Saturday, I received my copy of The Hawken Rifle, It’s Evolution from 1820 – 1870, by Bob Woodfill.

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Walaw171, I get exactly what you driving at. I while not an art historian I was a working artist all my professional life. A man of leisure now, I love building muzzleloaders. I too have ordered something that I hope to turn into my grand opus. While not a hawken, it is a Colonial from Kibler, I opted for the extra fancy maple stock and plan on trying relief and incise work in the Recoco style. I also want to try my hand at brass inletting, and maybe steel engraving.
But like you, I want to be period correctish. I know that Bella, that will be her name will not be a160 year old Colonial flintlock, but with any luck, I will build a gun for the ages! Still doing my research while I wait for my 50cal canvas to arrive 😃
 
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Saturday, I received my copy of The Hawken Rifle, It’s Evolution from 1820 – 1870, by Bob Woodfill. It is a beautiful book, well written and well laid out. It gave me pause for thought about the rifle I will assemble if it ever gets here from Italy.

I was trained and worked as an art historian for fifteen years, and I tend to think about history, art, and artifacts within their context. I was taught to see art as a social document, and I am beginning to see 18th and 19th -century muzzleloaders along those lines. As an art historian, I also know that myths grow around art and its place in history. The more deeply I research the History of the Mountain/plains rifles and the mountain men, the more apparent it becomes that the entire subject is clouded in myth and that historical facts warrant care in our conversations about these rifles. While I await my rifle kit, the research has posed a few questions for me.

Do I want to build a museum-quality replica, or do I want to develop a rifle in the style of a Hawken? If the former, then there will be a great deal I need to do to replace pieces of furniture and replicate the methods of staining, etc. On the other hand, building in the style of a Hawken allows me more freedom to create a new personal and unique piece. These are legitimate questions I mull over. Either way, I will never really build a Hawken; after all, my name is not Hawken. I also know that the Mountain/Plains rifle concept was not unique to the Hawken Brothers, and they created their guns from those they learned their craft upon before moving to St Louis. That is how we make progress. Despite what the “woke” say -everything, in the end, is cultural appropriation.

I know that I have no intention of being a historical re-enactor; I neither have the time nor the inclination to spend the money to create a historically accurate “kit” – clothes, etc. And I also know as a historian that such re-enactment requires hours, nay years of library research to accomplish. I spent far too much of my life in libraries and museums to want to do that again. Nor do I want to do some half-assed kind of re-enactment. Yeah, I love the period’s clothes, but that is not my purpose in doing this. I want to build a rifle and maybe a couple of pistols. I chose muzzle-loading because I have lived in a world of auto-loading modern weapons in my short time as a Deputy sheriff, and I know I never enjoyed modern gun culture – too much consumerism, too fast a pace, and too much narcissism.

In the end, I realized I wanted to create a work of art, a thing of beauty, and to do that requires I slow down and smell the wood, the metal, the stain, and the oils.

I do not want to purchase an original Hawken or Long rifle. Those are museum-quality, and I would never shoot it. I want something that I have invested time in and, in this case, follows a Hawken style – but I know it will never be a Hawken. My goal is to turn out a thing of beauty that is also a joy to use. I once had the pleasure of shooting a Holland and Holland over and under, and not only was it sweet to shoot, the care and handcraftsmanship that went into its manufacture made it feel like holding my first sweetheart in High school. It was a bit dizzying and awe-inspiring to feel the energy and warmth of hand craftsmanship.

Having said that. I have also spent a great deal of time reading online forums and watching what videos I can find. I noticed a pattern in the online media. One, in particular, struck me as it was about all the historical mistakes in the movie Jeremiah Johnson. I returned to the film over the weekend and have to say this. The movie is a narrative, a work of fiction that never gave the idea that it was 100 percent historically accurate. That was never its intention. It is a story that appeals to us because of the human quality – the friendships, the love, and the aspect of revenge in a man trying to escape the very thing he became, a violent man. After I rewatched the movie, I went back to the forum where the film was so soundly critiqued for its “inaccuracies” and realized there is a perfect 19th-century word to describe these critics. ‘Pettifoggers.” You know, as in petty meaning small-minded and foggers meaning one who creates something difficult to see through.

