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"Youngster's" thoughts on 2023 Alabama Kentucky Rifle Show

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Sorry for the wait! I don't know the preferred sharing method here, but I use Google photos a lot. I was mainly just gathering carving/crafting references for my own work, so lots of closeups of stocks and such.

Thank You for sharing your little adventure and the pics. I am looking to build my first Pennsylvania or a Kentucky rifle and the research is addictive so building a rifle will be a goal to achieve. Have fun on your journey in ML !
 

FishDFly

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It is a worth while trip, and the amount of food they give you to eat is amazing, more than enough to fill a person. The rooms are large and very nice. A great place to stay.
 
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The horner is Tim C-R-osby. My friend is Tim Cosby. No R. I think he was in the lower room. Tim probably had a pile of custom rifles on his table.
 
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Re post #1. I can categorically state with 99% certainty that there is absolutely nothing like this here in UK. What a great panorama of gun-making skills we are missing out on, for sure.
 

Flint.

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What an experience!

(long post, let me know if this is the wrong place for it)

For context, I'm a 27 year old grad student that got into traditional muzzleloaders in June of last year and since then, it's eclipsed my other hobbies. My first project (within my budget) was to make Powder, caps, and balls. I was going in blind without a mentor, but I knew I'd need ammo. After I had serviceable powder, seamless balls, and caps that popped, I bought a pecatonica Dickert kit and started practicing drawing/wood carving on scrap. Throughout this learning experience, my only connection to muzzleloading was YouTube videos (Jim Kibler, I Love Muzzleloading, Everything Black powder, etc.), this forum, and the two books y'all recommended. After 100 hours of work and only a (somewhat) inlet lock and barrel I knew I was in for the long haul and should probably connect with others.

So, after 3 hours of driving, I got to the show at 9am. I was absolutely floored. I had spent months boring my poor girlfriend and (modern) shooting buddies about the history/craft of muzzleloading and BP, and suddenly I was in a room full of like-minded frontiersmen. I was giddy.

I was somewhat intimidated at first. It hadn't yet occurred to me that I had entered a community gathering. I wandered the tables making smalltalk, asking dumb questions, and trying to gauge how much time I can spend at each table while still seeing everything I could. I was met with a slightly hesitant, but welcoming attitude. Then I saw a gentleman in the back with 2 rifles that caught my eye and approached. I saw the name "Rice'' on his nametag, and thought huh, the only reference to that surname I know of is the university, the maker of my barrel, and this guy. Liston told me about his new lock company, and I admitted I only knew of L&R and Chambers. It didn't click until he explained his relationship to both of those companies, and I asked if he had anything to do with my recently purchased barrel as well. Like I said, dumb questions. That interaction changed the tone. I had seen his name maybe 100 times while researching my build, reading reviews and recommendations, etc. This pantheon of recurring names had been somewhat deified in my mind after seeing so much discussion, praise, and debate over their work. I hardly considered they'd be real people, to me the names represented institutions, like Remington, Winchester, etc. But, there he was, the namesake of my barrel, wearing an Airforce hat and explaining the provenance of the displayed rifles.

After that, I found Jack Garner. I had called his shop months ago when I was trying to build my first rifle, and had seen his name frequently online. Then I met his protégé who I was informed of when I called earlier, he was younger than me and goes to the same university. We talked for a good long while many times yesterday, exchanged numbers, and if I'm lucky I can trade some calculus tutoring for rifle tutoring before he figures out his time and knowledge is WAY more valuable than mine.

I went downstairs and talked to one gentleman (Tim Colby?) whose name I didn't write down, but he gave me lots of tips and information about building. I'd be reintroduced to him later by Liston after asking about wire inlay, which makes it worse that I can't remember his name. I gave him my name, number, and address and he said he'd send me a VHS he made of his late friend, Frank Bartlett, doing wire inlay.

