New to Muzzleloading!

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Hello everyone!

I am new to traditional muzzle loading and want a smooth rifle for my first gun because of the versatility of shot and round ball.

How should I start? Should I get a kit? (Seems cheaper) or find one already built?

If building one what tools do you use? Could you post a list? Seems like some people use a lot of tools and some use less...

If finding a built one, (I am from Clemson, SC). Where or who is a good place to look for guns (website, stores, etc)?
 

Hatchet-Jack

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Welcome to the madness! Do you want a smooth rifle or a Smoothbore Fowler?

I'm currently building a Jim Chambers PA Smoothbore Fowler in .62cal/20g. If you have a shop, some tools and like to build things a kit might be what you're looking for.

If you want a smooth rifle check out Jim Kibler. You can order a smoothbore Colonial Rifle kit.
 
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Thank you both for information. Didn’t know kibler sold smoothbore.


What are the basic tools I need? Also what tools for metal or wood decoration?

any opinions on Jim Chambers vs Kibler Kits? Especially their smooth bores?

Are both on back order?
 

N.Y. Yankee

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Buy a working gun (a complete gun in working condition) to start with. Once you get used to the procedures of shooting and gain knowledge of the accessories etc., Then get a kit if you want to assemble one yourself. It's a fun winter project and you can take your time and do it right. For now, just have fun learning to shoot and clean a BP rifle.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Hello everyone!

I am new to traditional muzzle loading and want a smooth rifle for my first gun because of the versatility of shot and round ball.

How should I start? Should I get a kit? (Seems cheaper) or find one already built?

If building one what tools do you use? Could you post a list? Seems like some people use a lot of tools and some use less...

If finding a built one, (I am from Clemson, SC). Where or who is a good place to look for guns (website, stores, etc)?
FLEE! SAVE YOURSELF; THERE'S STILL TIME; STILL HOPE FOR YOU!
Good gosh man! This becomes an obsession!
I've no regular magazine subscriptions save for muzzleloading mags...
I judge ALL large household purchases based on how well that money would go toward a new rifle or smoothie, i.e. that new furnace/AC money could've bought me a couple of Kibler's kits! That new dishwasher is half a new Bess....
I chose my newest vehicle based on how well it will transport my BP gear... THEN I upgraded it with a roof rack so it could carry MORE....,
I look at recipes always to judge how well they would work in my Dutch Oven in camp...

I read and comment on two additional BP Forums besides this one...,
I peruse gun auction sites looking for that BP bargain that folks may have missed...,



NO? Still here?



FINE you were duly notified...,

So as to your question.

Buy a working gun (a complete gun in working condition) to start with. Once you get used to the procedures of shooting and gain knowledge of the accessories etc., Then get a kit if you want to assemble one yourself. It's a fun winter project and you can take your time and do it right. For now, just have fun learning to shoot and clean a BP rifle.
THIS is what I would advise if we met and you asked me the question. IF you really have your heart set on a "smooth rifle", that's fine. I'd look for a working, factory built rifle with a badly rusted bore (a.k.a. "roached") and have the barrel bore enlarged (a.k.a. reamed) to a slightly larger caliber by Bobby Hoyt. With the barrel roached you should get it rather cheap. Another option would be to get hold of a TC in .56 smoothbore, which come up for sale from time to time on gun auction sites.

And so..., you are now...,

one of us
one of us
one of us




LD
 
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FLEE! SAVE YOURSELF; THERE'S STILL TIME; STILL HOPE FOR YOU!
Good gosh man! This becomes an obsession!
I've no regular magazine subscriptions save for muzzleloading mags...
I judge ALL large household purchases based on how well that money would go toward a new rifle or smoothie, i.e. that new furnace/AC money could've bought me a couple of Kibler's kits! That new dishwasher is half a new Bess....
I chose my newest vehicle based on how well it will transport my BP gear... THEN I upgraded it with a roof rack so it could carry MORE....,
I look at recipes always to judge how well they would work in my Dutch Oven in camp...

I read and comment on two additional BP Forums besides this one...,
I peruse gun auction sites looking for that BP bargain that folks may have missed...,



NO? Still here?



FINE you were duly notified...,

So as to your question.



THIS is what I would advise if we met and you asked me the question. IF you really have your heart set on a "smooth rifle", that's fine. I'd look for a working, factory built rifle with a badly rusted bore (a.k.a. "roached") and have the barrel bore enlarged (a.k.a. reamed) to a slightly larger caliber by Bobby Hoyt. With the barrel roached you should get it rather cheap. Another option would be to get hold of a TC in .56 smoothbore, which come up for sale from time to time on gun auction sites.

And so..., you are now...,

one of us
one of us
one of us




LD
What are some good auction sites to purchase complete guns?
 

Mooney 78865

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Hello everyone!

I am new to traditional muzzle loading and want a smooth rifle for my first gun because of the versatility of shot and round ball.

