This is to notify everyone that due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and concerns around gatherings, the 2020 TN/KY Rifle Show is cancelled. Please remember it is your responsibility to cancel all hotel reservations and other arrangements regarding the meeting. All money sent to the show will be refunded. Thank you for your support and patience, see you next year.
It is marked "AH" on the barrel top, as well as on the cheek inlay and on the stock just below the left comb. It is attributed to Austin Hackworth of Marion County, Tennessee. There were two Austin Hackworths, father and son. The senior Austin Hackworth was born in 1746 and served in the Bedford County militia during the Revolution. Following the War, he moved his family to Greene County, Tennessee. According to Jerry Noble, Austin Hackworth Sr. worked near the Beans in East Tennessee until 1817 when he moved to what is now Marion County, Tennessee. Marion County is now the NW part of metro Chattanooga. This rifle was likely made by the son, since the senior Hackworth would have been very elderly (if he was even alive) at the time this rifle was made.
The rifle is 62 1/2" overall; the swamped barrel is 45" long, .42 caliber.
Since his initials appear three times on the rifle, I believe this was the younger Austin Hackworth's personal rifle.
Copy by Wayne Elliott with photography by Mark Elliott.
As we close in on April 17 & 18, (3 weeks away) and the COVID-19 virus is still roaring, we could just continue to wait and see if we can have the show. However, we must be responsible and make a decision about having the show and it is not looking good as of today. We considered postponing the show until late September or early November, but there are no open dates for us that do not conflict with other shows during this time. Another consideration is to reschedule the show as early as possible after April 17.
A few years ago I became interested in the spike tomahawk, its design and history. At that time I was moving from hammering metal to leather work so I figured it was time to make one. I sought out one of the best teachers in the art of hammering and I teamed up with Daniel Casey. After three days with Daniel you see the fruit of those efforts. We used a chunk of wrought iron that came out of an old bridge from Tennessee. After a couple of hours that old Iron started to give way to our will and design. A high carbon bit was inserted into the tip for added durability. I used a curly maple handle to blend the look of those period rifles. I tapered the handle with a slight and graceful tapper. Then I wanted a simple raised pewter band just to add a touch of refinement. When it was all said and done the Spike hawk is 17.25 inches long from head to handle. The blade is 2 inches wide, blade to spike is 9 inches with the spike being 4.5 inches long. As I headed back to my historic leather work I was pleased with then end product. Daniel is an excellent teacher and craftsman. I had a blast that summer weekend.
This Jaeger Rifle combines materials from several sources. I cut the stock blank from an English Walnut tree in 1995 and have moved it a few times before starting work. The Damascus barrel was purchased from Peter Dyson and finished by Bob Hoyt. Jack Brooks made the molds and subsequent castings for the lock from an original that I loaned him. Sterling silver mounts were cast using waxes that I made from an original Carlsbad Jaeger.
I modified the barrel by replacing the breech plug with an elaborate version based on a Stockmar Fowler. The rear portion of the barrel was rounded, transitioned to octagon, then sixteen flats, and finally round. A gold signature and deep-relief engraving was applied to the breech and associated round section. The lock was assembled , tuned, and the engraving was recut.
The relief carving on the stock is based on an unsigned original Jaeger from the Tom Lewis collection. All pieces of the silver mount group were filed, recut and polished. The Damascus barrel was etched for about six hours with hourly washing and carding. The stock was finished with McWilliams Alkanet Refinishing Oil. The resulting reddish color and satin sheen were exactly what I had desired.
This is a rifle I just completed with a really interesting history. I bought it in the rough from a small Auction in Ohio. It was started in 1965 in Ohio. I do not know who the maker was as he passed away, so the rifle sat dormant since that time. When I received it, it was made from a blank of very figured curly maple. It is square with the outside profile, no way to change it. There was a Russ Hamm Bedford County Flintlock that sparks as good as any lock. The side plate was real unusual but so were some of the Angstadts original pieces. There was a Berks County style toe plate. It had double set triggers with no trigger guard. With the profile having the old exaggerated Roman Nose I decided to make a Lehigh rifle which was probably the original makers thought. It has a 13/16ths 45 Cal Barrel, stamped “Barrel by Dave R. Taylor of Little Hocking, Ohio. He was a top maker in his time and would be way over 100 years old today. Several years ago I bought an original 1800 Peter Angstadt 2 piece Patch Box. I decided it was fitting to use it on the rifle, it has an old frontier shop hinge repair on the bottom . The basic carved designs are from the Joe Kindig Rifle. I also used some Stoffel Long border designs. It has the Lehigh Indian Head in front of the trigger guard. The Silver inlays are engraved like the original rifle. The stain that I used was Nitric Acid that I get from Eric Kettenburg 15 years ago, rubbed with boiled Linseed oil, it polished out like a fine varnish, nothing else. It is funny the rifle is 65 years old now. I do not who started it out back then but maybe they would like it.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers