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I want to build a Fowler which kit would you choose?

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Hatchet-Jack

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This will be used for Squirrel, Turkey and Deer.
I want a build that will challenge me to move beyond the CVA, Lyman, Traditions builds. I want to learn inletting but I want to learn progressively, maybe a partially inletted stock for this build, then move to a blank stock for the next one. I have plenty of experience in wood and metal shop and have a shop with the tools needed. I'm doing tons of research reading books. What I'm trying to say is my basic skills, tools and a facility should not be an obstacle.

On my list to consider (and please suggest any others):
Jim Chambers PA Fowler in 20 gage
Jim Chambers Smooth Rifle in 20 gage
Log Cabin Shop Fowler in 20 gage
Kibler Colonial Rifle - .58 smoothbore (I'm almost thinking a Kibler will not help me learn inletting and I don't like the 6 mo. wait)
TOTW English Fowler in 20 gage (I like Track, but most of their parts are out of stock right now)

Thanks in advance. Please ask questions and I will respond. I'm not one of those that posts and sits back and watches.

Jack
 

kje54

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This will be used for Squirrel, Turkey and Deer.
I want a build that will challenge me to move beyond the CVA, Lyman, Traditions builds. I want to learn inletting but I want to learn progressively, maybe a partially inletted stock for this build, then move to a blank stock for the next one. I have plenty of experience in wood and metal shop and have a shop with the tools needed. I'm doing tons of research reading books. What I'm trying to say is my basic skills, tools and a facility should not be an obstacle.

On my list to consider (and please suggest any others):
Jim Chambers PA Fowler in 20 gage
Jim Chambers Smooth Rifle in 20 gage
Log Cabin Shop Fowler in 20 gage
Kibler Colonial Rifle - .58 smoothbore (I'm almost thinking a Kibler will not help me learn inletting and I don't like the 6 mo. wait)
TOTW English Fowler in 20 gage (I like Track, but most of their parts are out of stock right now)

Thanks in advance. Please ask questions and I will respond. I'm not one of those that posts and sits back and watches.

Jack
The only thing I'm aware of out of your list is that Kibler is going to be the easiest to build. If you want to do your own inletting go with someone else though for all I know all those kits come inletted, you just have to work on it a bit to make the lock fit correctly though.
If I wanted to learn lock inletting I get a small block or two of wood and practice first.
 
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dave_person

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Hi Jack,
I love building fowlers. Kibler's kit won't challenge your skills very much but from the stand point of learning, it shows you what many stock details should look like if you are trying to build guns that look like originals. The kits you already made do not do that. Chambers PA fowler is a good choice. The stock architecture is good and the components excellent. The TOW English fowler kit uses an L&R Queen Anne lock, which I would avoid. I know the lock well and hate it. Compared with Chambers round-faced or Kiblers round-faced English lock it fares very poorly. Below is a link to a thread I posted on working over L&Rs lock:
Reworking an L&R Queen Anne lock FINISHED
 

Hatchet-Jack

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The only thing I'm aware of out of your list is that Kibler is going to be the easiest to build. If you want to do your own inletting go with someone else though for all I know all those kits come inletted, you just have to work on it a bit to make the lock fit correctly though.
If I wanted to learn lock inletting I get a block or two of wood and practice first.
Thanks for the advise @kje54. I like your idea about working a block of wood first.
 

Hatchet-Jack

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Hi Jack,
I love building fowlers. Kibler's kit won't challenge your skills very much but from the stand point of learning, it shows you what many stock details should look like if you are trying to build guns that look like originals. The kits you already made do not do that. Chambers PA fowler is a good choice. The stock architecture is good and the components excellent. The TOW English fowler kit uses an L&R Queen Anne lock, which I would avoid. I know the lock well and hate it. Compared with Chambers round-faced or Kiblers round-faced English lock it fares very poorly. Below is a link to a thread I posted on working over L&Rs lock:
Reworking an L&R Queen Anne lock FINISHED
Thanks @dave_person! Yes I want to move into building guns that look like originals. From my research I came to the conclusion that the Kibler would be an easier build but I hadn't considered that it would teach me "what" the stock should look like. Thanks for that and the tips about the locks and their quality.
 

kje54

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Hi Jack,
I love building fowlers. Kibler's kit won't challenge your skills very much but from the stand point of learning, it shows you what many stock details should look like if you are trying to build guns that look like originals. The kits you already made do not do that. Chambers PA fowler is a good choice. The stock architecture is good and the components excellent. The TOW English fowler kit uses an L&R Queen Anne lock, which I would avoid. I know the lock well and hate it. Compared with Chambers round-faced or Kiblers round-faced English lock it fares very poorly. Below is a link to a thread I posted on working over L&Rs lock:
Reworking an L&R Queen Anne lock FINISHED
I know with some of ToTW's kits they offer upgraded locks for an extra charge.
 

Spikebuck

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Jack...if weight of the finished piece is important to you, then a fowling piece could be up to a couple pounds lighter than a smooth rifle. At least that's my experience. The Octagon to round barrels vs a full octagon (even if swamped) barrel would generally be lighter. My .62 smooth rifle is approx 9#. While I don't currently have a fowling piece, the one I did own (and have handled several others) were more in the 7# range. I do see that Chambers only shows a 1/2 pound more for the Smooth rifle vs the Pennsylvania Fowler but that's because his smooth rifle also has an octagon to round barrel. Just something to be aware of when comparing what you want to build if weight is important to you.

You might also want to check out Knob Mountain/David Keck. You can get from a blank with just the barrel inlet and ramrod hole drilled to preshaped stocks, so you may have more control on just what you want to get as far as amount of the work done. You can supply components or buy them there.

