Need some advice on cutting a stock for a Southern Mountain style 36 flinter - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Need some advice on cutting a stock for a Southern Mountain style 36 flinter

Looking for some advice from those here who have built rifles and / or are good woodworkers I have in my possession two stock blanks, blanks as in most of the wood is still there and are rifle stocks only to the point where they have kind of the general shape of a rifle. I have a .36 caliber flintlock barrel in a half stock that my dad built, but I really want to pull the barrel and put it in a full stock with a good lock. The original rifle has a CVA lock that is... unreliable is a nice word for it. I want to pair it with an L&R lock or a small Siler lock in the new stock.

I have been looking for quite some time at Southern Mountain or Tennessee style rifles and I think I have decided that I want to use one of these two styles to shape the stocks. The problem is I'm not all that adept at copying patterns without plans of some kind. The problem is I'm not sure where to find them! So I have two questions.

Is there anywhere I can get a set of plans to follow for this? If there isn't, how can I decide on dimensions and shape without having a general pattern to follow? While my dad did a really good job on the original stock, the main complaint I have is that the rifle doesn't really conform to any pattern; it is just mostly 'shaped like a gun'. I want to have something that looks great and shoots as well as the original. I also have a .45 caliber barrel that is matched to the stock, so I can put the .45 in the original stock, or swap them out between the guns if I really want to. As this is the first rifle I plan to shape on my own, I appreciate any advice from the seasoned professionals in this area. Thanks ahead of time!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 09:42 PM
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I think the first thing you might have to do is decide what "style" you prefer. I have never done one from a blank mainly because I just don't want to spend the extra time doing it. but if and probably when I do go that route I will use one of the rifles I have for my pattern. that may not be an option for you, but maybe you know someone that has some different rifles you could check out?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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That was my original plan, but alas I don't know anyone who has a rifle I can use for a pattern. I think I like the Southern Mountain style better than the Tennessee style, so that is likely where I will start. I should have mentioned that I do have pretty good woodworking skills when I have some kind of reference, but I don't want to just start cutting and end up with a mess lol. I don't mind taking the time to keep it in the basement as a project and work on it an hour or two a day; ideally it would be ready for next squirrel season but I know from the state the stock blanks are in that this is a somewhat lofty goal. Also, I managed to find the two blanks very cheap even though they are nice plain maple; ten bucks for both at a local 'sell everything including the kitchen sink' type second hand store. I got really lucky; the wood may not be the best quality stuff out there, but it isn't junk either!

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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I think I found what I was looking for. Track of the Wolf has full-scale plans for sale for many types of rifles, including both the Southern Mountain style and Tennessee rifles. May order both sets of plans and see which one better suits my interests / skill level.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 09:13 PM
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Unless you are dead set on doing it yourself, there are a number of wood suppliers that will cut the stock for you. A number of guys at the shows buy a blank then have the stock roughed out with barrel channel and ramrod channel/hole drilled
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 09:22 PM
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And this is just me: I know you got a deal on the wood you have, but if I was going to put the amount of time required to build a long rifle I would get a nice piece of wood. you just need to be careful and think things through, which you will probably do any way.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 10:02 PM
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I'm not trying to sway you either way, but I'll provide some of my experience. I started a 16ga last winter that I used a stock that didn't have a barrel channel started. Everything went well, then it stalled. I couldn't progress for a month, finally hung it up in the floor joists.

Now, I have a couple ash boards that I sawed out of a nice tree on our property. The plan was to rough them out like you have and do the whole thing start to finish... After the 16ga though I'll gladly pay Pecatonica River to rough it out on their machines. Worth the $100 IMHO.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I can agree that will be the way to go, but at that point I'll likely just go ahead and order a pre-inlet stock from TOTW or something. They aren't that much more money and I will only have to pay shipping once, which I'm guessing I'd have to cover shipping to/from Illinois otherwise. That may be the better way to go since I honestly don't have the kind of time it takes to build a rifle stock right now. I would REALLY like to order a kit but they are so expensive! DGW has a few Pedersoli kits in the caliber I'm looking for that are reasonably affordable, maybe I'll start there.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 01:44 AM
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The building bug bit me back in the early 90's, and I jumped in with both feet! I sent an order off to the Log Cabin Shop for a fancy curly maple stock blank, a Getz swamped, 42", .45 cal. barrel, and a lefty Siler lock. I had read the Hershel House story through and through in the Fox Fire 5 book, I had watched numerous times the Wallace Gussler video from Colonial Williamsburg, and walked around Dixon's Muzzleloader Shop and had in hand an autographed copy of Chuck Dixon's book on building a Pennsylvania longrifle. I felt I was all set!


Well, a year or so down the road, I found myself asking Chuck for a name or two of builders he could recommend to build a rifle from the above listed parts.


A couple of years later, Paul Allison called that he'd finished my left-handed copy of an Andrew Figthorn rifle! I offer this explanation simply to illustrate the dilemma I found myself in from the long rifle building bug bite!


I looked at the beautiful blank of curly maple, the 42" swamped barrel by Getz, and knew finally that hand inletting that barrel into that stock, and drilling the ram rod channel were well beyond my skill level! If there's a moral to this "story", it is this. Don't take on more than you can handle for a first time build.


After my first plunge described above, I have build a half dozen or so flintlock rifles, a flintlock pistol, and a flintlock fowler. All of these had the barrel channel 95% inletted, leaving only the breech and tang undone and the ram rod channel inletted. I found that with my "skills", work space, and old eyes, the remaining inlets were doable.


For what it's worth, I've offered this as one person's checkered flintlock gun building experience. It has been, at times, frustrating, exhausting, bloody, and over-whelming, but also, enjoyable, fulfilling, satisfying, and tear-producing when seeing the joy on my grandson's face as he held his high school graduation present and lifted it to his shoulder to peer down the barrel.


Good luck with your squirrel rifle.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 08:19 PM
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Sounds like you found the plans. I was going to direct you towards them.


Keep in mind, they are somewhat generic and use certain furniture and locks.


Get some good reference material and build the rifle you actually want. The Kentucky Rifle Foundation has discs that are awesome. No measurements but good detailed views of known original rifles.

Shumways Rifles of Colonial America (I think Vol 2) has southern rifles. Muzzleblast articles books are another go-to for me (forget the actual title but it's a couple volumes of articles collected from muzzleblast magazine.

While you're at it...Gunsmiths of Grenvile DVD collection and book will teach you how to build from a blank.

Yes reference material and instructional stuff isn't cheap. I have several hundred dollars invested into JUST that stuff...but without it, I'd be lost.


I'd send the blanks and barrels to someone to have the barrels inlet and ramrod holes drilled. Somewhere around $100 well spent IMO lol.



I've done 2 from precarved stocks. I'm on my first blank now and I doubt I ever do a precarve unless I get a smoking deal on one or something I just can't pass up. Barrel inlet and ramrod hole was drilled. I then laid out the gun and took it to the bandsaw. From there everything is nice and square. I find it much easier to work on opposed to a precarved stock. And I can shape it as I desire...not as a machine cut it. In no time I had the breech and tang inlet..then pinned the barrel ...lock is in...buttplate is on. Trigger, trigger guard ,pipes and nose cape will go in and then I shape it. How I want. Then patch box and carve and finish.

I was intimidated by the blank for a while. I jumped in and realized it's actually easier IMO. I can take one of my Iwasaki rasps to it and have it to precarved state pretty quickly.
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