How to buy and service Muzzle loading guns
If you have an interest in starting or building a catalogue of traditional firearms, then Track Of The Wolf is one of the best places to start.
In their own words: “Celebrating 49 years in business. Our customers say that we have the best catalogue in the business. We Specialize in Muzzle loading guns, kits, parts, accoutrements, rendezvous gear & primitive Americana.”
Brick and mortar
Track Of The Wolf does have a small showroom, where you can view items. I would recommend that you ring in advance and have a chat with the staff about what you are interested in.
So, they can bring out pieces you are interested in from their inventory which isn’t all on display.
They also repair and service muzzle loading guns and antique black powder guns. Do not try to ask them to repair and service modern guns.
The address is:
18308 Joplin St NW
Elk River, MN 55330-1773
Check out their About Page for opening times and other information:
As the title of this article suggests, they do have a website:
On here you can view what they sell, and arrange services etc.
The website is a little basic and could probably do with a revamp, but it does do everything you need it to do. Plus, if it were a really high-end modern website then that probably wouldn’t feel right considering what they offer.
Let’s have a look at the sections on their website and what they offer.
Here is where you find anything new, that they have in stock. Obviously taking into account the type of stock they sell; they are not going to have huge amounts of stock of new items.
Therefore, I check this section regularly, then if I see something I like I buy it straight away before it goes out of stock. There isn’t much change on this page, but you can get some really unique items on here.
This is the section where you can pick up a real bargain. Closeout items are basically products where they only have a few left and they what to sell the line so that they can replace them with newer items.
Or it is stock that hasn’t been selling well, and they have had to reduce the price to try to shift them.
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how the products are ordered on this section. So, you will have to keep scrolling through the multiple pages until you see something you want.
This section showcases items they want to show off, and they give a good overview of the type of items they sell. From instruction books, to powder horns, to the rifles themselves.
Each item will have a picture, price, a brief description, and an add to cart button. Or you can click on the catalogue number hyperlink for a more detailed look at the item.
Once you click on this section, you will be given numerous sub sections to look through.
They have an incredible range of items that will further your experience of using the muzzle guns with things like scabbards, badges, lanterns, and gun display hooks.
I bought the Strike-A-Light-Set from this section, which includes a steel striker, flint, tobacco box, tinder tube, tinder, and an excellent instruction book from David S.Ripplinger.
They have ammunition for different types of flint, percussion, and cartridge guns as you would expect, sorted by gauge, calibre, and name.
You will also find everything you will need to fire your ammunition, things like bullet casting, lubricants, nipple wrenches and of course Black Powder.
TrackoftheWolf.com are a licensed seller of these items, and they take that privilege seriously.
So, be prepared to know what licenses you need, and the quantities you are allowed to buy in your state. They will ask for documentation if you are buying products like Black Powder.
They have any book you would want, whether it is history, instructional, or recipes. I have been a huge fan of camping and survival for decades but over the last few years I have became more interested in enactments and traditional camping.
I am currently reading Camping in the Old Style which I bought from TrackoftheWolf.com. It is an excellent book covering old techniques people used for camping, campfires, cooking, and woodcraft.
You should maintain and look after all guns and ammunition, so that the firearms remain safe and do not fail you. However, it is even more important that you do that with muzzle loading guns and antique guns.
They are old, and there is much more that can go wrong. So, it is imperative you look after everything.
Luckily TrackoftheWolf.com has you covered, with everything you need from bore solvents for black powder residue, lubricants, and different finishes for wood and metal.
If you are interested in period clothing for enactments etc then this is the section for you.
Do not expect them just to sell all the clothing ready to wear, as where is the fun in that! What they do sell is a lot of accessories to finish off the look, like buttons, hats, belts, and holsters.
The best sub section in my opinion is the pattern section for period clothing, where they give you the patters for you to make your own things like hats, gloves, shirts, and coats.
My skills are certainly limited when it comes to making period clothing, but it is something I enjoy doing and I am improving.
It is pointless turning up somewhere with your muzzle gun, period clothing, and a traditional tent then bust out a Jet Boil gas stove when you fancy having a cup of coffee.
So, this section of the website will help you out with that problem, as it sells a huge range of things like knives, axes, pipes, swords, scrapers, and hilts.
I always take an axe with me on any style of camping trip, as it is my preferred method of processing wood for fires, so that I can cook, boil water, and stay warm.
They have a great range of colonial and mohawk style axes for you to choose from.
