TVM Fowler

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sooter76

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So I'm deployed again and think I'm gonna take the opportunity to order another flintlock, this time a smoothbore. My first desire remains a 1742 Brown Bess. But since parts for that model see forever in short supply I'm also looking at possibly doing a civilian fowler. Does anyone have first have experience with TVM's fowler model? Being of single trigger design, how's the pull weight on it? Does it have a rear sight or just a front blade?

Thanks.
 

jj500

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I have one in L/H and really like it.Shoots very well and did not have to do anything with the trigger but I suppose I could hone it up one of these days.They come with a front sight only,possibly could request a rear one if you wanted it.I think the only changes I would do, would of been to have the barrel jug choked for shot loads.
 

Grenadier1758

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My TVM was built before Matt Avance owned the company, so my comments are a bit old. (Matt probably built most of it.) It is a light, responsive and reliable gun. No rear sight, but I am sure one could be included in the order. I don't think you need a rear sight on a fowler.

I like my American Fowler version a lot. I should have gotten brass mounts and a different lock, but such was my thinking so long ago.

The TVM guns made by the company run by Matt are a good, reliable gun. If you are thinking of staying in a historically correct style, I agree with Dave Person to look at other kits or to be sure to get a more proper Chambers Early Ketland or round-faced English lock.
 

Elnathan

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From the TVM website"

It is built in 20 gauge only, with our special straight barrel.

I think I recall a conversation here years ago in which it was revealed that the "straight barrel" was made from DOM tubing, but I'm not positive. Something to ask them, I guess.

In any case, a straight barrel is a lousy choice on any fowler purporting to be from the 18th century, and probably from the 19th as well.
 

Dausener

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I do have one. Very reliable and fun to shoot. I shot my first flintlock deer with it and several turkeys. Mine is not jug choked. I did get the round face lock. I bet you could get one with a rear site if you request it and also a tapered barrel. I also got steel furniture. If I was to get one now it would be brass. Just call them. I don't think you will be disappointed. :thumbsup:
Best regards
 

sooter76

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Elnathan said:
I think I recall a conversation here years ago in which it was revealed that the "straight barrel" was made from DOM tubing, but I'm not positive. Something to ask them, I guess.

In any case, a straight barrel is a lousy choice on any fowler purporting to be from the 18th century, and probably from the 19th as well.
I don't know what DOM tubing is?

As for the straight barrel, while I would prefer a swamped barrel for balancing issues, I have a Early Virgina from them with a swamped barrel and while I can feel the difference, visually I really have to look close to see the difference.

Side note... Since the question has turned to historical accuracy, how does their Tulle model stand up?
 

Elnathan

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Sooter76 said:
Elnathan said:
I think I recall a conversation here years ago in which it was revealed that the "straight barrel" was made from DOM tubing, but I'm not positive. Something to ask them, I guess.

In any case, a straight barrel is a lousy choice on any fowler purporting to be from the 18th century, and probably from the 19th as well.
I don't know what DOM tubing is?

As for the straight barrel, while I would prefer a swamped barrel for balancing issues, I have a Early Virgina from them with a swamped barrel and while I can feel the difference, visually I really have to look close to see the difference.

Side note... Since the question has turned to historical accuracy, how does their Tulle model stand up?
Drawn Over Mandrel, aka "seamless" tubing. Which is not actually seamless, in many cases, and can have all kinds of nasty cracks in it. Not good gunbarrel material by any means, but people use it all the same...Some folks will no doubt defend it, but there are undeniably better choices out there and easily available.

As for the taper, original 18th century fowling piece barrels tend to have breeches in the 1 1/4" range, give or take an eighth of an inch, with a very rapid taper in the first few inches from the breech. Very obvious difference, particularly when seen first-hand and not just a pic on the internet. Trade guns are a bit smaller, but not straight.

Don't know much about French trade guns, but theirs looks to have that same straight barrel, and is too short to be typical. I do know that they are poorly understood and there are not many good repros out there, despite the popularity of the type among modern shooters. If you want a Tulle and are concerned about getting it right, your first step should be to start getting some books and seeing what they REALLY looked like instead of the caricatures that are on the market now...

