Author Topic: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker  (Read 1738 times)

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2021, 07:20:48 PM »
Fleener:  Hawken rifles from my own shop are signed on the top flat between the breech and the rear sight in script with my last name.  On the bottom flat just ahead of the breech I engrave a serial number, No. 100 for example, and the date I finished polishing the barrel prior to browning/bluing.
On rifles I made for Don Robinson of Robinson Firearms Manufacturing, the top flat is stamped Robinson Prince George and the angle flat at the left side of the breech plug has a stamped serial number.  On the underside of the barrel on the bottom flat next to the breech, I stamped my last name on rifles I built.  We called it affectionately, the "Fraser River Hawken".
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline WKevinD

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2021, 03:23:46 AM »
I don't know about my legacy but when I die  show up for the yard sale. There is nothing of value to any of my heirs except cash and my truck.
Forty years of gathering tools and building guns will get cleared out or left to rust.
Show up early!

Kevin
PEACE is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.  Thomas Jefferson

Offline 409

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2021, 03:18:07 AM »
Years ago I did a lot of air brush painting on vehicles of all types, mostly van and motorcycles. All my art is long gone, rusted away or a few repainted while the guns I have built are still around and most are treasured. I guess in some way it's my search for immortality. My kids made a website for me to showcase some of my accomplishments, [google Wayne Doucette- Artisan] I suspect from a sense of pride in their Dad. I don't think I can ask for more.  Respectfully  Wayne.

Offline RAT

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2021, 06:57:04 PM »
I'm not a great builder... so no legacy there.

When my dad died, my sister and I had to do through his belongings. Then, my mom died 4 years later and we went through her stuff. Then my sister died in 2014 and I had to go through her stuff. I'm the last one left. No kids. When I'm gone it's all going to the landfill.

I go to the cemetery often. I look at the old headstones. The one's where the names are worn off by weather. You can't read them. That's my legacy.
Bob

Offline Molly

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2021, 11:43:56 PM »
Quite an array of views. I guess some are not looking as their works will make up a big part of their "legacy".   But I think many must feel that their works will live on and be an expression of who they are (were).  Certainly there are more meaningful ways to be remembered.  Family, children, saving the planet, building a vast financial empire or maybe just living a good life and helping a neighbor.  I KNOW there are some who have read this thread and who do have thoughts but maybe it's just getting to personal.  I'll tell you this...every rifle that I and hubby have, contemporaries AND originals are very much a way that we connect with makers be they alive or deceased.  I wonder if Ambrose Lawing, Peter Sites or John Painter really saw their rifles as a legacy?  I tend to think not.  But they very much are.  I can tell you this, IF I had the skill some of you folks have I would definitely hold a thought deep in my mind, that someone somewhere some day would look at that work and reflect of the person that made it, even if there is little known about them.

Offline T*O*F

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2021, 12:57:58 AM »
If you want your legacy to be remembered, go to familysearch.org and sign up.  It's a free geneological site.  Start your own family tree.  You can add pictures, memories, documents, etc.  Make your tree public and you may find that other distant relatives will add information and link their work with yours.  They send you tips that they run across that will add information to accessible archives.  My wife's goes back to the 1400's.  Mine has recently skyrocketed when a 3rd cousin hired a researcher in the old country that could translate old non-English documents and my tree now goes back 10 generations.

You'll have fun doing it too and your legacy will be there for future generations to find out about you.
Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2021, 01:35:09 AM »
 I believe that if you create an object you should sign or leave a recognizable mark on it that connects it to you! Look at all of the”attributed to” pieces out there. Wouldn’t it be nice to put a name to an object and know exactly where it came from. This is our crack at history folks.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 02:15:51 AM by Stoner creek »
Remember what got us here.

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2021, 02:33:14 AM »
 8) 8)... I agree, Wayne,... I have a beautiful re-creation of a late flint period Tennessee rifle, that I would love to know who built it,.. supposedly built in the 1970's and signed with three initials only,... the builder obviously has been around some originals to execute this quality work,... I have posted photos here and has been examined at several shows, but no one recognizes these initials,.... at least not YET,... !!! ... regards, CCF 

Offline Mark Elliott

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2021, 02:53:52 AM »
I would hope my best work is preserved and appreciated.    I sign and date all my work.   I don't know whether that will help in their preservation/appreciation or not.   I am not optimistic. 

