I recently decided that I have too many historically correct shooting outfits for guns I have yet to build that I never use. Consequently, I resolved to sell those outfits and make an entirely new shooting outfit for myself making the shot pouch, powder horn and patch knife that interests me and not necessarily a cohesive historically correct outfit . I am starting with an embroidered diary case type shot pouch with a little different flap design than on my previous pouch of this type. If you will recall, this pouch is based on one shown on pages 34-37 of Jim Webb’s book on shot pouches and powder horns of Southern Appalachia.
I made a few changes. I only put one extra layer of leather in the flap instead of the three of the original and only created one front pocket instead of the original two. This reduced the number of layers of leather I had to sew through to a max of five. I also used 2 oz veg tan cow hide instead of buckskin. I used 6 oz veg tan cow hide for the strap.
It took a while to work out the pattern, but the shot pouch actually went together much easier than I expected. I cut out the leather very precisely making sure all the mating edges (and punched holes) lined up exactly. I punched all the holes for the embroidery and used my own design. Once the embroidery was done, I glued the pieces together along the edges using white glue. I think this was the key to being able to easily sew it all together; that and the precise matching of the holes. In case you were wondering, the glue mostly dissolves away when the bag was soaked in warm water to turn it.
The bag is stained with vinegar and iron. That was done right after the parts were cut out. I like vinegar and iron because it is a traditional stain, It stains through and doesn’t wash out. I put a lot of Mink oil on the bag once it was all done and dried out.
I used linen thread for the embroidery; the same type thread I use to assemble the bag. You can get that thread in an unbelievable number of colors. I only used red, yellow, blue, and green as close as possible to the historic fraktur colors. All the stitching that shows is done with red thread. I used natural color thread for the stitches that don’t show.
By the way, the bag finished up a little under about 7″ x 7″. The original was listed at 6 1/2″.
The little patch knife included with the pouch was made in a day. The blade was forged from 1075 spring steel. It was inserted in an Axis deer antler handle being held in place with a poured pewter bolster. A gray patina was added to the satin finish on the blade.
The powder horn I made for this project was dictated by the unfinished cow horn I chose. I picked a smallish horn that was thin walled throughout with a nice curve and a solid area of white on the base half of the horn. I had originally planned to add a base band, but felt it would be a shame to cover up any of the solid white horn that was available for scrimshaw. So I decided against any bands. The horn would have a simple fraktur engraving. I picked a nice white Axis deer antler piece for the tip to match the handle on the patch knife. You can see below the result. The base plug is cherry and hollowed out about 3/4 of it’s length. The stopper is black walnut. The horn is 12 3/4″ around the outside curve, not including the stopper. It is 11 1/4″ tip to tip. The base plug is about 2 5/16″ in diameter.