Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967

"Mountain Man" stuff...

Recommended Posts

Don't want to hijack Ornery Oaf's thread, so...

 

Any old Buckskinners / Rendezvous'ers here?  :)

 

Wow... it's hard to believe that it's been something like forty-five years since my first "Rondy-Voo!"  ^_^

 

Lordy, but it's too bad / a good thing there aren't pictures!!   :P

 

But DAMN what a good time!!  :lol:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And that there is the kind of stuff I'm looking to get into. :)

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best times I ever had was at Brushy Creek Muzzleloaders in south Georgia.  Sure hated to move away from the crew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The National Muzzleloading Rifle Association (N.M.L.R.A.) has those rendezvous events, that happen all over the United States, advertised in their monthly magazine.  They are still going on...although...during this Chinese virus pandemic, many have been cancelled, or postponed, this year. 

I have not attended one since Moby Dick was a minnow...but I am kinda hankering to go again, as soon as I am allowed to leave my house whenever this virus mess has subsided. I wonder...would breathing in black-powder smoke help prevent this virus??? No...I didn't think so. 

 

W.K.   

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m glad you guys enjoy the mountain man ambiance.  I enjoyed shooting my muzzleloader with fellow enthusiasts at a local club. But after one college summer working on a Forest Service trail crew, and another working as an oil field roustabout, and two summers working at a lumber yard, unloading humped rail cars of green lumber, one 2x4 - 20 at a time, and 12 years of packing house inspection,  taking a hot shower before supper is very important to me.  I’ve proven I can go camping, and I worked hard for 45 years so I don’t have to!  :)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang, J-Bar - you'll be missed!  ^_^

 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/20/2020 at 3:04 PM, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Any old Buckskinners / Rendezvous'ers here?

 

Here I am 13 years ago at a rendevous in Arizona

1471974547_MountainMan.thumb.jpg.5d83ab389fcae893370adecbe2324944.jpg

Edited by Arizona Gunfighter
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonna hafta watch Jeremiah Johnson tonight.

 

:D

  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Started out with the Low Country Bark Busters in Beaufort, South Carolina, and belonged to a half dozen groups in California when I was working at The Flintlock in Anaheim. My "home club" was the Golden Bears, HQed out of The Flintlock.

 

I was raised in Cache Valley, Utah and saw my first muzzle loader when I was a kid.  The editor of the local paper rode in parades setting the sky on fire with a poor boy Pennsylvania rifle.  I went to a rondyvoo there in maybe 1976 or so.  Lots of fun.  Lots of work.  (Wait until you haul a 14' tipi and the poles, pegs, stakes, ropes, ground cloths, and all the rest of your gear five miles in from the nearest road and the only help you have is an attitudinal gelding who doesn't like you and thinks he's the boss.)

 

Those were shining times, but I was wearing a younger man's clothes then.  I don't think I could even watch a long video of it nowadays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Forty Rod SASS 3935
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out muzzleloding back in 79 while stationed at NavCommSta Stockton, CA. Then shot down in San Diego, with the Adak Muzzleloaders, back to SD, then with the Bridger Mountainmen here in Bozeman, MT. Unfortunately, when I started Cowboy Shooting time and funds kept me from doing both, soI haven't been doing any muzzleloading for several years. I still have all my gear and my guns, a CVA mountain rifle and mountain pistol and a CVA double-barreled shotgun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don't do mountain man rendezvous; however, I do a little re-enacting of Revolutionary War life.  I have a Continental Army uniform that is completely authentic to my 6th-great grandfather (12th Massachusetts regiment), and a second costume that is an authentic civilian.  My civilian persona represents someone who would have likely been in town, not the common "rifleman's shirt" we tend to see.  It's a tricorn hat, waistcoat, frock coat, etc.  

 

I have studied a little bit on 18th century writing and have an entire 18th century writing kit I use to do demonstrations.  I also have a tinder box with flint-and-steel to demonstrate fire building, and I have cooked a few 18th century recipes.  Of course there are the guns!  There's nothing like a flintlock rifle!!!!  

Edited by Cyrus Cassidy #45437
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never did Mountain Man stuff. Stuck to Civil War for a while. Too old to campaign now. Bad feet, Bad gut, Bad attitude. ;)

UtahGrey.jpg

UtahCW.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

They may be still available on-line, I don't know, but back a few years, there was a series of soft-bound books entitled "Mountain Men".  Each volume dealt with a different aspect of the mountain man skills.  I think I have these books around here somewhere.  Great reading and pictures.

