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  1. #1
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Default Middlesex Village Trading Company

    Anybody have experience with this outfit? The prices don't look outrageous and the pictures, at least, look decent.

    I have a desire for a Baker and the Ketland officer's Fusil looks interesting for someting to play about with as a flinter. Thoughts, gentlemen?
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  2. #2
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    It is all Indian manufactured... not a fan of the Indian pieces. I do have an Indian mfg 1777 Charleville, over polished, heavy trigger and very strong mainspring that can pulverise flints. I have fired it with shot, but use my Miroku or Pedersoli flintlocks for patched roundball.

    The Baker has always interested me, but I didn't have the funds for a Peter Dyson... perhaps a Rifle Shoppe rendition some day.

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    I bought a Baker repro from them. The trigger is horrible. I am not a gunsmith so its easier just to get rid of it, even though I never fired it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deputy Dan View Post
    It is all Indian manufactured... not a fan of the Indian pieces. I do have an Indian mfg 1777 Charleville, over polished, heavy trigger and very strong mainspring that can pulverise flints. I have fired it with shot, but use my Miroku or Pedersoli flintlocks for patched roundball.

    The Baker has always interested me, but I didn't have the funds for a Peter Dyson... perhaps a Rifle Shoppe rendition some day.
    One of the reasons i think a Baker would be sort of neat is the Texas connection - the Mexicans bought a bunch of them and one was used to whack Ben Milam at Bexar (the identity of the sharp-shooting Mexican sergeant who did the deed is known - as is his fate; he was killed by a quickly organized counter-sniper team very shortly afterwards. What happened to his Baker is not known, it would have been a great relic of the Revolution if recovered and kept). That is, for me, a far greater attraction than the Sharpe novels.

    And my budget certainly doesn't run to an original or a Peter Dyson.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  5. #5
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    You may be able to get a Rifle Shoppe Baker built... the Rifle Shoppe used to offer complete rifles and muskets. They offered the 1803 Harpers Ferry rifle, the Brown Bess and the US 1814 and 1817 Common rifle as a standard, and would build others on request. I got into Lewis and Clark after reading the Journals, and got a Stith 1792 Contract rifle instead of the Baker I had originally contemplated.

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    The Indian stuff looks OK, to me as a "toy" (before I get flamed I know guns aren't toys hahaha) but you know what I mean, I don't own an Indian made repro but have originals and Italian stuff. If you want an exacting, original quality piece than I would not go with the Indian made stuff and certainly not a flintlock. IMO a flintlock lock is more of a craftsman's "art" and it has to be timed and all that, but I would be more confident that the Indians can build a musket that can at least drop a hammer to pop a percussion cap.

    I am debating trying one of their 53 Enfields, but that would be it for the stuff from India that I would try. It's a shame the quality is low, they offer some repros of stuff that no one else does, but Pedersoli pretty much has it covered with the military flintlocks with their Prussian, French, British and US stuff, and EuroArms and Armi-Sport pretty much have the percussion musket line locked down.

    I do believe Middlesex Trading sells their stuff with a drilled vent hole, stay away from Discriminating General since they say they sell their muskets with no vent hole to make them easier to ship.

  7. #7
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    I have two Middlesex Village muskets, and sold off a third. I have the 1717 French, and the 1760s Long Land. I bought two of the long Lands with cracked wrists from them on a deal, fixed them up, kept the best sold the other.

    Pros:

    Price is good. Middlesex tunes the locks and guarantees the locks, see their FAQ. Metal workmanship is good, proof marks on the Long Land are spot on. Good people to deal with and you will have the gun in a few days. Safety is not an issue, they are better made than the originals as to materials. The locks are made just like the originals, even down to the maker using assembly numbers (in their language) to keep the parts together of the hand fitted locks.

    Cons: Metal is so polished I thought it was stainless, its not. wish they polished the bore as well as the outside, all the guns needed some polishing which was easily done with a rod with emery cloth in various grades on a drill. All the guns I have/had sparked well, fired reliably (I live fired over 75 rounds through the French in one range session with no maintenance other than wiping the frizzen without any misfires.)

    Woodwork is sad, the "teak" does not take fine inletting, and they whack it out ugly under the metal work. I heavily sanded off the modern paint/finishes and carefully stained with several mixures to get close to original type finishes. That was a lot of work, but something I enjoy. Knocking the excess polish off the metal was easily done as well. One ramrod had to be welded as the two parts separated in polishing, looked like it was poorly welded in the first place (the ends are machined, then attached to a straight rod.)

