Finished Crockett (mostly)
I've never uploaded photos to AOD, so this is an adventure.
I'm on a really slow dialup connection, and out of respect for others in the same boat I kept the photos small and combined them. If questions come up on some detail I can crop and post to answer as needed.
The first photo (all view) shows a catalog photo of the original model. I didn't have the sense to take a "before" pic of my own, so you'll have to live with this. My stock was a bunch paler than the factory pic, and with the Watco Danish Oil stain, I was able to darken it to suit my tastes, and as a bonus, bring out a whole bunch of grain that was invisible in the original finish. You'll see more of it in the second photo.
The second photo shows detail of wood finish and metalwork. It should give anyone curious about browning a good idea what you can do with LMF. Some may not like it so dark, and if so, it will work well for lighter finishes too. The stock finish is Tung oil. I've been a 40+ year user of TruOil or boiled linseed oil, but no more. Tung oil is easier, looks better to my eye, and just a whole lot tougher when you finish.
I said "mostly" finished in the title. I say that cuzz the original aluminum ramrod looks pink against the new stock finish. That'll never do, so I'm replacing it with a hickory rod as soon as I order something else. And speaking of which, I managed to snap the mainspring while reassembling the lock. They're ony $6, but I was anxious to get out and shoot with my old friend again. What a hassle!
I forgot to point out that the rings around the entry pipe and two ramrod pipes aren't standard. I have done that on my other rifles, like the effect, and added it to the Crockett kind of like "my" signature.
Well done, very nice work! Is that a .50 cal? .54 cal?
It's a 32 caliber. Though I've also got a 36 cal CVA, this is my go-to gun for snowshoe hare. It's hard to beat for pure plinking fun, too. Though I use a 50 and a 54 (both Lyman GPRs) for big game, I probably put more shots through the 32 than all my other muzzleloaders combined.
very very nice BB!!!
As for the ramrod, I know it aint traditional but I really have grown to like my black fiberglass rod. My old man made it up for me, think he picked up the supplies from Dixie, even though Track of the Wolf is likely only 45 minutes away lol. I still have my hickory ram rod for the pedersoli, doubt I'll use it but keep it for a spare. I'd really consider it after talking to my Dad and Bro about it.
I was thinking of building a 32 flinter next winter for my dad, we may have to talk as I have zero experience with muzzleloading rifles, only powder burning shotguns .
Gonna order some chisels gouges and goodies for inletting these two fowlers tonight and doing the carving work I want to do on them. The 2nd barrel is on it's way and the canoe is very close to finished.....finally . Any recommendations for inletting work? These are not like hawkins kits were everything falls into place. I need to fit the stock, barrel, breach plug, tang, etc to the stock. What has been inletted has been done so to about 90% or so, and much hasnt been at all.
Trying not to spend to much outright on them, as I need to pick up a couple of books yet too oin the subject, what do you recommend?
Thanks again and it sure looks nice.
Oh is that the barrel you LMF'd? Nice smooth kinda dull brown looks good, like what I'm striving for when I get to that point......
That's the LMF finish. I went a little darker on this one than my GPR, plus I used 220 grit sandpaper rather than the 320 I used on the GPR. The GPR is lighter and even smoother, though it took lots longer because it wasn't as rough to start with. If you wanted this dark but even smoother, I'd go with the 320, but plan on a fairly long treatment session- on the order of 5 days rather than 3, depending on your humidity. Maybe even more.
I've got some references and I'll get back to you on the books. Mike Brooks tutorial over at the Muzzleloading Forum is a big help, but I know Track of the Wulf has recommendations and books for sale. They're listed right along with the parts in their kits online I think.
As for the fiberglass rod, how stiff is it? I've got a three or four Wonder Rods and while they're okay for bigger calibers, I bet that by the time you got one small enough for a 32 caliber it would be a noodle and flex all over the place.
I can give you lots of details on loading and shooting the 32. Due to the hard time I have getting real black, I'm likely to build a 32 flinter myself rather than a bigger caliber. At 20 grains a load, powder will go a whole bunch further!
Back again with book reco's. I don't have any of these, but keep hearing them recommended. You can bet when I start a scratch build, I'll have most, if not all of them.
Track of the Wolf usually recommends one of these:
The Gunsmith of Grenville County, building the American longrifle, by Peter A. Alexander
Recreating the American Longrifle by William Buchele, George Shumway, Peter Alexander
Jim Chambers recommends either of two tape/DVD's, but I don't remember the titles. They're at his site.
I have the chambers dvd. Pretty much is what I'm going by for tools right now. Bob Brockway, the double barrel shotgun guy, had recommended some books on carving and engraving, along with a couple video set if I got into doing the metal, the books covered the wood side of the house.
Basically looking for what tools from a guy whose been there done it. The chambers kits aint scratch builds but they aint the cabelas hawkins style of build either. Much more work to them then that, quite a bit really.
I've only done a little carving, but a whole bunch of inletting over the years. And I've done a fair bit of small scale metalwork and "adjustment." Looking at my array, the most useful tools you might not read about elsewhere are a set of high quality needle files and a set of small carving tools. Most needle files today are pretty course, but the kind I'm talking about are really well made. I paid about $30 for my set (German) 40 years ago.
I'm not sure you can even buy them any more, but they're immensely useful for small work on both wood and metal. I used them for example to cut the rings on the Crocket pipes and to remove bluing in very small places. On my GPR build I did a fair bit of stock carving, making the cheekpiece a beavertail with a step and authentic or not, adding steps around the stock swells on both sides at the lock. The needle files proved to be much better than any carving tools both for laying that out and for establishing and keeping smooth contour changes. For my clumsy hands, it was a lot easier to gnaw away at the wood with the small files than to dig and gouge with the carving tools. I'd probably do the same if I was carving in floral patterns and such.
My latest carving tool set came from an art supply last year and cost $90 for five different shapes. They're a lot smaller than usual for gun work, and are intended for cutting linoleum and wood for block printing. The little suckers are so sharp right out of their wooden box that they came packed with a set of bandaids!
Those two tool sets probably reflect more about the way I work than any special need. But when it comes to precision work and moving slowly and carefully I do a lot better with small tools than big ones. I've got bigger tools of both types and use them for moving big stuff, but I'd hate to try the small work with big tools.
so..for inletting purposes, which chisels and gouges would you recommend? Didnt notice any in the pics. Not quite sure I am following on the old german files though I'll do some more diggin and see what I can come up with.
Ordered a couple of carving books today along with a video. Going to pick up some metal carving videos also though I am doing none of that on these fowlers.
Here is a comparable set of needle files. I haven't used this set but a bud has them and reports happiness. I've handled them, and they're virtually identical to mine. While he was ordering those he bought this set of chisels. Look dandy and comparable to what I bought so many years ago. These needle rasps are going to be my next buy. Another friend has them, and they're as convenient as needle files, but cut wood faster.
Cruise around the sites where I linked specific tools. They've all got dandy stuff, though it's hard for me to "window shop" at any of them without reaching for my wallet. Lee Valley is absolutely DANGEROUS to visit, but in a good way.
Nice! SO was this a kit? or did you order everything seperate and build?
The Crockett is an as-built rifle, and this was a refinish. The original bluing and glossy stock finish just made me nuts. I like more traditional looks on traditional guns. The Possibles Shop is one of the few sources I know of for Crockett kits, but frankly you can buy finished rifles for about the same price they sell the kits for.
In any case, the little 32 is probably my most-used and most fun rifle. Use one for snowshoe hare, and your consumption of 22 shells will drop to virtually zero.