I would like to know what has happened to the rifles and accouterments that I have make thus far.   I have gotten very little feedback on my work.   I am worried that my past work is poorly treated and destined for a short life.   

Guns are quickly falling out of favor with the public, and I don't think most people really differentiate between "antique" arms and modern arms.   I am afraid that that a lot of truly antique and contemporary muzzleloading firearms will end up in the landfill.   I see the value of these guns steadily declining.    It is very worrying for any legacy. 

There is also the worry about what happens to the contents of my shop; a lifetime collection of modern and antique tools; many I made.  Most of my personal assets are in my gunmaking tools and equipment.   I don't know anyone who would want them.    I suspect they will be dispersed at a yard sale at pennies on the dollar to people who will not know what to do with them.   

I am not optimistic about the future or my legacy in this world.   My hope is for the next life. 


Offline Stoner creek

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2021, 03:20:40 AM »
I would hope my best work is preserved and appreciated.    I sign and date all my work.   I don't know whether that will help in their preservation/appreciation or not.   I am not optimistic. 

I would like to know what has happened to the rifles and accouterments that I have make thus far.   I have gotten very little feedback on my work.   I am worried that my past work is poorly treated and destined for a short life.   

Guns are quickly falling out of favor with the public, and I don't think most people really differentiate between "antique" arms and modern arms.   I am afraid that that a lot of truly antique and contemporary muzzleloading firearms will end up in the landfill.   I see the value of these guns steadily declining.    It is very worrying for any legacy. 

There is also the worry about what happens to the contents of my shop; a lifetime collection of modern and antique tools; many I made.  Most of my personal assets are in my gunmaking tools and equipment.   I don't know anyone who would want them.    I suspect they will be dispersed at a yard sale at pennies on the dollar to people who will not know what to do with them.   

I am not optimistic about the future or my legacy in this world.   My hope is for the next life.
Mark I certainly see and understand your points. However, Hacker Martin’s tools and shop were reportedly sold for scrap. That was in 1970 and Hacker was the King of contemporary gunmakers at the time of his passing. We have survived and actually flourished since 1970. Today, custom gunmakers are busy, many are booked in excess of two years. There are waiting lists and back orders for parts. I’ve spoken with all of these people who supply locks, barrels, triggers, castings, etc. and asked them where all of these parts are going so quickly and nobody knows. There is obviously a demand so new folks are getting new guns, bags, horns, and all of those extras needed to play the game.
I’m a “glass half full” guy and I think that we’re maintaining. We’re a niche crowd.
 By the way, I’m the proud owner of two of your embroidered Fraktur bags! One I bought from you and the other at CLA this year! I use one for a squirrel hunting bag, the other a proud member of my collection!
 It’s all good my friend!!
Remember what got us here.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2021, 03:56:30 AM »
I am not a gunmaker in the sense used here and have made maybe 10.The only one I know still exists I think is in Lexington,Kentucky.It's a 45 caliber half stock with silver trim and made from a piece of walnut that came out of Russia.
The gun was made in 1959.
   As far as guns falling out of favor with the public the sales of all types hits records almost every week.Old John Q Public is arming himself with whatever he can find or put on his Visa card.He may not be interested in our muzzle loaders or single shot rifles but he buys guns.
Bob Roller

Offline heinz

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2021, 04:09:07 AM »
Mark, I have always liked your work and admired the wide scope of your interest in the longrifle culture.  Doing good work is a reward in itself. 
kind regards, heinz

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2021, 04:04:40 PM »
I understand Mark's concern and one of the things we need to do NOW, not later, we need to find someone younger than us that we can trust to sell or otherwise dispose of our "treasures". We could even put in our will how we want our tools, guns, etc to be disposed of.

My daughter is executor of my estate, she is well aware that my "stuff" is not to go in a yard sale or sold for pennies on the dollar. Right now, things that she or her husband don't want to keep  are to go to auction except for a few pieces that are to stay in our family.
Dennis

I would hope my best work is preserved and appreciated.    I sign and date all my work.   I don't know whether that will help in their preservation/appreciation or not.   I am not optimistic. 

I would like to know what has happened to the rifles and accouterments that I have make thus far.   I have gotten very little feedback on my work.   I am worried that my past work is poorly treated and destined for a short life.   