After 7 or so hours I was exhausted and was about to, reluctantly, leave. I started chatting with Celeste Parker while figuring out how to pay for a raffle ticket without cash. We shared stories about the natural shooting talent of women, and how to get more young people involved, before I paid her electronically with Venmo. She was extraordinarily pleasant and welcoming and escorted me to meet her husband, Jim, and the Masonic Mountain Men. That's where I learned of the classes offered by Jim Parker, and was enthusiastically invited to attend by alumni present.

My last stop was to Muzzleloader Magazine to pick up a subscription. That's where I talked to the Gatliffs. I was told to buy the Mike Miller instructional DVD set multiple times that day but a grad student's stipend only goes so far and I settled on a subscription instead. At that, I was finally asked my age for the first time all day. When I told Jason I was 27 and was just starting out, he told me of the Youth Gunbuilding Scholarship and urged me to apply, which I intend to do. He even gave me the December issue of Muzzleloader for free where I could find info about it.

After spending 8+ hours at the show I had to leave, and the excitement of the day kept me awake for the 3 hour return drive.

I met many more great people, like Paul Hall of the Tennessee Longhunters who gifted me a ball starter I sorely needed, but this post is long enough.

Overall, I had a great time and my first event filled me with enthusiasm for the hobby. I was pleased with the warm, slightly hesitant welcome I received. I don't know the demographics of the entire community but I could have been 35 years younger than the average. I only mention it because it confused the hell out of me. There is nothing about traditional muzzleloading as a hobby that wouldn't appeal to a young person. I'm definitely coming back next year, and I'll be looking for more meets in the meantime.

(P.S. I took about 150 pictures of the rifles and accoutrement, let me know if you want to see any of it.)
Great post and I'm glad you came to the show. Its a great one. The first year I went, I was hooked and have been getting a table ever since just to show a few of my guns and visit with folks.

Paul is a great guy and friend. My table was next to his. Sorry I didn't get to meet you. I must have been away trying not to buy another gun (I did not succeed).

Another great show is the Lake Cumberland show near Jamestown Kentucky. It's very much worth the effort to attend.

317798159_10226399783957739_8965726888815151173_n.jpg


I believe you are attending my alma mater...
Go Dawgs!
 
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The set of pistols was made by Fred Riley. Also a couple of other rifle pics there. He was an outstanding metal worker and wood worker. He did lost wax castings in metal and also chiseling the different findings on the rifles and pistols.
He was a rather amazing person whose artistry was of the highest level. It was my pleasure to know him.
He surprised me for my birthday in 1974 when he gifted me a powder horn that he designed for me. I treasure it highly.
RIP Fred.
Barry

The set of cased pistols with the guy in the photo are stunning.
 
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BreadBasket95
Yes, I enjoyed the show also. A good place to see old friends and make new ones.
I never tire of seeing the old original work of our past craftsmen/artisans. The contemporary work is there to admire also.
It certainly gives one the inspiration to continue in our efforts to improve no matter our present skill level.
Barry
 

R Ellis

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I was their Friday and meet Mr Whitehead from Mississippi and must say he is one of the nicest people you could ever meet and he got into my wallet for some very nice items and the price was very reasonable I forgot to ask him if he is a member here but I am sure he is
 

Bruce McClung

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What an experience!

(long post, let me know if this is the wrong place for it)

For context, I'm a 27 year old grad student that got into traditional muzzleloaders in June of last year and since then, it's eclipsed my other hobbies. My first project (within my budget) was to make Powder, caps, and balls. I was going in blind without a mentor, but I knew I'd need ammo. After I had serviceable powder, seamless balls, and caps that popped, I bought a pecatonica Dickert kit and started practicing drawing/wood carving on scrap. Throughout this learning experience, my only connection to muzzleloading was YouTube videos (Jim Kibler, I Love Muzzleloading, Everything Black powder, etc.), this forum, and the two books y'all recommended. After 100 hours of work and only a (somewhat) inlet lock and barrel I knew I was in for the long haul and should probably connect with others.

So, after 3 hours of driving, I got to the show at 9am. I was absolutely floored. I had spent months boring my poor girlfriend and (modern) shooting buddies about the history/craft of muzzleloading and BP, and suddenly I was in a room full of like-minded frontiersmen. I was giddy.

