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Old 08-29-2014, 07:04 PM   #21
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you can cast your own miniball not sure if there are easily available cheap sabot skirts for them.

not sure if the op is a bullet caster or not. i cast my own lead ball .54cal
Seems like sabot skirts should be an easy thing to mass produce and if you have a mold for the correct bullet that fits it would be a cinch.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:05 PM   #22
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I never had any problems harvesting white tail with a patched .490" 177 gn round ball charged with 75 GN of black powder produces about 1600 foot pounds of KE at the muzzle
that aint too darn bad for a primitive fire arm.

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Old 08-29-2014, 09:42 PM   #23
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I never had any problems harvesting white tail with a patched .490" 177 gn round ball charged with 75 GN of black powder produces about 1600 foot pounds of KE at the muzzle
that aint too darn bad for a primitive fire arm.
im not saying you cant take deer and target shoot and such. im just saying the 54 is much better at it kinda like the diff tween a 243 and a 308
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:33 AM   #24
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If you want a rifle that actually sorta looks like a Hawken get a Lyman Great Plains with a round ball twist. The Traditions etc have a 1:48 twist where the Lyman has a 1:60. I would have to go with a .54 tho. I used a .50 for many years but since I got a .54 I don't see me ever owning another .50 unless it's really cheap.

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Old 08-30-2014, 03:58 PM   #25
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I may look at kits today when out and about.

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Old 08-30-2014, 07:13 PM   #26
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Any chance we could get those who have built some kits to post pictures of the finished product and tell a bit about the build (and let us know what the kit cost)?

I would probably start with an inexpensive kit just to get my feet wet and then depending on how that project goes work on a more complex build. Of course I have nothing to spend on the kit so that sort of limits me to research right now! LOL!

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Old 08-30-2014, 08:56 PM   #27
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Well sadly I did not get to stop at Gander mtn. today but there is always tomorrow.

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Old 08-31-2014, 02:09 PM   #28
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For me the most important thing in a bp rifle is the rate of twist in the barrel. Most now are 1-48 which is just ok for a round ball and just ok for a conical but not great for either. My first kit was in the 1970's and was a .45 Kentucky from CVA with a 1-66 barrel. Awesome round ball gun that can still out shoot my 30-30 at 75 yards. I rusted the barrel at build time and it looks 200 years old. Next came a .50 Hawken from Perdisoli with a 1-48 blued barrel. 10 years of shooting and never found a load for it that could come close to the Kentucky so she is a wall hanger. I was told 30+ years ago... there are a whole lot more people that can take $200 worth of gun parts and make a $100 gun then there are people that can take $100 worth of gun parts and make a $200 gun.

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Old 09-02-2014, 11:29 PM   #29
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Can't remember the cost of the kit, that was many years ago. This is a Thompson Center Hawken 50cal. that I built when I was 19 years old, back in 1978. This rifle has taken a few deer, but lost count so many hogs it's crazy. I have enjoyed hunting with it every year and will continue to do so. The build was all done by hand, files, knifes, rasps, chisels, sandpaper, steel wool etc.
The stock stain was first done in light walnut, steel wooled afterwards. Then I used a 6 inch PVC pipe cut length wise to lay the stock in used 30 weight motor oil, it was there for a little over one day. Coming out I then just kept wiping it down with rags until no motor oil was coming off on your hands. Light buff with 4O steel wool then hand rub paste wax,
The barrel was done in cold brown, about 4 times with heat from a hair dryer between coats. Afterwards took wet 1000 grit to the flats to make it show hand, holding wear, or wear from being in a rifle scab.
Now the neat part. I removed all the clips, springs etc. from all the brass furniture. I then took all the brass parts and put them in a new full jar of mayonnaise, left out at room temp with the lid loose for over 2 weeks. Washed them in soap n water after I liked the color I was looking for, gave them a very old black brass look with some black lines in the mill marks. Put it all together and it came out looking like this.
ImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696902.673357.jpgImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696918.437128.jpgImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696935.503718.jpgImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696946.600059.jpgImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696959.106843.jpgImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696969.706388.jpgImageUploadedByFirearms Talk1409696982.843542.jpg


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Old 09-04-2014, 01:34 AM   #30
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The first place I started was reading as many gun building books that I could find. The one that helped me out the most you can find on Dixies site or Track of the Wolf. It was written by Shumway. There are many good books out there if you look around. Some are for building your own custom rifle, but will give you plenty of insight into doing a kit build. There is no reason what so ever for not modifying the stock on a kit to better suit you, after all its your rifle. The down fall of most kit guns are there locks. L and R make good replacement locks that fit a lot of cheaper rifles. Who's to say you won't become the next Hacker Martin? He used horse manure to brown his barrels! Anything that will rust steel will brown a barrel, I happen to like Birchwood Casey's plum brown my self, it don't smell like horse sh-- either! Just take it slow and easy and you'll do fine, if not, you got a good reason to build another one.

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