 

Hatchet-Jack

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Jack...if weight of the finished piece is important to you, then a fowling piece could be up to a couple pounds lighter than a smooth rifle. At least that's my experience. The Octagon to round barrels vs a full octagon (even if swamped) barrel would generally be lighter. My .62 smooth rifle is approx 9#. While I don't currently have a fowling piece, the one I did own (and have handled several others) were more in the 7# range. I do see that Chambers only shows a 1/2 pound more for the Smooth rifle vs the Pennsylvania Fowler but that's because his smooth rifle also has an octagon to round barrel. Just something to be aware of when comparing what you want to build if weight is important to you.

You might also want to check out Knob Mountain/David Keck. You can get from a blank with just the barrel inlet and ramrod hole drilled to preshaped stocks, so you may have more control on just what you want to get as far as amount of the work done. You can supply components or buy them there.

Thanks @Spikebuck! I hadn't thought about the weight difference, and yes weight is a factor for me. Thanks I'll take a look at Knob Mountain.
 

flembo

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This will be used for Squirrel, Turkey and Deer.
I want a build that will challenge me to move beyond the CVA, Lyman, Traditions builds. I want to learn inletting but I want to learn progressively, maybe a partially inletted stock for this build, then move to a blank stock for the next one. I have plenty of experience in wood and metal shop and have a shop with the tools needed. I'm doing tons of research reading books. What I'm trying to say is my basic skills, tools and a facility should not be an obstacle.

On my list to consider (and please suggest any others):
Jim Chambers PA Fowler in 20 gage
Jim Chambers Smooth Rifle in 20 gage
Log Cabin Shop Fowler in 20 gage
Kibler Colonial Rifle - .58 smoothbore (I'm almost thinking a Kibler will not help me learn inletting and I don't like the 6 mo. wait)
TOTW English Fowler in 20 gage (I like Track, but most of their parts are out of stock right now)

Thanks in advance. Please ask questions and I will respond. I'm not one of those that posts and sits back and watches.

Jack
Hi jack
I am working on the TOTW 20 gage English fowler presently and yes the Stock and Triger assembly are backordered , I did get the last Barrel luckily. There is plenty of work to do on the barrel and brass parts but I will soon be at a standstill. I am hoping for a winter project so hopefully the stock and trigger arrive soon, if not I may be looking for another gun build myself. last winter I built the Traditions Crocket as well as the Pedersoli Kentucky both in 32 cal. I can already tell the TOTW Fowler will be much more challenging. Good luck
 

Hatchet-Jack

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Hi jack
I am working on the TOTW 20 gage English fowler presently and yes the Stock and Triger assembly are backordered , I did get the last Barrel luckily. There is plenty of work to do on the barrel and brass parts but I will soon be at a standstill. I am hoping for a winter project so hopefully the stock and trigger arrive soon, if not I may be looking for another gun build myself. last winter I built the Traditions Crocket as well as the Pedersoli Kentucky both in 32 cal. I can already tell the TOTW Fowler will be much more challenging. Good luck
Aha well you gotta keep me posted on your TOTW fowler @flembo! I'd love to hear how things progress. TOTW will take care of you sooner or later. I've bought from them for years and they've always been a solid company at least in my experience. I just checked out Knob Mountain as suggested above by Spikebuck. I'm also waiting on a catalog from Pecatonica. They are 6 weeks back ordered on their catalog. I have heard some good things from folks out at the Friendship NMLRA range about them so that's another one I'm looking at. Thanks for posting!
 

huntinguy

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From what i have seen, some 20 gauge barrels are 12 gauge profiles with smaller holes. Might want to check the profile if weight matters.

I picked up a 28 gauge barrel years ago just because of the slim smaller profile.
 

Eric Krewson

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I have posted this a dozen times before; if you get a precarve don't let them inlet for the lock, do it yourself, it isn't all that difficult. If the pre-carver gets it just a little off you will have a major headache making things right.

Of course this advice doesn't apply to a Kibler, their inlet will be perfect.

I would also use one of the new Kibler round face locks in the build.
 

Eric Krewson

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I built a 12 ga fowler with a 38" D weight barrel, the barrel is almost too light and hard to hold on for shooing a round ball. I wish I had gone at least to a 42" barrel that would have had more "hang".
 

Hatchet-Jack

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From what i have seen, some 20 gauge barrels are 12 gauge profiles with smaller holes. Might want to check the profile if weight matters.

I picked up a 28 gauge barrel years ago just because of the slim smaller profile.
Good to know. Thanks!
 

Hatchet-Jack

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I have posted this a dozen times before; if you get a precarve don't let them inlet for the lock, do it yourself, it isn't all that difficult. If the pre-carver gets it just a little off you will have a major headache making things right.

Of course this advice doesn't apply to a Kibler, their inlet will be perfect.

I would also use one of the new Kibler round face locks in the build.
Thanks that makes sense. I am really leaning towards a stock with just the barrel and ramrod hole pre-cut. I'd like to learn to inlet everything else.
 

tenngun

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Going to add Sitting Fox to your list. Ray offers some kits you don’t see other places and the service I got from him was great.
 

Eric Krewson

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My 12ga was from a stock blank with the barrel inletted and ramrod hole drilled by Fred Miller, he is no longer in business, Knob Mountain took over his patterns.

I wanted to learn how to inlet as well and did the rest by myself. I got my lock from Chambers and everything else from TOW except for what I made, like the trigger plate and trigger. English fowler trigger plates have the slot off to the right side, no one sells them so I made one. They
trigger plate layout.jpg
have a distinctive shape

Trigger plate in finished.jpg
fowler selfies 002.JPG
 
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