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Thread: B.P. Hawken Kit Build

  1. #41

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    Thanks guys. I bought files specifically for this and future builds.

    Yes, it has a screw. I'll try that then Track of the Wolf. Alafia is almost 4 months away. I want this done way before then. I plan on taking cash for good locks and barrels for another couple builds.


  2. #42
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Back that set screw out until it holds securely if you bump the hammer with your palm at full cock. That is all it has to do. You will not be running around with the gun at full cock anyway. It only stays there for a few seconds as you aim.

    The half cock notch is the one that needs to be good and secure.

    The locks in those kits have not changed in 50 years and they are pretty good for commercial hardware, even the cheapest ones.

    Does Alafai have an Autumn event? I have only been to the one in January. One of the best in the nation too! I would rather go to Alafai than to any of the NMLRA regional events and I have been to all of them but the Western.

    I bout froze down there January 2012! Ice on the water buckets in Tampa!
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-18-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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  3. #43

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    We're just leaving a 4 more years/2nd amendment rally but I'll get back to the cabin and take anther look at that lock.
    Alafia is once a year in Jan. We get all kinds of weather there.
    Introduced Kelly's nephew last year to the 'vous life. He's hooked. Wears homemade mocs and a leather vest he made last year everywhere now. Lol.

  4. #44

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    It has 2 screws. One in between the trigger and one behind. I played around with both and go it to work on two separate tries. But not repeatable reliably. I must be doing something wrong.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    ... I plan on taking cash for good locks and barrels for another couple builds.
    Uh oh... He's a gonner..,

    Alan

  6. #46
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Yep Alan, he's screwed! No hope at this point, especially if this build works good.

    OK Max I think we are talking about two different gun parts. You are talking about the double set trigger unit and I was thinking you were dealing with the lock.

    I do not have a set of Traditions triggers right in front of me but I do have a set of Davis triggers and they are pretty generic items.

    You have a flat bar (or slightly curved) that has all the parts attached, there should be one screw on the bottom between the two triggers.

    The triggers project above the bar through the slot machined in and there will be two springs, one flat spring and one wire spring, located along the flat mounting bar.

    The flat spring powers the speed of movement of the rear trigger and the wire spring is a normal trigger return spring that operates the front trigger.

    The back spring, the flat one, has a screw that controls the power that flips the set trigger against the sear of the lock.

    When you pull back on the rear trigger you "set" the front trigger. The slightest touch will make it go off. The weight needed to "set" the trigger is controlled by the screw between the triggers on the bottom.

    If you turn that center screw between the triggers all the way in the triggers will not "set", if you turn it all the way out the trigger will "set" but the front pull will be hard. You adjust it by finding the position of engagement that gives you the trigger pull you want by playing with that screw between the triggers.

    That is the screw everybody loses and claims there is no difference between the set and unset pull weights. It is also the screw some folks turn all the way in and claim the gun is equally broken and declare set triggers a waste of time and the ruin of the gun that "used to shoot fine".

    The screw on the flat spring controls the power of the flat spring and you need it stout enough that when the rear trigger bar flips up it will hit the sear hard enough to release the sear from the tumbler. (There is also sometimes a screw in the tumbler of the lock that controls the engagement of the sear blade in the tumbler full cock notch. That is what I was mistakenly talking about earlier.)

    If the gun is set up correctly then the front trigger will make the gun fire with a normal trigger pull if you do not "set" the triggers.

    Pulling the rear trigger until it clicks, will "set" the front trigger and when you barely touch it the rear trigger will flip up and its bar will slap the sear and fire the gun.

    When you are shooting the properly tuned set triggers you can adjust them down to the point that you do not dare set the trigger until you are on target and you don't even brush the front trigger until you have your sight picture perfect.

    Now you are beginning to see why I have been able to buy unfinished kits off of so many people so cheap. You never tell the seller that his rifle can be fixed by tuning the set triggers or going to the hardware store and buying a tiny metric screw that someone chewed the head off of.

