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General discussion => Contemporary Accoutrements => Topic started by: Bushfire on October 05, 2021, 01:17:17 PM

Title: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Bushfire on October 05, 2021, 01:17:17 PM
Hi,

The more and more I see of them the more I like them. But I'm wondering about the practicality in the field. If you're a stalker/still hunter in mountains to thickets and require climbing up and down and getting on your hands and knees to crawl through all manner of things are they practical? Do they flop around everywhere and get hung up on things like I imagine or are they not too bad? I'd love to get into it but they would soon learn the warmth of a bin if they were constantly hampering my hunting.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Marcruger on October 05, 2021, 03:24:37 PM
They were the most practical option 250 years ago.  You needed basic tools and supplies to keep a gun running and haul balls. A horn was the plastic of its day, and made a waterproof, strong container for dispensing powder.  It appears that you are only viewing bags and horns through 21st century eyes. 

To paraphrase Mike Venturino, a bag and horn set may be obsolete, but they are far from ineffective.  Many animals that fall to a muzzleloader each year can attest that flintlock and percussion guns fall in the same category.

Just FYI, in the old days many men who had to move fast and silent carried small bags positioned up high under the armpit.  The upper arm held the bag and horn still. Today it is easier to access a bag that is positioned lower, and few of us are running from hostile opponents bent on killing us. 

I hope this helps.  God bless, Marc
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: T.C.Albert on October 05, 2021, 04:25:23 PM
Just wondering, what would you propose as an option?
Carrying everything loose in a pocket seems problematical
too.
Tim A
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: MuskratMike on October 05, 2021, 06:54:27 PM
Living out here in the far west the problem I see with the bags is that they are way, way too big. Some look like leather suitcases. In the days of old the bags were much smaller and only carried what they needed to hunt and survive. Look in may of the "big bags" of today and there is enough stuff to outfit a brigade. As to carrying them higher up is true and really helps. Some people I see at shoots have the top of the bag below their hip. Doing that I can see it flapping around and getting it hung up on everything.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: bob in the woods on October 05, 2021, 08:40:01 PM
If you want evidence of practicality, just look to the 18th C Milice who travelled hundreds of miles through the woods in winter to attack the New England settlements.  Horns, bags, slit pouches....if you live with and depend on this stuff you learn to use it to the best effect. 
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: T.C.Albert on October 06, 2021, 04:07:27 AM
I don't mean to sound harsh, but our mission statement supports a more traditional approach:

The mission of AmericanLongrifles.org is to promote, preserve and support the traditional art and craft of building, collecting and using the American Longrifle. This would include accouterments and related arms of the period.

Im not sure we can help with that rig but if you do decide to try a pouch and horn I know you will find alot of help here.
TC
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Brokennock on October 07, 2021, 05:05:17 AM
I've heard people complain about their shot pouch and horn flopping around or getting hung up on things while hunting.
I've not had this issue. I wind up in some thick mountain laurel quite often, or sometimes thickets of early growth beech and Maple sapplings,,, though I try to avoid them.
Sometimes things get thick in some stands of hemlock. But, I find it far worse in archery season with my longbow and shoulder slung side quiver.
I wear my shot pouch pretty high and powder horn higher than my shot pouch.  I try to have the bottom of the pouch at or above waist level so when I sit on the ground, it isn't hitting the ground and dumping over. This allows me to either hold the bag and horn against my side under my armpit with my upper arm and elbow, or push them around behind me and block them from coming forward with my upper arm. My bag is also quite small, especially for someone shooting a smoothbore.

Depending on how much stuff you really need in your shot pouch, another option is a belt pouch styled after the Lemual Lyman bag.