I was somewhat intimidated at first. It hadn't yet occurred to me that I had entered a community gathering. I wandered the tables making smalltalk, asking dumb questions, and trying to gauge how much time I can spend at each table while still seeing everything I could. I was met with a slightly hesitant, but welcoming attitude. Then I saw a gentleman in the back with 2 rifles that caught my eye and approached. I saw the name "Rice'' on his nametag, and thought huh, the only reference to that surname I know of is the university, the maker of my barrel, and this guy. Liston told me about his new lock company, and I admitted I only knew of L&R and Chambers. It didn't click until he explained his relationship to both of those companies, and I asked if he had anything to do with my recently purchased barrel as well. Like I said, dumb questions. That interaction changed the tone. I had seen his name maybe 100 times while researching my build, reading reviews and recommendations, etc. This pantheon of recurring names had been somewhat deified in my mind after seeing so much discussion, praise, and debate over their work. I hardly considered they'd be real people, to me the names represented institutions, like Remington, Winchester, etc. But, there he was, the namesake of my barrel, wearing an Airforce hat and explaining the provenance of the displayed rifles.

After that, I found Jack Garner. I had called his shop months ago when I was trying to build my first rifle, and had seen his name frequently online. Then I met his protégé who I was informed of when I called earlier, he was younger than me and goes to the same university. We talked for a good long while many times yesterday, exchanged numbers, and if I'm lucky I can trade some calculus tutoring for rifle tutoring before he figures out his time and knowledge is WAY more valuable than mine.

I went downstairs and talked to one gentleman (Tim Colby?) whose name I didn't write down, but he gave me lots of tips and information about building. I'd be reintroduced to him later by Liston after asking about wire inlay, which makes it worse that I can't remember his name. I gave him my name, number, and address and he said he'd send me a VHS he made of his late friend, Frank Bartlett, doing wire inlay.

After 7 or so hours I was exhausted and was about to, reluctantly, leave. I started chatting with Celeste Parker while figuring out how to pay for a raffle ticket without cash. We shared stories about the natural shooting talent of women, and how to get more young people involved, before I paid her electronically with Venmo. She was extraordinarily pleasant and welcoming and escorted me to meet her husband, Jim, and the Masonic Mountain Men. That's where I learned of the classes offered by Jim Parker, and was enthusiastically invited to attend by alumni present.

My last stop was to Muzzleloader Magazine to pick up a subscription. That's where I talked to the Gatliffs. I was told to buy the Mike Miller instructional DVD set multiple times that day but a grad student's stipend only goes so far and I settled on a subscription instead. At that, I was finally asked my age for the first time all day. When I told Jason I was 27 and was just starting out, he told me of the Youth Gunbuilding Scholarship and urged me to apply, which I intend to do. He even gave me the December issue of Muzzleloader for free where I could find info about it.

After spending 8+ hours at the show I had to leave, and the excitement of the day kept me awake for the 3 hour return drive.

I met many more great people, like Paul Hall of the Tennessee Longhunters who gifted me a ball starter I sorely needed, but this post is long enough.

Overall, I had a great time and my first event filled me with enthusiasm for the hobby. I was pleased with the warm, slightly hesitant welcome I received. I don't know the demographics of the entire community but I could have been 35 years younger than the average. I only mention it because it confused the hell out of me. There is nothing about traditional muzzleloading as a hobby that wouldn't appeal to a young person. I'm definitely coming back next year, and I'll be looking for more meets in the meantime.

(P.S. I took about 150 pictures of the rifles and accoutrement, let me know if you want to see any of it.)
Love to see Younger folks taking interest... Get your girlfriend out shooting Black powder, and maybe like mine she will love it and follow you halfway cross the country to these shows.. Your absolutely right about the generosity and friendship you can build by going.. Like you we only had 1 day an its 490 miles round trip, but ill make the trip every year.. Me and My Wife have been 3 years and love this show...
 
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What an experience!

(long post, let me know if this is the wrong place for it)

For context, I'm a 27 year old grad student that got into traditional muzzleloaders in June of last year and since then, it's eclipsed my other hobbies. My first project (within my budget) was to make Powder, caps, and balls. I was going in blind without a mentor, but I knew I'd need ammo. After I had serviceable powder, seamless balls, and caps that popped, I bought a pecatonica Dickert kit and started practicing drawing/wood carving on scrap. Throughout this learning experience, my only connection to muzzleloading was YouTube videos (Jim Kibler, I Love Muzzleloading, Everything Black powder, etc.), this forum, and the two books y'all recommended. After 100 hours of work and only a (somewhat) inlet lock and barrel I knew I was in for the long haul and should probably connect with others.

So, after 3 hours of driving, I got to the show at 9am. I was absolutely floored. I had spent months boring my poor girlfriend and (modern) shooting buddies about the history/craft of muzzleloading and BP, and suddenly I was in a room full of like-minded frontiersmen. I was giddy.

I was somewhat intimidated at first. It hadn't yet occurred to me that I had entered a community gathering. I wandered the tables making smalltalk, asking dumb questions, and trying to gauge how much time I can spend at each table while still seeing everything I could. I was met with a slightly hesitant, but welcoming attitude. Then I saw a gentleman in the back with 2 rifles that caught my eye and approached. I saw the name "Rice'' on his nametag, and thought huh, the only reference to that surname I know of is the university, the maker of my barrel, and this guy. Liston told me about his new lock company, and I admitted I only knew of L&R and Chambers. It didn't click until he explained his relationship to both of those companies, and I asked if he had anything to do with my recently purchased barrel as well. Like I said, dumb questions. That interaction changed the tone. I had seen his name maybe 100 times while researching my build, reading reviews and recommendations, etc. This pantheon of recurring names had been somewhat deified in my mind after seeing so much discussion, praise, and debate over their work. I hardly considered they'd be real people, to me the names represented institutions, like Remington, Winchester, etc. But, there he was, the namesake of my barrel, wearing an Airforce hat and explaining the provenance of the displayed rifles.

After that, I found Jack Garner. I had called his shop months ago when I was trying to build my first rifle, and had seen his name frequently online. Then I met his protégé who I was informed of when I called earlier, he was younger than me and goes to the same university. We talked for a good long while many times yesterday, exchanged numbers, and if I'm lucky I can trade some calculus tutoring for rifle tutoring before he figures out his time and knowledge is WAY more valuable than mine.

I went downstairs and talked to one gentleman (Tim Colby?) whose name I didn't write down, but he gave me lots of tips and information about building. I'd be reintroduced to him later by Liston after asking about wire inlay, which makes it worse that I can't remember his name. I gave him my name, number, and address and he said he'd send me a VHS he made of his late friend, Frank Bartlett, doing wire inlay.

After 7 or so hours I was exhausted and was about to, reluctantly, leave. I started chatting with Celeste Parker while figuring out how to pay for a raffle ticket without cash. We shared stories about the natural shooting talent of women, and how to get more young people involved, before I paid her electronically with Venmo. She was extraordinarily pleasant and welcoming and escorted me to meet her husband, Jim, and the Masonic Mountain Men. That's where I learned of the classes offered by Jim Parker, and was enthusiastically invited to attend by alumni present.

My last stop was to Muzzleloader Magazine to pick up a subscription. That's where I talked to the Gatliffs. I was told to buy the Mike Miller instructional DVD set multiple times that day but a grad student's stipend only goes so far and I settled on a subscription instead. At that, I was finally asked my age for the first time all day. When I told Jason I was 27 and was just starting out, he told me of the Youth Gunbuilding Scholarship and urged me to apply, which I intend to do. He even gave me the December issue of Muzzleloader for free where I could find info about it.

After spending 8+ hours at the show I had to leave, and the excitement of the day kept me awake for the 3 hour return drive.

I met many more great people, like Paul Hall of the Tennessee Longhunters who gifted me a ball starter I sorely needed, but this post is long enough.

