My New 45 cal. KY From a Kit Rifle.

Discussion in 'Other Guns' started by hombre243, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Part 1:

    I finished the KY Longrifle tonight. I did not get many "in process" photos because it just got too cluttered and trying to set up for a pic would require me to shove everything out of the way and set up the 7 rest, and then put everything back up where i could use it. But I did get some preliminary shots to sho the areas that would need the most work.

    The butt area needed to be filed to meet the brass butt plate as well as the toe plate. The nose cap area on the stock needed a bit of filing so the nose cap would fit snug against the barrel. The brass stock joining plate just needed a bit of filing, and the adjoining stock pieces needed trimmed down about 1/16" to match the brass plate.

    The lock and trigger were snug so I did have to do some filing there, and I used the dremel to clean out the wood splinters.

    The hardest part, which I boogered up, was the barrel tenons/lugs, that needed to be fitted to the dovetails on the under barrel. Then measurements were taken and the stock marked so holes for the stock pins could be accurately drilled through the stock, through the lugs and out the other side. I got the first one perfect, but the second was a flop. I had to drill a 1/4" hole in the stock and plug the hole with a wood dowel. I epoxied it and all went pretty well after the glue set. I did miss the mark a tiny bit, but found out the reason I was missing the lug when I was pinning the barrel into the stock was because the fore stock was warped a bit and the front pin needed to be pounded in first. The first time I tried to pin the stock after the holes were finally drilled, I missed the bottom of the lug and split the stock. I spread out the crack and slopped some epoxy down the split. More waiting but it held nicely and now I know the combination to pin the stock without damage: Front pin first.

    I had to do some filing on the trigger assembly too. I noticed the hammer would not stay cocked or half cocked when the tang screw was tightened all the way. The trigger assembly is attached to the tang on the barrel and when they are snugged up, there was no room for the trip lever. The trigger wing that trips the lever was snug against the lever and it was just enough to trip the hammer. I remembered this little chore from my previous build back in the early 80s. CVA gave better instructions...so good I remembered them and built this rifle using what I remembered from the CVA kit.

    Anyway, I had to disassemble 1 screw on the trigger assembly and file down the top of the wing. 10 minute job and worked like a charm. I got it back together and then went to work applying brass black on all the shiny brass. I will have to go back and do some touchups where the black was a bit thin but that is no biggie.

    I was going to brown the barrel but after getting a look at the dark brass I decided blue would look better and it would just be a whole lot easier. I have a hear gun but no torch and the plum brown needs 275 degrees to work. I passed on that. I said PASSED...

    The blue looks better in person than in the pictures. I looked at the barrel/bluing pics and can't figure where the yellow splotches come from but I can't see them on the barrel so I will let the blue set in and maybe degrease it and reblue later.

    I am not a patient person and wood finishing to me is a hard obnoxious chore, so the finish is rough looking. But the wood is sealed and there are 2 coats of Tru Oil finish on the whole stock.

    This ol gal will be ready for the range Saturday. I would go tomorrow but I have to go to Iowa City to the VA for some Endocrinology excitement. Labs and maybe be told I need to go on insulin.

    All in all, I am satisfied with how this rifle turned out. I am by no means a craftsman and this is as complicated as I can get when it comes to crafts work. Here are the pictures. There are several so I will have to post them in separate sections.
     

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  2. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Part 2: My New 45 cal. KY From a Kit Rifle:
     

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  3. MattNH

    MattNH Well-Known Member

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    We were on vacation this week in western NY and visited the Genessee Country Museaum. It felt like we had the place to ourselves and spend quite a bit of time chatting with the Blacksmith, Tinsmith, Cooper and Gunsmith. They build several guns there and now my oldest son wants to build a kit muzzleloader. I'll have to show him this thread.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Matt,
    The KY kit from Traditions is now only available in 50 cal. The only Traditions kit other than a 50 is the Crockett in 32 cal. The Kentucky rifles are a level 5...intermediate, meaning there is some places where wood needs to be removed, as shown in my photos. But the barrel inletting is done. Mine was a near perfect fit. Other than some scraping off of rough spots the barrel fit well. The tang area is where ya gotta pay attention but mine was just perfect, except for the burrs of wood left by the router. The lock area is the same...burrs but 99% done. I had to use a file and a dremel to remove about 1/32" of wood, total, all around the lock plate inlet but that went fine. The nosecap area on the forend of the stock does need some filing. about 1/4" so the screws will thread into the barrel. The wood is thick in the lower screw hole and it needs to be leveled so the nose cap screw can go through the wood and get a few threads into the barrel so it won't strip when you screw it in. The top screw hole in the nose cap is brass on steel, no wood. It has a molded in level so it will mount perfectly yo the end of the barrel. Judge how much wood you need to remove by comparing the raised inside portion of the nose cap to the area where the wood needs to be removed. When the cap sits level, it should be good.

    From what I can tell, the Crockett is pretty much a kit that you finish and assemble. No or very little wood forming needs to be done.

    If you are interested in a 45, Possible Shop may still have some. They are the only place to get a true round ball barrel...1"/66" twist. All others except custom barrels are 1"/48" twist. I paid $314+$21 shipping for my rifle and it got here super fast.

    Any way I can help, just ask.

    PS: be careful if you have to bend the trigger guard to fit its slots. Mine broke in the middle screw hole. I JB Welded it and it works fine but that is not a weak point. If you gently coax the trigger guard into its slots and notice it is bowed away from the stock you can push it inward and flex it to fit better. I think heat may help if any serious bending is needed.

    The brass is good enough for my use. I brass black all the brass for hunting. If you need some more shine, see what Brasso does first. If wheel polishing is needed I can't help ya there. But IMHO the metal parts were all ready to finish. The barrel took the blue without any problems but I need to give it another dose of the stuff. I was anxious to shoot it so I just gave it one coat.

    Trigger and Tang: The Tang bolt screws into the trigger assembly and holds it in place. You will probably have trouble here but no worries. You may notice that when the Tang screw is tight into the trigger guard the hammer will not stay at full cock, and maybe even half cock. The instructions say look for excess wood but that is not the problem usually. In the first CVA KY I built, which is identical to the current traditions KY, made by the same Spanish company and in the same pattern, the instructions said the trip flange that swings up when you pull the trigger, and contacts the trip lever may need some filing. Just file it down about 1/32" and you should be able to get the hammer to stay at full cock.

    To test it, loosen the tang screw and full cock the hammer. Then place the nipple in the bolster and lower the hammer onto the nipple. Next tighten the tang fairly tight so the barrel is solid in the channel. If you have to remove some wood, do it now so the barrel sets down all the way into the channel. Notice whether the hammer stays cocked. If not, remove the trigger assemble and loosen the screw that holds the saddle and pin, and remove the trigger and flange. Put it in a vise and file some brass off. I counted 15 strokes and reassembled. I needed more so I took another 15 strokes. Your mileage may vary do only remove enough brass from the edge that trips the hammer and then give it a few more. Done. When you test it now, when the hammer is at full cock and the tang screw is tight and the hammer stays put, give the hammer a push to see if it can be pushed off the notch. If yes, file some more. If no, you're good to go. Later after you or your son shoots the rifle a bit you may want to play with the trigger sear adjustment screw. But just make sure you don't adjust it to the point where it is unsafe. These sear notches are pretty shallow and the trigger is nice and crisp.

    Let me know what you decide. I'm glad to help. You might print this out and use as crib notes. Enjoy.
    h
     
  5. MattNH

    MattNH Well-Known Member

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    Hombre - thanks, I'll keep you updated. He's interested but is a little reluctant to spend his own money. I may offer to give him half of the kit cost. I want him to "have skin in the game" and spend some of his money to get started, I know he'll keep it forever if he buys it and builds it. He can then tell the story later of how he built this one when he was 17.

    Matt
     
  6. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Matt, has he decided on the caliber? As mentioned The Possibleshop.com is the only place I could find that has 45 caliber longrifles in stock. A 50 cal with a skinny brass buttplate may hurt a bit. A wider butt is going to be better for a 50 I would not want him to be disappointed by heavier than expected recoil. But, these guns do not shoot the magnum charges that modern inlines do. So recoil may not be a problem. Depends on the style he wants. There are a lot of kits available but if it is a round ball rifle he wants, one that probably will not shoot conicals well, the 1/66 twist is the way to go and Traditions KY in 50 is a 1/66.

    Good luck, have fun and be safe. And remember to keep your powder dry. (And especially so if he decides he wants a flintlock.):confused:
     
  7. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,
    I am back with an update. Not especially exciting but I figured since I started yacking about this kit gun I may as well add to it until the project is complete. So, here is an update:

    When I got the rifle assembled the first thing I did was put the hardwood ramrod aside and order a 5/16" Delrin rod. Bad idea. 5/16" is a bit thin for a field ramrod because it is as flexible as a piece of wet spinach; too flimsy to use as a rod for loading; Ok for use as a cleaning rod when nothing else is available.

