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Traditions Kentucky Rifle, really not a bad gun

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David LaPell

32 Cal
Joined
May 27, 2024
Messages
12
Reaction score
53
Location
Adirondack Mountains of New York
The Spanish made guns that Traditions sells, which are pretty much the same guns CVA used to sell, really aren't as bad as their reputation sometimes makes them out to be. Granted they're not very close historically to the originals but they're alot of fun to shoot. I bought this .50 Traditions Kentucky a while back and it's a really great shooter. I've shot it offhand out to 125 yards (pretty much the length of our local range) and it hits consistently. I've added a few details to it, some brass tacks and I swapped out the front sight with a custom turtle sight, which is a combination of the original base because the dovetail the turtle came with was too shallow to work with the dovetail. There's a metal post going through both holding it together as well as epoxied with JB Weld. It's held up to a lot of shooting so far with no issues and comes right up on target.

TraditionsKentucky6.jpg

My homemade "redcoat" target with the Traditions Kentucky. I shot this target offhand at 125 yards with .490" roundballs, 55 grains of 3F Goex and .010" patches lubed with Bore Butter.

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My custom turtle sight on the Traditions Kentucky rifle.

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That half stock is fantastic! I’d have one of these rifles if the stock was one piece.


Look for a Shenandoah (bottom rifle). It's basically the same gun with a one-piece stock and a double set trigger.

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I really enjoy these little carbines. Handy; inexpensive. Like Tumbledown said, they're fun to mod and customize.

To say these guys have barrel making down pat is an understatment. The Shenandoah is the most accurate bp ml I own, putting to shame, by a LARGE margin, several 4-figure $$ guns I own with high-falutin' brand names (K_____, etc).
 
That half stock is fantastic! I’d have one of these rifles if the stock was one piece.
Thank you! Here's some close-up shots, and of the inspiration. I like the look of wood ribs on old New England guns. The fore looked so much like a whale head, I wondered if it was intentional and I wanted to emulate it.

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I concur on the barrels. They are scary good. My St Louis Hawken build, looks pretty crappy as I built it a long time ago before I "upskilled myself". But.....

I mic'd the aftermarket sights I put on that rifle to dead center on the top flat and that rifle puts .490 balls dead center bullseye. They must have some really fine machining standards for those barrels. The bore is also slick as can be. Loads real easy.

Now that I see what magic you guys are working on those stocks, I just might have to get a long rifle kit and give it a go!
 
Thank you! Here's some close-up shots, and of the inspiration. I like the look of wood ribs on old New England guns. The fore looked so much like a whale head, I wondered if it was intentional and I wanted to emulate it.

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View attachment 323816View attachment 323822View attachment 323837
I’m a huge fan of half stocks, especially with a wood under rib. I built an SMR half stock with wood under rib last year.
 

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I don't care what anybody says, I love CVA and Traditions guns. I've owned many of each and didn't dislike any of them. They're accurate, affordable, and used ones can be had cheap enough for some good tinkering projects. Like blanket rifles, canoe guns, and other cool stuff you wouldn't want to do with a $2000 gun. They make great truck guns, farm guns, hunting guns, just good all around guns. All the experts say the barrels are good but the locks are junk and will wear out really fast. I've only had trouble with one lock on these guns and it was of my own doing. The Deer Hunter my sweetie gave me back in the 90's is still going strong. And has never missed or lost a deer. All the pictures you guys posted so far are very nice.
 
The Spanish made guns that Traditions sells, which are pretty much the same guns CVA used to sell, really aren't as bad as their reputation sometimes makes them out to be. Granted they're not very close historically to the originals but they're alot of fun to shoot. I bought this .50 Traditions Kentucky a while back and it's a really great shooter. I've shot it offhand out to 125 yards (pretty much the length of our local range) and it hits consistently. I've added a few details to it, some brass tacks and I swapped out the front sight with a custom turtle sight, which is a combination of the original base because the dovetail the turtle came with was too shallow to work with the dovetail. There's a metal post going through both holding it together as well as epoxied with JB Weld. It's held up to a lot of shooting so far with no issues and comes right up on target.

