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Long Shot



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PostSubject: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 7:50 pm

Ok! So if you are building a custom rifle and you start off with a certain manufacturers stock, when it comes to lock, trigger, can you use other manufactured parts that will work with different stocks, barrels? I don't want to sound stupid, or maybe I already do! Say a mix of TC parts with CVA, Traditions, Lyman? Long Shot
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 7:58 pm

Not a whole lot will swap out between the 4 manfs. you listed.

Even the cva/traditions locks are styled differently. Internals may swap out, except for the main spring. Traditions used a very heavy main spring with a square notch to fit through the lock plate.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 8:39 pm

Good question.

Follow up...

What are the tools you need in your shop to build your own rifle? Question

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 8:54 pm

Not really sure what you are saying.
If by stock, you mean a pre-shaped stock inlet for a barrel channel but nothing else I would look at getting all the metal parts from makers who specialize in each given part. Lock and maybe triggers from one source, barrel from another, etc.
The same thing can be accomplished by getting parts sets from Track of the Wolf, Jedidiah Starr, Wayne Dunlap, Clay Smith, or several others. These will not be sand the wood and slap the parts in "kits". You are going to need some skill at fitting metal to wood and an understanding of how all the parts relate to each other. If you can do that (I can't) you can end up with a rifle that is worth several times the cost of the components.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 9:01 pm

Randy,

Selection of starting material and how finished the 'kit' is or is not my question although it may be soon. 

I am asking about the tools one needs to own to begin thinking about trying a make your own. 
'Fitting wood to metal?' What tools do you need? Carving the wood? What tools do you need? Bluing the barrel? Need tools? How about special measuring? What tools? Vises? What must you have? 

And, separately, how hard is it to try for the first timer with NO experience (not even watching) and no real talent.

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Last edited by Kentucky Colonel on March 16th 2016, 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 9:05 pm

That's what I was referring to. I have always heard about old timers using what ever was available at the time to build these pieces of art that people today would die to get there hands on. Just wondered how things play out today with the parts available. Long Shot
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 16th 2016, 9:29 pm

If you look in the Off Topic section I have a post of some of the work I do on rifle stocks. I have skills in wood work, metal tooling, and have put kits together before. But there is always something to learn and building a piece of art is high on my bucket list. Long Shot
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 17th 2016, 3:04 pm

@Kentucky Colonel wrote:
Randy,

Selection of starting material and how finished the 'kit' is or is not my question although it may be soon. 

I am asking about the tools one needs to own to begin thinking about trying a make your own. 
'Fitting wood to metal?' What tools do you need? Carving the wood? What tools do you need? Bluing the barrel? Need tools? How about special measuring? What tools? Vises? What must you have? 

And, separately, how hard is it to try for the first timer with NO experience (not even watching) and no real talent.
Tools needed depend a LOT on the ability of the person using them. I knew a guy who could turn out some petty decent rifles from a band-sawed stock with very few tools, and nothing special about the few he had. I have been playing with traditional muzzle loaders (that someone else built) for almost fifty years, I have a very good collection of chisels and inletting tools, and yet..... I can take $500 dollars worth of parts and turn them into a $50 gun every time I try. And I have no trouble turning out some pretty decent "wood only" projects, so I'm not a complete klutz.
On the other side of the coin are guys who can turn out pretty decent rifles the first time they try, although most (not all) started with a pre-carved stock with the barrel channel already cut.
If you get a "kit" from a maker like Lyman or Pedersoli you will get all the parts and a stock that needs very little done to it to fit everything together. You won't need much in the way of tools, but you really won't have a custom rifle either.
If you get a parts set from one of the places I mentioned in my first post or someplace similar, you will get a pre-carved stock inletted for at least a barrel channel. Some have lock inlets done, some don't. All that I've seen require inletting the tang into the stock. Almost all require fitting the buttplate, and cutting and filing dovetails in the barrel for lugs for barrel pins and sights. Most that have straight sided barrels will require you to fit the breechplug. Swamped barrels usually have that done when you get the barrel. Most if not all vendors will do the metal work before shipping for additional costs. 
Some of the places selling parts sets - a pre-carved stock like I've mentioned and all the necessary parts - will also sell guns "in the white", fully assembled rifles that need final sanding of the wood, and polish and finish on the metal parts. This will of course cost a lot more but is a good option for someone wanting to do the finish work themselves.
To build a decent rifle it would be nice to have a set of inletting chisels and scrapers, an assortment of wood rasps, different sizes and styles of metal cutting files, and last but not least, a drill press. It's a sort of paradox though. If you have talent, you can get by with less in the way of tools. If you don't have talent, you can have every gunsmithing tool available from Brownell's and Track of the Wolf and you are still going to turn out a cobbled mess with sloppy inletting and horrible lines and architecture. I speak from first hand experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 17th 2016, 6:42 pm

@Randy Johnson wrote:
@Kentucky Colonel wrote:
Randy,

Selection of starting material and how finished the 'kit' is or is not my question although it may be soon. 

