Applied tip powder horns, as the name implies, have turned horn, antler, or bone tips that either screw onto or are pinned to the powder horn body. These are professionally made horns that had turned butt plugs as well, and sometimes turned horn bands. Screw-tip powder horns were made as early as the French and Indian War in Philadelphia and spread west into Pennsylvania and south into Virginia and North Carolina. The best supported explanation for the purpose of screw-tip powder horns, as presented by Art DeCamp, is that the turned screw-tips (and other applied tips ) allowed for the mass production of powder horns where each step of the manufacturing process could be handled by one person. Turned horn bands and turned wood base plugs served the same purpose. By turning all these parts, a fancy powder horn could be made quickly by professional horners.
I performed all the steps myself for the screw-tip powder horns displayed below. Each is an example of a Virginia screw-tip powder horn. The single turned band is the defining feature of a Virginia powder horn. The shape of the base plug is characteristic of powder horns from the middle portion of the Valley of Virginia. As with most southern screw-tip powder horns, the screw-tips on the powder horns below have an internal thread. The powder horn bodies have an external thread. Both these horns have turned walnut stoppers. Both screw-tips are dyed to match the base plugs and stoppers The band on Horn #5 below is also dyed horn. The base plug on Horn #5 is maple stained with aqua fortis. The base plug on Horn #6 is walnut. Both powder horns are stained with aqua fortis and aged.
I will make any banded, screw-tip powder horn, with a turned base plug like the ones shown here for $200 plus shipping. See FAQ for more information on ordering custom work.
Below is another kind of applied tip powder horn. This one is based on an early Virginia horn documented in Jay Hopkins book; Bone Tipped & Banded Horns, Vol 1; pp. 138-9. This horn has a pinned turned antler tip. The butt plug and stopper are turned curly maple. The wood, horn, and antler were stained with aqua fortis (iron nitrate). The butt plug and tip were pinned with steel (iron on the original) wire pins.
I will make a similar pinned tip horn with a turned base plug for $175 plus shipping. See FAQ for more information on ordering custom work.
If I can make a powder horn for you, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. The availability of any particular horn design depends on the availability of an appropriate unfinished horn in my inventory.
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.
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 throat and spout for $125 plus shipping. A horn like #7 with a turned base plug and carved rings 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. The availability of any particular horn design depends on the availability of an appropriate unfinished horn in my inventory.
Shown here is a an original signed Simon Lauck fowler. The distinctive signature S_____ Lauck is shown in the last photo. I had originally believed that this gun was mostly a restoration. However, after a careful and detailed examination of the disassembled gun under expert guidance, I have come to believe that this gun is mostly original and a good example of a product of the Simon Lauck shop.
At some some point this gun was shortened and apparently converted to percussion. Everything from the front thimble forward is a obvious restoration. The stock from the front thimble back appears to be original and unaltered except for the repair of a crack through the lock mortise. The lock appears to have been reconverted to flint, but I believe the lock plate is original to the gun because the lock screws fit the plate and the stock without any obvious modification. I believe that the gap along the bottom of the lock plate is due to the repair through that area. Some of the guard may be a replacement but it is hard to tell.
One important marking to mention is a very bold “LS” stamp on the bottom of the barrel at the breech. I have been told that a barrel with this marking was also observed on a gun from the Haymaker shop. It would seem that there was a barrel maker by the name of “LS” supplying the gun makers in Winchester around 1800. Some more research into this would certainly be in order.
This is an original, fully iron mounted rifle most likely made somewhere on the border of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee probably between 1820 and 1830.. The lines of the breech stock look Virginia while the mounts are typical East Tennessee. The stock is a plain piece of Black Walnut in pretty good shape with the exception of saddle wear through to the ramrod hole. They barrel has been shortened at the breech at least once about three inches. All the parts appear to be original, and the lock and triggers still work exceptionally well. The lock is a cheap hardware store variety with no fly or half cock notch. There is stamped decoration (circles) around the muzzle and the rear buckhorn sight. The barrel is particularly heavy and coned. The coning makes it difficult to guage the caliber, but I estimate it at about 38 caliber. Particularly when you consider that two or three inches were cut off this barrel lightening it some, it is pretty clear that this gun was not shot offhand. This gun had to be shot from some sort of rest. This rifle shows lots of honest wear and in-service repairs. I see no evidence of modern repairs or restoration.