View attachment 323582

My homemade "redcoat" target with the Traditions Kentucky. I shot this target offhand at 125 yards with .490" roundballs, 55 grains of 3F Goex and .010" patches lubed with Bore Butter.

View attachment 323584

My custom turtle sight on the Traditions Kentucky rifle.

View attachment 323586
Easily the most accurate muzzleloader I ever owned was a 45 CVA Kentucky rifle. I have shot things farther than ANYONE there thought possible. I was 15, and didn't know I could miss.
Great guns they are.
 
I don't care what anybody says, I love CVA and Traditions guns. I've owned many of each and didn't dislike any of them. They're accurate, affordable, and used ones can be had cheap enough for some good tinkering projects. Like blanket rifles, canoe guns, and other cool stuff you wouldn't want to do with a $2000 gun. They make great truck guns, farm guns, hunting guns, just good all around guns. All the experts say the barrels are good but the locks are junk and will wear out really fast. I've only had trouble with one lock on these guns and it was of my own doing. The Deer Hunter my sweetie gave me back in the 90's is still going strong. And has never missed or lost a deer. All the pictures you guys posted so far are very nice.
Yep, me too. I hope I could ever shoot one of mine enough to wear it out.

A few weeks ago, I held in my hands a very fine, inlaid and engraved custom rifle that a feller was trying to sell me for $7500. It was nice, but I didn’t have an extra $7500 on me. To me, a gun is a tool. Will a $7500 gun actually shoot any better or last longer than a $500 gun? Or even a $150 gun? I’ll never know.😉
 
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my original build was a christmas gift from the wife 30 years ago cva kentucky kit 45 cal didn't own another rifle for 16 years was shooting about
150 -200 shots a month before i fell into a fifty cal cva mountain rifle with a factory birds eye maple stock. now at 70 the kentucky is still the most accurate gun i own i just can't manage to see/hold it to win a match
 
I have 2 of these (both cap lock) and my intention is to make one a flintlock but dang those ol' CVA locks in flint are elusive and when I do see one they want more than what a built/got the whole gun for.......
 
I have 2 of these (both cap lock) and my intention is to make one a flintlock but dang those ol' CVA locks in flint are elusive and when I do see one they want more than what a built/got the whole gun for.......
I'm probably wrong but I think you can buy a replacement lock from L&R lock company. I know one feller on here converted a CVA squirrel rifle to flint with one if their locks I think last year. Might be a little pricey but a great lock with that barrel would be a good combination.
 
I'm probably wrong but I think you can buy a replacement lock from L&R lock company. I know one feller on here converted a CVA squirrel rifle to flint with one if their locks I think last year. Might be a little pricey but a great lock with that barrel would be a good combination.
Hmmm that does sound like a good idea because my experience with the first one I pieced together from an old , cheap stock I won on eBay (I wasn't even trying haha) was that I felt like I couldn't miss the target with it , so a descent L & R lock wouldn't be too bad an idea in my opinion. Good suggestion :thumb:
 
I have 2 of these (both cap lock) and my intention is to make one a flintlock but dang those ol' CVA locks in flint are elusive and when I do see one they want more than what a built/got the whole gun for.......
I have converted several with the L&R lock some of them are great right from the get go and others need tuning and or tempering of the frizzen but are a better value then a true cva or traditions lock if you dont already have one, the only thing you give up is the adjustable sear but you can learn to shoot it without it
 
I have converted several with the L&R lock some of them are great right from the get go and others need tuning and or tempering of the frizzen but are a better value then a true cva or traditions lock if you dont already have one, the only thing you give up is the adjustable sear but you can learn to shoot it without it
I looked on Track and they do still sell a replacement L&R for this gun $255 wowsers!!! But ya know they are straight shooters so maybe in the future .....It is now on my Track 'wish list'
 

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