I want to build a muzzleloader over the winter and I havent been able to dig up many kits other than cabelas, traditions and lyman. Are there many other kits out there? I would love to have a 54 in a percussion, and this would be my first attempt at building a muzzleloader. I am just concerned with how complete some of the kits are? I dont want to break the bank with anything extravagent, just something that will shoot good and I wont feel bad dragging around in the woods. Any help would be greatly appretiated.
I second the Track of the wolf catalog. It is a really neat catalog, more like a book, with great pictures, most are shown exact size too.
A couple of post down under "do it yourself" there is a couple of links brown bear posted that are worth checking out. That TVM link had neat kits at good prices.
Those are good recommendations, but be sure that you know the difference between a kit, a parts set, and an in-the-white gun. There's a different amount of work, experience and skill required with each.
Originally Posted by aknewbie
Kits include all the parts and most of the major work is done. You could just about put it together and shoot it as it arrives at your door. You have to do the metal finishing and the wood finishing. I've built Lymans and that's what they are. You can build one in 20-40 hours with common household handtools.
A parts set (such as you get from Track of the Wolf) may or may not have some of the inletting done. It can require hundreds of hours and lots of experience. Unless you've built other guns before or have experience with precision woodworking, I'd think long and hard. You can do it with the help of books and tapes, but it's going to take a while.
In-the-white guns have been fully inletted and assembled before you get them. You still have to do the wood and metal finish, but you're assured of a properly assembled rifle right from the start.
Here are some other links for kits/parts sets/in-the-white. Read each of their descriptions on the sites carefully to know what you are getting into.
Tennessee Valley Muzzleloaders One of the most highly regarded for parts sets, in-the-white, and finished guns. Lots of styles.
Jim Chambers Flintlocks Without a doubt the most highly regarded source of flintlock builds and parts. It's the gold standard others are measured against.
St. Louis Plains Rifle Company The gold standard for authentic Hawken reproduction kits. Don Stith owns a number of original Hawkens and his builds are reproductions of those. Not a beginners kit by any means.
Sitting Fox Muzzleloaders Very highly regarded economical source.
Muzzleloaders Builders Supply A highly regarded source for parts sets.
Petaconica River Long Rifle Supply Another very highly regarded source.
Mike Brooks Tutorial This is a good link showing the basics on a build starting more or less from scratch. Track of the Wolf and Chambers have great books and tapes that provide lots more info.
I have had good dealings with Deer Creek Products, PO Box 246, Waldron, IN 46182 (765)525-6181. They have a variety of kits as well as "scratch-n-dent" sales worth calling about.
If you are really looking for a project try http://therifleshoppe.com/