Contemporary Longrifle Association
Home Page
CLA Letter 2002
CLA Letter 2003
CLA Show 2008

Better known simply as the CLA, this membership organization has its roots in the decision of the Kentucky Rifle Association (KRA) to ban modern made longrifles and accoutrements from their annual show in Carlisle, PA. (Fortunately for everyone, that ban has long since been lifted and properly marked new pieces are now allowed at KRA shows.) Several folks, including KRA member Alan Gutchess who was working at the CWF Gunshop at the time, responded by wondering if there would be enough interest in building and collecting contemporarily made pieces to form a separate organization.

Discussions of this idea continued amongst the instructors at the NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar in Kentucky and it was decided that for this idea to have any chance of success it would need leadership from someone with experience in managing organizations and gun shows who was also a collector of contemporary and antique longrifles and their accessories. Gordon Barlow soon moved to the top of a very short list! Wallace Gusler knew Gordon best and was asked to float the idea by him.

Wallace and Gordon met at Rowes restaurant outside of Staunton (a favorite lunch spot on Route 250 just east of I-81) and Wallace pitched the idea to Gordon. After some discussion he agreed to take on the leadership roll provided that Wallace would be the first president.

The rest is history.

The CLA is now in its 14th year with an average annual membership of just under one thousand. (A couple hundred more buy a short term membership to attend the Lexington Show.) The publication of a beautiful and informative new biannual CLA journal titled American Tradition in February of 2010 has sparked a lot on new interest in CLA membership. The journal will be available to the membership while supplies last. A second issue is due out in mid-summer.

The next annual show is scheduled for Lexington, KY in August of 2010. (See link below for details.) Gordon Barlow continues to be the driving force in managing and promoting the organization and we all owe him a heart felt thank you for his work on behalf of both artisans and collectors of contemporary longrifle art. 

In addition to the national show in August, several local groups sponsor "mini-shows" in regions where there is enough interest. These shows are independent and have their own admission policies and display requirements.

To learn more about the CLA and how you can become a member follow this link: CLA Home