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new flintlock

mike992mike992 Member Posts: 62 ✭✭
I'm looking to buy a flintlock muzzleloader kentucky type. Not looking to spend an arm and a leg. Just got into muzzle loading last year, got a Cabelas hawkin precussion 50.cal. Shot a spike with it this year at a hundred yards. I'm more proud of that deer than the 8 or 9 pointers I got on the wall ,shot with a bow. I want to go traditional nothing against inlines, to each his own. I'm in it for the hunt. Any opinion on what to buy will be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Underdog2264Underdog2264 Member Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Congrats on the deer! You can spend anything from a couple fingers to two arms, a leg and 3 toes, [;)] meaning from a couple hundred to a couple thousand. If you give us a better idea what you are looking to spend, and what you are going to use it for, ie. target, hunting, general knock about gun, ect. I and the others here could give you some good ideas. Have a look at Dixie gun works www.dixiegunworks.com They carry a good variety of long guns,in all price ranges as well as some antiques.
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Dixie Gun Works has the best selection of flintlock rifles, ranging in price from about $300.00 for a Traditions .50 caliber with two-piece hardwood stock and 33 1/2" barrel, to right at $700.00 for a Pedersoli .50 with walnut stock and 41 1/2" barrel. For somewhat more money -- just shy of $1000.00 for their basic rifles -- Tennessee Valley Manufacturing (http://www.avsia.com/tvm/) has an assortment of historically-correct styles built around Siler, Davis, or L&R locks, and 36" or 42" Green Mountain barrels, which can be built to your length of pull (distance from the buttplate to the trigger -- important if you're not the "average"-sized person that production guns are built for) and in a choice of calibers ranging from .32 to .62. In this price range you're also in the ballpark of plainer handmade rifles of excellent quality.

    It's nearly impossible for one of us to fairly say, "Buy this." What I like in the looks and handling of a rifle may be totally different from your preferences, or the preferences of someone else who'se been shooting flinters for even longer than I have. To a large extent you get what you pay for, but even the lower-priced guns will give good service if properly cared for and provided with good-quality sharp flints (no flinter works well without these). Guns with smaller locks, particularly the less expensive models, throw fewer sparks and thus have an increased probability of misfires now and then, but on the other hand I know of a couple of people who own guns of this type and are perfectly happy with their performance. I myself like rifles with big locks, partly due to concerns of historical correctness, to a larger extent because I have more confidence in them in terms of reliable ignition.

    The ideal situation would be for you to visit a muzzleloading club shoot, if there are any in your area, and make the acquaintance of the people there -- and their guns. We tend to be a very friendly bunch who love to show off our toys, and who are usually full of opinions (and quite a lot of other stuff, too [:D]). Otherwise, I'd pick what looked to be the best-looking rifle in my price range, and get down to the business of learning how to use it. Log back on here if you run into any snags or bumps in the road -- flinters love to torment their new owners and there are plenty of us here who can advise you on how to overcome whatever problem you encounter.
  • mike992mike992 Member Posts: 62 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all your help. I'm looking for something in the 3 or $400 dollar range. I don't want to go to crazy because every gun I own gets mileage on it and it shows.I do have 2 questions thou. Whats the difference between a Kentucky and a Pennsylvania rifle? They both look similar and at the time period of these rifles did they come left handed and what was the most common caliber?
  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,703 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mike992
    Thanks for all your help. I'm looking for something in the 3 or $400 dollar range. I don't want to go to crazy because every gun I own gets mileage on it and it shows.I do have 2 questions thou. Whats the difference between a Kentucky and a Pennsylvania rifle? They both look similar and at the time period of these rifles did they come left handed and what was the most common caliber?

