Build Track's H. E. Leman Trade Rifle parts set,
15/16" or 1" octagon, up to 42" barrel,
flintlock, single or double set triggers, traditional brass with iron buttplate
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Build a replica H. E. Leman Trade Rifle, using Track's best parts. Options include choice of caliber, plain or fancy curly maple, furniture is the traditional brass with iron buttplate, single or double set triggers, and a L&R late English flintlock.

The term TRADE RIFLE indicated a rifle made for the trade, to be sold by a gun merchant, hardware dealers, trading posts, or bartered by a fur trade company. Early gunmakers generally built guns to each customer's order. Trade rifles were often made in batches, under contract, and all guns were very similar, perhaps identical. Henry Leman signed or marked the many trade rifles and trade muskets he manufactured, and his work is highly prized by collectors.

Track's H. E. Leman Trade Rifle kit is an enjoyable project, that typically requires about 40 hours for the first time gun builder to assemble and finish. This project will require laying out centerlines, hand inletting; lock, triggers, furniture, as well as drilling and tapping. To simplify your work, our gunsmith can quickly and professionally install your breech plug, sights, and underlugs, within 3 to 5 days shop time, at small extra cost.

Track's best H. E. Leman Trade Rifle kit features a precision pre-shaped stock, cut for up to a 42" octagon barrel, and 3/8" ramrod. Hand inlet a L&R percussion lock, and either a single or double set trigger. Typically a single trigger was used, but double set triggers are known on original Trade Rifles by Henry Eicholtz Leman, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Precision inlet, the octagon barrel will snap into the mortise, after your square up the two inside corners of the machine inlet barrel channel. Inletting the lock requires a bit of inlet black or candle soot. Press the smoked lock plate into the hand inlet mortise, tap it, remove it, and scrape (drag) your sharp chisel to remove any black rub marks, where the mortise is too tight. Repeat the process, until the part snaps into the mortise.

The inexpensive book Modern Kentucky Rifle our $BOOK-MKR, by R. H. McCrory, shows how to do this inletting, in nice photography. The photos and instructions that illustrate the buttplate installation, are well worth the price of this book.

Colerain Barrel Company offers a select few calibers and octagon sizes in 15/16" and 1" straight octagon barrels. Offered in .45, .50, .54, or .58 caliber depending on octagon size. Colerain straight octagon barrels are threaded to accept the breech plug.

Colerain rifle barrels are the favorite choice of today's best muzzle loading gun makers, because knowledgeable shooters demand Colerain's accuracy, inside and outside. 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 cut rifled, with fancy radius groove rifling geometry, in correct twist rates for round balls:
  • Cut rifled, with .012" to .016" deep grooves, depending on caliber.
  • 1 turn in 56" twist, in .45, .50 or .54 caliber.
  • 1 turn in 66" twist, in .58 caliber.

Colerain rifle barrels are drilled from solid steel. Each barrel has 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.

Green Mountain barrels are 1" octagon, 36" length, threaded for breech plug. Available in .50, .54, or .58 caliber with round ball twist. Green Mountain muzzle loading rifle barrels are machined from high quality American made bar stock, A.I.S.I. 1137 modified, stress relieved, annealed, certified rifle barrel quality steel. All barrels are drilled from solid stock, reamed to a high degree of smoothness, then optically checked for straightness. Very close tolerances are maintained. Diameters vary less than .0002" within any bore.

Cut Rifling Specifications:

  • Each barrel has eight lands and grooves.
  • Grooves cut .010 to .012" deep, depending on caliber.
  • Twist is 1 turn in 70 inches for .50, .54, and .58 caliber.

The Leman fullstock trade rifle is an easy first scratch-building project. The fullstock will be cut for either a 15/16", or 1" straight octagon barrel channel. Butt end is about 4-1/2" x 1-1/2", not cut for buttplate. Drop is about 4-1/4" from sights. Pull up to 15". Both the 15/16, and 1" have a 3/8" ramrod hole drilled full depth, with a shaped forend. The buttplate is uncut.

Most original Leman rifles are found with a percussion lock. Flint lock rifles are known, but these earlier rifles are scarce. The L&R late English flintlock is very similar to the flintlock used on the antique rifles.

Original H. E. Leman rifles were nearly always stocked in plain hard maple, without much figure, often with faux figure hand painted curly maple stripes, hand painted, using dark wood stain, using a fine artist's brush. Never burned, charred, or wrapped with string, the wiggly curls of darker stain were applied by the hand of an artist, who copied the appearance of tiger stripe maple figure. Many antique Leman rifles used locks with a square tail. It is easy to make this modification to the L&R lock before inletting.

