Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

This might be a silly question for you more knowledgeable guys. I'm going to start looking for another flintlock rifle. Probably a used one. How can you tell the difference between a kit gun and a factory built gun? I'm sure some of these kits were assembled by some very skillful craftsman. It might be tough to detect any imperfections.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 11:11 AM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

In Thompson Center guns, the serial number will begin with "K". Also, the stock should have a "K" stamped on the inside, but not always. In other brands its anybodies guess. There is nothing wrong with a kit gun that was built correctly. Even the ugliest, poorest attempts at a kit usually shoot good.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 11:13 AM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

Thompson Center guns usually have a "K" as the first letter in the serial number providing the barrel hasn't been changed. Other things to look for would be the fit of the parts. If there are gaps in the fits it could indicate a kit gun.I don't think I would be afraid of buying a Thompson Center kit gun as they seem to have been made fairly well.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 11:27 AM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

My Lyman was a kit and that Great Plains gun shoots GREAT-----------however for the price now you may as well get a 'real kit gun' from someone like Chambers with a Siler Lock and and a Rice barrel.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

Thanks fellas. That's good info. I hear there are a couple of used flinters at some local shops that I plan to look at. I just wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible before I buy.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:29 AM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

The best jobs on kit guns are far better than production guns. From there it drops to some being slapped together with parts that don't match up properly, etc.

The most critical fitting is the pan against the barrel flat and the frizzen against the barrel flat and the frizzen against the pan. all three should fit together so tight that there is no gap. not even a piece of paper should slip between. Yes the frizzen needs to swing open without binding against the barrel, but that space should still be very very close.

Even some factory finished guns and although rare, a few "custom" guns come up short where the lock meets the barrel.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:58 AM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

Zimmer is absolutely correct about the barrel to pan fit. I'm in the process of inletting a lock on my grandson's rifle, and I was using a sliver of paper to indicate when the inlet was square and tight.

A few years ago, a hunting friend was unloading his TC Pa. Hunter at a 3" x 5" card tacked to a stump. When he pulled the trigger, he nearly dropped the rifle because of the explosion before his face! Pan powder (FFFFg) had been trickling into the lock cavity because of a gap between the pan and barrel. Finally, enough powder had found its way in back of the lock, and ignited along with the charge in the pan.

It didn't blow the lock off the rifle, but it could have. He wasn't injured, but could have been.

By the way, he missed the 3" x 5" card.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 03:03 PM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

Berks----thanks for the post--that reminds me to go over my flintlocks extra careful since my 10 year old son will be hunting with one this season. Most likely the Lyman but I will take it out and go over it with a fine tooth comb before I let him start practicing this week with it.

AIM SMALL MISS SMALL
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 09:29 PM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

If you (anyone) choose to hunt traditionally, our Pennsylvania Flintlock Season offers the last possible opportunity to re-enact anything closely resembling a true traditional hunting experience. Our Archery Season certainly doesn't offer it, and the early muzzleloader season is nothing more than a management tool.

Flintlocks are the last possible weapon offering anything remotely resembling a traditional hunting experience, and it compells the flintlock shooter to assure his/her weapon is totally safe!!!

If you can slip a piece of paper between the side barrel flat of your rifle and the bolster(pan) of your lock, you are hunting with a potential time bomb!

Bringing the bolster(pan) tightly against the side barrel flat should mean the simple removal of a sliver or two behind the lock. If you are not comfortable accomplishing this task, many of us here would be happy to complete this safety measure for you.

Anyone in the Berks County area is welcome to PM me to set up a session to resolve a barrel/lock pan gap problem. I'm partial to Irish Whisky.

We don't need simple solutions causing our unique Pennsylvania Flintlock Season dangerous ignition problems.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:24 PM
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Re: Kit Gun or Not Kit Gun

So Berksy--what is your favorite Irish Whisky? I lean that way over beer as well

AIM SMALL MISS SMALL
Isaiah40:31Wings of Eagles
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