Group photo taken at picnic and shoot held at Dr. Leeper's farm on Cumberland Trace. The shooting is done and the eating is about to begin. We finished just as a thunder storm rolled in!

Seminar 2011
Seminar 2010
Seminar 2008
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
2007 Courses:

Drawing and Design for the Longrifle —Gary Brumfield
(3-day class)
This will be a hands-on drawing class with the goal of helping all the students, even those who say they can not draw, improve their design work. This class will focus on learning to create Baroque and Rococo designs like those typically found in longrifle decoration. The class will not be school specific, but general in the study and drawing of eighteenth-century designs for carving, engraving, and patchboxes. As a bonus Mark Silver will present a session on 18th-century lettering on Saturday morning.
This class will provide excellent preparation for those taking the engraving or carving class. Class size will be limited to 16.
Materials fee: None. Bring a notebook, sketchbook, several pencils, and a good eraser.

Engraving — Beginning and Intermediate — Mark Silver
(6-day class)
This course is meant for the student with little or no engraving experience who wants to improve their understanding of and ability to execute, the styles of engraving used on American longrifles and fowlers. It is also for those who have already had at least one course in engraving and wish to work with British or continental styles.
The class will explore the elements used on patchboxes, side plates and mounts, including types of borders, scrolls, volutes, and leafage. Most of the class time will be spent in intensive practice repeating the basic elements of these types of engraving. Intermediate students will be introduced to and practice lettering of various styles, and the engraving forms found on sporting arms from Britain and Europe, including, if they wish, relief chiseling of sculpted foliage and borders. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $25

Forging 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 iron 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 about mid-day on Saturday.
On Sunday morning the class will resume at W.K.U. where students will begin stocking the 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.
Materials fee: Approximately $500 depending on the student’s choices.

Modifying and Tuning the Flintlock — Jim Chambers
(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.
Material fee: Approximately $90.

Patch Boxes — Jack Brooks
(9-day class)
New for 2007! This class will cover both wood and metal patchboxes in depth. The first three days will focus on the wood box. Jack will bring an antique example and each student will make and install a wood lid box and catch in either a rifle or “Quaker” practice stock. The next six days will be devoted to the study of the metal boxes and their various catches, releases and kick open springs. Jack will bring several examples of antiques. Each student will chose a regional style, then make and install a metal box and release/catch mechanism. Students in this class will need to talk with Jack about their options for the stocks — Quaker practice stocks or actual rifles.
Materials fee: Approximately $25 in addition to stocks.

Period Architecture and Stock Shaping — Wallace Gusler
(9-day class)
New for 2007! One of the most difficult features of an early longrifle to capture is the architecture. Starting with a stock blank and pre-inlet tapered and flared barrel, and using the original Moravian rifle number 42 from George Shumway’s Rifles of Colonial America, Volume I as a prototype, students will learn both the techniques of stock shaping and the subtle characteristics of early rifle architecture that are so hard to see in photographs.
Materials will include a barrel, custom made by Ed Rayl to the dimensions of the original, a maple blank, and castings of the butt piece and guard based on the originals.
Materials fee: Approximately $420-$500 depending on wood selected.

Powder Horns and Flasks — Ron Ehlert [After Ron's death in the spring it was decided that two of his students, Joe Valentin and Bob Elka, would teach this class.]
(9-day class)
New for 2007! Students in this class will be able chose, through discussion with the instructor, from a wide variety of projects ranging in complexity from a French and Indian War period powder horn, or a flattened pocket horn, to an elaborate carved flask in stag horn, wood, or ivory. Two examples of Ron’s work in this field are pictured in Three Centuries of Tradition; The Renaissance of Custom Sporting Arms in America [Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2003]. Class usually limited to eight.
Materials fee will depend on the project(s) selected.

Relief Carving —Gary Brumfield
(6-day class)
Learn to carve by working on a machine shaped longrifle butt stock that will go home with you as study piece and reference. (Because the students will be experimenting with various tools and methods they will not be allowed to work on an actual rifle.) Pick any style of carving. Topics covered will include selecting and sharpening tools, various methods of backgrounding and sculpting, etc. Although beginners are welcome, this class in traditional carving techniques best serves those who have some experience in wood working. Class limited to eight.
Material fee: Approximately $100 which includes practice stock.




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.

Brent deciding on which iron target to shoot

Joe takes aim

Hank instructs fellow students in how to shoot the reproduction air rifle he made.

Pat and Jim watch folks shooting the reproduction air rifle

Tony and Jack hang out at the back of Jack's truck. Jack brought the targets and set up the range in the river bottom behind Dr. Leeper's house.

Wallace Gusler decked out in his Virginia frontier garb. Note the red handled scalping knife, recently acquired as part of Wallace's ongoing research on what frontier gear was really like. Thousands of knives like this one were imported for sale to whites and trade to Indians.

Jim Wright of Pioneer Video took this picture of me as practice for taking the group picture


Students in the Drawing and Design class concentrate on their work. This three-day class was taught in one of the new classrooms with dual screen video projection and comfortable chairs.

Tim Cornick took Wallace's class on Period Architecture and Stock Shaping.

This is Tim's interpretation of the Moravian rifle known simply as #42 because of it's listing in George Shumway's Rifles of Colonial America.


Students and their work from the Powder Horn and Flask Class

Joe and Bob flank the ten students in the horn and flash class originally offered by Ron Ehlert








Peter from England