Thoughts on Traditions Pennsylvania Flintlock Muzzleloading Rifle 50 Caliber

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Emery1791

32 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
16
Location
Cumberland Plateau, TN
New guy here. I recently was affected by muzzle loading rifle fever. I think it suddenly happened when I viewed some of the finished Kibler rifles. I bought a starter. ATraditions Hawken rifle. Then wanted a Pedersoli Kentucky but the backorder was until December. I don’t want to wait that long. Now thinking about the Traditions Pennsylvania rifle. It looks great on line. Wondering if any members here might have an opinion on this rifle. Next year a Kibler.
 

Grenadier1758

Cannon
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
7,536
Reaction score
4,753
Location
St. Louis, MO
As I often say, its the lock that makes shooting a flintlock so enjoyable. @Phil Coffins is spot on about the lock. If one knows how to properly tune the lock, it can be made to spark. The springs are weak. The Traditions/ CVA lock were the locks back in the 1970's that established flint locks as being so unreliable. We had a lot to learn back then. In fact it took me over 20 years to finally get into flintlocks with a Siler lock in a TVM fowling gun.
 

SDSmlf

69 Cal.
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
3,653
Reaction score
2,864
Location
Western North Carolina
For what you would be ‘investing’ in the Traditions, I would save up a few more shekels and get Kibler. Sounds like like you want anyway. The Traditions will be worth less than you paid for as soon as it is delivered. The Kibler will appreciate in value as long as you carefully finish it and take care of it in my opinion.
 

Flintlock

40 Cal
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
472
Reaction score
185
Location
Minnesota
They are servicable, my son-in-laws is actually one of the fastest ignitions ever and very reliable but like almost all import longrifles they have the "Patented Breech" type set up which works great but is a pain in the ares to clean in the field and really unneccesary. I would hit as many local rendezvous as I could find and look for a nice used custom rifle or a used import for less money than a new over priced one.
 

appalichian hunter

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2,167
Reaction score
2,009
Look here in the for sale section, some nice rifles there probaly comparable too the price range of a traditions.
 

Hatchet-Jack

45 Cal.
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
693
Reaction score
858
I bought a Traditions Shenandoah Flintlock and within months I ended up ordering a Kibler. I did not enjoy shooting the traditions even though I put a lot of time into working up loads and trying to get consistent ignition which I could not achieve. It didn't shoulder well so it would kick my cheek and bruise my face. The patent breech would get clogged up with fouling so it wouldn't fire. I wish now I had saved my time and money and just went straight to ordering the Kibler.

Other things, the factory guns are not historically accurate. No cheek piece, small lock, chunky stock, short straight barrel, lines are all wrong, LOP is short etc.
IMG_20200804_125625~3.jpg

The Kibler is a work of art, easy to assemble, swamped barrel, accurate as hell, fun to shoot, shoulders great, light weight, top quality fast lock etc.
IMG_20210417_105436.jpg


Shoot your Hawken and when you want to get a Flintlock do yourself a favor just order a Kibler kit. You will thank me later.
 

JB67

45 Cal.
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
538
Reaction score
446
Location
Mid-Coast Maine
I have a Traditions Kentucky built from a kit. I had to do a little work on the lock as the frizen was too stiff. I replaced a wave washer with a plain one and cleaned up and polished the point where it rides on the spring. Aside from that, it has been extremely reliable. Judging by my observations at woods walks, it's as reliable as any other flintlock. The patent breech has never been a problem.

Yes, the wood was chunky, but some time with rasps and sandpaper greatly improved the look.

Look at my posts, you will see 2 kits I have built, one percussion, one flint. They were fun to build, and are fun to shoot.
 

Emery1791

32 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
16
Location
Cumberland Plateau, TN
I bought a Traditions Shenandoah Flintlock and within months I ended up ordering a Kibler. I did not enjoy shooting the traditions even though I put a lot of time into working up loads and trying to get consistent ignition which I could not achieve. It didn't shoulder well so it would kick my cheek and bruise my face. The patent breech would get clogged up with fouling so it wouldn't fire. I wish now I had saved my time and money and just went straight to ordering the Kibler.

