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Author Topic: Bill Large barrels  (Read 5891 times)
Bob Roller
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2011, 02:14:32 PM »

It feels odd to reply to my own recent post but while writing it,I got to thinking about Jeanette McKenzie,the daughter of Bill and Shirley Large that lives there so I called her. I knew she had cancer surgery for cancer of the spleen and partly into the pancreas and seemed to be getting along but now she tells me that she has had cancerous growths on her arms.
Her voice sounded strained and I hope to drive over and see her soon. It's only 14 miles away.
She and I go back to 1953 when I first met Bill and I hate to hear or see someone I have known for so long facing such a terrible disease.

Bob Roller
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SHBTech
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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 01:05:57 PM »

For those that would like to see a few pictures of some of Bill's equipment, check out the photos at Sleepy Hill Barrels. There are also many other shots of Jim McLemore's current shop and even one of Bill himself.
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smokinbuck
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Posts: 1584


« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 04:40:31 PM »

Bob,
Cancer is a horrible thing to have to experience but to see good friends suffer with it is mentally exhausting and creates a memory that aill last a lifetime. I try to enjoy my friends while I still have them and can help support them, as opposed to after they are gone.
Mark
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Mark
William Worth
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 07:58:40 AM »

A friend of mine that lives in the Huntington, W.Va. area that knew Bill Large told me of being in his shop once and was taking stock of the clutter.  He knew that everything there had a story to tell and asked Bill about a jar of metal shavings that was sitting on the window sill.  The shavings were cuttings from gun barrel manufacture that ended up in the Battle of Midway in the S. Pacific.
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Bob Roller
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 10:00:22 AM »

The story about the steel shavings is true.I have been in Bill's shop more than anyone on this or any other list or forum and they were there for a long time. During WW2,Bill worked at the Naval Ordnance Plant in South Chareleston,WV where the manufacture of 20 and 40MM rapid fire anti aircraft barrels were made. He worked with a German toolmaster who came to America about the same time as Hitler started his ranting and raving in the early 1930's and got out while getting was good. His former employer was the Mauser Rifle Works at Oberndorf where he was a cutter grinder. He and Bill developed methods of grinding chambering reamers for these 20's and 40's that could,would and did cut a finished chamber in as Bill put it, "One pop".
This helped to eleminate a big bottle neck in the production of these barrels and some of them did see service at the Battle of Midway in which a trap was laid for the Japanese Navy and assured their days were numbered in the Pacific. Bill was proud of that and had certificates of accomplishment and appreciation from every significant person in our government.
Later,he put his knowledge of barrels to use at the Army Proving Grounds in Maryland regarding the feared German 8.8cm (88MM) anti aircraft and anti everything else high velocity cannon. He told me when he heard that gun go off,it sounded more like a king size rifle's keen crack than the boom of one of ours and he then knew one thing for sure and that was the fact the barrel had a choke and after he looked thru it from breech to muzzle he saw it also had a gain twist. He said it was no wonder the German gunners would lay waste to our tanks at long ranges when this gun was installed on the Tiger Tank.The Sherman was hoplessly outclassed by this tank and gun combination and only the limited production of the Tiger made it possible to eventually defeat this 60 ton menace to all Allied armor.
One of these tanks,commanded by a German hotshot,Michael Wittman,reduced a British armored regiment to junk in 11 minutes at Villers-Bocage in France. One old Brit who was interviewed said they didn't even have time to piss in their pants before it was over and he was a POW.

Bob Roller


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Dphariss
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Northern I Corps Kill a Commie for your Mommy


« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 10:49:12 PM »

Thanks for all the insights.

Dan
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smokinbuck
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 11:34:21 PM »

Bob,
Interesting stories and fond memories. That's what good friendships create.
Mark
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Mark
kickon
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Posts: 2


« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2012, 07:35:06 PM »

 just acquired a "custom" flintlock 45 cal with a W M Large barrel and a brass plass on the butt plate labeled "Wayne Shelley" Pt Alegany PA 1968"

Any thoughts?Huh?
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mountainman70
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« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2012, 08:01:42 PM »

Welcome to the world of The Legend of Bill Large.I had the honor of visiting him in his shop in "Arntn,Oh"spelling as in the local vernacular of us southern Wva boys.In the mid 70s when I was delivering auto parts from South Charleston,Wv to the tristate area.Having been a new recruit of the Mountaineer Flintlock Rifles in 1976,all I heard from the guys with the custom guns was Bill large this,and that,etc.I had to meet this enigma,and on my next trip to Ironton-correct spelling-I drove to the JJJJ ranch,and made his acquiaintance,with the proper referals of several fellows in the club.
Everything I have read here just makes me miss him that much more.It was very good.
I now have a few guns with his name on the barrels,but the personal memories are what really shine.Find out what that barrel likes,and enjoy it,my friend,and welcome to the forums.Best regards,Dave Fortner

BTW,any of y'all on here that knew Gene Hyre of StAlbans,Wva,he passed on couple evening ago,and we had his sevice today in StAlbans,followed by 10 of us shooting a volley of blank charges in the cemetary,and several of Genes rifles were used.He was as fine a guy as Uncle Bill.
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James
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« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2012, 09:41:12 PM »

just acquired a "custom" flintlock 45 cal with a W M Large barrel and a brass plass on the butt plate labeled "Wayne Shelley" Pt Alegany PA 1968"

Any thoughts?Huh?

Wayne's relative, (T.R),nephew I think, did some tractor overhauls for us in the early 80s. Wayne's shop was on the Lillibridge Road near Port A.. T.R. took me in Wayne's shop in '82. I don't remember if Wayne was in a nursing home then or had passed. T.R. had to use one of Wayne's machines for a tractor part. I looked around as best I could without seeming too nosey. As a young man, I was overwhelmed by the # of in-work wood projects he had. It was a pretty good sized shop. What I remember above all else were several stock blanks and a shaped youth, quite small, fullstock. I remember it being well proportioned, comparable to the small Hacker Martin guns in Foxfire 5.   I have always wondered what one of his completed guns looked like. I would like to see photos of the gun if you wouldn't mind. Wayne still has relatives in that area, one is a doctor in Port A. and he might give you more info if you contacted him.
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"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." P.Henry
Bob Roller
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« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2012, 10:44:16 AM »

 I am really sorry to hear  that
Gene Hyer passed away. He was one of the first I called on that sad day in September of 1985 when Bill Large passed away. I made calls all over the world that day and even after all these years,I still think of Bill and am grateful for the knowledge he so freely shared with me. His third born daughter,Jeanette still lives in the house her mother and father owned and I make it a point to stay in touch with her and occasionally go there and fire a few shots with whatever I am carrying in my pocket.

Bob Roller
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Jack Hubbard
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Posts: 44


« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2012, 01:41:06 PM »

Gene was one of the nicest guys I knew....I rode with him to Bill Larges shop once....Gene said he had taken pictures of Bills 50th wedding anniversary....He picked up a barrel and had a short visit with Bill...I remember the fire place in his shop....I thought it was pretty neat to have a fireplace in his shop....Last time I visited with Gene was at Friendship....He said something about not having enough of Bills barrels...He always talked of Bill Large with kindness....
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