possible bag info

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oncewas

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I'm at the point I need to think about a possible/shooting bag but really have no idea what I'm looking for. Things like how big? Do I need pockets? Leather or cloth? Just need a little help. Thanks.
 

tenngun

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People used cloth bags in the past, but leather was the fall back.
What I would suggest is buy a haver sack. They are cheap and tough and cost less then twenty dollars. Now fill it with what you think you need.
Go shooting a few times, keep track of what you use, and what you don’t. Separate what you didn’t use from what you did. Now get a bag to carry what you use, your other stuff can be in a bag at your camp, or in your car, just in case, but if you don’t use it you don’t need it on your hip.
October country makes great bags. I still have one that I used hard that I bought in 1977.
On line are plans to make a bag, you can get light veggie tan leather and make a bag. Most ml stores have good bags.
Buy the best you can, it pays off for a life time.
Check out you tube channel of Dualist 54,Blackpowder TV, woodcrafter 76 and they show good bag set ups
 

Notchy Bob

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I agree with @tenngun . An inexpensive haversack is the way to go until you have a better idea of what you want. Then you get your hunting pouch (or shot pouch, as it was generally called back in the day), and use your haversack for "overflow" or nonshooting items.

There are lots of places to get these. I have several haversacks from different sources, but the one that gets used the most is the CS Pattern Haversack from Fall Creek Sutlery. It is simple, flat, and sturdy, and at $17.95, less expensive than most. The only caveat is that if you are a big guy, the strap (which is non-adjustable) may be a little short. I am small, by today's standards, and mine fits me just right.

If you Google "canvas haversack for sale," you'll get a lot of hits.

Intending no offense to anyone, I believe many of the the hunting pouches you see these days are over-done, with too much capacity and too many features. This Assiniboine man looks like a serious hunter, yet he kept his kit pretty simple:

Bodmer-Pasesick-Kaskutau.jpg


This pouch, collected from the Assiniboine, has some decorative edging but is about the same size and shape as the one in the painting above:

Assiniboine Pouch & Horn.jpg


October Country, as mentioned in a previous post, makes good quality leather products for blackpowder shooters. I believe their Bighorn Pouch is a reasonably close copy of an original, is very simple in design, and is less expensive than most. It got a very favorable review in Muzzleloader magazine a while back:

Bighorn Bag.jpg


You have a lot of options, though. Good luck!

Notchy Bob
 

Banjoman

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When I started out I had way to much stuff in my bag. It was actually bulging with stuff I thought I needed but never used. Over time I have discovered that less is better.

My favorite bag is a plain leather possibles bag from Dixie Gun Works. I added a flap closure made from a deer antler tip.
 

oncewas

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Great info. Really appreciate it. The great shooting bag hunt is on. Between October Country and LogCabinShop I'm sure I'll find one. Right now I'm looking at a small one 7x7 or 7x8, the Old Style or maybe the Canadian. You've all been most helpful.
 

tenngun

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I agree with @tenngun . An inexpensive haversack is the way to go until you have a better idea of what you want. Then you get your hunting pouch (or shot pouch, as it was generally called back in the day), and use your haversack for "overflow" or nonshooting items.

There are lots of places to get these. I have several haversacks from different sources, but the one that gets used the most is the CS Pattern Haversack from Fall Creek Sutlery. It is simple, flat, and sturdy, and at $17.95, less expensive than most. The only caveat is that if you are a big guy, the strap (which is non-adjustable) may be a little short. I am small, by today's standards, and mine fits me just right.

If you Google "canvas haversack for sale," you'll get a lot of hits.

Intending no offense to anyone, I believe many of the the hunting pouches you see these days are over-done, with too much capacity and too many features. This Assiniboine man looks like a serious hunter, yet he kept his kit pretty simple:

View attachment 65545

This pouch, collected from the Assiniboine, has some decorative edging but is about the same size and shape as the one in the painting above:

View attachment 65551

October Country, as mentioned in a previous post, makes good quality leather products for blackpowder shooters. I believe their Bighorn Pouch is a reasonably close copy of an original, is very simple in design, and is less expensive than most. It got a very favorable review in Muzzleloader magazine a while back:

View attachment 65552

You have a lot of options, though. Good luck!

Notchy Bob
Couple of mine, less is more:
10D241DD-663D-4ABE-9F4D-AC575BC8BF74.jpeg
0684829C-920E-42CC-8576-2A7E035A9240.jpeg
830036EB-72A4-4C5B-A17C-F1C374868426.jpeg
 

oncewas

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I bought a range bag from muzzleloader.com to use as a haversack or range bag so that part is done. Is my thinking correct in looking for a small bag? In the 7x7 or 7x8 size range? That was the impression I got from what you were both saying. I can go bigger but thought the idea was to stay small as possible will still big enough to hold what I need for a day or am I missing something? Tenngun at least one of yours looks in that size range maybe a little deeper. Again thanks for all the help.
 

