A New Shot Pouch, Powder Horn & Patch Knife

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.

Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch & Powder Horn

Late Flint VA Shot Pouch & Powder Horn
Pouch #16, Horn #14 – Late Flint VA Shot Pouch & VA Banded, Screw-tip Powder Horn

I made this shot pouch and powder horn for a Virginian headed south to the Texas fight for independence. It represents late flint pouch from the central Valley of Virginia, and is based on an example from Rockingham Co, VA as documented by Madison Grant in his book on hunting pouches. The horn is my standard Virginia, single banded, screw-tip powder horn.

This approximately 8″ x 8″ pouch is a three piece design of 3-4 oz vegetable tan cowhide consisting of a back, front, and flap. The back and flap are connected by a separate panel that is perforated at the top for the straps which are sewn inside. The pouch is not lined, as most original pouches were not, but it does include a small hanging pocket suitable for balls or other small items.  The bag is gusseted to increase the capacity; and all seams are welted which improves longevity. The flap and inside edge of the front panel are bound in goat or calf skin.  All my leather work is hand sewn with a saddle stitch using waxed linen thread.  The 6 oz  leather strap is 1″ wide and is adjusted with a plain forged iron buckle. There is also a leather keeper to keep the strap end neat. The pouch is stained with a vinegar and iron solution which results in a dark brown to blue/black color through the leather. This is a chemical stain; not a pigment. It will not wash out. The outside and part of the interior of the pouch is rubbed with Mink Oil and then brushed to protect the leather.

During the construction process, the leather and the finished pouch was distressed giving it a well broken in appearance. Almost all my work is slightly aged. Hopefully, those of you who are re-enactors will not be accused of being farb on my account.

Click and drag your mouse cursor horizontally across the image to spin the powder horn below. You can use you mouse wheel (scroll) to zoom in and out. You must zoom all the way out in order to spin the horn.
Shown below is a slightly larger version (approximately 9″x 9″) of the bag above made for a fowler paired with a plain southern powder horn.

Pouch 44/Horn 48 - Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch with a Plain Southern Powder Horn.- Front
Pouch 44/Horn 48 – Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch with a Plain Southern Powder Horn.- Front

Pouch 44/Horn 48 - Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch with a Plain Southern Powder Horn.- Back
Pouch 44/Horn 48 – Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch with a Plain Southern Powder Horn.- Back

You can obtain your very own pouch and horn outfit like the ones shown above for the following prices:

  • Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch (as shown above) – $500 plus $25 shipping/insurance.
  • Powder Horn Hangers for Late Flint Virginia Shot Pouch – $30 (Option with a pouch order)
  • Add Decorative Tooling on the flap and front panel – $20 (Option with a pouch order)
  • A leather knife sheath added to the back or strap – $45 (Option with a pouch order – client must provide the knife)
  • Virginia Single Banded Screw-tip Powder Horn – $275plus shipping
  • Plain Southern Horn – $150 plus shipping

Shipping on a single item is $15. Shipping on an outfit is $25. I will collect VA Sales Tax for items shipping to VA residents.

To order a pouch or horn like the ones shown above, or to discuss a different project, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. See FAQ for more information on purchasing custom work.