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.
The 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.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on the rifle build progress. It’s slower going that I had anticipated, but life has a way of doing that. Basically, at this point, a lot of the metal work is done and we’ve glass bedded the stock. Next up is the fun part, at least it sounds fun to me. This week we’ll start shaping the stock into its final shape. There’s quite a bit of shaping we’re planning on doing and it should look great when we’re done. Below is a photo of the stock after the bedding process. The white material is some plastic clay used for keeping the bedding material out of places we didn’t want it.
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.”
I 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.
The Kansas fall muzzleloading season kicked off this week. We’ve had deer sightings, but so far, nothing on the ground.
Keith is on the prowl for a buck he scouted in early September, but so far has only had a couple of does wander by his stand.
I finally was able to get out Wednesday evening,. There is plenty of sign around so I’m fairly certain I’ll see deer come in to feed on the corn still standing on the field I’m watching.
The wind is near gale force, so its noisy. Around 7:30, a spike buck wanders out of the corn about 10 feet from me. I never heard him coming. For the next several minutes, he just stands there and stares at me. I was able to take a few photos of him, he just would not spook.
I told him to “bugger off” a couple of times, “come back when you’re bigger.” But he wouldn’t. I just couldn’t bring myself to shoot him, he was too small. Not enough meat on him. Besides, I couldn’t show up with his tiny rack next to the brutes Keith has shot.
I set back and watched him feed in front of me, hoping that he would draw others in. he wandered about a 100 yards out. About the time the sun set, I could see a few other deer feeding around him. It was too dark at that point to determine what they were, but I plan on moving my stand bit closer to that end. I’m looking forward to the next day as I drive off in the dark.
So here it is Thursday, and I’m writing blog post rather than hunting. Why, you ask? It’s pouring out, has been since the early morning. Black powder and rain don’t mix very well. But its supposed to end and be clear tomorrow, I’ll be back out then.