Build Track's Northwest Trade Gun,
a correct replica, our easiest kit,
from Track's best parts

Northwest Trade Gun our easiest parts set,
tapered octagon-to-round 42", 36", or 30" barrel,
correct brass & iron trim,
maple, or walnut stock

Track's easy Northwest Trade Gun kit is modeled after an original antique Northwest Trade Gun, marked 1816 - BARNETT. This is an early style flint Northwest Trade Gun, with 2" wide buttplate. Offered with a choice of three lengths of 20 gauge barrel, 24 gauge, .54 or .58 caliber rifled barrel. Stocks are available in plain or fancy maple, or black walnut. This is one of our easiest part sets to assemble due to the simple part shapes.

Fur Trade Companies were importing Trade Guns before 1690, and they were popular in the Northern United States and Canada, until 1890. Powerful, inexpensive, and cheap to shoot, Northwest Trade Guns were made before the Brown Bess was standardized, and after the Winchester rifle was popular. Made primarily for the Canadian fur trade, Northwest Guns were found around the world. One well made specimen was marked by the Committee of Safety, for defense during our American Revolution.

The gun shown in these photos, was neatly assembled and finished from our kit, by Mr. Forrest Grilley, and is on display in our store. Stocked in black walnut, with 20 gauge 42" octagon-to-round barrel, the iron furniture, is finished chocolate brown. The long round baluster wrist is a classic feature of the Northwest Trade Gun. This design evolved from the Queen Anne musket, offered in trade as military surplus. The design was further simplified for easy production. The serpent sideplate, flat buttplate, and iron triggerguard became instantly recognized features of the Northwest Trade Gun. Notice the upside-down lock bolt, tipped backward, in lieu of a tang bolt. Unique to Trade Guns, this is a common feature on original antiques. The hole is drilled at an angle, and the tang is tapped in place, to accept this bolt. Our recommended Northwest Trade Gun parts use the single trigger, without a wear plate, pinned through the stock. This is the earliest style and the trigger we recommend is common to pre-1830 era trade guns. A wear plate, which must be hand inlet is available as a option. See our current catalog for other trigger and trigger plate options available.

Our top view shows the simplicity of the buttplate inletting. A simple tang extends along the comb of the flat brass buttplate. Precision inlet using the most precise stock carving machines, guided by skilled hands, our Northwest Trade Gun stock is our easiest kit. The flat brass buttplate is very easy to install. Curved buttplates require careful fitting. When installing your first buttplate, we recommend the excellent instructions and photos in The Modern Kentucky Rifle, by R. H. McCrory, sold separately. Buttplates were commonly installed with either two or five screws, or nailed in place with square nails, well into the 19th century. The raised carving, around the short straight breech plug tang, is pre-cut into our stock. Somewhat exaggerated on our unfinished stock, you should sand the carving and tang together. The carving should be very slightly raised above the surrounding wood surfaces. Old carving is delicate, not bold.

Our bottom view shows the iron triggerguard, which is surface mounted to a distinct flat under the wrist. No toeplate is needed due to the rounded toe of the buttplate. Gunmaker Forrest Grilley selected this triggerguard #TG-NW-1-I. It has pointed finials to match the lock panels, and is shown in our #PLAN-NW blueprint, copied directly from the fine original 1816 - Barnett marked Trade Gun, in a local private collection. The triggerguard is mounted with a single screw in the grip rail, which is the most common method. Two screws along the grip rail is also correct, but appears to be slightly less common on surviving examples. We also offer a ball end triggerguard similar to those used by Wilson, shown in the Trade Gun Sketchbook, by Hanson, #TG-NW-2-I.

Notice the serpent sideplate, which is neatly surface mounted on this example. Sanded flat on the bottom side, it fits against the side panel. Three lock bolts retain the serpent, but only two actually enter the lock. The tail is mounted using a wood screw with domed head, which exactly matches the lock bolts. Early trade guns used three full length lock bolts to retain the lock, but the wood screw slowly replaced the third lock bolt in the tail of the serpent. We have seen a few original Northwest Trade Guns, including those by Henry Leman, that use very simple brass escutcheons, or flush mounted brass washers, in lieu of a sideplate. the serpent sideplate was a symbol of quality, on original Trade Guns.