How should I start? Should I get a kit? (Seems cheaper) or find one already built?

If building one what tools do you use? Could you post a list? Seems like some people use a lot of tools and some use less...

If finding a built one, (I am from Clemson, SC). Where or who is a good place to look for guns (website, stores, etc)?
Welcome to the forum!
A couple of months ago I too was new to muzzle loaders. I opted for a rifled musket kit as my first foray into muzzle loading. All I can tell you is have come to the right place. I received a LOT of information and help while building my kit, Traditions 3 band Enfield kit build | The Muzzleloading Forum and continue to receive help from a number of forum members as I work through the process of figuring out powder, loads, rounds etc. First black powder rifle, headed to the range. | The Muzzleloading Forum You don't know what you don't know as they say. Lots of great folks with great attitudes and willing to help. Again, you've come to the right place...
 
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Welcome! For finished guns, look on this forum, some nice stuff gets posted all the time! as far as kits vs build your own, that's up to you.

Many people like to have the confidence boost a build-a-longrifle-workshop kit gives them if they do eventually move forward with a total build-your-own. Mr. Kibler seems to provide some of the best kits, or so I've heard from countless accolades (and his vids from his shop show me he's definitely capable of good work). You'll need many of the tools listed below to finish these.

If you have any experience with inlaying or carving, doing a complete build from board and blanks isn't too bad, as far as tools, my first couple guns were made with a drill & bits, a set of cheap carving knives from Menard's, a couple chisels (1/2", 3/4", 1/4"), a hacksaw, a combo single mill- bastard-file, a safe triangle file (has one side ground smooth for dovetails), sandpaper, a vice, vice-grips, a carpenter's square, markers and lumber pencils, inlay black, and a mallet. Most people have many of those tools already.

Any way you get into it, so long as you take your time and really try to learn how to make these guns shoot well, you'll never regret it. Most rewarding type of shooting and hunting there is, in my opinion!
 

Loyalist Dave

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What are some good auction sites to purchase complete guns?
Well check the classified ads here first...,

Then, I'm not "recommending " any sites, because they are just middle-men..., they don't "vet" anything. However, I've had success on Gunbroker. I personally will pass on anything that does not have a photo or two for the bore, and it must allow for a short inspection period of a few days to be able to return it if I don't like it.

Another source is a pawn shop or a buy/sell shop. They are essentially the same, but a pawn shop offers loans as well as outright purchase of an item from the seller, when a buy/sell shop, sometimes called a "second hand shop" always buys the item. Sometimes you find bargains in such places.

Now's one of the two times during the year to go looking. Folks at this time of year will dump older rifles and guns to generate money to buy something new as hunting season approaches. March is the other best time as people dump older guns to generate funds to pay for taxes or to add to the funds they expect they will get from the tax return.

That's been my experience.

LD
 

Kansas Jake

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I would also look for a muzzleloading club in your area. They often have guys selling guns at a reasonable price and can give advice at the same time.
 

TreeMan

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I don’t have the patience or the skill to do a kit. Been there done that. I have a few kit built rifles. One I jacked up so bad I got a pro builder to finish it. The other I bought completed. I bought both a Pedersoli Indian trade gun and a Brown Bess carbine when I got the smoothbore bug. Both are very nice, locks perform flawlessly, and I’ve enjoyed working up loads for both. Seems everyone here never mentions factory built smoothbore guns like they will afflict you with the plague if you touch one. I like mine and fifteen minutes after I opened the box they came in I was making smoke.
 
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Grenadier1758

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Hello everyone!

I am new to traditional muzzle loading and want a smooth rifle for my first gun because of the versatility of shot and round ball.

How should I start? Should I get a kit? (Seems cheaper) or find one already built?

If building one what tools do you use? Could you post a list? Seems like some people use a lot of tools and some use less...

If finding a built one, (I am from Clemson, SC). Where or who is a good place to look for guns (website, stores, etc)?
The original post was asking about a smooth rifle. As far as I know, no one makes a factory, off-the-shelf smooth rifle. There are custom made smooth rifles. Some may turn up in the classified ads or on trade blankets. These are going to be hard to find. @TreeMan does make a point that solidly performing guns such as an Indian Trade Gun, Brown Bess or Charleville by Pedersoli do exist and are becoming available at the various retail vendors. But these are not smooth rifles. These could be a stop gap measure until he finds his ideal smooth rifle. Then the sunk cost of the earlier gun would need to be recovered to cover the cost of the desired gun. Depending on the requirements, it may be better to wait.

Kits seem cheaper than assembled firearms until you price in the tools to finish assembly. The Kibler kits require the purchase of the least number of expensive chisels, files, vises and workbenches than other kits. Actually you just need a few scrapers, files, gunsmith screwdrivers, and sandpaper to assemble one of those kits.
 
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