Monday, June 18, 2018

Fowler by David Dodds with Antique Powder Horn


Photos by Robert Weil.

2018 CLA Live Auction: A Warrior's Clutch

A Warrior's Clutch ... the title of this collective creation may conjure images of a proud hero bearing the hard won trophies of warfare, the objects yet carrying the power of previous owners now gone from this world. The challenge has been accepted by a group of a dozen artisans - Brad Emig, Eric Ewing, Matt Fennewald, Alec Fourman, Tad Frei, Ken Gahagan, Jeanne McDonald, Ian Pratt, David Rase, Joe Seabolt, Shawn Webster, and Josh Wrightsman - to develop this concept and together give it flesh and breath.
Our goal is to create a vibrant, visually striking set of items that will reflect the theme of possessions carried by a warrior in the mid 18th century. Although we imagine a general Great Lakes Region as our warrior's home, his identity remains unknown.

Copy by Ian Pratt with photos by Ric Lambert from here.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Work by Jack Brooks






Photos from the archives of Robert Weil.

Bob Harn

The worst thing about growing old is all those you care about grow old too!  One of my longest and dearest friends, Bob Harn, fell this morning and they were unable to revive him.  Bob was a pioneer in the contemporary rifle making fraternity, his iron mounted rifles are recognized work wide, the contributions he made to gunmaking are many, but his gentle demeanor and good humor is what will be missed by all who knew him.  Go with God my dear friend, we shall not see your like again.
-Paul Jones

Bob Harn, Paul Jones and Karen Jones

Eternal rest grant unto Bob, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


From the Pages of Flintlock Magazine: Yeager by Mark Thomas


Photos by George Shumway.
Flintlock Magazine 2002 Volume 5 Number 1.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ball Container by Ron Hess




Photographed at the 2018 Tennessee Kentucky Rifle Show by Jan Riser.

From the Pages of Flintlock Magazine: Hershel House in an Ad for the Heritage Farm Museum

Hershel House fires up the forge at the blacksmith shop at the Heritage Farm Museum Knifemaking Workshop.

Flintlock Magazine 2002 Volume 5 Number 1.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Work by Unknown Maker



From the archives of Robert Weil.

From the Pages of Flintlock Magazine: Lehigh & Sunbury Guns by Brent Gurtek


To begin, I've been interested in the Kentucky Rifle since high school, in the early 70's, when I ran into a copy of C. W. Sawyer's book "Our Rifles".  Originally from northern Ohio, I made many treks to the Log Cabin Shop. They were my first personal introduction to muzzleloading & the rifles themselves.

After completing a mechanical engineering degree at Fenn College, I moved to French River, Minnesota in 1985 & built a colonial home, complete w/ period furnishings.  Then I turned my attention to my first passion, Kentuckies, constructing 3 such rifles between 1993 & 1999.  To date, I've completed 14 Kentuckies & 1 Northwest Trade Gun, all intended for sale.  Legally, I'm French River Muzzleloaders, LLC.

I consider myself a beginner with much to learn.  Currently any engraving on my guns is done by Micheal C. Hayes or Bruce Lepage.  I'll be taking an engraving class at Conner Prairie this fall & hopefully then I can execute the simpler folk art motifs, as a minimum.  Also, this July, a chip carving class at Davis & Elkins College in W. Virginia will allow me to begin using that technique.

I've come to focus presently on Lehigh & (what I term) Susquehanna guns.  (I believe many people refer to the latter as Sunbury guns & perhaps I should also.)

In the near future I'll be offering a York rifle closely patterned after one by Jacob Ernst & pictured in H. Kaufman's "The Pennsylvania/Kentucky Rifle"(plates 129 and 184).  This  Ernst gun is as perfectly proportioned as any formal York example I've seen.



Thus far, I've made my guns using pre-carved stocks from patterns of my own manufacture.  The Ernst gun will also use this approach but its pattern will be very close to the intended final shape.  My Lehigh & Susquehanna patterns are left sufficiently bulbous to allow for interpretation on a gun-by-gun basis.

I further intend to make earlier Lehigh guns as my skills improve.  Doubtless they & my usual later rifles will, at times, be done form a blank.

After the introduction in the early 80's of Dr. Shumway's excellent references I developed a fondness for Federal Period Kentuckies.  This ended after  approximately a decade when I returned to favor specific later rifles; J. Kuntz, N. Hawk, H. Albright, S Miller. 

Late-Golden Age Kentuckies have regrettably earned much of the artistic criticism leveled at them; they seem to exemplify the habit of many creative fields which hit a pinnacle & then degenerate.  'Tis sad.  However I'm convinced that a few makers persisted, as named above (though there were others), and they achieved a degree of design perfection that at least equaled earlier work.  The Lehigh & Susquehanna/ Sunbury schools, ca 1810-1830, have an undeniable potential for artistic achievement clearly evidenced in surviving examples.


As stated on my website I try to make authentic rifles while retaining the same level of design freedom as open to the original makers.  In point of fact, this goal of authenticity is not met to my satisfaction on the Lehigh end, but I'm getting closer.  My last two schimmel guns, one still in the works, are  good interpretations of J. Kuntz, w/ a mix of other true Lehigh features.  But my Susq/Sun guns are true to form & period correct, I'm happy to report.

Some of my Lehigh guns tend to have a lot of drop in the butt, averaging 4".  In this way they are like many original late-period Kentuckies; 45 caliber or under, light recoil, the butt resting just outboard of the shoulder joint, the head held more erect.  (This combination of gun shape/shooting position persisted into the cartridge period with the off-hand Ballard, Stevens & Maynard guns, etc.  The cheekpiece becomes more of a chin piece, especially if the tang sight is set for long range.  I like the feel & flavor of shooting in this manner - the way many fine marksmen did in a bygone era.  I'm something of a Maynard-aholic anyway.)

Through time I will further introduce some Lehigh pistols, again after Kuntz, & though it's out of the scope of Kentucky Rifledom, a range of percussion arms which will include an underhammer design.  There will also be some Kentuckies made with old locks &/or barrels, as these components come into my sphere.  I intend to continue at this activity long enough to do all these things, & more, many times over.


Copy by Brent Gurtek.
Flintlock Magazine 2002 Volume 5 Number 1.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Copy of the Phillip Creamer Rifle Made for William Clark Made by Louie Parker

This is a copy of the iron mounted rifle Phillip Creamer made for William Clark. The original rifle is in the Missouri Historical Society Museum in St. Louis.  It and other personal belongings of Clark were donated to the museum by the Clark family in the nineteen thirties.  Swamped barrel by Ed Rayl, photos by Ric Lambert.






From the Pages of Flintlock Magazine: Chris Warner


Photos by George Shumway.
Flintlock Magazine 2002 Volume 5 Number 1.