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Never owned a gun, but smitten by flintlocks, not sure what to do

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Javiar

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So some background:

USA, 27, male

I've never owned a gun. I only shot a bb gun in cub scouts when very young. I love history. Father owns quite a few guns but never shoots them. I understand some might see my history and personality as a "city slicker", but I grew up and live in an area which is bordering farms, woods, yet close to town with housing projects advancing quickly. I sadly in youth spent little time outdoors.

One friend just bought a modern rifle and another acquaintance hunts often with modern rifle. Seeing them having fun, I started looking into guns, because I have little for hobbies. But modern guns like theirs I just don't find interesting.

I've seen videos of long rifles, I know the history and admire the mythology. I am just smitten by them and feel I would love to own one, historically correct.

Problem is, I know nothing about actually using guns, how to aquire them, or anything. I like the idea of hunting with one, even if never succeeded, but I also know nothing about hunting.

So my question is. If I have $1300 available to spend, with no experience with guns (but a willingness to learn) is it unwise to go into the flintlock route as a first gun?

Any thoughts or replies will be appreciated
 
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GANGGREEN

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Well, first of all, kudos to you for following something that interests you and best of luck with your pursuits. My suggestion would be that if you've never owned a firearm or been around them, it would be a faster learning curve to find someone who was familiar with flintlocks or a club, so you could see them, feel them, shoot them and decide what best fit your interest. You may wish to say where you live and you might be surprised that you'll get a bunch of offers to hang out, shoot or chew the fat about flintlocks. For what it's worth, I've been around firearms for my entire 55 years of life and I'm also really smitten with flintlocks. I've sold or given away nearly all of my modern firearms, but my flintlock collection continues to grow.

And I'd go on to suggest that, no, getting a flintlock for your first firearm is not a bad idea, but do so armed with some background and general information. $1300 is plenty to get started with an acceptable flintlock rifle, a shooter's bag with all of the necessary accoutrements and a couple pounds of powder.
 
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Welcome to the forum!

I am sure you will get lots of good replies and information however you might want to start by checking in your local area and see if there any muzzleloading clubs or groups you could contact and see if they would offer you any assistance and maybe let you shoot some of their guns.

If not check with any nearby ranges for the same.

For now, stay active on the forum and read posts from current owners and ask questions!

Good luck!
 

kje54

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So some background:

USA, 27, male

I've never owned a gun. I only shot a bb gun in cub scouts when very young. I love history. Father owns quite a few guns but never shoots them. I understand some might see my history and personality as a "city slicker", but I grew up and live in an area which is bordering farms, woods, yet close to town with housing projects advancing quickly. I sadly in youth spent little time outdoors.

One friend just bought a modern rifle and another acquaintance hunts often with modern rifle. Seeing them having fun, I started looking into guns, because I have little for hobbies. But modern guns like theirs I just don't find interesting.

I've seen videos of long rifles, I know the history and admire the mythology. I am just smitten by them and feel I would love to own one, historically correct.

Problem is, I know nothing about actually using guns, how to aquire them, or anything. I like the idea of hunting with one, even if never succeeded, but I also know nothing about hunting.

So my question is. If I have $1300 available to spend, with no experience with guns (but a willingness to learn) is it unwise to go into the flintlock route as a first gun?

Any thoughts or replies will be appreciated
You're in the correct place to get the right answers, really not much more that can be said that hasn't already been said in this thread. Keep in mind that the more supposedly "authentic" a gun is the more you're going to pay. If your even remotely handy you can get a very correct kit gun from Kibler for not too much. Check out the For Sale section on this site, people are selling their guns all the time, you'll probably find something you like in your price range.
 

Treestalker

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For about a 200 year period in European and American history, millions of satisfied shooters 'started out' with a flintlock as their first gun, and used them for everything from game gathering to winning wars. If you desire a flintlock, by all means get one, and learn the arcane art of mastering it. You will be in a rarified minority of genteel gentlemen and ladies who eschew all lesser firearms for the true path of Kenton and Boone, who wade around in snow and frozen creeks and camp in hideous conditions with minimal, historically correct clothing and gear, and can outshoot many of their contemporary fellows using much more modern iterations of the smokepole. May you be blessed for your choice of historical ignition. Stay black, you'll love it.
 

S.Kenton

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As carbon 6 stated, try and find a hunters Ed class. If a hands on class can’t be found during this covid era we live in, then study on line, I taught hunters Ed for the state of Ohio for over 15 yrs.... I can send you some material if you’d like. However, the main thing is; always keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction, be sure of your target and what is beyond it, treat every firearm as if it a were loaded and never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot at. Gun safety is important... and these old muzzleloaders are not the exception, they can be more dangerous thank modern firearms if not treated with respect. That being said, if you feel comfy enough to give us your specific location, then maybe someone here can hang out and tech you the basics.
Anyhow, stay safe, have fun and enjoy your new hobby! Don’t be afraid to ask questions!!
 

tenngun

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A good flint lock is very sure fire, 97-8% of the time. Some lowers quality guns have real finicky locks that may fire 70% of the time. Very frustrating
So,
You want a good one.
You Tube offers some good instructional videos on flint guns, unfortunately it also offers some dangerous crap.
I would suggest looking up a few of our forum guys on You Tube
Blackpowder TV, Dualist 54, Blackpowder Maniac.
Guys not on the Forum is the European Cap and Ball, I think he is from Hungary, and Woodcrafter 76. These guys are clear, fun,knowledgeable and importantly safe.
You realize that flintlocks come with a warning:
Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here
 

Dale Lilly

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First thing you need to do is take a hunter safety course. PERIOD!
Preferably a "hands on" one.
For help go to your game and fish department and ask where you can attend a hunter safety course; then go to a gun range and ask questions of the range master [whatever he's called] and observe shooters at play. Most will gladly help, and if it is a black powder range that would be even better... Dale
 

Hatchet-Jack

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Welcome to the forum. I would highly recommend that you join a local club. Reach out to folks in the club and ask them if someone would be willing to help you get started. I'm sure someone will be willing to meet you at their shooting range and let you shoot. I am a member of the NMLRA and we are always looking to get new people involved. Join our FB group to find people in your area.
We're a very friendly group so don't be afraid to ask questions.

