Looking to buy a reproduction musket

Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#1
I am looking to purchase a American Revolution era to Civil War era reproduction musket or rifle. The purpose of this firearm will be for recreational target shooting.

Although I own and am very well versed and comfortable with safely using modern firearms, I am very unfamiliar with black powder. I have fired off a few rounds of a friends “modern flintlock”, and have been doing lots of reading and research on how to properly and safely handle, load, fire, clean, and maintain flintlocks and percussions

I am wondering should I start with a percussion or a flintlock, as I previously said I am novice when it comes to this and like to approach anything “potentially dangerous” with caution.

I have an original 1842 Springfield Smoothbore (made in 1844j that hangs in my man cave, but I would never attempt to fire it.

As far as the reproduction aspect, I just love the looks of the reproductions whether they are 1861 Springfields, 1842 Springfields, 1816 Springfields, Harpers Ferry models, Brown Besses, Kentucky / Pennsylvania Rifles, Committees of Safety, etc...

I figured that since I’m gonna spend this amount on a firearm, I might as well spend a few more bucks, because I would like to get it defarbed ( is that even a wise idea?). Basically I want an classic black powder firearm, that is reliable and well built.

So the long and short of it Is, what do you all recommend? Manufacturers? Models? Flintlock or percussion? Smoothbore or rifled? Defarbed or not? And any other advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for you time.
 

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Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,886
Location
Texas
#2
I am looking to purchase a American Revolution era to Civil War era reproduction musket or rifle. The purpose of this firearm will be for recreational target shooting.

Although I own and am very well versed and comfortable with safely using modern firearms, I am very unfamiliar with black powder. I have fired off a few rounds of a friends “modern flintlock”, and have been doing lots of reading and research on how to properly and safely handle, load, fire, clean, and maintain flintlocks and percussions

I am wondering should I start with a percussion or a flintlock, as I previously said I am novice when it comes to this and like to approach anything “potentially dangerous” with caution.

I have an original 1842 Springfield Smoothbore (made in 1844j that hangs in my man cave, but I would never attempt to fire it.

As far as the reproduction aspect, I just love the looks of the reproductions whether they are 1861 Springfields, 1842 Springfields, 1816 Springfields, Harpers Ferry models, Brown Besses, Kentucky / Pennsylvania Rifles, Committees of Safety, etc...

I figured that since I’m gonna spend this amount on a firearm, I might as well spend a few more bucks, because I would like to get it defarbed ( is that even a wise idea?). Basically I want an classic black powder firearm, that is reliable and well built.

So the long and short of it Is, what do you all recommend? Manufacturers? Models? Flintlock or percussion? Smoothbore or rifled? Defarbed or not? And any other advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for you time.
Do you cast bullets?

Kevin Dally
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,886
Location
Texas
#4
No I haven’t gotten that far into it yet.

I do however make my own ammo for my other rifles and pistols. If that is of any use?
If shooting a period Musket, or Rifled Musket, ordering bullets, or balls can be expensive, much cheaper to cast your own.

Percussion would be less problematic than Flint, though flinters can be fun.

As far as US Martial Arms reproductions, and to go with your original, the smooth-bore 1842 is fun to shoot. (I'm talking about loading them just like they did) You can even buy molds to cast .650"-.662" and .31" cal round balls to roll up and make .69 Buck-n-Ball, or Round Ball, or even Buck-shot rounds like they did back in the Mexican War to Civil War. ArmiSport makes a pretty good 1842 reproduction, though 2-3 things need corrected on them. The fun thing is you don't have to worry about sizing or lubrication the balls, just tear the cartridge, pour the powder down the barrel, ram the balls, paper-n-all down onto the charge, cap off and fire.

You can buy a RIFLED reproduction 1842, but you need to buy the Lyman .685" 730 grain Minnie Ball mold, to feed it! It takes a lot of lead! I don't have a lot of experience in shooting one for ACCURACY, but they are fun when you load 70 grains of FFg powder behind that huge Minnie Ball!

