My First Kit Build w/ Photos

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JL

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My first attempt at something along the lines of a build is this Pedersoli Kentucky kit .50 CAL. In terms of goals, my best case scenario was to match the quality of the Pedersoli Kentucky (non-kit) offering w/ as close to an actual PC Pennsylvania, as possible. I attempted to mimic what may have been appropriate for a later 18th century longrifle with particular attention paid to the Allentown-Bethlehem school. The kit limited my ability to do this, of course (as did my skill). Many here have suggested in the past that this kit doesn’t quite match “anything” and after hundreds upon hundreds of hours constructing, researching, and considering, I’d certainly agree! As a total novice who can’t even recall viewing an original, I’d certainly appreciate your honest and direct feedback on what I could have done differently and what the ultimate finished rifle, is.

Measurements:

Overall Length: 51 ½” DP: 50 3/16”
Butt Plate: 1 ¼”
LOP: 13 5/16”
Barrel: DP: 35 9/16”
Weight: 7.49 lbs DP: 8.15lbs

Overall, I’m proud of what I achieved, given my lack of experience. This project consumed me and was very satisfying. The rifle is good from far (maybe), but far from good lol. There were a lot of mis-steps and corrections and even now, there are still some things which should be addressed. My photos don’t highlight the negatives and are enhanced. Look forward to getting better at this and want to thank the forum as I reverted to it regularly as a resource.

IMG_20200530_184216662~2.jpgIMG_20200530_184255218~2.jpgIMG_20200530_184444967~2.jpgIMG_20200531_151553073~2.jpg
 

Redmoon

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I think you did a good job. I'm a newbie too and built me a rifle from parts with a shaped ish stock (barrel channel, ramrod hole, partially cut lock hole and overall mostly the shape of a rifle stock) and then followed that by putting together my dads old dixie flint poor boy kit. Mine took 2 months, his took a week and a half and most of that time was browning. So my recommendation to you is to build yourself a rifle from a MBS or similar 'kit' that much less of the work is done for you so you can fit it how YOU want it and be more proud of the work you've done.
 
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Kozmo

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Neat rifle. I think you exceeded your goal. Really well made. Great pics too - loving that background. Which state are you in?
 

JL

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Thank you very much for the feedback! It was definitely a learning lesson and I’m excited to keep learning/progressing and maybe taking this on some hunts. Prior to my post, the plan was to get it sighted in after taking some photos but severe weather rolled in. It has a perfectly aligned flash hole so hoping for fast ignition. Will share my results. Kozmo, I’m in WA state and was at about 5,000 elev. close to BC border. The rifle’s a kit but hopefully some of you can appreciate what I tried to do w/ it etc… Thanks so much for looking.
 

JL

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That's your first? Wow, great job and a beautiful gun you can be proud of.
It's my first. The only filing I've ever done is on chainsaw chains. Check out what I did to the kit patchbox lol. It was 1/8" thick brass at least and is where I can say I learned my files. IMG_20200415_225503771.jpg
 

jae

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A great job. You should be proud of your talents
 
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TXFlynHog

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Wow man. You set the bar pretty high for first-time builders! I'm "building" my first kit pistol with similar goals to yours. I didn't chance any fancy wood carving though, as I see you did, and I didn't modify parts either (as you did with the flint box). I have very little artistic capabilities, but worse yet, I'm a severe critic of my own work. So much so that if I carved something up that had any slight imperfection to my eye, which obviously it would, I'd never see the rest of the gun. Oddly enough, I'd overlook it in another's build.
 

Bob McBride

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You're learning your tools and learning what a longrifle should look like. I lack the nerve to show pics of my first, and certainly lacked the nerve to carve, so good for you. Well done. As long as you know what you did wrong, couldn't overcome, and would do better with a kit that starts out with good architecture, number 2 should show as much focus and passion as this one does. When you get ready for a blank build you'll have it all ironed out. Maybe build 3. Nicely done. You should be proud....
 

JL

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As long as you know what you did wrong, couldn't overcome, and would do better with a kit that starts out with good architecture, number 2 should show as much focus and passion as this one does.
Thank you to all that have commented and/or viewed. I need to spend more time researching and understanding what I did wrong. There are obvious things that I can see, and many that only a deeper understanding will eventually, reveal. In other words, I'm a lot further off than hoped. Next time, I will also seek advice (here) along the way and make a point to view or hold some. That alone should help a ton. For what it's worth, I did pick up and frequently reverted to, a couple of the mainstay hardcover books etc... and even still... with no plans, dimensions, etc... this was a more subjective / learning build.

There wasn't too much I felt I couldn't overcome other than the things I did before understanding what the action would result in. Some of my creative liberty, whether trying to "fix" or not, presents period/all-together incorrect features. The kit has a short barrel, a pre-cut narrow stock, a small buttplate girth, etc... Probably not the best arrangement for my goal.

The next one will be pre-planned. As far as passion, focus, and commitment... I need to wait until I feel "it" again. For all of this one's flaws, that's what many of you see in it and THAT'S appreciated.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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My first attempt
I’d certainly appreciate your honest and direct feedback on what I could have done differently
You are getting a lot of atta boys and rightly so cuz one can see the hard work you put into that rifle. On the other hand your lack of experience and expertise shows compared to the big boys. We all have to start somewhere!! I am 75 years old and still struggling to get to big boy status. One item I will point out that any good riflesmith will tell you: Your raised carving is way too high. 1/32 to 3/64 high would be more in tune with a Kentucky. I can honestly say that I picked your raised carving to feedback about, because my first rifle had the same mistake. "Too high". Now that you have the rifle finished, we need to hear how she shoots. Way to go first timer :thumb:
Flintlocklar🇺🇲
 

Bob McBride

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It's pretty nifty and, like I said, baulsy for a #1.... but, I'd do number 2 as a copy of some rifle, original or fine contemporary, you can get your hands on, measure, take pics, etc. while changing the things you want to change that looks like a similar gun from the region and period you choose, and then you'll get an idea about where your personal touches and artistic license can be added while keeping true to originals. Your lock panels and cheek piece area are the farthest off. It's much like building old muscle cars from scratch. You need to make it look like a '66 Chevelle, then add/modify those things that say YOU did it, not Chevy. I'll say it again, better than my first. Cheers.
 
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JL

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Thank you Larry! That is some objective feedback I need. One of the books I referenced was published in 1976 so we may have each began trying to interpret those same black and whites! You'd have gotten a kick out of the carving tools I was using too... lol. I'll try to shoot her soon and will followup.
 

JL

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Bob, Couldn't agree more and appreciate you following up. That left side of the butt-stock especially... ouch!
 

Bob McBride

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It's not so much about the things you got right or wrong on your first, but, like Larry said, it's the obvious effort that caught our eyes and that means we have lots of eye candy to look forward to from you..... Get after it. :thumb:

Oh, and you SHOULD be proud of it.
 
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