    I tried the standard sized 3/8" rods I have on the other rifles and that size wouldn't fit through the thimbles. I had a couple extra ramrod blanks from other projects so I decided to reinvent the wheel. I found www.MuzzleloaderBuildersSupply.com and ordered some new 3/8" thimbles and went to work on a new ramrod. I already had the threaded ends for the rod. I needed a way to speed things up and found a mini bench grinder at Harbor Freight.

    www.MuzzleloaderBuildersSupply.com

    This little jewel saved me an hour of filing on each end and the rod was assembled. glued and pinned in about 15 minutes. Not that my time was so valuable, but I am basically lazy and anything that saves me time is much welcome. (Besides it is very cute and small enough to put under my pillow.)

    The thimbles are sheet brass bent into a pipe but they are not soldered at the seam, so I had to offset the seam and drill and tap for a 6-32 screw off to the side of the seam. It took me until the 3rd thimble to figure this out but I ordered 2 sets of 3 so I can have do-overs if needed later. (No pictures. It doesn't look any different, but we all know it is now better. : )

    I found that the OD was the same as the original pipes so no fitting needed there. I have an electricians wire stripper with screw cutters so I cut the mounting screws down as far as possible and they were still a bit too long. My Dremel and some grinding bits made short work of the screw stubs and the little drill and tap worked perfectly.

    I used the polishing wheel and some 4/0 steel wool to knock out some of the scratches and when all the machine work was done I degreased and swabbed with alcohol, then rinsed and dried the thimbles.

    Next was the Brass Black treatment, mounting the thimbles to the stock with a little red LocTite to hold the screws in place and, just to make sure before the LocTite hardened, I ran the rod through the pipes and into the stock. Tight fit to be sure but it does not rattle and is the perfect size.

    (Just to be sure the rod tips stay on, before blackening the brass, I drilled a hole through one side of the pipes, down into the rod and glued some brass tacks in the hole. A little grinding and buffing and VIOLA`...she's done. (That's her name, Viola` I was going to call her Betsy but I was afraid someone else may have that name already. You know how them Mountain boys are about their best gals.)

    I can't think of any other modifications I need to do. But I did get the Mag Spark installed and hopefully I can get off the duff and test it. If you don't know what a MagSpark is, it is a special 2 part nipple that will allow a sidelock to fire a 209 shotgun primer. It is pricey, but it allows for the use of Blackhorn209 powder.

    To use the Mag Spark, unscrew the top cap that looks like a tire valve stem cap. Top holds a floating firing pin. Insert the 209, screw the cap down hand tight, then lower the hammer to half cock, do not rest the hammer on the pin that sticks up out of the cap. That is the boom stick. When ready to fire hand the gun to someone else and run. ;)

    Reports are that the MagSpark is the miracle invention that eliminates misfires, hangfires, backfires and all problems related to wet or damp, or otherwise poor powder, and it is watertight so hunting in the rain may dampen your day but the rain won't dampen your powder. Just cover the muzzle with a party balloon...one of the small ones. You'd look funny with a Happy Birthday balloon hanging off the end of your barrel.

    I will let you know how I like the MagSpark. Made by http://www.warrencustomoutdoor.com/mag-spark.html

    and available on Gun Broker. Just type MagSpark in the search slot.

    Picture is below...or wherever the editor puts it...


     

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  8. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    Excellent job Hombre !!
     
  9. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I am soooooo glad I went with a kit rather than tryin to become a real live gunbuilder. This kit was fun and I also enjoyed the same project back in the 80s. But if I had to go from a blank stock and rough metal parts I would run and hide. (Although Pedersoli has a really cool Longrifle kit that looks like it is more authentic. I may try that in the future.)
     

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  10. MattNH

    MattNH Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update. My boy hasn't made up his mind on a kit, he has been busy working and school starts in 2-3 weeks. Maybe a Christmas gift for him..
     
  11. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    I hope he has fun with the build. If I had the proper tools, more room and a good workbench for this sort of thing I would probably get another kit. But, my loading bench doubles as a casting bench and in order to be a woodworking bench everything has to be shoved aside. It is just not conducive to high quality work.

    If you have a good work space and the time to spend with him while he dips into new territory, you will both benefit from it. Good luck.
     
  12. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

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    Very nice rifle hombre