19 Mar 2017

Great Schuetzen Photo

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The Spring issue of Black Powder Cartridge magazine has a really superb photograph of a group of Golden Age Schuetzen shooters, contributed by Lee Remiger from the collection of John Wills. Kneeling in the center foreground and holding an exceptionally lovely Ballard with an ivory cue-ball palm-rest is the legendary gunsmith Axel W. Peterson. There are three lady shooters.

What a collection of fantastic Ballards! And we also see a few Winchesters, some Stevens, and at least one Sharps Borchardt. Single-shot target rifles of this quality go for serious money today.

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My introduction to black powder guns was in Ohio at a century farm that had been purchased Montgomery County and had been turned into a park/working farm. The buildings were built before the civil war and the farm was run using 19th century methods. Four times a year they would have a event and during one of the events they had a demonstration shooting a black powder rifle. I loved the sounds and smells and was hooked. Later I traveled a few miles to the Friendship Indiana rendezvous where they have a big black powder target shoot and numerous demonstrations.

It was years later at my brother in laws that I got a chance to shoot one. Great fun but I just wasn’t sure we could take a deer with it. We set up a short piece of schedule 40 2 inch iron pipe as a target. ( I know, bad idea.) My first shot was dead on the pipe had a perfect round hole in it just as though it was punched out by a machine. I picked up the perfect piece that had been knocked out as well as the somewhat flattened piece of the lead ball that was left. I still have those two pieces. I was impressed with the power behind this simple Kentucky black powder rifle.


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