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lighthorseman

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 28th 2016, 9:17 am

Conner

Thanks for that.......I only saw it once, but was surprised to see the family name attached to so many long rifles.......but then I was very much the novice in those days. I only ever fondled one Hawken in my life that Frank Sellers had and was even then surprised at how long the barrel was......that was before I was introduced to GRRW.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 28th 2016, 12:47 pm

The last original Leman Indian Trade Rifle just purchased has a 38.250" long barrel which is interesting as HBC contracts state barrel lengths of 30.000" to 32.00"? Leman made guns for the private sector which this was made for (myself and several of the collectors are assuming)!

I'm now putting together pages with details of original Hawken, Lemans, and Barnett NW guns to be used for reference for the GRRW.CA smiths. It's surprising how the same model rifle will vary from one to another of that same model, gunsmith's doing s personal touch to their work ???..... I get a few different pages completed I can share that information here.

Here's an example of what these pages will look like, don't for get to use your "back" bottom.

http://grrw.ca.tripod.com/grrw.ca.details/nw.gun.details.htm

Back to work.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 28th 2016, 4:59 pm

Buck, you do good work.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 29th 2016, 12:13 pm

Buck..........here's my attempt at a "Barnett" Norwest gun............a very uneducated attempt in my youth!





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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 29th 2016, 4:19 pm

KC,

Here's an old knife that came with a story passed on many times before coming to me. The story was a warning "this knife has been blessed with bad issues, it has hurt several previous owners" ???

I THOUGH ITS ONES OF THOSE "WIVES TALES" AND DISMISSED IT. This was probably back in the late 80's - early 90's. In early 2002 I was going through my gear and decided because of its age it needed a correct period sheath. I contacted Zach Callahan (known quill worker) with outstanding quality craftsmanship, he made me a proper sheath.


Last year I was doing my wifely duties (you know the ones we don't mention to our hunting or trekking buddies). So I have the bathrooms cleaned, carpets have been done, now it's time to do somethings in my area. Read under the next few pictures how that old claim (warning came back around and bite me).



Hard to see the entry of the blade and exit of the tip from last year, but my doctor at the emergency room said "that old knife cut as clean as anything we have today".

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Lighthorseman

I like what you have built, if it shoots that's what counts, nice job.

Talking about shooting these smooth bores with the thin barrels (trade guns).  Charley Hanson told us about an account he had read in a journal from the mid 1850's. A person of wealth had come to the new world (here), made arrangements for a local hunter/trapper type to take him hunting for several different animals in the Rocky Mountains. "Part of the payment was a new Northwest Gun (trade gun), which the hunter/trapper received. According to the journal the hunter/trapper took a blanket (part of his payment and his new NW gun to the edge of the settlement for some testing. After firing a few shots the gentleman took the barrel out of the stock and wrapped the blanket around it. Then placing the protected barrel between the trunk and a limb gave it a little push. Then reassembled and tested, this was done several times until he was happy with his adjustment. Later on in the journal the European wanted to trade an expensive rifle for the NW Gun, didn't say if that happened"  We got a big laugh over this at the time.

Several years later the Colorado State Muzzle Loading Association decided to have a NW Gun Shoot, no rear sights and have two classes, one flintlock the other percussion. At the time my current NW Gun had a rear sight and I didn't want to remove it as it shot dead-on at 75 yards. At my store we had a used one of old Curly's guns that was traded because the previous owner could make it group.

My store manager reminded me of the story Hanson had told us, so off we go with a blanket in one hand and the NW Gun in the other. After several hours and more beer than we can remember we had the darn gun shooting pretty good groups. Can't remember how we did in the CSMLA Match, but the tuning really worked.  Fun stuff guys....

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 29th 2016, 4:50 pm

Great Story.....of course reminding me of another. I was at a shoot/rendezvous near Morrison Co.....there was a fellow down the line who was shooting a Sharon Hawken......54 cal as I recall. This fellow had on a bear skin coat (it was June)....but better yet he had a knife that had a handle made from a horses leg bone...seriously it was more of a sword than a knife.....had to be 3' long. Anyway the fellow went by the moniker "Bear"...of course. Well Bear was having a hard time hitting the 60 yd gong. He had his "homies" gathered around offering all manner of advise. One guy asked him "How much powder you loading"........Bear's reply was....sounding much like "Del Que" ......"Ahhh....I'm shootin my huntin load...200gr of ffg".....so I moved a bit further way. I was shooting this same NW gun..or as we affectionately called them "Brass Lizard Gun". For fun I was loading two of my .562 r.b. over a patch and under a wad of t.p.. Each time I pulled the trigger...I heard a "bong, bong". Not only was I consistently double hitting the gong with each shot, but apparently I was also confusing the heck out of the group down the line who were trying to help old Bear figure out how to hit the same gong I was.......my load was 70gr of ffg. Laughing

All these years later...still a lot of folks who don't put much stock in smoothies....and like you I wanted to be able to hit more accurately...so I put the rear sight on it......but then I was never much of a competitor. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 30th 2016, 7:08 am

lighthorseman wrote:
Great Story.....of course reminding me of another. I was at a shoot/rendezvous near Morrison Co

You mentioning Morrison, I lived about 2 miles as the crow flies from down town Morrison for 14 years, never missed anything that involved black powder. That little town is still the same as it was back in the 70's. I had a period food business at that time - "Clark & Son Mercantile". That's how I got to know "Bear", Bob was a talker with little experience about history or black powder. I always though if someone would take the time to work with him he would have been OK.

