Author Topic: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?  (Read 2404 times)

Offline m1garand_man

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I'm researching some options for kits and I don't want to get a kit in which I'll be dissatisfied. I was looking at "the rifle shoppe" and noticed they offer pretty much one of everything but that their prices may be higher than others. I was wondering how they pan out when it comes to the quality of the build parts and of the stock blank. I'm willing to spend top dollar if I'm able to expect top quality.

I was mainly looking into thier model 1803 harpers ferry kit and thier ferguson rifle kit. Maybe later something else but those two guns are ones that have always captured my imagination.

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 11:36:14 PM »
Can't speak for the Rifle Shoppe but TOW has a Harpers Ferry kit. You might want to check it out.
American horses of Arabian descent.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 11:40:22 PM »
They are manufactured from unobtainium.
www.fowlingguns.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Online rich pierce

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 12:14:35 AM »
I have one experience only, a French fusil ordinaries kit. The lock is top notch and all metal castings are very good. The precarved stock was of good, hard walnut but it is for me, a throw-away. Inlets are too big and there is ZERO extra wood to accomodate the slightest correction or adjustment.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline m1garand_man

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 12:15:49 AM »
They are manufactured from unobtainium.

What kind of lead times are folks experiencing? I'm not sure where else I could even find a Ferguson or a 1819 hall rifle.

Offline Jose Gordo

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 12:18:10 AM »
I have bought two locks from the Rifle Shoppe. One was fine, but the other I managed to salvage only the cock and the frizzen spring. Everything else had to be made from scratch. Putting together a Rifle Shoppe lock can be a real project.

There are two issues in dealing with these folks; first, getting in touch with them to place your order, and second, actually getting the parts. If you search Rifle Shoppe on this site, you'll find a lots of stories on how long it takes to get stuff from them. Sometimes, right away. More often, months to years. I just ordered another lock from them a couple of weeks ago. I also planted an English walnut on the same day. I expect that by the time that tree is ready to cut into stock blanks, I will have the lock.

Last year I thought I'd try their competition, so I ordered a lock from Blackley and Son. That was 422 days ago, and I have not yet received it.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 12:20:11 AM by Jose Gordo »

Offline dbraw

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 12:33:02 AM »
Tip Curtis has some really fine kits. Over 100 different patterns. Outstanding quality.

Offline Rolf

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 12:52:09 AM »
Last year I thought I'd try their competition, so I ordered a lock from Blackley and Son. That was 422 days ago, and I have not yet received it.

I paid Blackley 506,00 25th of July , 2016 for  two pairs of Locks. One pair of Wogden Locks for a double barrel pistol and a pair of Mortimer Locks for a shotgun. He promised me less than 6months delivery time. I'm still missing the rigth handed Mortimer Lock. I have sendt dozens of e-mail. They are mostly ignored. His service can best be discribed as irratic. Quicker and less hassel to build what you want from scratch.

Same problem With Peter Dyson (another English supplier). I paid him 20,00 two years ago for casting of a standing breech from a double barrel barrel Wogden pistol. Still waiting. I managed to get him on the phone today. He said I'll get the casting in 6weeks. We'll see. I'll let you know if I get it.

Best regards
Rolf

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 01:42:59 AM »
They are manufactured from unobtainium.

What kind of lead times are folks experiencing? I'm not sure where else I could even find a Ferguson or a 1819 hall rifle.
My experience for delivery was 3 months to six years. If I was a hobby-ist that would be fine....well, not really.
www.fowlingguns.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline burnt

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 01:56:54 AM »
The last time I ordered from them the same 12 sets of parts that I had previously ordered and received, it took over a year. When they arrived they were good but I decided never again. I spoke to Jess every month for a year and was assured "next week"
Too bad, they have alot of stuff I want.


Kevin
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 02:01:38 AM »
They are manufactured from unobtainium.

What kind of lead times are folks experiencing? I'm not sure where else I could even find a Ferguson or a 1819 hall rifle.
My experience for delivery was 3 months to six years. If I was a hobby-ist that would be fine....well, not really.

G-man,

It won't take much of a search to find that this has been a common "Thread" with regard to TRS. 

-and this one might be locked soon.

From such previous discussions over the years, I've decided not to ever "roll the dice" with 'em but you may be a bigger gambler than I. (nothing to do with quality of their products you understand)

Best of luck either way!  8)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 02:03:25 AM by WadePatton »
Hold to the Wind

Offline wormey

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 02:18:51 AM »
I built a Ferguson rifle from their parts a couple of years back and had no problems...with them or the kit.  The kit was first rate.  The lock was complete and very nicely done.  All parts were first rate and for the money I paid it was a bargain.  I know others have had problems.  I did not get a bayonet and have been trying for 2 years or so to get one and have essentially given up.  In fact, I am making my own.  By the way, the Ferguson is wonderful since I have been lusting after one for more than 40 years.  I can finally check that one off my bucket list.  Wormey

Offline Gunnermike

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 03:59:14 AM »
Here's a Model 1817 Common Rifle I built from parts obtained from The Rifle Shoppe and from Track of the Wolf (Track no longer carries TRS parts, the few parts they have they are disposing on their site).  I received the lock parts within 90 days from The Rifle Shoppe.  The parts from Track were faster because at the time they carried sets of The Rifle Shoppe parts (though they had a habit of sending the wrong stuff that YOU had to pay the return shipping costs).


