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pipascus

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So I still need to finish my Mark Silver rifle from Jim Chambers. Have been so busy I haven't even built the bench to hold it yet, but soon...

Regardless, once I finish this rifle, I want to build a Fusil de Chasse, probably one for a friend first, then one for me.

Trying to weigh the pros and cons of a kit vs carving the stock from a blank and buying the parts. Does that save any considerable money, or is it not worth it? The TOTW FDC kit goes into the almost $1,000 price tag. I haven't priced stock blanks yet, or the parts seperately, but maybe someone here can advise, since there are factoors I may not be aware of.

Thanks!
 

Flintandsteel

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It will save some cash for sure, or you can spend it on better wood. It will also come out about the same in labor as well. You won’t have to fix someone else’s mistakes.
 

Col. Batguano

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Blank will let you get the architecture that is right for you as far as wrist height, cast, pitch, toe-in / out. Both will let you thin your web to the appropriate thinness.
 

Vaino

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I've built 3 kit LRs...all from Chambers. The precarved stocks had a few errors that had to be reckoned w/ ...nothing so serious that I considered sending them back. The stocks of most of my builds have been from blanks and on the Lancasters, the stock outline is drawn free hand, while on the Bucks Counties I use a template that was taken from a BC in RCAl and enlarged. If a template is not available, drawing the stock outline can be time consuming and sometimes in error.

To speed things up on a blank build, I send the bbl/RR work out { did this work on the first 6 LRs}. When the ass'ys come back, bandsawing the stock outlines on the line saves alot of time spent w/ removing a lot of wood by slower means.

Choosing the metal components in relation to the chosen style of MLer can be time consuming particularly....the trigger guard and buttplate. Choosing the right lock is also very important. I make a lot of the parts but some might not be able to do so.

I prefer building from a blank, but depending om one's skills. perhaps a precarve in a kit is better choice. I guess one has to find this out by building from a blank. I save some money because of making quite a few of the metal parts, but then spend the money having the bb;/RR work done.. I think the total cost of building from a blank is somewhat cheaper than w/ a kit.....Fred
 
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jm190

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Hi All,
The FDC walnut pre-carve from TOTW goes for $339 while a walnut stock blank from MBS goes for $160. There's less of a difference if you go for maple but it's still around $100 less for the blank. There's no discount on the price of parts when buying a kit from TOTW.

John
 

rich pierce

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Few are willing to inlet their own barrels and make ramrod groove and drill the hole. By the time you ship barrel and wood to an inletter and they ship it back, postage plus their charges will probably be in the neighborhood of $150 plus. I build from blanks because I want to build unique guns mostly the way they were built. Also you are 100% stuck architecturally on a kit and cannot make it fit your needed dimensions for LOP, drop, etc. You can’t really customize a kit like Chambers or Kibler which are inlet for most of the parts other than by carving and inlays. That is fairly irrelevant for something like a fusil de chasse.
 

Treestalker

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Skill. Or not. If you have someone to guide you through your first scratch build, you will avoid a ton of mistakes. Having your level of experience with kits, I'd say build a gun from scratch. Natural progression, and you will probably find it is your way to go, unless time is a big factor.
 

Sidney Smith

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My first two builds were from kits. My latest build is from a precarve, but with only the barrel and RR channel inletted/drilled. I did everything else myself. However, I acquired all the parts as time and money allowed. So it was kind of a kit build, but not in a sense as I rounded up all the required parts and didnt rely on someone else to do that for me.

Someday I would like to build a rifle from a blank. I think Ive got the necessary skills to do it. If I do go this route though, Im going to build a gun that fits me and Im not going to be overly concerned with 100 % authenticity.. I think just being able to pull off creating a functional firearm from a cunk of lumber in this case will be challenge enough.
 

Deep Creek Dale

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As others have said, the advantage to a kit gun is the mistakes have already been made for you. You will enjoy and be more proud of a build from scratch far more, and will avoid the embarrassment of showing up at the range with a gun identical to someone elses. And, YOU, will have built it, not you and some guy with a pantograph and someone else who boxed up a bunch of parts. Inletting a barrel and drilling a ramrod hole are not the arduous tasks that some say it is. Kits such as Chambers and Kiblers are great for learning steps, proper architecture, parts relationships etc, but if you keep building them, you are just treading water. Push yourself to learn more.
 

pipascus

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Interesting and very good advice! Thanks to you all!

Does anyone know if there's a pattern for a fusil de chasse available?
Or should I find a good picture, project it on some carboard at the correct size, and trace it/cut it out to make the template?
 

Sidney Smith

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As others have said, the advantage to a kit gun is the mistakes have already been made for you. You will enjoy and be more proud of a build from scratch far more, and will avoid the embarrassment of showing up at the range with a gun identical to someone elses. And, YOU, will have built it, not you and some guy with a pantograph and someone else who boxed up a bunch of parts. Inletting a barrel and drilling a ramrod hole are not the arduous tasks that some say it is. Kits such as Chambers and Kiblers are great for learning steps, proper architecture, parts relationships etc, but if you keep building them, you are just treading water. Push yourself to learn more.
Youd only be treading water from the standpoint of only learning certain skills and not others. The crux of it is, some guys build because they love building, and find the build as rewarding as the end result. Hover for some. putting kits together is just part of the job to acquire a firearm. To this latter group, their priorities are in obtaining a finished firearm that they can go out and shoot. For them, the journey isnt as meaningful as the destination, and thats perfectly fine. Whatever flosts your dingy.
 

Johnny Tremain

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I wanted to get a Chamber's kit for the long time. Have his lock on the one I piece built.
I called Muzzle Loader Supply in Littlerock AR. What I did not want is one that had all the same fixins as every other kit. I bought the Sheetz rifle stock, Rice barrel and Chambers lock. Crockett double triggers, and all the steel hardware. Built a rusted working mans rifle.
I could not get this combo anywhere else.

I went to a pro builder, and used his shop, and he looked over my shoulder.
Its not pretty, a plain Jane. A lot of folks come talk to be about it.
It shoots like a house on fire.
 
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