Track's Northwest Trade Gun kit is an enjoyable project, that typically requires about 40 hours for the first time gun builder to assemble and finish. To simplify your work, our gunsmith can quickly and professionally install your breech plug, sights, and under-lugs, within 5 to 7 days shop time, at small extra cost. If this is your first kit, you will enjoy reading Recreating the American Longrifle by Buchele and Shumway, and The Modern Kentucky Rifle, by R. H. McCrory, each sold separately.

Barrels: Our 20 gauge smooth bored 42", 36", or 30" barrel is tapered octagon at the breech, becoming round, with wedding bands at the transition. The bore diameter is .615", and the breech is 1" octagon, plenty strong, for full loads with patched round ball when hunting deer, or lead bird shot, when hunting upland game. Use lead shot in our 20 gauge barrel, for upland game, and clay targets. We strongly recommend the new Bismuth bird shot, which is legal for waterfowl, and is as simple to load as lead shot, and is safe in muzzle loading guns. We do not recommend loading steel shot. Load our .600 or .610 round ball, with appropriate patch thickness, for best round ball accuracy. Alternate barrel choices now include: 24 gauge smoothbore, .54 , or .58 caliber barrels with round bottom rifling.

The book Trade Guns of the Hudson's Bay Company 1670 - 1970 by S. James Gooding includes a wonderful chapter on the common barrel lengths delivered by the Hudson's Bay Company. The 42" octagon-to-round barrel was introduced as early as 1684 and was considered a standard length available there after. The 36" octagon-to-round barrel was introduced as early as 1688 in small numbers, and became a standard length by 1731. The 30" barrel length was introduced in 1841.

Our buttplate, triggerguards, ramrod pipes, trigger, and other parts are easy to fit to the pre-carved stock. Most are surface mounted or easily inlet. Choose from one of two correct triggerguards we offer to complete this trade gun. We include a set of unplated screws and pins. We also suggest the required taps and drills that will be needed to assemble this trade gun.

Our standard #TG-NW-1-I triggerguard has pointed finials to match the lock panels, and is shown in our #PLAN-NW blueprint, copied directly from the fine original 1816 - Barnett marked Trade Gun, in a local private collection.

Stocks: for our Northwest Trade Gun kit are pre-inlet on Allen's patent 5 axis pantograph, this stock is shaped forward of the lock panels, squared to the muzzle. Precision machine inlet for our Northwest flint lock, buttplate, trigger slot, and our 42" or shorter tapered octagon-to-round 20 gauge barrel. Even the wedding bands are crisply cut into the barrel channel. The forend is square ahead of the lock panels for easy clamping and drilling. A rectangular piece of the same blank is included for testing stain and finish. Ramrod hole is 3/8", drilled full depth, not milled inside. Trigger reach is about 14" with 3-3/4" drop. Buttplate end is about 4-5/8" high, and 2" wide. Select walnut, plain or fancy figured curly maple. Most original trade guns were stocked in walnut, fruit wood, or other straight grain hardwood, stained and finished to resemble walnut.

We recommend our wax cast brass serpent sideplate, which can be surface mounted or inlet flush with the side panel #SP-NW-8-B. Original N. W. guns nearly always have serpent sideplates. Original serpent sideplates have some variation, with the only notable feature that earlier sideplates are slimmer and appear more graceful than later sideplates. See our current catalog for full size photographs of these and other sideplates.

#SP-NW-8-B: This highly detailed serpent sideplate is designed to fit our North West Trade Gun stock and North West Trade Gun flintlock. This sideplate may be surface mounted, or cut into a very shallow inlet. Debur the edges and the three casting gates from the flat back surface before installation. Made for right hand use, only. Overall length is 6-1/16". Height at the rear lock bolt is 1-1/16". The hole pads have pre-indicated holes for the lock bolts and tail screw, ideal to fit the North West Trade Gun lock. Use two #Bolt-L-10-D lock bolts, plus one #Screw-10-D to retain the tail. Wax cast brass, we recommend wire brushing with very fine bristles, and polishing compound (Simichrome or other brass polish). Shading can be added with a Japan black laquer, or Birchwood Casey's Brass Black followed by polishing the upper surfaces.

