Restoring a neglected Traditions Kentucky Rifle

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
101
Reaction score
141
Location
WNC
Looks like a great project!

I got a rifle a while ago that had a badly rusted bore. I used Evaporust to stop & remove the rust in the bore. (I also got some on the exterior and screwed up the bluing, but that was just an opportunity to practice rebluing a barrel.) Since you're already planning on rebluing, that treatment might speed up your bore-cleaning process.

In the end, the bore on mine was still badly pitted. It would shoot straight enough, but fouling & reloading difficulties made it an impractical rifle. But now that barrel is with a gunsmith becoming a smoothbore. :) More'n one way to skin a cat!

Looking forward to your future project posts.
 

rafterob

62 Cal.
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
3,817
Reaction score
676
Location
Asheville NC
Thank you, will try that. And thanks for the note about the inletting. That's why I didn't pull it out, in case someone had done some work to even things out.

This will be an occasional shooter, I'm doing this more for having a project with my daughter and having the experience of the project as well as something to shoot. I'm looking at a CVA Wolf purchase next spring as my hunter muzzleloader... although I'm willing to give this a "shot" at harvesting a critter or two if I get it running!
Hopefully after hanging around this forum for awhile you will stick with a traditional style muzzleloader and forego the temptation of the modern stuff.
 

Chgowiz

32 Cal
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
28
After basic clean up, polish the bore good. Take it out and shoot it. If it shoots
good then you are done. If it doesn't , then keep tinkering until it does. If a tool
works good , then it functions as it should.
Something else to look up and learn about... polishing a bore. Can't say I've ever done that before. :)
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
62
Reaction score
50
I saw that polishing the brass was mentioned above. It's not at the top of the priority list but I personally like to black the brass, lets it stand out as being a little different from the rest.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
8,071
Reaction score
5,584
Location
St. Louis, MO
...
I also managed to get the cleanout screw removed with some heat/ice and good thwacks of a ballpeen hammer on the screwdriver. I'm going to replace that screw with a hex head set screw - not so much worried about making it look authentic as I want it to be useable and maintainable. The old nipple came off with some PB Blaster and vise-grips.
Uh, that "cleanout screw" is just the name given to the manufacturing plug used to close off the drum. It's not really needed. Removing the nipple is just as good for cleaning. When you install that set screw, verify that the tip of the set screw is not interfering with the nipple seat. That can prevent the nipple from fully seating or lock the nipple in the drum.

Chances are that if vise grips were needed to remove the nipple, a new nipple should be installed.
 

Flintlock

45 Cal.
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
710
Reaction score
643
Location
Minnesota
And remember, on CVA-Traditions guns never remove the drum for any reason. It will have to be sent back to the factory to be reinstalled. Would be cheaper to replace the barrel than fix a removed drum. I really enjoy these kind of projects. Hope you and your daughter the best.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
13,801
Reaction score
1,066
Location
Central Minn
It'll all work out, maybe try this,

 

Chgowiz

32 Cal
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
28
Uh, that "cleanout screw" is just the name given to the manufacturing plug used to close off the drum. It's not really needed. Removing the nipple is just as good for cleaning. When you install that set screw, verify that the tip of the set screw is not interfering with the nipple seat. That can prevent the nipple from fully seating or lock the nipple in the drum.

Chances are that if vise grips were needed to remove the nipple, a new nipple should be installed.
Yep to both, I had thought about that wrt the set screw.

The nipple was already on the list to be replaced - the old one was rather corroded and just seemed like the right thing to replace.

Thank you!
 

Chgowiz

32 Cal
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
28
And remember, on CVA-Traditions guns never remove the drum for any reason. It will have to be sent back to the factory to be reinstalled. Would be cheaper to replace the barrel than fix a removed drum. I really enjoy these kind of projects. Hope you and your daughter the best.
IIRC, I either read that, or saw it looked integral on the schematic, so seemed like something not to remove. Glad to know that's the case!
 

Dark Wolf

32 Cal
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
46
Reaction score
28
Location
SW Missouri
And remember, on CVA-Traditions guns never remove the drum for any reason. It will have to be sent back to the factory to be reinstalled. Would be cheaper to replace the barrel than fix a removed drum. I really enjoy these kind of projects. Hope you and your daughter the best.
I have read to never remove the breech plug. But I have removed drums many times on my guns.

DW
 

slhowell

32 Cal
Joined
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
6
Location
Knoxville Maryland
12/5/21 Update - Picture heavy!

With deer rifle seasons, Thanksgiving and the initial holiday rush over, my daughter and I set out to disassemble our age-indeterminant Traditions Kentucky rifle. Mission accomplished, but this was just the first step in the long process.

View attachment 108011 View attachment 108012 View attachment 108013
Barrel successfully removed. This version of the barrel was held in place by round pins that looked like they had wood filler or some sort of tiny filler cap on top of the pin.

The wood shavings where the ramrod goes was an interesting find - not sure if the ramrod did that or just leftovers from the original assembly?

View attachment 108014 View attachment 108015 View attachment 108016
Lock is freed from the stock. It looks like it's in good shape, aside from the rusting. I'm planning on doing the steam-rust-bluing on the plate and hammer, so this will be disassembled next.

Question... is it normal for the portion of the hammer that hits the nipple/cap to have that notch in it at the top?

View attachment 108020
The brass parts and all the screws/pins in one place.

View attachment 108022
When I freed the trigger guard, there was a layer underneath the long brass piece - not sure if that was some sort of felt or the wood just corroded/got gunky at some point. I'm trying to do as little harm to the wood as possible, but this looks like some sort of filler or something that sat between the guard and where it was fit into the stock.

View attachment 108023
And that's one rusty nipple/bolster screw! Currently soaking in PB and I've got a nipple wrench coming, although I'm fairly sure this is going to take a bit of MAP heat and a pair of vise grips to get that sucker off.

So, with major parts taken apart, now it's to get the rest of the nipple/cleanout screw taken apart, disassemble the lock and start cleaning the bore... because that is one rusted tube of metal!
View attachment 108026

We're also of the opinion that the wood itself looks like it's in good shape... but I'm not certain if that's a varnish or just a linseed oil.

Question - how could I tell without doing damage to the current finish, to tell what it is?
A MAP flame might be a little to hot. I've had good luck with an electric heat gun and a nipple wrench. It will heat it enough without the risk of discoloring ant metal
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
399
Reaction score
354
Location
Vancouver Island
Disassembled the lock this morning after watching a couple of really good YouTube videos on it. My days of wrenching and some of the work I've done on other various firearms is coming in handy... as is taking pictures so I remember what goes where and how things are aligned/fitted!

I also managed to get the cleanout screw removed with some heat/ice and good thwacks of a ballpeen hammer on the screwdriver. I'm going to replace that screw with a hex head set screw - not so much worried about making it look authentic as I want it to be useable and maintainable. The old nipple came off with some PB Blaster and vise-grips.

Next step... cleaning the bore! Off I go to a trip to my nearest gunstore/BassPro to see if they have what I need in cleaning kits/rods/jags/etc. I already have the steel wool.
View attachment 108113
i would get a can of evaporust, plug the nipple, and fill the barrel with it. Prop it in a corner for a day, empty it out, and give it a good cleaning. then you will be able to see what you have. Then take it out and see how it shoots before yu lavish time on it. I would leave the outside brown; your choice. The finish looks like a factory job, I suspect a linseed finish would have darkened the wood more. the factory finish can be removed and replaced by Linseed oil finish. Fun project, and a chance for a bit of customization.
 

Chgowiz

32 Cal
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
28
A MAP flame might be a little to hot. I've had good luck with an electric heat gun and a nipple wrench. It will heat it enough without the risk of discoloring ant metal
I ended up already having applied heat w/MAP gas - it didn't discolor anything and I was able to get the cleanout screw out. I was pretty conservative with the flame, only having it on there about 45 to 60 seconds.
 

Chgowiz

32 Cal
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
28
i would get a can of evaporust, plug the nipple, and fill the barrel with it. Prop it in a corner for a day, empty it out, and give it a good cleaning. then you will be able to see what you have. Then take it out and see how it shoots before yu lavish time on it. I would leave the outside brown; your choice. The finish looks like a factory job, I suspect a linseed finish would have darkened the wood more. the factory finish can be removed and replaced by Linseed oil finish. Fun project, and a chance for a bit of customization.
With regards to the barrel, that's the plan - plug/Evaporust/a bit of steel wool+jag if needed.

I did something similar with a wood stock for my Ruger 10/22 - stripped it with Citristrip, finished it with linseed oil. We'll see about this stock, that'll be part three, after taking care of the metal bits.
 

Dark Wolf

32 Cal
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
46
Reaction score
28
Location
SW Missouri
I have read to never remove the breech plug. But I have removed drums many times on my guns.

DW
I went back and re-read my post. Just wanted to clarify that I wasn't trying to be an a$$, I had just never hear about not pulling the drum. Or maybe I got my nomenclature skewed.

DW
 

TFoley

62 Cal.
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
5,298
Reaction score
2,314
You can take this comment for whatever it's worth, me being a far-off know-nuffin' furriner, but I'd like to see that lovely long barrel browned, like the originals were, rather than any kind of blued. The added bonus it that any inevitable scratches et al can be a lot more easily remedied. By way of supporting my opinion, take a look at my original Pritchett rifle from 1858 -

1639067092129.png
 

Latest posts

Top