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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,
I have a hankering for an Early American era rifle. Say from the time of the War of 1812 to the Civil War. I don't have a fortune to spend but I am willing and able to do the work. Can you guys give me some recommendations and the reasons why you would pick that kit.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
O Come on Guys!
No Recommendations?
I don't Believe that.
 

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It really depends on your skill in wood and metal working. The basic kits from Lyman and Traditions will get you a caplock or flintlock rifle for a modest price. The difficulty level increases expotentially from there. here are some links to a few of the builder's supply companies. Contact them and ask questions before you buy.

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/
http://www.therifleshoppe.com/
http://www.tennesseevalleymanufacturing.com/index.php
http://www.stonewallcreekoutfitters.com/
http://www.longrifles-pr.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Archie,
Thanks for the extra links! I had not found those suppliers.
Although I have built a couple of CVA pistol kits, and enjoy both wood work and metalwork, I consider myself a novice at gunsmithing. That being said, I am 62 years old and have the experience to take my time, go slow and ask a lot of questions. I really enjoy shooting my 1851 and 1861 Colt Navy replicas, even though they are brass frame and I can't really throw a heavy load. Rifles though will be a new perspective.
I am very interested in a percussion rifle from the historical time frame of The Alamo to the Civil War (circa 1832 to 1866) I have looked at several of the Traditions and Dixie Gun works kits, but don't really see anything that stands out. I like the historical significance of the St. Louis Hawken 50's, but am also drawn to the Lyman Great Plains 50 or the "TOW" 36 cal Bedford Longrifle or the 40 cal Joseph Long Longrifle. I just have no idea what level of kit I should start with.
Any advice?
 

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The Lyman plains rifle is a very nice beginners kit and makes a quality rifle. before you buy a "kit" from ToW call them and ask questions. They tend to be for the more advanced builder.

I suggest you buy a book on building the long rifle and you will be able to determine for yourself what level to start at.

The Gunsmith of Grenville County, building the American longrifle
Art of Building the Pennsylvania Longrifle, an illustrated instruction manual,
Both are available from ToW in their books section.
http://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/303/1

These forums have some very good information for the builder.
Take a look and read read read!! Then read some more.
The American longrifle forum has some very good tutorials.

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=7d7d043c3e76190512935a63f1354a18&

Building these things is very rewarding and for me wickedly addicting.
I have built two complete kits (t/C renegade and a CVA kentucky) and I'm putting the parts together from ToW to build a plains rifle using T/C renegade lock and furniture and a colerain 32" .54 caliber round ball barrel.
Good luck and welcome.
 

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Steve - I posted a few years back when I bought an 1861 Springfield rifle kit from Dixie Gun Works. It was about $525 at the time - a little pricey to me, but things are more expensive these days.

About that kit: There are good and bad things. Overall it is a very good kit to build a rifle from. The steel parts were very well made, and it had a walnut full length stock. The lock markings looked pretty authentic. The kit instructions were decent, and the metal took very little effort to polish.

I didn't like the fact that the kit was made in Japan. I did remove the 'Japan' stamped on the rear of the barrel. As I did not want to 'fake' an original, I left the serial number stamp alone. I did add a 'VP" stamp, as well as mark the barrel bands with the 'U' and stamp the 'U.S.' on the buttplate.

It turned out to be a very good looking and shooting replica. I bought a bayonet and scabbard from Dixie as well as a sling. The bayonet had an 'India' stamp on it, and I polished that off also. Fits the rifle very well, and looks pretty near authentic also.
 
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