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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Custom flintlock question

I am looking into the idea of getting a custom rifle built and have a few questions for the guys with customs. I Hunt a lot out of blinds and have my Lyman trade rifle for that. It's small and fits well in the blind. But I'm really interested in a custom for a stalking gun and drives. I'm located in NW Pa in the Tionesta area. Are there any reputable builders in the general vicinity that I could travel to and get a hands on feel for a few rifles. I've been looking online at TVM and there are a few that caught my eye but I prefer to talk face to face with someone and go over my options, etc. if anyone could give me some advice I would appreciate it.

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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 08:02 PM
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first I would like to say, its great see the amount of interest on here for custom guns and people thinking of building a gun and really enjoying the sport. imo, I think TVM offers a quality gun, using quality parts at an affordable price for many people. is it a "custom" gun? sorta/kinda. they are somewhere between a custom and a big company production gun. you can work with them to have those custom touches if that is what you want. you won't see the quality and attention to detail of a true "custom", but they are a very good compromise. as far as local builders, I don't know of any. there are a few of us folks out there that build them for ourselves or friends. it would be nice if you could hook up with someone that has a few different styles you could look at and handle, that would give you a better idea of what you are looking for.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:09 PM
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The only builder I know of off the top of my head up that way is Ron Luckenbill. I can't remember exactly where...



Don't know what you are thinking on the cash end....But most customs are somewhere over $1000...Many $2000+ pretty easily...Get to a fancier rifle with more carving, engraving, inlays etc and 3-4k+..

I just throw that out there so you have an idea...And, there is often a wait involved if you are having a rifle built FOR you and not just buying a rifle..


There are tons of options and lots to consider..


I always looked at those long rifles with 38-44+" barrels that stand chin high and thought there's no way they'd be nice to lug around the woods...I was grossly mistaken...My turkey Fowler has a 44" barrel and is somewhere around 5ft in length...Id rather carry it than my modern guns..It's so light and balanced and slim...It's amazing. It ruined me and Matt/PA is to blame!!!! Lol.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mauser06 View Post
The only builder I know of off the top of my head up that way is Ron Luckenbill. I can't remember exactly where...



Don't know what you are thinking on the cash end....But most customs are somewhere over $1000...Many $2000+ pretty easily...Get to a fancier rifle with more carving, engraving, inlays etc and 3-4k+..

I just throw that out there so you have an idea...And, there is often a wait involved if you are having a rifle built FOR you and not just buying a rifle..


There are tons of options and lots to consider..


I always looked at those long rifles with 38-44+" barrels that stand chin high and thought there's no way they'd be nice to lug around the woods...I was grossly mistaken...My turkey Fowler has a 44" barrel and is somewhere around 5ft in length...Id rather carry it than my modern guns..It's so light and balanced and slim...It's amazing. It ruined me and Matt/PA is to blame!!!! Lol.
I know that they can be quite expensive. I was trying to keep it in the $3000-$3500 range if built for me

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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 08:51 AM
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This is what $3000-3500 will get you from Ron Luckenbill.......
My advice is to do a little research on "schools" of gun, some historic gunsmiths and get to a couple shows to handle a few guns before you commit to anything.

....and Mauser....don't blame me!
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 09:15 AM
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ANYONE looking to get into custom built guns really needs to get to Lewisburg on Feb 3 or 4 for the 18th Century Artisan Show. Builders will be there...lots of builders. Lots of guns. Lots of people willing to talk and help.

And Mauser, Matt is an enabler. I was going to commission a schimmel when I had my gun built. Matt literally appeared over my shoulder like a little devil to goad me into getting a wood patch box. Till I was done, I had a rifle with curly wood, some carving, a wood patchbox, etc.

And I don't regret one bit of it.

Watch out for Retired_Rusty, too. He is good at helping other people spend their money.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 09:20 AM
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To the OP, since I've been down this path myself---

It seems like info overload when you dive into the world of long rifles as well as who is out there making them.

