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I saw Cliff Jackson's obit the other day

BlckhrnBlckhrn Member Posts: 5,136
He died at least 20 years ago. When he lived in my area he was right on the border of the Onondaga Nation's territory. I remember there was a dispute one year and Cliff couldn't harvest his garden because it was on the reservation.

Cliff was a renaissance man, he built muzzle loaders from Douglas barrels, Turner Kirkland locks, curly maple and his wits. The humble walls of his home were decorated with many fine examples of the KY/PA rifle in calibers from .32 to .50 and maybe larger.

As dedicated to building these replicas was Cliff in helping youth learn to appreciate the origins of rifles as we know them. He kept two bench rifles, a .45 flintlock and a .50 percussion that were available for anyone to use in the muzzle loading matches that were held four times a year at the local gun club. Visitors here from other forums may scoff at this but these rifles, at 50 yards and with iron sights, were capable of sub MOA accuracy using a patched round ball and 70 or 80 grains of Goex. My brother shot a 50 3x with one and I a 49 4x. The consistency with which these rifles would place a projectile was simply amazing. Cliff supplied everything for his apprentices, shot, flint, cap, ball, cleaning patches and pillow ticking, powder, powder measures and a bottle of diluted dish soap to clean between shots. While on the topic, Cliff's wife was his perfect match, cooked with wood, heated with wood, tore up his old tee shirts for cleaning patches and washed them by the bag after the matches. She cooked from scratch, baked, canned, if memory serves she may have made lye soap. I am sad to admit I do not recall her name.

Cliff once even encouraged me to enter in an odd match at the club. It was like this club actually invented the inline 20 years before the gunmakers did. I loaded .303 cartridges with primer and black powder and muzzle loaded the projectile on top. Every shot keyholed but I learned about the relatrionship between twist rate, velocity and center of gravity from that experience.

Cliff was well into his 70's when I last saw him. That was in my teens. He had more energy at that time than I do in my early 50's. His eyes were getting cloudy, his frame bent but he could make a cleaning jag for any caliber on his lathe without looking and those cloudy eyes had a sparkle I envy in my advancing age.

RIP, Cliff, I hope we meet again.
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