First, Chicken McNasty, you're out of luck on me helping you out. I don't know any more and probably less than you about this "holy smoke" game. But I have found folks involved in several of the discussion forums about it to be helpful. Make an original post of the questions you have and put 'er out there...you'll get some answers...do a "google" search and find several different forums and get a wider spread of information. That'll give you aplenty to work with.
So, second...I let ya'll talk me into "lowering" my "standards" a bit and looking used but better quality-wise. Glad I did....in my original post I said I leaned a little more to the more "traditional" smoke-poles and I think about 4 or 5 of you all recommended the Lyman Great Plains Rifle and some on another site added the T/C Hawken to my list.
So I spent some time looking the day before and yesterday. Found a bunch out there...lots way too high for what they were...some fair priced, but already being dickered over..and finally THE ONE, on another muzzleloading discussion forum, in the "for sale" section. Seller appeared to be asking a fairly reasonable price relative to what I saw in the ad and pictures and the rifle was pretty much what I had set out to find.
Contacted the seller by e-mail. The rifle is 3 years old..shot some, but not a whole bunch. Clean, bright barrel and one single flaw (some corrosion on the brass tip of the original ramrod). Otherwise she looks "handled" but very good. Got some more pics from the seller last night. Then asked him to call me, which he did this morning.
Well, we got to talking small talk a bit and his first name is same as mine. His last name is same as my mother's maiden name. He lives in a little town in east TN, where I happened to live for a couple years as a small boy. In fact I have a younger brother and sister who were born there....small world ain't it?
So anyhow, I asked him a few questions...he answered satisfactorily. Then I explained how I was interested in His .54 cal GPR and how I had decided to figure out a fair offer to make him and how I came up with the number, which was just a couple bucks more than the Traditions I had originally been eye-balling. Hit him with the offer and he accepted it. We agreed on the "arrangements" for payment, shipping, etc.
I got to go to the bank and get a Certified check today and send it to him. I got me a Lyman Great Plains Rifle caplock in .54 caliber coming upon his receipt of that check.
Now y'all need to start sending me some suggestions for a name for her.
And getting all the "accoutrements" will be easier if y'all would get specific 'bout brand names and sources. ...and...you know better than me.
...y'all have already helped me out and got me in a fine fix now. Since y'all "instigated" now you got to help keep me in line...You voluntarily entered into a contractual obligation by giving me "good" advice that got me saddled with a new-to-me smokepole..now you are obligated to continue the assistance so I don't mess 'er up....Y'all get started....
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.--John Adams