EARL KATHAN, GUNSMITH
GUN REPAIR FOR GOOD OLD GUNS
Live Firing Flintlock Muskets & Pistols
Q. Can these reproduction flintlock and percussion muskets be live fired?
A. Yes, you must use black powder only in accordance with the powder manufacturer's suggestions for the caliber and type of black powder gun. Visit the resources page for links to various black powder manufacturers like GOEX.
We do NOT recommend the use of smokeless powder or granulation finer than ffg as a main charge for these muskets and pistols.
Q. What kind of wood is the stock made of?
A. The hardwood stocks are made from Teak and it is a fairly straight grained species. Most of the guns we offer have an oiled stock so stain & varnish can be applied if desired. Once in a while we have guns with a stain/ varnish finish that is easily removed with furniture stripper or by sanding. The stocks can vary in color and character so take a look at the many different models we have here to see a range of what you can expect.
Q. Where are the muskets manufactured?
A. These muskets are crafted in India and are widely used by reenactors because of their authentic appeal and affordable price. As many states enact a primitive hunting season we find more and more hunters using them. In addition these India made muskets are often spotted at primitive shooting competitions. The locks are hand forged and all in-letting is done by hand in a manufactured setting much like what might have been done back in the 1700's. These are not made with precision modern machinery and poured cast locks. (Those cost about $1200.00 or more) and they are not made one at a time in the same fashion as a custom craftsman would. (Those cost about $3,000.00 or more) These India muskets are used and abused on the mock battlefield or in the woods and brush and in all kinds of weather. They are a very durable and afordably priced between $300 and $700 and are a top choice for the reenactor, living historians, and primitive hunter.
Q. Is there a warranty?
A. Yes, The locks of our muskets are warranted for one (1) year against mechanical failure covering parts and labor. Before shipping we check each lock and breech, then case harden the frizzen in a professional manner. We don't "cook" frizzens in an oven which, by the way, cannot get hot enough to properly drive carbon into the steel.) The vent hole of each musket is drilled as well so you don't have to do it. (If you DON'T want it drilled please let us know.) In the event your lock gives you some trouble contact us for the repair. Amateur tinkering on the lock will void the warranty so PLEASE just contact us and we will be happy to take care of any problems your having. Our turn around time is very fast and reliable. We gunsmith for many makes and models from reproductions to originals.
The stock is NOT covered under the warranty. These guns take a beating at weekend events getting knocked over, rained on, and dropped on the battlefield. We check each gun before it leaves the shop for any cracks, odd knots, damage, or out of the ordinary problems. If your gun is damaged during shipment to you then of course the item was insured and you can follow the simple instructions enclosed in the box for refund or replacement.
Q. What is your return policy?
A. Look the musket over. Put a flint or wedge of wood in the jaws and work the lock. Never snap the lock without something in the jaws to absorb shock, otherwise you will likely end up with a bent jaw screw. You have seven days from the date you receive your purchase to decide if you want to keep it. If you choose to return the item you MUST contact us within the seven day period. We will refund the purchase price of the musket. Shipping costs and optional services cannot be refunded.
Returns MUST be in un-fired NEW condition. (This includes the burning of powder in the pan!) Once the musket is fired, altered, damaged, stained, etc. it is considered USED and we can only refund at a used rate. Exception to this is if we "test fire" it for you.
Should you choose to have customizing done to the musket it will be considered altered and will be refunded as a USED item. You have made it special and it will take a special person to re-buy it.
Any additional questions? Please feel free to ask.
Q. Are these muskets and pistols used?
A. NO! All the muskets, pistols and blunderbuss you see listed on the muskets and pistols pages are NEW. Sometimes we have used items or "scratch and dents" which have a stock blemish or crack and they will be listed separately on the USED page.
Q. Are the barrels proofed?
A. No, These muskets are made in India and are not proofed. Here in the US there are no Government proofing requirements for muzzle loaders. We do offer TEST FIRING for anyone who wishes to have it done. We use the British method of a doubled powder charge and double ball load to live fire it. According to J. Kirland the Birmingham proof house would have placed the barrels in a heap for a period of one month after the firing (un cleaned) and then observe the rusting.
We do not leave the barrels uncleaned for a month before shipping, but we do have a simple before and after measuring process to look for any obvious, immediate changes.
