Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch
Most of the southern mountain shot pouches shown on this page were copied from Jim Webb’s book Sketches of Hunting Pouches, Powder Horns, and Accoutrements of Southern Appalachia. I made the first, heart shaped, shot pouches pictured here exactly as shown on pages 18-19; approximately 7.5″wide x 7.5″ high, using 3-4oz (straps on the new bags are 6 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. The strap can generally be cut up to at least 60″ top of bag to top of bag.
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.
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 turned applied 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.
Below are two heart shaped shot pouches with plain powder horns that are much more typical of what you would find in the southern mountains. The bottom outfit uses linen cord and chain to attach all the accouterments, much as it would have in the period.
Typical One Piece Shot Pouch
This is a very typical one piece rectangular shot pouch based on the one shown on pages 14-15 of Jim Webb’s book. It is just one piece of leather stitched up the sides with a welt and then turned inside out. I added the welt since the pouch was to be turned. The original did not have one. The pouch measures about 7″ wide by about 8″ high. The strap can generally be cut up to at least 60″ top of bag to top of bag.
The attached horn (#29) is very similar to Horn #24 shown above. It has a turned base plug and an turned, applied collar. It is about 13 1/2″ around the outside curve (button to stopper) with an approximately 2 1/8″ base plug.
The pouch body and strap are made from 3-4 oz (new pouches have 6 oz straps) vegetable tanned cowhide. An iron buckle is used for strap adjustment. The leather is stained with vinegar and iron for a blue-black color and finished with mink oil and black shoe polish.
Small Two Piece Shot Pouch
This shot pouch is shown on pages 16-17 of Jim Webb’s book. It is a very simple two piece (back with flap, and front) pouch flat sewn along the bottom and up the sides with a brass button holding the flap closed. It is little under 7″ wide x 6″ high. It is basically just large enough for your hand, and I would only expect to carry a few balls, some patch material, and maybe a measure and a couple flints. I imagine it being carried with a squirrel rifle and paired it with a very small banded screw-tip horn for just a few shots.
The horn is about 10 1/2″ around the outside curve (staple to stopper) with a base plug about 2 1/8″ in diameter. It is straight so it can be correct as either a left or right hand carry, and has been setup as a right hand carry. I figure it might hold 10 shots worth of powder for a small caliber rifle.
The pouch body and strap are made from 3-4 oz (new pouches have 6 oz straps) vegetable tanned cowhide. An iron buckle is used for strap adjustment. The strap can generally be cut up to at least 60″ top of bag to top of bag. The leather is stained with vinegar and iron for a blue-black color and finished with mink oil and black shoe polish.
Pillow Ticking and Leather Pouch
Shown here is a very practical pouch made from pillow ticking and a bit of leather for the flap. The bag is approximately 8″x 10″ and fully lined in that there are no raw edges showing on the inside. A leather reinforcement has been placed on the inside of the bag and stitched to the flap. The leather strap is stitched to the flap and internal reinforcement and is adjusted by an iron buckle.
Bespoke Pricing for Shot Pouches & Powder Horns
Bespoke Pricing for items like the ones shown above is as follows:
- Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch (like #11) – $150 plus shipping
- Southern One Piece Shot Pouch (like #26) – $140 plus shipping
- Small Two Piece Shot Pouch (like #25)- $135 plus shipping
- Pillow Ticking and Leather Pouch (like #31) – $135 plus shipping
- Leather Powder Horn Hangers – $15 (Option with a pouch order)
- Leather knife sheath attached to back of pouch – $35 (Option with a pouch order – client must provide knife)
- Plain Southern Powder Horn with a flat base plug (with staple) and a simple carved throat and spout (like #3 or #28) – $150 plus shipping
- Southern Powder Horn with a Turned Base Plug, and a carved throat and spout with integral rings (like #7) – $210 plus shipping
- Southern Powder Horn with a Turned Base Plug and a applied collar (#24 or #29) – $170 plus shipping.
- Multiple Banded Screw-tip Powder Horn (like #27) – $275 plus shipping
- Tin Powder Measure, Whipped Brush and Pick set (as shown with Bag #11) – $55
Priority shipping and insurance on a single item is $15. Shipping on an outfit is $20. Shipping of the high value items is $25. I will collect VA Sales Tax for items shipping to VA residents.
If you would like something similar to what is shown on this page, or even something completely different, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. See FAQ for more information on purchasing custom work.
The availability of any particular horn design depends on the availability of an appropriate unfinished horn in my inventory.
I try to make all my recreated shot pouches and horns look used. That means adding wrinkles, puckers, perhaps some cracks, and a bit of dirt and oil. I leave normal blemishes in the leather that add some character.
Right or Left Hand Carry?
What is right or left hand carry? Simply, it is the side of the body on which a horn is intended to be worn. Historically, a curve of the tip to the left as viewed from the top is a right hand carry horn and also from the right side of the cow. A curve of the tip to the right would historically be a left hand carry horn and from the left side of the cow. If there is no significant curve of the horn as viewed from the top, then the horn can be easily worn on either side with no conflict. Most horns have so little curve it really doesn’t matter much and the modern pattern of carry is frequently opposite of the historical pattern.
Carrying a horn on the same side of the body as it came from the cow results in the tip pointing toward the body and the base pointing away from the body. I also like the base of the horn to point toward the body, as do many modern wearers, so I usually use the opposite side horn and rotate it about 90 degrees so that both the tip and the base of the horn point into the body. This makes a horn from the left side of the cow into a powder horn you can carry on the right side of the body. This is my personal preference, but not generally historically correct. Historically, powder horns were usually carried on the same side of the body as they came from on the cow. If you want to be completely historically correct, you need to understand that.
Sometimes a horn that is technically a left hand horn might wrap around the body better on the right hand side and vice versa. So, in describing a horn, I will tell you whether a horn is historically a left hand or a right hand. Then I will tell you on which side the horn was built to be carried, if it is different. I will also try to include a photo from the top of the horn so you can see the curve for yourself. On which side you actually carry a horn, that is up to you.