Traditions Make It Yourself Blackpowder Weapons


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mordechaianiliewicz
May 10, 2009, 08:28 PM
Alright, so @ the Bass Pro here in this chunk of Missouri, I saw a Traditions Hawkins, and Kentucky rifles, and a pistol, all of which required assembly, had an unfinished wood stock, and looked like replicas of their aforementioned design.

What's the story here? How good are they? Do they require hand fitting? Are they limited solely to the lead ball of their day? Can they use minie, or sabots? What type of black powder do they need? Etc.

Also, the pistol was 229, the Kentucky rifle was 249, and the Hawkins was 299.... are there likely better deals for the same product?

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mykeal
May 10, 2009, 10:03 PM
How good are they?
Mediocre. Traditions is the low end of the kit business in terms of pricing.
Do they require hand fitting?
Yes, some minor hand fitting will be necessary. They're considered '90%' kits - nothing to do but sand/stain/oil the wood and blue/brown/oil the metal to your tastes. There's a little more to it than that, but very little - you might have to sand down some surfaces to get a smooth wood/metal transition, that sort of thing.

Are they limited solely to the lead ball of their day? Can they use minie, or sabots?
I believe the barrel twists are the compromise 1:48. Conical rounds and round balls can be used. Sabots would not be recommended, but they can be used.
What type of black powder do they need?
Any black powder or substitute corresponding to 2fg or 3fg.

the pistol was 229, the Kentucky rifle was 249, and the Hawkins was 299.... are there likely better deals for the same product?
I don't follow Traditions products so I'm not sure if there are better prices for their guns. Personally I think the Thompson Center Hawken or the Lyman Great Plains Rifle/Great Plains Hunter are better deals. They cost considerably more but are much better rifles. Again, my opinion.

arcticap
May 11, 2009, 01:39 AM
The Traditions kits can be somewhat of a crap shoot when it
comes to obtaining a pefectly fitted stocks and parts. Sometimes
it seems that some of the kit stocks are factory seconds, while
some guns are beautiful and great shooters after being completed.

The additional costs for materials associated with finishing a kit
can make buying a factory fitted gun a wiser choice unless
someone really wants the satisfation of building a kit.
I wouldn't classify the factory finished Traditions caplocks as
being mediocre.
Their percussion drum/nipple configuation is actually preferred by
many over the patent breech because it's easier to clean & maintain
while shooting. And then the question of how any model fits
someone is an individual preference.

Traditions has a completed Hawkins on sale in their Bargain Bin
right now for $299 with a laminated stock and nickeled barrel
which is a real bargain. I would recommend this over a kit since
it may be a limited edition that's discontinued when sold out.
It will shoot any projectile or powder relatively well.

http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eshop/products/R2410830.gif



http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=r2410830


Also, the .50 Kentucky kit is a good gun because they shoot
with great accuracy and AFAIK are one of the few factory
Kentucky's currently available in .50 caliber.
It has a 1 in 66" round ball twist and is well balanced and not too heavy.
I wouldn't be suprised if it shoots patched round balls as well
as a Pedersoli rifle which can easily cost 2 or 3 times as much.
Since the factory finished Kentucky rifle costs $330 plus shipping
at Midsouth Shooter's Supply, $249 isn't a bad deal for that kit.

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/department.asp?dept=%4D%55%5A%5A%4C%45%4C%4F%41%44%49%4E%47&dept2=%4D%55%5A%5A%4C%45%4C%4F%41%44%49%4E%47%20%52%49%46%4C%45%53&dept3=%35%30%20%43%41%4C&dept4=%54%52%41%44%49%54%49%4F%4E%53


http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eshop/products/KENTUCKY%20RIFLE_L.jpg

http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=R2020

You didn't mention which model pistol kit that you saw, so I
can't comment on the price. Is it a .50 Trapper? Generally
speaking, I'd buy a finished pistol before purchasing it as a kit.

Do you recognize the pistol from the pages below?

http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eshop/10Browse.asp?Category=Muzzleloaders%3A+Classic+Pistol+Kits+%28Pistols%29

http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eshop/10Browse.asp?Category=Muzzleloaders%3A+Classic+Pistols+%28Pistols%29

Ratdog68
May 11, 2009, 02:01 AM
I wish I'd've seen that Hawken before I ordered up my regular Traditions Hawken... since I already have a T/C Hawken ! I likes that little bad boy ! :banghead:

mordechaianiliewicz
May 11, 2009, 02:22 AM
Thanks, articap.

The pistol was the Kentucky, which they had. It was actually a pistol version that I was interested in getting.

I do kind of want to put one together myself.... so far the most I've done is simply restore a cosmolined up old Mosin back to shooting shape. Never owned a black powder firearm, but have always wanted atleast one.

arcticap
May 11, 2009, 05:13 AM
$229 does seem a little higher price for a Traditions Kentucky pistol kit. Check out the prices on Midsouth's pistol kits. The Lyman Great Plains pistol is a very nice and accurate .50 pistol and is also offered as a kit:

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/deptsearch1x.asp?dept=%4D%75%7A%7A%6C%65%6C%6F%61%64%69%6E%67

Deer Creek also sells many Traditions kits at discounted prices. Contact them at 765-525-6181.

Lastly, Cherry's Fine Guns has a finished Pedersoli Kentucky .45 percussion with a walnut stock on sale for $250:

http://www.cherrys.com/ped_pist.htm

I know how you feel Ratdog.
A month or so ago they had the matching .50 Trapper pistol with the nickel barrel and laminated stock on sale for $179. That sold out and now it may never be seen at that bargain price ever again. :rolleyes:

mykeal
May 11, 2009, 07:21 AM
I wouldn't classify the factory finished Traditions caplocks as being mediocre.
I agree, somewhat. In this context I used the adjective to characterize the kit as a kit rather than a finished gun. My opinion of the Traditions kits is that they are a mediocre kit when compared with other factory gun kits like Thompson Center or Lyman, even considering the price differential.

As for the factory finished guns - I own one Traditions gun and it's average in design, execution and performance. For the price I'd recommend it to someone who was starting out or who was on a very limited budget.

messerist
May 11, 2009, 09:49 PM
I second the post by arcticap about the Lyman's Great Plains Pistol. I have one and you can not find a better shooter for the price! I put it together from the kit and found it very easy and quick to get it into shooting form.

Black Toe Knives
May 11, 2009, 10:33 PM
Unless you just really want to build a Muzzle loader. Bargains can be found. Lots of them. My wife bought her muzzle loader at a Gun show for 100.00. I paid 75.00 for a T/C with a scope.

Mr Bernoulli
May 11, 2009, 11:23 PM
where are these traditions and lyman kit pistols made in the good old US or no?

arcticap
May 12, 2009, 02:54 AM
Traditions is made in Spain by Ardesa, and Lyman is made in Italy by Investarms.

BHP FAN
May 12, 2009, 10:48 AM
some of the older Kentuckys [mine and my brother's] were marked ''JUKAR'',and Made In Spain.

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