Anyone out there ever put together a muzzleloader kit? Got one for Christmas, and I gotta say I'm having more fun with that than anything else I've ever done in winter.
Mine's a Lyman Great Plains Rifle. Another easy source is Traditions, though there are many others. Both Lyman and Traditions are pretty much ready to go, requiring only a minimum of wood and metal work for everything to fit. Others may be more a "parts set" than a kit, requiring lots more work. If you want to be sure to get one requiring mostly finish work, look for ones sold "in the white," which are pre-assembled and require only the finish work rather than the more complicated fitting.
Even though it's pretty much ready to finish, the Lyman wood is a bit "proud," or excessive. You can simply rasp down and sand the wood to match factory dimensions before finishing the metal, or you can use the extra wood as a chance to build in some custom features. That's what I've been doing, and I gotta say mine looks even better than my already good-looking original version.
My hunting pard got one for Christmas too (wives conspiring), and it's been especially fun comparing notes as we go along. The fact that I have a factory version already has proved to be really useful, cuzz any time we have a question it helps to look at it rather than the rather minimal instructions that came with the kit.
Looking for something to do or a cheaper way to get into a traditional sidelock or flintlock muzzleloader, take a close look at the kits. Traditions models are available for around $160, and the Lyman runs $350 from some sources. Not much savings over buying a completed gun, but you can't put a price tag on the fun.