Do i need a custom flintlock rifle??

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Rebel jim

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I want to get into shooting flintlock rifles, my question is; Do I need to spend big money to get started ?
 
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I want to get into shooting flintlock rifles, my question is; Do I need to spend big money to get started ?
Jim,
Pete G is right on! Get a good rifle and you will love flintlock shooting. Purchase a run of the mill and you be spending more time trying to make it work. It don't have to be top of the line, just one that has good components. If you are not sure you are going to like shooting a flintlock, then go to a shoot and ask someone that has a decent one to let you shoot it.
Larry
 

Rebel jim

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Jim,
Pete G is right on! Get a good rifle and you will love flintlock shooting. Purchase a run of the mill and you be spending more time trying to make it work. It don't have to be top of the line, just one that has good components. If you are not sure you are going to like shooting a flintlock, then go to a shoot and ask someone that has a decent one to let you shoot it.
Larry
Any recommendations of what I should buy? This is what I was looking at.
 

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Short answer...Yes.


Thinking you need to figure out what you want to do with it first, punch paper?, punch tree rats and other smallish critters or Make Meat. Once you figure that out, then If you are right handed and you just hang loose for a bit one will come up for sale. Or you can go the production route as it appears that is the direction you are heading now and pick one up from an online Store or LGS. I agree with Larry. I started with a Lyman Flintgun and it took a while to get it going but once I figured it out I hunted successfully for 30 years...then I bought a TVM...Whole different world!!! Now I am looking for another one...they are like lays tater chips!!!

Let me qualify that a little bit, big money to some is not necessarily big money to someone else. I am thinking that around $1500 should get you started.

As mentioned earlier get with some folks that have them and get some trigger time. Then make the call.

Since your from Indiana,


Go to an event and check everything out. Folks there will get you taken care of in short order.

RM
 
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Sidney Smith

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Buy the best gun you can afford, however, try to stay away from the low end junk if you're able to. Thinking you're saving a buck now will just cost you in the end. Cheap guns come with issues that may cause you to get the wrong impression of flintlocks. As others have mentioned, you will be better off buying a decent gun now, vs trying the cheap guns and expecting to upgrade later.

Consider also what you plan to do with the firearm. If it's just putting holes in targets, then anything will do. Bur, if you plan to hunt certain game, then your choices will narrow down some.

If you're just going to hunt deer, then a .45, .50, or a .54 caliber is what you want. If just squirrels or rabbits, then a .32 or .36 works great. If you think upland birds, or turkeys will be on the menu. Then consider a smoothbore.

There are many other choices out there, a lot based simply on preference. Do your homework before diving in with both feet.
 

maillemaker

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I own two flintlock guns. One is a Pedersoli Brown Bess. The other is a Pedersoli Pennsylvania. I've only been shooting flinters about 2 years. I probably have 500-800 rounds through my Pennsylvania.

The rifle shoots fine. Below is one of my load workup targets at 65 grains 2F goex. I used cut-at-the muzzle patches. 10 oz cotton duck with a 1:3 Ballistol/water lube mix. .490 cast Lee round ball, sprue up. 50 yards from a bench rest.

Now off hand is another story. I find the ignition of my flintlock to be not-so-fast. I can definitely hear the lock function and strike and ignite prior to the main charge going off. I shoot with some guys with custom guns and their ignition seems a lot quicker.

I have improved my ignition by doing a couple of things taught to me. First, don't fill the pan all the way up. This seems to have helped a lot. I only fill it about half way. I'm priming with 3F as I don't have any 4F. Perhaps 4F would be faster yet. Also fresh flints make better sparks.

I suspect that off a bench, even the $500 Traditions guns are going to shoot just fine once you find the right load.

I suspect that what the custom lock gives you is faster, more reliable ignition.

Note that for some Pedersoli guns you can get custom locks for them. Nobody seems to make one for the Pedersoli Pennsylvania though.

One thing to consider is the Pedersoli guns are now pushing $1000. You're not far from a Kibler kit for that kind of money. I picked up my Pedersoli Pennsylvania for almost free using Cabela's Bucks.

This target has 5 shots on it, all in the 10 ring (2" ring):
1658767328201.png
 
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For the price it’s hard to beat the Great Plains flintlock. It looks historic while not being so.
Loyalist arms are good for the price. They are shooters but all smoothbore. And smoothies is a whole new discipline.
Pedi are good but you are looking at a higher price.
 
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Any recommendations of what I should buy? This is what I was looking at.
I personally do not like factory guns. I like Siler, L& R, and Chambers locks. Numrich, Colerain, Rice, Large, Green Mountain are just some of the good barrels out there. Purchase a used one that has the style you like with good components. It takes some research, but you will not be sorry if you do some homework. You will not like the rifle you pictured as the Roman nose will beat your cheek. JMO.
Larry
 

Zutt-man

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20+ years ago my father gave me a short barreled .40 percussion poor boy. It was very plain, but a great shooter (I won an awful lot of rendezvous). Fast forward to last year I simply couldn’t wait any longer on a flintlock and made the Kibler leap. I’m not sure I’ll own any other flintlock outside of a Kibler now. Very high quality gun and a fun build.