Unfortunately some of the reproduction 1861's and 1855's out there have cosmetic issues with their hammers NOT looking as correct as the originals. (Though they will still function) Some reason they can't always get them to look right. But, aside that you do have choices of the 1855, 1861, and 1964/64 reproductions to choose from, all are in the .577"-.58" caliber. You need to know that to shoot them accurately, you need to know your BORE SIZE! Say you get something with a .581" bore, and you get some .575" Minnies, they likely WILL not shoot thru that bore size accurately. You need to have your Minnie Ball size 1-2 thousandth's UNDER your bore diameter. The rifling is very shallow on nearly all these repro .577"-.58" cal weapons. The other issue is on many of the sighted rifles, the sights are many times NOT set to bullets point of impact. I have two, a EuroArms 1853 Enfield, and an ArmiSport 1861, BOTH of them I had to tinker with the sights to get them on at 50-100 yards. My Enfield has a Bore diameter of .579", my 61's bore is .581"

That leads to where to get ammo...You really need, (in the case of a rifle in .577"-.58" cal.) a Minnie Ball that can be sized DOWN to what diameter is specific to your bore. That is why I asked if you can cast bullets.
Whatever you get, Moos Molds is a place to go for good molds...https://moosemoulds.wixsite.com/mm2013/moose-balls for close to accurate .310", .65"-.66" round ball for a .69 smoothe-bore percussion, or flint .69 cal weapon.
https://moosemoulds.wixsite.com/mm2013/minnie-hb for an accurate .577'-.58" Minnie Ball.

Then you have to get into sizing, and lubing those Minnie Balls. The dies I use are push thru dies, I have .575", .577", .578", and .580". My reenacting buddies get together for a live fire, and we have differing bore sizes. I make up ammo ahead of time. I use a mix of pure beeswax, and olive oil to make the lube. THAT can be a whole science all it's own! Sizing dies like I described can be hard to get, but if you know a machinist, they can be made.

Don't be discouraged if this sounds a bit complicated, you can open up an whole new aspect to shooting!
One more thing, USE BLACK POWDER ONLY! No triple 7, Pyrodex, or any other BP substitute!

IF you get something to shoot, I bet I can get you a few rounds to try out, see if you want to dive head long into the pool completely. I cast and shoot for .69 smooth-bore, and .58 rifled.

Kevin Dally
PS. Black Powder can be hard to find locally, I get mine from Powder Inc. https://powderinc.com/
 
Last edited:

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,881
Location
South of the North 40
#6
My preference is a shootable original. Either a custom made from a mix of original and repro parts or a 100% original. I own several and have found them to be far more accurate shooters than I am. There are a few reputable vendors out there but I have a soft spot for Lodgewood. I would suggest giving Lodgewood a call and explaining what it is that you want to do. Dave Stavlo will answer your questions and likely give you some suggestions. He is honest and has cost himself a sale a time or two by being honest about what he has. He usually has a nice mix of original & reproduction arms as well as being quite capable of putting together a custom.

Good luck and let us know what you opt to do.

http://www.lodgewood.com/Muskets-and-Other-Rifles_c_123.html

M1855 & M1864.JPG
My1841 & bayonet.JPG
417151_10150589791892920_2025342845_n.jpg
Shiloh Sharps.jpg
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
2,043
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
#7
Kevin, those are some good looking rounds. The Watchdog published a pamphlet from Patrick Reardon of the Lazy Jacks Mess called "Making Cartridges." I still have a few laying around from back in about 2006. Honestly, these cartridges and arsenal packs look like they came right out of the illustrations and photographs he provided. Excellent job!
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Messages
151
Location
NC
#8
In case you missed the sticky at the top of this forum, we at the North South Skirmish Association shoot Civil War weapons in competition, including artillery, yup, we shoot cannons and mortars for score. From your post, if you're in PA, there are a number of our guys in that state. But back to muskets.....

