Author Topic: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?  (Read 6168 times)

d3nni5

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Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« on: June 26, 2014, 09:43:39 AM »
All,

Going to an auction with a friend this weekend.   one item listed strikes my interest...

Quote
Model 281 Sears & Roebuck and Co. Chicago, Ill 58 Cal Muzzle Loader

If I'm correct (and hoping I am) it is an Anotoli Zoli replica of a "Zouave" musket.   From what I've read these Italian replias are pretty nice, but you have to be sure it is a Zoli.

Any advice?  Anyone have one of these?

d3nni5

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 05:04:51 PM »
I didn't end up getting the muzzle loader I wanted at that auction.   It was indeed that Zoli replica, beautiful.   However, I didn't win the bidding, so now I'm thinking about getting one of these (or similar) kits....

Anyone done this?

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/50-cal-kentucky-rifle-kit?a=394783
http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/traditions-kentucky-rifle-kit/pid-954712
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/346664/traditions-st-louis-hawken-black-powder-rifle-unassembled-kit-50-caliber-percussion-1-in-48-twist-28-barrel-in-the-white?cm_vc=ProductFinding

FarmerJim

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 09:05:50 PM »
No but a friend of mine has a set of kit "dueling pistols" that are a hell of a lot of fun to shoot! If I had the skill and/or money I would love to try that Kentucky rifle

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 09:37:50 PM »
Hi
If you just want a plinker Traditions is fine

Want something more go TC or Pedersoli

HTH
Kid

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 07:36:15 PM »
I didn't end up getting the muzzle loader I wanted at that auction.   It was indeed that Zoli replica, beautiful.   However, I didn't win the bidding, so now I'm thinking about getting one of these (or similar) kits....

Anyone done this?

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/50-cal-kentucky-rifle-kit?a=394783
http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/traditions-kentucky-rifle-kit/pid-954712
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/346664/traditions-st-louis-hawken-black-powder-rifle-unassembled-kit-50-caliber-percussion-1-in-48-twist-28-barrel-in-the-white?cm_vc=ProductFinding

I have probably done a couple dozen of that kit over the years.  People would get them as presents, get started and find they could not do the work, even as limited as the requirements are.  Not everyone realized that just because you are a shooter does not make you a gun builder.  The gifted would give a half try at the assembly and then would bring them to me to finish or just give them to me.  Usually they were duct taped together with the small parts in a bread sack.

If you do get the kit there are a couple of tricks to fitting it together.  One does not just snap it together and run to the range and shoot.  The kit has several hours work left for completion. 

The lock mortise will need to be fitted to final fit of the lock.  Most of the time it is 95% finished but needs sanding for drop in fit.  Trying to force things will cause the wood to split.

You will probably have to sand out the barrel channel.

The barrel will need to be set back into the stock about 3/16" to bring the nipple in line with the hammer and to close up the gap between the front section and rear section of the stock.

You will have to drill the pins to secure the barrel to the stock.  Also drill the tang screw.

All the inletting will need a final fitting for the metal to go into place; trigger plate, butt plate, trigger guard..

The stock is made from beech and has zero figure to the wood.  It does take stain well.  You will have to sand the crap out of it to get a smooth surface.

Every one of these rifles I have worked with has a wide spot in the bore about a foot up from the breech.  Don't know why, just does.  Loads tight right down to that point then free falls for 6 inches and seats tight again.

Oddly, they are usually real good shooters!  The last couple that were given to me I scrapped the wood and fitted the barrels and locks to other rifles.

The kit is not representative of any actual gun that ever existed.  The butt stock is too thin for comfort and the fore end carries way too much thickness.  I usually take about half the wood off the front from the lock area foreword.

First one I bought was back in the 1960s.  I paid $39.95 for it with the Jagger brand marked on the barrel.  Then CVA took over, the price jumped to $49.95 and stayed there for about 30 years.

Look at the prices now!

d3nni5

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 07:43:56 PM »
All that work sounds like a good winter project.   I like doing stuff like this.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 04:28:08 PM »
If you decide to go the kit route get in touch with me by PM and I will get you links to builder forums and offer any advice I can give.

It is a great feeling to know what you are shooting was finished with your own hands.

Truth of the mater is that most custom builders order parts to customer specifications then order a stock pre-inlet to take those parts.  It is actually assembling a "custom kit" made to customer specs. 

What you are paying for with a custom gun is special trim, relief carving and historic detail, along with special finishes and experience with the processes..

d3nni5

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Re: Any advice on buying a black powder rifle?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 05:34:06 AM »
Thanks,

I'll let you know when I get this.   Typically for me, projects start by window shopping.   I have 4 new AR lowers and an old Savage .22 I'd like to work on too, so this may be a winter project for me.