Front sight options include a small blade, turtle, or "spider" front sight. All three are available in brass, nickel silver, or wax cast steel. The #FS-FUSIL-1-S is also available in sterling silver.

Our #LOCK-NW is fully assembled, tempered, tuned, and it sparks well. Remember, never dry-fire a flint lock with the frizzen open. Spark test the lock with the frizzen closed, and our knapped 1" English gun flint #FLINT-ENG-8, tightly secured in the jaws, in a thin leather jaw pad. You might engrave a "sitting fox" or "tombstone fox", or maker's name on this plain plate. Refer to the books The Northwest Gun by Charles Hanson, Jr. and Trade Guns of the Hudson's Bay Company 1670 - 1970 to view examples of marked and engraved lock plates.

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.

Gunsmithing Labor Options are a popular low cost method of speeding assembly. Our gunsmith can install the plug (#LABOR-BP), solder front sight and underlugs (4 #LABOR-US) 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-US: Our gunsmith will install your soldered lug or sight: promptly, perfectly centered, ready for use, at low cost. Specify locations, or allow us to choose the best positions. We require fitting the breech plug before performing this operation.

#LABOR-DS: This labor is only required if you want the optional rear sight dovetailed into the barrel. 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.

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.

We include a full scale blueprint in our suggested list of parts to help you build this trade gun. This detailed blue print includes many tips and assembly instructions for the first time builder.

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.

Historic Stamps: We offer a number of historic hand stamps to give your Trade Gun a authentic appearance. View and Proof Marks were required on all civilian guns, after testing. Some examples will also have a individual inspectors mark as Our instructions are included with each tool. Or click to download, view, and print these step-by-step instructions as a .pdf file on Hand Stamp Instructions.

No Return, No Refund, No Exchange. Steel marking punches are expendable hardened steel tool bits, with a service life similar to drill bits or hand taps. The value is in the first use. Longevity is under the control of the user. We do not offer a warranty nor a refund for these tools. They are an investment for future use.

#STAMP-DTB The daisy over T. B. was used by Thomas Barnett to mark North West Trade Guns. This mark is patterned from a 1820 dated Barnett North West Trade Gun. The stamp is located below the proof, and view marks just ahead of the breech on the off flat. The inspector's mark is about .360" wide, about .440" tall

#STAMP-EB The tombstone with a Sitting Fox over E.B. was used by Edward Bond to mark Hudson's Bay Company Trade Guns on both the locks and barrel. The top flat of the barrel was marked approximately 1" from the breech. The lock was marked on the plate ahead of the cock. This "Sitting Fox" logo was derived from the top of the HB Co. logo. The inspector's mark is about .275" wide, about .400" tall.

#STAMP-GR-GP This proof mark is for the London proof house and was used on muzzleloading barrels since the mid 1600's. This proof stamp was typically located on the off flat of the breech within the last 2" and above any view marks. The inspector's mark is about .285" wide, about .400" tall

#STAMP-GR-V This view mark is for the London proof house and was used on muzzleloading barrels since the late 1600's. This view stamp was typically located on the off flat of the breech within the last 1" and below above any proof marks. The inspector's mark is about .285" wide, about .400" tall.

#STAMP-LONDON The London stamp was a mark of quality on Trade Guns and Fowlers imported into North America. This mark was often copied and spuriously marked on Liege, Belgium made trade guns and double barrel shotguns well into the late 1800's on double barrel shotguns. The top flat of the octagon-to-round barrel was often marked approximately 3" from the breech. The barrel mark is about .65" wide, about .125" tall.

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.

Gun building is fun! Click ADD TO CART, and send your order, for same day shipment.
Track of the Wolf, Inc.
18308 Joplin St NW
Elk River, MN 55330-1773

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