Sunday, March 14, 2004

Pedersoli Brown Bess Trade Gun

I'm an owner of a Brown Bess "Trade Gun" by Pedersoli as sold by Dixie Gun Works. There is nothing "wrong" with the gun. It is fun to shoot but some points...

1. In VA, it was not legal for deer hunting except during the regular gun season. This might not be a problem for you. It was for me. Where you live makes a big difference.

2. The bore is so big that I "feel" that it is too big for some other tasks like groundhog hunting (but not really). It works great on groundhogs with shot at 15 yards (like any other shotgun) and with heavier shot does well on other such quarry.

3. It uses quite a bit of powder although not that much less than say a .69 or .62 (20 ga.) We're talking 115 gr. vs 90 gr. for the smaller 20 ga. smoothbores.

4. It uses a lot more lead for ball.

5. Recommended ball size is .735" and that is incorrect, get the .715" mold. That size ball will work patched and in cartridge and when the gun is fouled. I can see why the military issued the .690" round ball.

6. For only slightly more than half again what this costs I could have had a custom smoothie that would be appropriate for French and Indian or Revolutionary War reenacting. This gun is not strictly accurate for those uses.

7. 12 ga. wads are not recommended 11 ga. is but 12 ga. work best in my gun.

8. I've not been able to get accurate much past 50 yards (with ball) and I don't feel good using it past 40 yards. That is MY level of skill.

9. You can easily make up buck and ball loads. However, they are not really good to use on deer. That warrants a long discussion of its own.

10. You can get all supplies by mail order. There are several suppliers.

11. The full length musket is a LOT of gun.

12. It weighs more than you expect. This might not be a problem but for some people it becomes one.

13. The balance point is right at the lock. Try carrying it one handed for any distance in your right hand and you'll see what I mean.

- Track of the Wolf
- Dixie Gun Works
- Flintlock FAQs
- Log Cabin Shop
- The Rifle Shoppe, Inc.
- American Longrifles (has a good forum)

You will also need a lot of accouterments. This alone will be an area of study. I'd be happy to answer any questions. If I don't know, I'll say so and point you to somebody who does.

Use of the smoothbore flintlocks is now legal during the Virginia muzzleloading deer season!