Traditions™ Kentucky Rifle .50 Caliber Muzzleloader Kit
I purchased one of these kits a few years ago and have used it many times. Fairly easy to build. I did the lock fitting with carving tools, I'm not steady enough for a dremmel. I didn't care for the brass joint so used a piece of hardwood instead, turned out great. First shot from the bench was dead center at 25 yards, can't ask for more than that. I have done well at freehand competitions despite nay sayers with more expensive guns. Highly recommended.
June 12, 2014
I bought this rifle from bass pro. It went together pretty easily and turned out great. It does require a bit of sanding and a little drilling and wood working, but nothing major. i used birch casey cold blue to blue the barrel and stain and polyurethane to finish the wood. The wood is fairly good quality and the lock is already assembled and finished. i uses 60 grains of pyrodex powder and lead ball for ammo. i did try some knight sabot hollow points and preformed well. the modern day bullets work better than lead balls, but they cost too much to really shoot regularly, so lead balls it is. they work well. the kit over all is well made and fun to put together. dont buy it if you expect to simply stain the wood and blue the barrel, you actually have to put some work into it, but again, nothing major. dont expect a tack driver either, its just a fun rifle to go out and shoot.
June 19, 2008
I received the Kentucky rifle as a Christmas present from my wife in 2010. Right out of the box I noticed 1 screw missing during the pre assembly inventory. Second the brass butt plate & trigger guard were warped so badly that I wasn’t sure if I could use them. I was able to adapt the stock (lots of unnecessary sanding) to accommodate the warped butt plate. The trigger guard however broke right at the screw hole when I tried to install it following Traditions supplied instructions. Third the supplied hammer assembly had to be completely disassembled & reworked in order to function properly. Forth the stock joining plated (it’s the brass plate that fits between the buttstock & forestock) was to thin & left a sizable gap between the two stocks. The gap was due to the forestock being cut a 16th to short. So I went to the local hardware store & bought a thicker piece of brass using the old one as a pattern to cut out the new one.
Dealing with Traditions customer service to get the missing screw & new trigger guard was not a major issue. Trying to catch them when they’re open is. They replaced the missing screw free of charge the trigger guard cost me $28. When I explained to the rep that the guard should have never passed QC & been shipped with the kit. I was told that since it broke on installation it was my fault. The customer service rep also told me that I should have used a torch to get the guard to fit. Out of the 6 or 7 black powder rifles I’ve built to date I’ve never once had to use a torch to make parts fit until I received this Traditions kit.
In conclusion due to the poor quality of the parts in this kit I would not recommend it to anyone. The price is what makes this kit attractive. In the end you’ll have better success & an overall nicer looking Kentucky rifle if you spend a little more on a higher quality kit. Personally I’m apprehensive of buying any Tradition’s kit after this experience.
April 7, 2011
Darn fine & fun
I had a great time putting this rifle together! If your reasonably handy with woodworking tools and enjoy a little challenge, (that is why you didn't just grab a finished one off the shelf - isn't it?), your sure to enjoy this kit!
I wanted a more traditional look so I browned the barrel, using "TRU-BROWN" and American Walnut stain with Linseed oil for the finish. (be careful using linseed oil)
I'm very satisfied with the results. Have fun but be warned - this can become an obsession!
April 5, 2009