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Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

Article about: by tom simkins its ok you are allowed to own it as a wall hanger.. Even as a wall hanger it needs to be deactivated and have a certificate to say so. You can't hang a weapon which could pote

  1. #21

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Man am I happy I get to deal with US Federal and state firearms laws.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Quote by milcollector84 View Post
    Man am I happy I get to deal with US Federal and state firearms laws.
    Yeah, it must seem odd when you don't have to deal with such pedantic laws. I mean if it came down to it, I wouldn't fancy my chances in a shootout with the police with my 19th century musket, would you? but hey, 'Rules is Rules' I guess.

    Tom

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Tom,

    I've spoken with the Firearms Licencing Bureau at Avon and Somerset.

    Basically, you will need to find the definite make/model and calibre so it can be cross referenced to their list of obsolete weapons. If it isn't on that list it will need a Firearms licence.

    If it is on that list then it can be held as an antique and will probably need a deactivation certificate as it's not beyond the realms of possibility it can be made to fire.

    If you can find out the above for sure then I can get back to them for solid advice.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Quote by davejb View Post
    I thought you did 'nt need a license for an antique weapon that has obsolete ammuniton
    If it is a breech loading weapon and the ammunition and calibre is obsolete then fine but a muzzle loading weapon doesn't take cartridge type ammunition per se and could be made to fire a projectile which is where the grey area lies.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Excerpts from the Home Offices 'Firearms Law, Guidance to the Police' Released in 2002 - If this doesn't provide the answer nothing will.

    - Section 58(2) of the 1968 Act exempts from the provisions of the Act including certificate controls under sections 1 and 2 and prohibition under section 5 all antique firearms which are sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as curiosities or ornaments.


    - 8.2 In issuing guidance on this matter, the Home Office has always taken the view that this term should be taken to cover those firearms of a vintage and design such that their free possession does not pose a realistic danger to public safety.


    - Part I: Old weapons which should benefit from exemption as antiques under section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968. Pre-1939 weapons to benefit from exemption as antiques are as follows:

    a) All muzzle-loading firearms

    b) Breech-loading firearms capable of
    discharging a rimfire cartridge other than
    4mm, 5mm, .22 inch or .23 inch (or their
    metric equivalents), 6mm or 9mm rimfire;

    c)And so on...


    As far as I'm concerned, as the gun is obviously a muzzle loading firearm and its also pre 1939, it is exempt from the need to either hold a firearm license of any kind or to have it certified as deactivated.

    If it's issued by the home office directly to the police and this is what they legally enforce, I'm doing absolutely nothing wrong as long as I'm following its rules.

    Now hopefully the issue is resolved and there's no more trawling through tedious official home office legislation!
    Cheers
    Tom

  6. #26
    ?

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    I am sorry, but I have to say, it is not a Brown Bess of any kind, especially not an India Pattern. It probably never saw India, much less serve with Indian forces in any capacity. It does have a British-made and proofed India Pattern barrel so you are good there, but the lock is totally civilian and the stock does have similarities to the British/Indian pattern but that is as far as it goes. It is what is known as a fowler or a birding gun. Or as we would say in America, it's a shotgun. It probably dates to the middle of the 19th Century. Still, worth the effort to "restore", though it is actually in pretty good condition and would look good hanging over the mantlepiece in the family room. And yes, it probably could be fired if the lock functions correctly, the nipple is clear and the barrel in good condition.

  7. #27
    ?

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Quote by Moshemotom View Post
    Excerpts from the Home Offices 'Firearms Law, Guidance to the Police' Released in 2002 - If this doesn't provide the answer nothing will.

    - Section 58(2) of the 1968 Act exempts from the provisions of the Act including certificate controls under sections 1 and 2 and prohibition under section 5 all antique firearms which are sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as curiosities or ornaments.


    - 8.2 In issuing guidance on this matter, the Home Office has always taken the view that this term should be taken to cover those firearms of a vintage and design such that their free possession does not pose a realistic danger to public safety.


    - Part I: Old weapons which should benefit from exemption as antiques under section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968. Pre-1939 weapons to benefit from exemption as antiques are as follows:

    a) All muzzle-loading firearms

    b) Breech-loading firearms capable of
    discharging a rimfire cartridge other than
    4mm, 5mm, .22 inch or .23 inch (or their
    metric equivalents), 6mm or 9mm rimfire;

    c)And so on...


