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conner
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PostSubject: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 7:59 am

Any one ever get serious enough to jump into the muzzle-loading business, blanket trader, kitchen table operation, sell muzzle-loaders? 
   We all talk about the past and muzzle-loading experiences, but have you ventured into this sport like Jon has done? Full time or part time, tell us about your venture.   t up :tup2 :tdown2

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 8:30 am

Mmmmm.... Learned enough about it in my youth to wave me off.  I paid for a college degree and a couple of babies with my fly tying vise. Quite the grunt through that era to spend 8 hours a day 7 days a week fluffing feathers, on top of full time in college PLUS full time family man. Clearly where I learned how to function on 4-6 hours of sleep a night, and I'm still doing it. The experience was enough to convince me to go for a second college degree and reach lots higher up the pay scale. Very Happy

I can laugh about it now, but it sure colored my thinking. The prospect of going into a muzzleloading business of some sort always comes face to face with how much money I could gin up and how many hours I'd have to work to make a living.  Dunno how even a skilled craftsman does it without at least one second job on top of it. At current prices for leathergoods, I could make more money working as a Walmart greeter. If I wanted to make even more money I could go to work as a flagger on highway construction sites, where local starting wage is $34/hr plus time and a half overtime.

To my jaundiced (and experienced!) eye, a muzzleloading business would be a fun hobby, but really really expensive if it cut into hours and opportunities to make more money doing something else.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 9:09 am

In the past I would have been a hunter. That's what I am now.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 9:34 am

@BrownBear wrote:
Mmmmm.... To my jaundiced (and experienced!) eye, a muzzleloading business would be a fun hobby, but really really expensive if it cut into hours and opportunities to make more money doing something else.

I know a few businesses that started out as muzzle loading shops then switched directions to tourist shops to survive with all the cheap beadwork, etc. The few that stayed the course had slim pickens. One old friend (cheapest person you would ever know) survived and stayed with muzzle-loaders and their accessories as the main items. Cache La Poudre Rifleworks lasted from the early 70's until its owner's passing in the early 2000's. Mike would piss my wife off to no end for being so cheap. She would get mad at me for helping him survive and putting up with his cheapness (it made be laugh at just how cheap he could be to save a nickle, he put a lot of thought into the process).  tongue

At his passing his assets blew everyone away, he started out with nothing and after 30 some years his net worth was over $1.5 million. His cheapness paid off and even after being solid mounted on the ground that style never ever changed. 

That's what it takes to survive in a small market Hank.  I could tell you many funny stories that would fill a book of Michael McCormick (we loved his attitude and him, God Bless you, you cheap bastard).  Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 9:48 am

@Bear Claw wrote:
In the past I would have been a hunter. That's what I am now.

I came from East Asia in the early 60's and got a job as an "Animal Control Agent" with the state of Pennsylvania for 18 months. My main job was killing white tail deer 7x24 in Lancaster, Chester and Bucks counties on the estates of Pearl Buck, the DuPont's, Remington's and other wealthy families in those countries. They did not want their acres of flowers and shrubs destroyed by the deer, making large donations to the state for that service. The state furnished the guns, scopes, ammo and truck or anything else I may need to do the job. I shot like said (7x24) day, night, whatever it took to rid the problem. The state would have a local contractor dig pits 20 foot long, 5-6 foot deep, when filled they would cover them and have another ready for my service. I would cut the horns off the bucks and sell them to knife makers, if a good rack they would be sold to sports shops. After 18 months of performing this service I just got sick of killing these animals and quit.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:10 am

I would too, but being a hunter in the fur trade era would have been more exciting.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:10 am

@conner wrote:
After 18 months of performing this service I just got sick of killing these animals and quit.

Yeah. When I was growing up down on the border a family friend was a government trapper. We used to raise lion hounds for him. Even in my youth I could watch the job sour him over the years. He loved hunting and being in the outdoors, but reached the point he just couldn't stand the killing any longer. Quit and took a job driving our local school bus.  He once told my dad "Good thing I got all the killing out of my blood stream BEFORE going to work hauling kids." Very Happy Crusty old guy and I've never seen anyone better on a spoor or pointing a gun.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:29 am

You guys are missing the point. I'm talking about the fur trade era. Being a hunter is better than being a trapper. It sure as hell is better than working in a store in a fort or town. What sort of options do you think were available back then?

 I understand about doing something you like turning you sour. As a teenager, I was a total hot rodder. Being an auto mechanic seemed like a natural, so I became a mechanic. I worked up to working at a Chevy dealer and by then I hated it. I felt boxed in. So, I up and quit and went to truck driving school and did that the rest of my working career. Being in the open and traveling around was much better. Of course, no matter what else I did I was hunting as much as possible. I always took a job that gave me lots of time off to hunt.

 No matter what job we have we get sick of it after awhile, but we have to do something. Being a hunter for a brigade in the fur trade era would have worked for me. Hunting, fighting Indians, getting drunk in camp, and banging the squaws. What's not to like? I also read the hunters got paid more than the trappers. Not sure if that's true, but I read it more than once.

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Last edited by Bear Claw on June 11th 2017, 10:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:31 am

I got pretty good in all kinds of lighting conditions as well as some odd positions to make a good shot. Really had to be careful where you took a shot as at time your near buildings and servants performing their duties. I would always give them a heads up I was there and they would let me know if they had seen any animals. Like said you "reached the point you just couldn't stand the killing any longer". For years when I would dream I would see those big brown eyes ......

