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Muzzle Blasts Online
Muzzle Blasts Online Cover
Jun 1999/Jul 1999 Volume 4, Number 3

1999 Primitive Rifle Giveaway

Randy S. Shurman (Box 56, RD #3, Emlenton, PA 16373) is the builder of our rifle for the giveaway this year. Randy is from Emlenton, Pennsylvania and has been building rifles since 1990. When I talked to Randy, he said, "I just couldn't afford to buy one, so I figured I'd build one." Randy had been putting kits together since 1981, but had never built one from scratch.

The fine rifle that he built for the Primitive Giveaway is an early rifle. It's a pre-revolutionary .54 caliber with a Green Mountain barrel, L & R early classic lock, and Davis triggers. Randy also built the hand-hammered butt plate and side plate.

Chuck Hearn saw this super piece and heard what the prices were on Randy's guns, and it took us ten minutes to pry the rifle out of Chuck's hands. I'll tell you now if you want a fine custom rifle at a reasonable price, this is the man to see, and that's a fact.


Gary Corum (7160 W. Co. Rd. 450 N., St. Paul, IN 47272) and his knives are no stranger to our National shoots. Gary has been showing and selling his knives at Friendship since 1988. Randy started making knives in 1982.

The knife that Gary built for the Primitive Giveaway is of the French style, and was a trade blade imported from 1790-1865. You can see this style of knife in Madison Grant's book, The Knife in Homespun America.

This particular knife was forged from 5160 steel. The bolsters are dovetailed to accept the mastodon ivory. Gary stated that the geometry and heat treatment are what makes the knife.

Gary makes a variety of different styles of knives and has come a long way since 1988. This one he made for us is a hefty, well made piece of art. Anyone would be proud to own and wear it.


The fine scrimshawed horn that we are giving away this year with the other accoutrements with rifle was made by Josh Salisbury (181 Mumford Drive, West Rutland, VT 05777). It's remarkable that Josh is just seventeen years old; he was shooting in the Juniors when I was at the 1997 Northeastern Rendezvous.

Josh's work is among the best that I've seen, both the horn making and his scrimshawing. It is mind-boggling to think that a young person can do this kind of work.

Josh done a piece of work for one of our Widowmakers at the rendezvous. It was a double-headed vulture that Josh was asked to put on a horn. It wasn't very long after I heard that Josh was going to do it that it was done. When I got a chance to see the horn with his work on it, it was like a negative of a picture was somehow put on this horn. It was perfect.

The horn that Josh built and scrimshawed for us is museum quality. The map on the horn is of the 18th-century New York area and extends from Canada to present-day Vermont. The coloring of the horn and everything else is top quality. I'm serious when I say you will be hearing a whole lot about his young'n in the future. I'm just glad to know him, and call Josh a friend of mine.

Shooting Pouch

Last year at the NMLRA Eastern Primitive Rendezvous the Preacher (Bill Nabors) and I were walking around camp and spotted some really nice shooting pouches. The style was different than we had ever seen and the workmanship was of the best. These fine bags were the product of William Smith (8930 Bardstown Rd., Elizabethtown, Kentucky 42701).

William started making leather bags in 1990. He makes haversacks as well as shooting pouches from some real fine leather. William also makes a haversack out of hemp. I can't describe what this piece looks like, but it will knock your eyes out to see one of these. I don't think anyone else is making anything close to looking this great out of hemp. I had to put this in here, just because.

The proceeds from the giveaway will help to build the blockhouse and a "fort wall" around the camping area at the national primitive range. On the next page you will find twelve tickets for the giveaway. Photocopies of these tickets will be accepted but please do not reduce or enlarge tickets. Tickets for this giveaway are free of charge, but we ask for a donation of $2 per ticket or $5 for three tickets. The drawing for this winner-take-all package will be in September during the NMLRA National Championship Shoot in Friendship, Indiana. You do not have to be present to win. Send all donations and tickets to NMLRA, P.O. Box 67, Friendship, Indiana 47021. All checks and money orders should be made out to the NMLRA. This offer is not valid where prohibited by law.

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