That these forums would be full of pettifoggers comes as no surprise, life is full of pettifoggers who can only find importance in tearing something or someone down.

I watched a video by Ethan of “I love muzzleloading.” He talked about the number one obstacle to the growth of muzzleloading for the beginner. To summarize, he boiled it down to too many in the muzzleloading community being a jerk. I guess that is a concise 21st century way to say pettifogger, but somehow, I think pettifogger is much more elegant and descriptive. As I read through the Jeremiah Johnson forum, I found myself thinking, “Boy, who wants to deal with pettifoggers, i.e., jerks like that? What are they trying to prove?” But being old and contrary and hopefully not a pettifogger, I realized that we all need support and conversation and a kind exchange of ideas, so I reach out here in chat well, at least what a conversation is in a blog thread. I hope over time that as I begin the careful process of creating a half-stock Rocky Mountain rifle from a Hawken-style kit.

I look forward to user feedback, but not the jerkiness and pettifogging of what I have seen in many forums and even some threads here.

I can say that I have had a 99.9 percent positive interaction with respondents in my previous posts. I am happy about that. I hope to create some cross-country friendships with men of shared interests and values and get good feedback and advice as I go forward with this project. I have enjoyed seeing several good gunsmithing and finishing videos on YouTube and have found many ideas to ponder moving forward.

Now I wish the darn kit would get here. I am ready to embrace it like a man embraces a lovely woman once he is past the foolishness of adolescence.

Again, this is offered in the spirit of a bunch of old fogies sitting around and having coffee and maybe a platter of bacon and eggs while they share their life experiences.

No arguments and no pettifogging. After three years of the nonsense of legacy corporate media, the govt, and public health, I am ready for some kindness and normalcy. The idiots only win if you become like them.
Hey, Great! I got my copy just a few days ago, and really enjoy leafing through. The author is really educated and has been studying and referencing other collectors and researchers for some time, so it's a bargain at $50 plus shipping which was about 11 bucks or so. Postage is expensive anymore!
 
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Hey, Great! I got my copy just a few days ago, and really enjoy leafing through. The author is really educated and has been studying and referencing other collectors and researchers for some time, so it's a bargain at $50 plus shipping which was about 11 bucks or so. Postage is expensive anymore!
I know there are some custom makers re-creating Hawkens to authentic pattern, and if I was younger, I'd probably invest in one but now that I'm retired I'm happy to read and study a bit and follow a couple local gun auctions. They were a rifle that really filled the bill for those going out West before it was at all tamed!
 
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Saturday, I received my copy of The Hawken Rifle, It’s Evolution from 1820 – 1870, by Bob Woodfill. It is a beautiful book, well written and well laid out. It gave me pause for thought about the rifle I will assemble if it ever gets here from Italy.

I was trained and worked as an art historian for fifteen years, and I tend to think about history, art, and artifacts within their context. I was taught to see art as a social document, and I am beginning to see 18th and 19th -century muzzleloaders along those lines. As an art historian, I also know that myths grow around art and its place in history. The more deeply I research the History of the Mountain/plains rifles and the mountain men, the more apparent it becomes that the entire subject is clouded in myth and that historical facts warrant care in our conversations about these rifles. While I await my rifle kit, the research has posed a few questions for me.

Do I want to build a museum-quality replica, or do I want to develop a rifle in the style of a Hawken? If the former, then there will be a great deal I need to do to replace pieces of furniture and replicate the methods of staining, etc. On the other hand, building in the style of a Hawken allows me more freedom to create a new personal and unique piece. These are legitimate questions I mull over. Either way, I will never really build a Hawken; after all, my name is not Hawken. I also know that the Mountain/Plains rifle concept was not unique to the Hawken Brothers, and they created their guns from those they learned their craft upon before moving to St Louis. That is how we make progress. Despite what the “woke” say -everything, in the end, is cultural appropriation.