    Overall - if you are handy, have some books to use to study to touch up your musket, its a great buy, especially for the re-enactor or occasional user. If you want to flaunt spending over $1500, and want to wait a couple years, the others mentioned are better guns. I looked at them as "kits" and have been very pleased.

    What do you want the musket for? Living history, hunting, wall hanger, range toy, serious competition? They will do for the first four in my opinion, and fixed up with some care, you will be proud to own one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG08 View Post
    I have two Middlesex Village muskets, and sold off a third. I have the 1717 French, and the 1760s Long Land. I bought two of the long Lands with cracked wrists from them on a deal, fixed them up, kept the best sold the other.

    Pros:

    Price is good. Middlesex tunes the locks and guarantees the locks, see their FAQ. Metal workmanship is good, proof marks on the Long Land are spot on. Good people to deal with and you will have the gun in a few days. Safety is not an issue, they are better made than the originals as to materials. The locks are made just like the originals, even down to the maker using assembly numbers (in their language) to keep the parts together of the hand fitted locks.

    Cons: Metal is so polished I thought it was stainless, its not. wish they polished the bore as well as the outside, all the guns needed some polishing which was easily done with a rod with emery cloth in various grades on a drill. All the guns I have/had sparked well, fired reliably (I live fired over 75 rounds through the French in one range session with no maintenance other than wiping the frizzen without any misfires.)

    Woodwork is sad, the "teak" does not take fine inletting, and they whack it out ugly under the metal work. I heavily sanded off the modern paint/finishes and carefully stained with several mixures to get close to original type finishes. That was a lot of work, but something I enjoy. Knocking the excess polish off the metal was easily done as well. One ramrod had to be welded as the two parts separated in polishing, looked like it was poorly welded in the first place (the ends are machined, then attached to a straight rod.)

    Overall - if you are handy, have some books to use to study to touch up your musket, its a great buy, especially for the re-enactor or occasional user. If you want to flaunt spending over $1500, and want to wait a couple years, the others mentioned are better guns. I looked at them as "kits" and have been very pleased.

    What do you want the musket for? Living history, hunting, wall hanger, range toy, serious competition? They will do for the first four in my opinion, and fixed up with some care, you will be proud to own one.
    If I get one, it will be a Baker, for its assocation with the 1836 Revolution down here (enemy armament), and to the extent it gets shot (won't be a whole lot), it will be a range toy. One of the Ketland officer's fusils looks as if it would be fun to have.

    Wonder if one of the Rifle Shoppe walnut blanks would fit up on the metal bits from Middlesex without TOO much fiddling....
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  9. #9
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    I have one of their doglock blunderbusses and I have had nothing but good to say about them and the weapon. It sparks every time and has never failed to fire in almost 500 rounds. I have never had a more reliable flintlock. The trigger is heavy and the mainspring is very strong but I still get 50+ shots from a good flint, though it crushes flints that it don't like very quickly. It patterns very well with #6 shot and it pretty accurate out to about 30-40 yards with patched round ball. Indian repro or not, I find it to be a highly servicable and historically accurate piece and recommend it and the company to anybody who asks.

  10. #10
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    The Rifle Shoppe claims that they deliver what is ordered in 30 to 90 days. My experience is that one order I placed with them took over a YEAR before it was delivered.

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    I actually had Rifle Shoppe parts sent to Loyalist after more than a year and from there after another year to a custom gunmaker in the States for a gun that took me almost three years overall to have. Some of the parts weren't even correct and had to be hand made.

    Middlesex is better than many. But it is still India stuff at the end of the day. They will, I think, arrange for a rifled barrel to be fitted to a Baker RIFLE which is actually made as a smoothbore. If that is your thing, go for it brother. And you HAVE to have a proper bayonet for one! Rifleman Harris is turning in his grave, but, they're your shillings.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG08 View Post

    Pros:

    Price is good. Middlesex tunes the locks and guarantees the locks, see their FAQ. Metal workmanship is good, proof marks on the Long Land are spot on. Good people to deal with and you will have the gun in a few days. Safety is not an issue, they are better made than the originals as to materials. The locks are made just like the originals, even down to the maker using assembly numbers (in their language) to keep the parts together of the hand fitted locks.

    .

    RIGHT ON!!!!!! if your in doubt with a INDIA Replica musket...........take it to a certified Gunsmith........they will test it and tell you if its safe or not.

