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Traditions ML Kit

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Olon, May 14, 2020.

  1. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Howdy,

    Who here has put together one of those traditions 50 cal caplock kits? Is it any good? Thinking about starting one and using it for ML season here in Nebraska.

    As always, thanks for the input!

    Olon
     
  2. sspierce8

    sspierce8 Member

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    I put this one together 42 years ago, and it shoots great. Kicks like a mule though.
     

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  3. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    One member frontiergander has built many kits for himself and others.
    He even has a Facebook page about it named Black Powder Kit Gun Builders.
    While he loves and prefers to build kits, he has said that you never know what you will get in a kit.
    From my readings, some work out great while others are problematic because parts don't always fit as they should.
    There's Traditions, Lyman and Pedersoli kits.
    Without experience, a kit can become troublesome which means that buying a factory finished gun is way less risky.
    At least Traditions guns provide some guarantee that parts will be replaced if a person really runs into trouble.
    Lyman probably does too and maybe even Pedersoli will but not so sure how easy that is.
    But it can take time to get a kit part replaced such as a stock.
    And it can be a lot of work to finish, especially if there's problems.
    I can see a newbie builder trying to build a cheap model like a Deerhunter, but it can still cost more in the long run than buying a finished gun due to needing to buy finishing materials and tools.
    I would strongly recommend that a newbie buy a finished gun.
    Sometimes even a used creampuff is more than worth it because you know what you're getting.
    Which models are you interested in?
    Have you visited any local shops to check out used guns?
    frontiergander builds beautiful kit guns and he does like his Traditions, so my advice is not based on his advice.
    But can be why some folks ask him to build their kits.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  4. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I dont have anything specific in mind yet. There's a few new ones at the sporting goods store in town but only one traditional style muzzle loader. I can't remember who makes it but it looks nice. I just thought the feeling of building one myself would be cool but it sounds like it might not be a best first move into the realm of ML rifles.
     
  5. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Olon, I'm biased because I'm not a builder.
    Many folks do enjoy it and get a lot of satisfaction.
    But there's a learning curve.
    Sometimes the parts may seem like rejects because they may need some work.
    While other kits will fit together almost perfectly.
     
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  6. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  7. sspierce8

    sspierce8 Member

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    You can build one. That one I posted I built when I was 18. I never built one before, and had no experience at all. It’s not that hard to do. Plus you get to finish the wood like you like it.
     
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  8. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    Some folks might be frustrated by the fact that it's not like snapping together Legos.
    Depending on the kit, there may be parts that need to be fitted and or finished.
     
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  9. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I could see that as being a negative for some. I've made enough farm fixes and built enough things that I understand things rarely fit when you want them to. :D
     
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  10. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Lost me at "plastic stock"
     
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  11. wmgeorge
    • Contributing Member

    wmgeorge Contributing Member

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    You might check the classifieds here, lots of times good muzzle loaders stay unnoticed.
     
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  12. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass Member

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    Glad I saw this tread. Was thinking about a kit. But not now. Some folks maybe good at fitting parts. I am not one of them. Pretty much why I let my gunsmith do most of my work. Have learned a long time ago it is much cheaper to pay him.
     
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  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Olon

    Got this Traditions Hawken style kit for Christmas many moons ago. Never put together a kit before but I have worked on gun stocks and guns in general for many years. Everything went well for the most part in getting things to fit properly with the exception being the brass butt plate requiring extra effort to get it to line up the right way with the pre-drilled holes in the stock. I didn't like the shiny brass pieces so I matted them up a bit with some steel wool.

    All in all I think it turned out okay and it did make for a fun winter time building experience!
    KEukGGj.jpg
     
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  14. Olon

    Olon Member

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    That's some fine work there. Very encouraging to see some kits that turned out well
     
  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Olon

    I think the biggest obstacle in doing a kit is that how well do the metal parts go together and how well is the stock inletted. Mine was great right out of the box with only a couple of areas that needed some work.

    First was the aforementioned butt plate which was going diagonally across the butt when the pre-drilled holes were used. It took quite a bit of reshaping of the brass butt plate to get it lined up correctly and still look okay. The other problem areas were the inletting for the trigger guard and for the lock work were a little off but that was a relatively easy fix to do.
     
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  16. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    It's simple, plastic stocks lower the cost of a gun and getting into the sport.
    There can be a $100 price difference between a plastic or wood stocked Traditions Deerhunter.
    And plastic stocks can offer some advantages such as sharp checkering that aren't found on the same model wood stock.
    People often think that building a kit will save them money, but often it doesn't.

    Also, many people don't factor in the cost of all of the accessories that are needed to get started with shooting their new gun.
    That can also add another $100 - $150 when powder and ammo are included.
    So buying a gun with a plastic stock can help make it possible for a newbie to enter the sport.
    I don't see folks snickering about revolvers having plastic grips since they look great and come standard on some expensive C&B guns.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  17. Catman42

    Catman42 Member

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    ive put 3,50/s together and one 32.they all turned out good for me.
     
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  18. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    I don't like plastic grips on a revolver either.

