1840 era shooting bag design?

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tenngun

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These are from the museum of the fur trade. Most eighteenth century bags were small... but not all. Westren bags from the nineteenth century tend to be a little bigger. But not all. We see some paintings from the 1850s with bags about 7x7, Crockett is painted with a bag that looks as big as haversack.
Should you want to do Kit Carson times a commercial bag may be the way to go. Most folk going west to make a fortune trapping beaver (sic)were out fitted by the company, and they bought supplies to issue the men and would have been fairly standard. Not military type standard as they might buy a couple dozen made here and some made there.
AC0B0EA6-044D-49C2-989A-3AFCB1854F6A.jpeg13D0B6B4-7EF4-4269-B19C-C5FA35BC1648.jpeg6FD70133-0F6C-44F6-ADA1-459979509163.jpeg
 

William O.

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Thank you very much for all that information and pictures! This helps a lot and even though I'm still not sure if I'm going to keep my Hawkin or not I can at least add a bag and horn to it that will actually be from the same era. This rifle in one of a few of mine that I've never gotten around to shooting even once, mostly due to health problems. I make a lot of plans that never seem to work out but I'm not stopping. Anyway, she's the one on the bottom. Custom made but for someone else who conveniently required the same dimensions as I do.
 

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William O.

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Oh, the locks are on the correct side, maybe you're just looking at them backwards. ;)
Y'all have some great bags and I appreciate the help and education. The photos especially help, for me at least. I can gather a lot of information from a diagram of description but a picture allows me to tie it all together.
 

Einsiedler

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I use this very simple pouch I fabricated out of veg tan 3-4 oz for both my fullstock perc. Hawken and my restock flint contract rifle. Both are .54 calibre. So it’s just a matter of remembering to grab my capper when using the Hawken.





It has about a 1 1/2” gusset on the sides. And one small interior pocket sewn to the back.
 
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William O.

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Thank you for the compliments. The horn was made by Powder Horns n More so I got to choose the type of wood for the plug. My Hawken is a different story and although it was custom made, it wasn't made for me specifically, rather another lefty with a near same LOP. A buddy of mine spotted it for sale and knowing what LOP I have in addition to being a lefty, contacted the seller for details. Turns out she was a widow selling off her husband's collection and didn't know how to price everything. My buddy is a gunsmith and gave her some tips and approximations on everything, including the Hawken. She didn't know if it had ever been fired and insisted that the value he'd put on this rifle couldn't possibly be that high. He didn't want to take advantage of her or lowball the asking price below what it already was. He bought it from her then turned around and offered it to me in trade for a rifle I'd bought from him several years earlier, which I'd never even shot. Afterwards, he told me the price he'd paid and I told him that I'd had gotten the better end of the deal by far. So, now I'm just now at a point in my life that I want to go out and enjoy all my toys before my health prevents me from doing so, and the C virus closes everything! So, why not get all my gear together they way I want it and be ready when everything is over? I wasn't happy with the bag I bought many years ago even though it's a nice bag it just doesn't look "right", you know?
 

Notchy Bob

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William O.,

None of us are getting any younger, brother. I hope you can get out and shoot, soon!

The pouches illustrated in Tenngun's post (#2) are from The Mountain Man's Sketchbook - Volume Two. This was an excellent suggestion, and I think the book is still available.

Smokey Plainsman's outfit (post #4) looks very appropriate to me. Smokey can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the pouch was researched and made by T.C. Albert, and he documented the process on the ALR Forum. I don't think you could do better than that!

Bob McBride's pouches look great, too, and Einsiedler's workmanship is outstanding!

