Category Archives: Equipment

Staying Warm in the Winter

Going back a few issues in The Trace, I found a cool quote from Cuz about an event he attended up north, in the deep winter:

“For my bedroll, I layered up a canvas tarp on top of the straw already on the floor, two wool saddle blankets, a buffalo robe under and over me. Inside the robe were two Whitney blankets. The first two nights I used just the buffalo robe and stayed warm. It was to be colder Friday and Saturday night, so I used the blankets and a buffalo robe those two nights and again stayed warm. I believe with research, experimentation, listening to others, and planning, a person can remain comfortable in cold weather using the equipment of the Mountain Man.”

– Cuz, on camping in cold weather with period gear

All of the gear Cuz describes above is period, and would be carried as part of the regular kit/load-out for a mountain man traveling in the Rocky Mountains.

Getting Started in AMM

as excerpted from June 2014 Trace by Gerry “Lucky” Mesmer

As our brigade expands and we add new folks I thought I would ramble a few minutes . . .  about getting new guys started. Now, I don’t mean paperwork and the process, but really the kit side, equipage, accouterments…stuff.

Many of us started off doing something else like I did, RevWar, porkyvous or maybe just hunted with a black powder rifle. Some start with clothes, tack, weapon and “stuff”. But, what about the guys you want to bring into AMM that are the right fit for the Brotherhood, but have never put on anything other than modern clothes and hunted with a poly stock, stainless rifle?

Well, we had that conversation this past weekend, Brother Kraig and I. What we discussed was the importance of imparting knowledge early on, early enough to keep a guy from buying things twice. This is not an overly expensive thing, done simply and handcrafting all you can, outside of a good rifle or smoothbore.

The first thing to emphasize, and I back track a little to the process, is making sure the clothes are all hand sewn. Actually, as painful as hand sewing may seem to some folks, if you price a pattern and material versus a hand sewn article at an event or a machine sewn one from a trader, the hand sewing becomes a little more palatable, and cheaper. Besides, what better way can you think of to break a guy away from tv, xbox, netflicks or some other such time sucker?

As we talked to our new prospect and soon to be Pilgrim it was simple: hat, shirt, trousers and mocs to get properly clothed. Steer them to a proper pattern, proper material and then let them go after it. Of course, a hat is a purchase item. But the other items they can hand sew relatively cheap.

Next, look at accoutrements. One of my hobbies within the hobby is making powder horns and shooting bags. I enjoy making them, especially tailoring them to the person and when I buy the raw goods they are pretty cheap. What’s my point? If you are crafty, consider making or helping your prospect/pilgrim make items. Nothing cooler than carrying items from your sponsor or from a man inside the brigade!

As far as a rifle, let them know to be patient as many Brothers may have a nice weapon they may part with at a decent price. My son got a nice smoothbore from Brother Blackpowder Jim. He loves having a firelock from within our Party!

Bedrolls and tarps are simple too. Might as well just have them buy the Spanish brown oil cloth from Crazy Crow and hand sew both, blam, done and done right the first time!

So Brothers, just some rambling from Lucky down here in sunny south Texas to remind us all how we can help a fella get started right, fast and affordable. In this economy we can all appreciate affordable.

See you around a fire soon Brothers!

Lead ball, per pound

In the January 2014 issue of The Trace, Brother Gerry Messmer mentioned the possibility of a future lead shortage in US.    He advised to consider stocking up on lead and provided a great chart on round ball per pound of lead.

Regardless of whether you want to heed his warning, the chart is a great way to think of any lead you have on hand in terms of how much ball you can cast.

Here is a rough chart on balls per pound based on caliber to help you plan your lead requirements for round ball.

32 caliber: (.310) 048g—approx 146 balls/pound
36 caliber: (.360) 071g—-approx 98 balls/pound
40 caliber: (.395) 092g—-approx 76 balls/pound
45 caliber: (.445) 133g—-approx 52 balls/pound
50 caliber: (.498) 180g—-approx 38 balls/pound
54 caliber: (.535) 220g—-approx 32 balls/pound
58 caliber: (.560) 280g—-approx 25 balls/pound
62 caliber: (.610) 341g—-approx 20 balls/pound
69 caliber: (.678) 468g—-approx 15 balls/pound
75 caliber: (.715) 545g—-approx 13 balls/pound

Watch yer top knot!

– Many Rifles