Loading Cap lock Rifle" by Ned Roberts.
    It was first published in 1926. He was born right after the Civil War. And grew up shooting BP. He shot many and the buggy rifle was one. The picture in the
    book does not look like yours. But there were many makers of guns in the last century. If you get a chance to pick up a copy of the book. Get it. One rifle was 2" across the flats 50 cal sniper rifle made for the Union Army. They claimed the shoot, on top of a hill, a General at one mile and 296 feet. The book
    is 500 pages long. Tells about BP making of the rifles. The shooting and the many shooting clubs the had in the mid 1800s.
    But, I do like your buggy rifle. Enjoy shooting it.
     
  20. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    Ethan Allen made one too,but it was an under hammer,and Navy Arms had a little .36 side hammer it called a Buggy Rifle,too.So I'm guessing it's a generic term for a low cost handy size rifle or carbine one could toss in the back of the buggy for protection or for targets of opportunity for the stew pot?
     
  21. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    I have seen several different makers use the name. I was thinking it may have to do with the separate butt stock and fore stock. A cheap rifle bouncing around in the back of the buggy makes more sense. Like a truck gun.
     
  22. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    Aha!I think we've got it...like a truck gun or ''farm gun'' of the 1920's or 30's,only black powder and older...I like it.
     
  23. bonza

    bonza Member

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    I've seen a number of the replica Wesson rifles. Some are of decent quality, while others seem to be a bit lacking in that department. The inferior ones were marked as being made by Palmetto. I don't know if Replica Arms handled any Palmetto-made guns, but am unaware of Uberti making a Wesson.
     
  24. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Replica Arms carried a lot of firearms made by Uberti. They were gone, bought out and closed by Navy Arms, before Palmetto came along.
     
  25. Talon Overland

    Talon Overland Member

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    I know its been almost a year since anyones posted on this thing but i just bought that exact same gun for $90 at a pawn shop in PErkins Oklahoma. Any idea what the actual worth is? its in perfect condition.
     
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