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:33 am

We posted at the same time. Read my post.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:41 am

@Bear Claw wrote:
You guys are missing the point. I'm talking about the fur trade era.
 If there was a point missed, Conner was talking about starting a muzzleloading business today. That's the thread I was following anyway, and not missing your point at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:44 am

@Bear Claw wrote:
You guys are missing the point. I'm talking about the fur trade era. Being a hunter is better than being a trapper. It sure as hell is better than working in a store in a fort or town. What sort of options do you think were available back then?

 I understand about doing something you like turning you sour. As a teenager, I was a total hot rodder. Being an auto mechanic seemed like a natural, so I became a mechanic. I worked up to working at a Chevy dealer and by then I hated it. I felt boxed in. So, I up and quit and went to truck driving school and did that the rest of my working career. Being in the open and traveling around was much better. Of course, no matter what else I did I was hunting as much as possible. I always took a job that gave me lots of time off to hunt.

I started drag racing in 1955, my neighbor was Bill Jenkins (Grumpy Toys). He held more track records than anyone. So I would hang out and then starting working for him as a gas monkey at his station. "Keep the Fu.. kids out of the shop" were my orders. I drag raced for 50 years, had several National Record Holders over the years, many records set in Div 5 (CO - WY - NB - KS). Fun times - spent more money than good sense.

 No matter what job we have we get sick of it after awhile, but we have to do something. Being a hunter for a brigade in the fur trade era would have worked for me. Hunting, fighting Indians, getting drunk in camp, and banging the squaws. What's not to like? I also read the hunters got paid more than the trappers. Not sure if that's true, but I read it more than once.

True (higher wage), if you were in the forts or settlements you would have "check point" where you left the game meat, picked up supplies or reported Indian activity to those that worked with your supply chain.

You didn't mention the squaw activity or you would have had all the young bucks messing around in your territory.  bounce   Razz   tongue


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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:46 am

BB......I was on topic. The business I would have started was being a hunter and that's what i'm doing now.

Isn't all this early era muzzleloader gear related back to when it was used originally? I talked about what i'd do back in the day and i'm doing it now. We don't all want to work in a shop.

I don't really care if you can't follow along. This is a forum. We talk about stuff here.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:48 am

@BrownBear wrote:
@Bear Claw wrote:
You guys are missing the point. I'm talking about the fur trade era.
 If there was a point missed, Conner was talking about starting a muzzleloading business today. That's the thread I was following anyway, and not missing your point at all.

Sorry we got off track, damn Pete started talking about squaws, back to the subject.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:52 am

@Bear Claw wrote:
I don't really care if you can't follow along. This is a forum. We talk about stuff here.

Yup so do I.

And when I get scolded for not following your lead, I'm coming right back at you. T'aint just you that's free to set the stage and run conversations.

If the scolding only points one way, I got better things to do with my time and other places I can go.  Might just do that right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:54 am

Your choice. You could have just gone along with the conversation. Nobody was stopped from talking about the topic.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 10:58 am

I was asked to help with the sale of this shop (Cache La Poudre Rifleworks), we closed out everything in two weeks (knew just about everyone in the gun business in Colorado and Wyoming). If that's your interest, that's who you know and run with. The shops we moved this business to may not even be around by now. 

Need another good bunch of mountainmen movies (look at "Last of the Mohicans",  saw more gun stock war clubs than what was used in the day). Like it or not Hollywood flicks do help related business.  Crying or Very sad

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 11:00 am

Loved that movie.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 11:04 am

Im going to renezvous now to look around and sell my plunder Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 11:06 am

Plunder is always wanted. Good luck.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 11:18 am

At the time Cache La Poudre Rifleworks was in business I had a muzzle-loading shop 20 miles away. That worked out handy for buckskinners they would play both shops against each other (that's good customer awareness on pricing). My shop Buckhorn Rendezvous was located near Estes Park CO so we got all kinds in the store, tourists to mountainmen (each enjoyed the other). After a decade of running my store I was transferred to South Denver 75 miles one way. Running the store for most part by himself my employee decided to quit, had to sell at that point. 
Cache La Poudre Rifleworks asked if I was interested in selling what was left in my operation, made a deal - now he's the only one within a 100 miles that handled black powder. Soon I was working with him buying any shop, kitchen table operation or blanket trader that wanted out of this type business. In little over a year we had gobbled up a more than a half dozen of these operations, fun times. Now it's either Cheyenne or North Denver for black powder, need more interest in this type of business ....

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 4:01 pm

Take a blanket, usually its $10 for a blanket trader. You'll get lots of folks looking at anything new. Good luck, don't let anyone beat you down on your pricing. You may be able to pick up a few interested in being dealers too. Have pricing for both retail and dealers.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 5:35 pm

Boy this posting went good for a little spell then it died Pete.  :dodo

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 5:46 pm

We were talking about jumping into the muzzle-loading business.

I have personally been a "Blanket Trader", shop owner (muzzle-loading only - mountainman supplies), wholesale muzzle-loading supplies, then went off in another direction with "correct period foods, cultivated and foraged". Stopped for a few years now involved with "GRRW Collectors Association" and building muzzle-loaders. Once you get your feet wet its hard to let them dry out, kind-a-like Pete and his squaws ....   Doh

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzle-Loading Business   June 11th 2017, 8:34 pm

man the rendezvous is small so far. Smaller than last year. Talked to a few of the traders and they also had the same feelings as me, advertise more! The booshway apparently isn't into advertising and the suffering shows this year.  I think im going to take this personal this year and start doing the advertising myself and getting the rendezvous known better. Im going to email and talk to some people at the whittington center where this rendezvous is based and let them know myself and many others are not to impressed with the lack of work being put into this event to draw in a  crowd.
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