The barrel will be measured in increments prior to the firing and again after the firing to note if there are any changes in the barrel. It will also be visually inspected. A copy of the test fire report will be provided. The cost of this service is $75.00. Obviously, if there is a failure we will either refund your payment or exchange for a different one and test it as well. FYI...to date all have passed. Please note that a successful test firing does not mean it is impossible for something to go wrong. Using good judgment and following simple loading and cleaning requirements and procedures is essential. Information is provided with the purchase of your musket or pistol. Load tables for black powder muskets can be found at GOEX.
Always follow safety rules and be sure that your musket or pistol fired properly BEFORE loading another charge. It can be difficult for a person standing shoulder to shoulder with others on the firing line to know if their gun discharged or not especially when shooting reenacting "blanks". This happens more often than you might think and if gone un-noticed multiple times can result in a disasterous situation. Firing blanks does not allow for a patch or paper and ball to scour the bore on the way out. This can also lead to a build up of fouling in the barrel thus narrowing the bore which could potentially create and obstruction. An obstruction of any kind can be extremely dangerous. Running a few patches down the bore in between battles is a good idea. The point is to error on the side of safety every time.
YOU TUBE LINK TO "DANGEROUS MUZZLE LOADING PRACTICES"
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
A. At this time we accept Visa, Master and Discover cards as well as checks and Postal money orders. We also accept payments through PayPal for gun smith services and other accessory items only. Accessory items include things like bayonets, tools, flint, gun socks, etc. which are in compliance with PayPal acceptable use policies. You must be 18 or older to purchase a musket or pistol. You are also responsible to know your states gun laws pertaining to pre-1899 "Antique" muskets, pistols or blunderbuss before purchasing.
We do not accept Gift Cards, Corporate Cards, or American Express.
For convenience we accept Visa, Master, and Discover Cards
We also accept checks and postal money orders which can be mailed to:
PO Box 59
154 Black North Rd.
Acworth, NH 03601
When calling, please leave a message if the phone is not answered.
We WILL call you back !
If you have any questions about product, availability or ordering please contact:
You MUST be 18 years of age or older to purchase a musket or pistol. Please know your state and local laws pertaining to pre-1899 antique reproduction weapons.
Member of the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association
Q. What kind of powder should I use?
A. You should ALWAYS use BLACK POWDER ONLY! We like to use GOEX brand. (We have NOT used the "REENACTOR" type and so cannot attest to its performance)
You can review the GOEX Load Chart at their website and for information on what granulation to use for your musket or pistol. We only recommend ffg in the barrels. http://goexpowder.com
This site will also help you find the distributor nearest to you who can tell you who they supply in your local area so you don't have to drive too far to find it or pay a heavy hazmat fee for shipping.
If you are new to muzzle loading (and even if you're not) we recommend that you seek out your local NMLRA instructor for safe shooting instruction. If you are a reenactor / living historian and only PLAN to ever shoot blanks, we STILL recommend you take shooting instruction. This will give you a new view of your musket or pistol and what safe handling of a firearm is about. Always treat every gun as if it were loaded (and a powder blank load IS LOADED!) Keep it pointed in a safe direction! Please visit the NMLRA
GENERAL CLEANING & LOADING INSTRUCTIONSCleaning and LoadingCONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTION
Happy & Safe Shooting!
We now accept Discover Cards!
Q. What type of steel are the barrels made from
A. The steel in the barrels are typically SAE 1026 high pressure DOM (drawn over mandril) grade which is typical of smooth bore. Metallurgy
of India musket barrels comply with modern and original requirements
and have been shown to have a tinsel strength of approximately 85,000
psi. The bores are hand polished to a mirror finish. This hand polishing can create a little variation in bore diameter. You may experience tight and loose areas as you ram your ball and load down the barrel. Often the breech is a little wider. BLACK POWDER ONLY and lead ball or shot must be used. If waterfowl hunting is your sport you should use bismuth shot so as not to score the inside of the barrel. Since these are smooth bore they are not "cylinder bored" aka "choked". The barrel is much thicker at the breech end than the muzzle which is also typical of the originals as well as reproductions.
