Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Traditional Muzzleloaders, Flintlocks, Pistols, front stuffer kits, etc.
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Stephen Decatur
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Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Stephen Decatur » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:54 am

I picked up one of these in the white as a kit for what seems like a reasonable price.

Has anyone owned one of these and have an opinion? The lock seems fairly high
quality, does anyone knwo who makes the Pedersoli flintlocks? I intent to use it
mostly for turkey hunting, but does anyone have an opinion about the historical
accuracy of this trade gun?

Thanks,
SD

jasontn
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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:50 pm

i just finished up one of those. biggest complaint i had heard about these guns was the serpent sideplate. i modified it and a lot of other features on my gun. i took off the wave or fin that was in the circular portion of the plate and changed the last wave/fin into a washer for a 3rd screw. my kit came with a complete set of extra screws and pins, plus a couple extra dummy screws. this gun has a single lock bolt and uses a wood screw that looks like a lock bolt. i re did the thimbles as well. mine were cast and some of the casting marks were too dep to get out without going too thin, so i trmmed them and made them into round instead of the fancier octagon ones. i took al ot of wood off the forend and reshaped the muzzle area as well, the wole stock has lot of wood you can remove to make it a more slim gun. the lock is made by pedersoli and has been imported since the 70's and was used on some early custom guns even by Curly Gostomski on his NW trade guns. i did all the steel on my gun with a naval jelly finish to give it a slightly aged look. i also finished the stock to match, not so brand new looking, but yet not so old either. i paln on using mine for turkeys as well. heres some before and after pictures.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by TradRag » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:53 pm

jasontn, that is some GREAT lookin' work! Really nice!
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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:36 pm

thanks, i appreciate it.

Stephen Decatur
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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Stephen Decatur » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:45 pm

I Agree, you did a great job. Thanks for posting the pics. Have you worked up a load for her yet?

SD

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:52 pm

thanks stephen. havent had a chance to shoot it yet, i am still waiting on my powder and wad punch to get here. i had a flint 62 a while back and will try its loads first in this one. i shot 80 grains of ffg and patched .600 ball and 70 grains ffg and the same charger full of #6 shot and liked both of them. did your kit come with the extra hardware?

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Stephen Decatur » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:04 pm

Yes, I think the extra "nails" are intended for stock decoration like was done with tacks on some fur trade guns in the west.
There was some literature about indian symbols like the medicin wheel and the meaning behind them. I have no plans to
go with them for now and I like what you did with yours. I was thinking about a cold brown finish but your pics have me
wondering if that is the best choice. Is the navel jelly finish you used a barrel "blueing" product or just the navel jelly I
used in high school on my rusted dodge? I'm sure my results overall won't be as nice as yours, but you have given me
something to shoot for.

Thanks
SD

jasontn
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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:38 pm

im sure yours will turn out fine. it is the same stuff i am certain, i got my can at lowes. i just rubbed it on and let it set, had to do 2 coats on everything. after it got the grey color i wiped off the jelly, then washed all the metal parts with a thick soultion of baking soda to neutralize the jelly. the only spot that came out a little different was the area where i drawfiled off the factory stamps. i think youre right aout the stock pins being sent for use as decorating the stock. dont know why they did that, since brass tacks look better and are moreso correct. i have used the jelly on a lot of hawks and some guns and like it. it is a little rust resistant too. i like cold browned guns too, i think this one would look nice that way too.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by tommyg » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:25 pm

Hey Jason that is a beautiful trade gun.
And welcome to the forum.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:50 pm

thanks tom.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Captchee » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:20 pm

looks goo there jason , well done

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:13 pm

thanks capt, i tried to apply the lessons i learned from my other gun and do a little better job on this one.

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Lance Coleman
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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Lance Coleman » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:35 pm

Jason,

You did Gooooood. real friggin good!

I'm in the middle of trying to redo and age a traditions deer hunter..... one that was baught prolly 5-6yrs ago. shot a few times. then thrown in a gun case. took apart a year later to be refinished and rust gotten of it and never put back together.

What I was given looks EXACTLY like a new gun that was left outside in the rain for three days.... I'm trying to make it look like an old extremely used but taken care of old gun.
It's not what you do............ It's how you do it.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:10 am

thanks lance. you can try different stains and use more than one color/type to make a gun look gently used.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Hood » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:17 pm

Very nice!

I wish I had a gun like that...

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Spotted Bull » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:11 am

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET looking firestick ya got there. Ya done an awesome job on it Jason.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by jasontn » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:40 pm

thanks david. so far i have been lucky with the 2 pedersoli guns i have.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Buccaneer » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:48 am

I really like what you have done!