What type of shooting bag would someone likely be carrying around in 1840 or later? Roughly the same territory as Kit Carson traveled.
The time frame of "1840 or later" gives some latitude. Carson traveled all over the west, but I think of him as being most closely associated with New Mexico and southern Colorado. He also spent some time in Arizona, trapping the Gila early on, and then commanding the Navajo campaign in 1863-1864. I know at least a couple of his rifles are still extant, and one (a Spencer carbine) has a beaded buckskin case reportedly made in Taos. I don't know if any of his pouches or horns still exist. We know that Carson apprenticed in a saddle shop in Missouri before running away to the west, and I think it is reasonable to assume he would have acquired the skills to stitch a shot pouch for himself. However, Carson also associated a lot with native people, and I don't believe it would be too big of a stretch to think he might have carried a native-made pouch. Here are a few examples to consider:

Two shot pouches, with powder horns, from San Ildefonso. The detail inset in the first photo is of a buckskin bullet bag which was in the larger pouch. I think the little bottle-shaped gadget on the strap is likely for holding percussion caps, while the loop just above it retains a charger or measure, suspended from a chain. This is a clever idea, to keep the charger handy while preventing it from swinging around. The second pouch appears to have an open top:
San Ildefonso .1.jpg

San Ildefonso .2.jpg

Two more shot pouches, with powder horns, from Taos. The first pouch looks to me if it might have been made by a professional cordwainer. The second has the look of a native-made bag. I like the decorative diamond-shaped perforations or cut-outs on the flap:
Taos .1.jpg

Taos .2.jpg

I know you didn't ask about powder horns, but I hope you don't mind if we consider these two, which are from Taos:

Taos .3.jpg

Taos .4.jpg

All of the images are from the Anthropology Collections Database of the American Museum of Natural History.

Anyway, best of luck to you, and I hope you find a shot pouch that suits you and your rifle.

Notchy Bob
 
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William O.,

None of us are getting any younger, brother. I hope you can get out and shoot, soon!

The pouches illustrated in Tenngun's post (#2) are from The Mountain Man's Sketchbook - Volume Two. This was an excellent suggestion, and I think the book is still available.

Smokey Plainsman's outfit (post #4) looks very appropriate to me. Smokey can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the pouch was researched and made by T.C. Albert, and he documented the process on the ALR Forum. I don't think you could do better than that!

Bob McBride's pouches look great, too, and Einsiedler's workmanship is outstanding!



The time frame of "1840 or later" gives some latitude. Carson traveled all over the west, but I think of him as being most closely associated with New Mexico and southern Colorado. He also spent some time in Arizona, trapping the Gila early on, and then commanding the Navajo campaign in 1863-1864. I know at least a couple of his rifles are still extant, and one (a Spencer carbine) has a beaded buckskin case reportedly made in Taos. I don't know if any of his pouches or horns still exist. We know that Carson apprenticed in a saddle shop in Missouri before running away to the west, and I think it is reasonable to assume he would have acquired the skills to stitch a shot pouch for himself. However, Carson also associated a lot with native people, and I don't believe it would be too big of a stretch to think he might have carried a native-made pouch. Here are a few examples to consider:

Two shot pouches, with powder horns, from San Ildefonso. The detail inset in the first photo is of a buckskin bullet bag which was in the larger pouch. I think the little bottle-shaped gadget on the strap is likely for holding percussion caps, while the loop just above it retains a charger or measure, suspended from a chain. This is a clever idea, to keep the charger handy while preventing it from swinging around. The second pouch appears to have an open top:
View attachment 32255

View attachment 32256

Two more shot pouches, with powder horns, from Taos. The first pouch looks to me if it might have been made by a professional cordwainer. The second has the look of a native-made bag. I like the decorative diamond-shaped perforations or cut-outs on the flap:
View attachment 32257

View attachment 32258

I know you didn't ask about powder horns, but I hope you don't mind if we consider these two, which are from Taos:

View attachment 32263

View attachment 32264

All of the images are from the Anthropology Collections Database of the American Museum of Natural History.

Anyway, best of luck to you, and I hope you find a shot pouch that suits you and your rifle.

Notchy Bob
Very nice, Notchy. It seems a small bag’s mold was a very common item carried in period pouches. It makes sense as it could be very hard to find the correct sized balls for your rifle and one could take “any old lead” they found and “run ball” to fit their piece nicely.
 