.....there was a fellow down the line who was shooting a Sharon Hawken......54 cal as I recall. This fellow had on a bear skin coat (it was June)....but better yet he had a knife that had a handle made from a horses leg bone...seriously it was more of a sword than a knife.....had to be 3' long. Anyway the fellow went by the moniker "Bear"...of course.

I knew the guy, a lot of talk, repeated history that someone else mentioned third hand, don't think he ever read a book. He wanted to join the Fort Collins Muzzle Loading club - nobody would sponsor him. Then he went to the South Platt group. But he did get on a Muzzleloader magazine cover?

Bear's reply was....sounding much like "Del Que" ......"Ahhh....I'm shootin my huntin load...200gr of ffg".....so I moved a bit further way. .........

That damn guy finally destroyed that gun, lucky he didn't blow his own head off...

the same gong I was.......my load was 70gr of ffg. Laughing

I have always shot 80gr of FFG in my smooth bores, used the same powder to prime with, simple is better.



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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   June 30th 2016, 5:03 pm

Buck

do you remember a fellow who worked for........I think Golden Veterinary...he and his wife were friends of ours but his first name was Jim...can't remember his last name. Wife was Lanni. I had worked with her at Table Mountain Ranch in '76. Jim's face had been disfigured in a car accident.....anyway he was real involved locally with the muzzle loading club.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 6:36 am

I'm like you, know who your talking about but can't put a name on them.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 9:34 am

Jim and I talked about opening a muzzle loading shop together ....even had a name for  ,  "Old Ephraim Trade and Supply"  nothing came of it of course. At the time "Old West Arms"...and then a little later Trapper's Rendezvous was all there were for muzzleloading shops in the Denver areas as I recall......Buffalo Wallow wasn't it up in ....north....somewhere and then there was the shop down in Manitou.....was that the "Mountain Man"?

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 9:53 am

the mountain man is still in manitou springs. Amazing shop!
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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 12:37 pm

lighthorseman wrote:
Jim and I talked about opening a muzzle loading shop together ....even had a name for  ,  "Old Ephraim Trade and Supply"  nothing came of it of course. At the time "Old West Arms"...and then a little later Trapper's Rendezvous was all there were for muzzleloading shops in the Denver areas as I recall......Buffalo Wallow wasn't it up in ....north....somewhere and then there was the shop down in Manitou.....was that the "Mountain Man"?


If you two had gone into this business you would have had a real eye opener pal.

The Other Gun Shop was in Aurora, one in Idaho Springs, in Colorado Springs, Buffalo Wallow in Lyons, Clark's in Estes Park, Brown's in Loveland, Buckhorn Rendezvous in Masonville (mind), Cache La Poudre Rifle Works in FT. Collins, The Gun Trade in Windsor plus a dozen shop traders handling guns.

I got a wild hair and made a deal with McCormick at Cache La Poudre Rifle Works as I was wanting to close the retail end of my shop and just do wholesale muzzle-loading supplies. Mike agreed to buy me out and I went on the road buying out anyone that was interested in selling. He paid me a percentage of everything I could purchase which was good for both of us.

In less than six months we purchased; the Other Gun Shop - Aurora, Idaho Springs Gun Shop, Colorado Springs Muzzle-Loaders, Buffalo Wallow - Lyons, Clark's (muzzle loading supplies) - Estes Park, Brown's - Loveland, The Gun Trade - Windsor. Then we went after "blanket traders" and kitchen table operations. This was the reason Cache La Poudre Rifle Works was so big going from a 600 sq ft shop to 1,800 sq ft business with that much room in warehouse storage all in one location. I bought guns, accessories, parts, kits, counters, discases, cash reg. - anything but their buildings, made some wonderful deals at big discount purchases. Would offer .10 cents on the retail dollar and fudge a little from the offering point. Guys were tired of playing the muzzle-loading game and willing to deal. One purchase run I took a six horse trailer and three extra guys, we loaded the Other Gun Shop - Aurora to the point we had rifles between us in the crew cab - not a foot to spare.

