CLA Announces New Journal, American Tradition

CLA Announces New Journal, American Tradition

Mel Hankla, Editor P.O. Box 156 Jamestown, KY 42629 270-566-3370

The Contemporary Longrifle Association is pleased to announce the publication of the inaugural issue of its bi-annual journal, American Tradition. This journal is devoted to the tradition of early American craftsmanship in the firearms and related accoutrements trade, as practiced by the artisan-members of the CLA. Established in 1997, the not-for-profit CLA is dedicated to the art of contemporary longrifles and related accoutrements made after the mid-twentieth century. American Tradition is profusely illustrated with color photographs showing the work of CLA artisans, along with examples of original works that have inspired today’s craftsmen.


Articles in the first issue, all richly illustrated with the stunning photography of Ric Lambert and others, include “Celebrating the Old with the New,” in which CLA, Kentucky Rifle Association and Honourable Company of Horners member, Mel Hankla, discusses the connection between the original artifacts and modern-day re-creations, as well as the evolution of what has become known as “the longrifle culture.” James Wright, current president of the CLA and producer of high quality how-to videos, authors an article entitled “Williamsburg – Gateway to the Past,” which tells the story of the gun shop at Colonial Williamsburg, the people who have worked there and the impact they have had on contemporary work. In “Examining Traditional American Engraved Powder Horns” Art DeCamp, charter member of both the CLA and the HCH, as well as being a master horner, shows the influence of the Grider, Grancsay and Hartley horn drawings on contemporary artisans. In “Master – Apprentice – Master,” Henry Bishop, long-time member of the CLA and the KRA, presents a photo essay conveying the influence 18th century master gunsmith John Bonewitz had on his apprentice Leonard Reedy and modern-day contemporary artists. Also included are a book review by Lee Larkin, Russ Young’s column “Sources & Resources,” Joseph McClure’s thoughts on William Whitley, and several shorter pieces on contemporary movement visionaries Robert Weil and Gordon Barlow.

American Tradition is edited by Mel Hankla, noted historian, collector, writer and artisan. Associate editors are Frank House, Art DeCamp and Russ Young. Also on the staff are Art Director H. David Wright, Production Manager Bill Scurlock, Copy Editor Sharon Cunningham, Photographer Ric Lambert, and Administrative Manager Rachel Nolen.

American Tradition is published twice a year (January and July). This inaugural issue includes 48 full color pages plus the covers. American Tradition is distributed exclusively to members of the CLA and will soon be offered to the membership on the internet via a password-protected site. In addition to the journal, CLA members receive the organization’s newsletters and bulletins, free admittance to the annual show in Lexington, Kentucky, and free listings of items for sale on the CLA website. A one-year membership to the CLA is available for $50.00.

To join the CLA and receive the journal American Tradition or for more information about the CLA, call 540-886-6189, email <>or visit . Checks or money orders may be mailed to the Contemporary Longrifle Association, PO Box 2247, Staunton, VA 24402.

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