If you're buying a new musket, Pedersoli is about the best one going for shooting purposes. There are others made in the past that are great shooters but as stated in a previous post, for any kind of real accuracy, you'll have to cast your own minies, size them to .001 under bore (actual NOT what's listed on the barrel), experiment with powder and lube. For caps to shoot live fire, avoid the CCI reenactor ones like the plague. They are weak and make for erratic ignition pressure in live fire and therefore questionable accuracy. Of the muskets I shoot, I use two types of lube, a couple won't shoot well without anything but Lens Lube, it's a wax/olive oil and other stuff lube sold at NSSA nationals. The others shoot best with a 50/50 beeswax/lard combo. Again, experiment.

In musket competition I compete with one of two muskets, first is a 2 band Amos Keag Colt contract. Load for it is 580 Rapine trashcan minie sized to 579, 44g 3f Old Eynsford, RWS caps, Lens lube. At 50yds, here's what it'll do-
20170904_082823.jpg


My Parker Hale musketoon- 579 RCBS Hogdon with target skirt sized 576, 43gr 3f Old Eynsford, RWS caps, 50/50 beeswax/lard 100yds-
20180708_130243.jpg


Parker Hale birmingham 2 band- 579 RCBS Hogdon target skirt sized 576, 42g 3f Old Eynsford, RWS caps 50/50 beeswax/lard 100yds
20180420_122543.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#9
If shooting a period Musket, or Rifled Musket, ordering bullets, or balls can be expensive, much cheaper to cast your own.

Percussion would be less problematic than Flint, though flinters can be fun.

As far as US Martial Arms reproductions, and to go with your original, the smooth-bore 1842 is fun to shoot. (I'm talking about loading them just like they did) You can even buy molds to cast .650"-.662" and .31" cal round balls to roll up and make .69 Buck-n-Ball, or Round Ball, or even Buck-shot rounds like they did back in the Mexican War to Civil War. ArmiSport makes a pretty good 1842 reproduction, though 2-3 things need corrected on them. The fun thing is you don't have to worry about sizing or lubrication the balls, just tear the cartridge, pour the powder down the barrel, ram the balls, paper-n-all down onto the charge, cap off and fire.

You can buy a RIFLED reproduction 1842, but you need to buy the Lyman .685" 730 grain Minnie Ball mold, to feed it! It take a lot of lead! I don'r have a lot of experience in shooting one for ACCURACY, but they are fun when you load 70 grains of FFg powder behind that huge Minnie Ball!

Unfortunately some of the reproduction 1861's and 1855's out there have cosmetic issues with their hammers NOT looking as correct as the originals. (Though they will still function) Some reason they can't always get them to look right. But, aside that you do have choices of the 1855, 1861, and 1964/64 reproductions to choose from, all are in the .577"-.58" caliber. You need to know that to shoot them accurately, you need to know your BORE SIZE! Say you get something with a .581" bore, and you get some .575" Minnies, they likely WILL not shoot thru that bore size accurately. You need to have your Minnie Ball size 1-2 thousandth's UNDER your bore diameter. The rifling is very shallow on nearly all these repro .577"-.58" cal weapons. The other issue is on many of the sighted rifles, the sights are many times NOT set to bullets point of impact. I have two, a EuroArms 1853 Enfield, and an ArmiSport 1861, BOTH of them I had to tinker with the sights to get them on at 50-100 yards. My Enfield has a Bore diameter of .579", my 61's bore is .581"

That leads to where to get ammo...You really need, (in the case of a rifle in .577"-.58" cal.) a Minnie Ball that can be sized DOWN to what diameter is specific to your bore. That is why I asked if you can cast bullets.
Whatever you get, Moos Molds is a place to go for good molds...https://moosemoulds.wixsite.com/mm2013/moose-balls for close to accurate .310", .65"-.66" round ball for a .69 smoothe-bore percussion, or flint .69 cal weapon.
https://moosemoulds.wixsite.com/mm2013/minnie-hb for an accurate .577'-.58" Minnie Ball.

