The majority of the students and all the instructors made it to the picnic and informal shoot at Dr. Terry Leeper's farm on Saturday afternoon. A few weeks earlier the river bottom where we shoot was under twenty feet of flood water!

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

2010 Classes at a glance:

3-Day Classes (June 2-5)

Learning to Look—Wallace Gusler

Wire and Sheet Metal Inlay for Longrifles—Gary Brumfield

6-Day Classes (June 6-11)

Longrifle Engraving—Wallace Gusler

Lock Assembly, Tuning, and Polishing Class—Jim Chambers

Relief Carving for Longrifles—Gary Brumfield

9-Day Classes (June 2-11)

Longrifle Stock Architecture, Shaping, and Inletting—Mark Silver

Stocking a C. Wilhelm Freund Rifle (Jaeger) ca. 1775—Ronald Scott

Decorating a Christian’s Spring Rifle—Jack Brooks

3-Day Classes ($330 plus materials)

 Learning to Look—Wallace Gusler

Focusing primarily on flint period rifles and trade guns, this class will introduce students to the process of studying firearms for the purpose of dating them and attributing them to a particular “school” or regional style. About twenty original rifles and trade guns will be available for study in the class including 4 or 5 early ones pictured in Rifles of Colonial America by George Shumway. Construction and artist elements will be discussed along with how to detect modifications, repairs, and alterations to old guns. General tips on proper handing and caring for antiques will be covered. Students will want to have a sketchbook. Photography for personal use is permitted. Class limited to 16. No materials fee.


 Wire and Sheet Metal Inlay for Longrifles—Gary Brumfield

            Learn and practice the types of decorative wire inlay found on longrifles. You will also learn the techniques for making, and installing cheek piece inlays, thumb pieces, escutcheons, etc. Former students may bring a “Quaker gun” practice stock from an earlier class. (Do not expect to work on an actual rifle.) Class limited to eight.

            Material fee: Approximately $25 for sheet brass and silver wire. An additional $75 if you need a pre-turned practice stock to work on.  

6-Day Classes ($660 plus materials)

Longrifle Engraving—Wallace Gusler

            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 ten.

            Material fee: Approximately $20. 

Lock Assembly, Tuning and Polishing—Jim Chambers

New project for 2010! Instead of working on one of Jim’s “Gunmaker’s Flintlock” kits, this class will use castings taken directly from a lock made in the late 1600's or early 1700's in Bavaria, Germany to assemble a working lock. During the assembly process we will study and use techniques to produce a precision assembled and tuned lock.  After the lock is assembled and functional we will properly polish it and either keep the cast-on relief art work or remove the relief elements for a smooth finish that can be engraved later or used as is.  Class limited to eight.

Materials fee: $85 will cover the cost of the castings.  A drill and reamer set will be available as an option, or students may use the instructor's set.   

Relief Carving for Longrifles —Gary Brumfield This class did not have enough registration by the deadline and was not taught in 2010.

            Learn to carve by working on a machine shaped longrifle butt stock, “Quaker gun,” 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 work on an actual rifle.) Pick any style of relief carving. Topics covered will include selecting and sharpening tools, various methods of outlining, removing background and sculpting, etc. Although beginners carvers are very welcome, this class in traditional carving techniques probably best serves those who have some experience in stock making or wood working. Class limited to eight.

            Material fee: Approximately $75 for a pre-turned maple practice stock. 

9-Day Classes ($990 plus materials)

Longrifle Stock Architecture, Shaping, and Inletting—Mark Silver 

            New for 2010!  Using the c. 1770-75 Rockbridge Co. Va. style rifle Mark built during the filming of his 2008 American Pioneer Video as a guide, participants will utilize the redeveloped 18th century techniques, period style tools and approaches that he believes closely duplicate 18th century approaches and practice.  The style of this piece relates well to many other types of period longrifles while the balance and handling qualities have proven to be very fast handling and steady for either hunting or target shooting.

 Starting with a maple blank and pre-inlet swamped barrel, students will use handsaws, planes, spoke shaves, chisels, and gouges to recreate the period architecture and primary inletting of the rifle, in the efficient direct manner found on original 18th century pieces.  Participants will be responsible for purchasing a correct style swamped barrel and Chambers early Ketland style flintlock and having the barrel inlet prior to class.  Mark will supply correct sand castings for the butt piece and guard for a nominal cost.   Several appropriate barrel lengths will be available to choose from and dimensions for a suitable stock blank will be supplied.  Class will be limited to eight. 

Materials cost will be approximately $500 to $650 depending on grade of wood selected.