Sorry for the late reply to this , but I just joined the forum and I am starting the same project very soon and I was wondering what you have used to finish the wood? I like the ‘used’ look of the stock.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by hanshi » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:45 pm

I agree, extremely nice work!
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by James Kelly » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:33 pm

Had one a decade or so ago, regret I sold it. Might get another one soon.

Anyway, for historical accuracy get thee the late S. James Gooding's book Trade Guns of the Hudson's Bay Company. Study it, compare with yours. My guess would be that sideplate needs simplified, maybe a long screw or two could be moved a bit & buttplate screws replaced with nails. Yes, nails.

My lock quickly ate up flints, think I needed to install the flint bevel up, not bevel down. Different locks like different flint installation.

Best news, in my Humble Metallurgical Opinion is that Pedersoli uses real, actual decent steel for their barrels. No one else does. Most American guns are of the very worst possible steel, resulfurized, re-phosphorized leaded screw stock (called 12L14). OK unless something goes wrong. Some years ago I was involved as expert witness in muzzle loader liability cases. Seen/heard enough of mutilated hands, &c. This and a half century of metallurgical experience leaves me a fan of decent steel.

Really it was the decent steel barrels used by Pedersoli that got me back into muzzle loading. I quit shooting my own rifle with its Douglas barrel a bit before Douglas went out of that business. I might have had something to do with that particular business decision, mid-1980's.

Haven't shot for a while, probably foolish of me to get together the Grand needed for a new gun from Dixie. But since when did common sense have much to do with it?

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Captchee » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:33 am

good morning and welcome to the forum James .
just my opinion but pedersoli has slipped a lot over the years as to their quality . frankly for the asking price these days , I would go with a full custom build . one would be a lot further ahead in the long run . As to the lock eating flint . while performance may have been improved by changing the bevel of the flint it may very well have not . the locks used on trade guns were long fall locks . pedersolis geometry is often off alittle . that combined with frizzen temp ,that's for the most part on the hard side , produces a lock that will often eat flints like no tomorrow.
Barrel steel; there are several ideas surrounding that and I think it really comes down to opinions and not a whole lot more . Comparatively todays steels are much stronger then originals no mater who makes them . one of the issues has been the changes in the process . namely the use of extruded steel vs drawn steel. better makers today stay away from the extruded steels regardless of the type steel chosen . anyway be safe and welcome to the forum

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by James Kelly » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:40 pm

Well, maybe I don't know as much about original trade guns as I'd like you all to think. Specifically, Gooding's book is historically authoritative, but with respect to authentic styling you'd be well off to get Ryan R. Gale's "For Trade and Treaty, Firearms 0f the American Indians 1600 - 1920" From Track o' the Wolf. Placement of tang screw and use of nails versus screws to hold the butt plate varied over the years. All used ribbed (poor terminology) rather than smooth thimbles.

With respect to barrel steels, I must gently tell you that metallurgy is not a matter of opinion. And tensile strength is not the problem. If you would like a reasonably complete (3 part article some years back) description give me a real email & I'll gladly send it to you. Really there is no reason to expect anyone to believe it unless they have some manufacturing or engineering involvement with various grades of steel.

Does it not interest you to know why Douglas barrel company, out of West Virginia, discontinued mfg of muzzle loader barrels in the mid-1980's? Think they got into the business about 1961 or so. I used their barrels until the 1980's when I learned how they were made & what they could do to a man when something went wrong.

Anyway I do appreciate your comments on Pedersoli locks. Mine, bought 10 or 15 years ago, was a bit squirrelly.

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by WinterHawk » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:28 pm

And welcome from this end of the world also!

~WH~
~WH~

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by Captchee » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:19 pm