Cherrybow

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One of Bob McBrides Black Powder TV videos covers this topic very well. It’s worth watching before you buy.
 

.36Rooster

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You need a bag to hold:

21-30 balls, patches, caps

Cleaning jag, cleaning patches (or tow), ball worm, patch worm, nipple wrench, and nipple pick, powder measure, and a patch knife (which could be worn around the neck or attached to the outside of the bag). It is nice to be able to fit a bore brush as well.

A bore mop and ball starter are truly optional, but nice.

If you load from a flask instead of a horn, then the flask needs to fit.

A broccoli rubber band or piece of rubber and length of cord is nice but isn't historically correct, and is completely your choice.

I like a small leather pouch to keep all items except for the balls, patches, caps and powder measure in: Since you use those all less, they might as well be bundled together.

A small leather pouch is nice to keep your balls in, but a historically correct tin, or simply a Copenhagen or skoal can works just as well. If using a Copenhagen/skoal can, and using lubricated patches, then it is nice to keep your patches and half as many balls in that container, but you may need an extra leather pouch for the remaining balls.

Considerations and variations:

if hunting, you probably only need 3-10 balls, depending on whether you're hunting big game or small game.

If shooting 50 balls in a day at range (lots of fun), you will need space for 50 balls.

If stabbing at range between shots, You can have a small container of moose milk or black powder solvent, which is definitely good. But you can also swab with spit or water. Spit is sufficient, water is more than sufficient but you need to swab with muzzle tilted down hill. And run dry patches afterwards.

For long shooting sessions, a breech scraper will eliminate the problem of each patched ball pushing fouling to breech, and a ring accumulating, which does eventually make it hard to seat balls against powder.

You NEED enough room to organize everything in one layer in bottom of pouch without piling everything on top of each other. And not so much room so that it can shift around and change places and get shuffled. So you can reach right for them without looking because they are in exactly the same place every time.

If using leather pouches for your tools, AND, the balls, they should be of either different size/shape, different color, or different texture, or one has fringes and the other doesn't.

Orient these supplies on a sheet of paper, trace, and measure. That will be your bag width and depth. The height is up to you.

TIP:
A small rag to fit in the bag to take up extra space if bag is slightly too big is useful, otherwise a handkerchief in your pocket is just as useful. However, your shirt sleeve or tail is equally as useful and more satisfying to use because it gets your clothes dirty and that's what I like, at least.
 

Notchy Bob

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I bought a range bag from muzzleloader.com to use as a haversack or range bag so that part is done. Is my thinking correct in looking for a small bag? In the 7x7 or 7x8 size range? That was the impression I got from what you were both saying. I can go bigger but thought the idea was to stay small as possible will still big enough to hold what I need for a day or am I missing something? Tenngun at least one of yours looks in that size range maybe a little deeper. Again thanks for all the help.
I think you're on the right track! Big enough to get your hand in and move your fingers comfortably, so you can get to whatever drifted to the bottom of the pouch.

With some trepidation, I would refer you to this thread: What is the proper name for "possibles bag"?

That particular discussion stretched to nine pages! Most of the comments were driven by the terminology, but there was also a lot of general information about hunting pouches, how they were used, and what was carried in them.

Notchy Bob
 

smo

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Mr TC Albert has an excellent book on Recreating the 18th Century Hunting Pouch...

Making your own gear is part of the hobby for some, but not all.

6 x 6 is starting too get on the small size if you have large hands..

I use a belt bag, a shoulder bag and carry a haversack on most woods walks..
I keep only a few items in each bag..
Between the three, I can comfortably carry more things than I need...😁

Here’s a couple of small belt bags I use.


EE487325-94F9-43D3-837D-2B451EB05450.jpeg


D2FA667B-2C5F-473D-902A-C74F9DD3E2BC.jpeg


107177C7-89B5-4983-8E74-D88F142275F4.jpeg


5B482133-81D7-47D8-89C6-32AAC3D63313.jpeg

I Usually just use a modern pack which contains a few patches & balls , measure and a powder flask for hunting.
 
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Banjoman

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I have bags of different sizes. My rifle bag came from DGW. The Fusil bag is a repurposed saddle bag. Not exactly historically or period correct but I like them.
B75BD18F-6EFC-4747-AB2F-484676971946.jpeg
A453DD6D-B0BC-402A-BC17-F3057F37C7AF.jpeg
 

TNsourdough

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You need a bag to hold:

21-30 balls, patches, caps

Cleaning jag, cleaning patches (or tow), ball worm, patch worm, nipple wrench, and nipple pick, powder measure, and a patch knife (which could be worn around the neck or attached to the outside of the bag). It is nice to be able to fit a bore brush as well.

