I have been shooting blackpowder pistols and rifles since I was fourteen years old. My first was a replica 1851 navy I ordered out of the back of Outdoor Life magazine, I think it was $19.99 plus shipping. I had to include a statement that I was over twenty one and they were legal in my State. That was no problem since I had no idea what was and was not legal in Texas at that time in life and I was only 7 years away from being twenty one. I remember all the problems I had getting Longacre’s gun shop in Abilene to find some .36 caliber lead balls, black powder and some number 11 percussion caps, but they came through and kept me supplied for years. I was close to 16 before my dad heard me shooting that pistol down by the river one weekend at our family ranch and asked to see what gun I was firing. In hindsight it was a little louder than the twenty two rifle he had given me. He looked at it, handed it back and asked no questions.
From that beginning I shot all types of old blackpowder firearms. Every time some company would come out with a new model I could not wait to read about it or see it at our local gun stores. I shot Thompson Center Hawkens, Senecas and Cherokees along with CVA and Traditions standard models. I even had a South American monkey gun and a cheap Japanese rifle for a while until I traded them off on something else. In the back of my mind I always wanted a real custom flintlock muzzleloading rifle. Something like you would see carried by Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett. Going to the Alamo in San Antonio was like a religious trek to the Holy Land of Blackpowder rifles. I would look at the rifles in the cases and paintings and dream of carrying one similar on a treck in the woods. Through the years I would read about great rifles and see them in museums. Once in a while I would even run across someone that had one I could actually hold. Later in life I lost interest and went to all modern guns, but as I have gotten older and hunt less I have returned to the slower older blackpowder guns. What a new world of customs and semi customs we are blessed with today. I have toyed with the idea of having a custom built but it seems all the builders I talked with wanted my first born along with their inheritance to build a rifle.
A while back I ran across a builder that makes a good looking product that is not a kit and charges a reasonable fee for his work. He carves the stock from a plank of wood and builds the rifles in the old styles even making such iron parts as the butt plate, trigger guard and thimbles. He does not use some company’s idea of what the rifle should look like in a precarved model and he follows old historic examples of the gun maker’s art. I will tell you more about this gun maker in the future and will provide you links to his website along with contact information. For now I will only show you pictures of the start of my rifle so you can wonder what I am having made for a while, Wild Ed