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Thread: B.P. Hawken Kit Build

  1. #61
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    thanks, I'll look that issue up, may even have it. Seems like I pick up a magazine and don't get around to reading it. Never thought I would spend that kind of money on a muzzleloader, what the heck in my world the economy is booming. Only been waiting on a north west trade gun for 40 years, LOL.
    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?


  2. #62
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Max, as a historian and a reenactor I have to warn you about history and your location.

    Florida is tricky. Won't get into the historical details but the place was not settled by Americans until after the War of 1812 and the treaty was not ratified until around 1815.

    By then the half stock rifle, like the one you have, was common. Only thing was it was a flintlock.

    Now, were I you, I would concentrate on getting the kit you have operational. Get it to shoot and before you decide to put the finish on it we should talk about your persona depiction and history. How it is finished out will set the tone for your persona.

    After you get the rifle to the point that it can shoot the next money you might want to consider would be an L&R flintlock to replace the percussion lock in the rifle you have. That would put you rifle back to the 1800 time era, and would cover Florida settlement up to the Civil War.

    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/759/1

    Look down at the bottom of the page, you will see a flint lock for the Investarms Hawkin. It costs $190 but that is cheaper than $1000-$1500 for a custom gun. L&R makes a good lock.

    If you put that lock on your rifle it would look very much like a Springfield 1803 rifle.

    After you have the kit you have done, if you get the flint lock installed, you will have some time to hunt and think about what you want and what was normal for your area.

    You are correct in your evaluation of the people in Florida being "poor folks". It was really a desolate place and took a long time to fill up. Just keep in mind that the second Seminole War did not end, period! We are still at war with Asieola.

    Colt went down there in person to promote his newly invented revolvers to the officers for private purchase.

    Up in the other southern states if a person wants to start reenacting Civil War, and has no money, each state organization has a "Florida Regiment" that the new and ill equipped can enter until they get the correct gear!
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-22-2020 at 06:26 PM.
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  3. #63

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    I did do some research before buying the kit. It is a flintlock not percussion and is relatively period correct for pre-1840. Alafia is pre-1840. The trigger and lock assembly is working now and I have the correct size flints for it. I'm going to do your suggestions for finish on the stock and rust and bacon grease on the barrel.

    I just got delivered a book on Seminoles. And I have spent some time the last few years camping over in the Indian section. Learned a lot. Also got patterns in for Indian garb and the differences between tribal markings.

    As you know, Alafia is pretty lenient if you are trying. Nobody says anything about your flat stitches or that wonderful Tandy colored mocs.
    In fact you'll probably get a little education and a lot of hand me downs to get better situated with your kit..

  4. #64

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    I should add that now that my kit that I take is socially acceptable down there, my desire for more period correct gear is personal. I'm sure many others have started out just wanting to participate and "get by" with the minimum cash outlay and gear. Then got bitten by the bug and begun to fine tune their kit and persona. That's kinda where I'm at now. Some guy had some old traps he was unloading last year at the 'vous. I should've snagged some for authenticity around camp.

  5. #65
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I would not get in a big rush to buy traps Max. The little traps you find most of the time at rondys are not like the big traps needed for beaver, and trapping in general was more of a northern and western activity.

    The southerners were more like "market hunters", shooting deer for their hides, than small critters for their pelts. Southern critters seldom had prime pelts to start with, it was not cold enough down here.

    We did have deer, and the shops and factories needed our deer hides. Part of being an apprentice in Great Britain, or most of Europe, was being supplied with clothing by the master. This was the hand craft era, and there were strict guild laws on how to treat your help. He was required to furnish one pair of pants and two shirts each year. Those pants were usually made from deer-hide for durability. (think about those leatherhosen the Germans still have as a nations folk costume)

    The southern ports of Biloxi, MS,/ Mobile, AL,/ Charleston, SC/ and Savanna,GA all shipped an average of 500,000 deerhides each year. That is not counting the ports of Natchez and New Orleans, or any of the ports in VA.

    We are probably talking in excess of 2 million deer killed each year for almost 100 years. That is what wiped out the deer heard in the south, not the Great Depression as some think. The deer were gone from the south by 1825. In some areas sooner.

    So a southern man was a hunter primarily, smoking and jerking as much of the deer meat as he could for the winter, killing as many hogs as he could find, and raising a patch of vegetables on the side.

    Florida would have a reputation for wild hogs, swamp bear, small swamp deer and wild turkey right up to the 20th Century. Florida men were also famous for shooting wild birds for the clothing and hat industry up north.

    Here is a good reference for Siminole gear. Much of this list was collected and compiled from museum originals by the University of Florida history and archaeology departments. I have used it for pattern help many times and never had a problem with authenticity at any historic site I used the gear at.

    http://www.nativetech.org/seminole/index.php

    Beware of the "documentation" you get from modern Indians. Most are self taught and never walked through the door of a museum and only know what they picked up at the family reunion or souvenir shop.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-24-2020 at 03:30 PM.
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  6. #66

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    Yes. I've used that site. 1st time for top seam mocs and a loincloth.

