Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouches

Heart shaped southern mountain shot pouch and powder horn
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Full Front
Heart shaped southern mountain shot pouch and powder horn
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Full Back

The southern heart shaped shot pouches shown on this page were copied from pages 18-19 of Jim Webb’s Sketches of Hunting Pouches, Powder Horns, and Accoutrements of Southern Appalachia.  I made the shot pouches exactly as shown, approximately 7.5″wide x 7.5″ high, using 3-4oz  (may use 2-3 oz) vegetable tanned cowhide and linen thread.This shot pouch design consists of a one piece back and flap with a front panel attached via a 1″ gusset that goes around the entire pouch and attaches to the strap.

Back of heart shaped southern mountain shot pouch
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Back

The shot pouch is assembled such that the flesh sides are stitched together without a welt, and the bag is not turned. This results in the gusset folding inward. It is an unusual arrangement, but that is how the original was constructed. I used an iron buckle on the strap to allow for seasonal adjustment. The leather was stained with vinegar and iron. The strap is about 60″ and can be shortened as much as necessary just by punching new holes for the buckle.

Southern mountain shot pouch and powder horn
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Front

The attached powder horn is based on several original powder horns from Southwest Virginia. It is about 13″ around the outside curve with a 2 1/2″ base plug. It is hand scraped and filed with a turned walnut base plug attached using hand forged nails. A turned walnut stopper finishes the horn. The horn is dyed yellow with aquafortis and appropriately aged.

Below is a heart shaped pouch with a slightly different horn.  This horn has an applied turned collar instead of integral rings and is based on the horn on pages 228-229 in Jay Hopkins book Bone Tipped and Banded Horns.    It is about 12 1/2″ around the outside curve with a 2 1/4″ base plug.   

Bag #24, Horn #24 – applied turned collar

As with all my recreated shot pouches and horns, I try to made them look used. That means adding wrinkles, puckers, a few cracks, some stains and blemishes, and a bit of dirt and oil. I try not to overdue it so that the function of the bag is compromised.

Below is another heart shaped bag with a very plain horn that is much more typical of what you would find in the southern mountains. Linen cord and chain is used to attach all the accouterments much as it would have in the period. The last picture shows the inside of the pouch and gives you a better idea of the construction.

Horn #3 - Bag #8 -  A plain southern powder horn attached by linen cord to a Southern heart shaped shot pouch.
Horn #3 – Plain southern powder horn, Bag #8 – Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch

 

Bag #8 - Back of Southern heart shaped shot pouch.
Bag #8 – Back – Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch

 

Bag #8 - Inside of Southern heart shaped shot pouch.
Bag #8 – Inside – Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch

 

Pricing for items like the ones shown above is as follows:

  • Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch – $165 plus shipping
  • Leather Powder Horn Hangers – $15(Option with a pouch order)
  • Plain Southern Powder Horn (like #3) – $75 plus shipping
  • Southern Powder Horn with a Turned Base Plug and either integral rings (#7) or applied collar (#24) – $150 plus shipping
  • Tin Powder Measure, Whipped Brush and Pick set (as shown with Bag #11) – $50

Priority shipping and insurance on a single item is $15. Shipping on an outfit is $20. I will collect VA Sales Tax for items shipping to VA residents.

The bags and horns shown on this page can be made relatively quickly. If you would like something similar, or even something completely different, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. See FAQ for more information on purchasing custom work.

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Plain Southern Powder Horns

The vast majority of original powder horns were as plain as they could be and still be functional. That means a flat pine (or other softwood) base plug and little or no carving of the throat; just enough work to contain powder and attach a strap. Many times a screw was used to attach a strap to the base plug. A grooved or simply reduced throat is enough to tie a strap around it. The two powder horns shown just below are based on an original southwest Virginia horn and are a little fancier than most with a turned base plug and carved rings at the throat. Even so, it is still much plainer than the carved and engraved horns from the French and Indian War. This horn could also be made with a turned and applied collar instead of the integral rings. The horn would dictate how it is approached.

Horn #7 - Side
Horn #7 - A SW. VA style powder horn

Horn #19 - A SW. VA horn in the basic style of Horn #7.
Horn #19 – A SW. VA horn in the basic style of Horn #7.

Please note the raw linen cord used to attach the horn in the photo below.   Cord was often found on southern outfits.    The outfit show below is much more historically correct for a southern mountain rifle than many of the sophisticated shot pouches and powder horns being recreated today.    Most of the original powder horns and shot pouches were very simple affairs, well worn and patched together.   You will see horns completely covered in leather to patch a hole or holes rather than just throw it away.   Even something as simple as a plain powder horn could not be easily replaced in the southern mountains and was highly valued.

I will make any plain powder horn with a flat base plug and simply carved spout for $75 plus shipping. A horn like #7 with a turned base plug and either carved rings or an applied collar would cost $150 plus shipping

To order a powder horn or discuss any other project, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. See FAQ for more information on ordering custom work.

Horn #3 - Bag #8 -  A plain southern powder horn attached by linen cord to a Southern heart shaped shot pouch laying on a flat surface.
Horn #3 - Plain southern powder horn, Bag #8 - Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch

Horn #4 - Plain southern powder horn, 10 3/4" outside curve, 2 1/2" dia. base plug
Horn #4 - Plain southern powder horn, 10 3/4" outside curve, 2 1/2" dia. base plug

Horn #4 - Top of plain southern powder horn with a wedding ring carved at the end of a bell shaped tip.
Horn #4 - Top - Plain southern powder horn

Horn #8 - Top of a plain southern powder horn wiht a large wedding band carved a the beginning of a bell shaped tip just above the throat.
Horn #8 - Top - Plain southern powder horn

Horn #8 - Plain southern powder horn, 10 1/4" outside curve, 2 3/8" dia. base plug
Horn #8 - Plain southern powder horn, 10 1/4" outside curve, 2 3/8" dia. base plug

Plain southern powder horn with octagonal shaped tip.
Horn #9 - Plain Southern Powder Horn, 11" outside curve, 2 1/2" dia. base plug

Top view of plain southern powder horn with an octacgonal tip.
Horn #9 - Top - Plain southern powder horn





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