Overall, I had a great time and my first event filled me with enthusiasm for the hobby. I was pleased with the warm, slightly hesitant welcome I received. I don't know the demographics of the entire community but I could have been 35 years younger than the average. I only mention it because it confused the hell out of me. There is nothing about traditional muzzleloading as a hobby that wouldn't appeal to a young person. I'm definitely coming back next year, and I'll be looking for more meets in the meantime.

(P.S. I took about 150 pictures of the rifles and accoutrement, let me know if you want to see any of it.)

I’m 31. Not really “young” by any means but pretty young compared to most in this hobby, many/most who are in their 60s or older.

I’ve loved black powder since shooting my Uncle’s Thompson Center Hawken when I was about 12. Love this forum, glad to have you!
 

jdbama80

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Hey Breadbasket, I attended the same show as you. It was my first time going to a show and I’m lucky I got out of there with any money left in my bank account. I went there to pick up my first 2 flintlock rifles made by Mr. Jack Garner. I also meet Paul Hall and it turns out he lives less than 3 miles from my house. He invited me to come meet with him. I just spent 3 hours in his shop where he was teaching me the ends and outs of muzzleloading. I’m not as young as you (42) but I think I’m younger than most people in the room. I’m very thankful that Paul and Jack have been so gracious to share their time and help me figure out the hobby. I bought one of the powder horns from Paul and it’s fantastic. I’m going to join the Tennessee Longhunters so I can go shoot with them. Where do you live?
 
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The set of pistols was made by Fred Riley. Also a couple of other rifle pics there. He was an outstanding metal worker and wood worker. He did lost wax castings in metal and also chiseling the different findings on the rifles and pistols.
He was a rather amazing person whose artistry was of the highest level. It was my pleasure to know him.
He surprised me for my birthday in 1974 when he gifted me a powder horn that he designed for me. I treasure it highly.
RIP Fred.
Barry
Fred was an outstanding craftsman. I spent a good deal of time with him in Bob Watts shop in Stone Mountain GA and at Friendship.
 

BreadBasket95

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I believe you are attending my alma mater...
Go Dawgs!
Sorry I missed you, I tried to talk to everyone I could. I'll try to make it to the Cumberland one, we'll see how busy school gets. and you are correct, Hail State!
Love to see Younger folks taking interest... Get your girlfriend out shooting Black powder, and maybe like mine she will love it and follow you halfway cross the country to these shows.. Your absolutely right about the generosity and friendship you can build by going.. Like you we only had 1 day an its 490 miles round trip, but ill make the trip every year.. Me and My Wife have been 3 years and love this show...
She is an amazing shooter, the few times I've convinced her to try. I think it'll be an uphill battle, though. I've been crocheting and embroidering bags and she's somewhat interested in that. Once I get her to teach me to sew I might have an in 😂
I’m 31. Not really “young” by any means but pretty young compared to most in this hobby, many/most who are in their 60s or older.

I’ve loved black powder since shooting my Uncle’s Thompson Center Hawken when I was about 12. Love this forum, glad to have you!
Our generation needs another movie like Jeremiah Johnson. I'd wager most of our colleagues were young men when it came out
Hey Breadbasket, I attended the same show as you. It was my first time going to a show and I’m lucky I got out of there with any money left in my bank account. I went there to pick up my first 2 flintlock rifles made by Mr. Jack Garner. I also meet Paul Hall and it turns out he lives less than 3 miles from my house. He invited me to come meet with him. I just spent 3 hours in his shop where he was teaching me the ends and outs of muzzleloading. I’m not as young as you (42) but I think I’m younger than most people in the room. I’m very thankful that Paul and Jack have been so gracious to share their time and help me figure out the hobby. I bought one of the powder horns from Paul and it’s fantastic. I’m going to join the Tennessee Longhunters so I can go shoot with them. Where do you live?
That's awesome! I figured I was the only stranger there. Thankfully, I only bought some ball pullers and a magazine subscription. I'd like to go visit Jack's shop soon, I'm in the "Golden Triangle" area of Mississippi, about 2.5 hours due west of Birmingham Alabama. Jack is 2 hours north of me. It's a bit of a deadzone for traditional muzzleloading it seems.
 

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