Group photo taken at picnic and shoot held at Mr. Smith's farm outside of Bowling Green.

Seminar 2011
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Seminar 2007
Seminar 2006
Seminar 2005
Seminar 2004
Seminar 2003
Seminar 2002
Seminar 2001
Seminar 2000
Seminar 1999
Seminar 1993
Seminar 1992
Seminar 1989
Seminar 1988
Seminar 1986
Seminar 1984
Seminar 1982
2004 Courses:

Stocking the Allentown Rifle — Jack Brooks (9-day class)
New for 2004— Jack will lead the students through stocking up a flintlock rifle of the style popular in the Lehigh Valley of PA. Student will not be making a copy of a particular antique rifle. Jack will help them study a variety of examples and chose appropriate features to produce a plain or fancy rifle from as early as 1780 to as late as 1820 in style. Students will also decide whether they want to learn to hand inlet the barrel or start with a blank where the barrel is pre-inlet and the ramrod hole drilled. Class limited to ten.

Relief Carving — Gary Brumfield (9-day class)
Expanded for 2004—This class has been expanded from six to nine days at the request of several former students who felt that six days was not enough time for this complex subject. The extra days will provide the students with an opportunity spend more time on designing their carving and will allow some students to complete wrist and tang carving as well. The class will work with turned “Quaker gun” stocks (no barrel or lock) and begin with fitting the butt plate and final shaping. Class limited to eight.

Modifying and Tuning the Flintlock— Jim Chambers, Jr.(6-day class)
Students in this class will start with one of his "Generic" lock kits, the one with the square plate, and go completely through the assembly process, then move on the fine tuning both the form and function of the lock. A lot of the quality can be built in during the basic assembly process if the correct drills, reamers, etc. are used. Some students may also want to modify the lock to be more appropriate for a particular gun they plan to build. The materials fee will cover both the lock parts and a proper set of drills, taps and reamers. Class limited to eight.

Relief Chiseling Steel and Brass — Ron Ehlert (3-day class)
New for 2004— Ron recently finished a chiseled Germanic style lock and some who students who saw it last year have asked him to offer this class. Learn the basics of relief chiseling that can be applied to mounts, locks and barrels. This type of work is found on the better grade European Jaegers and fowlers. Limited to 10 students.


Finish What You Started: a Mini-Apprenticeship
— Ron Ehlert (6-day class)
New for 2004—This class provides former seminar students with the opportunity to have Ron help them complete, or at least make a lot of progress toward completing, any longrifle, fowler, Jaeger or pistol that they started in any previous class here at the NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar. We know there are projects out there collecting dust. Now there is no excuse! Limited to 8 students.

Making a Hunting Shirt — Wallace Gusler and Eve Otmar (3-day class)
New for 2004—The lecture/discussion parts of this class Wallace will deal with the possible origins of the fringed hunting shirt and the evolution of rifleman’s dress on the frontier and in the back country from the 1750s to the early Revolutionary War period. In the hands-on portions of the class Eve will teach the fundamental processes of making a traditional linen hunting shirt. This will cover: measuring and laying out; collar, cape, and sleeve construction; various stitching techniques and fringe making. A shirt will not be completed but all the basic steps will be demonstrated and practiced using prepared linen components. Class limited to eight.

Longrifle Engraving — Wallace Gusler (6-day class)
Learn engraving with hammer and chisel, in the styles found on American longrifle mounts, patchboxes, and inlays. Wallace will stress learning the basic process and controlling the cut but will also include other techniques such as shading and cutting borders. Much of the student's class time will be devoted to repeating designs on practice plates which they will take home as study pieces. Class limited to eight.

Forging Iron Gun Mounts and Stocking the Southern Mountain Rifle — Hershel & John House (9-day class)
This hands-on class will begin on Wednesday at Hershel’s shop (10 miles from Bowling Green) where several forges will be set up. Forge and file the correct butt plate, trigger guard, etc. for the style of southern mountain rifle you will build. Blacksmithing experience is not required. The mount making portion of the class will end at mid-day on Saturday the 1st.
On Sunday morning the class will resume at Western Kentucky University where students will begin to build a basic, practical, iron mounted, southern mountain rifle. Variations include: Appalachian, East Tenn., North Carolina, Southwestern Virginia, and early Virginia styles — flint or percussion, straight or swamped barrel, stock of maple or walnut. With the desire to send the student home with as close to a complete rifle as possible, Hershel and John teach their efficient workman like methods to show how to attain a quality product with a minimum of tools. Barrel will be pre-inlet and the ramrod hole drilled. Class limited to eight.

Wire and Sheet Metal Inlay — Mark Silver (6-day class)
Learn to do the types of wire inlay found on longrifles and on European arms such as fowlers and pistols. Mark will be comparing and contrasting these different styles and techniques. You will also learn to design, make, and install simple sheet metal inlays like those found on longrifles. And finally, as an often-requested demonstration, Mark show how to inlet a silver signature plate in a rifle barrel. Students may bring a “Quaker gun” butt stock saved from an earlier carving or patchbox inletting class. (Do not expect to work on an actual rifle.)


Whenever weather permits, the Saturday afternoon of the nine day seminar becomes a time to relax with an informal shoot and picnic where students and instructors share two common interests, shooting and eating, and get to know each other.

Fred must be looking up something important. It looks like he has six supervisors!

Mr. Smith's, owner of the Scottish Inn where most of us stayed, asked his son to host this picnic on the farm where they deer hunt. The tables and chairs were a big hit, as was John Duvall's cooking! Dave, Bob, and Jack relax with the ladies.

Joe in his fine shirt.

John and Hershel

This car was part of the extra attention Hershel and John bring to their class.

Beverly was in Ron's two classes, Vickie was in John and Hershel's class and Eve taught the hunting shirt class.

Keith lighting up his carving.

John decided to carve one of the Chambers Virginia rifles. Very curly wood!

Bob wanted to do the carving on the Bonewitz rifle (number 81 in Kindig's book).

Here it is--almost finished.

Ed raising the grain after back grounding the relief carving. (top)

Mitchell proves that a blacksmith can learn to engrave.

Tony (top)

Bob checkering the wrist in the Finish What You Started class.

Fred cutting who knows what from scrap wood. (top)

Perry is also finishing what he started.

Dr. Terry Leeper stops by Ron's class to visit. (top)

John & Hershel out at the shop in Woodbury [Vickie Swank photo].

Vickie at Hershel's shop [Vickie Swank photo].

Vickie shaping the fore stock of her iron mounted rifle. [Vickie Swank photo].

Port Arms, just like with her M-16 [Vickie Swank photo].

Jack Brooks in the Stocking an Allentown Rifle Class
(Left to right: Brent, Jack, Roy, and Dave)

Allentown Rifle -- Robert rasping

Ron's three day class on relief chiseling steel and brass
(Ron, Dave, & Hollis)

Bob using binocular scope for chiseling class.