Here's a great example of one of the most famous firearms of the 18th and 19th Centuries - the British Brown Bess. This particular example was made about 1790 by Robert Wheeler, of Snowhill Birmingham. Wheeler primarily made arms and bayonets for the East India Company, and it is hypothesized that this particular musket, as well as a handful of others were ordered in this configuration under a specific contract, although the details of such a contract appear to be lost to history. At any rate, an identical musket to this one can be found at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in England.
This Brown Bess is in phenomenal condition considering it's nearly 230 years old. The edges of the stock are nice and crisp and the stock retains most of its original finish. There are no cracks or chips anywhere and the wood behind the lock isn't burn out.
The lock, like the rest of the steel components is evenly covered in light salt and pepper pits. The finely engraved "Wheeler" marking is still visible on the lock however. The lock's action is wonderfully crisp, with a stout main spring and snappy frizzen spring. This is a very usable lock!
The barrel is full length measuring at 36". While this measurement is shorter than most Brown Besses, it is the same length as the Wheeler Bess in the Birmingham Museum; further indicating that this musket has remained unmodified throughout the years. Two Birmingham proof marks can be seen stamped into the breech. The bore is in fantastic condition with no pitting and only a few areas of some minor surface rust.
The furniture is all original and in good condition.
This extremely rare musket is sure to be a great talking piece for anyone's collection. No British firearm collection is complete without a Brown Bess!
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