Then you have to get into sizing, and lubing those Minnie Balls. The dies I use are push thru dies, I have .575", .577", .578", and .580". My reenacting buddies get together for a live fire, and we have differing bore sizes. I make up ammo ahead of time. I use a mix of pure beeswax, and olive oil to make the lube. THAT can be a whole science all it's own! Sizing dies like I described can be hard to get, but if you know a machinist, they can be made.

Don't be discouraged if this sounds a bit complicated, you can open up an whole new aspect to shooting!
One more thing, USE BLACK POWDER ONLY! No triple 7, Pyrodex, or any other BP substitute!

IF you get something to shoot, I bet I can get you a few rounds to try out, see if you want to dive head long into the pool completely. I cast and shoot for .69 smooth-bore, and .58 rifled.

Kevin Dally
PS. Black Powder can be hard to find locally, I get mine from Powder Inc. https://powderinc.com/
Kevin, I appreciate all the helpful information and advice that you have posted. I have, in my research read about how the correct sizing for minie balls for the corresponding bore. That is why I am kind of leaning towards a musket to shoot balls. Baby steps. Thanks again.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#10
My preference is a shootable original. Either a custom made from a mix of original and repro parts or a 100% original. I own several and have found them to be far more accurate shooters than I am. There are a few reputable vendors out there but I have a soft spot for Lodgewood. I would suggest giving Lodgewood a call and explaining what it is that you want to do. Dave Stavlo will answer your questions and likely give you some suggestions. He is honest and has cost himself a sale a time or two by being honest about what he has. He usually has a nice mix of original & reproduction arms as well as being quite capable of putting together a custom.

Good luck and let us know what you opt to do.

http://www.lodgewood.com/Muskets-and-Other-Rifles_c_123.html

View attachment 293369 View attachment 293370 View attachment 293371 View attachment 293372
Here are examples of cartridges I make to shoot thru my, or others Muskets, or rifles...No reason you couldn't! We could set you up to do the same thing!

Kevin Dally

View attachment 293338

View attachment 293339

View attachment 293341

View attachment 293342

View attachment 293343
Awesome, this is so cool. Thanks so much
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#11
In case you missed the sticky at the top of this forum, we at the North South Skirmish Association shoot Civil War weapons in competition, including artillery, yup, we shoot cannons and mortars for score. From your post, if you're in PA, there are a number of our guys in that state. But back to muskets.....

If you're buying a new musket, Pedersoli is about the best one going for shooting purposes. There are others made in the past that are great shooters but as stated in a previous post, for any kind of real accuracy, you'll have to cast your own minies, size them to .001 under bore (actual NOT what's listed on the barrel), experiment with powder and lube. For caps to shoot live fire, avoid the CCI reenactor ones like the plague. They are weak and make for erratic ignition pressure in live fire and therefore questionable accuracy. Of the muskets I shoot, I use two types of lube, a couple won't shoot well without anything but Lens Lube, it's a wax/olive oil and other stuff lube sold at NSSA nationals. The others shoot best with a 50/50 beeswax/lard combo. Again, experiment.

In musket competition I compete with one of two muskets, first is a 2 band Amos Keag Colt contract. Load for it is 580 Rapine trashcan minie sized to 579, 44g 3f Old Eynsford, RWS caps, Lens lube. At 50yds, here's what it'll do- View attachment 293377

My Parker Hale musketoon- 579 RCBS Hogdon with target skirt sized 576, 43gr 3f Old Eynsford, RWS caps, 50/50 beeswax/lard 100yds-
View attachment 293378

Parker Hale birmingham 2 band- 579 RCBS Hogdon target skirt sized 576, 42g 3f Old Eynsford, RWS caps 50/50 beeswax/lard 100yds
View attachment 293379
Yes I did see the sticky, maybe one day I’ll become involved in that , we will see. Thanks.

