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Anyone fretting/thinking about building their own muzzleloader?

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Hey guys, I am no expert by a long shot, but remember when I had the first hankering to build a rifle. I thought, "this is beyond my capabilities", but pursued it anyway. One day I was at a shoot and spoke to a fellow shooter who had a beautiful long rifle. After a nice discussion about his build I wondered what his background was. I asked "what do you do for a living?" He said, "I shoot cars". (painted cars for a living) Wow, I thought, if he can do it so can I! Anyway to all you guys and gals too, that would like to make a rifle, don't think about it, go for it. It will not be the best looking one at the range, but it will be one YOU made.
I saw this video and want to share. This guy says this is his first build muzzleloader.. His work is not refined as a seasoned riflesmith, but, remember he is not a seasoned riflesmith. He could/should give inspiration to anyone thinking about building his/her own.
Larry

 

TDM

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Yep, no one should be afraid to try. And nobody was born an expert at doing it. You learn by doing and making a few mistakes here and there. But that’s all part of it. This forum is the perfect resource for learning the methods needed. I’ve built 4 kits and there’s a vast difference in the finished product between the 1st and the 4th, but they all shoot reliably. I hope to continue to improve, but I may or may not. Not everyone can be a true craftsman at gun building, so you just do the best you can and be proud of the accomplishment.
 
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Good post Larry, agree 100%. I wanted to build my own for at least the last 10 years but was scared. Finally broke down and started. I am absolutely loving the process and wish I had started the 10 plus years ago. If I had I would have 10 + years of experience already instead of being a rookie. I've found if you go slow and think it's really not that hard to do. Along with watching videos from Bill Raby and reading the several building books out there.
 
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I’m real good at turning a thousand dollars worth of parts in to a five hundred dollar gun
My inletting always leaves much to be desired. But.,,, I have so much fun doing them
And guess what. Most old time masters made glaring mistakes, and God knows there were lots of ugly guns, take a look at Seth Kinmans gun, you will do better then that
 

ronaldrothb49

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My second rifle 40 some years ago was my first build. I named it the Ugly Duckling for a reason. It may not have been pretty but damn it was a shooter. Probably won more matches with it than any other rifle I have built. I have never been ashamed of any rifle I have built. each has been a learning experience and each has been better than the one before it.
 

TDM

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I would forget the gun builders and purchase a Kibler Kit.
Prices are reasonable and you don't have to wait months/years to get it.
You can assemble a Kibler gun within a week and have an excellent gun to shoot.
You can't go wrong with a kit that simple to complete.
Mark, I agree. With that being said, I’m getting ready to tackle a Clay Smith Trade Gun kit. It will be a challenge for my skill level. Don’t ever plan on anything more involved. The Kibler kits are the way to go for a quality end product.
 

Flint Striker

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I’ve been out of muzzleloaders for awhile, but looking to get back in. Along with the Kibler woodsrunner, I’ve been looking at a couple Chambers kits and watching to see what happens by on the classifieds. Even if I discover I’m not quite smart enough to build the kit myself, I can always get a gunsmith or builder to help me out.
 
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There is nothing hard about building guns. You just have to take your time and pay attention to what you are doing. Each one will be better than the last.
Bill, I bought an Indian flute once. Worked hard and could play a few tunes.
Had a friend, who had musical talent. After about six months I showed off to him what I could do.
He had never seen an Indian flute, but thought it pretty nice. And wanted to give it a go.
Made two or three toots, listened to a couple of tunes and then set to playing. Sounded just like Carlos Nakai
I gave him the flute
Having been messing up gun builds for over forty years, and having learned a lot from your vids I have to chuckle at your statement. I feel like I’m stuggeling to get a toot while your Nakai😊
 

JoeG

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The first time I put a bead of weld down it did not look as nice as I can weld today either. Fact is, you don't know what you don't know until you learn it. The quality of something like a rifle build would obviously improve after building several rifles. I have my first real kit purchased and await its arrival. I am building a "Johnny Cash Cadillac" rifle too, learning as I go. The wood carving is likely beyond my level of skill and time commitment for now, but learning the mechanics and applying my machining skills to the metal bits will net me 2 rifles when I'm done, if i can find my way through the required wood working.

I'm having fun and learning, either way
And I've dropped more cash in a week on vacation than I will have spent when done too.
 
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Great video! Yeah, I'm a little fretted about building one, to be honest. I've dealt with my 'skill' level for years with other projects, and will say the finished item is always functional for it's purpose. Can't say it'll be the prettiest or best built but will get the job done. Will probably start with a Kibler so i can get a handle on all the parts and how they fit. Then hopefully oneday be able to do a full build from scratch or at least that's the plan.
 
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I don't believe just anyone can build a kit, much less complete a scratch build. What makes sense to some of us who have done crafty stuff is like reading a space alien language to someone who has never done as much as build a bird house growing up, they are out there and plenty of them.

I ran into the most extreme example of "0" ability one day when my neighbor asked me to help him with his garage door opener. I had installed several of these, as well as taking them apart to repair the drive gear. I saw the problem and asked him for a screwdriver to adjust the travel limits. He said, "Hoss if you keep stuff like that around people expect you to know how to use it, I don't have one". He wasn't kidding, he didn't have a screwdriver, hammer, saw or any other tool in his house.

In teaching bow building I found that 90% of the people out there just don't have it, they don't have the interest, drive or focus to complete a project.
 
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JoeG

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Reminds me of the guys who say they can't butcher their own deer. I ask them if it is hard to eat steak, ya know, since they can't cut up meat...they usually look at me strange before the light bulb comes on. The only difference is you start with a portion if it, disect it, chew it well, then move to another piece.

The way I see it, the "not able to" isn't a can't situation, it's "not willing to put forth the effort to learn" in most cases. We are not talking about learning to fly a jet where a mistake puts you upside down on the turf under a flaming mass of titanium and jet fuel. People can critique the way you cut your grass, doesn't mean it is wrong, it is your grass. If it was a contest it wouldn't be much fun, I didn't start down this path to be measured by others though.
 
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