Other things, the factory guns are not historically accurate. No cheek piece, small lock, chunky stock, short straight barrel, lines are all wrong, LOP is short etc.
View attachment 86825
The Kibler is a work of art, easy to assemble, swamped barrel, accurate as hell, fun to shoot, shoulders great, light weight, top quality fast lock etc.
View attachment 86826

Shoot your Hawken and when you want to get a Flintlock do yourself a favor just order a Kibler kit. You will thank me later.
Thank you Hatchet Jack and everyone for your knowledge and advise. Looking at these side by side like this the answer is clear.
 

appalichian hunter

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2,167
Reaction score
2,009
JB glad your happy with your rifle, on the other hand bye the time spent re-doing it the way you describe my thoughts would be why not just go with the kiebler seems a lot less work and a much finer rifle in the end, I understand the issues of cost but when I want something such as this I just start too sock money away and before you know it your there, All I am waiting on is them folks too develop a lefty and i will have one.
 

JB67

45 Cal.
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
538
Reaction score
446
Location
Mid-Coast Maine
JB glad your happy with your rifle, on the other hand bye the time spent re-doing it the way you describe my thoughts would be why not just go with the kiebler seems a lot less work and a much finer rifle in the end, I understand the issues of cost but when I want something such as this I just start too sock money away and before you know it your there, All I am waiting on is them folks too develop a lefty and i will have one.
I don't know about you, but upwards of another thousand dollars for me is hard to come by, especially for something that will hang on a wall for 360 days a year. And I'd still end up with essentially a factory-produced rifle, unless I put a lot of time and effort into customizing.

I have had custom builders compliment me on my work. They were impressed with what could be done with such a kit, which was part of why I built two of them- to inspire entry-level shooters, or even experienced ones, who want something that is affordable and can be made unique.

Now, if you're willing to chip in to a GoFundMe so I can experience one of these fine kits, I'll kick in the first $300. :thumb:
 

appalichian hunter

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2,167
Reaction score
2,009
My rifles do not hang on a wall they get used, and like I stated nothing worth having is cheap, save your money and buy quality is my motto. Differnt houghts I guess. I will give you a example although it does not pertain too muzzle loaders, I always wanted too hunt mule deer took me two and a half years too save the money so this October going too Wyoming too hunt them.
 

SDSmlf

69 Cal.
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
3,653
Reaction score
2,864
Location
Western North Carolina
I see the Traditions Pennsylvania flintlock rifle priced in the $800 range. Now the Kibler as a kit requires finishing, but it is very close to finished as received, and can be had for as little as three hundred more that the Traditions. I’d prefer finishing up a Kibler than spending my time tweaking the Traditions, but that’s just me. Might have a different opinion if I was planning on only using five days a year.
 

Phil Coffins

40 Cal.
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
1,279
Reaction score
1,759
Location
Colorado
Wow! $800 for a two piece stock and a lock that the fans of these admit requires rehardening of the frizzen and considerably more work to make them work and look decent. I’m often accused of doing things the hard way but after assembling a couple of these that cost $100 and less I’m cured of their charm.
 

Emery1791

32 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
16
Location
Cumberland Plateau, TN
Wish I had your talent


I have a Traditions Kentucky built from a kit. I had to do a little work on the lock as the frizen was too stiff. I replaced a wave washer with a plain one and cleaned up and polished the point where it rides on the spring. Aside from that, it has been extremely reliable. Judging by my observations at woods walks, it's as reliable as any other flintlock. The patent breech has never been a problem.

Yes, the wood was chunky, but some time with rasps and sandpaper greatly improved the look.

Look at my posts, you will see 2 kits I have built, one percussion, one flint. They were fun to build, and are fun to shoot.
 

mmb617

32 Cal
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
40
Reaction score
85
I guess I'll go against the grain here and since both my son an I are new to black powder our opinions probably don't matter, but...

I bought a Traditions Deerhunter and my son bought a Traditions Pennsylvania rifle about 10 weeks ago. In that short time I've already fired over 600 balls through mine, and my son has a little less than 200 through his as he's a working man and I'm retired, so I can go to the range more often.