I know that I have no intention of being a historical re-enactor; I neither have the time nor the inclination to spend the money to create a historically accurate “kit” – clothes, etc. And I also know as a historian that such re-enactment requires hours, nay years of library research to accomplish. I spent far too much of my life in libraries and museums to want to do that again. Nor do I want to do some half-assed kind of re-enactment. Yeah, I love the period’s clothes, but that is not my purpose in doing this. I want to build a rifle and maybe a couple of pistols. I chose muzzle-loading because I have lived in a world of auto-loading modern weapons in my short time as a Deputy sheriff, and I know I never enjoyed modern gun culture – too much consumerism, too fast a pace, and too much narcissism.

In the end, I realized I wanted to create a work of art, a thing of beauty, and to do that requires I slow down and smell the wood, the metal, the stain, and the oils.

I do not want to purchase an original Hawken or Long rifle. Those are museum-quality, and I would never shoot it. I want something that I have invested time in and, in this case, follows a Hawken style – but I know it will never be a Hawken. My goal is to turn out a thing of beauty that is also a joy to use. I once had the pleasure of shooting a Holland and Holland over and under, and not only was it sweet to shoot, the care and handcraftsmanship that went into its manufacture made it feel like holding my first sweetheart in High school. It was a bit dizzying and awe-inspiring to feel the energy and warmth of hand craftsmanship.

Having said that. I have also spent a great deal of time reading online forums and watching what videos I can find. I noticed a pattern in the online media. One, in particular, struck me as it was about all the historical mistakes in the movie Jeremiah Johnson. I returned to the film over the weekend and have to say this. The movie is a narrative, a work of fiction that never gave the idea that it was 100 percent historically accurate. That was never its intention. It is a story that appeals to us because of the human quality – the friendships, the love, and the aspect of revenge in a man trying to escape the very thing he became, a violent man. After I rewatched the movie, I went back to the forum where the film was so soundly critiqued for its “inaccuracies” and realized there is a perfect 19th-century word to describe these critics. ‘Pettifoggers.” You know, as in petty meaning small-minded and foggers meaning one who creates something difficult to see through.

That these forums would be full of pettifoggers comes as no surprise, life is full of pettifoggers who can only find importance in tearing something or someone down.

I watched a video by Ethan of “I love muzzleloading.” He talked about the number one obstacle to the growth of muzzleloading for the beginner. To summarize, he boiled it down to too many in the muzzleloading community being a jerk. I guess that is a concise 21st century way to say pettifogger, but somehow, I think pettifogger is much more elegant and descriptive. As I read through the Jeremiah Johnson forum, I found myself thinking, “Boy, who wants to deal with pettifoggers, i.e., jerks like that? What are they trying to prove?” But being old and contrary and hopefully not a pettifogger, I realized that we all need support and conversation and a kind exchange of ideas, so I reach out here in chat well, at least what a conversation is in a blog thread. I hope over time that as I begin the careful process of creating a half-stock Rocky Mountain rifle from a Hawken-style kit.

I look forward to user feedback, but not the jerkiness and pettifogging of what I have seen in many forums and even some threads here.

I can say that I have had a 99.9 percent positive interaction with respondents in my previous posts. I am happy about that. I hope to create some cross-country friendships with men of shared interests and values and get good feedback and advice as I go forward with this project. I have enjoyed seeing several good gunsmithing and finishing videos on YouTube and have found many ideas to ponder moving forward.

Now I wish the darn kit would get here. I am ready to embrace it like a man embraces a lovely woman once he is past the foolishness of adolescence.

Again, this is offered in the spirit of a bunch of old fogies sitting around and having coffee and maybe a platter of bacon and eggs while they share their life experiences.

No arguments and no pettifogging. After three years of the nonsense of legacy corporate media, the govt, and public health, I am ready for some kindness and normalcy. The idiots only win if you become like them.
I got that book, knowing it will no doubt be sought after in the future. I've loved this forum, and haven't detected too many "jerks"; I guess the subject matter is too dense for them in general!
 