We recommend our standard M1 grade plain maple, for your Leman rifle kit. The plain maple is the most traditional wood choice and the easiest to work. We offer fancy curly maple grade M3, as an extra cost option.

This style of cap box is sometimes called the "wilted lily" cap box. This brass capbox was often installed on Leman's Trade Rifles and his other rifle models.

Stain your maple stock to a with our #LMF-STAIN-HM honey maple stain. Use a darker walnut stain our #LMF-STAIN-W to create faux figure artificial curly maple tiger stripes, using our stains and a fine artist's brush, exactly as Henry Leman striped many of his Trade Rifle stocks. We have seen several examples of faux figure, on Leman rifles, in a local collection. The work is quite good, and very attractive.

It is possible to hand inlet a double lever double set trigger. This "double lever" set trigger has a front trigger lever to engage the sear, so the lock to be fired with the trigger unset. The trigger bar is about .400" wide. Wax cast steel parts are finished, tempered and assembled. We stock spare parts, in the unlikely event that any part will ever break. Same day shipment of trigger or spare parts!

This trigger is a precision assembly made with heat treated tool steel. If either trigger must be bent to fit the triggerguard, heat the trigger to a cherry red and bend while hot. Reharden by heating to cherry red and quenching in 10W oil or mineral oil. Temper by heating to 550 degrees for 1 hour in a kitchen oven. The trigger bar can be bent slightly without heating. Overall length 5-3/8", bar .400" wide.

Neatly drawn and dimensioned, our full scale drawing will simplify assembly of a classic fullstock “trade rifle" in the style of Henry Eicholtz Leman. His Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, factory made rifles for trade to westbound settlers and to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Prized by the Indians, Leman fullstock and halfstock rifles are highly collectible today. We offer pre-inlet stocks, locks, barrels and all the castings needed to build this rifle, in several popular variations. The plan details a right hand rifle with a single trigger and square tailed percussion lock.

Gunsmithing Labor Options are a popular low cost method of speeding assembly. Our gunsmith can install the plug (#LABOR-BP), front and rear sights (2 #LABOR-DS), and underlugs (3 #LABOR-UL) at small extra cost, with prompt delivery.

#LABOR-BP: Our gunsmith will install your breech plug, in your barrel, with the front face of the breech plug tightly sealed against the inside shoulder of the breech thread, and the barrel maker's name indexed to the bottom flat. Threads are lubricated with Birchwood Casey's Choke Tube Lube anti-seize, so the plug may be removed, even after decades of use. Never remove a breech plug, unless you have a compelling reason. The plug is never removed for cleaning, and should only be removed by a skilled gunsmith, who has the correct tools to avoid marking your polished and finished barrel and plug.

#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. We must install the breech plug before installing sights, rib, or pipes.

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-UL: When you buy the lugs from us, we will remove any burrs, and hand fit the lug to the dovetail slot, ready for you to finish and use. Allow our gunsmith to determine the best location for lug. Typically these rifles require three lugs. We require the breech plug to be fitted before performing this operation.

#LABOR-RB: If you wish to make a rifle with a shorter barrel, we recommend 32". We can trim the barrel from the breech and rethread the breech. We always recommend saving the muzzle by shortening at the breech. Price includes shortening the breech and re-threading for the plug. Installation and fitting a breech plug is extra. Shortening a barrel is a special order and not refundable.

.#BOOK-RAL: 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 fifth 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.

#DVD-BML: Building Muzzle-Loaders VHS video with rifle maker James Turpin. Rifle maker James Turpin takes you start to finish on building a quality Muzzle-Loading flint rifle. Designed for the beginning to intermediate builder. DVD format, 142 Minutes.

#DVD-BE: The Gunsmith's Apprentice Series Presents Beginning Engraving, taught by gunmaker Jack Brooks. With this video you can learn to engrave in the manner and style of the original masters. In this presentation the nationally known traditional longrifle builder Jack Brooks teaches the viewer the essentials of chasing, pushing & wriggle engraving. Beginning with the basic tools, Jack shows the sharpening and heat treating of both square and chisel point engraving tools, and demonstrates the techniques used by period American gunsmiths to decorate their firearms. In addition, the engraving of several original 18th and 19th century longrifles is examined in detail. Over 70 minutes long. DVD format.
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Track of the Wolf, Inc.
18308 Joplin St NW
Elk River, MN 55330-1773

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