39th Annual NMLRA/WKU Gunsmithing/Longrifle Seminar

Wednesday June 3rd through Friday June 12th, 2020

At Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Schedule of Classes

3 Day Classes

  1. Beginner 18th Century Quill Work – Lally House
    A study of quill working techniques, period dyes and completion of a neck pouch.
    Materials will be provided to participants at a minimal cost by Lally.


  2. A study of the Rifle Guns Made in the Valley of Virginia - Wallace Gusler
    The study will cover seven early groups, explaining details that define each group, from wood boxes in the pre-Revolutionary era to metal examples of the 1770’s and 80’s. The second half of the class will track these groups as they develop and expand geographically into twelve to fifteen schools by the 1830-40 period. The class will examine in person several early original rifles and some excavated examples. Most of the rifles will be illustrated in slides or Power Points while also using 8 X 10 photographs. No materials are required; a drawing book or notebook is suggested.


6 Day Classes

  1. Assembly and finishing of a 1760’s Colonial Kit Rifle by Jim Kibler - Ed Wenger
    Participants will be provide instruction on the assembly and finishing of the kit rifle. Rifle kits need to be ordered in advance of the class by searching “kiblerlongrifles” in late March. Ed Wenger is covering the kit class while Jim Kibler will be teaching a carving class at the seminar.


  2. Intermediate Quill Work Leading to the completion of a period correct artifact of the participants choosing – Lally House
    Lally will supply materials for the class at a minimal cost to the participants.


  3. 18th Century Carving Practices and Techniques – Jim Kibler
    Students have the option of carving on a pre-shaped Quaker butt stock or an assembled kit rifle in the white. Jim Kibler needs to be contacted in late March if a “Quaker Stock blank” is need for the class or if your intention is to carve on a assembled kit rifle in the white. Quaker butt stocks can be provided at a minimal cost and a detailed listing of tools and materials will be provided once registration is complete. 


  4. A study of patch box designs – Wallace Gusler – New for 2020.
    Beginning with the sliding wooden box and extending to 2 and 4 piece designs along with related release mechanisms. Students will actually assemble an example or samples of their choice.  Participants will be provided with a list of tools and materials needed for the class once registration is complete.


  5. Making a period correct Powder Horn - Art DeCamp
    Making a period correct Powder Horn including scrimshaw work and related finishing techniques. Samples of other period artifacts made of horn will be shown along with related presentations by Art DeCamp. Horns will be provided to the class for sale at a reasonable cost. A listing of other tools and materials will be sent to the participants in advance of the class.


9 Day Classes

  1. Woodbury School of Gunmaking and Forging of Related Accoutrements – Hershel, Frank and John House
    A unique class where participants are given to freedom to work on various aspects of longrifle making from forging gun mounts, to lock and patch box making and casting a pewter muzzle cap. Some participants actually stock up a rifle while others work on their forging skills by making a knife or other related accoutrement. Participants will be responsible for a fee to cover the cost of coal and metal forging supplies. A listing of tools and suggested materials will sent to all in advance of the class once registration has closed. This class is taught at the home of Hershel House in Woodbury, Kentucky – 25 miles from Western’s campus.


  2. Stocking the Pennsylvania Longrifle, or Finishing What You Started – Jack Brooks
    Jack has covered this class for several years with great success! For those participants desiring to stock up a rifle, you need to contact Jack in advance to obtain his advice on period correct furniture and materials to complete your project. For those completing a rifle in process, you may also want to contact Jack about your project to make sure you have all materials and tools necessary for completing the rifle. Students will learn historically correct stock architecture for a regional style rifle such as Christian’s Spring, Allentown, Bucks County, Reading, Lancaster, York and others with which Jack is familiar. Students will develop skills in inletting a swamped barrel, fitting the lock, butt plate and trigger guard along with other mounts as time permits.


  3. Advanced 18th Century Porcupine Quill Work – Lally House
    Covered in class where participants have the opportunity to complete period correct projects of their choice. Lally will be including birch bark box applications with appropriate period quill work (new for this year). A listing of supplies and materials will be sent to participants in advance of the class while Lally and Crazy Crow will have quilling materials for purchase at a reasonable cost.


  4. Building a period Jaeger Rifle from a Study Piece for students to work from – Ron Scott
    Ron Scott has a very well preserved 1740’s Jaeger Rifle that will serve as a model for this class. The rifle will be present during the seminar for examination. Molds are being prepared to reproduce the mounts and lock parts. Students will have the option of preparing a lock from castings or acquiring a Chris Laubach Jaeger lock. Barrels made to original dimensions will be available in a variety of calibers. Ron has a very large collection of European Walnut stocks, and will make them available to seminar members at a discounted rate. Part of the materials package will be multiple photos for study, plus casts of carving and engraving. As in previous seminars, Ron will be available for mentoring on this project though its completion. Please call with any questions at 541-941-0395. A listing of necessary tools and materials will be sent to participants.


  5. Learning the Basics of Sheet Inlay in both Wood and Metal, along with Wire Inlay – George Suiter
    George will cover related design applications along with related tools and materials used for the inlay process. Students will actually make wire inlay tools in class. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a pipe ax head and haft to practice their inlay skills on, or the opportunity to bring the necessary stock blank materials to class to support the learning process of inletting wire and sheet material in both wood and metal.


Important Dates and Information to Remember

  • Seminar Dates – Classes begin at 1:00 pm CST on Wednesday, June 3rd and end on Friday, June 12th at 1:00 pm, CST 2020. 3 day classes run Wednesday, June 3rd at 1:00 pm through Saturday, June 6th at 1:00 pm. 6 day classes begin on Sunday, June 7th at 8:00 am through June 12th.

  • Picnics: Saturday, June 6th at 5:00 pm CST at the Leeper farm, and Wednesday, June 10th at 5:00 pm CST at the home of Hershel House. Picnic cost included in registration fees.

  • Cost of all classes is $120 per day.

  • Early Registration for PREVIOUS ATTENDEES ONLY contact Brenda Hooton at the NMLRA at 812-667-5131 (ext. 223) beginning October 9th, 2019 – no registrations will be accepted before then. Please decide on your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of classes. Minimum deposit of ½ the class cost and Membership in the NMLRA.  Brenda's email - nmlra@nmlra.org

  • Official Registration – begins on October 30th, 2019 and runs through February 19th, 2020 on a first come first serve basis. A minimum deposit of ½ the total cost of the class or classes and membership in the NMLRA. Please select your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd or no other choice of classe(s). Contact Brenda Hooton at the NMLRA (812-667-5131 – ext. 223) with your selection(s).  Brenda's email - nmlra@nmlra.org

  • Full Payment – for all classes required by February 19th, 2020

  • Cancellation – on or before February 19th, 2020 will result in $150 being kept along with your membership fee to the NMLRA with the balance returned to the individual.

  • Cancellation after February 19th, 2020 – will result in KEEPING full payment for all 3 day classes, and $500 for both 6 and 9 day classes – there will be NO EXCEPTIONS since the instructional team has been confirmed.

  • Final Enrollment Notification – will be made to participants by March 25th, 2020 based upon enrollment date and class preferences (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or none). Notification will be by email or USPS if preferred – please advise at enrollment regarding USPS restriction.

  • Negotiations for Group Lodging – is being made in Bowling Green at the Red Roof Inn “economy” (270-781-6550), and “enhanced lodging” at Western’s Hyatt Place (4 blocks from instruction with hotel transportation) 270-467-0001. Morgantown – House brothers – under discussion.

  • Lodging updates – will be posted on the official seminar website at: nmlragunsmithingseminar.org and on the NMLRA Educational Web site.