Friday, August 19, 2016

28ga Smooth Rifle

28ga frontiersman's smooth rifle with  American jaeger styling.









Monday, November 23, 2015

Brass Basket Hilt

Scottish style basket hilt of my own design forged from 5160 with a welded brass basket and carved mahogany handle. Baldric made from heavy veg tan leather and stained with homemade iron acetate.




Monday, November 9, 2015

Gentleman's Half Stock

Curly ash, 12ga 36'' barrel, lightweight, and as much fun for wing shooting as humanly possible.





Monday, July 13, 2015

Heritage Hunting Rifle

Sometimes I can do something for someone which is more meaningful  than what a simple "thanks" attempts to explain.  So here's to you Grandpa, couldn't have done it without you.




Iron Sharpeth Iron, So a Man Sharpeth The Countenance Of His Friend
Proverbs 27-17

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Paying Respect To The Men Behind The Sights, Part 1

   Putting yourself in a man or woman's shoes who lived in a bygone century can be an humbling experience as most living historians will tell you.  We tread water in diluted society and forget sometimes that there were people that did great yet overlooked deeds under our nose which directly influenced a world.  The following is a brief look into such places and its people.


Christians Spring

A moravian settlement near Nazareth pa established in 1747 that trained and schooled men in distillery, brewing, silk, flax weaving, gunsmithing, shoe making, and farming.  My focus is on its gun shop roots.

 Andreas Albrecht which I have and will reference quite often (and more background in a previous post)  started the shop, he was responsible for training of at least Christian Oerter and William henry II.  Apprenticed in in Suhl and later in Wolfenbuttel,  served in Frederic the Greats army, helped the cause during Americas Rev War, and I believe helped bring Bavarian style rifles to Pa.




 
The road and the Spring in 2015, Interesting spelling






Moravian museum in Nazareth that houses one of Albrecht's work a couple miles away.  Christian Oerter is buried not far from here.






 
Andreas left the gun shop in 1766 and moved to Bethlehem to manage the Sun Inn.  It is a quaint town with beautiful buildings, 18th century reconstruction, and Moravian college.





Visitors to the inn include Benjamin Franklin, George and Martha Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ethan Allen, Marquis de Lafayette, and many others.


Andreas and his wife Elizabeth moved to Lititz in 1771 where Andreas began making guns and locks.  His shop was near the Moravian church.  Lititz was named by Moravian Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf who Andreas heard lecture in 1743 right before he went to war in Bohemia. As he states in his narrative, that made quite an impression.  His lebenslauf is a touching read from an obvious honest man.

Interestingly enough in 1741 Zinzendorf met with Benjamin Franklin, and reached an agreement on a free Moravian movement.  Lititz also was home to a hospital in 1777 for the revolution. 
Castle Litice, in what's now the Czech republic which the town is named after.



 

A coffee mill made by Albrecht in Lititz in 1772.  I love the sliding patchbox look
(Photo from Grinder finder summer 2009)

 
 
Andreas lived to his 84th year and is buried in the Moravian cemetery behind the church.
 
 

Grave marker reads,
Andrs Albrecht
Geborend 2April
1718
in Zelle bev Suhl
Verschied
den 19 April
1802
 


