That's must be one good feeling to take of a 276 year old piece of history that still fulfills its intended purpose. I know there is supposed to be an Antique Gunshow near Baltimore Maryland come March I think I am going to wait on buying a flintlock until then just to see what is at the show whether it is original or new factory doesn't matter to me but owning an original sounds pretty neat. I'm sure an original isn't suited for a beginner but still a cool thought.The most important part if you plan to hunt with the rifle is the LOP. What you can easily shoot with a T-Shirt on and what can easily be shot with thick winter clothes on is not always the same. Most of the rifles built from kits are all 14" LOP. For a lot of people that works well, for others it doesn't. A quite tall National ML champion in flintlocks shoots rather short LOP for his height. I chose the wrong LOP with my first custom rifle, because I measured another rifle in summer with a T-Shirt on. This rifle did not work out hunting for me. Rifle is a tack driver on the bench and for summer shooting, but in cold weather hunting clothes, my shoulder moves the gun just when I reach for the trigger. Many misses. $2k lesson learned. Corrected this mistake and went 3/4" shorter and no problems hunting and target shooting in all weather conditions. IMHO this is one of the great overlooked measurements for flint guns especially.
Drop at heel of the gun and cast off: When you shoulder the gun, your eyes should automatically align with the sights.
Body height, arm length, body build is different with everyone out there. Make sure to know if you are the average guy or have certain issues.
Do you have issues carrying weight? Get the largest caliber the barrel weight offers. Get a swamped barrel or octagon to round for good balance.
Do you have to walk a good distance to your hunting spot? Would a gun with a sling be handy for your situation?
Longrifles do not carry good on slings. Jaeger rifles do. Shorter barrels, large calibers, little recoil due to wide (early) butt plates.
Later longrifles with smaller calibers and hawkens have more crescent butt plates. That works ok standing or kneeling, but not for prone shooting. In the developement of the American Longrifle, versatility of use was imho left behind somewhat.
With Jaeger rifles and flintlocks, stay away from Italian reproductions. The locks are flint eaters and the guns do not have flint breeches. I started out with a Pedersoli and it nearly made me quit the sport. Gun was redone by me in a Pedersoli to Lancaster Conversion. New breech, new lock. Now good gun. Never worth the trouble saving some $$ on Italian flint guns. Exception: Percussion and the Brown Bess (has real flint breech).
And I shoot an original Jaeger rifle from around 1745.
Sorry buddy, have to agree to disagree here."Barrel length doesn't really make a gun harder to get around with,"
Sorry buddy, have to agree to disagree here.
More than 20 years of hunting with a longbow and I don't know how many with a longrifle/Fusil des Chase, never found length to be an issue.
The only time I've found gun length to be an issue, when hunting, is bird hunting in thick cover. And even that really comes down to bad tactics on my part.
Gun length is an issue with unmentionable guns when working in and around vehicles or other tight quarters. But, in the woods, I've only had issue with it when I messed up.
You are quite correct. There are a couple of advantages that apply based on caliber.I remember reading on here that the deep curve in the stock on some rifles fits into your upper bicep rather than on your chest. The more knowledgeable guys on here will correct me if I’m wrong.
I agree with this point also. In regards to caliber, .50-.54-.58 I also go with the .54 the longer the barrel the less weight with the higher caliber especially when you get to the longer barrels, 42" and up. Take a ride to Dixon's like others have said and try a few out, Greg Dixon is an easy going guy who would be glad to help you.Before you plunk down the cost of a running used car, follow Phil Coffin's advice. A $2,000 rifle for a beginning shooter would, to me, be like buying a top-end set of golf clubs when all I've ever done is miniature golf. Lots of quality M/L's available at less than 1/2 the price (brand new) and many slightly used ones at even better prices.
Read, research, and find a M/L club to visit. Most here will tell you they didn't get started by themselves. Friendships and memories are what make the M/L community the special thing. Welcome, stick around, and contribute.
Just joined the forum today when a buddy of mine said I can get some of my questions answered here. I am new to Muzzleloading in general. I had an old Inline and it is a cheap as they come rifle I picked up for $25 at a flea market in .44 cal. I have always wanted a flintlock and saw that they can be expensive so for the past year I have been saving up some money. I have a decision to make but I dont know where to start. A local gunsmith shop is selling a .50 cal 46" Barrel with a 1/56 twist long rifle for $2,000 and it is a "Getz". I have also seen a lot of posts on this forum about Kibler Colonials and looked them up I see they have 44" barrel .54 and .58 cal rifles and they can go up to 2,000+ already done besides stain. Which is what I want since I have Huntington's Disease and woodworking precisely is out of the question. Does the barrel length matter at all when it comes to being longer ? I only hunt White Tail deer and I'm in the mountains of Maryland so farthest shots with open sights would be 75~80 yards. Is .50 cal good enough or should I go up to .54 or .58. Anyone know of other gun makers who can make up a rifle as well ? All replies and thoughts are welcome as I really don't know where to start and could really use the help.