Captrhedd

Brown bess flintlock

38 posts in this topic

Ahoy all,

At last I happen to unearth a firing flintlock pistol totally by accident. I was hunting around on local for sale places and I found a miroku replica flintlock pistol. It’s a brown bess in mint (and I mean MINT) condition. This is a working gun that has never been fired and still has the box, now here is my question(s); Is this a gun I want to carry around and fire or is this a gun that I need to place over the mantle and continue to use my none firing replica? The box looks to be about 10-20 years old and I can’t find anything regarding the Miroku firearms mfg. co. I don’t want to play with this gun if its worth some money so, can some one smarter than me (and that’s about everyone) tell me a little about this gun?

Any info would be greatly welcomed.

Clear skies and smooth seas,

Capt James Antillis Rhedd

The Devil's Chariot

NY Harbor

I thank you all in advance.

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Ahoy all,

At last I happen to unearth a firing flintlock pistol totally by accident. I was hunting around on local for sale places and I found a miroku replica flintlock pistol. It’s a brown bess in mint (and I mean MINT) condition. This is a working gun that has never been fired and still has the box, now here is my question(s); Is this a gun I want to carry around and fire or is this a gun that I need to place over the mantle and continue to use my none firing replica? The box looks to be about 10-20 years old and I can’t find anything regarding the Miroku firearms mfg. co. I don’t want to play with this gun if its worth some money so, can some one smarter than me (and that’s about everyone) tell me a little about this gun?

Any info would be greatly welcomed.

Clear skies and smooth seas,

Capt James Antillis Rhedd

The Devil's Chariot

NY Harbor

I thank you all in advance.

Ahoy Lad,

Well, tis hard to say wot ya got there... words alone are good, but if you have the ability, images work wonders.

Images of both sides, fron the top and bottom, down the barrel and from the butt. Show all makers marks, etc. even the box it came in and we'll be able ta make some sort o' judgement call.

Fair winds n' followin' seas to ya,

Slainte,

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Ahoy all,

At last I happen to unearth a firing flintlock pistol totally by accident. I was hunting around on local for sale places and I found a miroku replica flintlock pistol. It’s a brown bess in mint (and I mean MINT) condition. This is a working gun that has never been fired and still has the box, now here is my question(s); Is this a gun I want to carry around and fire or is this a gun that I need to place over the mantle and continue to use my none firing replica? The box looks to be about 10-20 years old and I can’t find anything regarding the Miroku firearms mfg. co. I don’t want to play with this gun if its worth some money so, can some one smarter than me (and that’s about everyone) tell me a little about this gun?

Any info would be greatly welcomed.

Clear skies and smooth seas,

Capt James Antillis Rhedd

The Devil's Chariot

NY Harbor

I thank you all in advance.

Ahoy Lad,

Well, tis hard to say wot ya got there... words alone are good, but if you have the ability, images work wonders.

Images of both sides, fron the top and bottom, down the barrel and from the butt. Show all makers marks, etc. even the box it came in and we'll be able ta make some sort o' judgement call.

Fair winds n' followin' seas to ya,

Slainte,

Alas I did not think of that.

I have some nice equipment at work where I shall take a goodly set of photos. I will post them tomorrow after four pm.

I thank you for your quick responce.

Capt Rhedd

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Capt Rhedd, Miroku makes some fine weapons; they have been doing contract work for Browning and Winchester for years. It has been my experience with others who have some of their flintlocks that they produce a solid functional gun of substantial quality. Some of the owners of their flintlocks, that i know, have been firing them for 30+ years with very satisfactory performance. But, if in doubt, bench fire it with bench vise and sandbags, using a cord to pull the trigger on an open range. I would also agree with Dorian that a thorough supply of phots would allow for a more complete assessment of the gun in question. Safety first!!!!

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From the description (old, Japanese) I suspect this is one of the ubiquitous Tower pistols made in Japan in the (late?) 70s(?). Reenactor lore says these babies should not be live fired due to poor manufacturing techniques. I've been told the breech plugs were either welded in place, or even worse, just shoved into the barrel.

If you ever intend to fire it, especially live, do as Callenish suggests.

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Peektures, Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Part 3:

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Part 4:

flintlock_photos_013.jpg

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And last, but not least, Part 5:

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An obvious piece of junk. . .

* eyes shift to the side to see if anyone is paying attention *

I'll be glad to take it off your hands - How much do you want for it?

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An obvious piece of junk. . .

* eyes shift to the side to see if anyone is paying attention *

I'll be glad to take it off your hands - How much do you want for it?

Someone is always paying attention...

:lol:

:lol:

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Oh, and that is the one I was referring to in my first post. Even if the Reenactor Lore about the breech plugs is true, it is still a decent pistol. I have two. Picked the last one up about 7 years ago for $100, and it was not MiB.

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Those are ok to shoot blanks with, have had several of them and worked over several over the past 20+ years. The frizzen or battery is the weak point on these. Often times they are just too soft to make good sparks. The full size Bess muskets were the same way, obviously because they used the same lock parts. The barrels and breeches are usually sound as far as pressure is concerned, but they are also inconsistent in their bore sizes. Some ball will jam in certain weapons, while others will work smoothly. It is a "crap-shoot" as to whether you got a good or bad one. Same is true of the battery/frizzen. Time and play will tell. Kasenite is available from Dixie Gun Works and some blacksmith supply houses for hardening the battery/frizzen. Good luck, they still look cool!

Bo

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Very nice images, and I will agree with John and Bo.

I also have one, slightly modified to backdate it.

Brass tipped wooden ramrod, thinned out the stock at the muzzle, added a belt hook.

Mine suffers from a weak mainspring. I had a gunsmith take a look and was told it couldn't be repaired.