I am asking about the tools one needs to own to begin thinking about trying a make your own. 
'Fitting wood to metal?' What tools do you need? Carving the wood? What tools do you need? Bluing the barrel? Need tools? How about special measuring? What tools? Vises? What must you have? 

And, separately, how hard is it to try for the first timer with NO experience (not even watching) and no real talent.
Tools needed depend a LOT on the ability of the person using them. I knew a guy who could turn out some petty decent rifles from a band-sawed stock with very few tools, and nothing special about the few he had. I have been playing with traditional muzzle loaders (that someone else built) for almost fifty years, I have a very good collection of chisels and inletting tools, and yet..... I can take $500 dollars worth of parts and turn them into a $50 gun every time I try. And I have no trouble turning out some pretty decent "wood only" projects, so I'm not a complete klutz.
On the other side of the coin are guys who can turn out pretty decent rifles the first time they try, although most (not all) started with a pre-carved stock with the barrel channel already cut.
If you get a "kit" from a maker like Lyman or Pedersoli you will get all the parts and a stock that needs very little done to it to fit everything together. You won't need much in the way of tools, but you really won't have a custom rifle either.
If you get a parts set from one of the places I mentioned in my first post or someplace similar, you will get a pre-carved stock inletted for at least a barrel channel. Some have lock inlets done, some don't. All that I've seen require inletting the tang into the stock. Almost all require fitting the buttplate, and cutting and filing dovetails in the barrel for lugs for barrel pins and sights. Most that have straight sided barrels will require you to fit the breechplug. Swamped barrels usually have that done when you get the barrel. Most if not all vendors will do the metal work before shipping for additional costs. 
Some of the places selling parts sets - a pre-carved stock like I've mentioned and all the necessary parts - will also sell guns "in the white", fully assembled rifles that need final sanding of the wood, and polish and finish on the metal parts. This will of course cost a lot more but is a good option for someone wanting to do the finish work themselves.
To build a decent rifle it would be nice to have a set of inletting chisels and scrapers, an assortment of wood rasps, different sizes and styles of metal cutting files, and last but not least, a drill press. It's a sort of paradox though. If you have talent, you can get by with less in the way of tools. If you don't have talent, you can have every gunsmithing tool available from Brownell's and Track of the Wolf and you are still going to turn out a cobbled mess with sloppy inletting and horrible lines and architecture. I speak from first hand experience.

You are making a lot of sense. I think you have the long and the short of it. 

I do not have any easy talent. My wood working has been decidedly mixed in the past. 
I may, if I try, bugger it up completely. Neutral

But, I recently learned to do something I never thought I would and enjoyed the hell out of it. 

It is the first time in years I learned something challenging that was about fun and not about 
need. I enjoyed listening to the coaching on this forum when I did it. It was great. Very Happy

FG actually asked me to give a build a try as he thought others might be interested in tracking my 
rookie effort. And, I can work things out more often than not if I remain patient. I won't know if I 
do not give it a try, eh?

I am interested in the outcome. Others might be? And, I may as well try something nice to work 
with if I am gonna put that much effort into it... sharpen the focus.

So, I will continue to read and gather some sort of confidence based on knowledge. Then I will ask 
for assistance in selecting my choice of materials. Then I will gather the tools and 
the materials. I may well give it a go!
study

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 21st 2016, 10:54 am

I quote my Dad...."Son...when you need a carpenter...call one...when you need an electrician....call one....when you need a plumber....call one!"

I've lost two buddies that thought they could repair electrical items and they've been pushing up daisies 30 years now! I bend nails when they need driving! On occasion my wife trusts me with a commode plunger!! I can flip a light switch!

I won't be building any rifles!

