Which flintlock rifle?

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by Brad Swenson, Feb 16, 2019.

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  1. Feb 16, 2019 #1

    Brad Swenson

    Brad Swenson

    Brad Swenson

    32 Cal

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    I am looking to start shooting flintlocks and have a few questions "actually it will probably be a lot of questions" . I have shot caplocks years ago and still have a TC hawkin that adorns my coffee table. I don't know much about the old rifles but I really like the long rifles. I have read several posts that recommend JIm Kibler kits. I have looked at his site and really like Southern Mountain rifle kit. I don't know how much work is left to do on these but it doesn't appear to be very much. I want a smaller caliber for just shooting. I don't plan on any hunting. He sells his rifle in 32, 36, 40, and up. I was thinking 32 or 36. Any advice or experience with his or other rifles would be nice. Any recommendations on these small calibers also.
     
  2. Feb 16, 2019 #2

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

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    I find a .36 easier to load then the smaller .32. Shooting a .45 is not much more expensive then a .36 and doesn’t need to be loaded too heavy for target.
    Southern rifles cr 1800-1840 are, to my eye the most beautiful American rifles. That just an opinion.
    Building looks more simple but the architecture is complex.
     
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  3. Feb 16, 2019 #3

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    40 cal - b

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    If you like hunting squirrels I'd go with a .32. I had a .32 for years and had no trouble with it, killed many a squirrel with it, usually 5 or 6 every time out. Very accurate caliber out to maybe 50 yards or so. kibler kits are very nice, Very little work involved and you will end up with a very attractive gun.
    I have had flint guns in .29, .32, .36 and .40. They all shot well but that .32 was my favorite.
     
  4. Feb 16, 2019 #4

    Tom Compton

    Tom Compton

    Tom Compton

    54 Cal.

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    I’ve not put a Kibler’s together but talked to a fellow shooter and handled his. His review of the kit was that it was almost too easy to build. Jim uses quality parts. I’ve had .32, .36 & .40. My order of preference would be .40 then .36.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2019 #5

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    Like you, I have seen the positive comments about Jim Kiblers kits. The only downside at this time is the wait. His offerings have proven very popular. As to choice of caliber, that is a very personal matter. From my perspective, the smaller calibers make for a heavier rifle. Age and health can affect what one can handle. IMHO, a .45 cal. is just about the most 'all around' useful ml caliber there is. And, it makes for a lighter, easier to handle rifle. Plus, in most states it is a great deer gun. Keep in mind, those tiny calibers need very small ram rods and that can be problematic since they are naturally weak and prone to breakage.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2019 #6

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    - the O.P.

    And it only took till the second post to mention "if you hunt..."

    Brad, what do you shoot for targets? Paper or steel? Both? I've heard some complain that the .32s and .36s can be too light a ball to effectively ring or move steel. Smaller calibers save on powder and lead. Heavier projectiles will maintain accuracy over a greater distance if/when wind/breeze becomes a factor.

    I seem to recall seeing a pretty nice .45 in our classifieds. And I believe the same gun as well as a .40 or two are listed at ALR.
     
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  7. Feb 17, 2019 #7

    dave_person

    dave_person

    dave_person

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    Hi Brad,
    Most of the target shooters that I make guns for really like 40 cal for paper and metal targets.

    dave
     
  8. Feb 17, 2019 #8

    Gene L

    Gene L

    Gene L

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    If you're just going to plink, any caliber will work just fine. If you graduate to target shooting, like Dave said, a .40 is probably better.

    I've got rifles in .32, .36, and .40. For just shooting, the .32 is fine, cheap to shoot, and not any more difficult to load than my .50.

    I wouldn't try to put together a kit at gunpoint. I know my limitations, and working with wood isn't one of them. Chisels intimidate me. Rasps? Forget about it.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2019 #9

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    40 cal - b

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    Somebody actually reads what other people post?
     
  10. Feb 17, 2019 #10

    Brad Swenson

    Brad Swenson

    Brad Swenson

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    ALR? Not familiar with that. Not really sure what I will be shooting. I have been shooting BPCR sillywet for a number of years. This will be a whole new game. My brother and nephew are trying to talk me into going with them to a rendezvous in April. I need to find a muzzleloader club around here (north central Texas)
     
  11. Feb 18, 2019 #11

    Gene L

    Gene L

    Gene L

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    A .32 with 20 grains of FFF will ring a gong quite well. It's probably going close to 1800 fps with a 40 grain ball. Maybe faster, IDK.
     
  12. Feb 18, 2019 #12

    Armored Farmer

    Armored Farmer

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    It has been my experience that the. 32 fouls more quickly than the bigger bores.
    I had my flintlock built as a .45. That way it is legal for deer in Illinois. Even a .32 is a cannonball for squirrels.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2019 #13

    Huntschool

    Huntschool

    Huntschool

    40 cal - b MLF Supporter

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    I dont know about more fouling, but those .32's will just take the heads on greys.... When I am after Fox squirrels (red squirrels in the vocabulary here in Southernmost IL) I take out the .40... They take more killin, dont ya know.

    Where ya from in the Prairie state ?
     
  14. Feb 18, 2019 #14

    No Deer

    No Deer

    No Deer

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    Brad, if you are going to rondys you probably will better off with .40 cal. Some of the woods walks I have been on, including at my club, the clangers can be quite heavy, and my .32 cal will barely move them, you need a spotter to be sure if it moves or not. MY little .32 is fun to shoot, needs little powder and has almost no recoil, but hard to determine if I actually hit the clanger or not.
     
  15. Feb 18, 2019 #15

    Armored Farmer

    Armored Farmer

    Armored Farmer

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    I'm in SE Illinois. 40 mi east of effingham.
     
  16. Feb 18, 2019 #16

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    True. That is why I said "if". Folks do change their minds occasionally. Plus, a deer appropriate caliber will be easier to sell when the time comes for that. And, as I pointed out, the rifle will be lighter to hold.
     
  17. Feb 18, 2019 #17

    Huntschool

    Huntschool

    Huntschool

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    I was gonna ask how many bushels/ac you were getting before the vid ended and then there it was.....darn good yield. Great pic of the generations..... Good farm family.
     
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  18. Feb 18, 2019 #18

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    I don't think you were the second post Rifleman1776.
    I am quite sure you read the entirety of the O.P.'s post, quite thoroughly before jumping in with your response.
     
  19. Feb 18, 2019 #19

    hanshi

    hanshi

    hanshi

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    While a .45 (my favorite) "will do it all", it sounds like you won't be taking it afield for deer. If that's the case, a .32 or .36 will do nicely. I've killed squirrels with both and burned a lot of powder in both. The .36 has it over the .32 if ringing steel gongs is in the menu; otherwise a .32 can't be beat.
     
  20. Feb 18, 2019 #20

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

    40 cal - b

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    I do not have any experience with the smaller calibers yet (I'm building a .32 caliber squirrel rifle as I am writing this), but I have plenty of time behind a .50 and .54 caliber. I hunt deer with mine, and I prefer the .54 caliber round ball for hunting deer sized game. I realize you said you aren't going to be hunting, but it might behoove you to start with a larger caliber firearm, just to get the hang of things. You can still load them down for target shooting and not burn a ton of powder.
     

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