I have heard good things about Pedersoli, generally more positive between them and Armisport. I’ll keep it in mind, appreciate it.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,886
Location
Texas
#12
Kevin, I appreciate all the helpful information and advice that you have posted. I have, in my research read about how the correct sizing for minie balls for the corresponding bore. That is why I am kind of leaning towards a musket to shoot balls. Baby steps. Thanks again.
The big problem I have with many of the ArmiSport repro 1842's I see are the 2-piece soldered rammers are terribly shaped coming from the factory.
Also the front blade sight is steel, not brass.
Some of the trigger guards are a bit flat, not rounded.
The hammer is a bit out of shape.
Most of these faults can be corrected.

The pictures posted are from a friend's 1842 sight blade and rammer work I did. I cut off the steel blade, welded a blob of brass in it's place, and shaped it down to look like the originals. The ramrod I separated the two pieces, cleaned off the solder, and welded the two sections permanently together to make the ramrod into in solid piece. I chucked the rammer into my drill, placed it my home-made lathe, and filed down on everything till the right shape was achieved. Those 2 piece rammers always come undone at the soldered joints, I've fixed more than several for friends of mine I reenact with.

Kevin Dally

42 factory RR.jpg


42 reworked sight-ramrod 2.jpg


another 42 ramrod.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#13
The big problem I have with many of the ArmiSport repro 1842's I see are the 2-piece soldered rammers are terribly shaped coming from the factory.
Also the front blade sight is steel, not brass.
Some of the trigger guards are a bit flat, not rounded.
The hammer is a bit out of shape.
Most of these faults can be corrected.

The pictures posted are from a friend's 1842 sight blade and rammer work I did. I cut off the steel blade, welded a blob of brass in it's place, and shaped it down to look like the originals. The ramrod I separated the two pieces, cleaned off the solder, and welded the two sections permanently together to make the ramrod into in solid piece. I chucked the rammer into my drill, placed it my home-made lathe, and filed down on everything till the right shape was achieved. Those 2 piece rammers always come undone at the soldered joints, I've fixed more than several for friends of mine I reenact with.


Kevin Dally

View attachment 293391

View attachment 293392

View attachment 293393

Oh dear! That would be something that I would need to keep in mind as well. Thanks for the heads up.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,886
Location
Texas
#14
Kevin, I appreciate all the helpful information and advice that you have posted. I have, in my research read about how the correct sizing for minie balls for the corresponding bore. That is why I am kind of leaning towards a musket to shoot balls. Baby steps. Thanks again.
Now, if you get a .69 flinter, or percussion, the RB, B-n-B, and buckshot loads are workable in both types. We can set you up on how to make paper type cartridges easily for all three loads.
The skirmish folk have a different system for loading their competition smooth-bores. I take pride in doing it like they did historically.

Keep us informed on where you go with this, we can help.

Kevin Dally
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,886
Location
Texas
#15
Oh dear! That would be something that I would need to keep in mind as well. Thanks for the heads up.
Get whatever you want to get, any issues mentioned can be corrected in time if you want to do so. I love shooting my 1842 smoothy, 110 grains of black powder behind a buck-n-ball load is a blast.
It's not a target load, or weapon, but it's fun to shoot.

A friend has a repro 1816/22 flintlock, it's an attention getter when you fire that thing off!
The photo is of me shooting a friend's original 1812 period Musket...all I saw was smoke!

Kevin Dally

shootin an 1812.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#16
Now, if you get a .69 flinter, or percussion, the RB, B-n-B, and buckshot loads are workable in both types. We can set you up on how to make paper type cartridges easily for all three loads.
The skirmish folk have a different system for loading their competition smooth-bores. I take pride in doing it like they did historically.

Keep us informed on where you go with this, we can help.