Everything from shooting, to rifles, to pistols, to knives, to tomahawk throwing, to survival skills, to fire starting, to camping, to brain tanning leather. 

If they can still be had, it would be great source of information of that character in our history. 

 

I need to get back into the mountain man rendezvous re-enacting.  It was such fun, and one learns so much, and meets some really nice folks, from all over the place.

 

Although the Hawken came on the scene after the traditional mountain man era was done, I feel the need to get mine out of the safe, and clean it, and dream about the fall time of the year, when it will be cool enough to shoot it, without rusting it from all the sweat I will be producing. 

 

W.K. . 

 

Edited by Waxahachie Kid #17017 L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WK, the Hawken Bros built their rifles from 1823 - 1870.  VERY much in the heart of the "Mountain Man" period.   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I was a Civil War Skirmisher from circa 1973 until circa 1985. We grouped as CASKIE's Battery, CSA. 

Only did one cookout and camp, but it was interesting. One fellow owned a 3/4 scale Ordnance Rifle. 

I believe it took an ounce of F powder and fired a round ball of around 8 to 10 pounds.

Barrel was not rifled but had a smooth sleeve. Dang that thing was noisy. Another local group got loan of 

a brass gun off the US Coast Guard Cutter, HARRIET LANE. It had a much bigger hole in the end of the round thingy. 

 

Great times.

Edited by Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172 said:

I was a Civil War Skirmisher from circa 1973 until circa 1985. We grouped as CASKIE's Battery, CSA. 

Only did one cookout and camp, but it was interesting. One fellow owned a 3/4 scale Ordnance Rifle. 

I believe it took an ounce of F powder and fired a round ball of around 8 to 10 pounds.

Barrel was not rifled but had a smooth sleeve. Dang that thing was noisy. Another local group got loan of 

a brass gun off the US Coast Guard Cutter, HARRIET LANE. It had a much bigger hole in the end of the round thingy. 

 

Great times.

I know nothing of BP cannons. I assume that's supposed to be a pound of powder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

I know nothing of BP cannons. I assume that's supposed to be a pound of powder?

Yeah an ounce of 1f  wouldn't get it down the barrel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At 3/4 scale I suspect the balls were 8 to 10 ounce over a charge of 1 ounce of powder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

At 3/4 scale I suspect the balls were 8 to 10 ounce over a charge of 1 ounce of powder.

Could be, but loading them it felt about the size of my 8 lb downrigger weights. 

This was 40 years ago, and I suffer from CRS disease. I do not recall the mixture 

formula and I was never there at powder packaging in-foil time. The foil packet was

about 2 to2.50 inches in diameter and 5/8 inch high. The barrel was 3/4 scale 

so the barrel diameter was close to 2.25 inches.  So you are correct, an 8 lb 

weight would be larger by quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

For reference

 

A 2" lead ball weighs about 1.7 pounds.

A 2.5" lead ball weighs about 3.4 pounds.

A 3" lead ball weighs 5.7 pounds.

 

A 2" cast iron ball weighs about 1.1 pounds.

A 3" cast iron ball weighs about 3.8 pounds.

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, looks like I gots no choice ~ gonna have to buy or make a new possibles bag.  My old one is nowhere to be found.  Might be lost in a box out in the garage, with a good powder horn and all the other accessories...  :(

 

This is my first one, Dixie's "Beavertail" bag from 1972.  I gave it to the Kid a bunch of years ago; it was hangin' from a chair and the danged cat decided it made a dandy scratch pad.  It has character now!  I passed it on to him when I purloined one of his ma's old "hippie" purses.  She was never a hippie, but had a purse that made a great possibles bag!  

 

This horn is a work in progress.  I passed on my original to Hank a long time ago; when I made it in my frat house bedroom, I had no way to cut a wooden plug for the "big end."  So, I cut, stretched, and laced a piece of rawhide over it.  Worked just fine for years.  ;)

 

My favorite ball starter!  'Bout forty years ago a cousin was a machinist's mate aboard the Eisenhower; had a bit of spare time one day and turned this for me out of a solid brass billet.  ^_^

 

20200821_175241.thumb.jpg.4352c01f26ab31ec304b5f39fb419cf8.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A lot of folks generally accept the classic mountain man era is about from 1823 to 1840, when by that time, silk had taken the place of beaver for hat production in the east and in Europe.

