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billraby

36 Cal.
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The Kibler rifle kits have been out for a few years now and seem to be very popular. I am just wondering how many have built a Kibler kit, or a few, then went on to build from blanks afterwards? If so, how did it compare and how much did the experience with kits help?
 
I started building a Ohio style rifle from a Petaconica stock with a barrel channel routed and ramrod hole drilled. Took me 3 months to get the tang inlet done and the barrel inlet to where it needs to be. Then I got a Kibler Woodsrunner. Definitely easier! I will now return to the Ohio rifle and let you know how that goes. I also have the parts needed to do a rifle from a board, that one is more than a year in the future at the rate I work.
 
Did his colonial before he made his locks. Followed by a plank restock. Rifle( not a Kibler) was broken through the wrist into lock mortice . It was like playing with Lincoln logs then making the logs out of sticks from the yard.
Followed by a Rifle Shop bess . Then a Kibler smr.
On deck are a Rifle Shop Baker and two pistols from planks.
 
I built a Kibler colonial 58 caliber. After completing this I built three projects from roughed out stocks. This gave me enough confidence to build three from planks. One plank was from a friend’s yard the other two planks are from my yard. The third rifle I am still working on. It is a rifled 62 caliber, made from the tree my grands at under for shade when they were still alive. Given my choice to use a plank or a roughed out stock. I feel is is less stressful and more fun to work from a plank.
 
The Kibler rifle kits have been out for a few years now and seem to be very popular. I am just wondering how many have built a Kibler kit, or a few, then went on to build from blanks afterwards? If so, how did it compare and how much did the experience with kits help?
This is an apples and oranges comparison. The Kibler kits are engineered so that virtually anyone can turn them into a safely, functional firearm. Now when it comes to fit and finish, that depends on the talent of the builder. Building from a blank requires a different skill set, better tools, and a correct vision of what the blank will become. With that being said, building a Kibler will give you metal and wood finishing skills which is a plus.
 
I built a Kibler SMR a couple years ago. Caught the bug, and with a BIG help and encouragement from your vid’s, Bill, jumped in and built a .36 Southern gun from a plank. Made a few mistakes along the way, but I plowed through and finished it last summer and have been shooting it since. Added 1/4” castoff and a little more length of pull to fit me and I find it much more comfortable to shoot than the Kibler. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with the Kibler, it just doesn’t fit me well. Seriously considering selling the Kibler since Ive only shot it once since finishing this one.
Have started another Southern, based on a Luster rifle in .38, and have all the components for two more after.
The wife says thanks, Bill.😁
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Don’t get me wrong, the Kibler kits are second to none. They are an extremely well thought out and engineered kit, that I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recommend them to anyone wanting to build their own flintlock. I just wanted to start with a blank slate and see what I could do.
 
I would also like to thank Bill Raby. I’ve watched all your videos and can’t wait for the next one. Your videos are entertaining and informative. Your style of breaking it down to just doing the small detail in front of you, made a lot of sense to me. This has allowed me to express myself by making something that I can pass down to my grandson. And he can take pride in it by passing it down to his grandson, hopefully. Also it keeps me out of trouble with my wife, because it takes 6 to 9 months to build. Otherwise I might be tempted to build 2 Kibler kits a year.
 
The Kibler kits are second to none and I highly recommend them to anyone who asks. I’m glad I built one as it showed me how a rifle should look and be put together. On top of that, the finished product is accurate and extremely reliable. So much so, I’m using one of Jim’s locks on my new build.
That being said, I’ve always enjoyed building things more so than the final use, and I wanted more of a challenge than another kit.
Like Bill constantly says in his videos, rifle building isnt that hard, you just break it down into small steps and you constantly need to be thinking what comes next and how what you’re doing now will impact that.
 
Kibler's kits are the ultimate gateway drug into this wonderful hobby. Merging metal into wood in a functional way is very satisfying to me. You learn so much about woodworking, metal shaping and finishing, precision measurement....and so on. Actually shooting them isn't the main focus for me. It's the journey of getting there that is important.

I built a couple CVA/Traditions kits over the years, then a Kibler Colonial .58 and now am building precarves from sellers here or on the American Longrifle Forum. I plan to "advance backwards" so to speak, towards plank building and will probably do a non-inlet rough shaped project next. I have a GM .45 36" barrel that would make a dandy little rifle maybe in walnut or cherry this time.
 
The Kibler rifle kits have been out for a few years now and seem to be very popular. I am just wondering how many have built a Kibler kit, or a few, then went on to build from blanks afterwards? If so, how did it compare and how much did the
The Kibler rifle kits have been out for a few years now and seem to be very popular. I am just wondering how many have built a Kibler kit, or a few, then went on to build from blanks afterwards? If so, how did it compare and how much did the experience with kits help?
I never built from a kit. I bought a couple of books and watched your and Mike Belvue’s videos. I bought a block of wood from Paxton and built a rifle. Used the rest to build a second. Each time learning from my mistakes. Found some good people on here to help me along the way. I’m on number 3 now and I love this journey. If you buy hard maple from a specialty hardwood vendor your wood and parts will run you about $600.00 total. A lot cheaper than a kit. And when you go to the range and shoot it people will come up and ask you if it’s a kit and you’ll smile and say “thanks “.
 
