Hello all I am new to non inline muzzleloaders and like advice on buying (new / used) or building a kit. I have firearms experience in firearms not front stuffers.
Life is hard its harder if you are stupid
Well tell us about yourself.
Do you simply want to punch paper?
How about hunting, and if Yes..., what would you like to harvest?
For example if you simply want to do birds, or just small game that's different than just exclusively hunting deer/antelope. If you want to "do it all" that's different too.
How about history? Do you have an interest in a certain time period, so you would like a reproduction rifle or gun from that era?
Along the same lines do you think you might want to participate in living history events, or how about a rendezvous?
Some folks like the Revolution, some like the Fur Trade, some like the Pirate Era, heck some simply love Spagetti Westerns and want a revolver like Clint Eastwood might have used. (Although CW stuff is beyond the purview of this forum, we'd help you get hooked-up with folks from later eras if that was your cup-o'-tea )
Budget? Is there a price range, as that can effect what you get as well...heck it effects everything else in life, right?
OH..., almost forgot..., any physical issue that might effect your choice? For example you might not want a longer barrel on a shoulder fired rifle or gun, or want something all around "light weight". I correspond with a fellow on the internet who lost an arm, so he's now into pistols, etc. Maybe you have a shoulder that doesn't appreciate heavy recoil, as my dad has?
So..., WELCOME... and fill us in a bit so we can help you more.
It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
Here is a little kit information to put things in perspective;
A little more on M/L building, there are a bunch of options available;
First would be what we call an "assembly" kit like a TC, Lyman, Traditions or CVA. The kits are mostly done and take very little fitting and work to put them together. Most of the work would be applying finish to the wood and metal.
If you want an actual period rifle or fowler but doubt your skills you can buy a gun in the white, no finish on wood or metal but already assembled.
Third would be a parts kit with a precarved stock. These have all the parts but lots of fitting, drilling, final inletting and some stock shaping is involved. Figure some wood and metal working skills and at least a hundred hours to complete this kit.
The best parts kits are available from Chambers, Track of the Wolf, Pecatonica and several other places with Chambers being the best.
Here is a video set on what is involved putting together a parts kit, lots of different videos covering each step.
Lastly is a scratch build like I make, a block of wood and a pile of parts. It took me two years on the first, one year on the second and I suspect 6 months on the next. I kinda' know what I am doing now.
The fellows above have given you some great information. On the other hand, I'm not sure how deep you want to get into this so my simplest answer is to get a good quality rifle that would be welcome almost everywhere, hunting, primitive doings, afternoon competitive shoots, or just plane ol' plinking.
With that said, I always recommend either the Lyman Great Plains Rifle or one of Thompson Center's rifles. These are quality firearms and the Thompson's can be found at swap meets since their not being made anymore. A very sad reality to say the least.
The only programs those two firearms won't get you into would be juried reenactments but you already know, those take complete personal outfitting from clothing to firearm.
Both manufacturers above do make both caplocks and flintlocks so you can decide on which you would like to work with. For the beginners, I always recommend the caplock system because it's rather fail safe whereas the flintlock can get rather frustrating if one doesn't understand the basics.
If you're up to a kit, you have so many more choices as pointed out by the fellows above.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Load fast and aim slow.
Many thanks for the information I am going with a kit in 50 cal using caps
Life is hard its harder if you are stupid
This is just the beginning, if your new take your time and do your research on everything involved from kits, and accessories. You'll need to pay attention to what others have to say and then weight that information.
I started shooting original black powder guns in 1945. At one point all we could buy was cannon powder, so my father would use a porcelain mortar and petal to get a finer blend. I was lucky as he was a antique weapons collector and had many styles and types to shoot.
Even with this type of background I would have traders tell me anything I was wanting to hear to make a sale - right or wrong, make that sale. I finally started researching every piece of my equipage. I had some of the neatest garage sales with wrong equipment.
Just do the research and you'll be fine.
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