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  #1  
Old 08-27-2010, 07:56 PM
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Default India Made Flintlock (What all the fuss is about)

These guns are very controversial in the Muzzleloading Community....

A while back I decided to buy an Middlesex Village Trading Co. gun to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't interested in acquiring a HC/PC gun for re-enactment. What I was interested in was a low cost alternative gun that would give good service.

From day one, I was impressed with the guns accuracy and reliability. However, it lacked some things that many would consider necessary for a modern gun. The lockwork, while well made, has a horrible trigger pull and was gritty. In all honesty, I already have about 3-4 hrs of labor in getting it smoothed out. It's now time to get a reasonable trigger pull weight...

What I (and most others) can't get past is the laquered finish with a wash of color... This is done to hide the obvious use of Teak. I spent the better part of a week's spare time...stripping the gun and redoing the finish to look like walnut.

The front sight looked like a lug from a AC/DC welding attachment. It was useless and caused the gun to shoot extremely low. Taking a good 1/4" off it's height, thinning it, and round filing it's base gave it a great sight picture..

Finally, the ramrod itself is wimpy. It is fashioned like many military rods with a taper to the end. My plan is to rebore the channel and make up a new rod for the gun. Heading into the machine shop over the weekend to see if that can't be accomplished.

Been a fun Summer project.......

Before


After
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:00 PM
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Wow, Giz - it sure looks nice now.

What's the controversy over? Because its made in India? Is it knocking out the competition?

What brand name do they go under?
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:09 PM
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Middlesex Village Trading Company out of New Hampshire. The controversy gets pretty heated...

Many will point out that these guns are imported with no proof marks. The counterargument is "When did you last see a American made gun with proof marks?"...

The guns are not historically correct or period correct. But unless your a re-enactor (like me) ...it really shouldn't matter. The use of non traditional wood like Teak is a turn-off. I have so many years working with wood that faking a walnut finish was only a few hours work. Nobody can tell the difference, unless they want to take out a magnifying glass.

The guns are traditionally pinned to the stock, they have a proper touchhole, the locks are pretty close to correct. Some of the furniture, etc... isn't correct.

But overall, they are somwhere slightly North of $500... Some of the guns I post here are 5 to 10 times that cost. And sadly, that gun in the above pictures is the cheapest muzzleloading smoothbore that I own.

Sad, because it is the best shooter with roundball, and excellent when used with shot.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:25 PM
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You made it all better Giz. Nice work.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default Fixer-upper

Can you fix India-built Royal Enfield motorcycles?

Don't leak oil, sounds tough, and runs fast would be a good start.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
You made it all better Giz. Nice work.

Iggy,...

You'll get a kick out of the backstory, Amigo.

MVT Co. lists the gun as a Ketland Officers' Fusil. One thing I do know...that it ain't.

It was patterned after an original gun bought at auction. The folks over in India did a great job recreating it. Even got the lock plate, etc. right and the missing sideplate. If you look closely at the pics, you'll see the gun is cut down. The original they copied has ramrod entry tubes that aren't equally spaced, thus the missing 4-6" of original barrel.

What we actually have here is a copy of a Indian Trade Gun...as in American Indians! The Brits were famous for making import guns for the tribes that sided with them for trade purposes...

So we now have guns Made In India, representing Indian Trade Guns...now that's funny, I don't care who you are...
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:41 PM
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.

What we actually have here is a copy of a Indian Trade Gun...as in American Indians! The Brits were famous for making import guns for the tribes that sided with them for trade purposes...

So we now have guns Made In India, representing Indian Trade Guns...now that's funny, I don't care who you are...


Yup the Brits were the first to find a market for military surplus.

They took old metal spear heads and turned them into daggers for the trade market. Converted Brown Bess's into trade guns for North America,India, and Africa.

You did a good job of making yours into a pretty decent looking trade gun

I like it.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:16 PM
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giz,

I'm also a reenactor and a member of the North-South Skirmish Association.

From what I've read on the Authentic Campaigner site and the N-SSA site, the primary concern with the Indian made guns is the SAFETY of the pieces. It has been reported that the weapons are imported without being drilled for touch holes or in the percussion channel. It also appears that some have blown up.

Of course, any firearm can be damaged if the rules aren't followed.

I haven't examined one myself, so I don't have a dawg in this fight.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
giz,

I'm also a reenactor and a member of the North-South Skirmish Association.

From what I've read on the Authentic Campaigner site and the N-SSA site, the primary concern with the Indian made guns is the SAFETY of the pieces. It has been reported that the weapons are imported without being drilled for touch holes or in the percussion channel. It also appears that some have blown up.

Of course, any firearm can be damaged if the rules aren't followed.

I haven't examined one myself, so I don't have a dawg in this fight.

Muley,

There are a group of import guns that should not be shot, as they are designed to be wallhangers. They are just plain to dangerous to try and convert. These guns are cheaply made and use inferior materials. Many came into this country around the Bi-Centennial years.

The gun I'm showing is a modern contract gun made to the specs of Middlesex Village Trading Co. It is meant to be replica of a Ketland fusil. For import reasons these guns come into the USA without the touchholes being drilled or the frizzens hardened. MVTC bores the holes and hardens the frizzens, before marketing the gun. Mine was totally dismantled, after I purchased it. A good friend is the only Muzzleloading gunsmith in my part of Maine. He does strictly ML guns. He could find nothing wrong with it. I measured the barrel and examined the breach. When it was back together, in a safe manner ~ I proofed the barrel with a 110 grain charge of FFg. The barrel mic'd the same along it's length, the breach area was re-examined and no apparent change was noted. Obviously, I cannot determine the metalurgy used to make the barrel. This is something that can be verified with American barrel makers.

My working load for this gun in roundball is 60 gr of FFg with a tightly patched .610 ball. This is close to half the proof load. I had put approximately 200 rounds through the gun before the refininish. I'm now practicing with the gun getting ready for a wood walk smoothbore shoot. I am happy to say that it is a very accurate smoothbore.
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Last edited by gizamo; 08-28-2010 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:40 PM
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I think the Brits did surplus their obsolete military arms. I have what's left of a short land pattern Brown Bess that something like my great, great grandfather got in the 1850s. He was living in Nova Scotia. I guess they surplused the Brown Bess when they got the 1852 (?) rifled muskets.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:37 AM
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What about the reproduction guns being imported by Military Heritage in Canada and sold in the U.S.? Are they the same Indian-made muzzle loaders being sold by MVTC or something else entirely? I have been thinking about buying one of their blunderbusses.
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