Author Archives: Larry Pletcher

Flintlock Lube Test

In choosing to do this experiment, I will look only at how the lubes affect lock speeds. Others have examined a lubes resistance to rust formation. Many lubes have been suggested. I will try to choose those that are widely used or represent a group of lubricants. The text here is in progress. It’s kind of like diary entries showing all the problems associated with a test of this kind. I’ll straighten ... Read More »

A Study in Lock Timing

Flintlock photo from JHAT article

I’d like to thank Gary Brumfield for his encouragement and advice during the data collecting and writing of this article. The Siler below is the lock used in the ’80s for the JHAT article. It has been fired probably thousands of times, but never was mounted on a gun. The article below listed all the modifications that were done when the lock was made. It has served as a test bed for ... Read More »

Martin’s Station Rifle Project

Martin;s Station Rifle Project

Martin’s Station is thought of as a great place to view and become involved in living history. Their calendar is filled with living history activities for the observer as well as the re-enactor. In the midst of these experiences is a great new project. The Martin’s Station Rifle Project is the brainchild of Billy Heck. Billy’s idea was to build a Virginia rifle that would be raffled off as a fundraiser to benefit the ... Read More »

NMLRA 1 of 1000 Endowment

Painting by David Wright

The NMLRA’s “1 of 1000 Endowment Program” was the brain child of former president Merrill Deer. He hoped to find 1000 members who would each contribute $1000, to support the NMLRA. The funds go into a restricted endowment fund. David Wright’s painting, “The Spirit of America” will be used to support the program in a variety of ways. David Wright’s talent is widely known, especially to those of us with a passion ... Read More »

Conner Prairie Workshop

Conner Prairie seems to get better each year. Classes range from evening classe to full 5 day classes. Five day classes include engraving, kit assembly, stock carving. Two and one half day classes include leather pouches, two horn classes, two knife making classes, quill work, and traditional barrel making. Additional classes are offered on weekends. The list of instructors is impressive. Below I will try to give you an idea of what ... Read More »

Friendship 2011 Spring Shoot

A foggy morning at the Spring Shoot in Friendship

Ever see a shooting line a quarter mile long? Ever seen a muzzleloading slug gun that weighed over 100 lbs? Ever watched a barrel being rifled by hand? Ever seen a shooter bust doubles with a double flint fowler? You can for 10 days each spring and fall in southern Indiana. Come join us!  Editor: Larry Pletcher The Spring Shoot at Friendship is over, and as usual the trip was a treat. ... Read More »

Friendship 2011 Gallery One

First light at Friendship

Gallery One contains photos of the grounds, although many of these will overlap topics. Editor: Larry Pletcher The physical grounds change from time to time. The entrance to Primitive is recent, but the Education Building had its Grand Opening this spring. This project was completed completely with donations. The building has a kitchen, a large room for meetings or banquets, and a number of small meeting rooms.   Friendship 2011 Spring Shoot ... Read More »

Friendship 2011 Gallery Two

Shooting positions on the round ball bench rahge

Shooting Positions Let’s take a look at shooting competition at Friendship. Included in the main shooting line are Pistol, Offhand, Cross Sticks, Bench rest, Silhouettes, LongRange, Slug Guns, and Chunk Guns. Next to the Pistol Line is the Trap Range. A short walk up the dry creek bed is Skeet and the Quail Walk. Muzzleloaders of every description are shot here based on the type and the sights used.   Return to ... Read More »

Friendship 2011 Gallery Three

At the Primitive Range

Primitive Range The Primitive Range is our next stop. While there are many matches for primitive guns on the regular range, the primitive range is for primitive muzzleloaders exclusively. Here you will see shooters in costume firing flintlock rifles and fowling pieces – just to name a few. You might even see a rare breech-loading Ferguson rifle here. Again there are many matches. The Mountain Man Aggregate includes flint/steel fire starting , ... Read More »

Friendship 2011 Gallery Four

Jim and Mike problem solving

Commercial Row, Gun Makers Hall Next we’ll check out Commercial Row and Gun Makers Hall. If you need a hawk or knife, parts for a new gun, or about any other muzzleloading accessory, you can probably find it shopping these booths. If you need a barrel, Rice barrels are here. Chambers, Davis, and L&R locks are here. Wayne Dunlop has amazing wood. Gun Makers Hall is an amazing place. Some of the ... Read More »

Filled Vent Test – Is it Slower?

Test fixture with pistol ready for trial

Filling a flintlock touch hole with priming powder causes a slower ignition. The pan fire has to burn through instead of flash through the vent. Is this “fuse effect” true? Can the difference be measured? Are the “hang fires” experienced by black powder shooters caused by something else? Reporting the answers to these questions is the purpose in this article. The purpose of this test was to see if there was a ... Read More »

Bedford Co. — John Stoudenour

—pretty neat original Bedford County gun— photographs by Larry Pletcher An original Bedford Co. rifle recently surfaced in northern Indiana. The name plate on the barrel identifies it as John Stoudenour. The Stoudenour family included John Sr.and his sons, Jacob and John Jr. This gun is likely to have been made by John Jr. Some of these photos were shown on the American Longrifles forum. When these were posted on ALR, they ... Read More »

