Building a Flintlock


August 21, 2007, 06:56 PM
I want to build a flintlock. I'm looking for a 95-98% inlet stock, just plan maple or slightly curly maple in either Transitional or Virginia style. Iron hardware. a 36" barrel in .58 or 62. cal.

I do not have the tools to do a whole lot of metal work, but I do know someone who would be willing to help me with cutting the sight and tennon grooves. I'd like the barrel to be drilled and tapped for the breech plug and the vent to be drilled and tapped.

I've looked at Sitting Fox, Pecatonica River and Tennessee Valley Muzzle Loaders and Jim Chambers. My father purchased his stock from TVM and was pleased. Jim Chambers are the most expensive and out of my price range. Sitting Fox was the cheapest which makes me nervous.

I'd like to spend less that $600.

This will be my first attempt and building a muzzle loader. I have shot lots of them before and are familiar with parts and how they go together.

My question is this, any suggestions as to what lock, barrel and trigger to use? Sitting Fox uses L&R for lock and trigger, TVM uses GM barrels, Siler locks and Davis triggers. Pecatonica uses the same. And of course, Chambers uses Siler locks.

There are a lot of different parts out there. I need some guidance.


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August 21, 2007, 08:48 PM
files, chissles, sand paper, and steel wool are the general tools i have used when building my rifle.

the sight things you can buy a jig so you can do the dovtails for the sights.

your still gonna hafta do some sanding and such i think. and for the finish youl have to sand and polish the barrel and furnature.

for the kit id look at Dixie gunworks, Track of the wolf, or pecatonica river. all do really good jobs on their stocks. and a kit comes with everything you need.

August 21, 2007, 09:51 PM
I have built several over the years. Track of the Wolf is definately my number one recommended source.

Not only do they put together the most accurate (historically) kits for you, their prices are as low as anybody out there, especially considering the quality you get as compared to Dixie or some of the others.

But my main reason is this: When I first got started, there was no one near me that I could go to for advise if I ran into a problem or had a question. The folks at Track were extremely helpful, and always had time to talk to me.

My experience with Dixie Arms, on the other hand, the less said the better.

August 22, 2007, 08:28 AM
Two other forums to help you out:

Both are invaluable resources and have newbie, amateur and pro builders for members. Also, consider joining the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association

To be honest, $600 won't get you a whole lot, especially when you consider that locks are >$125, barrels are greater than $140 (basic octagon rifled) and stocks cost >$150 for a pre-inlet w/lock mortise. By the time you add in the extras, you're right at $600, and you haven't even considered finishing and any other tools you need. I spent over $600 total cost to complete my first pistol, tools and chemicals included.

I built my last guns slowly, just buying what I needed to complete a given task. Took me 4 months to build a pistol this way. Before I performed a task, I carefully researched what to do by using the above forums, and I still made mistakes.

Good luck!

4v50 Gary
August 22, 2007, 09:18 AM
What lock for what buttplate for what trigger guard for what sideplate? I'm in the same boat. Wallace Gusler made it easy for ignorant folks like myself when he said, "Find a gun you like and do your best to duplicate it." That certainly solved the design, the correctness and decor problem. Too bad I'm too unskilled to do what Wallace says.

Conner Prairie in nearby Fishers, Indiana is holding its Annual Arms Making Workshop in October. I generally attend every year, but this year I'll be in Europe at that time. You might want to enroll into their basic firearms assembly class. Jim Chambers, Hershel House, John Schipper, Art DeCamp, Lee Larkin all teach there as do other notable gunmakers.

Tools? Well, you're going to some good chisels to precisely fit anything.

August 22, 2007, 10:54 AM
aye. $600 is gonna be hard to do.

my rifle cost me $600 before i got them to do about 75% of the inletting and such. with the items ive bought (new sights and such) im well over $1000 for mine. (mind you mine is quite an expencive kit Rigby sporting rifle.. $200 for sights and such)

Rex B
August 22, 2007, 11:19 AM
Be sure to get a copy of "Recreating the American longrifle"

August 22, 2007, 12:03 PM
Their's a site called tthat sells everything from complete kits to locks and such for building your own. Not the cheapest place, but I really would like to do one of their Ferguson kits...

