First Flinter?

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Cannon
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regretably, the prices of both Lyman and Thompson Center GPRs have gone way up in the last few years. Both are well made, durable, and reliable. I have never owned a Lyman, but my T/C rifles all shoot tighter groups better than i can hold.

as regards the question of building a kit, i am of two minds: on one hand, this will lead you down the rabbit hole of "OK - i've alredy got the tools, and the last kit was kinda fun to build, and i'd really like to have a new [fill in the blank] ... But then again, spending your spare time building guns might not be your cup of tea, in which case you're stuck with tools you've used once.

the whole deal about money is a good point, but avoid getting too "wrapped around the axle" over it. i've long held that if you can't remember what you paid for a tool, but you're still using it, then the purchase was a good one.

good luck, and

Make Good Smoke :)
 

oldhunter1954

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This seriously must be a paid Kibler promotion website. Why is it every single person who posts about wanting their first flintlock, is suddenly steered toward Kibler kits? Again I'll say it, I'm not knocking Kiblers in any way, but it makes me wonder why people are so quick to offer up a thousand dollar plus kit to a newbie. The man said he doesn't want to spend a crazy amount of money. Now when I hear that, I'm hearing "I don't want to spend a grand, plus on a flintlock". Maybe a Lyman GPR, or a Pedersoli rifle may be a better choice. I'm just saying.

It's real easy to offer up something to someone when it isn't you spending the money.
I would offer up a thousand dollar plus kit to a newbie. I believe anyone with basic skills can assemble a Kibler kit! I built a Kibler Colonial. I would say the hard part of the Kibler kit was 95% finished. Now I am working on a kit from another company. I would say the new kit is 60% finished and the company has no pictures or instructions or videos to help the end user.
 

Critter Getter

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My first flinter was a pre owned Pedersoli Blue Ridge (Frontier) . It had never had a ball down the barrel before I bought it. Didn’t cost an arm and a leg and has been very reliable. Only thing is.........it is so much fun to shoot that I now own a wall full of custom flinters!! I would recommend a gently used good quality rifle for your first flintlock. Greg
 

TreeMan

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Lyman is now only using Pedersoli to produce their Great Plains rifle. The former Great Plains rifles were the investarms gemmer Hawken with Lyman stampings. If you want the less expensive version of the old Lyman google Investarms Gemmer Hawken. These are the Great Plains that everyone swoons over. They are readily available and are the exact same rifle. Lyman was not and is not making rifles. They were and are produced by investarms and now Pedersoli. Zoom in on the photo of the Gemmer Hawken in this link and you’ll clearly see Lyman on the barrel.
 

Grenadier1758

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Well, after having owned a percussion hawken for a while I'm wanting to branch out into flintlock long rifles. What should I get? I'd prefer not to spend a crazy amount of money, but definitely don't want to be pulling my hair out at the range. I've been looking at the track of the wolf kits but that seems well above my skill grade. Where can I get pre-made rifles based off of these kits or something similar?
You are looking at an expense of around $700 to $800 plus a little bit. Since you were looking at the Track of the Wolf kits, I was thinking you wanted a capable rifle that was closer to being historically correct than the basic offerings of Traditions, Lyman and Pedersoli since you were looking at the TotW kits. Actually a couple of the Pedersoli rifles do come close. I am also assuming that you don't have access to all the tools and work area that would be thought of as necessary for the building of a parts kit. You can search some of the semi-custom makers such as TVM, Chambers and others that may have some rifles available for sale. Otherwise there will be a wait period.

With any flint lock, it is the lock that makes shooting one such an enjoyment.