I'm a professional airplane driver, I know how to shoot a rifle, and I know how to teach marksmanship, cast bullets, reload ammo, kill deer and call turkey! I'll let those pros that have the skills build my rifles!! cheers :suhlute :rtup

Each year I grow older I realize that my Dad....was a sharp guy! Time for my nap!
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 21st 2016, 11:27 am

Each year I grow older I start to look more like my dad. We were both good looking when we were young, but we sure make ugly old men.

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 23rd 2016, 5:14 pm

What you need to do first is establish what type you want to build and then that will lead you to buying parts and maybe a pre carved stock...A good reference is the Gunsmith of Grenville County, this book has a wealth of information on both how to and historical. If you want to carve a stock out that requires a bit of information on stock geometry, wood selection, and of course parts. Would your preference be a half stock or a full stock, straight or swamped barrels. If you can look and try out different schools of design to see what suits you more.

Tools can range from simple for kit guns to more elaborate for hand carved stocks and of course how fancy on the carving. Also what type of power tools, band saws, sander, planer or carvers...Finishing and stains are another area to check out

Once you start you need to remove all wood that isn't a gun. I prefer using rasps, planers, chisels, and cabinet scrapers. One thing to remember for a first project beware of highly figured wood, this can really be a problem due to break outs and difficulty to cut.

If anyone is interested I can post a series showing the progression of a hand carved stock. Thanks for reading my thoughts and opinions....

YMHS
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 23rd 2016, 9:55 pm

Hi Hilljack!

I would be interested in seeing. And, I read with interest. Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 24th 2016, 3:45 pm

Please post the series! Very interested in the process and steps involved. Long Shot
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 24th 2016, 5:12 pm

I'm going to attempt my first build.  Been wanting to give it a try for a long time. I purchased a "parts set" from a person on another muzzleloader forum,  It's an Issac Haines longrifle, Colerrain 38" B wt. .50 cal. barrel, chambers deluxe lock.  I'm a little nervous but you got to start somewhere.  The stock is about 90% inlet.  I did buy a Jim Turpin video and the book "The Gunsmith of Greenville County" that Hilljack mentioned.  It's all little over my head at this point, but what the hell.  Shocked
Here's a picture of what I purchased"

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 24th 2016, 5:21 pm

Wishing you plenty of luck, Joe. I learned a lot doing my pistol kit. I learned not to try it again. pale

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 24th 2016, 5:38 pm

Thanks Bob, just the encouragement I needed.  Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 24th 2016, 8:10 pm

Go get 'em, Joe! cheers

With you and Hilljack building, I will watch your progress before I give it a try. 
Keep us posted!

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 25th 2016, 8:26 am

I saw the parts for sale. You had already beaten me to it.

   -Joe
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 25th 2016, 10:11 am

Well, I was just getting serious about ordering the Issac Haines parts set from either from Jim Chambers or TOTW when this one popped up.  First build for me, probably lots of rookie mistakes, so I thought this one would be a good starter for me.  As I work on creating this master piece, I'll probably be repeating this phrase often..."Are We Having Fun Yet?  Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 25th 2016, 1:38 pm

Joe
Maybe you could start an ask Jonathan thread he could give you some pointers I bet. The only one I can give is good luck and I know patience will be a virtue Al

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 26th 2016, 5:54 pm

Ok folks all set to start posting, but I would like a bit of input...would you like to see a build from beginning to end...Because I have several of those, but some have better photos of like inletting a lock mortise to shaping the stock....Along with the photos will be a description of the process and tools...The ones I will present are scratch build were they are done from a block of wood...Please give me some feed back because I would like to be as informative as possible.

YMHS
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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 26th 2016, 7:18 pm

I would like to see samples of all the major steps. I can work out a lot about how it is done that way. 
While I like the 'Ta-Da!' of look how wonderful this is when you show an end product, it tells me nothing about what 'inletting' actually means.

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 26th 2016, 7:41 pm

@Kentucky Colonel wrote:
I would like to see samples of all the major steps. I can work out a lot about how it is done that way. 
While I like the 'Ta-Da!' of look how wonderful this is when you show an end product, it tells me nothing about what 'inletting' actually means.
Simple. It's cutting away the wood until the parts fit.

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PostSubject: Re: Custom Muzzleloader Builders?   March 27th 2016, 6:50 am

I'm a newbie in gun building.  I've purchased some reference material along with reading the gun building threads of other muzzleloading sites because it's the technique or process of each step that I need to learn. Example, "Inletting", there is proper placement, metal edge preparation, right tools for the job and finally carefully removing wood to get the perfect wood to metal fit.  Every tip helps.

Thank you for doing this Hilljack!

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