    Not that I don't want to see someone get into shooting, especially muzzleloading. With used guns sporting wood stocks going for the same as some kits, I can't see why anybody would want a plastic stock on a traditional styled gun. The plastic stock guns I've worked with while instructing felt different from the wood ones. In a Scout camp we instructed at, the Scouts commented on the recoil of the plastic stocked guns v our wood stocked ones that we brought for them to try. The plastic guns were Traditions 50cal. Our guns were 1863 Remingtons (Zouaves). They preferred to shoot our guns for three reasons, first was recoil. They thought the camp guns "kicked" more, never mind the fact that the Zouaves were shooting a bullet with over twice the mass of a 50cal RB with a very similar powder charge. Second, ergonomics, they liked the proportions of the muskets better. Third, accuracy. The camp guns were marginal and we had done some load development on the muskets so they could actually hit something.
     
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  19. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    After putting a deep scar in a nice wood stock during hunting, I found that a Deer Hunter with a plastic stock could offer some advantages.
    I let my son use it for deer hunting without being concerned about stock dings.
    I'm recoil sensitive and neither of us had any recoil issues shooting it with a 240 grain saboted bullet and 90 grains of Pyrodex P.

    It gets many 5 star reviews for its accuracy and is now made with better metal sights.
    Here's a ~1 minute video showing a Deer Hunter kit gun firing a PRB with 85 grains of powder at 50 yards.
    The target is shown right after the shot at the 40 second mark.



    That's understandable since the Zouave has a fairly short length of pull, shorter than the Deer Hunter.
    However it's also much heavier and bulkier with its full stock and longer barrel.
    Some folks actually prefer a lighter cerbine length muzzle loader for easier handling and carry while woods hunting.
    Hunting open plains type of terrain can mean a different preference in barrel length or switching to an inline.

    White plastic grips can make a gun look elegant.
    Sometimes they simulate stag or ivory.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  20. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    duplicate
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    arcticap
    I totally agree!

    Ruger Vaquero with Bar-S Tru-Ivory polymer grips:
    nDvCLzV.jpg

    Beretta Stampede with ivory polymer grips:
    f2dzM6m.jpg

    Pietta Remington NMA with ivory polymer grips:
    mmLIwSi.jpg
     
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  22. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Thank you everyone for the advice. I enjoy shooting my bp revolver because it's plain fun and I enjoy the historical aspect. I like the traditional element and though I'm not a purist, I want a gun that looks nice. Honest wear on a fine wood stock doesn't bother me.

    For me, part of the enjoyment of shooting comes from the pride I take in the weapon I'm using. This ML wouldn't be purely utilitarian so I want something I'll be proud to shoot. While I understand it's merits, plastic just ain't gonna cut it for this application.

    Note: I own and practice with tupperware guns; they are profoundly reliable and no-nonsense. If I'm already making practical concessions by choosing to own a muzzleloader, it had better be something that makes me smile. Just IMHO.
     
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  23. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Having been inside of all of the Guns I own, I will say that I would feel comfortable taking on a kit, but would also caution anybody young, old, veteran, rookie alike to be realistic. Are you expecting to work on it in the evenings and get it perfect over the course of a year, or are you expecting to slap it together one morning like an AR and hit the range that evening? One is realistic and relaxing. The other is unrealistic and frustrating. I have projects I haven’t started yet because I know what my level of patience is right now. I don’t have the patience (or space, or time, or energy) to build right now so I don’t try. I just work on my smaller projects.
     
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  24. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Nice video. I like that rifle a lot and I bet the fiber optics are nice. One gripe I had with the hawken kit I looked at was that it was just a black blade front sight. I would like a brass bead at least up there.

    Also looks to be quite accurate :thumbup:
     
  25. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    One step up from the Deer Hunter is the Frontier Rifle.
    It has a 28" barrel instead of 24", and double set triggers instead of a single trigger. --->>> https://www.muzzle-loaders.com/traditions-frontier-rifle-kit-krc52608.html

    Another step up from that is the Traditions Prairie Rifle with 28" barrel, 2 barrel tenons instead of 1, and a larger trigger guard. --->>> https://www.oldsouthfirearms.com/TraditionsPrairieRifleMuzzleloaderRifleKitPercussion.aspx

    Here's a better photo of it. --->>> https://www.muzzle-loaders.com/traditions-prairie-hawken-rifle-r2170.html


    Lyman guns have a different type of ignition system.
    They have a snail instead of a drum ignition which can mean a slightly smaller flash channel.
    But the flash doesn't need to take a right angle to ignite the powder.
    They do have better quality wood that's walnut instead of generic hardwood, but you never know about the quality of the kit until you receive it.
    Depending on the kit, the barrel could have a different twist rate.
    And they usually always have a heavier barrel.
    The Trade Rifle and DeerStalker have a 1 in 48" twist I think
    And some are also made in .54 cal.
    They're much like TC guns that are long discontinued.
    And they're made in Italy instead of Spain.

    DeerStalker is the shortest.
    Then there's the Trade Rifle.
    And the Great Plains with a 32" barrel weighs about 11 pounds.
    That's similar to the Traditions Mountain Rifle that also has a 32" barrel, but probably weighs less.
    You may have been looking at the Traditions Hawken Woodsman.
    There's a bunch of Traditions kits here: --->>> https://www.oldsouthfirearms.com/TraditionsPrairieRifleMuzzleloaderRifleKitPercussion.aspx

    Mid South Supply usually has the best deals on Lyman guns and kits.
    Don't buy without looking at them all on this page. --->>> https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/dept/muzzleloaders/rifle?brand=lyman-products
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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