From what I have seen with any pre made rifle, it is likely that the lock and triggers will need a little bit of tuning. Not a real deal breaker perhaps, but be prepared to spend a little bit of time to go over the lock and triggers to smooth out any new or for that matter, used rifle. Lots of tutorials on lick tuning are out there and this is not out of most people's skill set. You do need a spring clamp, some fine hones or wet and dry sand paper, and proper sized screwdrivers. This puts you into the Traditions, Lyman, Pedersoli rifles if you want a new rifle. Good values can be found in the used rifle market as well. It takes some searching. Its time well spent to find a rifle with a known quality lock. Almost any lock can be tuned to work, but its how much work that will take or how much hair is to be lost at the range trying to make a lock work. @Woody Morgan is correct in that a inexpensive Traditions Deerhunter can be tuned up into a reliable flintlock that will get you well up on the learning curve. I also know of many rifles with poorly designed locks that have driven some shooters out of the flint lock practice.
 

Rawhide67

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I just finished a killer southern mountain rifle for a friend. I wouldn't even consider myself an amateur builder as in don't really have an experience. I'm a professional at puttering and my friend had no patience.

Anyway, the kits are not like Lego's. They do go together pretty well right out of the box, but you will likely have to do some gentle scraping of inlets to get things together. Then you will have to do the final sanding of the wood and finish it. Metal prep and finishing is time consuming, or at least it was for me. Some spots on the metal gave me fits as the browning wouldn't stick.

About 20 hours of work and I was able to hand my friend what I think is a very nice flintlock that looks like it's been around the block a few times and then hung over the fireplace for 100 years.

Not saying other kits are good or bad, as I don't have any experience with them. Also, if you have a problem, Kibler's customer service is A+.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I appreciate all the advice. That kibler is starting to grow on me. It looks pretty labor intensive to my skillset though. Am I mistaken in noticing that it appears in addition to finishing the edges of the metal, I need to do some inletting for the lock and barrel? Not to mention drilling screw holes? As to caliber, how capable is .45 at getting out there? I already have a .50 for hunting the big stuff, this one would be more for just plinking but I like to reach out as far as I can. I notice the southern mtn rifle only gets as big as .45, will that hurt long range capability?
I build from scratch, and no expert by a long way! I have seen the Kibler kits and they are top notch. If you feel they seem labor intensive, I highly recommend you purchase a gun ready to go. Making and working on guns is part of the fun for some of us. If it is a chore or you can't muster up the talent, you had better forget putting one together.
Larry
 
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A bore scope will tell you exactly what is going on down inside your barrel, and if the flash hole is open into the powder chamber of the breech plug. Some times the gun is only cleaned with the loading rod and in doing that the powder chamber of the breech plug does not get cleaned correctly and builds up residue. Try to measure and see if you are getting into the chamber of the breech plug to the very bottom, and work on the flash channel with wire fishing leader wire like a drain snake.
 

Bergmann

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Umm 🧐

Also I literally said the issues with Indian and traditions firearms haha.
Yes, but that GPR is a special new edition AND it is made by Pedersoli! Italian guns are (generally) steps up in quality over most imported brands! The higher price tag reflects the extra quality! Check this out: https://www.gunbroker dot com/Black-Powder-Muzzleloaders/search?Keywords=Lyman%20Great%20plains%20rifle Just replace the DOT with a . !
 

Joemolf

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My first flinter and muzzleloader in general early this year was a Traditions Deerhunter. You guys can say all you want about how someone must spend in excess of $800 to get started "properly" but I don't agree with that in the least.
The Deerhunter is a solid rifle for less than $400. Yeah yeah. It's not period correct in the least as mine even has a synth stock and Cerakoted barrel but it works, is accurate and has taught me a lot about shooting flintlocks without spending anywhere near what you guys are talking about. This thread is about a first flint gun. Help him learn how to learn a flint gun inexpensively at the start. Gotta walk before you run.

wm
Just shoot. For me it was about history and I’m old so I’ve worked a long time and can with in reason buy what I want. Younger people those with families are not going to order a custom rifle. For many I’m sure they see no value in A 1200 to 10 k rifle. I would think someone new to black powder would and should buy a practical flintlock. Get in cheap! Heck after they used it a few times and realized the labor that goes along with it and keeping it clean may end up going back to metallic cartridge rifles. But who doesn’t like a lot of smoke and that deep bang!
Anything that is safe, challenging and makes smoke will be fun IMO. Boys especially are easily intrigued and will probably love what ever they get. Taking kids out of the picture a guy on budget who likes to hunt can’t go wrong with a tried and proven Traditions or Pendersoli or other kits they work. Heck I like them all. The sport/hobby is really on the upswing there’s so much out there and can be gotten into affordably from modern day flintlocks to the classical ones. There’s something for everyone. You don’t need a correct Lancaster County rifle. It’s all about fun!
 