never said metallurgy didn't mater . its very important per application be it a main spring , tumbler or barrel .whats suitable for those applications well that depends . Opinions very on what is suitable for where. take Winchester who for decades used powder steel to cast their receivers while many others still prefer to mill or mill from hot pour castings of specific alloys . at least with muzzleloaders Don Getz , rest his soul , stated many times that he used 12L14 as it was more then strong and resilient enough while at the same time having proper milling capabilities . That for years he proofed every barrel wo well over 3 charge weights of both powder and Ball . he also stated that he no longer proofed any of his barrels be it batch testing or other . never had a failure or had report of a failure but simply refuse to use extruded blanks . you mentioned Douglas. I know the Douglas issue because I was alive and gunsmithing at the time . its also why when I read someone say ; WOW I found an original un fired douglas barrel !!!,. usually followed by post after post about how great they were , I then reply ya well did you know …... . Well they were good shooters no doubt . But Douglas also had an issue . the issue wasn't about their choice of barrel steel as much as the process of making the barrel blanks that they used l . IE extruding vs drawing . back then many companies built barrels from blanks that were extruded. the process lent to a molecular structure that could cause issues . with muzzleloader barrels that issue with Douglas was the breeching process which sometimes produced cracks or weaknesses that were not visible. thus a eventual lawsuit . now keeping in mind this was a time when a barrel was 30.00 , Douglas did not have the revenue to fight it . choosing instead in the end to settle out of court and sell out . the result was that very quickly the vast majority of barrel makers in the US went to drawn steel vs extruded that also included large centerfire manufactures . what was left of them here in the US anyway . Montana Barrel bout a lot of the Douglas patterns and mills . they eventually selling out as well . Now if we look at the European market . we see many variances there Proof houses in France and Spain still hold to much the same old pressure standards . today we can send a barrel to those houses and have it proofed and it will come back with all the up to date markings . but it still boils down to an opinion that if the old standards held with a lower quality material then surly they will hold with a high standard material and processes for making that material of today . Italy has its own standards . believe it or not so does India . in Fact India has very strict firearms regulations that do not differentiate between muzzleloader or centerfire . they all are considered firearms and every one must pass inspection and proof of 3 different houses IF the gun is meant to be actually fired . if it is then it will carry all the proof makings . if its not intended for actual use then it doesn't . Now that leaves us with the question as to our opinions as to their standards of quality. I have one of those such guns and I can tell you they are crude . I would also note here that if a person studies the historic process they probably cant help but read Hershel house writings from his days with Hacker Marten . if we do we will also see that Hacker states that in his oppeinion a good muzzle loading barrel should be so soft as to draw the flats with a knife. that he purposeful annealed his barrels to that standard . That's pretty soft in my opinion but ha? as to Pedersoli . I own a few of those and have through the years sold many . with that being said my options are not very high for their entry level pieces . especially when it comes to the blue ridge / Hatfield...…. I have see everything on those from bad lock parts to barrels . As I have told many here. some folks have good luck with them , some don't . its up to the purchaser . Meeting a PROOF also doesn't mean a barrel is always in proof . its not and can in fact be out of proof shortly after firing it . thus we see a re submit for proof. ME? well to this day I shoot a hand forged Iron barreled rifle that was made in 1970. I have fire some pretty stout loads through her to .
as to the pedersoli version trade gun / NW gun / Mackinaw gun / Carolina gun ….. there many different makers to include early on with the Northern indian trade market of the early 18th century . there is a whole evolution of stock changes barrel thicknesses . lock qualities . brass forearm bands even side plate style . so time frame is key to discussing what I right and what isn't . As a rule however past embellishment they were a very cheaply made piece . build to much the same standards as those built and thus found in the 1950- 1970 in south American native trade or British firearms manufactures in other countries for the African trade. pedresoli however while trying to produce a reproduction also has incorporated its own quality . which is greater then the originals . so we see things like the tang bolt vs up through the bottom . later thimbles and the fish tail side plate found on later bernett and Wilson guns . also not the lack of a rear sight . which by the way was about as common as not having one Or having had signs of having one which was removed . again its about time frame as well as what order request had been filled for orders within that timeframe . Also again the lock is a long fall lock . its not a high end lock . IMO pedersoli complicates the inherent issues of the lock design with a frizzen cast of material that's to hard or to soft if not tempered properly . thus you end up eating flints . case in point . my personal rifle I spoke of . it carries a lock built by Bud Siler . yes its one of his locks . she regularly produces in the ball park of 100 shots / falls per flint even though the frizzen face has through the years become as wash boarded as a country road in july . I actually have another on of his locks that I purchased from him that's never been on a gun . also a set of castings . back then I was paying if I recall 25 for un finished and 35 for a complete working lock . I also have barrel that Don Getz made and marked while living in NY . also never fired . one of these days if I find the need ill make a fine rifle from those two . but for now its fun to just have the parts and original bills of sale from a long gone age .
anyway . good night , be safe . wishing everyone the best .