Where are you getting your parts? Maybe I’m not shopping right. A quality lock and barrel alone now are running me about $600. By the time I get a blank and the rest of the hardware, I’m at about $900-$1000.
Cheaper than a Kibler kit, but not much. I don’t know how Jim puts out such high quality at his price point. The ability he now has to manufacture a lot of his parts evidently pays off for him.
 
I have assembled seven Kiblers. I had done precarves and planks before and after, about 25 in all. Kibler kits are as good as it gets for general quality, parts fit, general styling, and parts layout. Shaping the stocks and laying it out right is impossible to get perfect from books an pictures. Kibler kits showed me how well it can be done. After doing a few Kiblers my scratch builds improved. You don't know what you don't know until you hold it in your hands. My first highly detailed build was an Armstrong rifle. I have a building desire to do it again but much better. A lot of that knowledge has come from assembling Kiblers stuff.
 
Where are you getting your parts? Maybe I’m not shopping right. A quality lock and barrel alone now are running me about $600. By the time I get a blank and the rest of the hardware, I’m at about $900-$1000.
Cheaper than a Kibler kit, but not much. I don’t know how Jim puts out such high quality at his price point. The ability he now has to manufacture a lot of his parts evidently pays off for him.
My Coleraines
Where are you getting your parts? Maybe I’m not shopping right. A quality lock and barrel alone now are running me about $600. By the time I get a blank and the rest of the hardware, I’m at about $900-$1000.
Cheaper than a Kibler kit, but not much. I don’t know how Jim puts out such high quality at his price point. The ability he now has to manufacture a lot of his parts evidently pays off for him.
For this current build the Colerain barrel was $185.00. That’s shipping included. My lock was $200.00 from TOW. Side plate, thimbles, butt plate, trigger guard, screws, etc another $100 or so. I bought a 9’x 8”x3” piece of select or better hard maple for $197.00. I got 3 stocks out of it so that’s $65.00 per stock. Very little curl but still pretty wood. My barrel wasn’t swamped and my locks are L&R. Maybe you’re using swamped Rice barrels and more expensive locks. I’m just building them to learn and give as gifts. I’m sure your $900 - $1000 guns are much nicer.
 
My Coleraines

For this current build the Colerain barrel was $185.00. That’s shipping included. My lock was $200.00 from TOW. Side plate, thimbles, butt plate, trigger guard, screws, etc another $100 or so. I bought a 9’x 8”x3” piece of select or better hard maple for $197.00. I got 3 stocks out of it so that’s $65.00 per stock. Very little curl but still pretty wood. My barrel wasn’t swamped and my locks are L&R. Maybe you’re using swamped Rice barrels and more expensive locks. I’m just building them to learn and give as gifts. I’m sure your $900 - $1000 guns are much nicer.
Thanks, yeah a Chambers lock is up to $295 now, I believe, same with a swamped Rice or FCI barrel, then add in the crazy shipping prices.
 
I am just wondering how many have built a Kibler kit, or a few, then went on to build from blanks afterwards?
Wrong progression to me ... I would think one would progress to a Chambers or Pecatonica River kit 1st, versus jumping into a build from a sewn or rough-cut blank, one without any rough shaping, or barrel inlet or ramrod hole drilled.

To me, what you surmise would be quite the leap ... and shock/surprise!

A Kibler build (have built 2) is like making Legos, as compared to even building a Traditions kit!
 
I have a distrust of precarve stocks done on a pantograph based on experience. All to often a precarved stock ends up to be firewood. But, only after many hours of frustration. The run of the mill parts set stocks are often impossible to make a good gun from because the inletting is wrong. Also, you have no reference surfaces left, so figuring where parts should be is near impossible. At very least do not let them inlet the lock. Often the web between the ramrod hole and the barrel is too thick. I find that working from a plank is easier but more time consuming than a precarve. The end product is likely to be much better.
 
I honestly cannot say I built my Kibler SMR, it's really more like I finished and assembled the kit. I do not have the space in my home or the patience's that really goes into building a fine rifle. I prefer the shooting part of it more than anything. With that being said, I can't wait for my Woodsrunner to arrive. The email should be coming anytime.
 
Keep in mind there is significantly more than just ease of assembly and completeness when comparing our kits to many others. Our design, style, aesthetics, historical correctness etc. are a significantly better than any other offerings in my opinion. I know many don't understand this point since they either don't have an appreciation for those things or haven't taken the time to study and learn the attributes of well built longrifles. Let me just say that you are getting all the quality of that would go into a 5 figure custom longrifle. This isn't true with other products available.

Jim
 
Keep in mind there is significantly more than just ease of assembly and completeness when comparing our kits to many others. Our design, style, aesthetics, historical correctness etc. are a significantly better than any other offerings in my opinion. I know many don't understand this point since they either don't have an appreciation for those things or haven't taken the time to study and learn the attributes of well built longrifles. Let me just say that you are getting all the quality of that would go into a 5 figure custom longrifle. This isn't true with other products available.

Jim
I agree Jim. And thank you for selling a great product.
 

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