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Author Topic: Full Stock Hawken Kit  (Read 6506 times)
digger
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« on: May 22, 2010, 05:38:31 PM »

I am interested in building a flinter in .58 that would have been in the west in the 1820's or 30's. I really like the full stock hawken looks. TOW has a rwally nice looking kit, but I am hearing mixed reviews from friends. Can I get some suggestions from all of you to help me with a kit? It will be my first build, so most of the inletting, dovetails, etc. should be done but I have a few really good gunbuilders nearby for help. I have a really nice Leman in .50 already, just looking for something earlier and in a bigger caliber. Maybe 38"-40" barrel as well.
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skillman
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 07:04:37 PM »

  In my opinion you can build a fine gun from their parts. I would use a stock thay didn't have the lock inletted. This way you can get the lock in the right place for the vent.

Skillman
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Steve Skillman
starrbow
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 08:36:03 PM »

I built a fullstock Hawken flinter in the early 1990's 58cal, 1"barrel 36" long. it balences nicely, and it isn't too muzzle heavy it weights right at 9.5Lbs, even though it carries and handles like a lighter weight rifle. A longer barrel may throw the balance off and be more muzzle heavy. I also have a Lancaster 58cal, 1" barrel that is 42" long and is darn muzzle heavy, I've had a notion to cut it down some.

Track of the wolfs fullstock Hawken stock is very nice, one of my pet peevs with hawken builds is the buttstock height, it needs to be at least 5" IMHO too many builders use to short of buttstock height or cut down the buttstock height to short and then it starts to look to much like a Leman.

Don Stith http://www.donstith.com/j_s_full_stock.html
also makes a great Hawken kits.
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Bill of the 45th
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 08:49:00 PM »

You should do a little more research, as to the time period, for 1820 to 1830, a Leman or Derringer would be more appropriate gun or even a trade gun.  You need to visit "The Museum of the Fur Trade" on line.  Most Hawken's are more 1830, and later, and are more tied to the Westward movement, and the supplying of the railroads with buffalo meat for the workers, not the fur trade.  As has been said Don Stith is the authority, and most correct supplier of these guns.

Bill
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B. Hey
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 11:28:16 PM »

Hey Digger ... What starrbow said ... Don Stith .. hands down great materials. Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck with your build .. Bill
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 11:36:34 PM »

Another option is the JJ Henry trade rifles.  They are robust and reliable, and I believe authentic for the fur trade era.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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Chuck Burrows
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 12:41:40 AM »

Quote
You should do a little more research, as to the time period, for 1820 to 1830, a Leman or Derringer would be more appropriate gun or even a trade gun.
Actually Leman's first year in business was 1834 and his first western sales to suppliers was in 1841.

For the early part of the 1820-30 period either the later Lancaster style trade rifles as made by Dickert, Gumph, etc. (see Hanson's "The Hawken Rifle, it's place in history" for others suppliers) or the English style trade rifles were the most widely purchased by the western fur companies. Henry started selling to the western trade in 1826 and by 1830 he was the largest supplier of both Lancaster and English styles.
As noted Deringer was another supplier during the 1820-30 period especially to the western Indian trade.

The very earliest Jake Hawken's would have appeared circa 1818-1819, the earliest Sam Hawken's in 1822, and 1825 was the first year Sam & Jake Hawken combined forces. Their earliest rilfes from this period would have been still more of the eastern Maryland style they both learned, and only somewhat later - circa late 1820's, did the well known mountain rifle style begin to develop - what most consider the classic Hawken, either full or halfstock is at earliest a very late 1830's or early 1840's.

The TOTW Hawken kit is OK but is really a late 1830's-early 1840's style and even then is more of a generic mountain style rather than a copy. If you reaaly want to do it right do the research and for the best of the best kit currently available Don Stith is the man to talk with - not only will you get the correct parts set (for instance the flat to the wrist style trigger guard is considered by the most knowledgable students to be an 1840 style, not an early style), but he can also be very helpful in getting things right.

Quote
Track of the wolfs fullstock Hawken stock is very nice, one of my pet peevs with hawken builds is the buttstock height, it needs to be at least 5" IMHO too many builders use to short of buttstock height
FYI - of the known existing Hawken mountain rifles the average buttplate height is 4 1/2"-4 5/8".

Quote
Most Hawken's are more 1830, and later, and are more tied to the Westward movement, and the supplying of the railroads with buffalo meat for the workers, not the fur trade.
Well yes and no - the late halfstocks as built by Jake and Sam are of that era, but with new info since Hansons book (1983) we now know that in fact mountaineers such as Etienne Provost were carrying Hawken rifles as early as 1828-29, Kenneth MCKenzie, factor of Ft Union ordered two Hawkens in 1829 (along with a chainmail shirt), and trade lists of 1832, 1834, 1836, and 1837 all have Hawken rifles included and either in 1836 or 37 they out numbered those from other sources.
 
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Herb
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 12:50:50 AM »

This is my last flint Hawken from TOW parts, which I got from another builder.  I need to reshape the lock panel closer to the lock.  1x36" barrel, hooked breech, 13 5/8" LOP, butt plate is 4.3" long.

My first fullstock flint Hawken, .58 caliber, flint beavertail tang, 14.5" LOP for a tall guy, butt plate 4.55" tall, 9 3/4 pounds.

