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chuck-ia

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How many of you (if any) have just built a gun, part Lancaster, trade gun or whatever, not following a specific time period, say a trade gun with a maple stock?
 

Grizzly Adams

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I did, by accident. Before I knew better, I decided to use a germanic lock on my Southern rifle. Should have used an English style lock, and kept this in mind when I built a TN style rifle.

The aforementioned is not historically accurate, but it is plenty accurate at the range so it has more than earned its keep.
 

trigrcreep

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I fell in love with daves export grade fowler and set out to build one. After many compounded errors I think it could be called a 1750 english trade gun. I still am in progress with it and its not too bad for gun # 2.
 

Davemuzz

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I built a flint pistol like that. No specific "plan" other than to have it functional and look as nice as I could make it. Now that I'm working on a rifle, and really taking my time (no rush to get it functional by hunting season) I see all the goof's of my pistol build.

However, you gotta just "dive in" and do it. But I do recommend to buy and read a good "how to build" book first. Maybe even get two books. :grin:
 

Vaino

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Seeing I've sold all my builds except for the personal hunting guns, building a LR or Hawken that's recognizable as such, requires some research and buying parts well ahead of the build start. If the research isn't done and disparate parts are used, a "Dr.Frankenstein" creation is the result.

Don't get me wrong and as the saying goes....."it's your gun so build it the way you want", but w/ all the time and effort req'd to build a LR, why not spend a little more time on research and build a gun that's mainly HC? After the research is done and the proper parts are bought, the MLer is just as easy to build as is a "whatever" gun.....Fred
 
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All of my guns have something wrong. My NWG is on maple, my SMR has a German style lock ect. I try to get it right on a build but make multi mistakes, I try to do better in the next and don’t get my breechcloth in a wad over it.
Remember that schools is a modern concept, they just built rifles back then. Style is important at a time, no slim Ohio style rifle was built in 1770s Pennsylvania, likewise 1770s Pennsylvania were not being built in 1820 Missouri. Rifles did get restocked and new rifles cannibalized parts on new guns. In General a ten-twenty year life span normal as the gun was sold and owned by one guy. It could get passed on to a son or sold but time when by an new guns came in to use.
In general one can make a gun that fits a need, and can give it any story one wants, however making a gun one is best serverd by matching to a known style and staying true as we can to that style.
 
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if you're going to deviate from a style or school, you should know that you're doing so, and why.

To that end, I would recommend The Gunsmith of Grenville County by Alexander, as well as Recreating the American Longrifle by Shumway, et al. These books aren't inexpensive by any stretch, but if you go through them carefully, you'll have an easier build and a better end product.

just one guy's advice: free and doubtless well worth the price.
 

davidmc62

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Sure, I took an old CVA Kentucky to rebuild and redefine, took off old parts added some new parts.
It looks SO MUCH BETTER, but, it still is not an accurate copy of anything other than a CVA Kentucky. Most of your cheaper production kits are not historically accurate "AS BUILT" for any time period. Old CVA's, Thompson Center, Traditions, there all good ol' guns and not many if any are a good copy of an historic piece. Lyman comes close and Pedersoli gets closer with certain models but all are lacking IMO if your into the historically correct camp. The HC / PC crowd wear me out sometimes. Dont take me wrong, I like HC stuff as much as the next guy and spent many years reenacting. If your not interested in historical reenactment or building an historically accurate rifle. The skies the limit to your build.
 

Cruzatte

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flinch said:
How many of you (if any) have just built...say a trade gun with a maple stock?
I did exactly that. All of Caywood's trade guns come with maple stocks. I knew better, though. But I wanted to build a gun that I'd enjoy as a project, and shooting.

I've also seen a lot of professionally built trade guns made with maple stocks, to keep costs down, I guess.

That being the case, if I were to purchase different parts from different makers, I would make sure that they match e.g. use a flat, triangular side plate, not a cast serpent side plate on a French trade gun.
 