William O.

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William O.,

None of us are getting any younger, brother. I hope you can get out and shoot, soon!

The pouches illustrated in Tenngun's post (#2) are from The Mountain Man's Sketchbook - Volume Two. This was an excellent suggestion, and I think the book is still available.

Smokey Plainsman's outfit (post #4) looks very appropriate to me. Smokey can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the pouch was researched and made by T.C. Albert, and he documented the process on the ALR Forum. I don't think you could do better than that!

Bob McBride's pouches look great, too, and Einsiedler's workmanship is outstanding!



The time frame of "1840 or later" gives some latitude. Carson traveled all over the west, but I think of him as being most closely associated with New Mexico and southern Colorado. He also spent some time in Arizona, trapping the Gila early on, and then commanding the Navajo campaign in 1863-1864. I know at least a couple of his rifles are still extant, and one (a Spencer carbine) has a beaded buckskin case reportedly made in Taos. I don't know if any of his pouches or horns still exist. We know that Carson apprenticed in a saddle shop in Missouri before running away to the west, and I think it is reasonable to assume he would have acquired the skills to stitch a shot pouch for himself. However, Carson also associated a lot with native people, and I don't believe it would be too big of a stretch to think he might have carried a native-made pouch. Here are a few examples to consider:

Two shot pouches, with powder horns, from San Ildefonso. The detail inset in the first photo is of a buckskin bullet bag which was in the larger pouch. I think the little bottle-shaped gadget on the strap is likely for holding percussion caps, while the loop just above it retains a charger or measure, suspended from a chain. This is a clever idea, to keep the charger handy while preventing it from swinging around. The second pouch appears to have an open top:
View attachment 32255

View attachment 32256

Two more shot pouches, with powder horns, from Taos. The first pouch looks to me if it might have been made by a professional cordwainer. The second has the look of a native-made bag. I like the decorative diamond-shaped perforations or cut-outs on the flap:
View attachment 32257

View attachment 32258

I know you didn't ask about powder horns, but I hope you don't mind if we consider these two, which are from Taos:

View attachment 32263

View attachment 32264

All of the images are from the Anthropology Collections Database of the American Museum of Natural History.

Anyway, best of luck to you, and I hope you find a shot pouch that suits you and your rifle.

Notchy Bob
I'm absolutely awestruck at seeing these examples! It makes me realize how tough the folks of this era and occupation really were as well as how self sufficient one had to be to survive. Had they seen us with our gear in their day they'd most likely think we were royalty.
 

Notchy Bob

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I'm absolutely awestruck at seeing these examples! It makes me realize how tough the folks of this era and occupation really were as well as how self sufficient one had to be to survive. Had they seen us with our gear in their day they'd most likely think we were royalty.
Yes! I, too, have often wondered what those old timers would think about our guns and gear.

This is another old pouch and horn, from the Cowan's auction website. I didn't include it in my first post because I don't know the timeframe or place where it was originally used, and your question was pretty specific. However, it may be pertinent to the direction the discussion has taken:

Cowan's Pouch and Horn.jpg

Imagine showing up at the local range with that slung over your shoulder! If you are interested in reading a little more about it, you can go directly to the Cowans' Auction website: Pouch & Horn

I think a lot of the old timers actually appreciated equipment that had seen some use and acquired some character. This is from Lewis Garrard's Wah-To-Yah and the Taos Trail, talking about the rifle for which he traded for his travels across the plains:

Garrard .1.png

Garrard .2.png

I don't want to take the thread too far from your original question, but I thought you made a good point.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

William O.

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Bob, that narrative humbles me. Fashioned a new stock with hatchet and pocket knife from a drawing? That just floors me! We don't realize how good we have it; having multiple rifles with a different bag for each one as well as separate powder horns. Well, I'm going to have to decide on the design for my bag and then bury it the yard for a year to get it looking the part!
No, not too far from my original question but I didn't expect such as education either, but it's welcome nonetheless.
 
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