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Isaac D Rainey




Location: Evansville Indiana
Joined: 29 Sep 2012

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Thu 05 Nov, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject: Historic replica firearms makers?         Reply with quote

Besides the Rifle Shoppe, Bolek Maciaszczyk, Pirate Fashions, and Armin Koenig, what are some other gun makers? Specifically I am searching for firearms of the pike-and-shot era. Also if you wish, you can just show us your own pre-19th century firearms, replica or original.
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri 06 Nov, 2015 4:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of the periods I'm a nerd for is early Colonial America (F&I War especially). So my experience with matchlocks is limited, but generally speaking what I'll tell you is accurate across the board.

To begin with, if you're looking for an accurate and reliable reproduction you either better be prepared to build it yourself or [generally speaking] pay somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000. The Rifle Shoppe are parts kits that you will have to inlet, deburr, and build yourself. This requires more skill than you may at first think, but is very doable. I will actually look to do my first build myself when I redeploy next year. Pirate Fashions are Indian made guns and as such use cheap parts and labor. They tend to be much heavier than they should be and many times requires reworking by a competent gunsmith who specializes in BP weapons. A lot of people don't like Indian guns but the reality is good ones can be found if you look. Common problems include poorly hardened frizzens (no spark) and poor fit and finish.

The names you mentioned don't ring a bell, but I'm more familiar with American makers and even then you have to dig around to find out who is competent and who isn't. These smiths don't work cheap. The labor involved can extreme even for some of the more basic guns. And the skill, especially with complex locks like the British Long Land Pattern muskets, costs. These men are true artists in wood and metal and most do everything by hand with the same tools they used in the 18th-Century and before. Besides, the hand carving and inlay work, the fit of the parts have to be right. A poorly made sword may break and in rare unlucky instances cut or stab the wielder, but a poorly made gun has a high probability of maiming or even killing the user.

Good luck in your search.


Last edited by Michael Kelly on Fri 06 Nov, 2015 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Henry R. Gower




Location: United States
Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 91

PostPosted: Fri 06 Nov, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject: Matchlocks         Reply with quote

A number of years ago, I owned a U.S. made matchlock that was very well-made and I bought it, for about 500 dollars. I picked it up at an annual black powder meet in Pa. If you put in the words "Matchlock Musket" and "Matchlock Musket for Sale" into a search engine, at least three different US "dealers" come up, offering a nice looking one for 600. dollars. I have no way of knowing where these are made or how good they are. I simply cannot imagine a simple matchlock, like an ordinary soldier would carry, made here, costing more than 800 to 1000. USD, even with today's prices. Of course, a faithful copy of a European original with bone and ebony marquetry inlay would cost many thousands, but I don't think you are looking for that. There is an early colonial/English Civil War reeneactment group that meets late summers in St. Mary's City in the Delmarva Peninsula, they might be online. Networking with them might help you find what you are seeking. There is at least one "outfitter" for early colonial America that carries US made matchlocks, I don't have the name handy. Perhaps look up "colonial era outfitters." I do believe more online research might be fruitful for you. Networking with reenactors may help. There are an amazing number out there-at one reenactment I attended in the UK-"Battle of Naseby"- something like 5000 authentically dressed fellows attended from all over the English speaking world, Australia, US, Canada, amazing !
Cheers.
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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Posts: 474

PostPosted: Fri 06 Nov, 2015 12:15 pm    Post subject: Authentic weapons         Reply with quote

The costs given as an illustration above are way too high. A typical gun kit from The Rifle Shoppe costs about $1100.00 and for a bit more you can ask Jess to build the lock for you. There are also several good builders known to TRS who will build your kit for prices from around $700-$1000 and this includes British, French, Spanish, etc. flintlocks. The quote I have from Bolek for a wheellock rifle is about $2000 and for a Nuremburg-style "puffer" about $2400 and these are for plain, munition quality.

Personally, I think you can have a very authentic and reliable musket made-up from a matchlock, wheellock opr flintlock for less than $2500.