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Concerning that book: when I ordered it, the cost came up as $100 dollars! But, upon subsequent checking, it seems someone had maybe "hacked" the ad, and I got it for the actual-and-always price of $50...so be careful, all! It's well worth the money and should be in any general muzzleloader's shelf!
 
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Saturday, I received my copy of The Hawken Rifle, It’s Evolution from 1820 – 1870, by Bob Woodfill. It is a beautiful book, well written and well laid out. It gave me pause for thought about the rifle I will assemble if it ever gets here from Italy.

I was trained and worked as an art historian for fifteen years, and I tend to think about history, art, and artifacts within their context. I was taught to see art as a social document, and I am beginning to see 18th and 19th -century muzzleloaders along those lines. As an art historian, I also know that myths grow around art and its place in history. The more deeply I research the History of the Mountain/plains rifles and the mountain men, the more apparent it becomes that the entire subject is clouded in myth and that historical facts warrant care in our conversations about these rifles. While I await my rifle kit, the research has posed a few questions for me.

Do I want to build a museum-quality replica, or do I want to develop a rifle in the style of a Hawken? If the former, then there will be a great deal I need to do to replace pieces of furniture and replicate the methods of staining, etc. On the other hand, building in the style of a Hawken allows me more freedom to create a new personal and unique piece. These are legitimate questions I mull over. Either way, I will never really build a Hawken; after all, my name is not Hawken. I also know that the Mountain/Plains rifle concept was not unique to the Hawken Brothers, and they created their guns from those they learned their craft upon before moving to St Louis. That is how we make progress. Despite what the “woke” say -everything, in the end, is cultural appropriation.

I know that I have no intention of being a historical re-enactor; I neither have the time nor the inclination to spend the money to create a historically accurate “kit” – clothes, etc. And I also know as a historian that such re-enactment requires hours, nay years of library research to accomplish. I spent far too much of my life in libraries and museums to want to do that again. Nor do I want to do some half-assed kind of re-enactment. Yeah, I love the period’s clothes, but that is not my purpose in doing this. I want to build a rifle and maybe a couple of pistols. I chose muzzle-loading because I have lived in a world of auto-loading modern weapons in my short time as a Deputy sheriff, and I know I never enjoyed modern gun culture – too much consumerism, too fast a pace, and too much narcissism.

In the end, I realized I wanted to create a work of art, a thing of beauty, and to do that requires I slow down and smell the wood, the metal, the stain, and the oils.

I do not want to purchase an original Hawken or Long rifle. Those are museum-quality, and I would never shoot it. I want something that I have invested time in and, in this case, follows a Hawken style – but I know it will never be a Hawken. My goal is to turn out a thing of beauty that is also a joy to use. I once had the pleasure of shooting a Holland and Holland over and under, and not only was it sweet to shoot, the care and handcraftsmanship that went into its manufacture made it feel like holding my first sweetheart in High school. It was a bit dizzying and awe-inspiring to feel the energy and warmth of hand craftsmanship.

Having said that. I have also spent a great deal of time reading online forums and watching what videos I can find. I noticed a pattern in the online media. One, in particular, struck me as it was about all the historical mistakes in the movie Jeremiah Johnson. I returned to the film over the weekend and have to say this. The movie is a narrative, a work of fiction that never gave the idea that it was 100 percent historically accurate. That was never its intention. It is a story that appeals to us because of the human quality – the friendships, the love, and the aspect of revenge in a man trying to escape the very thing he became, a violent man. After I rewatched the movie, I went back to the forum where the film was so soundly critiqued for its “inaccuracies” and realized there is a perfect 19th-century word to describe these critics. ‘Pettifoggers.” You know, as in petty meaning small-minded and foggers meaning one who creates something difficult to see through.

That these forums would be full of pettifoggers comes as no surprise, life is full of pettifoggers who can only find importance in tearing something or someone down.