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That’s a strong point, and has to be taken in to consideration. What do you want in the gun. Are you going to a F&I event? Well you need an F&I gun, but.... on another thread there is a discussion of the right charley for F&i and it seems the 1766 is seen most common, even though it was three years after the war.
On the other hand are you going to a pre 1840 rendezvous. Here ther is just an old timmey aspect, you might see a wide variety of guns there with only a pre 1840 sprit. Or are you just going to put on jeans and go to the range or hunting gear and go in to the the tall timber after Bambi or Tom, then the only thing you need is a gun you want that’s easy on your eyes and fulfills your needs and style.
 

ZUG

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When I build for a customer I ask them "what are you looking for"? If they tell me specifically what they want then I do my research and build them the style of gun that they ask for as best as I can. If they say that they are looking for a "generic" style of gun then I try to help them understand the differences between different time periods, different "schools" of guns and then help them form a style that will make them happy and proud to show off, shoot or just display over their fireplace. I do the same if the gun is for me. Why build a "hodge-podge" that looks like nothing? :idunno: :hmm: :wink: :v .
 

Vaino

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"Why build a "hodge podge" that looks like nothing"....a quote from Zug. I agree wholeheartedly w/ that statement, except I would add 2 words after nothing which are... "in existence".

The lore of MLing refers to a time long ago in all of its facets which we honor w/ our remembrances......so why build a gun that just doesn't fit in no how?......Fred
 

Davemuzz

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All points are valid. I think the "best" explanation, or the best I've read to date, is the post at the very top of the Gun Builders forum.

Some like to make a firearm as close to a historical time period as they can. Others, just want to shoot.....and with a firearm they built themselves.

I don't think there is anything wrong with either train of thought. The important part is ......get out there!!!
 
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Only reason is because it has features you like. A halfstock with a double wedding band half round rifle barrel fitted with a Hawken snail German lock, single trigger with a Bedford style trigger guard mated to a Roman nose stock. Not historical fully make believe but it’s got the features you want. Shoot and enjoy but never pretend it’s anything more then a one of a kind for you.
 

chuck-ia

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Have did several from a kit, Pecatonica, Track of the Wolf. Have built 5 from a blank, the one I am about done with I used all hand tools, no power tools. All are a copy of Lancaster, Gillespie, Trade gun, tried to stay as accurate as I could. Just thinking about doing something different on the next one. I like the idea of a trade gun, I can make most the parts, just buy the lock, stock, (blank) barrel, which I have. I don't know, just thinking. I do have quite a few books too. thanks for the replys, flinch
 

Vaino

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You've done quite a few MLers......have any pics of your work?......Fred
 

Col. Batguano

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Those are in the realm of "fantasy guns" Dave Person has built some beautiful ones. You have too. Rifles with wedding bands on the breech and upgraded engraving that would be out of place in a period Lancaster. Very tastefully executed, and flawless engraving. They look great. As if English and French artisans had studied American gun making and architecture. Are they HC? No. But they ARE the sort of gun that MIGHT have been built in the period had those same folks been building them and they had the time / talent that you and Dave do. Your Bucks guns are far BETTER guns than anything I've seen from the actual "period". Jerry Huddleston does the same thing. I don't see anything "wrong" with it. They are what they are. The high art contemporary execution of a historical design. In that vein they ARE "correct".
 

davidmc62

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Although I agree with your statements, I'll have to disagree with your logic there at the end. "could have or might have been made" irregardless of the degree of fit finish skill and technique does not make an article, rifle or other, "correct". Example, take an article oh lets say the best looking hunting frock or maybe a gorgeous regimental coat. Made from all the correct pattern, materials, buttons, dead nutz colors etc. The stitching that is seen by the naked eye is hand stitched, but the stitching on the inside seams hidden are machine done....is that coat "period correct"? How bout a nice looking wooden chest finished with wrought iron hardware, proper painted finish and lettering, but when you open it its an ice chest. Because you cant see the inside without opening, is that chest "period correct"? This is the trap you can fall into when you say "could have been made if..."
Thats almost as good as, "looks correct from a distance". I agree with you on the unknowns, there are only so many known examples of any articles we wish to copy and far too many unidentified examples. So what do you do? I think it better if refered to as "in the style of"...
To get back to the original post question, I have a rifle in mind that I am gathering parts for, it will be a percussion target rifle in the late 19th century styles. Think Schuetzen. I am not going to copy any particular gun but have a lot of reference materiel to draw from to make one that fits and works for me.
 

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