Author Archives: Larry Pletcher

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 »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Folding Knife by Scott Summerville

The folding knife is an authentic accoutrement for the period of the War of 1812.  Citizens of the new United States did not always want to carry a hunting bag and longknife while strolling the rapidly expanding cities and crowded militia camps.  Knifes like this 4” bladed folder were handy in the hunting bag or in the pocket for eating, cutting patches or tobacco, and everyday chores or social events. Scott Summerville ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Maryellen Pratt Hunting Pouch with Joe Seabolt Powder Horn and Knife

Maryellen Pratt lives in Adams County, Ohio with her husband Ian Pratt. Maryellen is a maker of premium hunting bags, knife sheaths, haversacks and sundry other items. She is meticulous in using materials and techniques. And her careful antiquing processes are universally appreciated. Maryellen regularly conducts classes on the skills and methods of making pouches and advanced leather working at the Log Cabin Shop in Lodi, Ohio and other venues. Her products ... Read More »

“Mr. Flintlock” Discusses “Impossible Shoots”

You may know George Sutton for a variety of reasons.  George, aka Mr Flintlock, has been doing the “Impossible Shoots” on Shooting USA on outdoor cable networks for a number of years.  You may know George from his visits to Friendship.  You may also know George as the man who has brought back Lehigh Valley lube under the name “Mr Flintlocks Patch Lube and Bore Cleaner”. George and I sat down and chatted ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Knife & Sheath by Jerry Eitnier

Indiana gunmaker, Jerry Eitnier is a returning donor to the CLA fundraising auction. Jerry is no stranger to the muzzle loading sport and art. He has been involved for more than 40 years. He joined the National Muzzle Loading Association in 1973, and in 1987 he built his first longrifle. He became a charter member of the Contemporary Longrifle Association in 1991.Jerry is strongly influenced by Hershel House’s work.  He builds guns ... Read More »

2014 CLA Live Auction: Contributors

This will be the third year of commemorating the War of 1812 for the 2014 CLA Fund Raising Auction.  Fifteen CLA artists have created their art and donate it to be auctioned at the Annual Meeting and Show on August 15, in Lexington, Kentucky. We will be showcasing the 2014 fund raising auction items here.  Individual works will be added to this site as they are received. The following CLA artists have ... Read More »

Allen Martin on Gun-Making

It’s Saturday morning , and Allen Martin and I will try a new method for interviews.  Formerly, I used a digital audio recorder, but this year we will use video. On the picnic table where we’re sitting is a wonderfully thin flintlock. That’s where the interview will start. Allen, thank you for a most impressive rifle.  Thanks also for being a part of this first try at a video interview. Larry Pletcher, ... Read More »

Projects to Come

Siler lock igniting Swiss Null B

This is an informal list of future project ideas.  Nothing cast in stone here; just a place to keep notes on ideas. 1. Vent shape experiments — this will include an exterior tool made by Tom Snyder,  a friend who also makes an interior vent coning tool, as well as other tools for the gun maker. 2. A before and after test of Jim Chambers‘ late Ketland lock. We’ll time various combinations ... Read More »

Gary Brumfield – Photos from the Archive

Gary Brumfield has been a friend, mentor, encourager, and teacher to me as well as many others.  He was the push behind the lock-timing experiments, helping me to develop methodology we used to time locks. Much of his help came while we were at the Seminar at Bowling Green back in the ’80s. On the first day of the early Seminars, we would meet behind Terry Leeper’s house and have a little ... Read More »

Allen Martin builds a Schimmel

Friendship will be very special this spring.  Allen Martin will be bringing my new Schimmel to the spring shoot.  Allen and I have talked about this project numerous times at CLA.  I remember handling an incredible Martin gun and heard Allen say, It’s all in the architecture.” I was worried about my own shoulder issues and voiced this concern to Allen.  “Don’t worry,” he said.  “I’ll make you a long, slim, light ... Read More »

Blackpowdermag Gets a Facelift

Black Powder Mag relaunched

It’s been a long time coming, but Blackpowdermag has a new look! For some time we have considered revamping Blackpowdermag, and when a group of files were corrupted, we changed  to a WordPress authoring system.  The result is a new, fresh-looking format that reads well on smart phones and tablets, as well as computers. We are especially pleased with this improvement that was made possible by WordPress. We also will connect with ... Read More »

The House Brothers Project – AN AMERICAN TRADITION

House Brothers relaxing on the porch

The Contemporary LongRifle Association is proud to sponsor this project by the House brothers. BlackPowderMag is equally proud to help to promote this activity.     Through the collective efforts of three renowned Kentucky gun makers, Hershel, Frank, and John House, a special handmade longrifle has been created for the CLF as a fundraiser. The proceeds from the “An American Tradition” House Brothers Handmade Flintlock Longrifle Project will enable the Foundation to ... Read More »

The 2013 Contemporary Longrifle Association’s Live Auction

For more information about the auction or CLA membership please visit: Contemporary Longrifle Association     Join the CLA Today During our second year of commemorating of the War of 1812, the 2013 CLA Fund Raising Auction promises to be another significant event. Twenty-five generous CLA artists have stepped forward to create their art and donate it to be auctioned at our Annual Meeting and Show on August 17, in Lexington, Kentucky. Everyone ... Read More »