December 29, 2001, 12:17 AM
Anyone familiar with Dixon's Muzzleloading in Kempton, PA? Renowned as the most extensive BP stop east of the Mississippi and a great place to just visit. Despite my last name, I'm no relation and get no discount, but the owners are more than fair and more than generous with their time and experience. Some folks make a vacation of coming in for the gunmakers fair every July. Any other recommendations worth a trip?
January 1, 2002, 01:26 PM
Doesn't Dixon hold an annual Gunbuilders' Fair where all the big names gets together and hold seminars and show their ware? From what I've been told, it's well worth attending but for the Waste (West) Coast kid, it's a long walk.
January 2, 2002, 09:48 AM
I don't want to toot my own horn... That's a pun...
But my family and I have been attending the Gunmakers Fair since 1993.
I'm proud to say that I have taken top awards in the powder horn, punch & horn, and accoutrement catagories since then.
It's not just for shooters or gun builders.
There are some hundred or so venders there from bead merchants to artists. Heck, they even have an antique shop there. (The bulk of the merchants are parts suppliers and gun builders.)
You can buy your favorite artists limited edition print, parts for your flintlock, a powder horn, a custom cart for your cowboy action plunder, any accoutrement for your matchlock upto a spare bolt for your A303.
The gun shop is there all year but the fair takes place the last week in July.
My whole family attends every year. It's half way between their homes and mine so we infest a local Inn and just have a heck of a good time. I have made friends their that I will have till I die.
For the ladies, Reading is 45 minutes away, (outlet malls), Pinnicle Ridge Winery,(Cayuga white-great stuff), Halk Mtn., hundreds of hiking and biking trails, plenty of camp grounds for those who like ruffin' it and plenty of great small resteraunts that sell that good Pa Dutch cookin'.
The fair has seminars and how to's going on all Saturday and Sunday till about 6 pm and these are done by the best craftsmen,
historians, and collectors they can invite.
The fair charges no money for admission or any of the events. All vendors take a part of their proceeds to pay for the tents and the craftsmen pay no fees to enter their guns, horns, or accoutrements. You don't know who the judges are, they switch them every year, you can't cheat, so your judged on your craftsmenship and knowlege. The judges don't know who you are because you block out any marks or signatures. (And if you don't the check in people will.)
I don't sign my work till after the judging and usually sell one of the pieces before I go.
The rifle compitition has some of the best work you'll ever see, and Chuck Dixon usually has a great display of original guns and such.
If you can't find what you want there... Then you just didn't look hard enough.
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