General discussion > Contemporary Longrifle Collecting

The legacy of a contemporary gun maker

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Rather frequently I visit the gun room and sometimes just before bed I often think about the makers of the originals.  Never in their wildest dreams did they probably envision a point in time, maybe 200 years plus, after they made a gun, that it would be proudly displayed somewhere, along with detail about their lives and times.  While it's just my personal opinion I tend to think most of them simply saw themselves as craftsmen who made a tool necessary for life in those periods.  Fancy or plain, most were tools. But they are not around and while there is history much of what was in their minds about their trade is speculation.

HOWEVER, with plenty of such "craftsmen" around today and who also follow this forum here is the question...

How do YOU think about the statement your works make after you will be gone?  Do you think about it at all?  What do you want to be remembered?  Will your works survive until 2221?  How will society see you and your guns?  None will be connected to significant historical events as in the past.  None are really necessary?

I wonder.

Dennis Glazener:
My health has caused an interruption in  building replica Gillespie NC rifles but I do wonder if the buyers of these rifles will have a continued interest in their families gunmaking heritage.

The last Gillespie rifle I sold was to a mom and dad that gave it to their mid-20's son. His mother said she had no idea he would have gotten so excited about finding more about his gunmaker ancestors history. Hopefully he will keep that history alive for his own descendants.

I look forward to being able to make more of these rifles for other Gillespie descendants.

Having a documented or at least known gun maker in the family and having examples of their works must be really rewarding.  What about current makers that have no such connection. What do they want said about their "hobby" in 200 years. 

Dennis:  Following in the footsteps of an ancestor might be all there is to say about Dennis, but I expect there is much more that you would like to have known???

Molly, I have often wondered the same thing as what you have just questioned about contemporary builders. So many are caught up in recreating rifles of the past. The guns I appreciate the most lately are the ones by Mike Brooks, Mr. Kettenberg, and a few others that are putting their very personal imprint on a build by making something completely outside of the box.

A rifle, or smoothbore, that shouts out, "This is My Work, Not Wolfgang Haga's." (Substitute any known builder for Haga)

rich pierce:
As long as there are builders, good work will be appreciated. But tastes change over time and what floats your or my boat today may not be mainstream 50 years from now. I think there will be family appreciation. “My grandpa built flintlock rifles!”  For example, my grandfather made some furniture in the arts and crafts style. Not my thing, but I appreciate he did it well and we share the “working in wood” inclination.


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