Art DeCamp – Screw Tip Horns, Author

Lancaster Screw Tips

November 2010 – vol.6, Larry Pletcher, editor Art DeCamp is one of our premier horn makers. To say only this would be unfair. Art has spent much time and energy in the study of colonial horns. One only needs to spend a bit of time with him to realize what a resource he is to those of us interested in powder horns. I have had the pleasure of attending two of Art’s ... Read More »

Knife Making Part 1

Forge

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher   (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)     Read More »

Engraving Class Part 1

Engraved Tang

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher     (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)     Read More »

Engraving Class Part 2

Jon Schipper's Craftsmanship

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)       Read More »

Gun Stock Carving Part 1

Tang carving

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher   (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)   Read More »

Gun Stock Carving Part 2

Smoothbore stock

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher     (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)         Read More »

Screw Tip Horn Class Part 2

Lancaster Screw Tips

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher   (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)     Read More »

Shooting Bag Class

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher Ken Scott, Instructor (Use your “back” button to return to the article.)     Read More »

Ken Scott – Bag Maker, Leather Worker

Ken Scott

October 2010 – vol.5, Larry Pletcher, editor I first met Ken Scott at the Conner Prairie Gun Show in 2001. I bought at journal from him. Since then I have seen and admired his work at many muzzleloading events. His bags are, in my opinion, the benchmark by which other bags are compared. Ken’s bags caught my eye at the CLA show this August. His bag “No King by Jesus” is a ... Read More »

Screw Tip Horn Class Part 1

Lancaster horn display

Conner Prairie 21st Annual Art and Arms Making Workshop Larry Pletcher, Editor — Photo Credit: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher   Return to Gallery Return to Article  Digg it!     Bookmark this on Del.icio.us Next / Previous Articles:   « Shooting Bag Class Part 2 | Screw Tip Horn Class Part 2 »   Read More »

Blackpowder Slug Guns – Precision Paper Punching Machinery

Blackpowdermag editor, Larry Pletcher For years I’ve been fascinated with the slug guns during the Muzzleloading Championships at Friendship. This year I decided to do an article on these remarkable guns. This article is the first in a two part series on slug guns. The second will look at the largest slug gun I have ever seen. Slug gun shooting has a long tradition in the NMLRA. During my 30+ years of ... Read More »

Blackpowder Slug Guns – The Mitchell Gun

Mitchell slug gun

Slug Guns Part 2 allows a unique look into the world of slug guns. Blackpowdermag.com is pleased to bring you this look at the “Mother of all Slug Guns.” Blackpowdermag editor, Larry Pletcher In Part 1 the topic was slug guns in general; Part 2 zeroes in on one of the largest slug guns ever to be fired at Friendship. This gun, built by George Mitchell, is one of four guns in ... Read More »

Mark Wheland – Riflemaker

Mark Wheland

October 2010 – vol.4, Larry Pletcher, editor I think I first met Mark at Dixon’s a few years ago and was impressed with his work. Since then I have admired his rifles at the CLA shows in Lexington. Mark’s gun making started as a hobby, but now is a full time occupation. He won a “Best of Show” at Dixons in 2005. I remember a conversation with Mark a few years ago ... Read More »

Conner Prairie 21th Annual Traditional Arts and Arms Making Workshop

Blacksmith Shop

The Conner Prairie 21st Annual Traditional Arts and Arms Making Workshop has just concluded. As you enter Conner Prairie to attend class you see CP’s new addition: a tethered balloon in memory of the aeronauts and the beginning of balloon flight in the 1800’s. There is more to Conner Prairie than the classes for black powder folks.    photo credits: Steve Chapman, Larry Pletcher   editor: Larry Pletcher The classes at Conner Prairie ... Read More »

Charles Wallingford – Knifemaker

Charlie Wallingford

October 2010 – vol.3, Larry Pletcher, editor Charles Wallingford is an old-school knife maker from Union Kentucky. His blades are hand forged with traditional handle materials. Most I have handles have been antler. He also makes a fine long rifle, but I suspect his passion is his blades. A man can’t have too many knives; I have a fair number. My favorite knife was made by Charlie. You can see Charlie and ... Read More »

Homer Dangler – Riflemaker

September 2010 – vol.2, Larry Pletcher, editor One cannot think of flint rifle makers without including Homer Dangler. A maker of muzzleloaders for decades, Homer is widely respected for his work. Home Dangler has been a part of Friendship for many years. Although Homer is in his 80’s, he is still active whether it’s making fine guns, building airplanes, or flying them. Homer has a new web site located at the link ... Read More »

Jeff Bibb – Horn and Bag Maker

Jeff Bibb

September 2010 – vol.1, Larry Pletcher, editor Jeff Bibb is a maker of fine powder horns and shooting bags. He specializes in southern muzzleloading accessories. His banded horns and screw tips are my favorites. I enjoyed working beside Jeff at Conner Prairie. Jeff attends a number of Blackpowder events, among them are: Dixon’s Gunmakers Fair, CLA (Contemporary Longrifle Association, Lexington), Southern Long Rifle Show, Williamsburg, VA., 18th. Century Artisan’s Show, Lewisburg, PA, ... Read More »