    That is another catch to these units, the screws are metric. The thread pitch on the nipple and powder drum are metric too, as is the ramrod and the thimbles that hold it. The ramrod probably looks like it is 3/8" but it is actually 8mm.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-19-2020 at 01:45 AM.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    Been dealing with a tornado, power outage and wet basement. My popcorn sutton book, me and my likker and my wildcat cartridges combo edition got wet I think I can salvage them, damn.

    I remember those adjustment screws duh. My muzzleloaders probably predate 1900 and don't remember a adjustment screw on any of the locks. Have made a few tumblers though. I have a zourve reproduction and a couple cheap kit guns that came from my father's but have not even shot those. You know those cheap kits with the splice on the forend. It will kill a deer though.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

  8. #48
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    One of the reasons the manufacturers put the double set triggers on modern ML guns is that it insures a fairly good trigger installed by the home builder.

    When using a simple swinging lever trigger you can change the trigger pull dramatically by moving the trigger forward or backward in the gun an eighth or sixteenth of an inch, or up or down in the stock. Levers are sensitive little devices and their angle of fulcrum to force is crucial.

    With the double set triggers you can stick them in anywhere and slap the sear hard enough and the gun will fire and have a 2 oz trigger pull. I have noticed over the years that even the cheap set triggers in th kits of all makers seem to work well if tuned right.

    Those old kits with the two piece stocks are prime examples of how to make every mistake possible when designing a ML gun and still have something that will fire.

    They have always been called a Kentucky kit, no matter who stamped their name on them and they have been made with the exact same machinery since time began. I know when I pick one up what the problems it has are going to be and why the person finished it the way they did or left it unfinished, gave up and stuck it on the top shelf in the shop to forget about. They are a prime example of what I was talking about with the flaws being designed into the kit from the beginning and never eliminated for 50 years of production through three or four owners of production.

    The wood on the barrel is too chunky. Historic guns had about half that much wood on the forend. Then the butt stock is about half as wide as is should be, so skinny that it hurts to look at it. The excess wood is usually proud of the brass furniture and hardware and it requires removal of vast amounts of very hard European beech to get the excess wood down to manageable proportions and even with the lock, buttplate and nose cap. The barrel inletting is always needing moved back about 3/8" to line the hammer up with the drum and nipple. That is a job most first time home assemblers do not want to tackle and do not have the tools for, or the training.

    And the barrels. The barrels on those guns are a story unto themselves. They are made from dead soft steel. That makes barrel life a short guess and if you fail to clean one of those rifles one single time the rifling will rust to useless before you pick it up for its next use, partly due to the shallow rifling. The rifling is so shallow you have to hunt for it, requiring some very tight parch/ball combinations to gain accuracy. and they have a wide spot in the bore, all of them! About 8"-12" from the breech the bore has a wide spot so you have this tight patched ball you are forcing down the bore with all your might and about a foot up from the bottom is hits this fat part and practically falls for the last bit of the loading.

    I do not know why it is there, but all of them have it and they always have, ever since I built my first one back in the 1970s. That first one was bought off a guy that had gotten his kit to fire, but just barely. The barrel was held to the stock with a radiator hose clamp and the hammer and nipple just barely crossed paths enough to fire.

    But they can kill a deer, and they were often a first ML gun that got shooters into the sport back before the in-line guns made the old fashioned ones "obsolete" for any but us old guys that just loved the look and feel of the past era. People bought them, got them to fire, killed a deer or two with them and graduated to a "good gun" for their next try.
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  9. #49

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    Well, despite the trouble I'm apparently facing with this build, I should learn enough to make my next one much better. I've joined some bp forums and subscribed to muzzleloader mag. Gotta book coming too.

    My biggest problem with my first AR build was trying to find those damn little springs and detents when they flew across the room. Ok

  10. #50
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Well Max, I belonged to all those BP forums back in the day, I have a bunch of books and have thrown away thousands of BP magazines due to insufficient floor joist support.