    As far as I'm concerned, as the gun is obviously a muzzle loading firearm and its also pre 1939, it is exempt from the need to either hold a firearm license of any kind or to have it certified as deactivated.

    If it's issued by the home office directly to the police and this is what they legally enforce, I'm doing absolutely nothing wrong as long as I'm following its rules.

    Now hopefully the issue is resolved and there's no more trawling through tedious official home office legislation!
    Cheers
    Tom
    Tom,

    You need to look at the wording. 'Guidance' and 'should' are key words.

    If there is any possibility this weapon can be fired, it makes no difference how old it is. The above is for guidance only and each case will be taken on it's own merit.

    It is a muzzle loading weapon and it could be made to fire. The person I spoke to at the FLB made it perfectly clear that if there is potential to discharge the weapon, which there seems to be, gunpowder, a ball bearing of suitable size and something to make a spark then you will need a licence or a deactivation certificate.

    Please don't be complacent and think that just because your gun is over a certain age, doesn't take cartridges and fits the very broad 'guidance' from the Home Office, it must therefore be exempt from any laws pertaining to ownership. If the plod come knocking on your door for whatever reason and see it, are you going to be completely happy to quote the law regarding firearm ownership to them?

    I am a Firearms Licence holder and have experience of the hoops you need to go through and how the law sees ownership of firearms. If you haven't crossed the 't's and dotted the 'i's you could find yourself in deep doodoo.

    I'm not convinced your weapon is inert or can't be fired, and if it was me, I would be seeking to sew up any loose ends and make sure I and my local police force were happy with my ownership of such a gun and be seeking their advice on a personal basis, not just using Google to justify ownership.

    Black powder and muzzle loading clubs exist in this country, they have similar guns to you and fire them at range days. I can assure you that they will be covered by a Firearms Certificate.

    If you're convinced you are completely within the law to have a weapon in your possession then I can't change your mind but please don't think you can bypass the law. Firearms Law in the U.K. is tight, don't **** about with it or leave anything to chance.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Hi Guys

    Got the musket today and I'm really pleased with it. As far as I'm concerned, I got it at a steal! I was just wondering if any of the experts out there could help me with any of the markings I don't recognise?


    Picture 1: This shows a couple of things I don't really know anything about. The clear numbers 786 appear to have been scored out and what appear to be '11' is stamped in a different way to the right of these letters. The last thing I'm unsure of is the stamping to the bottom right of the numbers. It looks to be a crown cypher with what possibly looks like a faded number '4' under it? I'd love to know what any of it means if anyone has any ideas?
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    Picture 2: This as far as I know is a very faded but still visible East India Company stamp and above that is the Ground Off rear notch sight which as Spitace said, may have been ground off after the Mutiny in 1857.
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    Picture 3 & 4: These appear to be numbers or letters tapped in using a narrow point, rather than stamping using a full character stamp. There is one on the barrel and another on the butt plate. Is there anything anyone knows about this? Neither of them appear to be particularly legible.
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    Picture 5: This final picture is one of a stamp in the butt stock and it looks to be the same as the third marking I mentioned in picture 1. Again, any knowledge would be a great help!
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    Thanks in advance for any replies and I hope the pictures are clear enough to see what I mean. If you're struggling, click on them individually and you'll be able to view a version which you can zoom into to see much better.

    Cheers
    Tom

  9. #29

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Don't know what you paid but I think it is a really nice piece! I love the EIC marking on it! I cannot help you specifically with the markings, however they do strike me as the kind of thing that an Indian workshop would apply, crude but gets the job done I suppose. I have a musket similar to this but once again it is at my parents. I am going there next weekend and will get you some pics of it, plus I will dig out that article and if you like I will send you a copy. Cheers.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Quote by Spitace41 View Post
    Don't know what you paid but I think it is a really nice piece! I love the EIC marking on it! I cannot help you specifically with the markings, however they do strike me as the kind of thing that an Indian workshop would apply, crude but gets the job done I suppose. I have a musket similar to this but once again it is at my parents. I am going there next weekend and will get you some pics of it, plus I will dig out that article and if you like I will send you a copy. Cheers.
    I'd love a copy of the article if it's not too much trouble, it'll only add to the interest I have in this rifle!

    I really love its connection to India and although I hate imperialism, it doesn't mean I cant take an interest in the period when we just happened to be particularly good at it

    Cheers
    Tom

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