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Grice Locks

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  • Patrick J O'Kelley
    Howdy, With what I have seen I don t think the Grice locks were on Bess s. One of the best sources for guns in the Revolution is Battle Weapons of the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 1, 1999
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      Howdy,
      With what I have seen I don't think the Grice locks were on Bess's. One
      of the best sources for guns in the Revolution is "Battle Weapons of the
      American Revolution" by George Neumann. He's got about everything in
      there.
      The Grice lock appears only on two weapons in the book, they are:

      1759 Militia musket (Grice 1761)
      1756 English Carbine (Artillery #1) (Grice 1762)

      William Grice placed a WG stamp on some barrels, but I didn't find any
      Grice Locks on a Bess.
      William Grice was a gunmaker and proofer from Birmingham, many guns
      would have Tower proofs in some locations, and Grice proofs in other.
      Such as the 1759 Militia musket had a Grice lock, but had Tower proofs on
      the barrel.
      On a 1770 carbine Grice and Tower both proof the barrel.
      Grice also made 200 of the 1776 Rifles.
      The big gun makers in England were B. Willets, M. Barker, Galton & Son,
      and Grice & Son.
      An easy solution to make your Bess more authentic is replace the Grice
      plate with a plate from The Rifle Shoppe, or to remove the "Grice" from
      the lock, and just make it a "clean" lock. A lot of Bess's had no
      markings.

      >Please respond to this off
      >list as it is too hot to don my flame proof suit.

      Why would a question about the validity of a lock draw flames?


      Patrick O'Kelley
      goober.com@...
      2nd Regiment of the North Carolina Line
      http://www.2nc.org/
    • John White
      ... Another excellent book is Pattern Dates for British Ordnance Small Arms 1718-1783 by DeWitt Bailey, Ph.D. In the chapter on Locks, under MARKINGS, he
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 1, 1999
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        Patrick J O'Kelley wrote:
        >
        > From: "Patrick J O'Kelley" <goober.com@...>
        >
        > Howdy,
        > With what I have seen I don't think the Grice locks were on Bess's. One
        > of the best sources for guns in the Revolution is "Battle Weapons of the
        > American Revolution" by George Neumann. He's got about everything in
        > there.
        > The Grice lock appears only on two weapons in the book, they are:
        >
        > 1759 Militia musket (Grice 1761)
        > 1756 English Carbine (Artillery #1) (Grice 1762)
        >
        > William Grice placed a WG stamp on some barrels, but I didn't find any
        > Grice Locks on a Bess.
        > William Grice was a gunmaker and proofer from Birmingham, many guns
        > would have Tower proofs in some locations, and Grice proofs in other.
        > Such as the 1759 Militia musket had a Grice lock, but had Tower proofs on
        > the barrel.
        > On a 1770 carbine Grice and Tower both proof the barrel.
        > Grice also made 200 of the 1776 Rifles.
        > The big gun makers in England were B. Willets, M. Barker, Galton & Son,
        > and Grice & Son.
        > An easy solution to make your Bess more authentic is replace the Grice
        > plate with a plate from The Rifle Shoppe, or to remove the "Grice" from
        > the lock, and just make it a "clean" lock. A lot of Bess's had no
        > markings.
        >
        > >Please respond to this off
        > >list as it is too hot to don my flame proof suit.
        >
        > Why would a question about the validity of a lock draw flames?
        >
        > Patrick O'Kelley

        Another excellent book is "Pattern Dates for British Ordnance Small Arms
        1718-1783" by DeWitt Bailey, Ph.D. In the chapter on Locks, under
        MARKINGS, he says " All ordnance-made locks of the period under review
        bear the same style of external and internal markings. Below and to the
        left of the pan is ENGRAVED a Crown over the block-letters GR (the Royal
        Cypher) while across the tail of the lockplate is ENGRAVED either TOWER
        or DUBLIN CASTLE or a lock-contractor's name, above the year in which
        the lock was delivered into Ordnance Stores. ....After 1764 the tail
        engraving is altered to omit the date and contractor's name, so that
        either Tower or Dublin Castle alone will be present .... Below the pan
        is STAMPED a small Crown over Broad Arrow..., the Government ownership
        mark, indicating acceptance of the complete lock by the Ordnance
        inspectors." There is illustrated an example of a Pattern 1756 Long Land
        Musket, with a GRICE lock dated 1756. John White, Avalon Forge,
        Baltimore
      • Brown, Robert S
        Sorry to disagree with the authority s but - I was in Scotland this May and saw a few hundred long lands with grice locks with my own eyes. I also have photo s
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 2, 1999
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          Sorry to disagree with the authority's but - I was in Scotland this May and
          saw a few hundred long lands with grice locks with my own eyes. I also have
          photo's & Video. The were many more with tower locks though. If you ever go
          to Scotland, check out Blair Castle. The entrance hall has approximately
          three or four hundred besses with bayonets displayed.


