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Old April 15, 2018, 23:56   #1
Cossack
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Recommend a good 1st Flintlock

I've got the muzzleloader bug, and it's gotta be a flintlock. It also has to be a long rifle or other full stock design. Any recommendations on a good value? I'd use it for hunting (mostly deer), targets, and general powder burning.

I've been eyeballing the Pedersoli line, particularly the "Frontier," which is sold by Cabela's as the "Blue Ridge" for $650 (with free shipping at the moment). I like the lines, the long barrel, and the reviews I've read. I've also been eyeing the Tennesee Valley Muzzleloading "Poor Boy" Tennessee Rifle, which is over $400 more. If I can explore this project for less money, I'll prefer to, but I don't want to buy a gun that will just frustrate me (or an ugly gun ).

I'm not ruling out a kit build, but I'd feel better cutting my teeth on a gun that's already built. I also love smoothbore guns, like military muskets and the Fusil de Chasse, but I think it would be prudent to start hunting with a rifle and become proficient before I challenge myself with a smoothbore.

The only percussion guns I might consider are European Military styles like the 53 Enfield, but I'm really much more interested in a flintlock. Montana doesn't have a Muzzleloader season, so the only real incentive for me is the connection to history, so even though other muzzleloader designs might be more efficient, I'm not really interested. I want it old fashioned and purty. American Long Rifles, military style rifled muskets, trade guns...

So with that in mind, can anyone offer recommendations? What are good options for a reliable, attractive flinter with a full length wooden stock and a reasonably authentic historical aesthetic and function? What do I need to know about and keep in mind?

Don't worry - I won't hunt with anything that I haven't learned and practiced to proficiency.
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Old April 16, 2018, 00:56   #2
Will C
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Flintlocks are a lot of fun. Stick with real black powder since the substitutes do not ignite reliably in "rock-lock" actions. I rediscovered some of the pure joy of shooting when I got back into black powder in general, and flintlocks in particular. A lot of my smokeless rifles (even my one remaining FAL) are gathering dust these days while I'm out shooting the charcoal burners. In regards to the gun makes you are considering:

I bought a Pedersoli Rocky Mountain Hawken and didn't care for it. The thing that killed it for me was the "browned" finish on the barrel which was actually some sort of painted finish, complete with lint particles throughout! Not a true rust brown as the ads would lead you to believe. I sold it at a loss and bought a flintlock Tennessee rifle built by John Bergmann. Although about 2x the cost of the Hawken, it is a keeper with deep rust brown finish and a beautiful maple stock with a loose, lazy curl the full length of the rifle. Buy once, cry once as they say.

Don't know much about TVM but looks like they offer a decent product. A friend of mine is looking at rifle kits by Jim Kibler that appear to be high quality although I haven't handled one. Track of the Wolf has quite a few new and used black powder long guns. Although you will pay more for a semi-custom or custom gun, you may find it a better investment and if craftsmanship is important to you, probably the way to go. Good luck on your quest. Choose wisely and you will hopefully not be disappointed as I was with the Pedersoli.
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Old April 16, 2018, 09:26   #3
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Tennessee Valley Muzzleloaders.
I built a flintlock rifle (not from a kit)
Lots of work, and I could have bought one and came out ahead.
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Old April 16, 2018, 09:38   #4
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Well if you decide towards an Enfield I would pass on anything that was not Parker Hale UK built from back in the 70s. If you are inclined toward a vintage English made Parker Hale Enfield we have at least one Musketoon as well as .450 Henry & Whitworth bored variants in current stock
Yeah I'm into these things.

On flinters it just depends...

The Poor Boys are great guns
Italian guns are hit and miss when it comes to frizzen hardness particularly Pedersoli.

Long rifles look very cool however they are a pain to carry
Have an older Uberti presentation long tom, fully carved butt, lovely gun...wimmins, they seem to love that thing but it's just a real PITA, won't fit in most safes or cases.

I'd urge you toward a Harpers Ferry 1803 model
Euroarms makes or at least made one
These were a very unique military rifle
Half stocked, .54, brass mounted with a "Kentucky" style patch box
they were really more of a sporting styled rifle than military.

Another would be custom Trade guns with rifled bores.

Back to the Enfields, some points friend:

In the 70s Parker Hale was totally English built, just extreme quality guns
Later they discontinued the Black powder lines and they started being manufactured in Italy with English barrels and sold through Navy Arms
Current guns are completely Italian
You are MUCH further ahead buying a vintage English rifle than anything else, as a rule the higher quality UK mfg guns are often no more expensive than the Italian crap.

