Kit Rifles

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by colmustard, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    So I am thinking of doing a kit rifle and am pretty set on a hawken .50 for the project. Maybe later I will do a Kentucky kit. So I was wondering what kits would you recommend, I have been looking at Dixie gun works and traditions so far.

    Also how hard are they to build and how hard is it to blue the barrel? Any information would be fantastic, I am thinking this would be a good winter project.
     
  2. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    Cool beans maybe we both can learn some stuff!! I am really looking forward to building and enjoying one, and am glad I am not the only one here!
     

  3. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    This is of interest to me as well. I have an old 50 Hawken. But I would like to built something else too.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Complexity of a build will be all over the place. Some kits require significant metal and wood fitting- some if you shake the box gently, it will self assemble.

    MOST hobbyists are not going to able to do hot caustic blue, since it requires bluing tanks, heat source, yadda yadda

    Options-
    1. Do all the metal polishing, take it to a smith for hot blue
    2. Cold blue- and it will suck.
    3. Brown it. Birchwood Casey Plum Brown does decent job
    4. RUST blue it. Can be done well by a hobbyist, and is likely more authentic that the others.
     
  5. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    C3 that's not fair. He could cold blue it and it might not suck. Plus cold be can be removed fairly easy so you can try again. Dixie is usually pretty high priced on their stuff so I say shop around. If you do this project - - take your time! Work slow and careful. Ask questions on here during the project because many of us on here have down these. They can be alot of fun and if you are careful can come out excellent. A good beginner project.
     
  6. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    Ok so what kits would any of you recommend? Are the traditions decent, they seem to be rather prevalent? Also what is this rust bluing you speak of? :)
     
  7. bradam

    bradam Member

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    Check out Cabela. They have rifle and pistol kits and most of the information of the helpful kind.
     
  8. KG7IL

    KG7IL Well-Known Member

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    My advice. . . .50 caliber due to the availability of components. Years ago, I picked up a kit from my (at the time) BIL. The .45 caliber kit from CVA was easy with moderate to advanced skill.

    Blueing the barrel was problematic. Casey Blue was acceptable.
     
  9. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Colmustard where are you at in Ohio? I ask because there is a gun shop just outside of Lodi Oh. that does only black powder stuff. They have a class/workshop/I'm not sure what to call it, on Saturdays where people get together to build rifles and pistols. Not everyone is building the same thing as far as I know, but the staff is there to teach and help.

    I won't name it here because I don't know the rules about that sort of thing, I will state that I have no affiliation with the shop other than as an occasional customer(about an hour drive for me). I have considered signing up but I drive 55-60 hours a week now and the 2 hour round trip on my day off just doesn't sound like fun.

    They have an outdoor range behind the building, and better still in the back room is a pretty large collection of firearms from the early Ohio gun makers, all with a small card under it telling who made it and when and where. He also has a few pieces of early tooling that is really interesting too.

    You can PM me for the name of the shop or if mod happens to check in here and says its ok I will post the name and a link.
     
  10. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    I live in the corn fields about 45 min. From dayton.
     
  11. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    c3shooter is right: Most cold blues suck.

    i make my own Neidner's cold rust blue; it's the best blue ever. Almost no one uses Neidner's because it's somewhat dangerous to make and use: The recipe includes iron nails, nitric and hydrochloric acid.
     
  12. BVAL

    BVAL New Member

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    Check all the different supply houses, and or retail on line stores. Prices for the kits can get really crazy. For the money, I would go for the kits by Traditions or Lyman. Really wish I could tell you to go to Thompson Center to get a kit, but they have not offered them in many years. They were very nice. Good luck with your search, and besides black powder is so much fun to do.
    I will stay on the look out if I find a good deal for you, and let you know.


    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
     
  13. St8LineGunsmith

    St8LineGunsmith New Member

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    a TOTW kit may be a bit advanced if you are a novice you would be better off to start with a traditions kit or an old CVA kit if you can find one
    the hawken would be a good beginner project I would stay away from the pinned barrel muzzleloaders for a first time build and you want a kit that you will have to do minimal inletting for the time being.
     
  14. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Subscribing to the thread. I have wanted to do a BP kit for years but most of them look like- well, kits. I would like something that looks more traditional. I am not beyond doing a bunch of the metalwork and such myself. I like the rust bluing as a finish too- I haven't seen many originals that are true blue!
     
  15. bradam

    bradam Member

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    Rust bluing? Can you give an expanded explanation?
     
  16. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    HIGHLY recommend a .54 over the .50

    they retain energy well past 100 hit MUCH harder than a 50 which loses gas pretty quick and are lightweight.

    ive found patched ball out of a 1-60 twist barrel is far more accurate than more "modern" 209 primered saboted or power belt bullets.
     
  17. St8LineGunsmith

    St8LineGunsmith New Member

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    you can get blue almost black finish by boiling the parts after applications. the brown or rust color is just neutralizing the acid then steel wool the parts and coat with boiled linseed oil
    I think Larry potterfield demonstrates the rust bluing process on youtube.
     
  18. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    54's are fairly flat shooting to 100 where they start dropping off and turn into bowling balls around the 200 mark. the 50 starts arcing badly around 80-90.

    thats according to my research and experience shooting a 209 primered inline 50 and 50 patched ball. the twist is wrong for most inlines with patched ball you you can get a feel for the drop and power hitting objects like coke cans gallon jugs etc.

    54 hits like a truck 50's hit like prius...

    50's really need sabots and such to get to 100-150 to match patched ball 54's. then you top the cost factor of having to run sabots vs 54 patch and ball its a no brainer to go 54 1-60 patch ball ml. you can shoot literally all day for the cost of 16 sabot rounds in a 50. if you DO choose a 50 that has a patch ball twist rate you lose the extra range to get to 100 or so without the rainbow effect.

    if your shooting 50-75 yards or less there is no real diff in ballistic arc. either works well punching paper.

    check out the cost of 1 pack of sabot vs 1 box of round ball. its crazy
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  19. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    What about casting your own?
     
  20. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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