    Lol. Yeah, I noticed that some of the longest winded in that section knew the least history
    I've really narrowed my sources there down a lot over the years. Researching old drawings, paintings, and writings from that era seems to be pretty accurate.

    Gun is coming along well. The kit is pretty well done. I expected a lot more aggravation putting it together. Beginner's luck? But it ain't over until the fat lady sings.

  7. #67
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Tradition says that when you get the barrel, lock and triggers set into the stock you are required to test fire the half finished gun even if everything is held together with duct tape and radiator clamps!

    It's a rule!

    Be careful using paintings and drawings for documentation. Much of the American historical art work was done 100 years after the events and is as much imagination as a Loony Tune with the same amount of historic accuracy. It was not like the last 100 years when a picture was considered a historic record, right up until photo-shop was invented.

    The thing is that each reenactor is "winging it" as best they can using the sources they have.

    On top of that many of the historic sites interpret things differently and many of the people working there are not up on new developments in the field. They are using the history they learned in high school or college 20-40 years ago, but what they say is gospel at that particular site. The next site might be totally different.

    The worst sites are the ones that do a "frozen moment in time". They will drive you crazy telling people "They didn't have that around here." when as a scholar you know that they did have that item or that food in that exact location. Then when you present them with a National Geographic with the archaeological evidence verified they will look at you dead faced and say"I don't accept your documentation" and they spend the next two days trying to throw you off their site and out of their state.

    Then there are places like Ft Toulouse over in Alabama just north of Mobile Bay. They have a fort that was established by the French as a trade post and settlement colony in 1715, taken over by the Spanish, then the British and finally by the Americans in 1815. You can be anyone you want and carry anything you wish, as long as it makes sparks when you shoot it.

    The confusion and attitude of the museum staff in some places is why so many people refuse to do anything but the unjurried pre-1840 events and just skip the hassle.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 07-25-2020 at 08:39 AM.
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  8. #68

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    Well I wouldn't want to break tradition. Lol. Guess I better order up some accouterments and see if I can find some double F and 4F without buying a case.

    From what I've read about other events I think Alafia will be hard to beat for me. We have a local knap in and there's an Indian presence and a few half-hearted civil war reenactors. Some pioneer days around. But nothing like setting up for 13 days and really living it (sort of).

    Do you guys bed your barrels or just hook and wedge them?

  9. #69
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I have never really "bedded" one of mine but I have taken to reinforcing the back of the breech inlet with either Acraglass or JB Weld. I have gone back and redone most of mine even if I did not build them that way.

    It is difficult to get the inlet perfectly exact up and down and along the back surface of the barrel and tang. All of the recoil force goes directly back to that point and if the inlet is not perfect the force is concentrated on some place it does not need to be and something cracks. I have seen some that had no wood supporting the lock side of the barrel tang at all. Every bit of the recoil force was going into about 1/3 of the wood holding the tang.

    If you "bed" that one portion you can stop some stock splitting before it begins. On that area if a split starts it can be very exciting.

    I don't remember about your particular kit but I have gotten into a couple of scratch builds that had that tang inlet weakening the wrist, then the tang screw went through from top to bottom, then one of the lock screws would pass through the tang extension to hold the lock in place, creating the weakest place on the stock where it was drilled three different directions in less than an inch of space. Plus you had the lock inlet and barrel channel, and the set triggers inletted in that spot.

    Sometimes I don't see how they hold together at all.
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  10. #70

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    Okay. The back of the inlet seats pretty well that I can see. Haven't reinforced it yet. I will. Sounds like good insurance. But I just had to temporarily set the barrel in place. What the hell? This thing must weight 40 lbs! I have racing kayaks and canoes that weigh less! Are all flintlock shooters on steroids?

    Lol.

  11. #71
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Well Max that is the price you pay for "pretty".

    But after you carry one of those things all day your concept of "pretty" can change.

    The brass hardware on that Hawkin tips the scales about equal to the weight of that last AR you built.

    And I think the barrel on that .50 comes in at about 6 oz. per inch, I'm not sure. Dixie Gun Works used to have a chart in their catalog that gave barrel weight in each diameter and caliber so you could figure that out in advance. I have a .45 caliber on a one inch across the flats barrel on a heavy stock Jager rifle, with heavy brass hardware that comes in close to 13 pounds.

    One fact that is permanently embedded in the gun build planning section of my brain cells, the 13/16" .45 barrel will be the lightest barrel in any length. It will have the thinnest barrel walls of any caliber/diameter.