Pics if the original,
(https://i.ibb.co/WWBh0fD/Lyman1755b.jpg) (https://ibb.co/fYrg9H8)

(https://i.ibb.co/2WTtxps/Lyman1755a.jpg) (https://ibb.co/0mxMTzF)

(https://i.ibb.co/NrGttG7/il-fullxfull-1859221690-k5a9.jpg) (https://ibb.co/C6SmmSW)

My copy,

(https://i.ibb.co/BTpTrNt/Lyman-bag-1st-try-012-wet-molding.jpg) (https://ibb.co/HGSGxdV)

(https://i.ibb.co/9t9sbC7/Lyman-bag-1st-try-026-finished.jpg) (https://ibb.co/6BRgHfk)

(https://i.ibb.co/qBk2WH6/Lyman-bag-1st-try-023-finished.jpg) (https://ibb.co/SNRZdkS)

(https://i.ibb.co/nshhXVJ/Lyman-bag-1st-try-019-wet-molding.jpg) (https://ibb.co/XZmmndR)

(https://i.ibb.co/z4Ln9C9/Lyman-bag-1st-try-017-wet-molding.jpg) (https://ibb.co/ZMwL4v4)
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: martin9 on October 07, 2021, 06:02:47 AM
One place I hunt has privet and cane thickets, briars, grape vines. In other words some thick stuff. It also has a few inches of standing water on it a lot in the winter. I've killed some of my best bucks on this place. My biggest to date matter a fact. Never had an issue carrying a bag and horn. I like to mosey around still hunting when I'm there, if my bag/horn were getting hung up it'd only be because I was moving too fast.   
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Not English on October 08, 2021, 12:51:37 AM
Bushfire, Wow that's quite the rig. What I carry depends on what I'm hunting. Deer wise, I hunt in the northwoods of Wi. Everything I need is carried in my hunting coat pockets. I use a small loading block  and a flat priming horn. Powder is pre-measured  and carried in either 35mm film cans or diabetic test strip cans (smaller). I only carry enough supplies for another 2 or 3 shots with the rifle loaded already when I start. There's nothing to snag in a cedar swamp except for clothing. This setup would fit really nicely in a belt pouch as Brokennock suggests. For all other hunting, I usually carry a possibles bag carried up high under the arm. A powder horn is usually carried but no priming horn.

Dave
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Daryl on October 08, 2021, 01:50:23 AM
Hunting with a cap lock, a percussion cap wheel, and paper ctgs. was all I carried while out from camp.
I first loaded with patched ball for the first shot, then had 4 paper ctgs. in a park my parka's right side
pocket with the cap wheel in my top right side breast pocket.
Snag free all the way.
The bush I hunted for moose in, was mostly tight willow and young aspen - snaggy $#@*. The "outfit" I
carried, did not snag.
Hunting with a flinter, would need same ctgs. + primer horn only. That's it. Simple does it.
Paper ctgs. with glued sides, turned out to be very robust and could be carried in the pocket all fall
without damage. They work in calibres from at least .58 upwards. With the paper wrap, they should be
snug/tight in the bore & need the rod to push them down. I even needed the choked up rod to get them
started, but they gave the same accuracy as a patched ball.

(https://i.ibb.co/88h2zMn/IMG-3129.jpg) (https://ibb.co/pXmZW26)

(https://i.ibb.co/ZmNhcj3/ctg-pouch-3.jpg) (https://ibb.co/DpL7wJN)

French style of making paper ctgs.
(https://i.ibb.co/PxRKty4/frencart.jpg) (https://imgbb.com/)
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Daniel Coats on October 08, 2021, 03:01:39 AM
My personal real life experience happened on a successful one hour stalk on a record book pronghorn antelope. I belly crawled through the cactus and sagebrush to get within range of my handmade flintlock long rifle. Along the way most of the contents of my possibles bag and all of my powder was lost. What I found was a native American flint hide scraper neatly knapped hundreds of years ago which told me somewhere back in time another hunter had been doing the exact same thing that I was.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Shopdog on October 08, 2021, 04:20:45 AM
My personal real life experience happened on a successful one hour stalk on a record book pronghorn antelope. I belly crawled through the cactus and sagebrush to get within range of my handmade flintlock long rifle. Along the way most of the contents of my possibles bag and all of my powder was lost. What I found was a native American flint hide scraper neatly knapped hundreds of years ago which told me somewhere back in time another hunter had been doing the exact same thing that I was.
Dan - thatís a great story! As an archaeologist itís the little random isolated finds like your scraper that always make me wonder the most about the person and their situation that resulted in the artifact ending up where it did. 

