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Late model flintlock rifles

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plmeek

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Both Rice and Colerain "B" weight barrels have a 1" breech and should accommodate a 3/4-16 breech plug, so I don't see any problem with a .54 caliber at the breech. The waist of both the Rice and Colerain "Golden Age/Classic American" "B" weight barrels is 0.75". That is getting a little thin if the bore is 0.54". You will want to be very careful when installing any underlug in that region and make the dovetails no deeper than say 0.030". That should be plenty strong to hold the wood to the barrel, which is all the lugs and pins are doing out there.

Most of us old farts really appreciate a lighter rifle since we typically don't have the upper body strength we had when we were your age. I think you will like the lighter rifle when hunting. I also think you made a good selection in type of rifle based on your original criteria. The 1-9/16″ wide butt plate and the late trigger guard are suitable for many of the Pennsylvania flint rifles made in the first quarter of the 19th century. The Lancaster stock architecture was very popular and rifles of that type found their way everywhere.
 

Treestalker

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Hi,
This is a 1810-1820 English flintlock rifle.










Big man or small, they are the finest and best designed hunting rifles you can put to your shoulder.

dave
Hi Dave, I totally agree, that is a very comfortable and practical design of rifle for hunting. I am enamored with the 'Virginia' style of rifle with the large, flatter butt stock and great balance. Thank you for your pictures and insights, Geo.
 
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There's no doubt in my mind that the English sporting rifle was superior to the American long rifle, for the purposes of modern hunting. The big problem is that it's not American, which I wanted for this. I also wanted a full stock. Finally, I wanted something that wouldn't be out of place in the American west in the early 1800's, exploration, hunting, fur trapping, etc.

If practicality was my only concern for a muzzleloader, it would likely be a percussion cap, short, as in 20" barrel short, likely a thin round barrel. Now that I think of it, I'm describing a TC scout rifle, something I've been looking to add, to join my TC scout pistol.
 

Grenadier1758

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I see that the 54 caliber B weight barrel is listed in the weights section but not in the drawings. They might well make the barrel as a special order. I wonder what the wait time would be?
 
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I'll give him a call on Monday. Oddly enough, it seems a 54 caliber C profile 44" is lighter than the 42" C profile. So my choices would be in order #1 Rice 42" B profile, #2 Colerain 42" B profile, #3 Either brand 44" C profile. I'd sure think one of those barrels must be in stock, or readily available.
 
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A call showed that he does not think he can get a B profile. Instead I opted for a 44" C profile. That shouldn't make a huge difference. Now all that's left to do is figure out the patch box, which he has been helpful with.
 

nchawkeye

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It's hard to go wrong with a Lancaster Daisy patchbox...They were used all over by the 1770s...Here is a gun I made in the late '80s that I wanted to show as an example of what could have possible been made in the Piedmont of North Carolina...As the Moravians at Old Salem came from Pennsylvania, they brought the Lancaster Daisy down here as well..12ED8D93-47EA-46E9-9F56-0B3643F207DB.jpeg
 
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I'm getting excited to see the kit soon. The kit is paid for, and it sounds like it is about ready to ship. It has been an absolutely phenomenal hunting season, the best in my lifetime. I've got a few weeks left of duck hunting, and I'll hopefully be rounding out the 2020 year with a nice big 9 point buck I've got my eye on.

Ray at Sitting Fox has been nice to work with. If anyone is considering them, just know he doesn't answer emails. I don't think he ever answered any of my emails. He does answer the phone right away, and takes care of any questions.

As I said earlier, I went with their K-32 golden age kit. The barrel will be a 44" Colerain C profile 54 caliber. For the patchbox, I decided on buying separately. There are two I like from Track of the Wolf, who are only 20 or so miles from me. The Jacob Dickert Lancaster county, or the Virginia Longrifle.

Back to the barrel, I see Colerain round groove barrels have a decent reputation. My only concern is that there seems to be talk as though the rifling is significantly deeper than other brands. It states .016" deep, which doesn't seem that much more than other brands. I normally like to use thick patches, so I'm hoping this is a good thing. It sounds like thick patches are the ticket for these barrels. To those with these barrels, what are some ball/patch combo's you are using, and how tight do they load? I'm guessing my normal canvas patch with .520" ball might be on the loose side.
 
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Well bad news today. I finally received the kit, and was met with problems. The most obvious is the barrel. It is extremely rusty. The outside I can deal with, but with rust in the bore, I can't accept this for what I paid for it. I've got pictures below. That is AFTER I ran oily patches through, hoping it was only surface rust. Unfortunately this is well set in rust. They really need to oil at least the bore during storage. The stock is ok, but I paid to have the lock and trigger inlet. The lock is maybe 1/4 inlet, and they didn't even start the trigger. I am fully disappointed in the ramrod. It's cheap enough to make my own, but the one that came with this kit seems like a hardware store dowel. I would not feel safe using it.

Thankfully Ray is very understanding, and has offered me to send it back to either fix it, or full refund. I'm unsure yet what I want to do. On one hand I still want a late model, and on the other it is getting real tough not to buy the early model Kibler, which cost even less money.

I will say I do like the weight and balance of this golden age kit. I am kind of shocked just how long that flag pole of a barrel is, but in reality is is only 8" or 10" longer than my Ithaca Mag-10. I put the kit on a scale, and it was 8 pounds 12 ounces. I think it fair to say that with the wood removal, and polishing, that the finished gun would be lighter than that, possibly between 8 and 8 1/2 pounds.

The Kibler kit is an early style, and looks thick. Everything is bigger, the stock, the barrel, and it is listed as a 9 lb 5 oz in 54 caliber. Kibler Colonial is a single trigger, and I really prefer a double set.

