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Old July 19, 2008, 11:23 AM   #1
Pahoo
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Kit Guns; Do-It-Yourself article

For those involved in building a Muzzleloader Kit, there is a helpful article in this month issue of Shooting Times, starting on page 74. Although very basic, there is some very good information.


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Old July 19, 2008, 12:49 PM   #2
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Yes, actually, overall a good article. I found his dismissal of the early Spanish guns to be a bit over the top (I have two rifles, two shotguns and four pistols of that genre, and all are still fine guns after 30+ years), and I'd have been more impressed if he'd have spelled Hawken correctly, but on balance it was a good treatment of the entry level products.
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Old July 19, 2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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I have seen some very well made CVA, Spanish Kit guns that have been in active service for 30 or 40 years. A bit of age on the outside but bores and locks are still very good. Kit guns jump out at me, especially the older ones. Most are plum brown but you will see a few blued ones. I appreciate that he mentioned that the early kit guns were first assembled and worked, then taken apart to finish. I'm not sure that the current kits are treated this way. I know that my latest T.C. Hawken kit was not.


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Old July 20, 2008, 01:35 PM   #4
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The Italian imports are kit guns but it is sacreligious to call them Hawkens. If you want a true replica of a Hawken, then go to Pecatonica or Track of the Wolf or any number of makers of authentic replicas and build a fine gun which is a good shooter as well as being historically correct.
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Old July 20, 2008, 01:49 PM   #5
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W. C. Quantrill

You are correct and it should be noted that most if not all kit guns today, are classified as "Non-Replicas". However, these are still valid M/L's and all load the same, in this great adventure called Muzzleloading.

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Old July 20, 2008, 04:42 PM   #6
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W. C. Quantrill,

The sacrilege, in my opinion, is Thompson Center calling their entirely made in America rifle a Hawken.

There are no ready made factory guns or 'bag of parts' kit guns currently being marketed that qualify as Hawken replicas, made in the USA or elsewhere. It is possible to purchase either a custom made gun (from Don Stith) or the parts to modify so you can build one yourself that would so qualify, but they are not in anyone's current catalog, including Track of the Wolf or Pecatonica River Long Rifle Supply.
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Old July 20, 2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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Are you the same Mykeal on MLF?

Don Stiths guns are probably as close as it comes to an accurate replica. However, even they need fine tuning and Don will tell you so. The thing is also, that even the Hawken guns werent all exactly alike......................

I shoot a .53 Hawken that I believe is as close as it gets to being an accurate replica. I built it a number of years ago from some parts I ordered and then somewhat reshaped to blueprints that I got from the Hawken Shop in St. Louis. That should tell you how long ago it was.
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Old July 21, 2008, 05:39 AM   #8
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W.C.,

Yep, same person.

Poorly worded sentence, apologies. I meant to say that one could start with one of Don's guns or a set of blanks and create an authentic replica; Don and others sell parts that can be worked into a real Hawken reproduction. But, AFIK, that's the only way to get there at present.
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Old July 21, 2008, 12:41 PM   #9
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No problem.

One of the problems lies in the definition of what perhaps is a Hawken or whatever. They changed through time, and one that you got for instance in 1830 might not be just like the one I got in 1845. So, a careful study of history and architecture of the different names of guns is important, as well as picking a time period for that named gun. My rifle represents what would have been perhaps an 1838 average as far as I know. I am sure that it can be nit picked also, but that is what the guys at the Hawken shop in St. Louis told me the day I bought those blueprints. My resulting rifle is as close to those blueprints as I could get it.........then it comes down to, did the guy that drew them have good info in 1978 to work from?

The Hawken is one of the most complicated to get correct. Do you have your lock panels at the correct angle?,,,Hmmm, well what year are you talking,,,some were parallel and some were angled..........Don has the best reputation for correct at this time. I have a set of his blueprints and we are talking about parts. Wow, they are not cheap any more. Parts alone run almost $1000.

I guess you have to decide whether you want to drive a Blazer, a Yukon, or an Escalade. They all look the same but you pay more for the name.
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