Lowell Haarer Flintlock Rifles- Linville
Lowell Haarer Flintlock Rifles
Entering Lowell Haarer’s workshop in Linville, where a coal-fired forge purrs as it heats metal to a red glow, is like stepping back into the 1700s. He carefully pulls out the hot metal, delicately hammers out an imperfection and then places it back into the forge. It is exacting work to produce just one part of the firing mechanism for the custom-made flintlock rifles he has been building since 1985.
Wooden blocks of cherry, walnut or curly maple that he will later sculpt into rifle stocks are stacked neatly off to the side of the shop. On Haarer’s worktable lays a long wooden forend—a length of wood Haarer has hewn to 1/16 of an inch thick, which will fit beneath the long flintlock barrel.
Haarer, a Mennonite minister, chisels and carves by hand intricate scrollwork on both the metal and wooden parts of the flintlock. The same care goes into every gun he crafts, but no two guns are alike.
It takes more than 150 hours to create a piece of Lowell’s “working art,” which appeal to black-powder hunters as well as living history reenactors. A basic flintlock starts at $1,875.
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