Track's new U. S. Model 1803 Harper's Ferry Rifle
kit is a detailed replica of the first variation of America's most famous flint military rifle, made at Harper's Ferry Arsenal, for our most elite marksmen. We compliment Michael Hayes
for assembly of this fine rifle.
We offer this best quality kit, entirely American made, using a best quality barrel by Colerain, a best quality lock by R. E. Davis, our precision inlet American black walnut stock, and wax cast brass hardware.
Shown in The Southern Arsenal - Harper's Ferry
by Dr. James B. Whisker, sold separately, this rifle matches the first variation of the U. S. Model 1803 rifle.
Stocked in American black walnut, the wood has a natural color, and need not be stained, but simply finished with Linseed Oil, exactly like the originals made at Harper's Ferry.
We consider our 1803 kit to require moderate gun building skills. Assembly will require about 40 hours of skilled workmanship, for an experienced maker, or perhaps twice that much time, at the bench, for a novice gunbuilder, who must study each part, before finishing it.
Trimmed in brass, exactly like the first variation original, the brass furniture is wax cast, and must be deburred, filed, and polished before installation.
The butt view shows the classic buttstock, which has a brass patchbox with iron push button release in the comb of the buttplate. Push the button to allow the patchbox lid to open under spring tension, revealing a large oval patchbox cavity.
A single iron wedge key retains the barrel. Install a small capture pin, in the slot of the wedge key, to prevent the key from becoming lost in the field.
The steel ramrod is the correct earliest style, for this first variation of the U. S. Model 1803 rifle. It has a flared steel tip. Later production added a brass tulip to the tip, and these brass tipped rods were sometimes refitted to first variation rifles, but are more often found on later rifles with 36" barrels.
The top view shows the buttplate's comb, with the iron patchbox release button clearly visible. Notice the subdued square Kentucky rifle style cheek piece. The black walnut stock is sleek, slim, and very efficient, exactly the rifle needed by the citizen soldier, who was asked to defend and protect a very young American nation.
The fixed rear sight is shown, directly above the barrel wedge key. The front sight is a small blade, sometimes called a barleycorn front sight. Both the front and rear sights, and the underlug, are fitted to dovetail slots in the barrel. Our gunsmith can mill these slots, and hand fit the sights, at small extra cost, within 3 to 5 days.
Made with a rounded toe, no toeplate is used. Polish and install the brass triggerguard correctly, as shown, using two pins. Our stock is neatly pre-inlet for the triggerplate, triggerguard, and buttplate
The brass ramrod entry pipe, and the brass triggerguard and buttplate are all first variation style, slightly different than the castings used on later 1814 period rifles, which are also available.
A small brass band trims the forend, just ahead of the ramrod entry pipe. Anneal this thin strip of brass, heating the brass, then air cooling it, to soften and eliminate spring tension, as you form it to fit tightly.
Notice the grain of the walnut, which runs straight through the buttstock and wrist, giving this rifle good strength at the wrist, a desirable feature in a military firearm. Our stock wood is selected for strength and correct grain orientation, not for figure, which was excluded from military production.
The simple military style flat brass sideplate retains the two lock bolts. Install the sideplate flush into the pre-inlet mortise. Our example shows the screw slots neatly aligned with the barrel, and the screw heads are fire blued.
Proof marks make any replica military rifle look much more correct. Study the book The Southern Arsenal
by Dr. James B. Whisker to view the many variations of this fine military rifle.
Colerain's cut rifled .54 caliber 33" octagon to round barrel must be polished and finished chocolate brown. Cut rifled, with six equal lands and six radius rifled grooves, this special rifling geometry takes a bit more effort to cut, but it eliminates the sharp inside corner of the rifling groove, said to make the bore much easier to wipe clean. Our customers who own Colerain rifle barrels like this quality feature.
If you wish to build a detailed correct U. S. Model 1803 Harper's Ferry flint rifle, from the very best parts, we strongly recommend that you order our kit.
Trigger reach is 14 inches, to fit a modern shooter. You can trim the length, while fitting the buttplate, to about 13-1/2" minimum. Our U. S. Model 1803 rifle kit weighs about 8.4 pounds, when assembled and finished.
Made to be a highly accurate and reliable shooter, our best 1803 rifle kit deserves your best workmanship, patience, and careful assembly.
Colerain rifle barrels are a favorite choice of today's best muzzle loading gun makers, because knowledgeable shooters demand Colerain's accuracy, inside and outside.
This well made barrel for the U. S. Model 1803 rifle has a flared tang plug installed. Cut rifled, .54 caliber, 1 turn in 56" twist, 33" overall length. Breech end is 1.105" tapered to .950" octagon about 10-3/4" length, muzzle is .900".
Founded by two entrepreneurs, Scott Keller and Scott Kelly were tutored by Bob Paris, the famous rifle barrel maker who was first to perfect the technique for production of correct swamped barrels.
Colerain rifle barrels are drilled from solid steel, cut rifled .012" to .016" deep depending on caliber, with six "round bottom" grooves. Called "radius groove rifling", Colerain eliminates the sharp inside corner that accumulates fouling. Radius groove rifling cutters are a bit more expensive to make, but Colerain's customers agree that the accuracy, easy loading, and easy cleaning are worth the cost.