Bergmann

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I build from scratch, and no expert by a long way! I have seen the Kibler kits and they are top notch. If you feel they seem labor intensive, I highly recommend you purchase a gun ready to go. Making and working on guns is part of the fun for some of us. If it is a chore or you can't muster up the talent, you had better forget putting one together.
Larry
I've lost track of all the "kit guns" I have finished for folks who thought they were easy to assemble! I have not yet been asked to assemble a Kibler kit. So...?
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I've lost track of all the "kit guns" I have finished for folks who thought they were easy to assemble! I have not yet been asked to assemble a Kibler kit. So...?
My point exactly! If one thinks a Kibler is going to tax their skills, then they need to purchase a gun ready to go!
Larry
 

Snooterpup

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If a person has had an opportunity to shoot a flintlock, they need to ask themselves a few important questions.
Do you intend to get into the hobby seriously or just want something to shoot? I’ve owned T/C Hawkens, two Pedersoli Hatfields and one rather poorly assembled
kit flintlock that needed a lot of work. I’m not a fan of a Pedersoli’s “chambered” breech and had to spend hours messing about with factory locks. For the occasional shooter, these may work fine but in many cases, reliability can suffer and cause lack of enjoyment and frustration.
The reason so many folks recommend Kibler’s rifles is simple. First is quality parts, all American made, quality workmanship in the design and fit, and a lock that sparks like the fourth of July. Put this together with a historical design, videos and help with any issues and you have something to really be proud of. His carefully well assembled kit by the owner will be worth more than the cost of the initial purchase if you ever want to resell. Any Investarms, T/C, or Pedersoli will decrease in resale value immediately after you purchase it.
Take this from someone who has shot black powder for many years and has sold all of his lesser quality flintlocks to fund the Kibler keeper. I’d have been money ahead if a Kibler quality rifle kit was available years ago. Not knocking the lesser choices, they are just fine for many folks, it has just been my experience. Just my humble opinion.
 
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I agree with Snooterpup. I to have owned, and or repaired many of the factory made flint locks. TC, Invest arms, Lyman, CVA, Cabela's Hatfield, Pedersoli, and all had poor locks that need repair, tuning or replacement. The locks you buy as locks are made by investment casting. Many are not finished or fitted well. They are not reliable. A cheaply made flintlock is a waste of money.

I have experience with Lyman flintlocks, I would not buy one on a dare. It is not worth $950.

Kibler makes his locks of the best materials. The parts are CNC machined to tight tolerances. They are properly finished. Kibler is the only one who is producing a quality lock in mass. His locks work properly, do not eat flints, and are historically accurate in styling. Kibler's rifles are constructed using historically correct details. All parts, wood too, are CNC machined. The kits can be assembled by a guy with minimal skills and tools. Jim has step by step videos on how to do it.

I have assembled five Kiblers so far. The first one was sold to an admirer for much more than my cost in money and time. Not one has had any functional problems. As far a value, Kiblers rifles are a much better value than any of the factory made price point guns.
 

oldwood

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Ya gotta start somewhere. Get a gun and learn all yon can about black powder shooting and have fun. Get a cheap furnace , the mold for your rifle and cast your own balls. Learn everything. That should keep ya out of trouble and learn ya how ta shoot and , like it did me , help to make some new friends.
 

