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First time buyer / cracked stocks.

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Pro Libertate

40 Cal
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So… I’m looking at purchasing my first flintlock and have been seriously considering a used custom/kit rifle in the $1,500 range. I can’t help but wonder why so many used flintlocks on the market have varying degrees of cracks in the stock. Why do you suppose this is? Is it simply the nature of flintlocks? Due to errors in the inletting process? Abuse?

I’m not a masochist, so I plan on keeping my charges to reasonable levels. I just hate to think that the rifle I’ve spent my hard-earned cash on is destined to develop a crack or split at some point.
 
Several things can cause cracks. Poor inletting can cause the tang or lock plate to put a lot of stress on the wood. Also wood shrinks as it dries, making those stress points worse. Screw holes and lock inletting remove a lot of structural wood. Then there's the graining, which runs parallel along the barrel but means it is at an odd angle at the wrist.
 
The area just behind the lock, where the trigger hand goes is usually very thin, and many builders fall for the " get it as thin as possible" doctrine, leading to weakness in that area, and subsequent cracking.
Ain’t any falling for any doctrine. Many builders get it thin as possible because that is how they were originally made.
 
Quality of wood is a huge factor!
Treatment of wood, I see way to many stocks where the inside mortise isn't sealed/finished.
Loading practice, how many guys have you seen pounding and seating the projectiles like they were driving 12" spikes in a locust log?

And like was mentioned previously, over tightness of screws
 
Quality of wood is a huge factor!
Treatment of wood, I see way to many stocks where the inside mortise isn't sealed/finished.
Loading practice, how many guys have you seen pounding and seating the projectiles like they were driving 12" spikes in a locust log?

And like was mentioned previously, over tightness of screws
Unsealed/unfinished mortises were the rule rather than the exception on originals.
 
I guess this really doesn't answer your question but there is a really nice .45 caliber rifle in the classified section right now in your price range. It has modern sights which need swapped out if you want something traditional but the rifle is nicely done. If I had the extra scratch it wouldn't be for sale now.
 
I guess this really doesn't answer your question but there is a really nice .45 caliber rifle in the classified section right now in your price range. It has modern sights which need swapped out if you want something traditional but the rifle is nicely done. If I had the extra scratch it wouldn't be for sale now.
Thanks, Tommy. I know of which rifle you speak, and I’ve been agonizing over it myself.
 
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I've found that helping other people spend their money on flintlocks is a far less hazardous affair for me with the missus!😁😁 Good luck in your search.
Ha! Yeah… I’m going to be sleeping on the couch for the foreseeable future; I just reached out to Bill and committed to purchasing the Bruce Hamlin rifle.
 
Awesome!! Congratulations! I think that rifle will serve you well. Maybe I need to add another room onto the doghouse 😁😁😁
Thanks, man! I probably should’ve started out with a CVA or Traditions being a complete and utter newbie here, but I have a tendency to jump into new hobbies with both feet. I was looking at Pedersolis for a good long while, but they’re not cheap (as much or more than this Bruce Hamlin custom) and it sounds like quality is kind of hit or miss on the new offerings. Buy once, cry once, I suppose.

You wouldn’t happen to know if Bruce Hamlin is still around, would you? I know he is/was a member of the forum.
 
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