YOU TUBE LINK TO "DANGEROUS MUZZLE LOADING PRACTICES"
Q. Are the barrels chrome plated?
A. No, they are not chrome plated but are highly polished by the India manufacturer. Many people like the barrels in the "bright" and pride themselves in keeping it that way while others like to allow the barrel to "grow" a natural patina which will happen over time as long as it is still cared for to prevent rusting and pitting. If the highly polished finish is not desirable to you it can be "knocked down" by using a Scotch Bright pad from your local grocery store. (That;s the green plastic scrubby pad used for pots and pans) The barrels can also be blued or browned as you like. Please note that some areas of the barrel or other metal parts may not take the blueing or browning process as evenly as others. Often multiple coats are required.
People are often asking about the breech plugs on the Indian made muskets and pistols. Here is a detailed photo a Long Land "Bess" barrel. As you can see the plug is thick and heavily threaded. (NOT a pressed plug as some people rumor them to be) The wall of the barrel at the breech end measured 3/16" and below is a photo of the muzzle end which had a wall thickness of 3/32" You can visit the "pistols" page to see another photo of a brass breech plug. This barrel was successfully test fired shortly after this picture was taken. To learn more about our test fires please see the Q&A section on this page just to the left and below of these photos.
Q. What is the quality of the India muskets like?
First - The locks of these muskets and pistols are HAND FORGED! The price of a hand forged lock in the US would cost you the same as the whole gun from India. Hnad forged is obviously most like the originals. Remember, this is heated steel being shaped like play dough with a hammer and anvil. These are NOT precision machined parts and some work by the importer is sometimes required. We offer a Lock Service which helps to de-burr the internal lock parts and then they are polished for a smoother gliding action. The tumbler and sear are also hardened. This is an OPTIONAL EXTRA SERVICE if you want it for $50.00
Second - The wood is Teak (the Indians sometimes call it Rosewood) and it has some variation in color and grain. Mostly the grain is fairly straight and sometimes quite pronounced and on rare ocassions there is some figuring in the wood. We see this figuring in about 1 out of 300 stocks. There can also be "blonde wood" streaks, some people like it and some people don't. If this matters to you then you need to mention it at the time of purchase and I will be happy to give you my best description of current guns in stock.
Third - Inletting of the lock and furniture is fairly good. Why don't we say excellent?...because it's not. Take a look at many of the close-up photos as you can viewing the inletting and the carving. I think you will agree that while it is good, it could be better. Also keep in mind that these are hand crafted in a production setting that is moving right along as if you were behind on manufacturing to supply the troops for a war. The stocks may have small handling marks or you may even see little dot patterns from the jaws of a vise. If we see any cracks, chips, large dents, or inletting gaps that are unacceptable, we sort them out of the general inventory and they are sold at a discount.
All these elements together make for a very realistic reproduction of early period firearms. We are not trying to BS anyone into thinking these are a show piece. But we are not saying they are poorly made either. Properly cared for these musket will last as long as any other and give years of service.
Q. Do these have to be shipped to a FFL Dealer?
pre-1899 musket or pistol is federally exempt as a firearm and can be
shipped directly to your door without going through an FFL. In the state
of NJ a musket can be shipped directly if used for historical purposes. The state of NJ does require a handgun permit and a flintlock pistol counts as a hand gun there so you must obtain the proper permitting and use an FFL when
purchasing a percussion or flintlock pistol. It's difficult for us to know every law in every state and they are ever changing. You are responsible to know your
state or local laws.
you are shipping a pre-1899 handgun / revolver and it takes a rim fire
or center fire cartridge that is still readilyor commercially available, it is not
mailable through the U.S. Postal Service and MUST be sent by private
carrier such as FedEx or UPS. As I understand it, readily available means it can be purchased here in the US. Just because you can't get it at your local gun store doesn't mean it's not readily available.
CANADA - If your not sure of your laws please visit the Canadian Firearms Program website and review the frequently asked questions. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/faq/index-eng.htm This will give you a good start and then you can learn more about importing a muzzleloading long gun or pistol from there.
YOU TUBE LINK TO "SAFE MUZZLELOADING PRACTICES"
French Blunderbuss $550.00 + $50.00 s&h
WARNING...THESE GUNS USE BLACK POWDER ONLY! I cannot stress to you enough, the importance of using the correct powder! DO NOT USE PYRODEX or ANY OTHER SMOKELESS SUBSTITUTES. Click on YouTube video links ato the right to see more about this. Serious bodily harm or death could result from using the wrong powder or load size. Know what you are doing before you go shooting!