What I can confidently tell you is that everyone I've met in the long rifle/gun building circles has been more than willing to talk to anyone about this stuff. No one has ever refused or been unwilling to share info. Builders readily tell prospective clients things like, "Hmmm...I'm not the best guy for what you want, but go talk to so-and-so, his booth is over there. He's the guy you want for that project."

Most of the builders I'm aware of are central/north central PA, and then go east and south. Not many I've heard of in your neck of the woods, but that doesn't mean they're not there.

I'm sorta spoiled...I can be at Dixon's in 15 minutes. I can be in Lewisburg in less than 2 hours. Most of the long rifle stuff to see that you read about online is in easy reach for me, but that's not true for everyone. I know it's a haul for you to get there, but if you can make it to Lewisburg for the show, you'll be floored by what you'll get to see, handle, and learn.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tdd View Post
To the OP, since I've been down this path myself---

It seems like info overload when you dive into the world of long rifles as well as who is out there making them.

What I can confidently tell you is that everyone I've met in the long rifle/gun building circles has been more than willing to talk to anyone about this stuff. No one has ever refused or been unwilling to share info. Builders readily tell prospective clients things like, "Hmmm...I'm not the best guy for what you want, but go talk to so-and-so, his booth is over there. He's the guy you want for that project."

Most of the builders I'm aware of are central/north central PA, and then go east and south. Not many I've heard of in your neck of the woods, but that doesn't mean they're not there.

I'm sorta spoiled...I can be at Dixon's in 15 minutes. I can be in Lewisburg in less than 2 hours. Most of the long rifle stuff to see that you read about online is in easy reach for me, but that's not true for everyone. I know it's a haul for you to get there, but if you can make it to Lewisburg for the show, you'll be floored by what you'll get to see, handle, and learn.
Definitely take this advice if at all possible and get to the Lewisburg show...........preferably on Friday before all the good stuff is sold out.
It can be VERY daunting trying to just figure out what you THINK you like with no hands on experience. A little research and getting guns in your hands goes a long way.
Even with that said you will most likely do it twice to get it right.....or in my case an additional 3 or 4 or 6 times on purpose. LOL
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Matt / PA View Post
Definitely take this advice if at all possible and get to the Lewisburg show...........preferably on Friday before all the good stuff is sold out.
It can be VERY daunting trying to just figure out what you THINK you like with no hands on experience. A little research and getting guns in your hands goes a long way.
Even with that said you will most likely do it twice to get it right.....or in my case an additional 3 or 4 or 6 times on purpose. LOL
Those rifles are so buetiful. I'm going to head to Lewisburg. I do have a few questions though. First off at these type shows do the builders actually have guns for sale there or just take orders and when dealing with these custom builders is it strictly a cash endeavor or do some take credit cards as that would make things a lot easier. I guess what I'm saying is if I went there with some plastic and fell in love with a certain rifle is it possible it would be riding home with me? Also I would love if anyone from here is going would like to meet up and show me around and help me out a little and kinda point me in the right direction. I would just kind of like to tag along with someone who knows custom stuff that can help me while I'm there. I won't be a pain in the rear and when you have a little spare time maybe you could help me and kind of be that enabler in my ear telling me good choice or sweet gun!

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Last edited by GermanHillHunter; 01-17-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:07 PM
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Which day are you going?

Plenty of people were willing to help me out, and while I'm far from an expert, I'll offer to help however I can if you're there on Saturday. I can't go on Friday.

As for taking plastic, I've only commissioned one rifle, and the builder I worked with did not take plastic. That's probably for my own good, lol. I would think that's on a case by case basis, however, and I can't speak to what others do or don't do.

What you will find is that pretty much everyone is friendly and will talk to you about what you're after and help you learn how to decide what it is you're after. You'll get to see a lot of guns. Some makers don't want you to handle their displayed guns, so be sure to ask first, but MANY of them want you to check out their displayed stuff, so you WILL get to handle rifles and see what lights you up and what turns you off. And there will be folks there who do hunting bags, powder horns, molds, leather work, knives, artwork, etc.

It's a heck of a good time.

If the planets align and I can get Matt/PA and Retired_Rusty and I there with you, you might be best off leaving the plastic at home. Trust me.


Last edited by tdd; 01-17-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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