A bore mop and ball starter are truly optional, but nice.

If you load from a flask instead of a horn, then the flask needs to fit.

A broccoli rubber band or piece of rubber and length of cord is nice but isn't historically correct, and is completely your choice.

I like a small leather pouch to keep all items except for the balls, patches, caps and powder measure in: Since you use those all less, they might as well be bundled together.

A small leather pouch is nice to keep your balls in, but a historically correct tin, or simply a Copenhagen or skoal can works just as well. If using a Copenhagen/skoal can, and using lubricated patches, then it is nice to keep your patches and half as many balls in that container, but you may need an extra leather pouch for the remaining balls.

Considerations and variations:

if hunting, you probably only need 3-10 balls, depending on whether you're hunting big game or small game.

If shooting 50 balls in a day at range (lots of fun), you will need space for 50 balls.

If stabbing at range between shots, You can have a small container of moose milk or black powder solvent, which is definitely good. But you can also swab with spit or water. Spit is sufficient, water is more than sufficient but you need to swab with muzzle tilted down hill. And run dry patches afterwards.

For long shooting sessions, a breech scraper will eliminate the problem of each patched ball pushing fouling to breech, and a ring accumulating, which does eventually make it hard to seat balls against powder.

You NEED enough room to organize everything in one layer in bottom of pouch without piling everything on top of each other. And not so much room so that it can shift around and change places and get shuffled. So you can reach right for them without looking because they are in exactly the same place every time.

If using leather pouches for your tools, AND, the balls, they should be of either different size/shape, different color, or different texture, or one has fringes and the other doesn't.

Orient these supplies on a sheet of paper, trace, and measure. That will be your bag width and depth. The height is up to you.

TIP:
A small rag to fit in the bag to take up extra space if bag is slightly too big is useful, otherwise a handkerchief in your pocket is just as useful. However, your shirt sleeve or tail is equally as useful and more satisfying to use because it gets your clothes dirty and that's what I like, at least.
That's about as useful a response as I've seen in many years...and I've been shooting muzzleloaders for over 40 years!
 

toot

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I rely like the turn key/ vent pick. I make them but hardening them to be used as a flint striker also. on the rounded edge of the vent pick and the flat edge of the question mark turn key. you gain and extra tool. I am a black smith. as for the bag you seem to have just about every thing that is needed on the trail. KUDDO'S to YAH!! that is 10 LBS. of stuff in a 5 LB. bag.
 

oncewas

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Thanks to everyone for all the great info. I'm looking at these bags.
but am leaning towards this one
 

renegadehunter

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Really depends on your preference. I like to carry minimal things when hunting and I don't like things clinking/clanking around making noise. I also like to reach my hand in without looking and know right where the item I want is at. These preferences make me prefer a bag with a divider and a small pocket.
My bag has the following when hunting:
Ball bag with 5 RB's, homemade field flask that holds 5 charges, homemade antler short starter that has a hole drilled in one end of the handle for using it as a palm saver too, an old cap tin with 5 lubed patches, a small container with damp swabbing patches, a small container with dry swabbing patches, and a nipple removal tool (caplock), nipple pick, and jag in the small pocket. The short starter and flask are the most likely to clack together and make noise, so they are kept separate from each other by the divider. I wear a straight style capper and homemade antler powder measure around my neck.
I have my main bigger bag in my vehicle that has extra shooting components, ball puller, patch worm, etc. if something out of the ordinary occurs.
If I do a shoot or something else that will mean more shooting, I simply increase the amount of patches, balls, and swabs in their containers and swap out the field flask for a bigger store bought flask.
 

Notchy Bob

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I don't think you'll go wrong with any of those. The top one is not described as having a gusset, so I'm assuming it is just a flat bag. The bottom two have gussets, which will increase the capacity substantially more than a flat bag of the same height and width. Not that that's good or bad... Just something to consider. More room for your hand, more capacity, but more bulk.

I think all of those have lace-adjustable straps, so you can get the length to suit you. This is a lightweight and practical approach, and very popular now, although I don't recall seeing an original with that type of adjustment. I don't know how important that would be for you at this point.

The important thing is to get you out there shooting!

Notchy Bob
 

.36Rooster

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That's about as useful a response as I've seen in many years...and I've been shooting muzzleloaders for over 40 years!
Well thats quite a compliment coming from someone who's been in this for 40 years.

My philosophy has always been to carry the bare minimum I reasonably could need, and leave out an item if I can invent some sort of slick trick to do without it.
 
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