This column is intended to communicate news and ideas, and to facilitate member-to-member exchanges not provided elsewhere. If you need help, or can offer help by sharing tips, send your questions and ideas to the editor. "Short Starts" will appear as material is received; please consider it a forum to get in touch with like-minded members across the country (and beyond) and get more of the information and services that make your membership valuable.
Now Hear This! How would you like to be able to purchase new generation Colts from Colt Black Powder Firearms at discounts you'll scarcely believe? Here's how: a tax-deductible contribution of $25 to the American Precision Museum (P.O. Box 679, Windsor, VT 05089) gets you a membership in this worthy museum dedicated to, among other things, the machinery and technology that made it possible to meet Civil War demands for production of contract muskets.
Anyone who looked at the night sky in the past year surely saw the Comet Hale-Bopp. Less widely known is the role that one of our stalwart members played in keeping the earth safe from collision with the comet, or from its depositing extra-terrestrials into our midst under cover of a full lunar eclipse. Mr. H. O. Hodson of Amarillo, Texas, braved the elements and single-handedly defended our planet on the night of March 23, 1997. This intrepid octogenarian pulled guard duty in the Texas panhandle armed with Straight Arrow, his flint longrifle. It will not be lost on our readers that shortly thereafter, Hale-Bopp high-tailed it out of our neighborhood and sought the safety of deep space.
Member Marshall Turner (28 Rogers Ct., Golden, CO 80401) would appreciate guidance in researching and comparing accuracy of original muzzle loading firearms. If other members know of definitive references that contain specific information on loads, please contact Mr. Turner. (He is already aware of such resources as The Kentucky Rifle by Dillin, Ned Roberts' The Muzzle Loading Caplock Rifle and The Breech Loading Single Shot Rifle, The Muzzle Loading Rifle by Walter Cline, Sharpshooter: H. Berdan by W. Sword, and F. Sellers' Sharps Rifles.)
In our first "Short Starts" I reported on my positive experiences with an airlines case for longrifles which I got from Firelocker . Here's another hard case idea I find intriguing: Tuffpak is a multi-gun container that doesn't look like a gun case. It is guaranteed for life, holds three to five long guns plus extra gear, and looks like a case for golf clubs! If you want more information, contact Nalpak, 1937-C Friendship Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020. Phone: 619-258-1200; fax: 800-4-NALPAK; or e-mail: email@example.com.
Panther Primitives' Catalog No. 11 is available for $2.00, refundable with your first order. See their Muzzle Blasts ad on page 8 for their address.
Member Dwight Morgan of Kettle Falls, Washington (remember seeing his name in this column last time in regard to the elementary school children who are mastering primitive skills under his tutelage?) wrote in to describe his experience of being intently stalked by a 153-pound cougar. He usually carries a muzzle loader when afield, but chanced to have a modern shotgun that day. He's grateful he did, too, for his attempts to avert an attack came to naught, and he needed an instant second shot to dispatch his would-be predator. Dwight wrote, "Had I been carrying my muzzle loader, I would have fulfilled the dreams of many anti-hunters and animal rights persons…" Do any other readers have similarly dramatic encounters to relate?
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