    I bought a 1st Model Long Land Brown Bess on Gunbroker, my lock assembly was warranted for 1 yr, and my musket was proof tested by a certified gunsmith to "SHOOT"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG08 View Post
    Overall - if you are handy, have some books to use to study to touch up your musket, its a great buy, especially for the re-enactor or occasional user. If you want to flaunt spending over $1500, and want to wait a couple years, the others mentioned are better guns. I looked at them as "kits" and have been very pleased.

    What do you want the musket for? Living history, hunting, wall hanger, range toy, serious competition? They will do for the first four in my opinion, and fixed up with some care, you will be proud to own one.
    Pretty much.

    I have a Brown Bess 3rd Pattern from them. Good guy owns the company, I live within driving distance of company. I was told to stop by. Picked up my Brown Bess.

    Maybe I'm a little bias because I know a good amount of people from India & also have dealt with the owner, these are made in India not up the Khyber Pass for a bazaar. India also has a long history of building weapons & firearms. Also remember allot of the parts are made by hand not by a machine..it may require some work. Ive been thinking of picking up the Matchlock they offer.

    I havent had a problem with my 3rd Pattern. I use it during Vermont Muzzleloader season for deer.

  14. #14
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    India made replica P-53 Enfields have been BANNED from the 150th Anniversary Re-enactment of the Battle of Bull Run by event organizers because at least one (and maybe more) Indian made P-53's have BLOWN UP when firing blank charges at re-enactments.

    The barrels of these Indian made Enfields are made from steel tubing and not ordnance grade steel.

  15. #15
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    I have 39inch barrel Brown Bess Indian made replica ,been shooting it for years without a problem ,very reliable .Highly recommendable in my opinion.

  16. #16
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    I have a MTVCo brass barreled blunderbuss, and wouldnt think of selling it for the world. I'm not big on a lot of the Idia guns, but the MVTCo guns are good for the price, the locks are reliable.

    I won't deal with the rifle shop again...
    No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a great number of electrons were inconvenienced.

    If you wouldn't go to a restaurant and by a steak substitute, then why on earth would you use a black powder substitute in your gun?

  17. #17
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    My Indian Baker.
    When I recieved it, there were a few small problems.
    The stock was ORANGE! Restained it
    The barrel was smoothbore. Sent it to a firm listed by the Rifleshop to be rifled
    LOCK, on pulling the trigger, the hammer came crashing down on HALF-COCK. Got that fixed.
    I did find that 20 gage shotgun slugs would work like minie balls, so I picked up a mould. Easier than finding leather patches for round balls.
    Since I had a friend in the U.K. send me the rifle, I do wonder if it was intended to be sold as a decorater instead of a shooter.
    At least I don't have to worry about accidently overloading it, the barrel has THICK walls

  18. #18
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    I bought one of the Brown Bess "Ships Carbines" from Middlesex Village Trading Company.
    From what I had read on the subject I was prepared to really work it over to get it to shoot.

    After I got it ,all I had to do to shoot it was to install a flint and take it out in the front yard and feed it five of the
    paper cartridges I had made up for it, it went through them in a very few moments with nary a hitch ,ignition with 2f
    was nearly instant.
    After several shooting sessions I took a heat gun to the stock and removed the factory finish and restained
    the wood a very nice walnut color, the teak wood grain looks good now, The nicely polished steel parts took the plum brown and its a good looker and a good shooter.
    The lock has a lifetime warranty if it should ever need attention.
    I did as MVTC advised and purchased one of the spring vices from them, its a nice little tool, much
    needed for properly cleaning the huge lock with its powerfull springs.

    I also bought a bunch of the war surplus black english flints that are available from various sources.the lock on my musket is a real spark generator and the flints are long lasting.

    When I think back to late sixties and up into the seventies black powder scene, the arms we had available from
    Spain at that time could not hold a candle to my new India musket.
    I will buy more of these from MVTC, My experiance has been very satisfactory.
    Best Regards,Creosote

  19. #19
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    Someone I know very recently purchased a Baker (smoothbore) from MTV and the shooting reports are identical to yours. John, you know him too. It's Phil Davis. He says it shoots as well as his Italian Brown Bess and hits to point of aim (or close to it) at 50 yards.

    I'm starting to think the later India guns are the new "fun guns" similar to back in the 70's when there were lower priced Italian and Spanish copies on the market.

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