Friday, March 29, 2024


"Ole Thunder"  Made in 1959 for Earl Lanning.  Martin was age 64 when he made the gun. Hacker made every part for this rifle including the lock and barrel. The barrel is 50 inches


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Rifle by Mike Gahagan

The latest from Mike Gahagan. This one is has Dickert influences. Built around a 54 caliber Getz Edward Marshall barrel. 

Photographs by Wayne Estes.

30th Tennessee Kentucky Rifle Show: Photos

These are photos taken at the 30th Annual Tennessee Kentucky Rifle Show. The collectors were very generous in allowing you to handle, photograph and take measurements of the guns.

Photography by Jan Riser.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Samuel Byrne Horn And Bag by John Barrett and Joe Mills from The 2008 Broadside


This horn and bag combination is by John Barrett and Joe Mills.  

The story behind the Samuel Byrne horn and bag was developed as though Byrne actually existed.  This love of historic context is what drives Barrett and Mills.  The makers take a fictional character and develop a personal history for him.

Then they create an artifact that fits the character’s persona.  The following is quoted from Barrett’s account of Samuel Byrne:  

“The last quarter of the eighteenth century saw an influx of settlers into the southwest territory, settlers such as Samuel Byrne.  Byrne and fellow souls hacked out a living in the hills and hollows in this mountainous region.

Byrne and men of his type carried horn and bag most of their lives.  They shouldered hunting sets with the common casualness that their contemporary counterparts pocket a wallet.  In the early days pouch and horn ventured into Ken Te Ke and Tenesa with their owners on long hunts.  Later stood watch closely by as logs were felled for homes and fields were fired and plowed for crops.  They, along with their brothers of wood iron and flint, provided income and sustenance for their collective families.

These accoutrements observe many a joyous occasion in their owner’s lives, socials frolics and weddings.  They hung proudly on cabin walls as new lives wailed into the world, stoically observed many a wife, son or daughter return to dust.  Regardless of conditions, rifle and hunting set, faithfully served master until they or he, were worn beyond repair.

Perhaps by listening to the stories an old horn or bag might tell we will know more of men like Samuel Byrne, for that matter maybe know more about ourselves.”  Well-said John.

John’s account of Samuel Byrne makes the set all the more appealing.  The outfit consists of a bag ax, turned measure and horn by Barrett, a bag knife by Jeff Helms and the bag by Mills.  The beautifully crafted little pole ax features decorative file work and a lovely faceted handle.  It is quite serviceable for use in butchering small game.  The turned measure is quite a nice piece of work, aged and patinaed to match the rest of the outfit.  The horn is a bit of a departure for Barrett.  John’s decorative motifs are usually done with stains.  This piece is actually scrimshawed in a wonderful naive country way.  The owner’s name is present along with a number of whimsical figures and plants.  The horn is really very special.  Jeff Helms has been making knives for quite some time and often appear on Mills’ bags.  This knife has a great look and feel.  The bag is exceptional.  It is constructed from both bark tan and vegetable tanned leather.  The straps are aged to perfection and yet are as sturdy as a brand new piece of leather.  The bag itself is lined with antiqued cloth and leather.  Decorative fringe surrounds the bag and flap.  A very unique piece.

When you read Barrett’s story and throw the piece over your shoulder you almost believe that there really was a Samuel Byrne and that this was his outfit.  This set will serve its new master well.

46th Annual Tennessee Kentucky Rifle Show

 Wiley Gibson was one of three generations of gunmakers in the Smokies.

Wiley will not be at the show, but other gunmakers will be.

46th Annual Tennessee Kentucky Rifle Show 

Friday-Saturday April 19-20, 2024 
Jubilee Banquet Facility 
6700 Jubilee Center Way 
Knoxville, TN 37912


Contact Randal Pierce

908 Mercer Drive

Maryville, TN 37801

Phone: 865-982-6538 Email:

Monday, March 25, 2024

Friday, March 22, 2024

"Scrubby" by Allen Martin

The rifle pictured is affectionately referred to as “Scrubby”. A 54 caliber Dickert Scimmel. Made by Allen Martin in the summer of 2023. 

Photos by Wayne Estes.

Hunting Pouch by Bruce Horn


Photography by Jan Riser.