Author Archives: Larry Pletcher

CLA Auction Item — 18th Century Puppet by Dale Powers

Despite the passage of centuries, mankind, at his core, remains the same. Life in the 18th century could entail some pretty serious work, but everyone eventually needs get away from it all. Long before he penned the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was a hard-working Williamsburg attorney who managed a veritable mountain of court cases. But on April 14, 1769, Jefferson recorded his expenses for a little harmless diversion: he paid 7 ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item — Brooch and Box by Glen Mock

The Eighteenth Century was a time of few possessions. Items of personal ornament often doubled with a useful purpose. The treasured family pieces were kept in containers appropriate to their value. Glen Mock has created such a piece for the 2017 Auction. Carefully crafted from natural material this shawl brooch is stunning and elegant. Glen has always been known for his scrimshaw work in horn, bone, antler and other natural materials. This ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item — Pistol Case by Jerry Moniot

Sometimes when you have something really nice, you want to have it in a case that you can open when you want to display it, and close when you want to be a bit more discreet, Also you might prefer not to shove your antique Nicholas-Noel Boutet French officer’s pistol into a cigar box.   Jerry Moniot hand made this finely crafted chest he refers to as a pistol case. I mentioned ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item – Market Hunters Kit by Jack Weeks, Rick Lorenzen, Shayna Matthews, Kenny Nichols

CLA artists consistently demonstrate the ability to marry museum-quality aesthetics with rugged practicality. Artist Jack Weeks and a cadre of talented craftsmen have collaborated to produce a truly outstanding bag and horn set for this year’s CLF fundraising auction. The project is the brainchild of noted CLA artisan Jack Weeks. The basic concept, he explains, was to assemble “the equipment a market hunter in the three rivers area would have carried to ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item – Rifle, bag set by Josh Wrightsman and Gary Tingler

The pre revolutionary frontier, west of the great wagon road was an exciting place, from the Allegheny River country down through western Virginia and the Carolinas. The Frontiersman were learning their trade and the skills that would take them across the continent.  One of their primary tools was the American longrifle and one of the cradles of longrifle development was Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Josh Wrightsman and Gary Tingler have created an early frontier ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item – Haversack by Bill Smith

Few items in a modern longhunter’s kit are as important as a comfortable possibles bag. Buyers on today’s market can find few bags as well made, aesthetically pleasing, or long lasting than those crafted by Kentucky artist Bill Smith. Smith produces a custom-made bag for the CLA auction each year, and this year’s exceptional offering is sure to please prospective bidders. Smith describes the bag as a small haversack or messenger’s bag, ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item — “I see it too” by Andrew Knez

This great Andrew Knez painting was scheduled to be auctioned last year. That did not happen. Your auction Chairman was a bit remiss in the logistics also Andrew unfortunately was involved in a serious automobile accident on his way to the auction. We deferred the auction of the painting off to this year. We are happy to say Andrew has recovered nicely and should be at the auction this year. We have ... Read More »

CLA Auction item — Youth’s Rifle by Terry Methe

Young people on the frontier went about armed from an early age. In “Thoughts on Kentucky Rifle in the Golden Age” Joe Kindig Jr. shows a 30 inch barreled youth’s rifle he attributes to Wolfgang Haga. This is an early gun with a brass box and raised carving. Kindig also notes that he owned another boys rifle by Fredrick Zorger dated 1805 that was engraved and had a patchbox. Nathan Boone related ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item – Hunting Set by Tom And Sandy Greco

The successful colonial farmer, wealthy merchant or Virginia aristocrat, wanted his equipment to send a message about his social status.   A fine rifle or fowling piece would be accompanied by fine shooting bag and horn. By the beginning of the French and Indian war rococo decoration and dark leather were very much in style. Tom and Sandy Greco, repeat auction supporters, have created this refined and historically appropriate hunting set for this ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item – Waistcoat by Karen Hainlen

For General George Washington, the mundane duties of supply and logistics would come to be as important as strategy and tactics. Washington, who cut his teeth on the western frontier during the French and Indian War, was keenly aware that appropriate clothing was crucial to the fighting trim of his men. When the cash-strapped Continental Congress decided in 1775 to supply the army with linen hunting shirts, Washington was concerned that the ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item: Penn. Style Hunting Bag by Steve Lasley

The Pennsylvania style hunting bag can be more complex than the styles encountered on the frontier in the Southern Highlands. Eastern Pennsylvania was more settled and specialized craftsman such as cordwainers, bootmakers and tanners were available. An active commerce in trade and cash existed east of Fort Cumberland in the mid 18th century. Although homemade bags were in common use, bags with linings and a bit more style are often encountered, This ... Read More »

 CLA Auction Item: Boone Rifle by Ed Fish

Ed Fish is donating a copy of a very important rifle currently owned by Brian LaMaster. The rifle bears an inscription on the patchbox, N D Boone, Kaintuck done in a primitive style. Based on this inscription and extensive research Brian believes the original rifle may have been owned by Nathan Boone, and that it was built by Daniel Boone and William Arbuckle around 1790. The rifle could have been used by ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item: War Club by Gordon Barlow

Among the tribes of the eastern woodlands, few symbols could be as potent as the ball headed war club. Missionary John Heckewelder, who spent a lifetime on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Ohio, explained that “When the Indians have determined to take revenge” they would leave a carved war club at the site of an ambush. It was a stark tribal message that many Europeans failed to grasp, but which native warriors ... Read More »

CLA Auction item – Sculpture by Bruce Meurer

CLA Auction item – Sculpture by Bruce Meurer For any craftsperson, the successful marriage of three-dimensional and two-dimensional disciplines is one of the most difficult hurdles of the creative arts. Buyers at this year’s CLA fundraising auction will have the chance to own a unique sculpture by master carver Bruce Meurer that skillfully accomplishes the feat. Meurer executed the piece in basswood, a tight-grained medium favored by professional woodcarvers. Measuring 11” high, ... Read More »

CLA Auction Item – Belt Knife by Mike Davis

CLA Auction Item – Belt Knife by Mike Davis Mike Davis has produced a fine Woodbury style belt knife for this years action. Mike is a repeat donor, having donated an iron mounted rifle last year that sold very well. This year Mike has turned out a 6 inch bladed knife in a classic frontier pattern. The whitetail antler handle with a poured pewter bolster shows Mike’s association with House brothers school ... Read More »

CLA – Auction item – Longhunter’s Knife and Sheath by Heinz Ahlers

CLA – Auction item Longhunter’s Knife and Sheath by Heinz Ahlers I have always liked the longknife style. The design choices for a longknife vary from a heavy bladed, thick handled, fighting knife with a cross guard to a thin bladed utilitarian butcher knife style. I believe a longhunter preferred to carry tools that could meet multiple challenges. This longknife seeks to combine everyday utility with a potential for combat. The 9 ... Read More »

CLA – “Treaty of Friendship” Beaded belt by Matthew Bowles

CLA Auction item: In September of 1736, nineteen chiefs from the Six Nations – the Iroquois Confederacy – arrived at Philadelphia to strengthen the “covenant chain”, or traditional alliance, with British officials in Pennsylvania. When Kanickhungo, the chieftan who spoke on behalf of the Seneca tribe, rose to speak, he expressed “Satisfaction in the friendly and good Disposition of you our Brethren, towards all the Indians of the Six Nations.” As a ... Read More »

Lock Timing at the 2017 Spring Shoot

Our lock timing and photography project is finished. My son, Kevin, arrived from Denver on Thursday night. We began Friday morning working the bugs out of our equipment. Our goal was to time the shooters’ locks and take photos showing the spark production and where the sparks landed. Along with the photo, the owner got a paper copy of the lock times we recorded. The software allowed timing to the nearest 10 ... Read More »

The Thomas Lincoln “Only Blows Decided” Horn by The two Tims…

The Contemporary Longrifle Association is proud to announce the 2017 Fund Raising Live Auction will be held on Friday, August 18, 2017 in the Grand Ball Room at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington Ken-tucky. If you cannot attend or are not a member of the CLA there is an ab-sentee bidding process. Contact the CLA for details. More information will be available soon on the to the CLA website at ... Read More »

