Posts Tagged hawken

Rifle Build Is Done!

I was wondering if I would ever make it to this point. But I have finally finished the Hawken Rifle or Plains Rifle, whichever. It’s not a true Hawken, but pretty dang close. I’ve put a few rounds through it, and it didn’t blow up! Need a bit more work on sight adjustments and then I’ll give a range report. I never thought it would take me this long. I think it turned out awesomely!

It has some neat little touches that we did to make it unique. The front site is an old Mexican silver coin. We poured a pewter for-end cap. Had to add some metal around the lock as it didn’t line up. The walnut wood grain is beautiful and took the stain and finish well.

I’m really looking forward to taking it hunting this year.

Here’s the beginning

Here’s about midway through it

Below are some pictures.

Full View

Full View

Cheek Rest

Cheek Rest

Right side of butt stock

Right side of butt stock

Pewter foreend cap

Pewter foreend cap

Front sight

Front sight

Left side of stock

Left side of stock

Lock

Lock

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Rifle Build Update 2

gun stockThe 50 caliber plains rifle build continues, not nearly as fast as I had hoped. We’ve been working on the stock recently and it’s really starting to take shape. There is some really nice looking grain in the stock. Good looking for a kit gun in my opinion. My goal is to have it ready for the Chisholm Trail Spring Rendezvous. It will be sweet to compete with a rifle I’ve built.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Keep your powder dry.

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Rifle Build, The Beginning

Since getting into black powder a few years back, I’ve often looked with envy on many of the custom built rifles and muskets of the other shooters and the club. “Some day,” I’d say, “When I have the money.”

The rifle partsI also thought it would be cool to actually build my own, but that seemed even more remote than buying a custom rifle. Well, eventually I was able to acquire a Lyman Plains Rifle that hadn’t really been started and I got it for a REALLY good price.

Yeah, I’m crazy. But it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years. Luckily, I know a master gun builder. He’s built dozens of rifles, muskets and pistols over nearly 50 years. It’s also who I bought the kit from. Keith’s father has built some beautiful long guns over the years, so how could I refuse his offer of assistance on the build?

The beginnings of the build have been him showing me the various parts, the things we should change from the kit as well as the things we have to fix from the kit. We discussed some styles and finishes and came up with a plan. I think it’s going to be a great Hawken styled rifle when we (erm, Wes) get done with with it. I’m not sure exactly how long it will take, my goal is to have it completed and sighted in before September’s muzzleloading deer season. I’m going to chronicle the build here, if anything to keep a record of the progress but also to showcase Wes’ talent.

So to start, I thank Wes for taking me along on this journey and for sharing a bit of his knowledge with me.

Keep your powder dry.

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Mid Week Hunting Round Up

Some random articles from around the web…

Hunters Help Feed Homeless, something the anti-hunting crowd doesn’t ever bring up, how much hunters share their bounty with the needy.

Why you should get your kids interested in hunting, I’ve gotten my youngest daughter interested in hunting and took her out for the first time last season. Will definitely be taking her pheasant and quail hunting next month.

After years of 100’s of unsubstantiated sightings, finally, a confirmed cougar sighting in Kansas. My dad claims to have seen one in South Central Kansas, towards the Oklahoma border. He didn’t get a photo though, but he was with his fishing buddy and he saw it too.

State by state quail hunting forecast from the Quails Forever site. Things look good for Kansas in general. It’s been a long time. Nothing more fun than a good quail hunt.

State by state pheasant forecast from Pheasants Forever site. According to them, Kansas should be excellent. Higher populations overall and specifically in the NW part of the state. SW Kansas should be improved also – which is where I’ll most likely be.

And close to my heart, The Possible Shop has an article on sighting in a Hawken rifle and determining optimum loads.

And I haven’t quite determined how I feel about this article yet,  Couple to hunter: ‘Leave without your dead deer’. I totally respect their right, since it is their land, but it just seems a bit mean to me. Of course, being a hunter, it’s hard for me to understand some, SOME, anti-hunters.

And I leave you with this quote (courtesy of The Hunting Authority):

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!” -Samuel Adams

That’s it for this week. Keep your powder dry!

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Tools of My Trade, part 1

Since I’m due to leave in a couple of days for the beginning deer season, felt like I’d write a short article on the guns I use for deer hunting. I’m not a very experienced deer hunter, this is only my third season out. I did go out with a few friends several years back, but don’t really count it since I was borrowing a rifle and didn’t even take a shot.

enfieldOne of the things I like about the group of guys I hunt with is that they like and enjoy shooting historic firearms. Most of them hunt traditional black powder or cowboy era rifles, but they also collect antique guns. Keith got me hooked on British firearms, so 3 years ago I picked up an old WWII era Enfield (303 British) made by Savage for the lend lease program during the war.

I shot my first deer with it 3 seasons ago during the winter rifle season. It was a doe, but I’m more of a meat hunter anyway. I scared a group of does out of some brush walking back to my vehicle for lunch and one of stopped and gave me a 30 yard side shot. Season over.

It’s a great gun to shoot, a little heavy, but there’s no kick to it and it holds a great pattern at 100 yards. I’d love to find a place to do some 200+ yard shots to see how I do, but haven’t found a place to do that yet.

woodsmanI recently picked up an Ardesa Spain, Hawken Woodsman in 50 caliber for an amazing price (too good to pass up). I’ve been shooting it steady for the past couple of months and am taking it out for muzzleloading season this year. I can hold a 6 inch group at 100 yards with it fairly consistently. I was never real taken with the Hawken style rifle until I picked this on up. It’s shorter than the traditional Hawken style, so it swings well and has a good feel to it.

I plan to make some changes to it after the season when I have some more time, didn’t want to try to get that done before the season. I’m going to put more traditional sites on it, let the brass tarnish a bit and refinish the stock to look original. But I’ll do that after the season is over.

musketMy last rifle is a Civil War era musket reproduction that I picked up last summer. I really wanted to use this rifle, but I’ve had difficulty getting it sited in at 100 yards. I like the looks of the muskets of that era. This one is closer to a Springfield rather than the Enfield. But it’s still fun to shoot. It’s in 58 caliber.

As you can see, I don’t really have any of the modern rifles that most use when hunting. I’m more drawn to historic firearms. There’s just something about shooting a gun that has some history behind it. I have it as a goal to someday have all my hunting rifles be British firearms. I really love the British military rifles and would love to add a Baker flintlock, an Enfield musket and a Martini Henry to my collection. Someday. Hopefully.

So those are my tools. I’m hoping Keith will give a write up on some of his. He’s a lot more knowledgeable about the history of some of these than I am and he has some great firearms and stories about them.

So what are some of you taking out into the field? Tell us about them.

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