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Old October 16, 2012, 04:08 PM   #1
BerdanSS
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Help...building a long rifle

My father has, since about a decade ago, been muzzle loader-less, and that needs to change. His last one was a limited edition TC Puma Hawken. He loves black powder military rifles, fine craftsmanship....and like me, beautiful fancy wood. We took a trip to Williamsburg Virginia a few years ago and he literally was just transfixed with awe at the dozens of long rifles we saw. I'd like to do something really special for him to return a little of all he's done for me in my life.

Since fine craftsmanship and gorgeous wood doesn't really go hand in hand with most military weapons being reproduced these days, I have decided to go with the early american military arm, and build him a long-rifle. Either for fathers day or his birthday (I have about a year to work on it if I go for the birthday plan). I have ideas of where to start, but am completely lost in all the different styles and makers of these guns. Due to his age...and convenience of use. I want to make his (I'm going to build one for myself eventually also) with a percussion lock....but don't want to end up with a complete franken gun. So I'm shooting for a correct rifle with a caplock instead of a flinter.

I'm good with metal, woodworking skill I'd rate myself well above average. And while I'm not a professionally trained smith...I do "tinker" a lot with guns. I know he like the styles with a higher comb like this one.. Lancaster Dickert? (not sure, like I said not real familiar with them.)



Need help with names, styles and correct parts to build with. Also where is a good place to start with the stuff needed to make that beautiful curly maple pop without covering it up.

Last edited by BerdanSS; October 16, 2012 at 08:48 PM.
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Old October 16, 2012, 05:33 PM   #2
Hawg
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Check out Pecatonica River Long Rifle Supply. They don't sell kits but sell high quality parts and have a recommended parts list for the different styles.
http://www.longrifles-pr.com/
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Old October 16, 2012, 05:41 PM   #3
Roshi
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Track

Track of the Wolf has some different kits and supplies.
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Old October 16, 2012, 07:01 PM   #4
Pahoo
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Lots of options.

Another option would be Dixie Guns works and they have been around since Moby Dick, was a guppie. You might also look into Pedersoli. I just picked up a Long flint Kentuckian style rifle. How long, you might sayt? It's so long that it will not fit in my safe. Wife said that perhaps I had a good excuse to hang it up on the wall.. ....


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Old October 16, 2012, 08:06 PM   #5
mykeal
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Pick up the phone and call Toni or Matt Avis at Tennessee Valley Muzzleloading. Talk to them about what you want; they can make them or supply the parts in any level of completion. 1-(601)445-5482
http://www.avsia.com/tvm/
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Old October 16, 2012, 08:42 PM   #6
BerdanSS
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While I have made severial purchases from dixie (Dads first smoke poll was a '58 enfield he bought there back in "80 something) building is a must with this one...I want it to be 100% his. Not just an "off the shelf" rifle. The most completed I'm looking for is a unfinished stock that is inleted for the barrel and lock with the rod placement drilled. I don't have the tools for that and have never done the inletting on a black powder gun bigger than a pistol. I do plan on doing the patch box myself, and some custom carving. I'm also going to finish the barrel. Haven't decided yet between a deep polished blue...or maybe browning it. Thank you all for the help so far. I've been looking at Muzzle loader builders supply also, but Pecatonica River's site seems to be more "user friendly" for we that be novices

Last edited by BerdanSS; October 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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Old October 16, 2012, 09:05 PM   #7
robhof
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robhof

It may be a little more work, but the browning on antiques and repro rifles just give it that authentic feel and look.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:26 PM   #8
Bill Carson
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all of the previous posts are where i get my parts from. I can also add, Jim Chambers, North Star West and T.R.S. as a reference source. T.R.S. on line catalog has many images of US milltary arms. the type of rifle you describe fits our earlyliest US patterns. the 1792 contract rifles, these were all made by civillan penn. gunsmiths such as j dickert, p gonter, c kline. next there are the 1807 contract rifles. some made by the afore mentioned makers but including, j henry, c gumf , p gonter. then my favorite the virginia manufactory. they were made in 3 evolving models from 1805 to1821. the 1805-1808 have the patch box in the shape of a coiled rattlesnake fully engraved with scales and silver wire forked toung. on the edges of each patchbox the words, 'don't tread on me' are also engraved. late model virginia rifles still saw service in the civel war. most all the rifles i've listed were stocked in walnut but some are found in curley maple. with the exception of the use of iron on some first model virginia rifles all the other guns discussed were brass mounted. surviving 1795s average 50 cal. the 1807 were 54 cal ,the virginia rifles, 45 cal. your plan to make your gun in prec. works out well historically. by the 1830s these rifles were being replaced by better and improved models. such as the 1814, 1817 military pattern contract rifle and the m1819 hall. these older weapons were put up for public auction. once in the hands of private citizens, they began to be converted to percussion. its very easy to make any modern percussion lock look as if it were a conversion from flint. i've done many. if needed I can give full details. finally, before you buy anything do lots of research. you are already off to a good start.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:30 PM   #9
BerdanSS
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thanks Carson...very informative
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:05 PM   #10
4V50 Gary
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Wallace Gusler (the fellow who set up the gunshop at Colonial Williamsburg) once said to find a rifle you like and do your best to copy it. After years of doing this, you will understand the architecture of the gun.

As for kits, I'd go with Jim Chambers. It's the best that's out there.

Oh, where the tang goes determines where the lock goes. Why? Because the end of the tang is where the touchhole goes.
Where the lock goes determines where the trigger goes. Why? Because where the lock goes determines the location of the sear. The sear determines where the trigger goes.
Where the trigger goes determines where the buttplate goes. Why? Length of pull.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:53 PM   #11
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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John< at Track of the Wolf located in Elk River MN. They do have a web site with a Chat option. Many kits available rated according to your capabilities. Also an option on having Tracks people preform special tasks on your weapon for lack of equipment or know how. No problem. I wouldn't recommend a dealer if I've never been there in person to see their facility. Just the way I am about these reference writes. Doesn't hurt to shop around and see what available. Good luck with your project Sir.

www.trackofthewolf.com/
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Old October 17, 2012, 06:00 AM   #12
mykeal
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Ok, if you want to do a 100% build, get a copy of Recreating the American Longrifle by Shumway, Alexander and Buchele and read it carefully. Twice. It explains the process described by 4V50Gary in excellent detail. Then buy your parts. Or build your forge and cut down your walnut tree.
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