Musketoons are shorter carbines in .577 with a progressive bore
Two banders have rather more conventional rifling

Then there are the premium Volunteer guns which came in either Alexander Henry or Whitworth Hex bore rifling.
The Volunteers are factory checkered at the wrist & forend.

I advise most folks forget about these, particularly Whitworths
First of all they are very high pressure slug guns
You will flame cut all factory nipples in under 50 shots
Understand, they were designed to use only Platinum lined nipples, none of the repros come with these and while you can have them custom made in the UK the cost is crazy high. Try like close to a hundred bucks for a damn nipple !

Henry bored guns are easy to cast for
Whitworths close to impossible. There was only one decent mold being made by a smith in Denmark. Close to $300 when they were available. The Dyson molds suck doggie dicks
only other option is Corbin swaging dies

Whitworths require bore swabbing every 3 or 4 shots

Now the flip side ?
You can accurately engage shit well out to 1000 yards, even further.
It used to be fun as hell besting folks with Shiloh Sharps at long range shoots back in the 90s with my Henry bored Volunteer
tuned, dialed in and fitted with better sights those guns hold their own.
Just understand they are Specialist weapons and should be regarded as such.

During the rebellion there were recorded kills well in excess of 1000 yards by Whitworths with rather crude optical sights, a number during the siege of Vicksburg.
Not simply lucky shots either
feats that were not duplicated for nearly a century in military service

Listen to what Will posted as well
Custom builds using American bits by a qualified American smith are light years beyond imports, top to bottom better guns
thing is a quality "kit" isn't cheap, often the parts alone are over a grand.
High end builders generally start over a grand in labor. I was a rather basic gun maker and you could not get me to build a rifle for under $800 with your parts in the mid 90s

American made poor boys are seriously basic guns & they are still costly contrasted to Italian things

Honestly I'd start you off with an older TC Hawken flinter
often BP is much like excerise equipment for our ladies
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Old April 16, 2018, 10:12   #5
Story
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
I've got the muzzleloader bug, and it's gotta be a flintlock. It also has to be a long rifle or other full stock design. Any recommendations on a good value? I'd use it for hunting (mostly deer), targets, and general powder burning.

I've been eyeballing the Pedersoli line, particularly the "Frontier," which is sold by Cabela's as the "Blue Ridge" for $650 (with free shipping at the moment). I like the lines, the long barrel, and the reviews I've read. I've also been eyeing the Tennesee Valley Muzzleloading "Poor Boy" Tennessee Rifle, which is over $400 more. If I can explore this project for less money, I'll prefer to, but I don't want to buy a gun that will just frustrate me (or an ugly gun ).

I'm not ruling out a kit build, but I'd feel better cutting my teeth on a gun that's already built. I also love smoothbore guns, like military muskets and the Fusil de Chasse, but I think it would be prudent to start hunting with a rifle and become proficient before I challenge myself with a smoothbore.

*

So with that in mind, can anyone offer recommendations? What are good options for a reliable, attractive flinter with a full length wooden stock and a reasonably authentic historical aesthetic and function? What do I need to know about and keep in mind?

Don't worry - I won't hunt with anything that I haven't learned and practiced to proficiency.
I'm going to work backwards from your endstate to a suggested starting point

1) Based on your screenname "Cossack", you have an affinity for Russian weapons? Take a look at this Crimean War-era kit
http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pa...arms/(784).htm

2) Prior to that, take a look at this 1825 Russian TULA rifle
http://www.aagaines.com/inventory/tularifle.html

It's a knockoff of the French Charleville. So was our Springfield M1795 onwards, although they were smoothbore up until around the time of the Mexican War when it became popular to rifle them.

Pedersoli does good reproductions, but you're going to bleed cash - see http://www.cherrys.com/ped_rif1.htm Scroll down to the Austrian copy of the Charleville - close to the Russian, you can always knock it down and ship the barrel off to be rifled (

3) "Time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted". Better answers and deals can be found on other forums.

Go to these places, register and poke around some.
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php
http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/fusionbb.php
Occassional deals on rifled flintlock muzzleloaders here
https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/forumd...For-Sale-Items

Hope this helps.