As neither of us had any experience with muzzle loaders there was a learning curve, but as we got more familiar with the little things like maintaining the flints, both guns got more reliable. We did no tuning of the locks on either gun. Even though I'm in the habit of pushing my flints to get every last shot out of them I probably get 90% or better ignition rate. I'm sure that's not going to match a gun that cost thousands instead of hundreds but it's certainly good enough for us.

While my gun is very utilitarian in appearance his PA rifle is really good looking. A couple of the guys at our club who have much higher end black powder guns remarked on how nice it was, they didn't expect a Traditions to look that good. They also said it had good balance.

It's easy for those who have and can afford the best to look down on entry level tools, no matter what pastime we're talking about. Maybe they forget that someone starting out can have a lot of fun even without owning the best of the best equipment.

My gun was something like $400 but you know what? I love it!
 

ssettle

40 Cal.
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
289
Reaction score
2
Location
LumberCity Reedsville PA.
New guy here. I recently was affected by muzzle loading rifle fever. I think it suddenly happened when I viewed some of the finished Kibler rifles. I bought a starter. ATraditions Hawken rifle. Then wanted a Pedersoli Kentucky but the backorder was until December. I don’t want to wait that long. Now thinking about the Traditions Pennsylvania rifle. It looks great on line. Wondering if any members here might have an opinion on this rifle. Next year a Kibler.
You'd be better off buying a used T/C. If there are any pawn shops around your area I'd look there before you shell out any money first.
 

SDSmlf

69 Cal.
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
3,653
Reaction score
2,864
Location
Western North Carolina
I guess I'll go against the grain here and since both my son an I are new to black powder our opinions probably don't matter, but...

I bought a Traditions Deerhunter and my son bought a Traditions Pennsylvania rifle about 10 weeks ago. In that short time I've already fired over 600 balls through mine, and my son has a little less than 200 through his as he's a working man and I'm retired, so I can go to the range more often.

As neither of us had any experience with muzzle loaders there was a learning curve, but as we got more familiar with the little things like maintaining the flints, both guns got more reliable. We did no tuning of the locks on either gun. Even though I'm in the habit of pushing my flints to get every last shot out of them I probably get 90% or better ignition rate. I'm sure that's not going to match a gun that cost thousands instead of hundreds but it's certainly good enough for us.

While my gun is very utilitarian in appearance his PA rifle is really good looking. A couple of the guys at our club who have much higher end black powder guns remarked on how nice it was, they didn't expect a Traditions to look that good. They also said it had good balance.

It's easy for those who have and can afford the best to look down on entry level tools, no matter what pastime we're talking about. Maybe they forget that someone starting out can have a lot of fun even without owning the best of the best equipment.

My gun was something like $400 but you know what? I love it!
Not looking down on entry level tools, just responding to the OP request for opinions on the Traditions Pennsylvania, with his comment about a Kibler next year. My point was why wait. The Traditions PA (one piece stock I believe) that one can find in stock today are sneaking up on the cost of Kibler.
1627415212207.jpeg
 

Phil Coffins

40 Cal.
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
1,279
Reaction score
1,759
Location
Colorado
I stand corrected, the Pennsylvania rifle is indeed different then the Kentucky rifle sold by Traditions. My observations are on the Kentucky rifle. The ones I built were for others that were getting into the game and I did all I could to make the rifles as good as I could. Even to the point of making and fitting a bridle into the lock. My work for them was free and having the tools, time and knowledge allowed the rifles to be useful. Most beginners have neither the time or knowledge to over come starting a sport as fun as this to be hampered by the rifle. The OP stated the goal of having a Kibler so my comments were to encourge that goal.
As to being well stocked with expensive guns I have one percussion rifle, one flintlock rifle, (both built from a blank of wood and a collection of parts) a Lyman pistol built from a kit, two revolvers and a Pedersoli double. I’ve built and generally worked on many muzzleloaders over the years for others.
 
