finished this build earlier this year, it's now my number 1 traditional muzzleloader.
it's a .54 with swamped barrel and siler lock, the finish is aqua fortis acid stain under tru-oil. .015" pillow ticking lubed with Gato Feo over a .530 ball. swiss 3f in both the pan and tube. easy loading, no fouling control required, tack driver to 40 yards. i highly recommend jim kibler kits.
that's AAA curly maple, a $200 add-on whence purchasing the "kit". the build is not for someone unfamiliar with wood and metal working. there is Much work to be done, and an assortment of tools required. basically, the "kit" is an *almost* prefitted barrel and lock. the "almost" is what gets some folks in trouble. better to start with an offshore "screwdriver" kit such as the lyman (investarms) types - literally, all they require for assembly is a screwdriver that will render a gun ready to load and fire in-the-white. stock finishing can be as easy as slapping on some stain and then some coats of spray can clear. understanding exactly how a muzzleloader works, how it needs to be cared for, what to feed and maintain it, that's almost always where not-so-good things happen too fast.
jim is a fine gentleman and always at the ready to help kit builders. there are a number of trad muzzy kit makers out there, and having sampled a few i think jim's offerings are the best for both quality and value. any of the American made kits won't be cheap and will start around $1k ... if the gun is well finished, it's value will be in the $2k range - if value matters. to me, all firearms are tools, i have no safe queens, all get used ... a Lot ... or they get banished.
here's a .62 smoothbore i spent a Lot of time getting to finally work extremely well. smoothies were the quintessential firearm of the 18th century and far Far FAR outnumbered rifles. why? two main reasons - they could load and fire both shot (or literally rocks and gravel) and unpatched or patched balls (multi purpose for colonists and militia, for sustenance and protection), and could be loaded and fired much faster than rifles. in fact, rifles were banned from 18th century armies, and only a smattering number were used for "sniping" brigades.
Great video. I couldn't hardly keep up with the pace of fire there for a bit. . But seriously, it sure is a different pace than firing anything with a brass cartridge and would definitely require some patience.
I would like to shoot one someday
yep, nothing like fun for fumbling in the bag for cloth or lead ... not!
with a ball board, loading can be Greatly accelerated, where patched balls are loaded on a small board. there's no fumbling in the shooting bag for patches or balls as the board is on a lanyard around the neck and is ready to select a ball to get rammed down the muzzle. a 3 to 5 ball board is good for hunting and i use a 10 or 12 ball board for matches.