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I'm going to start building a longrifle and need some ideas. Mainly I need a good reliable place to buy the parts from (barrel, wood blank, lock, etc...) I'm also looking for a guide that would be able to walk me though the process. (I'm good with my hands but I don't really know too much about building one of these so guidance would help.)

I'd appreciate any tips or hints that anyone might be willing to contribute. If you've got photos of your own custom builds I'd love to see those too.
 

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If you are familiar with Harry Potter, what you are asking for is the directions to Diagon Alley.

To provide a picture of any of my builds, I want a truck full of money as I would have to wear a bag over my head for the rest of my days...
If that gives you any indication as to how starting out in the building hobby goes ...
You may want to rethink the whole thing before proceeding! It's a great hobby however if you do get involved. Just don't say you weren't warned!
Mistakes and all are worth the venture IMO. You can read about it, talk to people ect. You can get it perfectly in your head. You have to lay hands to it and suffer though the mistakes. It is a craft that has always required an apprenticeship to become a master builder. There are so many skills that have to be perfected to recreate a perfect longrifle that it can become a lifelong journey and never quite get to the peak.

Dixons gun shop in Kempton Pa would be well worth the trip. The gun fair held at Dixons location the last weekend in every July... all parts on display for sale. Good place to shop hands on. A winter event is held at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg the first weekend each February. Not as many parts available as Dixons gun fair but a great place to go none the less. Many faces seen at the Dixon fair will be there. Tigerhunt is a gunstock supplier in Pa that I've had nothing but a good experience with. Wayne Dunlop in Va is another. An internet search should turn them up. For other parts? Outlets can be found on the internet. Track of the Wolf is one to get you started.

You will need a book. Chuck Dixon (Kempton) has published one. I would highly recommend his. Peter Alexander has one called the Gunsmith of Grenville County. He is controversial with some builders. It's a good book to have though. He also combined with Buchele and Shumway with Recreating the American Longrifle.

With more than one book, you have what amounts to several people all telling you how to do the same thing. Whenever you have that going on, one will explain something a little differently than the others. That can help explain and answer questions about tasks.

My advice is to go slow, investigate, talk to people face to face. Pick up a couple of books "first" before the parts.

What county are you in? A great source for face to face support can be found at a number of Pa Federation of BP Shooters clubs around the state.
 

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Ok, so I'm just a smidge further down this road than the OP, but not by much. He's not far off my rear bumper, so to speak, lol.

Here's a question-- clearly, to become skilled at building rifles, one must build rifles. As was said, you have to go through the mistakes. I'm all good with that. BUT....what the heck do you do with the rifles?

I mean, I can see having a couple of my own, but to keep building to get better, one will quickly run into more rifles than wanted. At the same time, who the heck wants to be the guy who buys the "newbie" gunmaker's rifles? lol

Just something that's been rattling around in my brain.
 

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tdd said:
BUT....what the heck do you do with the rifles?
You could sell them and hopefully get your parts money back to do another. You wouldn't be the first to turn $800 worth of parts into a $300 gun. If that happens, well, education has a price. You're doing it to educate yourself. Never lose sight of that.

Or, you take the parts off, buy a new blank, and try again. You wouldn't be the first to do that either. That's why a person should start out on a less expensive blank. Nothing wrong with straight grain maple! Good for learning to carve.

It's not an easy hobby or a cheap one. Getting better takes time, and comes at a cost. Personally, if you get into it to make money you're stepping off on the wrong foot. That step comes later...maybe never.
 

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TDD, you make a good point, and it is a point I've reached. I've supplied the family with flintlocks, I have more than I need, and I sold one at Dixon's. And, as I look back over my 8 or 10 builds, I realize that I've barely achieved mediocre, and don't wish to build to sell any in the future.

Chuck Dixon's book is excellent with great illustrations. Alexander's big text is very informative, but some chapters are overly wordy in my opinion. And, this book often contradicts Dixon's, in which case I usually stuck with Chuck's directions.

My advice to a new builder is pretty simple. TAKE YOUR TIME, AND DO NOT RUSH TO FINISH. EVERY STEP IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE ONES PRECEDING OR FOLLOWING! Good Luck.
 

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The advice already given is right on. The Dixon book is a great help. One thing to watch with Track of the Wolf, if you buy a kit from them, make sure they have all the parts in stock. If you go to their website, some items are "expected in 90 days". But they are good to deal with. A good website is Dacotah Territory Muzzleloaders. It a site of muzzleloading links.
 

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Curly Maple said:
tdd said:
BUT....what the heck do you do with the rifles?
You could sell them and hopefully get your parts money back to do another. You wouldn't be the first to turn $800 worth of parts into a $300 gun. If that happens, well, education has a price. You're doing it to educate yourself. Never lose sight of that.

Or, you take the parts off, buy a new blank, and try again. You wouldn't be the first to do that either. That's why a person should start out on a less expensive blank. Nothing wrong with straight grain maple! Good for learning to carve.

It's not an easy hobby or a cheap one. Getting better takes time, and comes at a cost. Personally, if you get into it to make money you're stepping off on the wrong foot. That step comes later...maybe never.
Nope, not really looking to make money. At most, I want something to do when I retire. I've got about 20 years to go to retirement, so not really out for a 2nd income here, or anything of that nature. And I have time to learn before I retire anyhow.

I work in IT. It's fun, has it's good and bad points, but I want something different altogether. If I can make it to a point where I can retire, do something I enjoy doing without paying to do it, then I'd be a happy camper. Any income would be an "unlooked-for" bonus.
 

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I find the research to be enjoyable. I never really paid any attention to the architecture variations. Once you decide what you want the project to be, you get to go on a scavenger hunt basically getting the correct components or making them. Little by little, at a speed you can easily afford. It's all fun to me. Start to finish.

It's something that you can work on before you have all the parts too. Making the ramrod pipes, patchbox, finishing metal surfaces. Engraving! Good hobby for taking your mind off workplace issues.

Another excellent source for help/answers for building issues is the Americanlongrifles web site. You can learn a lot just reading over there. They have a very nice library for originals too.
 

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the trade gun I have, I built in 1990. there really isn't a lot to them compared to a long rifle. I was on the fence a year ago about building a rifle, but at the last minute I found just what I was looking for on GB. good luck with the project and keep us updated.
 
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