flintlock kit rifles?

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Aug 31, 2010
im looking for a flintlock kit rifle... have my eyes on a kentucky type by traditions... im quite familiar with wood and metal work so im certain i can put it together...

was wondering what you guys think of these? or what youd recommend for this price or less for a flintlock kit rifle?

soon, maybe this winter i might start building another muzzleloader... maybe itll be a flint, maybe not... so i was wondering if anyone knows where i can find drawings or plans to make the stock from.. im interested in the hawken design, 1861 springfield muskets, and anything from the 1700s.
There are an abundance of sources for blackpowder kits. I assume you have looked at TVM, track of the wolf, muzzleloader builder's supply?
I'm sure there are others if you google.
I built my hawken from a kit when I was 18. almost 30 yrs ago. Still hunt with it.
well, nothing against the hawken, im just looking for something even older right now.. and would really like the opportunity to play with a flint rifle.. so naturally the kentucky rifle kit for $320 interests me... its a rather basic kit, and will be a great way to get my foot in the door in flintlocks, but i intend for this to be the only flintlock i buy.. i want to make all my future ones myself :-D

on a side note i have a full set of blueprints to the wheellock action, all of these components can be made with simple hand tools like files and such.. so maybe this winter ill piece together a wheellock action and maybe make a pistol out of it.

but definitely, if someone has drawings for the 1861 springfield stock, i would absolutely love them
I just finished a kit by http://www.sittingfoxmuzzleloaders.com/hints.htm. When I decided I wanted a flintlock, I looked at some of those Traditions kits, but I really wanted something a little more unique. This was my first so I went with a stock that had the lock, barrel and ramrod pre-inlet. It took me 3 1/2 months working an hour or so a day before work for a total of about 100 hrs, and could have been a lot more if I wanted to make it more elaborate. In the process I not only got a one of a kind rifle, but learned a great deal about how rifles were built in the past and have a new appreciation for the kind of work gun builders and blacksmiths were able to do in days before power tools. Do a lot of reading and looking before you seal the deal, I actually went to a reenactment and talked to some of the guys there about their rifles and attended a local black powder club event before I bought anything. The black powder shooting crowd seem like a great bunch of people who love to share information and experience. Have fun, whichever route you go.
I would seriously recommend one of the custom kits over a Traditions flintlock. You will spend quite a bit more money but you will have a great deal more gun. Sitting Foxes kits are well made and well thought of. Track of the Wolf has kits by various people that are well worth the money. Another excellent source of books, materials and good advice is The Log Cabin Sport Shop at http://www.logcabinonline.com/. they can provide excellent source material on building stocks as well as any other aspect of antique guns. Well worth the time to visit or call. Top of the line would be Jim Chamber's kits at http://www.flintlocks.com/.

As for building a stock, I'd start with The Art of Building the Pennsylvania Longrifle by Dixon, Miller and Ehrig, then read Gunsmith of Grenville County by Alexander and Recreating the American Longrifle by Buchele and Shumway.

Another thing you should do this winter is practice locating the shift keys on your keyboard so you can capitalize your posts where needed.
hmm.. well right now im on a budget, so the traditions kentucky seems to be about all i can afford for flintlocks... but its fine, i repair and build musical instruments afterall so wood work doesnt scare me, im well capable of making sure the barrel, lock, and trigger match up properly, so i think ill be ok with that... i have to revamp my black powder making gear though

i made a few pounds of black powder with a mortar and pestle to grind... though it works and i did it for proof of concept, lets just say it was a general pain in the neck so ill be making a ball mill soon too

im going to check out that pennsylvania long rifle book, see if i can find it or others like it based on other types of rifles, i have one for 1500s germanic wheellock rifles with full plans and drawings to build every component to the lock, stock, and what id need for a barrel, so maybe a winter project with that AFTER i build the kentucky
Where's the trigger guard?
That looks just like the old CVA Kentucky rifles that were sold in the 70's and 80's. I have one in perc. with the same two piece stock in .45 caliber.
I had to wait an extra few weeks for another trigger guard. The first one snapped on me as I was installing it. I will admit that their customer service is ok and replaced it free of charge.
well the message about their customer service makes me feel a little better... also i once heard from someone big into muzzleloaders that the really slow 1 in 66 twist rate was low enough you could load this thing like a 28 gauge and still get patterns good enough to drop water fowl... is this true?
well i should try it out on some targets and see what i really get for patterning.. probably wont be much without a choke anyway

so no leads on the patterns for a 61 musket stock?
Nothing is more satisfying than building your own flintlock. It's a lot of fun, too.

also i once heard from someone big into muzzleloaders that the really slow 1 in 66 twist rate was low enough you could load this thing like a 28 gauge and still get patterns good enough to drop water fowl... is this true?