Sam Hawken came to the Saint Louis area in 1822, after the death of his father, and of his wife. Samuel and Jacob had separate shops at that time, and did mostly gun repair, and land speculation. 

Jacob was in Saint Louis by 1815, and was in partnership with James Lakenan, at the time Samuel came to Saint Louis, on June 3, 1822.  

James Lakenan died in August of 1825, and Jacob, and Samuel then went in together and formed their famous partnership in the summer of 1825, after Jabcob's partner, James Lakenan, died.

It was noted that in the first seven years of his life in Saint Louis, that Jabcob Hawen was associated with James Lakenan, and that there are no records of any gun production by either man.  They did do all sorts of repairs, and blacksmithing work, and had the skill to make firearms, but neither had any sort of "gun factory". 

The book: "The Hawken Rifle: Its Place in History", by Charles E. Hanson, Jr., also stated that: "The Hawkens supplied a variety of goods and services to the American Fur Company, in the 1820's but orders of any kind for rifles are conspicuously absent".  "The earliest clearly documented rifle order was in 1831, and there were 18 orders for rifles in 1831, and 1832.  At least some of these rifles were percussion."  Although the percussion cap was invented earlier in the century, it was stated that the problem was the availability of the caps for trappers in the wilderness.  No Hawken original flintlock rifles have been discovered, to date, (yet there may have been some produced that are yet to be discovered).

Specific orders for Hawken rifles, from 1831 to 1840, are 48 rifles. Again the book states, these were "specific orders"

The book later states, in this chapter: "In summary, our research indicates there were no J & S Hawken rifles before 1825 and does not conclusively document any rifle before 1831. It further suggests a minimum production of flintlock rifles.  Brigade leaders were favorable toward the new percussion rifles in the very early 1830's but frontier sales reached their peak at the very end of the mountain man period, 1837-1842. Much of the production 1849-1850 went in the 
Gold Rush but this demand was followed by high popularity in the West until 1855. After that time the demand continued to fade gradually for the next ten years."

"One thing appears to be fairly conclusive.  Hawkins did not make a strong showing in the mountains until relatively late in the game and the visions we all had of hundreds of flint Hawkens is a "will of the wisp. The advertisements and the few surviving shop bills suggest that a very important segment of the Hawken business was with the local people of Missouri and Illinois; not only repairs but also light rifles, shotguns and some heavy rifles as well."

"To summarize what we really know about Hawken users, Samuel Hawken said he made a special heavy rifle which General Ashley used in 1823.  Nothing is really known about the use of Hawkens by Ashley's men but at least 32 American Fur Trade Company rifles had gone out to the rendezvous by 1827."

"Sales climbed to a peak during the California gold rush and held good for at least five years after."

"A great many Hawken rifles were used on the Santa Fe Trail and they were regularly sold at Bent's Fort in the late 1830's." Late 1830's. The last major "mountain man" rendezvous was held in 1840.

"The Hawkens had built a reputation for craftsmanship by their general gunsmith and repair work in the 1820's and had pioneered the production of a superior percussion hunting rifle in the 1830's. In the last years of the mountain man period many Hawkens were beginning to appear in the West and their popularity continued until the middle 1850's."

"There is little doubt that the Hawken was the most famous percussion rifle on the frontier but its fame was due to its use by scouts, emigrant leaders, explorers and gold miners, not by mountain men."

  

Timeline:

1815 - Jacob opens a shop in Saint Louis with his partner James Lakenan.

1822- Samuel arrives in Saint Louis and opens a shop.

1825 - Jacob and Samuel become partners after James Lakenan's death.

1849 - Jacob dies of cholera.

1858 - Samuel turns the shop over to W. S. Hawken

1859 - Samuel departs Saint Louis for Denver.

1860 - W.S. Hawken sells the shop to W.L. Watt and others.

1860 - J.P. Gemmer is employed by Watt at the shop

1862 - Gemmer buys into shop ownership

1884 - Samuel Hawken dies.

1915 - Gemmer closes down business and retires.

1919 - Gemmer dies.

 

Hence my original statement that most Hawkens came on the mountain man scene toward the end of the mountain man era.  It seems it's popularity was more in the 1840's Santa Fe trade era, such as when Kit Carson was active as a trader and a scout, and later the gold rush era, and not the mountain man era. 

 

      

Edited by Waxahachie Kid #17017 L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.