TVM is not noted for fidelity to the original guns, anyway. I've been assuming, from comments made above, that historical accuracy is something you care about, and my remarks are geared in that direction.
 

dave_person

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Hi,
If you want a well made less expensive smooth bore flintlock gun, TVM is a pretty good choice. If you want a gun you can describe as a historically accurate example of 18th century English, French, Tulle, etc. fowling or trade guns, you need to consider something else. I recently fixed a broken wrist on a TVM fowler signed by Matt Advance. The stock was sort of generic Pennsylvania and the Siler lock would suggest that as well. The straight octagon to round barrel was heavy such that the gun does not feel light and lively as a fowler should. However, for target shooting and patched round ball, it is fine. It leaves a lot to be desired as a wing shooting bird gun.

dave
 

hanshi

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I've had a TVM fowler for years and couldn't be more pleased. Mine is a .62 and I went ahead and got their straight barrel; which is a Colerain, by the way, an excellent barrel. I ordered mine with a Chambers early Va lock and a rear sight. I intended for it to be brass mounted but through a mistake (my fault) it's iron mounted. It is a fine handling, light gun with a very crisp trigger; a friend also has one from Matt similar to mine. My intention was to shoot mostly ball, but with shot for things such as turkey and squirrels. I do not wing shoot as that type of hunting is not readily available to me.

You can order it with any barrel, lock and hardware you prefer; and even specify dimensions such as lop, heel drop, etc. I've used mine to kill deer but haven't yet taken a turkey with it. If you do get one you'll love it.
 

Trot

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Straight barrel on a fowler instead of tapered is much more noticeable than a straight barrel on a rifle instead of swamped. For a good solid dependable gun a TVM is fine, but if you are looking for historical accuracy I would check Mike Brooks or Clay Smith. There are others as well but I have had good experience with these two builders.
 

Micah Clark

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TVM are great folks to work with . . they will make almost any changes you want. I have their late lancaster kit I purchased 2 yrs ago, and I am very happy with it.

I almost bought their Early Virginia in a smooth bore last year, Oct to round which I think they told me was the same as their fowler barrel, which is a Colerain 20 gauge.

You may want to ask them who makes their fowler barrel to double check if I am correct.
 

Micah Clark

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That is one of the most beautiful fowlers I've ever seen . .was so glad to see pics of it . . . but is it scratch built or a pre-carve? If pre-carve or kit, I'd love to know the maker? It looks somewhat like the Jim Chambers PA fowler. . . .

Not sure if the person starting this thread wants a rifle built by TVM or a kit which he builds himself, which are two very different things.
 

sooter76

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The fowler in Dave Pearson's link is beautiful, but if pure historical accuracy is what I'm looking for it's a lil outside of the time frame I gravitate toward.

That said, historical accuracy was secondary this time but I'm starting to rethink that. So having said that, how does any of the Fusil de Chasse kits from TOW hold up for the F&I War period? And would it be completely out of character or unheard of to have a rear sight installed on one?
 

Micah Clark

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I am a newbie . . only been shooting BP about 8 years . . and just built my first rifle last year. . so I am learning all the time.

Yet, there are some things I dislike and some things I like, for example, I don't like browned rifles. I like blue or unfinished even if not historically correct.

What I've noticed is that ML shooters are few and far between among gun owners. Most of the time when I show a shooting friend my ML rifle, they have no clue that what they are holding is a late lancaster circa 1780-1790, a Siler lock, davis double trigger etc. Most of the time, its just a long heavy rifle with pretty wood to them.

It sounds as though you know enough about ML's not to ruin one with some silly addition or bad craftsmanship. . .

There's nothing at all "wrong" with a TVM fowler. They make a fine rifle that is highly functional. Is it a museum piece for a historian to critique? The answer is no, but few kits are, in all honesty.

If you really like the TVM Fowler, don't let anyone steer you into something that is just OK. . . your love of your gun is a little like your own child . its beauty is mostly in your eyes. . and you love it because it is yours.

And if you want a rear sight, like a traditional ML rifle would have, go ahead and do it.

BTW - I was just in the new Revolutionary War museum in Yorktown VA last month, and they had an original colonial fowler, circa 1780 built by John Shriver, w an Oct to Round 20 gauge barrel WITH A REAR SIGHT, just like the one on my Lancaster. . .and without the carving it looks fairly similar to the TVM to the average shooter.

That's my two cents.
 

dave_person

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Hi Sooter,
My fowler was scratch build by me after a lot of research as well as having built many guns. You could put it in a museum case along with original English guns from the period and it would look right at home. I posted it here because you seemed to want some level of historical accuracy for living history portrayals or events and it is worthwhile to look at that gun (ignore the bling) and then compare it to TVM or other potential kits. My gun shows classic lines and the degree of slimness that characterize original sporting smoothbore guns even during the F&I war period. Put a round-faced English lock and fatten the butt a little, and you have an English sporting gun from the 1730s-1760s. French fusils were also very slim and light. You could take a TVM fowler or Tulle kit and work it over to make it more historically accurate. With that in mind, one problem I have encountered with TVM guns is the thickness of wood between the bottom of the barrel channel and top of the ramrod groove is thick, which makes it difficult to slim down. There may be other kits that give you better options for creating an historical piece. You might check out Caywood's line of kits. Do a search for Caywood flintlocks.

dave
 
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