Kit Guns

I "assembled" several kit guns when I was younger. Both Navy and Army style revolvers, a couple Kentucky pistols, a Remington pocket pistol, and a few
long guns including a Pennsylvania rifle, and a short carbine style rifle. I still have several of them, and my son started showing an interest. Not in the guns, but in the fact that I built them from kits when I was younger than he is now. He has always had the option to go shoot with me just for the asking so guns do not hold any special fascination for him in themselves. Most were CVA, but some were from parts bought separately from Dixie Gunworks.
Anyway, CVA used to make a decent kit gun. A little sanding, some work with a razor knife on the inletting, and some metal finishing. Maybe filing off a spur or two left from some process. From what I read CVA quit making their kits in Spain and quality went down. Further I am having a hard time finding any decent priced starter kits except a few of unknown age on Ebay. Dixie Gunworks has some nice kits available, but they are kinda pricey for a first starter kit. Many are as much as the completed firearm.
Maybe I'm not looking in the right places?
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Bob La Londe wrote:

Try AR15s, plenty of kits available in various configs that are complete other than a stripped lower. You can buy a stripped lower complete from an FFL or you can machine it yourself starting from anything from a raw 0% forging, to a 30% forging with the magwell broached, up to an 80% forging with only a bit left to machine. Take a look at tactical machining for forgings and jigs, and Palmeto State Armory for rifle kits. I like the 30% forgings personally, a proper broached magwell and pretty much everything else left for me to machine. It takes me about a day to complete machining one, another half day to anodize.
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The kid has no machine skills. I could build a Navy Colt from a box of parts to a box quality gun with hand tools in a few days after school. Ok, maybe a week or so, and I had a few burrs that needed a touch with a grinder because it would have taken days with a file, but I got them done. Of course then I needed to save money to buy powder and caps. LOL. Anyway the kid has picked up the Kentucky pistol I have on my desk and asked about it more than once. I was thinking that would be a great starter kit for him. If he ruins it then its no big deal, and if he does a nice job it will be something he keeps like I have kept mine. I would gladly just give him mine, but I would rather see him build one for himself.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

So buy a complete stripped lower from an FFL and let the kid assemble it with one of the rifle kits. No machining required, just assembly. Then start teaching some machining skills by having the kid watch as you machine a 30% lower. I taught shop class for a friend who had never done any machining before and he was able to fully machine a 30% lower in a day and a half. It's 7075 AL after all, it machines beautifully, so it's a good beginner project.
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Well, let me try this a different way. I don't really have any interest in the AR type rifles. I have an original production General Motors Hydromatic M16A1 (fully documented) commemorative given directly to a member of the design team (my father in law), and I have never even chambered a round in it. My son has had the opportunity to see and handle that same firearm, and he has not expressed any particular interest in shooting it or any of the derivative firearms made since either.
He has expressed an interest in the home built muzzleloaders I made when I was a kid.
If I did have an interest in shooting 223 (or the marginally larger chamber of the 5.56) a quality floated barrel bolt action would be of more interest to me for varmint shooting. I can buy a decent bolt gun for the price of a quality AR kit that still needs more work and a lower. I know plenty of guys varmint shoot with an AR, but it just doesn't interest me. I also don't varmint shoot just for sport. If the price of fur is low, or one of my farmer buddies doesn't call me to eliminate a problem animal I won't go. I refuse to just waste the animal. When I call I can usually bring them in close enough for my . 22 mag or even a 12 gage loaded with copperplated lead BBs.
I did find some Traditions .50 cal pistol kits in looking around. I still think its expenive for what it is, but I might give the kid one for Christmas. Lyman also makes some kits, but they are really expensive in my opinion for what they are. Looks like CVA is totally out of the kit business. Traditions might be out of the kit business as well. A lot of dealers showed items as out of stock or discontinued, but a couple did have inventories of kits still.
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This has become my hobby. Most anything that has been used by a military or police organization has had the receiver cut up and the balance of the weapon sold as a parts kit. I'm a bit like you, I really don't shoot that much. verify that the weapons runs correctly and the build the next one. I think its a great winter hobby.
I'd suggest 1911 pistols as a great starter project. You can just assemble into a functional pistol. or you can get serious and turn it into a match grade work of art. Everything in between. There are a HUGE number of tutorials out there just on this weapon. If this interests you, find a company on the web named Sarco. Search the 1911 offers. You can get more parts from Numrich Gun Parts corp.
I follow this hobby a lot. If another gun interests you, let me know. I've read up on everything from reworking a starter pistol to building a Browning 50 cal Machine Gun.
Karl
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On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:22:28 PM UTC-6, Pete C. wrote:

Palmetto State appears to be out of stock for all AR kits. That busy, or dropping them?
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 14:52:57 -0800 (PST), Cross-Slide

Probably that busy. We are in the middle of another gun buying frenzy. Im going to a gunshow tommorow for the first time in 5-6 yrs to stock up on plastic ammo boxes and see what the trends are, and will be looking for some odds and ends of this and that, mostly gun parts, scope mounts and whatnot.
Anybody need any factory 257 Roberts? Found 1 box of loaded factory ammo. Got lots of brass. A fair amount of it 1x fired in calibers I no longer have guns for. .338, 300 Win Mag, lots of 40 S&W, 38 Super, (2) 5 gallon buckets of 9mm brass (no need for that much) and so on and so forth.
Ive been rough smelting wheelweights for the past couple weeks and will be starting casting to stock up on the stuff Im short on, mostly 38/357, 45 ACP, 41 Mag, 44 mag, 30-06 (and all the 30 cals), 303 Brit/7.7 Jap, 40-65, 4570 and so on and so forth.
Ive got a mint..mint .243 Sako/Browning with a decent Leopold scope on it, less than 150 rnds through it..I might try to sell and pick up a California Legal AR, if anyone is interested in a very high high quality bolt action.
Oh..also looking for a 41 Mag mould, single or double cavity, at least 195gr SWC if anyone has one collecting dust. Cash/swap/trade
Gunner
Gunner
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wrote:

Unfortunatly..you are correct. Ive built around 15 or so black powder arms from kits for myself, and family members..and the few that remain available..notibly Lyman, cost today what they used to cost fully assembled and ready to shoot.
http://www.buffaloarms.com/Black_Powder_Muzzleloading_Kits_pr-4783.aspx
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/dixiegunworks-clearance-flyer.pdf
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/browse/black-powder.aspx?c=3
http://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/628/1
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/search/?N=&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=blackpowder+kit
http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/51204-cheap-black-powder-pistol-kits
Ive built 2 from scratch..and it took me about a year to do each one. A rifle and a shotgun. Shrug And damned near $1000. Im not a big fan of woodwork..shrug again.
On the other hand..Ive purchased high end blackpowder arms at gun shows and from friends for well well under $200 with all the goodies.
In most cases commercially available rifles from Lyman etc etc as well as 2 custom rifles. Gun shows are a good place to check as well as word of mouth. Black powder arms are not as popular as they used to be, once the market was saturated....there really wasnt any market except for high dollar custom guns.
The issues with black powder arms tends to be bothersome for a lot of people and they simply dont shoot them very much and sooner or later they get tired of them taking up space in the cabinet and will part with them rather cheaply.
Gunner
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On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 6:20:14 PM UTC-6, Bob La Londe wrote:

I was the same way, built 5 of the CVA kits back in the 1980s. Enjoyed it a lot, still have most of them. Regret selling the first one I built, it was a shooter. But like Gunner, I've found some incredible deals on nice guns at gun shows. But that's not what you are lookign for. I have seen the CVA Hawken kits at Cabelas within the last year. Seems like they were around $250.
Ooops Sold out http://www.cabelas.com/traditional-rifles-shotguns-cabelas-traditional-hawken-unfinished-percussion-rifle-kit.shtml
CVA is trying to distance themselves from tradional arms and concentrating on inline modern BP rifles.
Were i you, I think I'd post some "Want to buy" ads on some of the muzzleloader forums, and some of the gun forums that have active muzzleloader sub-forums. For that matter, post in the forums themselves asking the same thing you did here. I bet there are more than a few people who bought a kit years ago and never got around to building it.
Oh, and if you find more than you need, send me the overflow - I'd like to get one for my son also.
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http://www.cabelas.com/traditional-rifles-shotguns-cabelas-traditional-hawken-unfinished-percussion-rifle-kit.shtml

LOL. I might have a line on some .50 cal Kentuckey pistol kits. Seems odd to me since most of those style kits where .45 cal when I was building them. I'll let you know if it pans out.
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On 11/21/2012 3:03 PM, Rex wrote:

built, it was a shooter. But like Gunner, I've found some incredible deals on nice guns at gun shows. But that's not what you are lookign for.

muzzleloader forums, and some of the gun forums that have active muzzleloader sub-forums.

here. I bet there are more than a few people who bought a kit years ago and never got around to building it.

I do not know your location so this might not help you. I live in the Lehigh Valley of Pa. There is a place nearby called Dixon's Muzzle Loading Shop. They sell everything associated with black powder shooting.They also sell parts, including locks for flint and caps,and rough cut stocks, and barrels.
I do not know if they sell mail order but the do have a web site. They have a BIG show and tell every year ( I think at the end of June). It lasts for a weekend. Try looking for it on the web.
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