Sadly no, not without some kind of choke installed that would look weird and anachronistic. BUT the old timers had a gun called a "smooth rifle" that's typically a heavy smoothbore barrel mounted like a rifle with rifle sights, and patched tight. These can be used as a shotgun or for ball or buck-and-ball. A good one will be accurate enough out to 75 yards or more for hunting. You can drop a ball in for big game or a load of shot for waterfowl. Trade guns and fusils were also used in this fashion. You do get more yardage with the true rifles, but given the dropoff of velocity with a roundball you're really not getting that much more *effective* range. It's hard to beat a 20 ga. trade gun for an all-around meat getter.

I've built a Sitting Fox kit, and I'd advise spending extra for his best maple. It's not much more money but working with low-grade walnut is a nightmare. In fact I'd suggest spending more on wood from any maker. The barrels and locks you get with kits are typically excellent quality, and much much better than what they had in the 18th century. But the wood isn't what it used to be for the obvious reasons.

Track of the Wolf is nice in that you can mix and match parts or buy kits a little at a time to make them easier to afford.

Chambers is top of the line, but more expensive.

Keep in mind these are true kits, not just the stick-them-together type from the factories such as Traditions. Lots of work is required and you have to have good chisels, drill bits, and the ability to drill and tap.
Yes, twist is what you want with a patched ball, twist is not what you want with shot. Funny how Remington came out with a turkey choke that had straight grooves..., which is what the old grooved or straight-rifled barrel did back in the day.

If you want to shoot both ball and shot, you should think about a 28 gauge fowler.

no i really have no interest in shot.. i have a 12 gauge pump next to me for bird season, and plan to build a double barrel flintlock 12 gauge with barrels counterbored and threaded for removable chokes.. but thats later

what im going to do is build this traditions kentucky/pennsylvania type rifle, get the experience down with that, and then get that book someone mentioned earlier about building them from scratch and build one from scratch sometime in the near future

since i build wooden musical instruments i already have all the files, planers, rasps, and other essential tools for wood carving as long as i had patterns that told me what im supposed to be carving... should be fun, but i need atleast a kit first for a baseline comparison to anything i may build myself
btw, this is an 18th century flintlock im going for... i have absolutely no interest in using modern slugs... if i was interested in any of that i would wuss out and get an inline, but id rather go traditional, and in doing so i plan to stick with round ball ammo... and i will make a powder horn from scratch to go for it

im not sure at this point if ill use some sort of valve, thread cap, or just a more tradition plugged powder horn, most likely a more traditional one
If you already build instruments I'll wager you could take on at least a Track or Chambers parts kit without too much trouble. The traditions kit is going to be a cake walk for you and not really all that authentic a rifle in the end. If you invest in a good parts kit with quality wood I'd really like to see what you could do with it with your background.
i understand the traditions isnt completely authentic, but its all i can afford right now and sort of gets my foot into the door for making more authentic rifles.. i can start by replacing the traditions stock with a curly or flamed maple stock carved to origional specs for example, and thatll give me practice making the stocks while having the parts i need to test it with and such
to anyone who has read the book "the art of building the pennsylvania longrifle"... does it include dimensions, blueprints, and plans for carving the stock out properly?... also does it have the dimensions and blueprints of the lock components as well?.. im curious as to how in depth this book is before i buy it
The American Longrifles forum is home to many custom longrifle builders that may be able to offer useful advice to a new budding builder.


The Muzzle Loading Forum also has a builder's forum and sections where people display the guns that they've built and how they built them in great detail.

You can follow my referral link for free registration if you're not already registered:


Our esteemed moderator 4v50 Gary has mentioned about having taken rifle building courses that were offered in the past which can accelerate the learning curve. Maybe you live close to where there's a course being offered or perhaps you can make contact with a builder that lives nearby who can share some of his gunmaking knowledge with you in person.
Recreating the American Longrifle by Buchele and Shumway contains very well written descriptions on how to make your own 'pattern' for a longrifle stock in any style. I believe there is even an example pattern included. Call The Log Cabin Sport Shop 330-948-1082 and ask; they're very helpful people.
i was actually going to build a sanding block to match the contour of the muzzleloader barrel, so i can get the inlet for the barrel started with a tablesaw and then use the sanding block inside to take shape of the barrel... but i guess using that method rather than chisels would be frowned upon?

right now im kind of on the fence about going with the kit, or using my tools and techniques in making instruments to build one of these... then theres the issue that i do want this done before the hunting season so i can break it in which means buying a barrel, trigger, trigger guard, buttplate, and a lock (probably a siler), and just manufacturing the stock itself.. i could probably do that
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