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Discussion Starter #1
Prior to that, Grandma and Grandpa Smith would go to Texas each winter, leaving around a week after Thanksgiving and generally returning some three or four months later.

Before they would leave, they would ask us what we wanted from Mexico. They would park their fifth wheel at a campground near the border and cross over to tour and shop.

I generally end up with bullwhips and pesos. However, one year they surprised my brother and me with mounted bull horns.

Those hung in my room at home, then the house I managed to get while in college, and in every apartment and house after that.

They were getting pretty ragged, and I hung them up in the garage above the metal kitchen table which belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa Burkhardt. On that table I set up a lead furnace my Grandpa Smith had given me, and with a few other items I purchased, proceeded to produce bullets for my .45acp.

Those bull horns were something to look at, but I never could bring myself to throw them out.

This morning I had an idea. Knowing that they'd go sooner or later, one way or another, I began work on something I simply don't have the money to buy while I'm laid off:



Conceived at 4am this morning, I sawed one off, washed it up, and with judicious application of files, 2000 grit wet sandpaper, and a fine toothed hacksaw, I'm well on my way to having a powder horn.

This evening I will take a walk in the woods and find a good, seasoned limb the right size around, and make the bottom. I'll likely tea or coffee stain the wood, work the warmed horn around it, and secure it with tacks or with wooden pegs - I've not decided yet.

Though I'd like to do the linseed oil thing with the wood, I'll need the powder horn before those many weeks are up. I think I will therefore cheat and use varnish on this one; after all, I have another horn to save. The varnish will serve to seal the horn around the wood as well.

If I haven't tossed a broken bullwhip, I'll use a strand from it as a leather carry sling. Here's to hoping as I do think I tossed it.

Not having a violin key handy (thank God there are no violins around here!), I am debating whether to keep the .22 shell in place. While it is brass, I don't want metallic cartridges around my muzzleloading stuff. I may see if my dad still has his olde guitar from the '70s, and if I might have a key off of that to use.

I'd rather not use wood or cork due to their propensities to change size with humidity.

Now, I just have to figure out what to use for a powder measure. I'm sure I'll dig through the stuff I inherited from all four grandparents and stay with that theme.

It's not the best powder horn I've ever seen, but for not ever having done this before (and really not being good at woodworking), I think it's turning out OK.

Josh
 

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Josh, I think its gonna look just fine. Looks like you did a good job with it. This is something I've meant to make for a long time. I've got a old cow horn that is in my tool shed and I'm gonna get around to it someday.
 

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That is a great idea, and it looks real good so far. Also because of where the horns came from, it will always mean a lot to you and who you hand it down to. Keep us posted on the finished product.
 

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Thanks folks.

Does the bottom look OK to you, or does it look like it needs to be blended more with the curve of the rest of the horn?

Thanks again,

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello,

I finished it up last night.


Everything on this came from my Grandparents Smith, save for the powder measure, the measure's lanyard, and the wood - that came from a nice hardwood limb I found in a woodpile.

If I ever hint at this having been easy, somebody smack me. I found that this horn, at least, demanded more than the standard amount of attention commonly given to horns, and a few processes had to be added or modified.


The rear...

I'm especially proud of this plug. It's sealed to waterproof and is nearly air tight. I used nothing modern; all glue used to seal it was made from horn pieces.


The front attachements...

I am not good at making plugs, especially when I'm close to being done. But, it works for now, until I can find a banjo key.

The measure is a metallic .410 shell, cut down to throw about 50 to 60gns BP by volume. At least this is what cross referencing with Lee dippers says. I'll have to double check. It will also be getting one that will throw 70-80gns and maybe one to throw 25. I should be covered for all loads I'd ever use (25, 50, 75 and 100gns).


And I managed to crack it a bit.

Though it's only a hairline crack, the drill bit I was using caught and cracked the horn. Barely noticeable and of no real consequence, I still know it's there and it'll bug me.


And a final shot, with the rifle.

This is the first horn I've made; I have enough raw material for one more, then I'll have to find a source for horns.

I figure two of these per sidelock should be sufficient, so it'll be a while until I build a third.

Thanks,

Josh
 

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Good job Josh. A friend of mine made one years ago and he got his horn at a stock barn where they had dehorned some cattle. He said working down the horn was a lot of work. It took him a long time to get the horn smooth.
 

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You can make powder measures from tips of deer antlers. Just cut the antler to the lengths you like and drill it out till it holds the amount of powder you want then drill a 3/16" hole near the pointed end of the antler put a leather thong of about 18" to 24" and tie it to your possibles bag.
 
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