Some of us know the rifle as the Kentucky Rifle built in Lancaster Pennsylvania and surrounding towns by German Immigrants like Jacob Dickert for those mountain men aiming to settle Kentucky. The rifled barrel is 44 inches long, made famous by David Crockett and Daniel Boone. It is the first long range rifle with rifling in its bore to accurize and spin a bullet fast enough to stabilize it in flight. The rifle was made for hunting! In the right hands it was an essential part of winning battles in the American Revolution and our first sniper rifle seen here in the Battle of Saratoga at a range of 250 to 300 yards.
It was a proven performer for mountain men hunting game before its service in the American Revolution and a thing of beauty and balance when carved and shot.
I don’t have a forge and foundry nor a lot of exquisite curly maple, but there are, I have discovered, a dedicated group of folks who are craftsmen at forging the authentic locks, stocks, and rifled barrels for this flintlock rifle. The rifle, as I said, is basically a diamond in the rough.
A high end craft kit can run from say $900 and up. I have pulled the ticket on my bucket list to make one of these at the higher end out of the finest curly maple. My kit from Jim Chambers cost is $1200. Crazy Huh! I have to be out of my mind! Right? Maybe so, we shall see. http://www.flintlocks.com/
It has not arrived and will not for a few weeks. Some of my skills are there already. I have made queen pencil post bed out of solid cherry from scratch and did the mortise and tenon by hand with a chisel and I have made several self-bows of Osage and Hickory so I have the basic shaping skills except for wood carving, and brass inlay.
My first job is to inspect and verify the parts are correct as ordered. Second is to realize that the build of this rifle will take around 100 hours or so and to plan lots of time alone in my workshop.
I have a video coming and will purchase another video soon. One of the best books to purchase they tell me is entitled “The Gunsmith of Grenville County” by Peter A. Alexander. I received it yesterday and am very pleased with it.
A well built flintlock of highest quality can be worth thousands of dollars. I just want one made by yours truly. I will report back when I receive and inspect my purchase. If all is in order I will proceed and when finished, I will hunt with it and display it on occasion along with the powder horn and pouch I will also create.
Good Shooting! Good Hunting!