    What you need is the Kit version of the instructions, which is different from the "build from scratch" instructions. Build from scratch always starts with dropping the barrel in first. Then the touch hole/drum-nipple is located and the lock is inletted based on the position of barrel and touch hole.

    Your kit already has most of that done and you might have to do part of it over. Your assembly will revolve around the lock and its position. You will move the barrel to the lock. But you have to sink that lock into the wood first.

    You will need a good sharp 1/4" wood chisel. By sharp I mean shaving sharp. You may need a bit of encouragement for the chisel , but not a hammer. A hammer handle would do, or a length of stout broomstick a foot long or any good piece of seasoned wood about that size. You are not cutting motises in timber, you are removing what will be about two teaspoons full of wood.

    A good pocket knife with a very sharp sheep-foot blade would be handy. So would some very small craft wood rasps, the small ones that are about 1/4" wide and 6" long, but they are not necessary, just handy.

    If you are good with a dremil tool one would be handy with the little bitty sanding drums they use.

    For you, the first step should be to inlet the lock plate. The recess should be about 90% done.

    Normally the instructions will now say to strip the parts off the lock plate. 95% of the time an inexperienced builder will break the mainspring trying to strip the lock. Then you are looking for parts and in this point in time finding parts that come from Spain, Italy or China is going to be a long slow process.
    The other danger is losing parts. These builds sometimes take longer than expected, its not a one day job like a snap together model car. People take them apart and get distracted by life and a year latter when hunting season starts getting close they suddenly have fewer screws than they once had and nothing in the "little bitty screw collection" fits because these are metric screws.

    If you feel competent to carefully disassemble the lock go ahead, but if not just leave it alone and work it in there already put together.

    Get inside the recess in the wood with chisels or a Dremil and relieve the internal area where the parts all sink into. You do not get any support from those areas anyway. Get it free enough that the lock with its parts assembled on the plate will fall in until the lock plate touches the wood of the outside of the stock.

    Do not touch anything that the lock plate itself will rest on, yet.

    When the lock plate will touch the wood around the edge of the lock plate inlet you are ready for the important part of the "drop in".

    There will be a ledge of wood around the inlet that the lock plate sits on. The plate needs to slip fit into that recess. The recess is left slightly under-size on purpose due to variations in the lock plates of the many suppliers that have made these locks over the years.

    The recess also may not be deep enough to allow full seating of the lock plate against the barrel. Sometimes life gets tedious.

    The trick now it to not remove too much wood. You do not want a sloppy fit of the plate to wood contact.

    Some people would say rub lipstick or inlet black on the parts and try to insert them, then scrape away the marks until the lock fits.

    There is an easier and cleaner way and that is using a Sharpie Marker.

    The tricky parts will be places where the internal lock parts come close to the edge of the plate. There is usually more wood left inside the stock than needs to be in those areas so if you did not get enough clearance when you were hogging out the recess you need to remove that extra wood delicately near the edges of the recess in the stock.

    The lock needs to sit down inside the wood and at this point there are a couple of critical places to watch for as the fit gets close.

    1. the lock plate will need to sit against the barrel flat. If your barrel is too big to fit the barrel recess the consider that as you remove wood inside the lock.

    2. the hammer of the lock must clear the wood of the stock as it falls. If your lock plate sinks below the level of the outside of the stock before it rests against the barrel flats that might become an issue. It is one of those maybe will/maybe won't things and don't worry about it until you see it is going to be an issue.

    3. Always remember that anything that will be covered by the lock plate is repairable with properly mixed auto body compound or JB Weld! Sorry to break the illusion of perfection but the custom builders consider Bondo, JB and Accraglass essential parts of their tool kit. They mix it with die to match the wood and no one generally ever notices it.

    And remember that the big flat mortise surface around the lock is "sacrifice wood". It is planned that you will lower that whole area if necessary. So if the lock plate sinks below the surface of the lock mortise area to touch the barrel you will be free to flatten and smooth the wood down to the same level as the lock plate surface.

    All of the wood on the outside will be blended and smoothed as a last operation in the process.