I watched a video by Ethan of “I love muzzleloading.” He talked about the number one obstacle to the growth of muzzleloading for the beginner. To summarize, he boiled it down to too many in the muzzleloading community being a jerk. I guess that is a concise 21st century way to say pettifogger, but somehow, I think pettifogger is much more elegant and descriptive. As I read through the Jeremiah Johnson forum, I found myself thinking, “Boy, who wants to deal with pettifoggers, i.e., jerks like that? What are they trying to prove?” But being old and contrary and hopefully not a pettifogger, I realized that we all need support and conversation and a kind exchange of ideas, so I reach out here in chat well, at least what a conversation is in a blog thread. I hope over time that as I begin the careful process of creating a half-stock Rocky Mountain rifle from a Hawken-style kit.

I look forward to user feedback, but not the jerkiness and pettifogging of what I have seen in many forums and even some threads here.

I can say that I have had a 99.9 percent positive interaction with respondents in my previous posts. I am happy about that. I hope to create some cross-country friendships with men of shared interests and values and get good feedback and advice as I go forward with this project. I have enjoyed seeing several good gunsmithing and finishing videos on YouTube and have found many ideas to ponder moving forward.

Now I wish the darn kit would get here. I am ready to embrace it like a man embraces a lovely woman once he is past the foolishness of adolescence.

Again, this is offered in the spirit of a bunch of old fogies sitting around and having coffee and maybe a platter of bacon and eggs while they share their life experiences.

No arguments and no pettifogging. After three years of the nonsense of legacy corporate media, the govt, and public health, I am ready for some kindness and normalcy. The idiots only win if you become like them.
I've been on other forums where the posters are MUCH more aggressive/intolerant/arrogant. This one seems to be populated by folks who might well disagree with you and with each other, for that matter, but they are polite about it. I often feel like I am in a discussion with someone like former President Obama; while I might disagree with the man on just about every political topic in which he holds an opinion, at least he would most likely be eloquent and knowledgeable about the subject matter and probably would not start calling me nasty names.
 
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Saturday, I received my copy of The Hawken Rifle, It’s Evolution from 1820 – 1870, by Bob Woodfill. It is a beautiful book, well written and well laid out. It gave me pause for thought about the rifle I will assemble if it ever gets here from Italy.

I was trained and worked as an art historian for fifteen years, and I tend to think about history, art, and artifacts within their context. I was taught to see art as a social document, and I am beginning to see 18th and 19th -century muzzleloaders along those lines. As an art historian, I also know that myths grow around art and its place in history. The more deeply I research the History of the Mountain/plains rifles and the mountain men, the more apparent it becomes that the entire subject is clouded in myth and that historical facts warrant care in our conversations about these rifles. While I await my rifle kit, the research has posed a few questions for me.

Do I want to build a museum-quality replica, or do I want to develop a rifle in the style of a Hawken? If the former, then there will be a great deal I need to do to replace pieces of furniture and replicate the methods of staining, etc. On the other hand, building in the style of a Hawken allows me more freedom to create a new personal and unique piece. These are legitimate questions I mull over. Either way, I will never really build a Hawken; after all, my name is not Hawken. I also know that the Mountain/Plains rifle concept was not unique to the Hawken Brothers, and they created their guns from those they learned their craft upon before moving to St Louis. That is how we make progress. Despite what the “woke” say -everything, in the end, is cultural appropriation.

I know that I have no intention of being a historical re-enactor; I neither have the time nor the inclination to spend the money to create a historically accurate “kit” – clothes, etc. And I also know as a historian that such re-enactment requires hours, nay years of library research to accomplish. I spent far too much of my life in libraries and museums to want to do that again. Nor do I want to do some half-assed kind of re-enactment. Yeah, I love the period’s clothes, but that is not my purpose in doing this. I want to build a rifle and maybe a couple of pistols. I chose muzzle-loading because I have lived in a world of auto-loading modern weapons in my short time as a Deputy sheriff, and I know I never enjoyed modern gun culture – too much consumerism, too fast a pace, and too much narcissism.