"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri 06 Nov, 2015 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Authentic weapons         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
The costs given as an illustration above are way too high. A typical gun kit from The Rifle Shoppe costs about $1100.00 and for a bit more you can ask Jess to build the lock for you. There are also several good builders known to TRS who will build your kit for prices from around $700-$1000 and this includes British, French, Spanish, etc. flintlocks. The quote I have from Bolek for a wheellock rifle is about $2000 and for a Nuremburg-style "puffer" about $2400 and these are for plain, munition quality.

Personally, I think you can have a very authentic and reliable musket made-up from a matchlock, wheellock opr flintlock for less than $2500.


Regarding the prices being too high... Not really. Look on sites such as Track of the Wolf that sell BP guns. You will see them [in general] ranging from about $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the builder, type of weapon, detail, and materials used. Lesser known builders and Joe Schmoe who built a gun in his garage and is trying to sell it will be on the lower end and sometimes for under a $1,000.

The $1100 gun kit you mentioned is a very basic kit. Now there's nothing wrong with this but if you want a nicer stock or hardware the price can go up considerably, especially when you talk about stocks.

As I stated in my first post, I have no experience with wheellocks and the cost may be considerable different [tho I also imagine finding good builder would be more difficult], but just like with swords, quality [and a builders name] costs.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,217

PostPosted: Sat 07 Nov, 2015 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Historic replica firearms makers?         Reply with quote

Isaac D Rainey wrote:
Besides the Rifle Shoppe, Bolek Maciaszczyk, Pirate Fashions, and Armin Koenig, what are some other gun makers? Specifically I am searching for firearms of the pike-and-shot era. Also if you wish, you can just show us your own pre-19th century firearms, replica or original.


I would stay away from Pirate Fashions. They sell a lot of Indian-made pieces which have occasional quality control problems - doesn't matter where they come from - and are attempting to make custom pieces which has IMHO, so far been a failure for them. They used to list a matchlock musket which they were "building" for upwards of $30,000 which is a really outlandish price, even if it is well-made. I have seen one of their matchlocks which I can only describe as poorly made and over-priced.

Look at Track of the Wolf's web site. Occasionally they have matchlocks for sale for reasonable amounts.

I have to correct what I said above. Pirate Fashions has a German Wheellock for sale for $50,000, marked down from $80,000, which was to be finished in June, 2014. Now, I do not know what this gun will look like if or when it is finished but unless it is being produced by a well-known maker of this type of firearm, for example Dale Shinn, I am pretty sure that it is WAAAYYYYY over-priced. The photos on their site don't really help. I have been involved with muzzle loaders for going on 50 years and knew or know a lot of makers but until I heard about the poorly-made gun referenced above, I had never heard of them.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 145

PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov, 2015 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a Rilfe Shoppe hakenbusche. Because there is no lock mechanism it was simple to "assemble".



I also have a handgonne made by John Buck of Musket Mart that was very affordable. This one came mounted but also is just a barrel on a stick (no lock). Solid brass, I think it was only $250 mounted...possibly less. I know John does (or did if he's no longer taking commissions) matchlock construction as well. John prefers to discuss over the phone in my experience. And wouldn't take an order via email unless he talked to you.



Here's an ECW matchlock from John Buck's website:


Ironically, though I was eager to get mine. I'm too cowardly to actually fire these.
-Terry
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're looking at guns that someone else builds for you, of course they're not going to be cheap. You're paying for materials, time and knowledge.

Conversely, buying the raw parts and material for a gun is going to be cheaper by default, because the only person concerned with the labour is yourself. If you computed the time you spent on putting together the gun and multiplied it by a per-hour cost, it might suddenly look a bit more expensive.

So I find both examples of the price range to be valid ($3K and up, to under a 1K). It really depends on what the OP wants, though. If he wants a gun that's already made and 'ready to go', then that will cost more than buying a kit and assembling it himself.
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