          Bob Brown
        • Mlewishome@cs.com
          I have been in the hobby for 15 years. I have always liked the looks of the Jap Bess Lock better. I have also been told by numerous other hobbist to stay
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 2, 2001
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            I have been in the hobby for 15 years. I have always liked the looks
            of the Jap Bess Lock better. I have also been told by numerous other
            hobbist to stay away from them because they are not as good as the
            Grice. I do know that the Grice lock is very reliable. Also if it
            breaks again you can get parts. I think it would take a little
            fitting. However a handforged main spring would be very good and if
            someone will do it for $75.00 it would be worth a try. I'm real
            suprised that someone could do it that cheap. I have been seeing
            Grice locks on eBay some for around $100.00. An entire Jap Bess went
            for $307.00 the other day. I just got my Naragansette Arms Long Land
            and I'm in love...
          • sschuyler59@aol.com
            ... I bought a Japanese kit about 10 years ago on the advice of several folks, some who were suppliers who had recently stopped selling the muskets themselves
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 2, 2001
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              --- In Revlist@y..., Mlewishome@c... wrote:
              >
              > I have also been told by numerous other
              > hobbist to stay away from them because they are not as good as the
              > Grice.

              I bought a Japanese kit about 10 years ago on the advice of several
              folks, some who were suppliers who had recently stopped selling
              the muskets themselves (and therefore had little to gain), that the
              Japanese lock was the more reliable. My experiance seems to back this
              up. I did have to replace a mainspring a couple of years ago.

              > I do know that the Grice lock is very reliable.

              I have seen several Italian Bess locks, particularly from about three
              years ago, coming brand new from the factory with soft frizzens and or
              very weak mainsprings.

              The last few new Pedersoli Bess I have seen have been fine and the
              "word on the street" is Pedersoli has any QC problems fixed.

              > Also if it
              > breaks again you can get parts.

              Sorta true. There is an older version of the Grice lock that some
              current parts will not fit. Pedersoli seems to do this on other locks
              too, God only knows why. The large Ketland repro that is on many
              "Hatfield" rifles has gone through a couple of versions as well.


              > I think it would take a little
              > fitting. However a handforged main spring would be very good and if
              > someone will do it for $75.00 it would be worth a try. I'm real
              > suprised that someone could do it that cheap.

              Micheal Lea and Daughter, Gunsmiths, qouted me $50.00 installed
              three years ago. I guessed at a 50% inflation but I could be way off.

              > I have been seeing
              > Grice locks on eBay some for around $100.00.

              I got the $150 price from a two year old Dixie catalog. $100 for a
              new, working, Bess lock is a good deal.

              Given the lack of parts for the Japanese lock, if the italian can be
              made to fit, it may be an option.

              > I just got my Naragansette Arms Long Land
              >

              The Naraganstte arms I have seen look super. Enjoy!

              Kevin Richard-Morrow
              @nd Albany County Militia
            • Tcolej@aol.com
              List, I bought my Pedersoli bess maybe 5 years ago, and the lock was dreadful. The frizzen was so soft I couldn t even get a spark. The Mainspring broke on
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 2, 2001
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                List,
                I bought my Pedersoli bess maybe 5 years ago, and the lock was dreadful.
                The frizzen was so soft I couldn't even get a spark. The Mainspring broke on
                about the 10 attempt at firing it! The lock basically fell apart before my
                eyes! The gun it self was nice though. I told Dixie about the problem and
                they sent me a new lock free of charge, that fit perfectly, sparked great,
                and has caused me no trouble in the past years. As long as I keep a good
                flint in it, the word misfire is not in my dictionary. I happen to believe
                that Pedersoli is not the most reliable company though. I also have a Jap
                musket, which I am just in love with. She sparks great! However, I dont use
                it because the wood is this light tan color, and I haven't yet gotten sling
                swivels put in. I also have the Naraganset Fist model and the lock on that
                is supper! I just wish I was a bit bigger because that gun is a bit awkward
                for us smaller types.
                Regards,
                Cole Jones
              • edkennedy18thc@netscape.net
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 3, 2001
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                  <I think it would take a little
                  > > fitting.  However a handforged main spring would be very good and if
                  > > someone will do it for $75.00 it would be worth a try.  I'm real
                  > > suprised that someone could do it that cheap.>


                  For anyone having a mainspring problem cntact Jim Cacso at: caspar@... Jim did a mainspring for a 20+ yr old Charleville for me and the custom fitted mainspring and tuning up of the lock ran half that. His springs are not scratch made but rather from stock that has oversixe placement pin etc which he can fit to your lock regardless of maker or age of the lock.

                  Ed Kennedy, editor
                  18th Century Life
                  http://personal.globalnetisp.net/edkennedy
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