For some the word Damacus may lead to thoughts of Syria or Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, but for me it is singularly about the beauty and endurance of Damascus Steel.
Having previously posted the muzzle loader and powder horn blogs the better half and I were discussing Damascus Steel and I showed her a few examples online – I’ve made a few knives over time but never a Damascus so she decided to order and gift to me the one in the photos saying it would look good in a photo with the powder horn so here it is.
Grandmother has an old Damacus double barrel shotgun that belonged to her father that is great condition we’ve actually shot a few time but resides now as an honored wall hanger.
In the muzzle loading era it was obviously essential to be able to carry a supply of powder in a convenient manner – the options generally were a powder horn with a plug on the larger end for filling and a plug on the smaller end for dispensing or a flask.
The horns came in various sizes and were usually handmade by the owner- simple in design but effective.
Some with carved designs as suited the owner and others more simplistic and utilitarian such as the featured one.
The origins of the use of horns can be traced back centuries and depending on the time and country some flasks were even made of clay.
As with most things there are a myriad of variations in the modern world with some featuring the ability to dispense a pre measured amount – there also exist individual one shot packets, pre cut cloth patches, and of course precast slugs and balls.
The ability to cast your own projectiles is both easy enough and affordable allowing the opportunity to cast a few silver bullets just in case ……………
Charlie Russell ( 3-19-1864 – 12 – 24 – 1926 } was/is a globally recognized western artist/sculptor of repute.
Any painting, sketch, or scuplture by Russell commands a high price today and rightfully so. Russell did some magnificent paintings and sculpture of First Nations people and way of life – this is little more than a cheap dime store reproduction from a yard sale that offers a glimpse of Russell’s work.
The first Hawken muzzle loader was hand made by Jacob and Samuel Hawken in the early 1820’s to 1884 – a prized possession coveted by many.
The above is a replica made by Thompson Center for 20 odd years or so, a company purchased by Smith + Wesson in 2007 which continues to make replica Hawkens with a great many muzzle loader variations.
Originally the Hawken could also be purchased with a .68 caliber if a person wanted to go that big. The norm in the modern replica era has been .36, .45, and 50 calibers firing either a lead (or more environmentally friendly alloy) ball or slug.
Hawkens were known for their accuracy, distance depending on powder load, and stopping power.
The TC replicas weigh ten pounds give or take, are obviously single shot which in my opinion behooves a person to known the environment, be able to blend in with it, be able to hit what they aim at, and learn to stalk – no need for the mighty hunters hunt the ferocious Bambi or Elk with an assault rifle equipped with a high capacity magazine.
The TC replicas come with either a percussion cap or a flash pan to ignite the charge – this one has a flash pan and piece of flint as a striker staying even truer to the originals.
Even if you’re not a hunter there’s something about holding a piece of history in your hands and shooting eggs velcroed to a 4×4.
An old Exakta gifted to me – looks like it’s been gathering dust for quite a while but Exakta made some fine cameras and have something of a cult following- seems to function well but willing to bet it has light leak issues so I’ll take it apart, clean it up, make whatever repairs are necessary and give it a go.
Belongs to a friend and been sitting around for years, they “think” it worked when they initially got it. Never stripped down one of these before but it should either be interesting or a hair puller – will be one of those down time projects as it’s more complicated than you think – need to try and locate a couple of missing keys and who knows what else ………..
For all we know Hemingway or Steinbeck might have used something similar