In the next 8-10 years Mike sold off most of the treasures, expanded his net worth by five, owning 1/2 of a city block in Old Town - Ft. Collins. He was so cheap he drove my wife nuts, he would count pennies and let them grow into dollars. At 58 years of age he died of a heart attach, probably worrying amount the damn pennies (that's No Shit). Mike had never married, he was one of my best friends. His brother John got all the stuff Mike had worked his butt off and gathered in 30 years. John contacted me about how to sell off the two pawn shops, the sporting goods store, leather shop and muzzle-loading businesses. I took two weeks off from work was paid a percentage and we moved the inventory from the sporting goods store, leather shop, and the muzzle-loading shop - it was (sold) to the Blunderbust - Lakewood, Mountain Man - Manitou Springs and a small want-a-bee in Cheyenne.

John kept the 1/2 block that now has high priced business in that location and apartment rentals above them.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 3:07 pm

Laughing ....no doubt it was providence that kept me out of the business. I don't remember there being that many shops in the late 70's but maybe there was and we just didn't get around enough. The Mountain Man in Manitou was the very first shop I ever went into......a guy by the name of Bill Dicky from Winter Park took me there. He was the guy who also invited us to the shoot in Hot Sulfur Springs Co. where I met Carney Pace, Kendall MacDowell, Monty Fritz, Gary Hertzog............and others whose names I don't recall. Later that summer I ended up moving to Steamboat Springs.........and it was pretty much trouble from there on out! affraid Out of all the names you mentioned I do recall the Buffalo Wallow and Cache La Poudre...along with the ones I mentioned before...........I suspect most of the fellows like myself had no business savvy and should have stuck to 9-5 jobs and the occasional Rendezvous!

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 4:08 pm

lighthorseman wrote:
Laughing I suspect most of the fellows like myself had no business savvy and should have stuck to 9-5 jobs and the occasional Rendezvous!

Boy that's the truth, many did have a 9-5 jobs and had some kid or their wives running their operations. Probably what killed their shops with the Mrs. seeing the money going out for supplies and not much coming back in sales.

At Buckhorn Rendezvous we had two part time folks hit all the garage sales and farm sales in Northern Colorado. You wouldn't believe what would be picked up there as well as the flea markets in the way of used muzzle-loading supplies. The fastest money was used TC's and CVA's, buy them all day long for $50.00 or less, clean them up, make a few minor repairs and sell them for $150.00. We moved probably a dozen each month for years. GRRW guns could be bought for $175.00 - $200.00 used, clean them up, make a few minor repairs and sell them for $325.00 to $350.00. They moved the best of any of the rifles. You always had to be on your toes and pay attention to what customers said. From a rumor I was on the phone running it down, if true we have jumped in the truck to make a purchase if a buck $$$ could be made.

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 1st 2016, 4:59 pm

Do you recall the survey that Dixie did......probably in the late 60's....early 70's. They divided up the muzzle loading community into three camps. Rev War, Civil War and Buckskinning. They discovered that the Rev War guys "at the time" were mostly white collar professionals. The Civil War guys were blue collar professionals.........and the buckskinners were mostly guys who couldn't hold down a job! Laughing

Wow...to have found GRRW rifles for that price!....about the closest I ever got to that was a original '74 Sharps that had a new barrel on it for $450.......and no I didn't buy it and yes, I'm still kicking myself! headslap .........however as I might have stated before, I did pick up a '73 Colt SAA for $275 and later sell it for $2500..............Buck.....I think the good old days are gone!

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 2nd 2016, 7:10 am

Don't give up Doug, we need to keep our fingers crossed and have Hollywood bring out a few more mountaineer movies to """ spark""# that old fire. affraid  I had forgot about the Dixie survey, the state association wrote Turner Kirkland a nasty note on it, never got a reply. Deadhorse

Buck

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 2nd 2016, 11:13 am

The Civil War and Rev guys are easy to define. I wonder what definition they used for the buckskinners? Seems there is a lot of wiggle room in that 'group.' There are a load of BP guys that do not fit into any pf those three 'types.'

I grew up hearing about the '50.00 black powder rifle' (and others) for sale at an estate sale, yard sale, farm auctions,  ect. I went looking. Never had a bit o' luck at finding it. I think I was in the wrong states at the time. I went to a gun show in South Dakota once and found the guns on hand were a different selection than what I was used to at home. I think you need to be in farming/rural areas for this kind of search.

I think things have changed quite a bit, too. I think the margins have gotten slimmer on used gun sales on average. People I meet seem more aware of the value of their firearms even when inherited. lol Sometimes? They are TOO aware and think they have an El Dorado gun when they really have a wall hanger!

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PostSubject: Re: Smooth Rifle   July 2nd 2016, 11:33 am

KC....internet allows for values to be investigated.....so even a novice can get some sense of the price of a gun. However, when I am looking for one, seems like they are always pretty steep....or when I am selling one........not so much. I have discovered that patience seems to be the key to success. I have items on Ebay for weeks that get no interest, then all of a sudden it sells. Same thing with Gunbroker etc.

My biggest problem is that I get the hankering for something so I sell a gun......then later on decide I actually need what I sold. Now what I sold is double the price of the one I sold! headslap

"If I were a rich man...da...da da da dee da"

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