His Lebenslauf_- "I was born in the little town of Celle, near Suhl, in the mountains of Thurgia. I was raised in the Evangelical Lutheran religion. During the years of my childhood I experienced many blessed events, e.g., at Christmas time, when the birth and childhood of Jesus was talked about. When I had reached the age of 13 years, I became an apprentice of a gun stock maker. I prayed to God to help me. I stayed clean of all bad things into my seventeen year. However, as soon as I became a helper, the world began to woo me, and it would have conquered my heart, if had not the Savior, whom I did not know at that time, protected me. When I was 18 years old, in the midst of winter, I started out into the world as a journeyman. Several times I was in the extreme cold, in blizzards, in danger of losing my life, and I heard in my heart, 'If you die now, you will be lost." I cried bitterly and promised dear God to become a different person, if He would guide me safely to the place of my destination. With this resolution, I arrived at Halberstadt. There I frequented the public divine service, and kept away from bad company. However, I remained restless in my heart. Once, a weaver's helper addressed me on the open road and asked me if I loved the Lord Jesus. I was surprised by this unexpected question. I looked at the man and answered, "Yes!" Immediately he took me to pious people. Their singing and praying impressed my heart deeply. In order to become more proficient in my trade in 1739 I continued my journey in the company of another gun maker's helper. In Wolfenbuttel I got a job with him. Our new master liked us very much, especially since we did not go out except to Church. But the restlessness of my soul did not cease. It continued underneath all my apparent piousness because I realized that I was not yet as I had promised the dear Lord that I would be. This oppressed my heart, especially when I wanted to go to Communion. For sometime I had carried on under this conviction, which changed often with new requests of God's Spirit. I made great and many efforts, but I never learned what the Savior was like. Finally, in 1740, it happened that I had to return to Halberstadt for work I had accepted for the soldiers. Here the blessed hour struck, when God's grace came to me. It was on Trinity Sunday in the cathedral when the Spirit of God opened my heart and eyes. There I listened to a sermon of the Counselor of the Consistory, Weisbeck, a very serious man, on the words, 'Except that a man be born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.' Now I saw myself lying in my blood. My misery in all its immensity showed itself before my eyes, not only the bad things I had done from youth on, but also what had seemed to me formerly to be good appeared now as sins. I still lacked the new birth of my heart and so I lacked everything. The pious Weisbeck pronounced the final words of his sermon with a penetrating voice, 'Be born anew or lost for eternity, Amen.' This hit my heart like lightning. I felt what a criminal may feel when he is sentenced to death. For the next seven or eight hours I felt lost and the horror of death hurt me undesirably. I could not eat or drink. All I was able to do was wring my hands and moan, until the Savior showed himself to my poor soul as redeemer of my sins. All at once my terrible fear and everything which had scared me before disappeared. I was able to renew my baptismal vows with God: the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and to dedicate myself to my Savior as His property and I felt in my heart thankfulness and happiness. With this sensation of happiness I carried on uninterruptedly for a whole year.

            Oh! how often did I wish afterwards I should have fallen in the hands of the Brethren to be cared for, but I didn't know them yet. It would have saved me from many detours on the road to Salvation.

            In 1741, when the war started in Silesia, I went with the regiment and served with a gun stock maker in an encampment near Brandenberg. Here the first love of my heart became more and more lost, and the wickedness of my nature showed up again. This would have oppressed my mind if I had not, by the graceful Providence of God, just at that moment joined a regiment at Anhalt-Nassau. This regiment engaged me finally as its gunstock maker. I went with it into winter quarters in Berlin. So I had the time and opportunity to frequent, for the great and lasting blessing of my heart, the service and devotional hours of Pastor Fuhrmann and of other devoted men. In the following year, after the peace treaty, our regiment marched back to its garrison at Halle, where I got in even closer contact with the enlisted Brethren. My heart profited much from their meetings, which were frequented by the citizens, students, soldiers and journeymen. Once I had a very blessed sensation when I heard a soldier-brother preaching on the fourth part of the 'daily bread' which he interpreted as the Savior.

            In 1743 I was so lucky as to see the late Count Zizendorf when he traveled through Halle and to hear a lecture by him. This made me wish to visit a Brethren Congregation. It happened luckily for me at the end of the same year, when I had the opportunity to travel with a soldier-brother to Herrnhag and to spend there a few weeks for the unforgettable blessing of my heart. In 1744 I had to march again into war in Bohemia. At that time I remembered often my blessed visit and I desired to live with such a people as the Brethren, with whom I had become acquainted, and was delighted by their beautiful services, even if it would be only in a corner of a door. After the end of the Second Selesian War, in January 1746, I returned with my regiment to Halle. Many soldier-brethren, even the best ones, had been killed in the war, and I did not trust myself and the world. The desire to live in a Brethren's congregation rose once more in me. But it lasted until 1748 when the Prince of Dessau finally dismissed me [from military service], because if my urgent applications. The following day I started my journey to Herrnhag. I was immediately allowed to stay there, and to my joy and shame, I was soon admitted to the Congregation and to Holy Communion with it. In 1750 I traveled with a group of about 80 Brethren to America. We arrived at Bethlehem on June 27th. There I tasted during the following years many undeserved blessings. Now whenever I look back at those times, I become ashamed of all the grace which He so richly showered on me, a poor worm.

 [from W.S. Bowers, Gunsmiths of Pen-Mar-Va, pp. 8-11]

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Graduation Smooth Rifle

This is a slim 20ga smooth rifle I built for my brother in celebration of his recent graduation from engineering school.  Combining both English and Germanic influence, family heritage, some fraternal symbolism and a really nice piece of maple I think makes one fine sporting arm.  Congratulations!

-A special thanks to the greatest silversmith this century, Cousin Dave-



Rifle from the east heads west....to head east