Some things you need to consider: 1) what will it be used for 2) what caliber would you like for that application 3) what stock would you use for that application & 4) what style would you like.

Figure out a price range that seems optimal. Quality should not be passed over to save $200-400. It will lead to enormous frustrations. If it means saving a few extra months, it’ll be worth it. A quality lock is a must.
 

rafterob

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To answer your question, no you do not need to go custom to get started with a decent flintlock.
To be more philosophical about it, yes you need a custom flintlock. It all comes down to your disposable income. If you can afford it, you will be much happier down the road if you have the rifle you want. Took me 2 years of saving up my squirrel money but ended up with an instant family heirloom. Hopefully my Son will appreciate it someday.
 
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everything has been said but for the thought of if you are a tinkerer. in the event you are, buy a inexpensive factory flinter such as TC, CVA, Traditions etc.
the learning curve to make one of them reliable will teach you many valuable things about flintlock construction and design.
JM2cents
 

PastorB

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I started my flint journey with a Pedersoli Frontier many years ago when they could be purchased new for about $280. I replaced the front sight (5$) and the factory dowel rod rammer it came with, to a real hickory ramrod ($15). I stripped of the plastic looking finish, and re-finished it with boiled-linseed oil. Been very pleased with the rifle, never had a problem, and is as fast, reliable and accurate as any of my custom jobs purchased since. The custom guns feel and look a little better, especially those with a swamped barrel, but they cost many times as much. Actually, the Pedersoli might be more historically accurate (aside from barrel attachment method) to what a common person might have had, vs. the high end works of art that have survived and most repros are modeled after.
 
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Yessir,

Everything said so far is not wrong. @deerstalkert, is dead spot on as far as the learning curve and adapting and making things work. That Lyman taught me a lot. I think I might have been off a bit though, as I was not really clear as to the separation of "Custom" vs "Big Money". As my TVM is considered a "Semi" custom. I guess I was trying to emphasize that it cost a little more to get the good triggers and locks and that alone does wonders in the frustration department.

RM
 

Rebel jim

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Any recommendations of what I should buy?

everything has been said but for the thought of if you are a tinkerer. in the event you are, buy a inexpensive factory flinter such as TC, CVA, Traditions etc.
the learning curve to make one of them reliable will teach you many valuable things about flintlock construction and design.
JM2cents
I have been shooting percussion revolvers and tinkering with them for over 30 years (off and on) I understand frustration and tinkering with something to make it right.
I truly believe that you really never stop learning, especially when it comes to antique or reproduction firearms.
I am also a woodworker, so I love doing my own craftsmanship. I am not afraid of hard work or replacing parts with better quality.
 
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I want to get into shooting flintlock rifles, my question is; Do I need to spend big money to get started ?
You may get disappointed if you first get an inferior rifle that doesn't work for you. RESEARCH, ask questions, pay more now rather than later. Lots of good advice from the people on this great site.
 
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I own two flintlock guns. One is a Pedersoli Brown Bess. The other is a Pedersoli Pennsylvania. I've only been shooting flinters about 2 years. I probably have 500-800 rounds through my Pennsylvania.

The rifle shoots fine. Below is one of my load workup targets at 65 grains 2F goex. I used cut-at-the muzzle patches. 10 oz cotton duck with a 1:3 Ballistol/water lube mix. .490 cast Lee round ball, sprue up. 50 yards from a bench rest.

Now off hand is another story. I find the ignition of my flintlock to be not-so-fast. I can definitely hear the lock function and strike and ignite prior to the main charge going off. I shoot with some guys with custom guns and their ignition seems a lot quicker.

I have improved my ignition by doing a couple of things taught to me. First, don't fill the pan all the way up. This seems to have helped a lot. I only fill it about half way. I'm priming with 3F as I don't have any 4F. Perhaps 4F would be faster yet. Also fresh flints make better sparks.

I suspect that off a bench, even the $500 Traditions guns are going to shoot just fine once you find the right load.

I suspect that what the custom lock gives you is faster, more reliable ignition.

Note that for some Pedersoli guns you can get custom locks for them. Nobody seems to make one for the Pedersoli Pennsylvania though.

One thing to consider is the Pedersoli guns are now pushing $1000. You're not far from a Kibler kit for that kind of money. I picked up my Pedersoli Pennsylvania for almost free using Cabela's Bucks.

This target has 5 shots on it, all in the 10 ring (2" ring):
View attachment 151765
Amazing!
 
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My first flinter was a custom gun I had made in 1995 it's a plain jane SMR but is a superb shooter.
At the time of building, I had it fitted with two barrels a .32 and a .45. It cost me 1200 at that time.
Here's the thing about having one built you can pick the very best parts, best lock, and trigger.
Mine has a Davis lock with a weatherproof pan and it is lightning fast and has double-set triggers.
The parts are where a custom rifle has the edge even if it's a plain rifle.
 
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