Colerain barrels are precisely profiled to fit our pre-inlet stocks, making the barrel a snap fit in our pre-inlet stock, after squaring the inside corners of our inletting, at the breech. This is a great labor saving advantage.Stock
, our precision pre-inlet stock is correctly cut from American black walnut, exactly like the original. Machine inlet for the lock, trigger, barrel, ramrod entry pipe, patchbox, sideplate, key, triggerplate, triggerguard, and buttplate. Drilled for a 1/4" steel ramrod, the hole is drilled full depth. The barrel inlet is so crisp that the wedding bands are clearly visible in the barrel channel. Make the square cuts behind the plug, for a snap fit. The military style sideplate is inlet into the stock. The pin location for the single trigger is also spotted.
We offer a complete set of wax cast furniture, to fit this rifle. Furniture includes the buttplate, patchbox, triggerguard, sideplate, trigger, triggerplate, ramrod, forward and entry ramrod pipes. As cast, the castings need to have the casting gates removed by filing or grinding, and must be polished, then drilled for mounting screws, as needed.
Correctly shaped and marked, copied from an original, this flint lock is precision pre-inlet into our pre-shaped U. S. Model 1803 Rifle stock.
The plate is marked with an American Eagle, HARPER'S FERRY
and dated 1803
. Neatly assembled, tempered, and tuned by R. E. Davis, this well made lock features the popular Siler small lock internal parts, for long service and easy maintenance. We stock every spare part, if ever needed. Be sure to order a dozen of our best 3/4" English gun flints.Flash Hole Liner
, touch hole liner, or vent liner, is an essential part of our kit. Our standard vent has the popular 1/4-28 thread. We also offer the Jim Chambers White Lightnin'
vent as a option. The special 1/4-32 fine thread allows an extra large concave cavity inside, for use on swamped octagon barrels. Made in the USA, stainless steel, with removable lug for easy installation. Order our #TAP-1/4-32 tap and drill, if you prefer this special vent.
Concave inside, the White Lightnin'
vent liner brings the main powder charge very close to the incandescent heat of the priming flash. Position the vent on the center of the pan, slightly above the pan to frizzen joint, sometimes called the "sunset" position. Covered by the frizzen when closed, the hole is a window centered on the heat of your priming flash, for instant ignition, without the whoosh-bang delay, seen in many flint guns.
Typically only the better quality London made guns were factory fitted with vent liners, but nearly all flint guns were later fitted with vent liners, after the vent hole in the barrel became worn from flash erosion, corrosion, or the aggressive use of a vent pick.
The Colerain barrel comes with the plug installed. Our gunsmith can install the front and rear sights (2 LABOR-DS), mount the under rib using four screws (4 LABOR-DT), and solder the two ramrod pipes to milled notches in the rib (2 LABOR-RP), at small extra cost, with prompt delivery. #LABOR-DS:
When you buy the sight from us, we will remove any burrs, gates, or parting lines, and hand fit the sight to the dovetail slot, ready for you to finish and use. Many of our rear sights are cast with an oversize base, to allow these to fill oversize slots. It is wise to allow us to trim these to a standard size, before installation in a new barrel.
Front sight slots are centered 1.5" from muzzle, unless your clearly specify another location. Do not embed special instructions within lengthy text of a letter. Place special instructions immediately after your written order for that item, or in the comment field of our on-line order form.
Rear sight slots are centered 8.5" from the breech end of the barrel (not including plug), unless your clearly specify another location. Do not embed special instructions within lengthy text of a letter. Place special instructions immediately after your written order for that item, or in the comment field of our on-line order form.#LABOR-DT:
We drill and tap blind holes, usually 5-40, drill, counter-bore and mount the rib. Rifles usually require four (4) screws. #LABOR-RP:
We mill a flat on each rod pipe, and a matching flat notch in the rib. After "tinning" both flats with solder, we clamp the pipe, heat the joint, and cause the two solder coated surfaces to be joined, known as sweat soldering
. We require mounting the rib before performing this operation.
: We strongly recommend Recreating the American Longrifle
, by William Buchele. The late William Buchele was recognized as a true master longrifle maker. But his greatest contribution to muzzle loading must be this book. He shares the step-by-step details of his craft. His work has been enhanced by the editors. This book does not assume that the reader is an expert stock maker, but begins with illustrated explanations of the basic concepts. Buchele shows several alternate approaches to most tasks. This newly revised edition includes full scale plans for a carved flint longrifle, and fullstock flint pistol. Over 250 photos and drawings, within 176 pages, 8-1/2 x 11" format, soft cover.
We also recommend our new catalog, which describes this kit in great detail, explains the options, and shows most individual parts in exact full size photographs
. Prices may change, over the years, but the technical data, dimensions, instructions, and precise photos will make this 432 page book an essential too on your work bench.
Typically 40 hours of skilled labor is required to build a longrifle rifle. Use of a drill press in recommended. A skilled mentor, as always, can be a invaluable aid in building any rifle.
Gun building is fun! Click ADD TO CART, and send your order, for same day shipment. Call 763-633-2500 to place your order by telephone.