Mausers Turkey Beck Build - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Mausers Turkey Beck Build

Blackpowder inspired me to do a build-a-long as well. I can't promise it'll be through..but, I will try to share my progress as I go.. I also want to compile all my pics and make a video slideshow of sorts maybe.

The build is going to be based on a J.P. Beck...as far as the parts and architecture at least. I've already deviated from true J.P. Beck rifles somewhat with the lock and barrel.

The stock is maple. It was precarved by Mark Wheland. I've compared it to specs taken from known J.P. Becks and it's spot on. It's more shaped than many. There's maybe...3/32-1/8" of "fat" to scrape off.

The lock is a Chamber's Deluxe Siler. The more appropriate lock for Becks is a Ditchburn or small siler. The stock was already inlet for a large siler.

The barrel is a Colerain 38" 20 gauge turkey choked barrel. It's swamped octagon to round. It's a bit shorter than barrels Beck used. In the turkey woods, it's a little handier. It has a tapered choke reamed into the bore. It starts as a 20ga (.62cal) and the last couple inches it tapers down to .58" effectively acting as a choke. My last Colerain turkey barrel was an honest 35yd turkey gun with nickel plated lead shot.

The furniture was all wax cast brass. It's cleaner than sand cast brass...but still takes a fair bit of work to clean up.

Trigger is a basic L&R single trigger.


I got started today...

Today I draw filed the octagon portion of the barrel. That was near 2 hours... I also have the buttplate return cleaned up. The return alone took about an hour. The rest shouldn't take as long.

Here's a couple pics of what I started with...







Not pictured is the ramrod and pipes....and anything else I forgot to order......lol. I have plenty to do so when I get close, I will place another order for whatever I forgot.


My goal is to have it finished prior to turkey season. Ideally by April. I'm planning to do a wooden patch box on it and hopefully some carving. I'd at least like to do the moldings and tang carving. Not sure if I'm ready for a cheek piece carving. I can't draw worth a dang...lol.



Tomorrow I'd like to get the tang shaped and inlet. Once the tang is in, I will install the barrel tennons and get the barrel pinned..finish inletting the lock, inlet the trigger, tang screw, trigger guard, buttplate and ramrod pipes. Something like that.
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post #2 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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If any wants specific pics, feel free to ask...I will see what I can do.


I am FAR from any kind of expert. I don't claim to be. This is my 2nd build..I've done a lot of research since my first..gathered more/better tools since then. Have a better understanding of the process and techniques etc..

I wouldn't say building rifles is difficult. It's definitely time consuming. It's not exactly cheap either. I could have bought a couple new modern shotguns for what I have into that pile of parts..for those wondering, you can figure on...$800 or so...in parts alone for quality parts. More for higher grade wood.
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post #3 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 08:46 PM
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I'm anxious to follow along and learn from your build.
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post #4 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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.....don't do that! Lol. I'm learning as I go. This is only my 2nd.


Didn't get much done today. Forgot I had to get my truck inspected. Took all the casting sprues off the castings and cleaned them up some. Started shaping the tang. Got it in a rough shape. Got some more filing to do on it yet.
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post #5 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-24-2018, 06:50 AM
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I like this one also. I'm following also. A shotgun is what I'd like to do.
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post #6 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-24-2018, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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This is not being built as a "shotgun" or Fowler. It's being built as a smooth rifle. It's using a smoothbore and I will be shooting shot..but most flintlock Fowler's had much different architecture. I am building this as a dedicated turkey gun which is shot more like a rifle than a shotgun. Itll even have a rear sight.


With flintlocks, anything can be built as a "shotgun" if you build it with a smooth bore.


I have a 62cal/20ga smooth rifle that I've killed squirrel, turkey and deer with. Missed a couple rabbits and a pheasant..if I could only own 1 custom flintlock, it'd be a smooth rifle.


The one I'm building now, I can't load with a round all due to the tapered choke. One down fall to the tapered choke.
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post #7 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-24-2018, 03:51 PM
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Best of luck Mauser on your new build! looking forward to seeing the upcoming pictures

Last edited by BuckStalker; 01-24-2018 at 03:54 PM.
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post #8 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Yesterday while shaping my tang, I used tracing paper to trace a full scale tang. I cut the tracing out and used it as a template.

Long story short, I put the cart before the horse. I didn't account for my tang having a bit more flare to it. It threw the proportions off.

I began getting frustrated...rather than continue on and likely ruin the tang, I shut off the light and stopped working.


I studied more pictures of original rifles and devised a plan to "save" my tang and correct it.


Tonight when I got off work, in no time at all, I have it corrected the best I can. It needs some more tweaking...but I fixed what I needed.


That's a huge piece of advice. This work is time consuming. It's detailed. It's tedious. You are removing wood and metal. You can get yourself in trouble quickly with a drill, saw, chisel, rasp or file in your paws. It's real easy to remove too much. It's pretty difficult to put material back on.

Most mistakes can be corrected..many you can completely hide. Part of building is learning to correct mistakes and hide them. I've seen guys completely break forends off and repair it to the point it's nearly invisible.

Big things are planning, thinking, measuring, patience etc. As I did on my tang, it's easy to think you have a good thought and remove material and realize you didn't completely think it through...
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post #9 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 04:44 AM
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On occasion, the most beneficial time spent on a build is doing something else.
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post #10 of 111 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 12:34 PM
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Good call on walking away. Blackpowder gave me that advice before I started my first one. I can't tell you how many times I tossed down the tools and went and had a smoke and a drink and came back the next day.


As a side note, I think everyone makes one little screw up on their first build that looks like its catastrophic, but end up not so bad. I did that on my Beck. Everyone here would see it in a heartbeat but the people that asked to look at it when I was at the range never picked up on it.

Remember, shoot straight and shoot often.
Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun.
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