Personally I prefer to still hunt on foot both modern and muzzleloader.  Despite trudging through some thick stuff (palmetto thickets, scrub oak, river swamp, etc) Ive never had an issue with a bag and horn.  Any dangling stuff like measure or bullet board i have tethered to strap stay inside the bag till needed and most of my bags have a button closure.  As others here have pointed out, wearing bag and horn tucked up high like so many old timers did takes out alot of slop.  Im right handed so I wear the bag and horn on left side - more comfortable that way when carrying rifle in right hand.  Ifn Im wearing a sash or wide belt I might tuck bag under sash just to hold it down if im gonna do alot of climbing or crawling. 
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Jeff Murray on October 09, 2021, 03:26:29 AM
You might try tying a thong to the back strap of the bag and tying the thong to your belt, or all the way around your waist if you want to carry a bag and may end up crawling on the ground.  When hunting critters like antelope, I often wear an military style camo shirt with expandable pockets at the bottom seam.  Loading block, short starter and pre- measured powder charges in the right pocket and extra flints etc in the left.  Back pack carries field dressing tools.  I still prefer hunting with a horn and bag and have a rig with shorter straps for that purpose.  Depends on what I am hunting.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: ScottC60 on October 09, 2021, 04:41:06 AM
If the bag and horn straps are shortened so both ride up against the lower ribs, or about at the elbow: there are no flopping/snagging issues.   

It's when the bag & horn hang down around the hip that there will be issues.  That low hang works well at the range, but not while hunting/trekking.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: MuskratMike on October 09, 2021, 05:37:02 AM
I don't live in the late 1700's or early 1800's so the bag & horn I have with each rifle is for shooting pleasure. I am leaving in a few days for a 9 day either sex muzzleloader elk hunt in eastern Oregon. I will have my bag and horn in the pick-up truck and probably will bring my shooting box along and of course my hunting bag with ax, saw and other necessities for after kill work. The only thing left in the belt bag is a steel for touching up the knife, a smaller folding knife, license and tag and finally 3 more tubes of powder. This is really all I need to hunt with for a single day along with some food and water.
Photo shows my belt bag with belt, vent pick, compass short starter Don Bruton made belt knife, flat priming horn, 1 tube of premeasured 3F powder and a carved antler 3 ball block made into a rattlesnake tail. I will be using my Don Bruton made .54 caliber flintlock (see full article on this rifle and knife in the August 2021 issue of Muzzle Blasts). i hope to have post harvest photos on line next week. Where I will be hunting finding even a chance of cell phone is problematic at best but I will try.
(https://i.ibb.co/R0sjYsS/Belt-Bag-Kit.jpg) (https://ibb.co/3NjR4js)

2010 infiniti fx50 0 60 (https://statewideinventory.org/infiniti-0-60-times)
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: RAT on October 10, 2021, 12:31:33 AM
Montana just passed a muzzleloading season this year. You must load with loose powder. Paper cartridges are not permitted. Just putting that out there. Folks should check their state's regulations with regards to loading methods and how to carry stuff.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Clark Badgett on October 11, 2021, 12:45:02 AM
Montana just passed a muzzleloading season this year. You must load with loose powder. Paper cartridges are not permitted. Just putting that out there. Folks should check their state's regulations with regards to loading methods and how to carry stuff.

This makes no sense what so ever. A paper cartridge is nothing more than a container for powder, just the same as a horn or flask. They are torn open to load into the firearms.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Dan Fruth on October 11, 2021, 05:12:03 PM
Practicality of a flintlock as a 21st century hunting weapon is in itself a bit silly. We don't use these historical correct weapons and their accoutrements because they are practical. Its the thrill and challenge of living a bit of history in our crazy times we find ourselves. I personally enjoy wearing all my 18thC garb and entering the woods, and try to get a glimpse of what it would have been like walking among virgin timber and trying to tune out all the distractions of the modern, and just get lost in the experience.....And I have still hunted for years with flint, and have never failed to come home with meat.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: RAT on October 11, 2021, 10:44:09 PM
At least they didn't go the other way...
In-lines, scopes, and pellet style powder are also not permitted.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Roger B on October 12, 2021, 04:38:34 AM
I think that if you depend on a muzzleloader to eat & otherwise stay alive, then putting on your shot bag & horn becomes as natural as pulling up your pants. My guess would be that accessing what you need & putting it into action could be done blindfolded. We tend to put too much stuff in the bag & dont use them consistently, so we are somewhat clumbsy when we try to use them
Roger B.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: RAT on October 12, 2021, 07:56:40 PM
Personally... I think most originally put loose balls and patches in their pouches. All you needed to do was reach in and grab one. Some pouches came down to us with their original contents. You're right... they didn't carry anywhere near the amount of stuff people do today. I've read that some have been found with pre-cut patches strung on a piece of thread. I've never seen that being done today.