Kevin Dally
Yeah that is what I’m probably leaning toward, as I said earlier baby steps. Plus I like the idea of being able to fire a couple different types of rounds other than just a minie ball. And I appreciate the offer on assisting and teaching me how to make the cartridges.

Respectfully,
Kyle
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#17
Get whatever you want to get, any issues mentioned can be corrected in time if you want to do so. I love shooting my 1842 smoothy, 110 grains of black powder behind a buck-n-ball load is a blast.
It's not a target load, or weapon, but it's fun to shoot.

A friend has a repro 1816/22 flintlock, it's an attention getter when you fire that thing off!
The photo is of me shooting a friend's original 1812 period Musket...all I was was smoke!

Kevin Dally

View attachment 293407
That looks so beautiful!
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
555
Location
Tucson, Arizona
#18
I've always held a fascination with the Model 1816 Musket (all variants), especially those converted to percussion before the war. I've seen a few versions of these conversions available, the one I'm most enamored with is the 1835/1840 Percussion Conversion by Loyalist Arms out of Canada...

Before there's a lot of yelling and screaming, I will admit it is an India made musket. Loyalist DOES PROOF all their guns, and provides proofing documentation as required by Canadian law. I have had the opportunity to live-fire one with round ball and 'buck and ball' rounds, and was quite impressed.

I'm not saying it's safe to use ANY arm, original or reproduction, nor am I acting as an advocate for India made arms. I only offer up this observation for your further edification.

As a further note, while this particular arm is NOT accurate with respect to the wood used (Indian Rosewood (aka Teak) vs. American Walnut) I did take an original 1816 stock I had lying around, and found EVERY part of the Loyalist Arms gun fit without any modification. A testament to it's accuracy with respect to size and proportion.

Just my 2 cents worth.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
58
Location
Potter County, PA
#19
I've always held a fascination with the Model 1816 Musket (all variants), especially those converted to percussion before the war. I've seen a few versions of these conversions available, the one I'm most enamored with is the 1835/1840 Percussion Conversion by Loyalist Arms out of Canada...

Before there's a lot of yelling and screaming, I will admit it is an India made musket. Loyalist DOES PROOF all their guns, and provides proofing documentation as required by Canadian law. I have had the opportunity to live-fire one with round ball and 'buck and ball' rounds, and was quite impressed.

I'm not saying it's safe to use ANY arm, original or reproduction, nor am I acting as an advocate for India made arms. I only offer up this observation for your further edification.

As a further note, while this particular arm is NOT accurate with respect to the wood used (Indian Rosewood (aka Teak) vs. American Walnut) I did take an original 1816 stock I had lying around, and found EVERY part of the Loyalist Arms gun fit without any modification. A testament to it's accuracy with respect to size and proportion.

Just my 2 cents worth.
I just found out a few months ago that Gen Scott insisted that his army was armed with 1816s during the campaign from Vera Cruz to Mexico City. If I recall it was due to percussion caps being new and somewhat untried and that the troops would also lose them. Of course it could also have been the proven history of the 1816 in comparison to the new 1842 model and new percussion caps. Any thoughts or opinions?

Respectfully,
Kyle
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,881
Location
South of the North 40
#20
As another note that I should have mentioned on my earlier post: if you opt to go for a repro M1842 I always suggest picking up the Rifled model and a smoothie barrel as you then get two weapons for only marginally more than one.

David does very nice defarb work as well and could easily defarb an Armi-Sport M1842.

As far as repro's go, in my experience, the Armi-Sport M1842 is excellent out of the box when compared to almost any other Italian offering. The new Pedersoli Enfield is outstanding. If you are looking at an M1861... you have to hunt for a Miroku. Then when it comes to a Sharps... go Shiloh and never look back. That said Shiloh is no longer making their M1859/63 but they can often be found in the $1500 range which is a good deal IMO.

Good luck and welcome to the addiction.
 



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