This is probably the section must people will spend most of their time on, and I don’t blame them. There full range of guns are split into the following sub sections: flintlock, percussion, cartridge, antiques, and brand-named guns.
I don’t understand things like Bitcoin and NFTs, but I do understand the concept of collecting antiques and it is something I have started to do recently. So, the antique & collectable section is one that I gravitate to quite a lot.
I have started collecting old and unique guns, which I see as an investment for the family and I. Maybe even something I can pass onto my son when the time comes.
Be warned it is something you can become obsessed with ha-ha, especially when you start reading up on the history of America and how certain guns shaped that history.
There is some cross over here with the Chemical section, but you will find everything you need to clean your gun and keep it ship shape.
Things like rust prevention grease, replica rifle ramrods, military style ball pullers, and flush nipples for both flint and percussion guns.
The last thing I bought from this section was the .40 Calibre Firearm Cleaning Set which was very reasonably priced at $21.85 and included: cleaning patches, bore clean, bore mop, fouling scraper, ball puller and cleaning jag.
This section is incredible! You can easily build your own customised rifle. You can pick a style you want like a classic golden age long rifle, a Southern Mountain rifle, or a left-handed rifle.
The clever thing is each part to it is sold separately so that you can fully customise it to your liking, you could have a carved inlaid, a double set trigger, choose the sights you like, and what flint lock you prefer.
Don’t worry if you do not think you have the experience to do this, if you are unsure the staff will help you with any advice you need.
If you are experienced in making your own guns from scratch, then you can buy parts and kit here.
The range can be limited and does vary. However, if you do try to order from this section, be prepared to answer questions and provide proof that you know what you are doing and you know what you are buying.
Whether you need to replace a part that has failed the service, or you want to upgrade a part to improve the firearm, then this is the section where you will find an intimidating number of items to buy.
Everything from barrels, buttplates, flash guards, locks, muzzle caps, patchboxes, manuals, ramrods, sideplates, stocks, and sights.
If TrackoftheWolf.com don’t have it, then you probably don’t need it!
Currently I just send my antique guns into TrackoftheWolf.com for gunsmithing. However, my plan is to slowly learn how to do it myself. I am always looking to learn new skills, and gunsmithing is on my list.
It would be easy for TrackoftheWolf.com not to sell items that allow you to practise gunsmithing, and then to try to pressurise you into using their gunsmithing service.
However, they are not like that and they provide absolutely everything you need to learn the skill yourself. From instructional manuals, blueprints, supplies, and a full range of tools needed like callipers and hammers.
I must admit I am not particularly into the Native American side of things, and I haven’t bought anything from this section. However, there are some interesting things in this section that I might buy at some point.
I spend a lot of time of the water; fishing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. I have noticed a book in the Indian Crafts section, called Building a Birch Bark Canoe by Richard Schneider.
I have had an interest in building my own canoe at some point, so this did pique my interest.
As I mentioned before I am an avid camper, and over the years I was all about new equipment and travelling ultralight.
Ultralight doesn’t mean going minimalist, it basically means you are paying 3 times as much for a tent or sleeping bag because it is made from lightweight materials.
Recently I have become more interested in primitive camping, and this section of the website has really helped me out, in gaining the knowledge and equipment needed to do primitive camping.
Whether you have a .30 Winchester or a .45 Colt you will find what you need here for any molds, dies, holders, presses, and measures you might need.
I recently bought the LEE Perfect Powder Measure with Stand from TrackoftheWolf.com and I can’t believe I didn’t buy it sooner. It is so good and really improves my workflow.
Sales & Specials
This section includes items found in the closeout section, but also returns, seconds, specials, and new items that missed the cut off for the catalogue they produce.
There normal prices are pretty good considering how niche a lot of their products are, but you can really find a bargain in here if you are open minded about what you want.
Usually, I have specific things I want, then I double the size of the cart from the section with stuff I never knew I wanted until I saw them. Which does annoy The Wife ha-ha.
You will find a lot of the stuff here in other sections, but it is a good area to check out the fun little extras you might like to buy. Things like buttons, compasses, playing cards, replica money, sheaths, snuff boxes and medals.
If you are new to buying these types of guns, then I would recommend you try to visit the shop if you can. So, you can have a proper look at the guns and other equipment you are wanting to buy.
I would obviously also recommend you take full advantage of the expertise of the staff if you are a beginner.
If you are a little more experienced, then you can easily navigate around TrackoftheWolf.com and find anything you need.