Guns are quickly falling out of favor with the public, and I don't think most people really differentiate between "antique" arms and modern arms.   I am afraid that that a lot of truly antique and contemporary muzzleloading firearms will end up in the landfill.   I see the value of these guns steadily declining.    It is very worrying for any legacy. 

There is also the worry about what happens to the contents of my shop; a lifetime collection of modern and antique tools; many I made.  Most of my personal assets are in my gunmaking tools and equipment.   I don't know anyone who would want them.    I suspect they will be dispersed at a yard sale at pennies on the dollar to people who will not know what to do with them.   

I am not optimistic about the future or my legacy in this world.   My hope is for the next life.
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline blienemann

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2021, 02:19:15 AM »
Dennis and all, this topic of what to do with our toys and tools and books, etc when we are gone might be worthy of a separate post.

I am fortunate that the sweetie and other family members and friends have supported me in research, writing and gunstocking over the years, most have something from me now, and I have written a detailed direction (informal and outside the will but mentioned there) directing that certain toys go to certain folks. But beyond that, I plan to leave all remaining arms, barrels, stocks, locks and other parts, tools, gunbuilding books, camping and shooting supplies and related in equal shares to to
(1) the Gunmakers Hall and Primitive Range Committees of the NMLRA, and (2) The CLA.
I ask that the NMLRA and CLA make arrangements to ship and receive these items at their expense, and that these items be used to promote traditional muzzleloading gun stocking, traditional primitive shooting, and so on.

I have talked to friends in each organization about this plan, and they have agreed to do the work, making it easy on any surviving family members. This way family does not need to deal with friends and others who want to look through and then make offers on items.

If I time things right, I may give or sell everything before I go, and there might not be much left. But if a surprise goodbye, it might be substantial. At least this work that I have so enjoyed with many friends will have a home(s), and continue to help someone else.

I am interested in what others think of this approach and other ideas. Maybe I will fine tune the approach. I feel bad that some here think that their work is not appreciated. We sure enjoy and support each other on this forum, and there are many outside who feel the same way, if we connect to them. Maybe this topic is a good one to continue sharing and supporting?

Keep on the sunny side, Bob

Offline mountainman70

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2021, 06:12:42 AM »
Good evening all: This is a very interesting thread to say the least. Lots of deep feeling here, and so it should be.
In all my years of working various auto/truck, pipe organ trades, I imagine some of my organ work may survive with my name on the console tag.
 As to my guns I have built over the years, I have been blessed with folks all over the conus, and in Alaska liking my work well enough to buy it. I am deeply indebted to them for the confidence in my work, plain as it often is.
Interesting to me is , the Hawken style rifles I have made, or rebuilt, are mostly east of the miss river, while I have several longrifles, especially Tenn. style ,out west. Go figure.
My daughter and son, and g son have my work I built for them, and know how to use them.
I just finished a SMR from parts I bought here, and stocked with a beautiful Pecatonica cm stock, for a young man in Kentucky ,a member here.
He is coming to get it Friday. I will post pics after that .The m/l people that have seen it, my teacher and other guys, say it is my best longrifle.
I hope so, my hands are getting tired from arthur ,so I gotta take it easy .
Just turned 69 this past July, and am Blessed to still be here with all of you.
Thanks, Molly , for getting this started.
Best regards to everyone. ,specially ol CCF ,y' ol rascal. Dave F 8) 8)

Offline Daryl

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2021, 10:48:24 PM »
I am @!*% proud to have 2 rifles that say SAPERGIA on the top flat, along with 2 pistols from the same man. :)
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2021, 02:05:27 AM »
I am @!*% proud to have 2 rifles that say SAPERGIA on the top flat, along with 2 pistols from the same man. :)
Comes in handy in case you forget who you are..... ;D
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Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Cory Joe Stewart

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Re: The legacy of a contemporary gun maker
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2021, 07:30:28 PM »
I remember in Hershel House's DVD on rifle building he noted that the quality of your work will be a legacy.  I can't remember how he worded it.  I know some of mine are considered heirlooms by the family that owns them.  A friend recently asked me if I would publish my dissertation in a book or get any academic articles published.  I told him that I have decided not to go that route.  I would rather build guns, horns and bags at let that be my legacy and not some stuffy academic article no one will read but other stuffy academic historians  who won't like it anyway. 

Cory Joe