In the end, I realized I wanted to create a work of art, a thing of beauty, and to do that requires I slow down and smell the wood, the metal, the stain, and the oils.

I do not want to purchase an original Hawken or Long rifle. Those are museum-quality, and I would never shoot it. I want something that I have invested time in and, in this case, follows a Hawken style – but I know it will never be a Hawken. My goal is to turn out a thing of beauty that is also a joy to use. I once had the pleasure of shooting a Holland and Holland over and under, and not only was it sweet to shoot, the care and handcraftsmanship that went into its manufacture made it feel like holding my first sweetheart in High school. It was a bit dizzying and awe-inspiring to feel the energy and warmth of hand craftsmanship.

Having said that. I have also spent a great deal of time reading online forums and watching what videos I can find. I noticed a pattern in the online media. One, in particular, struck me as it was about all the historical mistakes in the movie Jeremiah Johnson. I returned to the film over the weekend and have to say this. The movie is a narrative, a work of fiction that never gave the idea that it was 100 percent historically accurate. That was never its intention. It is a story that appeals to us because of the human quality – the friendships, the love, and the aspect of revenge in a man trying to escape the very thing he became, a violent man. After I rewatched the movie, I went back to the forum where the film was so soundly critiqued for its “inaccuracies” and realized there is a perfect 19th-century word to describe these critics. ‘Pettifoggers.” You know, as in petty meaning small-minded and foggers meaning one who creates something difficult to see through.

That these forums would be full of pettifoggers comes as no surprise, life is full of pettifoggers who can only find importance in tearing something or someone down.

I watched a video by Ethan of “I love muzzleloading.” He talked about the number one obstacle to the growth of muzzleloading for the beginner. To summarize, he boiled it down to too many in the muzzleloading community being a jerk. I guess that is a concise 21st century way to say pettifogger, but somehow, I think pettifogger is much more elegant and descriptive. As I read through the Jeremiah Johnson forum, I found myself thinking, “Boy, who wants to deal with pettifoggers, i.e., jerks like that? What are they trying to prove?” But being old and contrary and hopefully not a pettifogger, I realized that we all need support and conversation and a kind exchange of ideas, so I reach out here in chat well, at least what a conversation is in a blog thread. I hope over time that as I begin the careful process of creating a half-stock Rocky Mountain rifle from a Hawken-style kit.

I look forward to user feedback, but not the jerkiness and pettifogging of what I have seen in many forums and even some threads here.

I can say that I have had a 99.9 percent positive interaction with respondents in my previous posts. I am happy about that. I hope to create some cross-country friendships with men of shared interests and values and get good feedback and advice as I go forward with this project. I have enjoyed seeing several good gunsmithing and finishing videos on YouTube and have found many ideas to ponder moving forward.

Now I wish the darn kit would get here. I am ready to embrace it like a man embraces a lovely woman once he is past the foolishness of adolescence.

Again, this is offered in the spirit of a bunch of old fogies sitting around and having coffee and maybe a platter of bacon and eggs while they share their life experiences.

No arguments and no pettifogging. After three years of the nonsense of legacy corporate media, the govt, and public health, I am ready for some kindness and normalcy. The idiots only win if you become like them.
Interesting post! I got my copy of Woodfill a few months back. Initially, someone had "hijacked" the site and the book was at $100!! I checked later and it was on the legitimate site at the real price of $50. Hope no one got jacked! I've often commented how the Art World, like Craft Shows, etc., never pay any attention to our type of rifles because they're afraid of anything gun-related. But the craftsmanship shown in the old guns is amazing; wood and metal work, folk objects with a true purpose, (like hunting for food, they're not mostly for combat!). I've enjoyed this site ever since joining a couple years ago; the level of comraderie and thoughtfulness is high. Only a couple times has someone posted angry or un-informed posts. BTW, the chief-of-staff of the President is leaving soon, and his replacement is the guy who was the Covid Czar! Keep your eyes peeled for THAT guy!
 
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