Author Topic: Original capacity of Southern Horns  (Read 1857 times)

Offline AZshot

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Original capacity of Southern Horns
« on: March 21, 2022, 06:18:16 PM »
I'm curious if the powder capacity of later Southern horns (and Eastern horns in general), say in the 1830s, was less than for the Long Hunters and the trappers?  My reasoning is the hunters didn't go very far from home, their cabin on the hill.  So they would only need a few shots, when out for a day or two, and it would save weight.  The pocket horns I see come to mind.  I just made my first 2 horns, both ended up being small, which is fine for me....I do the same thing - refill them at home.

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2022, 12:53:23 AM »
  I think your thinking is right. Smaller calibers, less powder, smaller horn. Why tote two pounds of powder if you only going to shoot enough Squirrels for a pot of stew. Not all but some. Now if your shooting a fowler you will need more powder, ergo a larger horn.

   Tim C.

Offline AZshot

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2022, 10:48:10 PM »
Good point about bore size, I wasn't thinking about that difference too. 

Offline Ken G

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2022, 11:15:23 PM »
AZshot,

This is the original bag and horn that I picked up with my Soddy.  It's a pretty big horn to me. Rifle is around a.47 cal. so not exactly a squirrel rifle but still probably the one hunting gun.  The powder measure being a spent shell casing makes me believe it continued to be used pretty well into the cartridge era with that horn. 


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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2022, 12:58:12 AM »
  Off topic but I had a Friend who collected many Valley of Virginia rifles from the original families and he said he always tried to get the bag, its contents and any thing else that went with the gun. Many of the bags he had had cartridges cut down as measures hanging from the bag strap. Some of them had more then one cut down for different loads. I asked if maybe  the bag was used with different rifles and he said no, different loads for different game. He did have a couple horns on straps of their own with two cases hanging on them and he said the horn may also have been used with different guns. They were hung at different heights off the strap so they wouldn't jingle, his thinking but it sounds right. Quite a guy he was from Fulks Run Va.

   Tim     

Offline Carney Pace

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2022, 03:11:37 PM »
In 1958 the next door neighbor went home to Arkansas for a visit and said he was bringing a new rifle back.  When he showed it to me it was a 36 caliber half stock percussion rifle, totally hand made with a factory lock.  When I asked him about it he said that cartridges were to expensive to shot squirrels and rabbits with.
May be an explanation for cartridge cases as powder measures.  Also so easy to modify.

Carney

Offline AZshot

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2022, 03:26:58 AM »
AZshot,

This is the original bag and horn that I picked up with my Soddy.  It's a pretty big horn to me. Rifle is around a.47 cal. so not exactly a squirrel rifle but still probably the one hunting gun.  The powder measure being a spent shell casing makes me believe it continued to be used pretty well into the cartridge era with that horn. 



That's a nice gun and kit, for sure.  Perhaps they put all their powder in just one container, the horn, so needed it to be big enough to hold the amount you would buy.  That begs another question, did they buy a 1 lb can in 1820, the same as in 1920?  Or did they go somewhere and ask for a hornfull?

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2022, 03:39:14 AM »
My first kit gun in 1971 was a .44 caliber single shot pistol. I cut off a rifle cartridge case for a powder measure that looked about right. Used it a while before taking the measure to a gunsmith who had a powder scale. Turned out to be 41 grains of fffg. My only point here is I used what was available the easiest and quickest. Probably not the first person to do the same thing.
Dan

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Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2022, 04:03:27 AM »
I have owned several antique horns and none of them were large capacity.My grandfather killed a lot of game with one beginning in 1883 when he was 10 years old and he told me that even deer did not require a heavy load and guns with surviving measures show no evidence of heavy loads.It was said on this forum that the measure with the Bridger?Hawken held but 55 grains.Powder was not cheap even then and  shooting as done now did not exist.I still have an antique horn and it might hold 6 ounces.
Bob Roller
I just looked at the question about the amounts of powder purchased 100 years apart.Referring again to my grandfather,he said he bough 10 cents worth of powder may times and he kept it in a small glass bottle and even at the turn of the century when he owned a general store here in West Virginia he sold small amounts of powder to hunters and lead as well.The grandfather I mention is my mother's father.I know nothing about my father's side and found the Roller name was known in England about 1000 years ago then disappeared and popped up in Austria again 700 years ago.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 04:37:10 AM by Bob Roller »

Offline AZshot

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2022, 07:09:28 PM »
Good info about what he carried. I saw this in a 1922 book, so 100 years old.  They look medium/large, but are from PA. (click to size it right)

« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 07:16:28 PM by AZshot »

Offline Shopdog

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2022, 05:02:57 AM »
Many of the original southern bags/horns with provenance I have seen tend towards the small side.  Makes sense if shooting smaller calibers and smaller game.  While not the world’s most astute squirrel hunter I can say from experience that hunting with a .32 and .34 rifle for limb rats all day doesn’t require a “man purse” and equally large horn.  My kits are simple bags 8x10” at most and original horns that would be called “priming” horns in an auction catalog!  I typically am shooting 30g average loads of FFF.  Curious observation about the different sized measures on one bag.  It seems a frequent trait on Appalachian bags and perhaps was a normal thing in many areas.  While I dont vary loads it would make sense to shoot different loads for different applications with the same gun if all you had was one rifle.  I am always struck by how small the horns and bags are in 19th - early 20th century photos from southern Appalachia.
Joe
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“We live in a bloody swamp! We need all the land we can get!

Offline AZshot

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Re: Original capacity of Southern Horns
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2022, 06:47:19 PM »
That's great insight.  That's what I have found in my hiking with a gun or not, the lighter the better.  And my hypothesis was that most mountaineers would have gone out for just the day, or maybe 2-3 days, before heading back to the cabin.  Why carry a months worth of powder if you don't have to?