    Most first time builders think they are buying a "kit" that they can put together in a couple of hours, sand the wood and go shooting. I believe we have now burst that bubble.

    What you really need as a first time builder is a degree in mechanical engineering and power tools!
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  11. #51

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    Lol. Well they inset pretty much everything already. Now it's removing excess wood above the brass. But the trigger is still a bother. Got a good 1/4" chisel. Off grid so no elec. No dremel. At home yes. I'm going slow and working over a white tablecloth to keep track of parts. I saw some Siler locks at TOTW for around 200 to 250. I take it that's a good one. Now just match the period I'm building to?

  12. #52
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    because of this thread, I decided to pull the trigger on getting a Caywood north west musket kit. Flintlock, plain maple stock, 20 ga, big bow trigger guard, nailed on buttplate. Can't decide on the bridled or unbridled frizzen, don't know enough about it.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

  13. #53
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Randy get the bridled frizzen. It has better support and will last longer. That is why they developed the bridle. It is the superior of the two mechanisms.

    You don't reenact so the time of use is not a real issue and the bridled frizzen was around before the F&I war, but usually not on trade guns. In fact the NW trade gun as we know it was not around until about our REV War. They were also one of the famous "pattern platforms" that changed over the years but stayed the same. NW trade guns sometimes never had either bridled frizzens or tumblers. They used the most crude of locks right through their production. I have seen some with bridles but it was not common.

    I have seen that Caywood gun and I have seen originals and the Caywood is a better gun than ever saw the shelves of a Hudson Bay trade post.

    Max, if you are OK with sinking that lock in and the barrel then the triggers should not be an issue. Scrape all that fuzzy wood out and set them in there.

    I am taking it for granted that the barrel tang inletting of the wood has a hole drilled for the tang screw to go down through the stock. Well the bottom of that tang screw will mate up to the big threaded hole in the long plate the set triggers are mounted to. That trigger plate holds the back of the barrel in most of the time. Don't drop the triggers in until you have the barrel inletted. That way if you have to jiggle things around a little you can scrape a bit more wood out of the trigger slot and make the thing work.

    And remember that almost the entire trigger set is going to be covered by the trigger guard. No one will ever see any of it except the little bit that is visible where the triggers show inside the TG loop. You can extend the inletting forward or back a good 1/4" and no one could tell.

    You can hog it out with a chain saw and patch it back together with sawdust and Elmer's glue and no one will know as long as it works.

    OK this is where the obsessive compulsive and anal retentive people that accept nothing less than perfect just threw up a little.

    Hey, I'll bet you have an "off grid" cordless drill! Buy a Dremil sanding drum at the Home Depot the next time you go to civilization and chuck it into the cordless drill.

    You should really look into a power inverter for the vehicle. Comes in handy for all sorts of things. Low wattage ones are cheap too.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-21-2020 at 11:26 PM.
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  14. #54
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    Ryobi makes a cordless rotary tool that runs off of their cordless tool batteries.

    This is the one I have.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-18...B&gclsrc=aw.ds


    Alan

  15. #55

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    Ok. True confessions. I did buy a cordless drill to install the roofing screws on the tin roof when we built the place. And we did buy a cheap Harbor Freight gennie to charge it (alright, aaand the cell phones too). I can even get it to run sometimes. I just double my meds and wait for an hour before starting to pull on that cord. I have an inverter that works well in my F250. In the Subaru...not so much. After a few days of hand sanding I am thinking about a palm sander for the cabin projects.

    Some nice soul in South Dakota on another forum sent me a Muzzleloader magazine. And after a quick look at it, I came to realize you guys were right about my "kit". Man it's bottom shelf stuff. If it were booze I'd use it for fire starter. Lol. Not really. It's a learning tool. Maybe it'll even shoot. My 'vous persona wouldn't carry one of those fancy guns anyway.

  16. #56

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    Randyt, I'm thinking about a smooth bore for my next project. Like a 28g. Great fun researching and shopping. Tony
    Last edited by madmax; 07-22-2020 at 03:40 AM.