My personal opinion is that makers are putting too many pockets and rings on their pouches these days. Here's one I made at the beginning of the year...

(https://i.ibb.co/6Wc87VN/100-4060.jpg) (https://ibb.co/wzZ7F3Y)

(https://i.ibb.co/c1HsnNh/100-4061.jpg) (https://ibb.co/6mxqC40)

There are no additional internal pockets. I did use a small brass ring to fasten the powder measure to. But I wish I hadn't. I don't really like it.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Notchy Bob on October 17, 2021, 04:52:50 AM
This fellow is Adulphe Delegorgue, a French adventurer and explorer in South Africa in the 1840's:

(https://i.ibb.co/BV6K6X0/Dele-Gorgue.jpg) (https://ibb.co/TB0q0V9)

I'm not so sure the hat with ostrich plumes would go so well, crawling around in the bush, but he has a very neat belt pouch, and his cape buffalo powder horn is suspended from his belt, South African style, rather than from his shoulder as was more commonly seen in North America:

(https://i.ibb.co/870X0d2/Dele-Gorgue-2.jpg) (https://imgbb.com/)

Here he is again, with a couple of native companions, loading up for another shot at an elephant:

(https://i.ibb.co/XL6Wh98/Delegorgue-3.png) (https://imgbb.com/)

His kit looks very simple, but he was a very successful hunter so it must have been adequate.  It shouldn't be too hard to cobble up a pouch like that.  As for the horn, Delegorgue's buffalo powder horn appears to be one piece, with a groove around the neck for the suspension cord, but I think a lot of South African powder horns had separate tips attached.  I don't know if they were made to screw off, or if they were permanently attached.  These Voortrekker horns appear to have separate tips attached, and they also show the suspension cord, for hanging from the hunter's belt:

(https://i.ibb.co/mhjSpwV/Voortrekker-Powder-Horns.png) (https://imgbb.com/)

These views of Voortrekker horn butts show typical incised carving, but they also provide a little information about attachment of the suspension cord.  A lot of these look as if they have a metal band around the base, with a loop or staple of some sort for the cord:

(https://i.ibb.co/THWvYmm/Sonnerad-Design.jpg) (https://imgbb.com/)

(https://i.ibb.co/7jS4s5P/Horn-Bases.jpg) (https://imgbb.com/)

Just some more options for you to consider.

Notchy Bob
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: Greg Pennell on October 17, 2021, 03:19:22 PM
RAT, I really like that bagÖitís very neatly done, and looks like a very practical rig.  As for me, itís balls, patches, starter, and a small wallet with extra flints and a small turn screw, IN the bagÖother stuff is carried either in a belt pouch or in my snapsack, depending on how often itís needed. Like many, I keep a knife, pick/whisk, and measure ON the bag, for convenience. Makes it easy if I want to go on a quick huntÖto just grab my rifle, bag and horn and goÖknowing I have the necessities.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: RAT on October 17, 2021, 09:02:35 PM
I got tired of a lot of stuff hanging off the strap. I drilled a hole into the end of my powder horn stopper and epoxied in a vent pick. Now, when I pick the vent, I just pull the stopper and pick away. Being stored inside the horn, it no longer gets bent, and I don't stick myself.

I don't use a short starter, and I don't use a priming horn. I prime from the main horn. The horn is suspended from a separate cord. I wear my horn on my right side and my pouch on my left side. This makes it easier to get into the pouch.

