|I am sure she is a nice lady (example only).|
There is a phenomena sweeping the modern firearm industry. It is being driven not by utility, or necessity – instead it is by diseased consumerism with marketing ploys geared towards 13 year old boys seething with pubescent fantasies of babes toting machine guns. Companies are no longer relying on the solid reputation of a proven resume, reputation, and the word of seasoned operators to market their proven utilitarian weapon or enhancement. Instead we see the influx of “gun bunny” culture, a MTV style approach to marketing for products that serve zero practical application whatsoever coupled with doomsday fantasies as far fetched as grown men (I use that term “men” loosely) discussing zombies. Not all companies are guilty of this however. Colt, Lewis Machine and Tool, Daniel Defense, London Bridge Trading, Trijicon, Safariland are just a few proven companies used by the elite of the elite that seldom if ever at all have stooped to this Cro-Magnon level of marketing. No, their incredible reputation of quality and service carries their names. These legit companies have no need to pretend, or pose, because those who know, and are actually paid to employ a black rifle as a job, know these few companies have your back in the real world of dirt, grime, flash bangs and harsh weather.
|Author at Pistol-Carbine School 9th Year of SWAT|
Amidst this culture of handicapped chaos, hidden in the shadows of dimly lit forests, and the song bird filled woods of America there exists a culture that is diametrically the opposite of everything previously mentioned. There exists a calm, a zen, a meditative world of ritual, history, tradition, rhythm and methodology; where art, skill, and craftsmanship are blended into the roots of firearms history. This is the world of traditional muzzleloaders. Whether nestled in the folds of the green hills of Appalachia, the hardwood forests of the Northeast or the snow covered Rockies in the West, there is a sanctuary for those of us growing ill with this plastic culture. No, not the breech loading, black powder, modern firearms with synthetic stocks and optics, whose only purpose is to circumvent a rule in order to hunt a particular district or season with all the advantages of modernity. We’re talking about American Longrifles and fowlers made in the image of those by Isaac Haines, Jacob Dickert, John Bivens, J.P. Beck, Joseph Long, JJ. Henry, Henry Leman to name only a few. We’re talking about Lancaster Rifles, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Jaegers, Trade Guns. These are the rifles that freed a nation, settled a wild continent, and helped birth the United States. They are our nations mitochondria.
|J.P. Beck Rifle|
My father still has the impeccable replica Hawken (.54 cal) made by Ithaca with a Green Mountain barrel, that I grew up shooting. I remember nearly every time we would shoot this smoke belching relic of a bygone, late fur trade, frontier era. Something was soothing about the loading and firing process. There was a sweet simplicity in the powder, patch and ball – all seated with a ramrod stick – all carried in a folded and sewn moose hide bag sitting on ones hip underneath a horn of powder. Also noted, was the focus on fundamentals of marksmanship and being a rifleman. You had one shot – no second chances. Each time I experienced this process, this ritual, each time I heard the concussion and witnessed the plume of hanging smoke, I yearned for more, only to move on and again join the fast paced modern world, neglecting the call of sulfur, salt-peter and charcoal. Over the years, I went through the call several times, ignoring my desire to jump into muzzleloading myself.
|English Rifle With Durs Egg Lock|
Last year, while at a rendezvous with the family, I met up with an older acquaintance, who that day happened to have stepped out of 1814. Wearing moccasins, a dirty white colonial shirt, a tobacco pouch and clay pipe adorning his neck, holding an English style Flintlock rifle that was beautiful in every way, he kindly urged me to shoot it, making it clear, “Ah – with blackpowder it’s different, we love when someone shoots our gun. You’ll always be asked to shoot someones rifle here!” It was as if he was tricking me with some ancient magic. I clutched the beautiful hand polished walnut, starring at the octagon to sixteen sides, wedding banded to round barrel, the engraved Durs Egg lock with a small piece of flint clutched in the jaws of the cock. This rifle was beauty. There was no aluminum, no phosphated finish, no pic rail, no plastic, no “trying to be so hardcore it looked stupid roll marks”, no comic book characters engraved, nothing at all but sheer craftsmanship and the simple, organic beauty of checkered, polished walnut, engraved steel, and hand fitting that made one believe this was the work of Dwarves. Purely authentic, original.
|A Channel Members .50 Cal “Poor Boy”|
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