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#644831 03/26/24 09:31 PM
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When I was a teenager, I took some of my Milwaukee Journal paper route money and bought a CVA Kentucky Pistol kit at
a gun show. Within a short time, I screwed something up, removing too much wood for the forend cap to attach to
and the half cock notch on the tumbler broke. The kit sat in my parents basement until my dad decided to downsize,
he brought from Milwaukee to Kansas City tubs of stuff, including the kit and his Seneca Falls lathe. I dug out the kit
in November, thinking my 10 year old son and I could finally finish it, it touched me that my dad had put a small hand vise
with the kit to compress the mainspring, which is necessary to replace the tumbler. Some parts were lost over the years, and I found a
replacement tumbler on ebay.

Did any of you start this way? Truthfully, I felt like a failure for not being able to finish it. Now I think, the kit maker was a
bit shoddy, and this was before CNC equipment was widespread (so I forgive them) , and optimistic about the buyer needing for example, only a hand drill instead of a drill press. I've learned a lot and have better tools and have now forgiven my 14 year old self for not completing it. Attached are a picture of my son working on it and the kit in pieces, with the parts ready for finishing. We are now browning the barrel, applying coats of Howe #1 to the stock and have heat blued the small parts.

So once again, did any of you start this way and have similar memories?

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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PhysDoc,
Good on you. My dad didn't care much about guns and didn't teach me much about them, but he taught me how to shoot (that was how we learned I was near sighted) and Christmas often included a gun and/or ammo. But at 12 years old, I started helping him on construction jobs. I learned things working for him that helped me other ways, both with guns and my later professional life. My dad died before he was 52, while was in Viet Nam. Because of the time I spent with him, I had a guide to get me through the rest of my life.
You never know when you will go, but your son will cherish the things he learns from you and the time you spend with him. Do you still have the Senaca Falls lathe? If so, that will be a good chance to teach him some very helpful skills. Since it has an unusual leadscrew. and is likely a "change gear" lathe rather than a "quick change", he has a chance to learn more about a lathe than he could learn in a shop class. BTW, the broken tumbler might not have been properly heat treated, another good learning vehicle. Enjoy, I know your son will.
Mike

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My CVA kit experience was a Squirrel Rifle kit I bought new for $10 (I should have bought both that were available at that price!) that sat around for a decade or so before I tackled it. It was fun to do, turned out nice and is a kick to shoot.

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At age 15 I read an article in The American Rifleman ( borrowed from a neighbor) about making a muzzle loading pistol much like this one. This was 1955; there were no kits, and so parts were hard to find, especially so in eastern Montana. I bought a piece of black walnut at the local lumberyard. Our town "gunsmith" gave me a piece of octagon barrel from a Winchester 32 Special and a short piece of round steel he said came from a Ford Model T drive shaft. He said the steel was too hard to make a breech plug from, and so I took it to our town blacksmith who annealed it. The smith then turned and threaded a shank and bored and threaded the barrel section to fit. A buddy from school took an interest in my project and came up with a lock pirated from a cheap Belgian shotgun. I had a catalog from Dixie Gun Works (about 20 pages; I still have it.) I ordered the remaining hardware, a bag of 00 buck shot, and a pound of FFF. Several weeks passed as I tried to fit and shape the parts. Finally I got a phone call from the Milwaukee depot. A parcel had arrived from TN. A few days later my pistol was complete. My friend and I shot it some. It went bang and made smoke.. Whether we ever hit anything I can't recall. It was no accomplishment as an artifact, but , looking back, it launched a life-long attempt to make guns that won't end up in the landfill. I still have most of the Italian percussion caps from Dixie, and they still work.


Bill Ferguson
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Originally Posted by Der Ami
PhysDoc,
Good on you. My dad didn't care much about guns and didn't teach me much about them, but he taught me how to shoot (that was how we learned I was near sighted) and Christmas often included a gun and/or ammo. But at 12 years old, I started helping him on construction jobs. I learned things working for him that helped me other ways, both with guns and my later professional life. My dad died before he was 52, while was in Viet Nam. Because of the time I spent with him, I had a guide to get me through the rest of my life.
You never know when you will go, but your son will cherish the things he learns from you and the time you spend with him. Do you still have the Senaca Falls lathe? If so, that will be a good chance to teach him some very helpful skills. Since it has an unusual leadscrew. and is likely a "change gear" lathe rather than a "quick change", he has a chance to learn more about a lathe than he could learn in a shop class. BTW, the broken tumbler might not have been properly heat treated, another good learning vehicle. Enjoy, I know your son will.
Mike

Thanks Mike for sharing those memories of your father, they were inspiring.

Yes, I still have my dad’s lathe, I hope my son will learn how to use it. The last patent date on it is from the 1890’s. I’ve seen period advertisements that show a treadle version was available. I used the lathe to make a thimble, the ramrod tips, some pins and screws for the pistol and turned down the ends of the ramrod. I think of my dad and the guy who owned before my dad every time I use it.

HalfaDouble do you still have your squirrel rifle, I would love to see a picture.

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I'll send you a pic.

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Originally Posted by HalfaDouble
I'll send you a pic.
Pm to be sent with e-mail address

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Here is a picture of Halfadouble's squirrel rifle, I bet it is fun to shoot[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Well my son and I finished the Kentucky pistol, hope to shoot it soon, here are some pictures

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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