I'll think about it, but I'm still leaning towards doing the golden age kit, as it seems more my style.



 

Scota@4570

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Yikes! I'd demand return postage and send it back immediately for a full refund. They beat it up pretty good while assembling it for you. Based on what they sent you I would not give them a second chance.

The Kibler is a far better deal, and far better kit, and for less money? That is an easy choice.
 
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Boy, I really don't feel good about this situation, as Ray is such a nice guy. Unfortunately his team that works for him severely underperformed. I ordered this back in August, and he said he had everything in stock. It has taken pretty much 4 months to the day to get here. All I asked for extra work was to have the dovetails cut, and stock inlet for lock and trigger. The dove tails were only a front and rear sight, as well as three on the bottom to pin the barrel. Ray himself said he sent the barrel to one of his workers to have the dovetails milled. They are not milled, they are cut by hand with a file. I don't mean to nit pick, but I have done just as good of a job by hand with a file, and it did not cost me $200 labor. The stock I can forgive, as it seems to be decent work so far. Everyone forgets sometimes. They also forgot the rear sight too.

The barrel rust though, I can't get past that. I remember on the phone Ray had mentioned running some steel wool through to try and clean it out, then giggled about "Florida patina". The more I think about that, the more I realize how ridiculous that is for a brand new barrel. I paid $1350 for this kit for goodness sakes, yes I expected better. Just oil the dang barrel, it isn't that hard!

I'm going to sleep on it tonight, but I think I've made up my mind. I'm going to send this back for a full refund. After that I'm unsure. Track of the Wolf has a golden age kit. I'm not sold on the Kibler Colonial. I'm not sure I like the idea of a medium bore rifle (54 caliber) that is bulky, and almost 10 pounds. I'm trying to build a traditional American rifle, but I'd like to not handicap myself too much hunting.
 

Scota@4570

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I have sent several items back lately. I had one expensive book lost by USPS recently. It sucks to pay in good faith, eagerly and patiently wait only to be disappointed.

From your descriptions I think you were taken. You did not get what you paid for and they made you wait way to long. Hopefully your story can serve to warning to others.

The colonial big. Maybe get it in 58 or 62? That will make it lighter. The SMR is very cool. Get in 45 and you will have an amazingly lively rifle. IT is long so it hangs on the target because of the inertia. In 45 it is very light. I have built four Kiblers, they are great.

The only thing I don't like about Kibler is the lack of selections. I would very much like to see a golden age and a Hawken. He has both ends of the spectrum size wise on the long rifles. Something in the middle would be great. Jim is crazy busy. Hopefully his business is scalable. There may not be enough time in the day for him to offer a large selection. I am rooting for him though.

All the Kibler fanboy stuff aside, look at Chamber's offerings. Those kits are far better quality than Sitting Fox. Tracks "kits" are parts sets, the same as most vendors. They are not for beginners and the parts are nothing special. Depending on your selection you may get a mass market lock made of as cast parts slapped together as quickly as possible. The wood will be very far from a rifle stock. I don't think they offer parts sets with swamped barrels.

Sorry you were disappointed.
 
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As I was boxing it up, I found the rear sight in the box. The reason is, it fell out of its dovetail. The guy screwed up the dovetail so bad, it will not even begin to hold a sight, it falls clean through with not even the slightest hint of resistance.

Warning to all: DO NOT BUY FROM SITTING FOX!
 

plmeek

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You're making the right decision to send it back. I don't know this company or any of its people, but it is clear it's going down hill. This "About Us" from the company website pretty much says so.

About Us

He's describing the decline in the industry with people getting old and some passing. He is really describing himself and his own business. It's interesting that he talks about having two shops--one in Michigan and one in Florida. He is really a "snow-bird" that heads to Florida for the winter. I doubt his workers can afford the same thing so in winter time his business is probably split between Michigan and Florida, and he obviously has trouble managing the Michigan piece remotely.

You commented about the rear sight dovetail being cut too large to hold the rear sight. The front sight was installed backwards. Whoever did the dovetails either didn't know enough about what they were doing or didn't care.

As far as the condition of the barrel, he may have been trying to reduce his inventory of old barrels by taking advantage of an inexperienced buyer. It wouldn't surprise me if the inventory reduction is an effort to wind down the business.

Of course this is all speculation, and I don't really know what is going on with the business, but whatever it is, it isn't good.
 
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Ha, I didn't even notice the front sight. I've cut dovetails myself with a flat and a triangle file by hand, and have done a better job. The lugs on the bottom of the barrel are peened in, so clearly they are cut too large. Ray did not do this work himself on the barrel. Ray Franks is signed on the stock though, so I can only assume that was done by him. All around a bad deal.

After sleeping on it, I wont buy the Kibler Colonial. There is just too much different on it. It's big and heavy, it is only offered in a single trigger, and it is an early style. Nothing wrong the early style, but the later L&C and mountian man era interests me far more. I also fine the so called golden age style far more appropriate for a middle size bore rifle. If I'm going to carry around a 10 pound big rifle, I want a heavy hitting caliber, like a 68 caliber. I don't like the style of the Kibler SMR either. That is a small gun, with a sharply hooked butt. They are also only offered up to 45 caliber. Fine for deer, but I intend on one day using it for larger animals like elk one day. Most states require at least a 50 caliber, and a 54 is legal in all states. 54 caliber is my preference.

I'm unsure what I'll do yet. I called TOTW, they can not do any custom work for a swamped barrel. I will not build a 44" straight barrel. Sitting Fox was the only company that offered a golden age lancaster with a swamped barrel. TOTW does offer a "John Bivins" rifle that is very close to what I want and with a swamped barrel. The only change I would make would be to use a later style trigger guard, and it should look an aweful lot like a golden age.
 

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