Take your time and follow the directions. Has been fun but still building. I will post again when I get finished.
Bought two of these so my father-in-law and I could build them together while visiting. 4 star instead of 5 for two reasons: 1. The sights were to small. Would have preferred them to require fitting instead of shimming.... 2. The barrels that hold the rod on can only be threaded very loosely or they impede the rod from sliding thru. Could have used a little more “meat” on the stock in that area. Multiple ways to work around this dilemma, non the less, 4 stars. The barrel was nice, took the blueing well. In hind sight I think I would have preferred browning the barrel instead of blueing. Still looks nice blued though. Stock only required minor fitting, and a lot of sanding. There was a LOT of excess in the but of the rifle that needed to be removed to fir with the brass. This is expected, and I actually thought I would need to do more fitting, but like I said....very little required. I went with one coat of cherry stain, and tung oil. Sand. Tung oil. Sand. Tung oil...... Very pleased with result. Only tricky part was drilling the tabs to secure the barrel. No room for error. Not really tricky, just required patience and a bit of luck, I used a drill press instead of a hand drill, and it was no issue. Overall, very pleased with the final product, and would recommend anyone interested and on the fence about it, to just go for it. Lots of fun, and I haven’t even shot it yet! Whether your looking for a shooter or a wall hanger, this will fit the bill.
The rifle is beautiful in every stage of building. I blued the barrel and finished the stock with Minwax "Acorn" stain and Truoil. Plan on putting on Birchwood Casey Stock Sheen and Conditioner on Monday. Can hardly wait to shoot it.
Had some help from a local wood shop with the drilling of the stock/tenon holes. Must be exact!
Also some of the tenons and sights had to be either filed down or peened to fit the dovetails.
Ordered a set of spares and needed one of them right away (The Stock Joining Plate). I had attempted to file the end of the stock and overdid it. Worked out well and actually looks pretty nice.
Dianne at TRADITIONS Customer Service was a BIG help with these problems.
Enjoyed it very much.
Finished a Traditions St Louis Hawkins a few months ago and love it. New to Muzzleloading and rifle kits but really enjoyed the experience. But more challenging was learning the processes of loading and cleaning.
Be cautious in how much and the type of powder you use. Clean your barrel every few shots with cleaning patch and dry ones. Get a cleaning kit to include ball puller, patch remover, and cleaning pin especially made for cleaning out the Nipple. Flush barrel with dish soapy hot water and dry. Apply Bore Butter to protect barrel. Do not clean it out!
Use good patches. Variety of lubricants from spit to hand lotion to premade. Bore Butter works good too. Trim off excess patch material to help in loading and reducing hangfires.
Looking forward to new gun. Customer Service was excellent! Best prices around. Have Fun!
I will say that my experience with firearms is limited, and my experience with muzzleloaders was zero until I bought this kit.
I ordered it by phone, along with the matching Traditions stock finishing kit and bluing liquid, and the salesman was nice and easy to work with (was even able to get me set up with overnight Saturday delivery). It came in a fairly nondescript box (only thing was the packing tape with the site logo on it), the kit itself was packaged in your typical plastic clamshell packaging.
I thought the instructions were good enough (fairly vague at the more complex steps, way too in-depth for the simple ones; also had a few spelling/grammar errors), but I did have to do some trial and error to figure out how it all fit together. The filing needed to make everything fit snugly was minimal (just a tad to make the lock fit, and some to get the barrel to seat nicely), and I did some sanding to smooth it out some (there were some pretty sharp corners on the buttstock), but I never needed any power tools (only needed a drill for a few pilot holes).
The bluing liquid came with instructions, and the finish kit came with stain, varnish, sandpaper, and a cloth along with the instructions. Bluing the barrel, staining the stock, and finishing the stock was all pretty simple, most definitely not rocket surgery. The only additional work I did for the final assembly was to use some epoxy to help keep everything in place, as the forestock and buttstock (it is not one piece) didn't hold together tightly enough for my liking.
With dry time, the gun only took me a weekend to put together. Beyond what came with the kit, all I needed (for tools) was: flathead screwdriver, file, drill, hammer and punch (to install the sights and tenon pins), gloves (the bluing liquid is definitely something you don't want on your skin), and needlenose pliers. Have yet to get a chance to actually shoot it yet.
Just remember that this is a cheap kit (not bad, but cheap), and what you get out of it will definitely be based on whatever you put into it. If you take your time and work carefully, it'll be great; if not, it'll be serviceable, but definitely not pretty.
Fun to shoot! I used 60 grans of Pyrodex select and it didn't kick hard at all.
It is a challenge figuring out what goes where. The instructions are lacking and some parts are not identified. But you tube has some great instructional videos. This was too much fun to put together and finish and it looks great when its done.
This traditions Kentucky Rifle was fun to build. I drilled and tapped the trunions on the barrel so you fasten the stock with screws instead of pins. I used a Red Chestnut 232 by Minwax covered with satin poly. I think it looks great and original. It shoots tight groups at 25 yards. Good price and good value quality product.
Just got can't Wait to shoot it and enjoy with my son
Great, quality kit. Easy to complete and quite accurate. Thanks.