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Who is W. M. Large?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by samwho, Oct 24, 2008.

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  1. samwho

    samwho Member

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    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!
     
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    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
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
  4. Curator

    Curator Member

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    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.
     
  5. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    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.
     
  6. BobKrohn

    BobKrohn Member

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    He was in Ironton, Ohio I think.
     
  7. samwho

    samwho Member

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    Thanks all for your responses! I now have the information I needed.
     
  8. kentucky bucky

    kentucky bucky Member

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    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.
     
  9. splais

    splais Member

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    large Barrels

    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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