How to Build a Decorative Replica Kentucky Rifle

Written by robert dyer
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How to Build a Decorative Replica Kentucky Rifle
Homemade decorative replica Kentucky rifles are rifles to be proud of. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Building your own decorative replica Kentucky rifle is a skill that will bring you great pride and joy and can be used to make a little extra money with muzzle loading gun enthusiasts. With just a little knowledge, the seemingly daunting task of building the rifle turns out to be comparatively easy. The rifle will be one that will be built from a kit and one that is a functioning decorative replica.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Kentucky rifle kit
  • File
  • Rasp
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Gun browning kit
  • Cotton balls
  • Steel wool
  • Lipstick
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • Screwdriver bit

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  1. 1

    Look at the diagrams that come with the kit. Number the parts from the kit according to their number in the kit's diagrams. Use the lipstick to do this because the wax in lipstick is what writes best on metal.

  2. 2

    Fit the barrel into the gun stock or wooden part of the gun. It may be necessary to use the file, rasp and sandpaper to refine the barrel and stock to make them fit together smoothly.

  3. 3

    Fit the lock or firing device into the stock. This will be either a flintlock lock device or a percussion lock device depending on the kit. The lock, regardless of type, should fit smoothly into place. If not, simply sand around the lock hole on the stock until the lock fits.

  4. 4

    Fit the trigger plate or part with the trigger to the gun's stock.

  5. 5

    Bore holes using the drill and 1/4-inch drill bit for the screws that hold the tang of the barrel or the metal flange coming off of the back of the barrel and lock in on the gun.

  6. 6

    Bore a 3/8-inch hole under the barrel and parallel to the barrel for the ramrod or long metal stick of the gun to fit into.

  7. 7

    Fit the barrel bands around the barrel and fasten down screws and pins that are under the barrel to hold the barrel to the stock.

  8. 8

    Fit the ramrod into place underneath the barrel.

  9. 9

    Install screws through the holes drilled in step 5 on the stock through the barrel tang to hold the barrel to the gun.

  10. 10

    Install the screws through the holes drilled in step 5 on the stock to hold the lock in place on the gun's stock.

  11. 11

    Fit the trigger guard or loop that goes over the trigger on the bottom of the stock over the trigger plate. Then drill 1/4-inch holes through the trigger guard and plate into the stock for the screws to go through that will hold the trigger to the gun's stock. Then screw into place the screws that hold the trigger plate and trigger guard on the stock.

  12. 12

    Fit the muzzle cap or brass part that goes at the end of the gun over the barrel and ramrod.

  13. 13

    Attach the sights to the gun.

  14. 14

    Sand the stock to prepare it for varnishing.

  15. 15

    Carve decorative designs on the gun's stock. After carving, be sure to gently sand the areas you carved designs on to prepare them for varnishing.

  16. 16

    Varnish the stock using the paintbrush to paint the varnish on the gun's stock.

  17. 17

    Use the steel wool to polish all metal parts of the gun to prepare them for browning.

  18. 18

    Apply gun browning to all of the metal parts of the gun using the cotton balls. Pour the gun browning onto the cotton ball and then rub the gun browning onto the metal parts of the gun.

  19. 19

    Wait 24 hours for the varnish and gun browning to dry. The gun is now finished and can be used or hung on the wall as a decorative piece.

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