Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by frontiergander, Jul 9, 2020.
Real bison horn?
However, as someone who has made a few powder horns, including a couple of bison horn ones, I think that some guidance would assist you in your future efforts.
First of all I would suggest that you pick up the softcover book by Scott and Kathy Sibley called "Recreating the 18th Century Powder Horn" from "Track of the Wolf". It's only $20.00 and despite the grandiose-sounding name it's a great instruction manual for beginners. The first sections are about just preparing and building a horn in general and it's really helpful.
Also, I'm not sure why you chose to leave the rough exterior on your bison horn. Perhaps you were going for a rustic look which is fine. It's your horn.
But if you were not aware, that bark will sand off with flexible sanding sponges of various grits. (That's in the book as well).
Ultimately a natural horn has plenty of material to polish down to a very smooth finish with less effort than it might seem.
I hope that I don't seem critical. I'm just trying to be helpful. Horn making can be a great hobby.
If you were a mountain man in the day and were need of a horn in a hurry, you weren't worried about making it super thin, shiny and scrimshawed. All that IMO is nothing but pretty rich boy stuff back in the day unless you truly had a lot of down time, say during the winter when trapping was shut down.
My story behind it... I was crossing the mountains when my powder horn was lost/broken and I had to make one with materials that nature offered and what I had in my packs. Local pine for the base plug and mule deer antler for the spout.
Mountain men lived a rough life and a thin fancy scrimshawed horn would be a very delicate and rare item.
Could you show us the hole in the spout?
I thought that what I was looking at was the spout cover.
Silly me, I thought that the cover was decorated wood.
But now it looks like it's antler.
I was wondering what was under the cover, I thought that it might be a brass spout.
Because I didn't see any hole showing.
We're missing out on seeing all of the features.
If what's shown is not the cover but it's the spout, where is the plug for spout, or is that a cover for the spout?
BTW, nice looking horn.
P.S. I would be concerned about the side staple being pulled out by accident in the woods if a strap were directly attached to it.
Another method of securing an attaching point for a strap might be safer in the long run, and would take more abuse.
Did you intend to directly attached a strap to the side staple?
That staple could be used to help secure a leather or cord wrap in place, which a strap could then be attached to the wrap.
Perhaps then there would be less strain on the side staple.
After all, I have no idea how secure that side staple really is on the inside of the horn.
Did you use expoxy to secure it on the inside like JB Weld or something?
That piece of antler is a post like plug that fits into a simple hole in the horn?
You could drill a hole into the top of the antler and attach a short string to the staple so that the plug won't get dropped or lost, and which might help to free up one hand after it's pulled out.
We're being a tough crowd today!
Thanks for the photos.
It's a beautiful and rustic mountain man horn that has obviously been made with a lot of love and precision fitting.
Mountain men usually bought powder horns at Rendezvous or at trading posts. They really didn't have the tools to make them. In a pinch a mountaineer might have to cobble something up I suppose.
The vast majority of powder horns sold to mountaineers and Indians were trade horns. These were not scrimshawed or engraved or decorated in any way. They were just plain mass-produced horns with a smooth sanded finish with a simple cord or leather thong to carry them and with a wooden spout plug. Often they were sold filled with powder.
Elegant scrimshawed horns were mostly made in the 18th century. 19th century horns were mostly plain. Even so, most powder horns used in the 18th century were also just plain horns sanded smooth. The main reason that so many fancy horns have survived is because they were prized enough to put away and save.
Even got a ” quick capper.”
Now find some heavy leather and glue several layers together. Cut it in a strip and drill holes in it big enough to hold some greased patched round balls, and you got yourself a speed loader.
Put it on the muzzle, punch a ball through with the short starter and your half way done.
Speed loaders sounds like a great idea.
Nope. They mined sulpher, cooked their own charcoal, and saved their urine and ran it through wood ash to make the saltpeter. Every mountaineer had a gunpowder mill near his log cabin and had his squaw and young'uns trained to make the holy black.
A working trappers' horn made by him.
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