    They're the same thing. Most of them were made in Pennsylvania by German immigrants but were very popular by early frontiersmen like Daniel Boone, hence the nickname "Kentucky rifle". Calibers usually ranged from .36 ("Squirrel gun") to .50 for big game.
  • Underdog2264Underdog2264 Member Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    They did make lefty flintlocks both back in the day and now, I shoot left handed and while not too much problem with a cap lock, the pan going off in your face with a flint can cause some accuracy problems. It looks like you want a good all around hike in the woods, hunting gun, In that price range you may have to look used. But have a look at Taylors, Lyman, Pedersoli, and Dixie's in house rifles. Also Gunbroker is a great source for a flint rifle, just do a search on flint or flintlock and you will get a couple hundred to look at.
  • raingaugeraingauge Member Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Congrat's om going with flint. I was involved with "traditional" muzzleloading for years, even a member of the American Mountain Men. Tradional rifles can be a lot of fun, but addictive.
    Kentucky rifles were built in Pennsylvania. Kentucky was all that land "out weest." The Pennsylvania makers built a lot of rifles for people going "out west, it coined the phrase "Kentucky" rifle.
    Lancaster county rifles are my personal favorite, Fordney my favorite builder, a copy of a Fordney will usually cost about the same as the down payment on a house. Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle, by Joe Kindig, can give some idea what the different builders were doing at the time.
    Enjoy your new hobby,
    Lafe
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mike992
    Thanks for all your help. I'm looking for something in the 3 or $400 dollar range. I don't want to go to crazy because every gun I own gets mileage on it and it shows.I do have 2 questions thou. Whats the difference between a Kentucky and a Pennsylvania rifle? They both look similar and at the time period of these rifles did they come left handed and what was the most common caliber?

    Mileage on a flinter just makes it look better.

    Lefthanded guns were rare -- in the many, many pictures I've studied, and of the fairly large number of actual guns I've handled, I've seen no more original lefties than you could count on the fingers of one hand. This is counting rifles with right-handed locks but built with the cheekpiece and patchbox sides of the butts reversed. However, especially considering these guns were handmade and thus could be made to the customer's order, and because one thing we learn early about these guns is to never say "never" or "always", AND because practicality and ease of use ought to trump historical correctness on a hunting gun, if you're a lefty you should have a lefthanded rifle. Off the top of my head I'd have to say the selection in your stated price range is limited. Dixie's Tennessee Mountain Rifle runs higher than you indicate you want to pay, but it's available in a lefthanded version and a good used one could maybe be found.

    Most original rifles, if you're talking pre-1800, were of roughly .45 caliber or bigger. There are exceptions, but, as a general rule, the guns of those days were bought in the expectation that deer might not be the biggest or meanest thing that had to be brought down. Looking at it, again, from the standpoint of your being a hunter today, a .45 would be adequate for whitetails, a .50 or larger is called for if you're talking mulies, and in neither case would a .54 be overkill. I'd venture to guess the .50 is the most common factory option, not to mention the easiest to find components for.

    And, as stated already, "Pennsylvania" and "Kentucky" rifles were historically one and the same. In modern-day marketing terms they may not be, but there's no historical basis for the distinction. Even "Pennsylvania" isn't completely correct -- the southern states produced their share of fine longrifles. I actually just use the term "longrifle" most of the time and say "Kentucky" when the person I'm talking to seems to need that point of familiarity.
  • raingaugeraingauge Member Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Mike, you gave me an excuse to look around, I didn't find any "Kentucky" types in that price range. The closest thing I found was Lyman Great Plains rifles

    www.trackofthewolf.com

    in flint rifles. They have plenty rifles for sale, mostly custom, some are a little spendy, sure look nice.
    Just for fun I'll keep looking.
  • mike992mike992 Member Posts: 62 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    You guys are really helpfull I appreciate it. Dixie gun works has a Traditions Kentucky for $330 I might check it out. I'm gonna go to cabelas also and check theirs out.My hawkin I bought from them works really well with some miner adjustments.But before I buy anything I'm going to look into some clubs in my area and talk to the guys thier to see some of these guns.
  • mazo kidmazo kid Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi, you can often find good used guns for a reasonable price. Go to www.muzzleloadingforum.com and scroll down to the Classified Ads. There are several in your price range. You have to register in order to contact the seller but that is just a user name and password. I just sold an Austen-Halleck flintlock rifle there and have a friend that is looking to sell his soon. Emery
  • rgergergerge Member Posts: 183 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've had a Pedersoli .50 cal. made for Navy arms for years. It has a 42 inch barrel ( I think ) any way it's long, and I have no problem at all hitting what I aim at. The only problem I've had with this gun is the lock, I needed to get a beefyer main spring and reharden the frizzen. Now it's great.
  • anderskandersk Member Posts: 3,825
    edited November -1
    On the subject of south paw muzzle loaders ... I got my lefty Hawken a year ago and it is serving me pretty well, but I am still considering reactivating the Hopkins & Allen project. It think it is a neat concept and works well for both left and right handed shooters.[:)]
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