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Old June 14, 2022, 09:32 PM   #1
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21,647
Back from Friendship & Bowling Green, KY

Hello one and all

I was away with my gonnesmithing classmate at Trinidad State (TSC '12-'14) at Bowling Green, KY for the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Gun Builder's Workshop. Three days of patchbox and fixtures (pipes/thimbles & nosecap) making and six days of engraving. I've taken both before from other instructors (patchbox from the late Gary Brumfield, 2nd Master Gunsmith of Colonial Williamsburg) and engraving from John Shippers and Michael Pierson. Each man taught a different technique as did my current instructor, George Suiter, third Master Gunsmith of Colonial Williamsburg and now retired) than the other (which is why I take the same class several times).

The engraving students eagerly chipped in to buy my sniper book for George. George learned of it before the class and was hoping that I'd bring some to Bowling Green (I didn't but I ordered some to be sent to the motel). He asked and I told him I didn't have any copies with me. Now, Frank House who built the rifle for Mel Gibson in The Patriot and was asked to be a supernumerary in the movie dropped by during the engraving class and before he left said, "This room is full of little peckers." It was in reference to the tiny chasing hammers used in engraving. We laughed and when we signed the book for George, we signed, "To George Suiter from the little peckers." Hershel House's class (Hershel founded the Woodbury School of Iron Mounted Southern Rifle) also eagerly jumped on the opportunity to chip in for a book. It was their opportunity to say thank you to a man who gives so much to the muzzle loading community. Hershel had spoken earlier to me that evening and learned that I had written another book (he already has the other three) and that a fifth was in the making. He stated, "Well, I'm going to go onto Amazon to buy myself a copy." His class presented him with a copy signed by all of his students and yours truly. Hershel was touched and was eager to read it.

After Bowling Green, we went to Friendship, Ind. for the National Shoot. Spent a lot of money there and tried to go to a shoot but got there too late as the range was closing for an all hands range safety officer meeting. Nuts! Anyway, as we had nothing to do on Sunday evening and was told the NMLRA banquet was that night we bought tickets. Food was plentiful and good and I would like to know what they did to the pork to keep it moist. We also had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, roll(s), greenbeans, corn, coleslaw and several types of desserts to chose from. Drinks included tea (sweet & unsweetened) or lemonade.

There was a silent auction as well as raffles with all sorts of stuff.

Right before the banquet I met a fellow and he was aware of sharpshooter books by a Chinese guy named Gary in CO and told me that a Gary in CO had bought his book on the Indiana gunmakers. I immediately called him by his name. We had a wonderful conversation about researching, research methodology and writing (if you guys didn't know I also move in literary circles, check out the acknowledgements in the sniper book). Go ask your public library to buy it so you can read it for FREE.

Most interesting gun at Friendship's Gunmaker's Hall was a muzzle loading airgun. It had two barrels (one inserted into the other) with the smaller being a .177 pellet and the larger a .40 round ball. Built in the style of the English gunmaker Mortimer (circa 1800) it had a huge ball like air cannister that contained the compressed air and functionally operated like a Girandoni. It was single shot though (Girandoni had a ball magazine that was alongside the breech). Will write an article on it and the maker sometime soon. Sorry no pics b/c I don't have a cell phone (maker's buddy will send me some images for the article). The maker of the gun was busy relief carving an elk on the frame of a modern single shot. He was using an airgraver and mircroscope and was fast! One thing I noted was that he had a forehead rest on the microscope. It reduced the stress on his neck (posture is important in engraving) and made his view through the microscope consistent. Lurn't something new that day.

Crazy Crow Outfitters (Texas) owners Ginger & Rex had some copies of Joe Kindig's Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle and Longrifles of Note for sale there. Both books were updated with notes from members of the Kentucky Longrifle Collectors Association and other researchers. Additionally all the images were redone from the original negatives and printed on glossy paper that really helps you to see the image better (especially if you want to study the engraving or relief carving). It was photoshopped to enhance the image and in some cases new photos taken of additional photos. I have copies that George Shumway sold me decades ago but these re-done in the new editions. Both are worth it.

Absent from Friendship was Wallace Gusler and Mark Silver. I usually spend a few hours talking with them in their booth. We're all git'n olde.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old June 15, 2022, 10:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 8,684
The memories do last

Absent from Friendship was Wallace Gusler and Mark Silver. I usually spend a few hours talking with them in their booth. We're all git'n olde.
So true and it's been a number of years since I attended Friendship. Most of my "Vintage" group are gone but the great memories, will always be there. ....

Be Safe !!!!
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
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