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Re: Pedersoli Indian Trade Musket

Post by TradRag » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:25 am

:dance:
Captchee wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:19 pm
never said metallurgy didn't mater . its very important per application be it a main spring , tumbler or barrel .whats suitable for those applications well that depends . Opinions very on what is suitable for where. take Winchester who for decades used powder steel to cast their receivers while many others still prefer to mill or mill from hot pour castings of specific alloys . at least with muzzleloaders Don Getz , rest his soul , stated many times that he used 12L14 as it was more then strong and resilient enough while at the same time having proper milling capabilities . That for years he proofed every barrel wo well over 3 charge weights of both powder and Ball . he also stated that he no longer proofed any of his barrels be it batch testing or other . never had a failure or had report of a failure but simply refuse to use extruded blanks . you mentioned Douglas. I know the Douglas issue because I was alive and gunsmithing at the time . its also why when I read someone say ; WOW I found an original un fired douglas barrel !!!,. usually followed by post after post about how great they were , I then reply ya well did you know …... . Well they were good shooters no doubt . But Douglas also had an issue . the issue wasn't about their choice of barrel steel as much as the process of making the barrel blanks that they used l . IE extruding vs drawing . back then many companies built barrels from blanks that were extruded. the process lent to a molecular structure that could cause issues . with muzzleloader barrels that issue with Douglas was the breeching process which sometimes produced cracks or weaknesses that were not visible. thus a eventual lawsuit . now keeping in mind this was a time when a barrel was 30.00 , Douglas did not have the revenue to fight it . choosing instead in the end to settle out of court and sell out . the result was that very quickly the vast majority of barrel makers in the US went to drawn steel vs extruded that also included large centerfire manufactures . what was left of them here in the US anyway . Montana Barrel bout a lot of the Douglas patterns and mills . they eventually selling out as well . Now if we look at the European market . we see many variances there Proof houses in France and Spain still hold to much the same old pressure standards . today we can send a barrel to those houses and have it proofed and it will come back with all the up to date markings . but it still boils down to an opinion that if the old standards held with a lower quality material then surly they will hold with a high standard material and processes for making that material of today . Italy has its own standards . believe it or not so does India . in Fact India has very strict firearms regulations that do not differentiate between muzzleloader or centerfire . they all are considered firearms and every one must pass inspection and proof of 3 different houses IF the gun is meant to be actually fired . if it is then it will carry all the proof makings . if its not intended for actual use then it doesn't . Now that leaves us with the question as to our opinions as to their standards of quality. I have one of those such guns and I can tell you they are crude . I would also note here that if a person studies the historic process they probably cant help but read Hershel house writings from his days with Hacker Marten . if we do we will also see that Hacker states that in his oppeinion a good muzzle loading barrel should be so soft as to draw the flats with a knife. that he purposeful annealed his barrels to that standard . That's pretty soft in my opinion but ha? as to Pedersoli . I own a few of those and have through the years sold many . with that being said my options are not very high for their entry level pieces . especially when it comes to the blue ridge / Hatfield...…. I have see everything on those from bad lock parts to barrels . As I have told many here. some folks have good luck with them , some don't . its up to the purchaser . Meeting a PROOF also doesn't mean a barrel is always in proof . its not and can in fact be out of proof shortly after firing it . thus we see a re submit for proof. ME? well to this day I shoot a hand forged Iron barreled rifle that was made in 1970. I have fire some pretty stout loads through her to .
as to the pedersoli version trade gun / NW gun / Mackinaw gun / Carolina gun ….. there many different makers to include early on with the Northern indian trade market of the early 18th century . there is a whole evolution of stock changes barrel thicknesses . lock qualities . brass forearm bands even side plate style . so time frame is key to discussing what I right and what isn't . As a rule however past embellishment they were a very cheaply made piece . build to much the same standards as those built and thus found in the 1950- 1970 in south American native trade or British firearms manufactures in other countries for the African trade. pedresoli however while trying to produce a reproduction also has incorporated its own quality . which is greater then the originals . so we see things like the tang bolt vs up through the bottom . later thimbles and the fish tail side plate found on later bernett and Wilson guns . also not the lack of a rear sight . which by the way was about as common as not having one Or having had signs of having one which was removed . again its about time frame as well as what order request had been filled for orders within that timeframe . Also again the lock is a long fall lock . its not a high end lock . IMO pedersoli complicates the inherent issues of the lock design with a frizzen cast of material that's to hard or to soft if not tempered properly . thus you end up eating flints . case in point . my personal rifle I spoke of . it carries a lock built by Bud Siler . yes its one of his locks . she regularly produces in the ball park of 100 shots / falls per flint even though the frizzen face has through the years become as wash boarded as a country road in july . I actually have another on of his locks that I purchased from him that's never been on a gun . also a set of castings . back then I was paying if I recall 25 for un finished and 35 for a complete working lock . I also have barrel that Don Getz made and marked while living in NY . also never fired . one of these days if I find the need ill make a fine rifle from those two . but for now its fun to just have the parts and original bills of sale from a long gone age .
anyway . good night , be safe . wishing everyone the best .
"Ne Desit Virtus" ("Let Valor Not Fail")
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