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Need a larger butt plate (for a Hawken kit gun)

anderskandersk Member Posts: 3,825
A friend recently gave me a Traditions St. Louis Hawken Muzzle loader kit. I am sure going to enjoy "building" this gun - I think! But for starters I'm sure that I need a wider butt plate. It is a full 1/16 inch on each side narrower than the wood stock. The patch box is already inset and if flush with the wood that is not in too bad of shape. (I certainly do not need to sand off a full 1/16 inch on each side of the stock!)

Where can a person purchase wider butt plates? [?]

Also the plastic front and rear sights have to go. Where is a good place to get better sights? [?]

Comments

  • rgergergerge Member Posts: 183 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    you may have to sand that much, I've had to do it before with colt copies.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 32,935 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would call Dixie and see if they have one. When I was building a kit some years ago Dixie had about 30 butt plates in their catalog.
    I just looked on their web site and couldn't find butt plates, but, I swear, Dixie has the most aggravating web site and it is hard to find stuff over there.
    They also carry sights.

    You could build this gun by sanding 1/16 off of each side of the stock.
    On the kits I built the butt plate was too wide and I just filed down the metal. It just depends on whether you want a rifle with a wider butt plate.
    Here is a point of reference for you anders. The Traditions Hawken is basically a copy of the Thompson Center Hawken. I have a TC Hawken. I just measured the butt plate and at its widest it is 1 3/8 inches.

    Dixie Information Line 1-731-885-0700
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Track Of The Wolf carries a large assortment of buttplates, and provides the dimensions of each. Best bet for finding something to match your stock.

    Bear in mind that a new buttplate will not match the curve of the pre-inlet on the stock. You'll either have to bend the plate to match the stock -- a lot trickier than it might seem -- or re-cut the stock, a process best left to someone with some practice at it.

    TOTW also sells metal sights in a wide variety, both fixed and adjustable. Intended for installation on new barrels, these will, for the most part, require enlarging the sight dovetails on your barrel.

    An oscillating sander with 80 or 100 grit discs will take your stock down to match the buttplate included with it, pretty quickly. Your biggest worry here is removing too much wood -- easier to do with one of these sanders than you might think. A fairly coarse rasp also does the trick, a little more slowly but more controllably.
  • Winston BodeWinston Bode Member Posts: 1,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    They do this so that you can fit the butt plate to the stock or in this case the stock to the butt plate.

    You would basically install the butt plate and then sand the wood stock down to the butt plate so that it looks like it was custom fit.

    You'll probably have a hard time finding one that is exactly the width of the butt stock. Good luck though.

    Bode
  • anderskandersk Member Posts: 3,825
    edited November -1
    Actually, I would not mind finding a brass butt plate that is larger. I can file it down with less difficulty that sanding down the stock 1/16 of an inch. The wood is in pretty good shape as it is.

    I suppose I could put a cheek piece ... but I'd only have 1/8th of an inch. That doesn't sound like such a great idea.
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by andersk
    Actually, I would not mind finding a brass butt plate that is larger. I can file it down with less difficulty that sanding down the stock 1/16 of an inch. The wood is in pretty good shape as it is.

    I suppose I could put a cheek piece ... but I'd only have 1/8th of an inch. That doesn't sound like such a great idea.

    If you decide to go with one that's larger, and file it down, try to find one that's just barely larger. Track Of The Wolf, like I said, gives the dimensions of the buttplates they sell -- a big help. They also provide full-sized photographs of the plates (probably won't be exactly life-sized, given variations in computer monitors and such that affect the size of the picture you're viewing). This gives you a pretty clear idea what you're getting.

    The reason for buying a plate not too much larger than necessary is not to save labor in grinding or filing the metal down. The Traditions Hawken buttplate has a fair amount of curve to it -- meaning the corresponding cut in the stock does as well -- and you'll likely want a buttplate that comes at least somewhat close to matching. Where you can run into trouble is that a number of the more curved buttplates I've seen (and I build muzzleloaders, so I've seen one or two while shopping for parts) have very little thickness to the metal where it bears against the wood. Start taking metal off the width of the plate, and you very quickly grind or file through to a shallow cavity that will result in an ugly gap between metal and wood. Most of the pictures of buttplates that you'll find on various distributors' websites do not give you a clear look at the inside surface of the plate, making it difficult to tell whether the piece you select gives you a decent amount of metal to work with.

    Track sells a Thompson/Center Hawken buttplate in either brass or iron, which is of roughly the same shape as the Traditions item but measures 1 1/4" wide and just shy of 4 1/2" long. The inside surface of the curve has metal enough to allow it to be taken down a good eighth of an inch or more. It's been awhile since I had a CVA or Traditions Hawken in the shop to look at, so I don't recall precisely how narrow the plates are on those, only that they're narrower than the T/C and Italian T/C clone units. Your stock being too wide for the supplied plate, you might be able to make use of the T/C item.
  • Wolf.Wolf. Member Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    --
    Winston Bode pegged it, "They do this so that you can fit the.....stock to the butt plate. You .....sand the wood stock down to the butt plate so that it looks like it was custom fit."

    In the end, sanding the stock down to match will present you with less grief. The buttplate can then be sanded with ever-finer sandpaper right along with the stock. Finish the buttplate off later with 1200fine paper. You can bring it up to a nice finish.

    Filing the buttplate will leave it with a very rough finish and you may not be able to fit it properly to the stock when you attempt to clean it up.
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