Author Archives: Larry Pletcher

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 longri-fle.com ... 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 www.blackpowdermag.com 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 »

Rifling a Barrel – Friendship Fall 2014

During the first weekend of the fall 2014 shoot, Bill Hoover and his friends did a demonstration of rifling a muzzle loading rifle barrel.  While Bill’s rifling machine can cut multiple grooves, today the machine was set up to cut five grooves and a progressive or gain twist.  In this set up the twist varied from 1/68” to 1/34” in a 42” barrel.  As we talked, Bill and Philip Iles worked on ... Read More »

Bucks County Hunting Gear

A Bucks County rifle and accouterments article has been on my mind for a number of years. The motivation for this came from three different people.  First, Samuel Pletcher was my great, great, great grandfather.  He lived in Lancaster County until he was about 40, then took his family by wagon to the Howard area in north central Pennsylvania around 1790.  I’ve been interested in stories, tools, and possessions that would have ... Read More »

Pete Hutton – Horn Maker

At the 2014 CLA show, Pete Hutton’s table was right in front of you as you walked down the hallway to the first room.  Pete’s table was loaded with screw tip horns. I was impressed with the quality.  One of the prettiest was a Bucks county screw tip.  I ended up buying it to carry with Allen Martin’s schimmel. I talked with Pete about a web article featuring his horns. We decided ... Read More »

Frank Willis – Bag and Horn Maker

I consider Frank Willis one of our premier bag and horn makers.  I first met him at the 2013 CLA Show.  We were discussing southeastern PA bullet bags.  Frank had some great work on his table and helped me to understand a little more how I should select the type of bag I wanted. In emails this August, Frank mentioned that he might have a bag I might be interested in.  He ... Read More »

An Iconic Southern Pistol in the Style of Elisha Bull by Mike Miller

  An Iconic Southern Pistol in the Style of Elisha Bull by Mike MillerThere are some antique flintlock arms that seem to epitomize a genre or “school” as well as capture the personality of the maker and the time and place in which it was created and used. The fine silver mounted “Death or Victory” pistol by Elisha Bull of Tennessee is just such a piece. Well known riflesmith Mike Miller of ... Read More »

Southern Mountain Rifle by Marc Tornichio

  Southern Mountain Rifle by Marc TornichioThis early iron mounted Southern longrifle was created by Marc Tornichio. This rifle is not a copy of any one rifle but incorporates the architecture and features of several early iron mounted rifles of the western Virginia/Carolina Appalachian area from the 1790 to 1810 period. It shows the quality workmanship of a trained and talented gunsmith from 200 years ago or today. Marc says, “The rifle ... Read More »

Southern Banded Horn with Hand Woven Strap by Ron Hess and Kris Polizzi

   Southern Banded Horn with Hand Woven Strap by Ron Hess and Kris PolizziThis is a Southern style banded horn of the type that would have been carried by militia or volunteers from the southern States in the War of 1812. This charming powder horn has been created by Ron Hess and the fine hand woven strap donated by Kris Polizzi.Ron lives in Georgia and makes powder horns and other items constructed ... Read More »

Bag and Horn Set by Donald and Tina Shaver

CLA artists Donald and Tina Shaver handcrafted this circa 1810 to 1825 hunting pouch and horn set for the 2014 CLA fundraising auction. The pouch is a classic beaver tail pouch with a carved buffalo powder horn. Donald Shaver’s interest in American History began during his youth and he started reenacting about 30 years ago through the Boy Scouts. His first period of interpretation was the Rocky Mountain fur trade era of ... Read More »

Pouch, Measure, Brush, Pick, & Bullet Board by Rich and Jeanne McDonald

  Rich and Jeanne McDonald are well known CLA Artists. Rich and Jeanne have been married over 29 years and live on a small farm in southern Ohio. They are part of the southern Ohio contingent contributing to this auction including Joe Seabolt and Maryellen Pratt.Rich bought his first muzzleloader at the age of 12 and has been hooked ever since. Rich started forging knives and and tomahawks in 1990 and now ... Read More »

Double Hunting Pouch by William Smith

The hunting pouch is an icon of the American frontier. By the early 19th century pouches could show distinct regional variations, wide ranges in quality from home made to finest cordwainers work, and variations in size and shape based on use. This years auction presents a stunning range of bags and accoutrements.Bill Smith has donated a double bag of finely tanned deer skin with double internal compartments. Bill has been making bags ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: The “Five Ears Pouch” by T.C. Albert & Tim Crosby

By 1814 even in the far west of the Illinois country the frontier was changing. Even so, many blood feuds kindled by earlier mutual antagonisms between the Red and White neighbors still smoldered. Born in just such a place during just such a time, Colonel John Moredock, the celebrated Indian Hater, first sought revenge against the Indians responsible for massacring his mother and stepfather and kidnapping his siblings, but he didn’t stop ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Robert Pawling Native American Style Bag

Native American Style Bag by Robert PawlingRobert Pawling is a CLA artisan specializing in dyed porcupine quill embroidery of many kinds done on braintanned deerskins to produce 18th C. Northeast Native accoutrements.Bob has extended his style a bit in keeping with this years auction theme of westward expansion. Bob has produced a bag like the indians of the western plains and mountains were producing in the period of early contact. This bag ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Elisha Bull Inspired Rifle by Roger Sells

  Roger Sells is a well known contemporary builder and is a regular at the Southern rifle events at Lake Cumberland and the the Museum of Appalachia.  He is noted for extremely well made iron mounted mounted Appalachian rifles and some great Hawken rifles.  Roger lives in an area of Tennessee where gunsmiths lived and worked in the the 1800 to early 1900 time frame.  Roger notes he was exposed to iron ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: “The Frontiersman” by Josh Shepherd

Josh Shepherd created this piece entitled “The Frontiersman”.  It is 21” tall and made of hydrostone with a hand-applied finish.  It’s a limited edition of 50.  This is number 14 (In honor of 1814) and in keeping with the theme of the auction. The round hat, rifle, and hunting shirt are characteristic of the working frontier, and the  detail on the horn, bag , and belt are remarkable. “The Frontiersman” is a well done ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Update

The CLA Fundraising Auction will take place on Friday, August 15  at 5:00.  This is a day earlier than last year and a day earlier than what was originally forecast this year.  The list of auction items has expanded a bit with powder horn from Ron Hess including a strap from Kris Polizzi.  Josh Shepherd has donated a casting he produced of an early 19th century frontiersman.  Both of these items will ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Chris Barker Hunting Pouch Set

  Chris Barker has donated a complete hunting rig. Chris designed the bag and con-structed the rig, doing all of the leather work. We are proud to say the Chris is one of our repeat donors to the live auction. Several other artisans were involved in the project. The leather for the bag was donated by Joel Ketonen of the Dallas Muzzle Loading Gun Club, The accoutrements were pur-chased from noted artisans ... Read More »