    When I had my first back injury I did not own a BP rifle that the doctor would allow me to pick up and hang on the wall, much less carry hunting. I wound up building a stripped down "TN poor boy rifle" with no butt plate, a thin iron trigger guard, no lock side plate, no patch box and only two thin sheet steel ramrod thimbles. I put it in a very slender maple full-stock and I used one of those 13/16" Green Mountain barrels in .45 and got it in under 8 pounds.

    It was confiscated by my late wife as soon as she laid eyes on it and it is still one of my favorite rifles.
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  12. #72
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    How's it progressing Max?

    Had time to do any work?
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  13. #73

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    I'm in town right now picking up some jb weld for reinforcement of the stock behind the tang and plug. My barrel is lined up about right so I just cover the wood face with a little jb weld?

  14. #74
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I sometimes drill a couple of small holes, 1/8" diameter or so, back into the stock to give the JB Weld a place to anchor. one small hole on the left and right and one at the back of the tang. It helps spread the recoil force from the barrel evenly into the wood. At least I think it does.

    Be sure to coat your metal surfaces with petroleum jelly or some thick goo to prevent the JB from locking the metal to wood.

    BTW, the touch hole that goes through the barrel should fit so that it is even with the top of the priming pan when the frizzen is open. If it is down low in the pan it will cause that delayed fire everyone talks about constantly.

    The powder has to burn its way down to the touch hole if it is low in the pan. If it is even with the pan edge the flash will jump up through the touch hole, just like a carburetor sucking gas up from the float bowl.

    Most of the time you only have to adjust it a fraction up or down. If it is low you can set a wood chip under the tang to lift it as the JB creates its new home.

    If the hole is high you may have to scrape a little wood to get it lower, but as long as the closed frizzen pan covers the touch hole it will probably work, even a smidgen high. That flash will jump a good bit upward.

    Now is the time to insure that relationship, before you install the JB Weld.

    We will wait until we see how it fires before we start talking about drilling out the flash hole liner. The touch hole is usually way too small in those kits. On the metric kits they usually drill the hole 1.5mm and that is sometimes too small, especially if you can not get 4f powder. BP is hard enough to get, much less in exactly the grade you want.

    Back in the day they had one grade, it was whatever you could get! You fired and primed with the same powder. After 60 years of reading history I have never crossed a reference to anyone carrying a priming horn or using special priming charge anywhere on the frontier. That is a modern thing.

    In military firing drill the first step was tearing open the cartridge with your teeth, prime the pan and close the frizzen. Then you poured the remainder of the cartridge down the barrel.
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  15. #75

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    Thanks. I'll set the barrel today and track down some B.P. and a measure. I have a horn at home that came from my fil's wall hanger kit.
    I guess I'll trust the manufacturer's recommendations on ball size at first.

  16. #76

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    Ok. The top of the pan almost perfectly bisects the flash hole so I'm going to leave the height alone. Unless you think I should raise it some.

    Man, I wish there were someplace closer to get some bp things so I can test fire this puppy.

  17. #77
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    Iím going to check that flash hole height on mine. If I remember, my pan covers part of the hole. I never gave it much thought, a assuming that was how it was supposed to be...

    Alan

  18. #78

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    Ok. The top of the pan almost perfectly bisects the flash hole so I'm going to leave the height alone. Unless you think I should raise it some.

    Man, I wish there were someplace closer to get some bp things so I can test fire this puppy.

  19. #79
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The flash hole height sounds fine.

    BP is impossible to get through the mail and freight carriers do not like to deal with it at all. They often require me to go to the "headquarters" and pick up normal reloading components.

    I am fortunate to live near Friendship, where they sell BP at the national matches, to members only. I am talking tons of BP in sealed powder magazines. I looked like a kid in Willy Wonka"s chocolate factory the first time I saw that! They are approved by the ATF to do that.

    I did live far from any source at one time and discovered a few tricks.

    One is to join a reenactment group that does regular battle reenactments. As historic sites have a bit os special leeway those groups often have BP shipped in for a single battle and distribute either pre-rolled paper cartridges or often give a 1# can to each participant for use during the battle.

    If you die real quick, preferably under a shade tree, you never use the entire pound of powder, or all the cartridges, and have leftover for your own use.

    Those groups also often know dealers in the area that sell BP but do not advertise it.

    Another trick that is helpful, after you get a bit of powder, is to use one of the BP substitutes, Triple Seven, Pyrodex or one of the others as your main charge with a priming charge of real black to ignite them.

    Pour down 20 grains of 2f, followed by 60 grains of BP substitute, seat your ball on top.

    You can squeeze 300-400 shots from a can of BP doing that, and use the Walmart bought substitute as the main charge.

    There is an alternative that has not been mentioned. You can buy a percussion lock, screw out the flash liner, and install a drum and nipple and use it as a percussion rifle for general shooting with BP substitutes. Converting it back to flint for reenactments is a 5 minute job.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 08-02-2020 at 12:13 PM.
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  20. #80

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    Thanks again.

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