Quilled Hatband by Djuana Tucker

Once again the Contemporary Longrifle Foundation is presenting a great auction of outstanding items at the The Contemporary Longrifle Association Fund Raising Live Auction. The auction will be held on Friday, August 18, 2017 in the Grand Ball Room at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington Kentucky. If you cannot attend or are not a member of the CLA there is an absentee bidding process. Contact the CLA for details. This is ... Read More »

Bowie Knife by Keith Casteel

Once again the Contemporary Longrifle Foundation is presenting a great auction of out-standing items at the The Contemporary Longrifle Association Fund Raising Live Auction. The auction will be held on Friday, August 18, 2017 in the Grand Ball Room at the Lexington Con-vention Center in Lexington Kentucky. If you cannot attend or are not a member of the CLA there is an absentee bidding process. Contact the CLA for details. This is ... Read More »

18th Century Folding Knife by Scott Summerville

Scott Summerville makes great knives and razors. He is a staunch supporter of the CLF Auc-tion and has again given us a great folding knife. This is a classic bone handled knife with a 3 1/2 inch blade. Scott hand builds these knives, hand shapes them and heat treats them to per-fection. This knife is a common pattern found around various British posts and encampments from the 1750s through the 1800s. Scott ... Read More »

May 2009 Spring Practice

May 2009 Spring Practice This video was produced in 2009 but was never uploaded. In doing site maintenance to I found it in a different folder. Besides some shots of excellent locks, it shows some of the trials that one goes through to prepare for a video session. In preparation for the Spring Shoot with Olympus Industrial, Steve Chapman and I met Grant Ferguson on the NMLRA grounds. We set up ... Read More »

THE JOHN FRASER PROJECT (Authors listed below)

CLA Auction Item THE JOHN FRASER PROJECT  by: Gary Tucker, Eddie Rector, Ron Vail, Ken Scott , Heather McClure and J Casey McClure For the upcoming Contemporary Longrifle Foundation Fund Raising Auction to be held at the Annual Meeting in August, CLA members Gary Tucker, Eddie Rector, Ron Vail, Ken Scott , Heather and J Casey McClure have recreated a collection of artifacts based on early frontiersman and trader John Fraser’s life ... Read More »

Flintlock Timing and Spark Photography at Friendship

BlackPowderMag’s next project will be at the NMLRA Spring Shoot in June. I have received permission to time and photograph locks in Booth 112. Some of the details remain to be worked out, but I hope to be set up and working Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I plan to time a shooter’s lock for 10 trials and find the average. A photograph will be taken of the lock making sparks. We want ... Read More »

Cleaning Your Gun by Wayne Stormer

Wayne Stormer is an experienced muzzleloader who posted this on FaceBook.  It is reproduced here with his permission. He retains all publishing rights.  Wayne and I are both interested in seeing newer black powder shooters get a good start. CLEANING YOUR GUN It keeps popping up on other sites off and on all the time. I see all sorts of concoctions and magical spells being used by novice and seasoned black powder ... Read More »

Your New Flint Rifle

You’ve opened up a new dimension in muzzle loading with a new flint rifle. Being experienced with a percussion gun is a good start because you know procedures dealing with loading and cleaning a round ball gun. The lock, however, brings new challenges. Our discussion here is not meant to cover everything you need to know about shooting a flintlock. That would take books, and much of what you are about to ... Read More »

Flint Elk Rifle

The history of this rifle began years ago when my friend Rick Shellenberger in Colorado cleaned out an old muzzleloading shop. Among other items, he brought home 2 Sharon .58 caliber rifle barrels. Both were rifled at 1 turn in 72 inches. These barrels have eight lands and grooves. Rick kept one barrel and gave the other one to me. Back in Indiana, years passed until I began collecting parts to complete ... Read More »

Two Hole Vent Test

This test is a long time coming.  A couple years ago at CLA, Steve Chapman and I were looking over a flint gun made by Allan Sandy. The vent Allan used had two smaller holes located horizontally.  Allan said the vent was internally coned but used two .052″ holes.  Allan said he didn’t know whether it was faster or slower than a normal vent. My reply was that I could time it. ... Read More »