Last edited:

dgracia

54 Cal.
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
1,741
Reaction score
134
Location
Duvall, WA
New guy here. I recently was affected by muzzle loading rifle fever. I think it suddenly happened when I viewed some of the finished Kibler rifles. I bought a starter. ATraditions Hawken rifle. Then wanted a Pedersoli Kentucky but the backorder was until December. I don’t want to wait that long. Now thinking about the Traditions Pennsylvania rifle. It looks great on line. Wondering if any members here might have an opinion on this rifle. Next year a Kibler.
I have one of those. It was my first longrifle and I got a good price of ~$449 at Sportsman's Warehouse in about 2001 or 2002. The good news is the rifle is a tack driver with the right load. Mine actually needs a 95gr. load of 3F powder and then it is a tack driver.

It's a pretty rifle and mine actually has some highly figured walnut which is unusual. They had two and one had a walnut stock with the normal grain and the one I bought actually has striping on it. It's very pretty rifle. It is very nose heavy because it is not a swamped barrel, but I don't know of any production rifle that has a swamped barrel.

It is also HIGHLY decorated and not at all what you would see during the Rev War, but rather in the "Golden Age" of the longrifle which went from just after the war until about 1840. There had been a lot of demand for longrifles during the Rev War and when the war ended and the treaty was signed in 1783, that demand all but disappeared.

It was then that the gunsmiths started ornamenting their rifles with hunters stars, weeping hearts around the wrist, and more ornamentation along the length of the barrel. This rifle has all of that ornamentation as well as a much deeper crescent shape in the butt than you would see during the war. All of those things point to a much later period of use.

Nonetheless, I used it for reenacting until about 2005 when I bought a much more historically correct Early Lancaster rifle with a swamped barrel from a private builder. Nobody ever gave me grief about my Traditions longrifle except the gun builder in our group who "educated" me in Rev War period longrifles. And he really only did that once. The main thing in Rev War reenactments is that it must be a flintlock rifle.

By the way, the bluing on this rifle is fine as charcoal bluing was a popular option in the 18th century. If you are not worried about historical or period correctness, none of that cosmetic stuff matters. So if you're not doing reenacting...don't sweat it at all!

The biggest problem I ran into with my Traditions Pennsylvania Longrifle was the shape of the stock. It has a big Roman Nose sweep to it and it will bruise your cheek or give you a black eye if you try to shoot it like a normal rifle. The reason for that is that, mounting it like you would a normal rifle, you have to lean your head over the stock to line up the sights. Then when you fire the rifle that upward recoil will smack you right in the cheek or along the bottom of your eye. It hurts and it bruises so you look like you've been in a fistfight.

There are two ways to keep that from happening. One is that you mount the rifle with your head farther back on the stock than normal. That allows you to sight your rifle with your head farther down that Roman Nose stock and without putting your cheek over the top of it. That way the recoil doesn't smash the stock into your cheek but rather up and along side it.

Another way to fire it successfully is to use an old shotgunners trick and when you mount the rifle, turn your noise into the stock so you are just sighting out of the corner of your eye. That keeps your cheek away from the top of the stock and recoils just slides up and back instead of bashing into your cheek.

Now when you have a rifle made or order one from a maker a few years from now, ask for a 1/4" offset on the stock (right-handed shooters) and a swamped barrel. I used to do fittings for custom-made shotguns and that 1/4" offset will make it so your eye aligns with the sight when you mount it with extremely little sighting adjustment, if any, to get on target. Most people need 1/4", a few folks, and more commonly women need a smaller 1/8" offset, and folks with big cheeks and a wide jaw may need as much as a 1/2" offset. For most folks, 1/4" works just fine and is much better than a straight stock.

The swamped barrels taper from the breech to the middle of the barrel and then swell back up about a foot to 18" before the muzzle. The swamped barrels are how rifle barrels were made in the 18th century. They are lighter and the balance point is right back at the hand you place on the forearm. They are not nose-heavy at all! They are much easier to mount and swing with as well as hold on target when shooting off-hand (without a rest). My much longer Early Lancaster rifle is a full 2-lbs. lighter than my Traditions Longrifle.

Hope this helps,
Dan
Twisted_1in66
 
Top