Consider joining for $35 and it comes with Muzzle Blasts Magazine.

Take a look at the NMLRA club list: The NMLRA Charter Club Program — The NMLRA

PM me if I can answer any questions.

Jack
 

TFoley

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Guys not on the Forum is the European Cap and Ball, I think he is from Hungary
capandball on Youtube IS Hungarian - he is Dr Balázs Németh, author and lecturer on military history at the military academy university in Budapest. He is also a Pedersoli dealer in his store - kapszli.hu. He shoots everything he has, often in the most beautiful and picturesque countryside settings - well worth a look.
 

Javiar

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Hello all and thanks for all the replies!

In a general reply to your replies:

I am from Minnesota. Maybe I should note as a fun fact, they have a muzzleloading hunting season here, although they recently now allow scopes. The fact there is a season dedicated to this, heightened my interest in maybe one day attempting to hunt as well. First thing is first though, is to become familiar with guns themselves.

I appreciate the comments on safety, I only have basic knowledge on that and yes I would certainly take safety courses if/when available. (I at least know, dont point at anything unless intend to shoot it, dont leave finger on trigger , point barrel away when loading, but there is much I am ignorant of)

I am afraid of buying used guns because of my ignorance I cannot tell good from bad, and could easily buy a poor quality gun for a high price.

I have read online a recommendation for Kibler's kits, which quite interests me, as opposed to trying to buy one from someone where I'm likely to make poor decisions. I see one reply mentioning them as well!

And yes I did watch some of those youtubers already haha

I do have quite a bit of social anxiety but hopefully I can get over that, if ever going to a range for first time
 

ZUG

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Go to your local sporting goods /firearms dealer and ask them if they can direct you to a local gun club so that you can visit and learn about shooting also sign up for a hunter firearms safety course. Do as much reading on hunting and firearms as you can. Years ago (many years ago) it was common to learn handling and shooting firearms at a young age from your father or grand father as it was a rite of passage into manhood. Not so much these days with the anti hunters/shooters in this new vegetarian society we are moving towards. Finding a mentor at a gun club is also very helpful just be cautious on his mentoring methods as one with bad habits will not do you any good ☹
 

tenngun

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Good to know, I’ve watched a lot of his vids but I don’t think I’ve ever heard his name on them. Thought his accent was Hungarian. Not that I’m an expert on accents but had a ship mate that was Hungarian that sounded just like him
I can sure imagine a camp fire, a jug of a fitting adult beverage with these guys.
 

Carbon 6

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I appreciate the comments on safety, I only have basic knowledge on that and yes I would certainly take safety courses if/when available. (I at least know, dont point at anything unless intend to shoot it, dont leave finger on trigger , point barrel away when loading, but there is much I am ignorant of)
Take hunter safety first, then find a club. A club will have lots of wonderful mentors and the opportunity to shoot lots of different muzzleloaders. Many muzzleloading club members look like Hell's Angels, but they are Teddy Bears.
Gain some experience before you purchase.
 

mountainman_53223

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If you can find and join a local reenacting group they'll be happy to teach you and the one I belong to let's newbies use the groups firelocks until you aquire your own.
 

ohio ramrod

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WARNING! WARNING! Black powder is highly addictive! There is no cure, only treatment, Once you breathe the black powder smoke it is to late. The only treatment is MORE SMOKE. More guns, More powder. If you can find a local club you will find many addicts always looking for people to lure in to their addiction.
 

Pietro

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As Dale recommended above, although it's a little late for this Fall's classes, a person who's never hunted or owned a gun before is highly recommend to contact your state's Fish & game Dept about attending a (free) Hunter Safety class before your do anything else.

Those classes will not only introduce you hunting safely, you would likely be able to handle a few different gun - although not as many as at a good-sized gun shop.

IMO, flintlocks are an acquired taste, that are a bit more complicated to use, and are best used by someone with a little experience under their belt.

If you contact the National muzzle Loading Rifle Assoc, they may be able to point you to a contact near you.

National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association

.
 

Cruzatte

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So some background:

USA, 27, male

I've never owned a gun. I only shot a bb gun in cub scouts when very young. I love history. Father owns quite a few guns but never shoots them. I understand some might see my history and personality as a "city slicker", but I grew up and live in an area which is bordering farms, woods, yet close to town with housing projects advancing quickly. I sadly in youth spent little time outdoors.

One friend just bought a modern rifle and another acquaintance hunts often with modern rifle. Seeing them having fun, I started looking into guns, because I have little for hobbies. But modern guns like theirs I just don't find interesting.

I've seen videos of long rifles, I know the history and admire the mythology. I am just smitten by them and feel I would love to own one, historically correct.

Problem is, I know nothing about actually using guns, how to aquire them, or anything. I like the idea of hunting with one, even if never succeeded, but I also know nothing about hunting.

So my question is. If I have $1300 available to spend, with no experience with guns (but a willingness to learn) is it unwise to go into the flintlock route as a first gun?

Any thoughts or replies will be appreciated
Welcome to the Muzzleloading Forum. It sounds like you could have written my story about getting interested in muzzle loaders. I started out with a Dixie Tennessee Mountain Rifle. They're no longer made. But that rifle taught me everything I know about flint locks and their operation and maintenance. There's some good advice above. Have fun, enjoy the ride.
 
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