Stocking a C. Wilhelm Freund Rifle (Jaeger) ca. 1775—Ronald Scott

            New for 2010! A finely preserved C. Wilhelm Freund rifle will serve as model for this class.  Moulds of the brass mounts, set trigger and lock have been made for this project. Plastic casts of the decorative carving will be available to each student, along with a CD of fifty detailed photos and other notes that will comprise the student workbook.  Ed Rayl has consented to make the 24.5 inch barrel. It will be made up in 54 caliber, using the same seven  round-bottom  groove pattern as the original rifle. It may be possible to get some of the barrels made up at 29 inches for those desiring a longer profiled rifle.

Students will start construction with a blank with inlet barrel. In the 2008 class of the stocking a Poser Rifle, most of the students had the majority of the parts inlet and stocks shaped. Ron estimates that this rifle will have a similar level of challenge.

As with my previous students, Ron will be available post seminar for continued advice and assistance. Class limited to ten.

Materials Fee:  approximately   $750.00. Ron has acquired enough English walnut stocks to supply the class needs. These will be standard grade heartwood blanks. A few higher grade stocks will be available, please inquire by phone or email.

Decorating the Christian’s Spring Rifle Jack Brooks

            New for 2010!  Students will learn to decorate a rifle or Quaker stock with carving, wire inlay, metal inlay, and simple engraving  in the style of Andreas  Albrecht and Christian Oerter, who worked in Christian’s Spring, Pennsylvania during the 1760’s and 1770’s.  The making and installing of patchboxes , both wood and metal, in this style will also be taught.  Students will be given the opportunity to focus on any of these types of decoration or degree from simple to fancy.

            Jack has studied rifle of the Christian’s Spring school for over thirty years.  Having handled, measured, reproduced, and photographed several of these antique rifles he is excited to share what he has learned with students.

            Some students prefer to work on a practice stock where the risk and cost is lower.  Other students want their work in class to eventually result in a functional rifle.  In order to accommodate both, Jack has designed the class accordingly.  Students will have the choice of working on a practice stock (Quaker stock) or a pre-inlet rifle stock both of which duplicate the correct Christian’s Spring architecture.   Both of these will be good study pieces for the student.  The Quaker stock will be pre-shaped from forward of the lock area back to the butt.  The rifle stock will be pre-shaped full length and pre-inlet for a Getz barrel and R.E. Davis lock. Both stocks will be cut from patterns made by Jack. Class limited to eight.

            Materials fee: Cost will vary with the choices of the student.  The most economical will be the Quaker stock with a wood patch box at about $150.  The choice of a metal patchbox is $150 more.  If the student desires the pre-inlet rifle stock with Getz barrel, the cost will be about $750.

Lodging & Dining

            The Red Roof Inn on Scottsville Road, at I65 exit 22, will be our primary motel and they will be holding a block of rooms. Call for a reservation and mention that you are part of this group. (270-781-6550).

Seminar Photos

 Shortcuts to photos from:

Learning To Look

Sheet and Wire Inlay

The Shoot and Picnic on Saturday


Lock Assembly and Finishing

Germanic Rifle Stocking

Stock Architecture & Shaping

Decorating a Christian's Spring Rifle


Three-Day Classes


Wallace Gusler's Learning To Look

While not actually part of the Learning To Look class, the end of day discussions in the "gun room," when new and old work is out on display, have been a long tradition --- a chance to unwind, relax, and share ideas.


Sheet & Wire Inlay


Saturday Afternoon Shoot & Picnic

This traditional gathering brings the entire group together for fellowship and provides an afternoon break in the intense schedule of the Seminar for those who are in Bowling Green for all nine days..

Dr. Terry Leeper, the WKU professor who hosts the Seminar and owns this farm, used his ATV to set up the targets.


The iron cut out of a British soldier stands about 5'8" and was placed at 140 yards. You can see a lot of lead splatter on his coat and upper legs!

One of Dr. Leeper's daughters joined us and shot a flintlock for the first time.

She also had to learn to load as Jim Kebler gave instructions and Terry and his younger daughter looked on.

Behind the line.

You don't have to call this bunch to the serving line twice!


Six-Day Classes


Wallace Gusler's Longrifle Engraving class


Jim Chamber's Lock Assembly & Finishing Class

Returning students often bring projects to share. Here's Peter with a flask he made.


Nine-Day Classes


Ron Scott's German Rifle Class

Bob Elka's carving!



Mark Silver's Architecture & Stock Shaping Class


Jack Brook's Decorating the Christian's Spring Rifle

Darrin on a walkabout to discuss one of his other projects---a fowling piece.