Here the tall guy is working on hunting loads.

Same rifle of mine on left, Neill Fields Hawken on right, 14" LOP, 4.6" tall butt plate, .54, 9 3/4 pounds.

I like fullstock flint Hawkens, especially .58 calibers.  Go for it.
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Herb
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2010, 01:03:30 AM »

I agree with Starbow on the buttstock.  When you cut them to a reasonable length of pull, say 13.5",  they look like a damned canoe paddle.  Not enough depth to the stock.  Which is probably why people make them with a 14" LOP.  TOW has a caplock by Bergman for sale now with a 15 3/8" LOP!  Two more suggestions- do not use the hooked flint tang they list in the set of parts (Plug-LRF-16-3).  Its a lot of trouble for no good purpose.  Instead use the Hawken flint "beavertail tang" plug, Plug-BT-16-3, which screws into the end of the barrel and bolts to the stock.  If you just have to take the barrel out for cleaning (you don't do this with other FL barrels), use the Hawken 1" Flint breech and tang, with no extended "false breech" addition, Plug-FHG-16-3.  I used the false breech on my last one and had much trouble with ignition.  If you drill that powder cavity out to a larger diameter that may cure the problem, but the set up is still 1" longer and a couple of ounces heavier for no good reason.
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Herb
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 01:14:45 AM »

Second suggestion- do not use the optional Hawken adjustable rear sight kit (RS#-HA).  It can only be zeroed for one loading combination at one range, or 1 or 2 more with a lot of trouble, is kind of shaky and not worth the trouble.  I really like the Manton & Ashmore lock (#Lock-LR-900).  If you avoid that false breech, call Track about the inletting before you order.  They do make a nice set of parts, I base that on having built 40 some ML rifles, I kind of lose track...

So if you want a flint Hawken, get one.  They are difficult to build, but the inletted stocks are good.  Probably half a dozen businesses supply them and they are not complicated.  As far as period correct, even Hawken authority Don Stith supplies one.  I like them, especially the .58s.  The 36" barrel is easy to handle, 9 3/4 pounds, but longer barrels are heavy, as Starbow said.
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Herb
elk killer
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 07:54:20 AM »

just call Dick at Pecatonica long rifle supply..
if your going to buy the TOW stock...
you can get a lot better piece of wood and cheaper too
thats where TOW gets their wood anyways,
ask Dick for a second,,they often have very good pieces
with very minor flaws..plus they are almost always in stock... Grin Grin
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only flintlocks remain interesting..
Sean
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 09:05:34 AM »

I agree with what Chuck said above.  If you really want and 1820-30's western fur trade rifle, do your research first.  Lots of folks get something they think is right and then find out later that it really isn't representative of the period or place.  

If you decide to go the PA trade rifle route, here are a few names of original builders to research who were active during the period pretty much in order of commonness during the period:

Henry (note: disregard the pictures of the iron-mounted gun as it is not really a Henry rifle)
Deringer
Tryon
Gumpf
Dickert Gill
Fordney
Gonter
Dickert

On the TOW Hawken kit, they are a reasonable choice, however the flat to the wrist guard dates to the 1840's and the buttplates on all of their Hawken kits are not correct.  The best choice out there is really Don Stith's parts set and it will do late 1830's very well.  An early Hawken beyond that is really a tough thing to do because a) there are few surviving examples and b) hardware may have to be made from scratch.

Finally, based on a lot of personal research on these guns, I do not believe a flint gun is unreasonable, but I do think they were scarce as hen's teeth.  The brother's seem to have gotten on to the caplock bandwagon very early and flint examples of J&S Hawkens are pretty much unknown.  The only pre-1840s flintlock that I can think of is the Maryland-looking Sam Hawken fullstock from Reisner's collection.  It is a brass-mounted longrifle that predates his work with Jake.  It is pictured in Hanson's book.  That rifle and the  'Peterson' rifle and the 'Atchison' rifle are the primary early Hawken pieces existing.
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digger
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 09:12:04 AM »

GREAT INFO! Keep it coming fellas.
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Wyoming Mike
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 09:50:37 AM »

I built one about four years ago.  I bought the barrel and the lock about 25 years ago and packed them around through a lot of moves.  When I retired I started looking around for the rest of the parts.  I got a good deal on a second pre-inlet stock from TOW so I got the rest of the parts from them.  I don't really like preinletted stocks but the price was right.  It is essentially what TOW offers for their kit.

It has a 36" x  1" x .58 GM barrel and an older Large English L&R.  It is a heavy rifle but hangs nice.  The only gripe I have with it is that the preinletted stock had the butt plate set at 13 5/8".  I prefer a 15" pull but can live with the shorter distance.  The rifle shoots great.  I generally win or place second in the big bore matches I get in and it won a turkey at a shoot last year.

If you are going with a longer barrel I would recommend a tapered barrel to keep balance with the longer barrel. 

I am also a big fan of the trade rifles others have mentioned.   A friend of mine just built a Tryon to spec for another fellow.  It was a .54 swamped barrel like the original and shot great.  You might want to look at those for a rifle that was carried by more people in the fur trade era.
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J. Dancy
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 10:13:29 AM »

As to the Hawken rifles, were the larger bores such as a 58 common for their early guns? Seems I had read that around 50 was normal in the early Hawkens and bores got bigger in the later ones.
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