This is what the parts look like when you receive them:


  The parts are castings and you have to clean off the casting sprues, drill holes and fit things together and then hardened the tumbler, sear and springs.  The castings only require cleaning & straightening because they are made from the actual piece.  I made all the screws (including the wood screws), made the breech plug, the ramrod, the butt plate, and welded casting flaws in the barrel bands and trigger guard.  You will have a high quality reproduction when (if) you finish, but it is not a beginner's project.  TRS will do certain work like assemble & hardened the lock and some barrel work, but that makes more time until they ship the parts (you need to check their site if they still offer that work).

ALWAYS make sure they have the parts in stock BEFORE ordering.  The have to make all the wax positives first and bring multiple orders to a foundry, then bring them back and cut the parts apart and assemble your order.  It is no small thing to do what they do.  It took me over 90 days & 6 e-mails just to get a catalog from Blackley & Son (England), so I decided not to order from them - they are completely disorganized & claimed they had sent the catalog twice, when they had not sent it.

I think the 1803 rifle is probably one of the more requested guns.  They used to advertise finished guns for about $2400 but that was over 5 years ago & I don't know if they offer that option any more.   Good luck, Mike

Offline Gunnermike

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 04:05:47 AM »
I forgot to say that if you see a gun made from TRS parts on The Track of the Wolf for sale.......... just buy it and be done with it!!  Just my 2 cents.  Mike

Offline Ardito

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 04:30:55 AM »
Real bummer to hear that people are still having problems with lead times and customer service. I was hoping that they might get better with the facility switch and all. I also have some stuff I'd like to order from them once I get more proficient in this hobby.

Offline m1garand_man

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2018, 07:23:10 AM »
It's a shame to hear about these issues with these suppliers but I have found these kinds of stories to be common place with regards to manufacturers of otherwise uncommon or esoteric firearms modern or otherwise.

What other options are there out there for a correct Ferguson  rifle? I'd even be interested in considering an already built gun as well.

Too bad not everyone operates like Jim Chambers does. I'm ym one experience with them I was extremely satisfied. I needed a replacement mainspring for my rifle and they honored thier warranty even though I bought the rifle second hand.

Offline smart dog

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2018, 01:24:42 PM »
Hi,
I built a Ferguson and quite a few other guns and locks from TRS.  In my case, I made the stock from a blank.  I am not a fan of precarved stocks.  The best strategy is to call them and see if what you want is in stock.  If it is, you may get it within 2 weeks.  If not, months to years.  These are not really kits unless you purchase the lock assembled (you may wait even longer for one).  It is also not a project for an inexperienced builder. I am fortunate for having had access to the original Ferguson rifle in the Morristown Historical Museum in NJ.  After that experience, I went back and stripped the finish off my Ferguson and reshaped and slimmed down the stock.  One detail that you cannot pick up from published photos is that it is daintier than you imagine, particularly with respect to the fore stock and comb. The stock and lock are also more crudely made than you would expect.  The rifle also has a serious flaw in the stock design. There is very little wood left between the screw breech and lock mortice. Most originals that show signs of use are broken there.  It is ironic that there is so much interest in the Ferguson, of which only about 100 were issued, and little interest in the British pattern 1776 muzzleloading rifle, which was present in America in much greater numbers with light infantry and had much greater impact than the Ferguson. 

dave 
"Flick Lives!"

Offline KC

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2018, 03:14:56 PM »
I've never been able to sustain any communications long enough to actually purchase anything from The Rifle Shoppe. I've only actually been able to make contact on one or two occasions after multiple emails and multiple calls. I've always heard good things about the quality of their parts but cannot vouch in any way for their service. I've even made it clear to them that I had money to spend and wanted to send it to them but there was no interest on their part.
K.C.
K.C. Clem
Bradenton, FL

Offline SteveK

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2018, 05:27:28 PM »
Check out Don Stiths website. He shows a Lewis and Clark rifle that might work for you.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2018, 08:49:19 PM »
They are manufactured from unobtainium.

That alloy is as rare as a football bat.I got parts from TRS years ago in 9 months
and it stretched my skill set to the limit to make two pairs of flint locks from them.
Paying in advance is a mistake and ACCEPTING advance payment is an even bigger
one.

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Offline jerrywh

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2018, 09:55:36 PM »
 Bob Roller.
    If you have one of those football bats I'll take one.
Nobody is always correct, Not even me.

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2018, 10:29:21 PM »
I have had great responses from Muzzleloaders Builder's Supply in Idaho.  Parts and stock are very good, response time is really quick.
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline smart dog

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2018, 11:44:21 PM »
Hi Craig,
The Rifle Shoppe in OK and E. J. Blackleys in England are suppliers of cast and other parts for a huge array of historical firearms way beyond what MBS , TOW, or any other supplier carries. TRS has the widest selection of complete part sets for matchlocks through percussion guns.  They are the sole source for many of those sets including Ferguson rifles.  The problem we all have is neither business operates in a timely fashion and customer service is erratic at best. 

dave
"Flick Lives!"

Online rich pierce

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2018, 11:53:25 PM »
In the case of TRS, they offer so many parts and kits that it would be a virtual impossibility to keep everything in stock.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline jerrywh

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Re: What quality are kits from "the rifle shoppe" compaired to others?
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2018, 03:41:02 AM »
If they don't have them in stock they should say so instead of lying about it.
Nobody is always correct, Not even me.