  17. #57
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    sounds good, I'll get the bridled. One thing about the Caywood, theyre not low cost. This kit will set me back 1300 to 1500 dollars, I think it's worth it. The downside is it's going to take about 6 weeks or so to get. I figure I've been waiting since my early teens, whats another six weeks. Caywood also has the wilson trade gun but the nw gun is the one I have always wanted. I think the nw gun is like the one I've read about in Martin Hunters Canadian wilds book.

    here's a link

    http://www.caywoodguns.com/2-northwest-trade-gun.html
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

  18. #58
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I had a friend that bought a Caywood English Game gun and another that bought the Wilson trade gun. Both were outstanding products, but that was 20 years ago. Still the reputation is holding so I am sure you will be pleased.

    The NW gun was a contract item built to pattern for the HBC. It was THE survival gun of the 19th century, just like the AK of today. They were supplied all over the world, but were most famous here in North America.

    They were mass produced and had mostly interchangeable parts, so they could be cannibalized to keep part of the guns in a family or tribal camp going constantly. They were also uniform caliber so the natives could buy precast balls or fire chopped shot. The touch holes were drilled large enough that they could be primed with course musket powder, so if anyone had powder/lead it would work in any gun in the village.

    When you read in the History books about the British supplying guns to the Indians to attack the settlers during the REV War and the War of 1812, it is the NW trade gun that they were handing out.

    They were supplied to the Shawnee in great numbers during the 1812 thing and Tecumseh carried one of the fancy models. So they made their way well into Kentucky and Tennessee and they were all over the territory from the Ohio River to the North Pole and west to the Pacific Ocean. When you read about the settlers picking up worn out "Indian Fussies" they are talking about NW guns normally.

    Just like the eastern settlers carrying surplus muskets as back up hardware, the trappers and mountain men carried the NW gun as a second survival type gun to use if their main rifle went wonky on them. If they went to the wilderness without a gun they were issued and charged for a NW gun.

    They were delivered in several states of finish, so price varied only due to finish condition. All of the guns were supposed to be the same otherwise. They can with raw wood and unfinished metal, Painted wood and unfinished metal, and oil finished wood with blued barrels.

    They were considered disposable guns, to be used up as necessary during a year in the wilderness, then you traded pelts for a new one next year at 'Vous.

    After the suppliers were changed from English craftsmen to the Belgian works the quality went down severely. The Belgian barrels were not proofed to the same standard as the English proof houses demanded. That was not until the mid 1800s. You begin to see strange barrels in strange calibers and mixed and matched locks and lock parts that do not interchange.

    It is a little known fact that the HBC was owned by the British Royal Family. That is the equivalent to saying that they owned Walmart for 200 years.

    They also owned the East and West India companies, both traded as private venture stock. They also owned both North and South Carolina, back in the day, SC was the most wealthy colony in North America. They had a separate trade company to supply the southern Indians. That was early (late 1600s and early 1700s) and where the idea of a uniform trade gun came into existence.

    Even the British seem to think they supply the royals with tax money to live on and if they pull that income the royals will languish in poverty. The truth is that they are independently the most wealthy family in the world, unrivaled by anyone anywhere.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-22-2020 at 10:18 AM.
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  19. #59

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    Ah ha! Me thinks I've found the trigger problem. The trigger plate doesn't set solid in the inlet until the trigger guard is installed...I think. If I hold the plate in the hammer holds in half and full cock. Jeez I understand now the set screw adjustment. I think mine's at about 50 lbs.

    Stay tuned.

  20. #60

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    Randyt, I couldn't sleep much last night and was reading the current issue of American Frontiersman. Low and behold they had an article about new trade guns. AND the author portrayed a real French Indian trader. He featured and had some pics of his gun. A Caywood. Looked them up. Nice. He said of them, "Not a fancy gun but a common, everyday survival gun made for hard use (echoing kyratshooter). Just what I'm looking for.

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