Joemolf

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My first flinter and muzzleloader in general early this year was a Traditions Deerhunter. You guys can say all you want about how someone must spend in excess of $800 to get started "properly" but I don't agree with that in the least.
The Deerhunter is a solid rifle for less than $400. Yeah yeah. It's not period correct in the least as mine even has a synth stock and Cerakoted barrel but it works, is accurate and has taught me a lot about shooting flintlocks without spending anywhere near what you guys are talking about. This thread is about a first flint gun. Help him learn how to learn a flint gun inexpensively at the start. Gotta walk before you run.

wm
Just shoot. For me it was about history and I’m old so I’ve worked a long time and can with in reason buy what I want. Younger people those with families are not going to order a custom rifle. I would think someone new to black powder would and should buy a practical flintlock. Get in cheap! Heck after they used it a few times and realized the labor that goes along with it and keeping it clean may end up going back to metallic cartridge rifles. But who doesn’t like a lot of smoke and that deep bang!
Anything that is safe is, challenging and makes smoke will be fun IMO. Boys especially are easily intrigued and will probably love what ever they get. Taking kids out of the picture a guy on budget who likes to hunt can’t go wrong with a tried and proven Traditions or Pendersoli or other kits they work. Heck I like them all. The sport/hobby is really on the upswing there’s so much out there and can be gotten into affordably from modern day flintlocks to the classical ones. There’s something for everyone.
I appreciate all the advice. That kibler is starting to grow on me. It looks pretty labor intensive to my skillset though. Am I mistaken in noticing that it appears in addition to finishing the edges of the metal, I need to do some inletting for the lock and barrel? Not to mention drilling screw holes? As to caliber, how capable is .45 at getting out there? I already have a .50 for hunting the big stuff, this one would be more for just plinking but I like to reach out as far as I can. I notice the southern mtn rifle only gets as big as .45, will that hurt long range capability?
Jim Kibler did all the hard work for you it essentially requires no skill to assemble everything is CNC machined making assembly a breeze. You will spend all your time polish the parts and finishing the stock! Everything is fully inlet no fuss no muss! You need to be only a little mechanically inclined. There are enough YouTube videos out there that any question you have are already answered. And the kit coming out of his factory today are even simpler they continuously improve the assembly process with no short cuts in quality. I purchased a couple of his rifles and would recommend the southern for the novice. The colonial in my opinion needs to be dressed up with relief carvings and molding; the SMR needs nothing it a simple nice rifle. I recently purchased a finished one from a gent associated with the forum. He assembled and finished it beautifully. The pendersoli kits I assume would be similar to assemble and finish. Kimber also sells his own Siler lock used on the southern mountain and an English round face for the colonial from all accounts I hear they are stout locks. Both are good sparkers. I guess I got to the point where it sounds like I’m being paid! Hardly! I have a few Track of the Wolf kits they are too beautiful kits but require more skill; stock grade and barrel manufacture are the cost drivers. Problem has been getting stocks. lol
 
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"Kimber also sells his own Siler lock used on the southern mountain and an English round face for the colonial from all accounts I hear they are stout locks."

Kibler has nothing to do with Siler. Kibler locks are made in house by CNC. The design was perfected by Kibler himself.
 

dave951

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Having been a percussion guy for years and just took rabbit hole into darkest flintlock land, here's my take.

Traditions makes a solid basic rifle but it's built to a price point. Functional, yes, match grade, never. Past that I bought a very old Cabela's Hawken kit made by Investarms and paid less that what a Traditions would cost. From the Lymans I've handled, there's little to no difference. The weight, feel, lock, twist are identical to a Lyman GPR flintlock of the same vintage.

So is my antique kit up to a Kibler? Not hardly but I only paid right at $350 for what is in the main, a Lyman GPR. Just shot it today. The first outing I shot two groups, not doing any load development. The purpose was more a function check than anything and to see what I'd like to change. The groups were right at 3.5in at 50yd, not bad for the standard bead front and buckhorn rear and I'm sure that can be tightened up.

Moral of the story, you can find a deal on a decent flintlock. It just takes time. Get antsy and be prepared to shell out.
 
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