Bookmark TRACK OF THE WOLF - good place for used bargains
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/New/1
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Old April 16, 2018, 10:47   #6
Riversidesports
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Story View Post
I'm going to work backwards from your endstate to a suggested starting point

1) Based on your screenname "Cossack", you have an affinity for Russian weapons? Take a look at this Crimean War-era kit
http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pa...arms/(784).htm

2) Prior to that, take a look at this 1825 Russian TULA rifle
http://www.aagaines.com/inventory/tularifle.html

It's a knockoff of the French Charleville. So was our Springfield M1795 onwards, although they were smoothbore up until around the time of the Mexican War when it became popular to rifle them.

Pedersoli does good reproductions, but you're going to bleed cash - see http://www.cherrys.com/ped_rif1.htm Scroll down to the Austrian copy of the Charleville - close to the Russian, you can always knock it down and ship the barrel off to be rifled (

3) "Time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted". Better answers and deals can be found on other forums.

Go to these places, register and poke around some.
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php
http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/fusionbb.php
Occassional deals on rifled flintlock muzzleloaders here
https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/forumd...For-Sale-Items

Hope this helps.






Bookmark TRACK OF THE WOLF - good place for used bargains
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/New/1
couple more points:

The Rifle Shoppe is dead slow on many products
off the wall stuff can be a two year wait to bring into the casting que
very very little is stocked.

Track has a used page, not many bargains though. Trust me, if it's cheap there is a reason why. I have known these folks for YEARS, items by top shelf makers are never much under build cost.
We have a number of makers in MN, quite a number are old Hippie types, some barely turn out 3 or 4 rifles a year between jugs of homemade wine, a few just one or two that spend a couple hours weekly gun making. Too busy chasing their free range chickens & homeschooling.
or doing Church things

I sometimes get decent buys on customs at shows
even those are far between
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Old April 16, 2018, 11:06   #7
imacoonass01
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What about originals? Should they be used for shooting?
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Old April 16, 2018, 11:47   #8
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I know the purists would have trouble with owning one, but I passed up a T/C .45 flint lock at the Tulsa show last week. It was like new and could have been had for $375
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Old April 16, 2018, 18:06   #9
Cossack
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Thanks folks! I'll head on over to the muzzleloading sites and check around. I keep getting Kibler recommendations, and they sure look fine. That option sounds like the best way to do a first kit - a little less to screw up than some.

I appreciate the advice regarding prices and models.

Story, you read me right - I'm a Russian arms and history junkie as well as Napoleonic enthusiast, and I'm very interested in your links. I already liked the idea of getting a repro Charleville and perhaps turning it into a copy of a Russian 1808, and even considered the idea of getting it rifled. I didn't know about the historical precedent of a rifled variant in Russian service until you sent that link. Thanks for that. however, considering cost and availability, I'll probably start out with a purpose-built rifle for the first one, then try out a Charleville project if the bug doesn't leave me alone.
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Last edited by Cossack; April 16, 2018 at 18:14.
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Old April 17, 2018, 07:58   #10
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Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
I already liked the idea of getting a repro Charleville and perhaps turning it into a copy of a Russian 1808, and even considered the idea of getting it rifled. I didn't know about the historical precedent of a rifled variant in Russian service until you sent that link. Thanks for that. however, considering cost and availability, I'll probably start out with a purpose-built rifle for the first one, then try out a Charleville project if the bug doesn't leave me alone.
As I understand it, the Russian Jaeger units might have had their own short rifle but the M1805 was modified. See
http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...nfantry-Musket

Go through the old catalogs here, I'll bet something has already surfaced that'll bug you.
https://www.hermann-historica.de/en

You'll eventually want a brace of pistols. http://russianrevolvers.com/rp1a.html

PS - you should check out http://www.crazycrow.com/site/event/...an-rendezvous/
Grow out your beard, make an ushanka out of a thrift store raccoon coat and when you're ready to shoot, show up as a friend of Alexander Andreyevich Baranov.

Last edited by Story; April 17, 2018 at 08:14.
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Old April 18, 2018, 06:09   #11
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There are a lot of builders out there. Like RSS says, they only build 3 or 4 a year. The reason is not that we are out chasing our chickens. The reason is, you can't make a living from it, so we have full time jobs as well. We use hand tools, not c+c machines. It takes approx. 80 hours of our time, to turn out the rifle, then you have time on top of that , spent watching the oil finish dry. If you want to PM me, I'd be glad to spend some time talking with you about what you want.
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