Frequently Asked Questions
I have little or no experience building guns. Can I successfully complete one of your kits?
If you cannot change a light bulb without help, you might want to let someone assemble the kit for you. However, assuming you have some mechanical ability, at least an average amount of patience, and do a little research and planning, you should be able to complete a fine rifle. For first-timers we recommend one of the "how-to" black powder gunsmithing books. Also, we provide a simplified instruction sheet, and we're available by phone for questions. There is probably someone near your area who is building or has built a rifle. Most people involved in black powder are very willing and often anxious to share their knowledge and lend a hand.
Why should I purchase one of your kits instead of another kit that might be less expensive?
You can spend $400 or $500 for a lesser quality kit, complete the assembly and have a rifle that is worth little more than you paid for the kit. Our kits cost a little more but are well known for their high quality. If you assemble our parts with reasonable care and attention to detail, you will have a rifle that will be recognized by knowledgeable shooters as a beautiful, quality piece worth several times the cost of the kit. It will be a rifle you will be proud to pass on to your son or daughter as a family heirloom.
The use of swamped (tapered and flared) barrels give our guns excellent balance, unlike rifles with straight barrels which always feel muzzle heavy. The difference between a good gun and a great gun is often 1/16" less or more wood, here or there on the stock. All of our guns have great architecture with graceful, flowing lines that look good hanging on the wall and feel wonderful when shouldered. No other kit has the quality, the refinement, or the reputation of a Jim Chambers Flintlocks Ltd. kit.
Are all the parts inlet?
All parts are inlet except the trigger guard and muzzle cap. We try to err on the side of parts being too tight rather than too loose. The barrel is fully inlet except for a small round corner at the breech and the tang. We make the tangs extra long and the inlet short so that you can make the tang any shape and length you desire.
Are all the holes drilled?You will need to drill all pin and screw holes. Also, you must drill and tap holes for the lock and tang screws and for the touchhole.
How long does it take to complete a rifle?
That depends entirely upon your skill, knowledge, and patience. The average assembly time for someone with previous experience is 15 to 30 hours (excluding any art-work and finishing time.)
Can I get a longer or shorter trigger pull and different amount of drop?
On special orders we can omit the buttplate inlet and leave a block of wood on the end of the stock for you to add pull. You will need to inlet the buttplate by hand. This can be done on all kits except the ones with a 46" long barrrel. To shorten the pull you can simply move the buttplate forward by removing wood. We cannot change the drop.
Can I get a longer, shorter, or different style barrel in a kit?
No. Each kit is designed for a specific size and shape of barrel. Interchangeable smooth bore barrels are available for any rifle kit.
Can certain inlets, such as the sideplate, be omitted?
On special orders, yes. However, no special ordered stocks may be returned, and delivery time will be longer. There is no additional charge for this service, however.
May I supply my own wood?
Yes, and for an $80 discount. Call for shipping instructions.
What is the delivery time?
We try to keep 50 to 70 stocks in inventory for immediate shipment. Call to check on inventory if you need a kit fast. Kits not in stock and special orders can take 6 to 12 weeks. Barrel delivery times may vary so feel free to contact us or Buckeye Barrels for specifics.
Can I get a rifle fully assembled and/or finished?
Not directly from Jim Chambers Flintlocks, Ltd. However, we will be happy to assist you in contacting one of several full-time gunmakers who will do this work for you.
Do you have a retail store or show room that I may visit?
We are primarily a wholesale manufacturing and mail order type business. Production is spread out among seven small shops in various locations. Here at our office and shipping location we do have examples of our products and welcome your visit, but please call ahead. We try to keep a 9 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday schedule, but occasionally we must go to the foundry, to the other shops, to shows, fishing, etc., so please call ahead. We are located 10 miles off I-40 outside Asheville, NC. Call for directions.