Thursday, September 16, 2010

George Potter Rifle No. 15 with a Chris Barker Bag and Horn by Barry Anderson

I had the good fortune of living in the same community with rifle maker George Potter and horner Barry Anderson for five years. George made two rifles for me, Barry made several horns for me, and I made shot pouches for them.

The rifle was made in 1978 as a surprise for me. As you can see from the photographs I was mighty pleased. I paid George for that deal with a Ruger 10/.22 Carbine, a very fine WW I era S&W .38 Spl. Military and Police with a 6 3/8" barrel and a wad of cash. Considering the years of enjoyment I've gotten from this rifle, the investment was small. The return was huge. The stock is curly maple with consistent curl from one end to the other. Fred Riley provided George with the stock finishing information. The result is beautiful. The lock is made from original Bud Siler castings which were finished out, hardened, and assembled by George. The barrel is a Bob Paris narrow swamp .45 caliber full octagon barrel. All of the iron hardware was hand forged by George Potter. I am particularly enamored with the butt plate which curls under the toe, the patch box with triangular finial held in place with hand made nails. Not shown is the patchbox lock and spring all of which was hand made by George. I have fired this rifle hundreds of times, won matches, won sides of bacon, and I have maintained it to near perfection. The bore is as bright and shiny as anything you've ever seen. I have been offered 6K for it, but quite frankly I'd rather be buried with it like Lewis Wetzel was with his Old Deathwind.

The bag is of recent manufacture. It is my second buckskin bag. Horner Mark Ewing has the other. It is a double pouch, lined with reproduction 18th Century striped linen, and the front and flap are embroidered with linen thread. The bindings are kidskin. The powder horn was made by Barry Anderson in 1978. David Lutz made the vent pick. I made the pan brush with a .357 magnum case and hairs from an old shoe brush. Mike Hawkins made the turned cow horn powder measure. Tommy Stanford made the knife from an old crosscut saw blade and deer antler. Irene Rodgers made the Cherokee War Pattern fingerwoven strap. I backed it with linen and buckskin for reinforcement. Ed Wilde provided the buckles for powder horn strap attachment. As you can see it took a lot of hands to create this project. The lucky new owner of this bag is Mark Romanchock of Houston, Texas. He will be receiving it with a more elaborate horn and an Irene Rodgers horn strap which closely matches the one on the bag.

Copy and photos supplied by Chris Barker.

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