4v50 Gary
August 22, 2007, 12:08 PM
therifleshoppe catalog has a lot of good items, but you wait and wait and wait.

I met one fellow who built two Fergusons on marine plywood (or that plywood that gunstocks are made of). Because of the adhesives used to make that type of plywood, he wore out several Nicholson #49 files. :uhoh: Thems expensive files too. (I paid about $40 for mine) :eek: Resultingly, his Fergusons are stronger than the originals which tended to break around the lock and wrist area. I'd love to see a synthetic stock (that is painted to look like wood) with a stainless barrel. Remove the breech plug/handle, pop off the barrel and hose off. Not PC (period correct), but cheat'n fun. :D

August 22, 2007, 01:40 PM
Track of the Wolf has several kits for less than $600. The Dickert is less than $500.
A lot of what you pay depends on how much pre-work you want done before you get it.
I always have breach plug installed, mainly because it's a pain in the butt and requires expensive taps that I really don't see the sense in buying, since I might only use that particular size once a year.
Inletting a lock is more work, but easier than getting a butt plate put on right. (IMHO)

August 22, 2007, 09:49 PM
Installing a breech plug shouldn't be that difficult. If you're at all familiar with using taps and dies, you will be OK. You can end up with the tang flush with any flat on a new barrel, so basically all you have to do is file the breech plug face until is seats flush with a flat. No gap is allowed. If it's too close, file the bbl flat where the breech plug meets. You want it to be wrench tight, but not overtight. Before final seating, run the tap over the breech plug threads one more time, then clean all mating surfaces using compressed air. I seal my breech pugs with a mix of petroleum jelly and graphite.

Save yourself $25 and give it a try.

Of course, if you have a stock with a pre-inlet lock mortise, you have to position your barrel so that the touch hole is in proper alignment with the flash pan. You have to make sure everything lines up before you put a file to metal or a chisel to wood. My 2c. Measure twice, cut once.

August 22, 2007, 10:28 PM
Installing a breech plug shouldn't be that difficult.

Not particularly difficult..but a pain non-the-less.

Save yourself $25 and give it a try.

NOPE. :evil:

I've done a lot of them. :cuss:

I'm old. :eek:

I'm cranky. :what:

My time on this earth is short and getting shorter at an exponential rate.:(

There are certain jobs that I CAN do that I WILL NOT do, because the aggravation is simply not worth it to me.:banghead:

Pumping out septic tanks and installing breach plugs are on about the same level, as far as I'm concerned.:barf:

August 23, 2007, 08:56 PM
I would suggest STRONGLY getting to Lodi Ohio to the Log Cabin Shop if you are within drivin distance. This weekend and next there is an event called the great trail festivil in malvern ohio. there likely will be a group that does muzzle loading building demo's the whole show. They are a club. Theay have been there the twenty or so years I have gone- heck the log cabin shop usually goes there to...
I seached and found a site for it- they likely could tell ya the name of the club etc...

here is a good websight wih loads of muzzleloadin knowledge

August 23, 2007, 09:29 PM
The Great Trail Festival has been mentioned to me before. Heck, that's WAAAY out there for me.

I'm going to friendship on the 8th.

I know what I'm looking for now and about how much it'll cost for me to order it. So I'm going to keep a look out for nifty deals at Friendship and see what I can get there. I figure most of the big name shops will be there. I know I've looked at TVM and Jim Chambers there before. Track of the Wolf said they do 90% of their business through the internet and no longer travel. Kinda strange, you'd think that the NMLRA Fall Nationals would be one of those events you WOULD travel for. So, I've got a couple weeks. I'm going to try and sell a couple of my modern pistols to make some spending money.

August 23, 2007, 09:37 PM

August 24, 2007, 12:54 AM
I'd put an ACOG on my flintlock....

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