In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your GunBroker.com account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Making a powder horn

anderskandersk Member Posts: 3,825
I bought a horn at the Iowa State Fair last year with the idea of making a powder horn for use with my muzzle loaders. Since I am going more primitive with my Hawken (leaving my T/C Omega sit quiet until deer season, when I might get her out in bad weather), I thought a real powder horn might be a nice touch.

Anyway, a year later I still have not done anything with it. Are there directions on how to go about that task? [?]

The shape and color are pretty nice ... that is why I chose this horn. It could be from a bison, but I think It was probably from a cow. The seller said he did not know ... probably means that it was from a cow!

Anyway, I just need a little coaching on how to do the job. Anyone know about a book or an article about this? Thanks.

Comments

  • Winston BodeWinston Bode Member Posts: 1,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Get a Dixie Gun Works catalog and it will have all the pieces you need to put it together and maybe even instructions to help.

    Bode
  • anderskandersk Member Posts: 3,825
    edited November -1
    I just checked out the website:

    http://www.nmroyalrangers.org/FCF/making_a_powder_horn.htm

    Wow ... that sure has all the scoop! I may have to wait another year to find time to do all that work, though!
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Andersk --

    I haven't seen the Royal Rangers website you were directed to -- I bet there's some incredibly beautiful stuff there. Bear in mind, though, that powder horns were (and are) like muzzleloading rifles, in the sense that, for every intricately-crafted piece of work, you would find that there were dozens, maybe hundreds of plain-jane items. A horn need only provide watertight (preferably airtight) storage for the powder; a hole in the small end that's large enough for the powder to flow freely through but at the same time not so large as to cause you to spill powder, trying to pour from the horn into a powder measure; and to have a means of carrying it, usually by a strap. You can install a screw-out plug in the base, to refill the horn, if you like, but a small funnel will enable you to refill through the tip -- it just takes a little more time that way. My point is, while you can go as fancy as you like and do a ton of work getting there, a plain horn is a good first project and will do the job you need it to do as well as the most elaborate and expensive piece ever produced.

    Incidentally -- not to insult your intelligence, but to head off the possibility of an honest mistake that could have fatal results -- don't ever load into your rifle barrel directly from the horn. There are spouts made for horns that will allow you to throw set amounts of powder, and which are supposed to be airtight, but if you're wise you'll always use a separate powder measure. The reason being, if a stray spark or ember in your barrel were to ignite the powder you were pouring in (and it's been known to happen), you're liable to have several hundred grains of powder still in the horn. If that should ignite, your horn becomes a fragmentation grenade. I only mention this because, in this modern day of in-lines, Pyrodex pellets, speedloaders, and other conveniences, some of the basic cautions associated with "primitive" gear are falling by the wayside. The weapons and accidents of the old days are both just as capable of killing someone, now, as they were then.

    Enjoy, and be safe.
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    I do not think a spark in a powder horn would do much more than burn slowly.

    The only reason it has a violent reaction in a barrel is because it is confined.

    Am I right?

    Sage 1
  • Sky SoldierSky Soldier Member Posts: 460
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Sage1
    I do not think a spark in a powder horn would do much more than burn slowly.

    The only reason it has a violent reaction in a barrel is because it is confined.

    Am I right?

    Sage 1


    I think the inside of a powder horn would be considered a confined space.
    BP burns pretty fast even when it burns slowly.
    My $.02
  • RannyRanny Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am a professional powder horn maker, and my advice about making a powder horn is simply buy the book Recreating thje 18th Century Powder Horn by Scott & Cathy Sibley. You can get this book thru
    Track of the Wolf Inc. www.trackofthewolf.com This book takes you thru each and every step for making a powder horn. Very well written.
    If you would like to see horns for sale go to the Contemtporary Longrife Association web site..........Ranny Sprenger
  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Sage1
    I do not think a spark in a powder horn would do much more than burn slowly.

    The only reason it has a violent reaction in a barrel is because it is confined.

    Am I right?

    Sage 1


    Unfortunately, no, you are not right. You are thinking about smokeless powder. It will just fizzle and pop when lit if not confined. BP burns so fast, it is actually rated as an explosive.
    If you get a spark in your powder horn it will be the beginning of a very bad day.
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,588 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Ranny
    I am a professional powder horn maker, and my advice about making a powder horn is simply buy the book Recreating thje 18th Century Powder Horn by Scott & Cathy Sibley. You can get this book thru
    Track of the Wolf Inc. www.trackofthewolf.com This book takes you thru each and every step for making a powder horn. Very well written.
    If you would like to see horns for sale go to the Contemtporary Longrife Association web site..........Ranny Sprenger



    Thanks for the post, some beautiful work, including yours show there.
  • Underdog2264Underdog2264 Member Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For the novis horn maker HE DOG hit it on the money, Recreating the 18th Century Powder Horn by Scott & Cathy Sibley is great to get your feet wet. I used the book to make the first few I did, but be careful not to make it too nice or all your free time will be spent making them for your friends.[;)]
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,588 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I got the book and for all the pretty pictures it lacks some of the most basic information, like making a straight line on a curved surface.
Sign In or Register to comment.