Who is W. M. Large?


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samwho
October 24, 2008, 04:06 PM
I have an old muzzleloader (.30 cal.) with a full length, one piece stock of what appears to be a maple burl. Beautiful gun! The only marking I can find on it is an arched name stamp, "W. M. Large". Can anyone tell me anything about this gunmaker? Approx. how old, etc.

Thanks!

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Jim K
October 24, 2008, 04:33 PM
FWIW, the only Large I can find is a Joshua Large, a gunmaker in NY about 1848-1851.

Note that some muzzle loading rifles were marked with the owner's name in addition to, or in lieu of, the maker's name.

Jim

Jim Watson
October 24, 2008, 04:35 PM
Might not be as old as you think.
W.M. "Bill" Large lived 1907 - 1985. He was making barrels until late in life, I found one reference to a rifle with a Large barrel from 1981.
As best I can tell, he was mostly, if not entirely, a barrelmaker for the muzzleloading trade.

Curator
October 24, 2008, 05:03 PM
The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association in Friendship, Indiana can probably give you a lot of information about Bill Large and his muzzle loading rifle barrel making business. He had a loyal folowing and many old-timers swear by their Bill Large barrels for serious round-ball target shooting. A custom rifle with a Large barrel usually goes for a premium. In the 60's he had enough work to "farm out" some barrel work and not all of it was up to his high standard. He was a regular fixture at Friendship durring the National shoots, selling made-up barrels and taking orders for custom work.

Mike OTDP
October 24, 2008, 10:01 PM
As several other people have mentioned, Bill Large was THE top barrelmaker in the 1970s and early 1980s. His barrels command a hefty premium...and are worth it. Exquisite.

He was a Grade A character, though....with a warped sense of humor. My father would get letters addressed to "That no-good so-and-so Gene" from Bill Large.

BobKrohn
October 29, 2008, 03:07 AM
He was in Ironton, Ohio I think.

samwho
November 9, 2008, 03:12 PM
Thanks all for your responses! I now have the information I needed.

kentucky bucky
November 13, 2008, 02:43 PM
He was one of the "founding fathers" of the modren muzzleloading movement and a charter member of the National Muzzleloading Rifle Assn. He made guns and/or barrels from the 1920s until his death in 1985. As said in earlier posts he was quite a unique individual and a bit eccentric. His shop was in Ironton Ohio.

splais
November 18, 2008, 10:50 PM
Does anyone know how to identify a large barrel. I just purchased a Robert Ashe rifle I am researching. My info on Mr. Ashe says he used large barrels most of the time. I have not yet removed the barrel from the stock; but the only visible markings are from the rifle builder, Mr. Ashe.

thanks, Steve

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