My first pouch (30+ years ago) had a patch knife on the strap. It worked great. Then I went to wearing one in a neck sheath. That worked pretty good too. It was nice having access to a small knife when I wasn't wearing the pouch. This is the first time I put a full size knife on the back of the pouch. We'll see how I like it. The knife is a Kyle Williard 6" English trade knife. What was known in the fur trade ledgers as a "scalper". I bought a smaller knife from him to use for this, but really fell in love with the simplicity of the trade knife.

The simplicity of the pouch I posted was hard to achieve. I wasted a lot of leather and went through several pattern revisions before getting one I liked. Just getting good buckles is tough.

I found some reasonably close-to-original-looking brass buckles. I bought a bunch of iron buckles from several sources that were very poor. Finding good quality, original looking, iron buckles seems to be impossible. Somebody should really do a better job at studying the originals.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: thecapgunkid on October 19, 2021, 10:39:41 PM
Bushfire there is no shortage of good advice here, but your first step is to figure out what you are looking to do..  You might also get used to the fact that you are gonna get restless and try more than one thing.....in this sport stuff rules and I can guarantee you hanging around the muzzleloading community is going to show you at least one piece of stuff that you can't live without at least once a year.

Check out MarcRuger and Brokennock especially , the latter submitting a pretty little bag that will prove itself when out in the woods.  You can trust guys like Daryl  and Rat posted a really nice piece.  I say that even tho  I just recently got away from the over the shoulder type of rig and made myself a bag on my right hip for anything connected to shooting and another , smaller  belly bag containing car keys and cleaning items.  That's because I do mostly trail walks.  That's also about ten or fifteen rigs into the years I have been doing this, salivating over some of the work I have seen guys turn out.

I would also point out that you are in a make-or-buy situation which time will prove ongoing.  I posted a whole bunch of pieces under the title of "Every Man A Cobbler "  for guys like you.  I made no bones about showing off examples by guys like Marc and Brokennock and James Rodgers.  The next piece I write is about small bags for day hunts, and Mike From Oklahoma was kind enough to let me use one of his pieces as a good example.

The point here is that your journey is very much enhanced by these coyotes in this section of the forum.  Just don't think you will  be one of those guys who settles on one thing forever.
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: hanshi on October 21, 2021, 12:01:33 AM
When I fell into the BP world some 55 years ago I carried a separate horn & bag and they hung down pretty low on me.  Time passed and the straps became shorter.  Being built close to the ground means straps can't be all that long or they cause problems. 
Finally it dawned on me how few shots were expended on a deer hunt.  That was when I began carrying 4 premeasured powder tubes and 4 extra balls, the first load was of course in the rifle.  But all hunts are not alike and small game - think squirrels - hunting usually involved much more shooting.  So back to shooting bags. 

I started making most everything I needed to shoot/hunt including bags and pouches.  I'm no craftsman and "crude" is the absolutely highest level of workmanship I can accomplish.  Authenticity is not an issue but functional certainly is.  I do "decorate" stuff just a bit and have also been gifted a couple of nice bags from those who actually CAN do nice work.  Both my bags and horns are on the small side, day horn & day bag.  This is what I came up with years ago and they work.....but childish, yes.
(https://i.ibb.co/fx6NjYM/PICT0596-1.jpg) (https://ibb.co/fx6NjYM)(https://i.ibb.co/zfh3Hy0/PICT0382.jpg) (https://ibb.co/zfh3Hy0)
(https://i.ibb.co/jL3bv5D/PICT0568-zps9df29541.jpg)(https://i.ibb.co/WBpLFkm/PICT0571-zpsbf63cd1c.jpg)
Title: Re: Possibles bag and horn practicality
Post by: alacran on October 30, 2021, 03:40:04 PM
Only time I carry pouch and horn, is at Rendezvous or if I am doing a Historically correct hunt with friends. Otherwise I have a small leather belt cartridge box, with short starter attached and vent pick inside. 5 paper cartridges inside the box, that is all it holds, only powder in the cartridges. Ball block hangs from my neck, holds 5 balls. priming container in a pocket. Everything else I need for hunting is in my day pack.