Not sure I believe that.

But something else to be aware of.

Nice find!

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i agree with the fellows above...and reitterate...i would believe the "old re-enactor lore"...and NOT shoot it live....unless ya give it to someone you didna like very well to fire first.... :lol: ...just in case.....

but should do well for blank firring....i had a couple , a couple years back...had some soft parts, used kassenite for the frizzin....always a nice sparker after that. still, all in all,,,,nice gun

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first off the Japanese mis-labled these as Brown Bess pistols they are the Elliot model light dragoon ...many of these pistols have weak springs but the Miroku pistols had the fewest problems of the Japanese imports that flooded into the states during the Bicentennial '76. They (Miorku) did one thing right and had decent breech-plugs I would still suggest you bench fire it first and do some major inspection after the first firings go over it with a jeweler's loop and look for any deformities or cracks. I would also suggest that you take measurements with a micrometer before and after firing of the breech area and the next few inches beyond the breech. if the examination is consistent then I would ascertain the weapon is sound for future firing. If you choose not to go this route then keep it as a show-'er not a blow-'er ....just my informed opinion :lol:

I have several of these in my collection and have sold several more (even to a few pub members) and if you take the precautions to make sure you're firing safely you should be fine.

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Ahoy all,

How can I express my gratitude regarding all your help? I will look to someone much more smarter than I who will assist me in bench firing it. I was lucky enough to find this gun on Craig’s list for the cheap price of forty dollars. I am very excited as now I am not waving a toy around when boarding. I thank you all for all your help. Anything else you would like to add please tell me before I shoot myself in the foot. (No, really.)

Ps on a side note; Congratulations Hue on your new arrival, I hope he grows up to be admiral!

Capt Rhedd

The Devil's Chariot

NY Harbor

Thank you all again

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Anytime lad glad to be of service to ye ....and thanks for the greeting for the lad salty and i are both proud as can be!!!

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don't know the first thing bout 'em so i wont say anything about how grand or junked they are... but from a safety standpoint.

second group of photos- second down has a close up of the lockplate. your steel/frizzen is not sitting properly due to the cock screw and upper jaw resting on it. set the cock to half or full and ensure the steel does not rest against the flashguard and sits flat on the pan. if there is a gap you may want to get someone to adjust it for you. best case scenario- you may loose your prime and be embarrased when you pull the trigger. worst case scenario- highly unlikely though- a spark is introduced somewhere and the bloody thing goes off when it shouldn't.

If you are proficient with weapons please disregard the next part. but if you are looking for a decent primer- In addition to finding a local competent person to learn from- get ahold of Cascabel or No Quarter Given and get a copy of "Flintlocks 101"

Looks like a fine piece and for $40 is a steal!!!!

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These pistols vary wildly in quality, depending on each individual example. There are a great many variations in them internally in the locks, and I never determined if it had to do with different manufacturers, or production dates, or what the story was. They varied from pretty decent to pure junk, with all stops in between. All of them had "issues", and I don't remember any of them being good right out of the box.

I don't remember ever actually seeing one that had a welded or pressed in breech plug, but considering the other variations, it would not surprise me. I advocate a careful examination of the breech area because of the rumors.

I have worked on a great many of these guns over the years, and never came across one that I could not put "right". Some required more work than others, mostly concerning the locks. They benefit greatly from a general slimming down of the stock, as they are a bit "clunky" in appearance. This is actually just an esthetics issue on my part. The originals that they were copied from look just as clunky. I also like to exchange the rather awkward looking cock for something more graceful in appearance. This gives them the look of an earlier style pistol. I did this modification for our own Stynky Tudor, along with dealing with other issues.

>>>> Cascabel

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Forgot to adress the collectors value question. None. I've seen them go for $35 at auction recently because anyone familiar with them knows how much work they are to make work right. Be glad you got it, but be careful with it. Play hard, have fun, it does not hold any real value as collectable.

Bo

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Capt Rhedd,

This be James B. Hawke of Ye Pyrate Brotherhood. That piece looks strikingly like our Quatermasters gun that we have fired many times. All the marking are the same as well the overall look. I would suggest bringing it to one of our next get togethers so Liam La Croix (Bill) can give it a eyeballin'.

Fair winds to you and yer bonny lass.

James B. Hawke

(aka Gregory Serra)

Ship's Cooper

Ye Pyrate Brotherhood

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Capt Rhedd,

This be James B. Hawke of Ye Pyrate Brotherhood. That piece looks strikingly like our Quatermasters gun that we have fired many times. All the marking are the same as well the overall look. I would suggest bringing it to one of our next get togethers so Liam La Croix (Bill) can give it a eyeballin'.

Fair winds to you and yer bonny lass.

James B. Hawke

(aka Gregory Serra)

Ship's Cooper

Ye Pyrate Brotherhood

Funny you say that. I was waiting for the next time we get together for your opion on this little bit of fun. I need to go to the link to see when next we meet.

I am so itching to fire this but common sense has the better of me.

Now how much for a cannon?

Capt. J.A. Rhedd

The Devil's Chariot

NY Harbor

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As a matter of fact I do own one of these pistols.

I originally purchased it from some guy at Vagabond Armory, . . . Hugh – Callenish Gunner. ;) Hugh did a safety check on it and had the barrel x-rayed for stress fractures.

Cascabel did another safety check, replaced the cock, re-hardened the frizzen and forged some additional parts for me.

The stock has been shaved down and a wooden ramrod was made to replace the original metal one.

As you can see it has been modified quite a bit. But it serves me well and fires reliably.

The barrel is rather large though and tends to eat a lot of powder.

I've actually been looking for another used one - they're fun projects to play with.

gallery_201_13_3060.jpg

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