A real, honest to goodness, muzzleloading rifle. I’m not talking about one of those modern abominations called in-lines. I’ve used them and they are fun but there is nothing like a real, traditional muzzleloader.
Mine is called Merlin – every gun needs a name – because it has the uncanny ability to make up for my bad shooting. I’ve taken squirrel, raccoon and deer with it and even used it to win the West Virginia Off-Hand State Championship.
It was built by my cousin, friend and hunting partner Johnny Walker who has used his rifles to win more WV Off-Hand State Championships than anyone else. He makes them the same way his ancestors built the Carper rifle with files and a chisel. He even rifles his own barrels and will antique them so they look like they were carried by Simon Kenton or Lewis Wetzel. I’d tell you how to contact Walker but if he don’t like you he won’t build you a rifle – no matter how much cash you have in your pocket or how pretty your girl friend is.