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Muzzleloading rendezvous.

Recession? What recession?" That seems to be the attitude among black powder and muzzleloading product manufacturers toward the current economic trend in this country. In fact, most of them had record years in 1991 and except more of the same when 1992 is complete.

Along with this boom in muzzleloading sales has come another very encouraging phenomenon: an explosion in the number of firearms dealers getting into the black powder field for the first time.

Estimates on the numbers of gun enthusiasts who now with muzzleloading range from to seven million. That's far more Americans who hunt with black powder guns than during the Colonial Era.

For many deer hunters, muzzleloading offers more time in the woods and more opportunity to bag that got away during the modern firearms season.

Whatever the reason for its growth, three conclusions are clear: the muzzleloading boom is real, it shows no sign of fading, and it offers dealers an excellent opportunity to expand sales and draw more customers into store.

In order to aid dealers Shooting Industry magazine has compiled a list of 11 top manufacturers and wholesalers in the muzzleloading field, along with some information about their product lines and dealer support. Here is the rundown.

Bullseye Distributors

Bullseye Distributors of Oakland, Mich., describes itself as "Michigan's leading muzzleloading supplies specialist," but it serves customers far beyond the Michigan border.

Bullseye carries a full line of black powder products. Orders called in before 1 p.m. are processed the same day and may reached the dealer overnight.

The Thompson/Center line of products is one of Bullseye's top sellers especially the Thompson/Center Scout and Scout Pistol.

Connecticut Valley Arms

Connecticut Valley Arms of Norcross, Ga., manufacturers a full line of products, calling itself a "one-stop" black powder source.

CVA sells through distributors. dealers interested in stocking CVA products will receive a dealers' packet and the name of a CVA wholesalers near them

The company has eight new guns of various lengths and calibers. The .50-caliber, 37-inch Tracker Carbine is especially popular among women and younger shooters, as well as men.

CVA also has several new accessories available this year, such as the compact pocket powder measure, a Lexan ramrod, the four-in-one "T" loader, and a fleece possible bag that can be used as a shoulder, belt or fanny pack.

The company also publishes the "CVA Black Powder Guns and Hunting Annual."

Dixie gun Works

Dixie Gun Works located in Union City, Tenn., carries a full line of muzzleloading firearms and accoutrements. As a matter of fact, you can see some of their firearms used in the remake of The Last of the Mohicans which will be appearing at theaters across the country later this year.

Founded in 1954, Dixie offers its dealers "the largest selection of the black powder firearms and accessories available in one location in the world" - 8,000 items in all

Among Dixie's most popular new products this year a 3/4-scale swords, a new Bowie knife, and a new .44-40 sporting rifle with pistol-grip stock.

House of Muskets

The House of Muskets in Pagosa Springs, Colo., is a supplier of a full line of muzzleloading guns and accessories, many of them made by its manufacturing division, Treso.

Two new products available from the House of Muskets are doing very well this year. One is the Patriot ramrod, a line of flexible, space-age ramrods. the other is the first powder flask made in this country in 25 years.

The House of Muskets sells its products on a strictly wholesale basis and dealer inquiries are welcome.

Log Cabin Shop

The Log Cabin Shop in Lodi, Ohio, stocks over 6,000 items from more than 600 manufacturers including guns, kits, custom components, parts, supplies, and accessories.

Log Cabin publishes a 200-page catalog that is available free to qualified dealers who send a request. The company also offers basic gunsmithing services on muzzleloading firearms and is a factory warranty station for all Thompson/Center muzzleloading guns.

Lyman Products Corp.

Lyman of Middlefield Conn., traces its history back to 1878, when William Lyman started his business to provide a State, both high- and low-end accessories are selling very well this year. Mountain State's product line includes items from Thompson/Center rifles to buckskin clothing patterns and Bowie knife blades.

All Mountain State are made in the U.S.

Mowrey Gun Works/Deer Creek Products

Mowrey Gun Works in Waldron, Ind., manufacturers Ethan Allen muzzleloading firearms, a line that dates back to 1835. Deer Creek Products makes other black powder firearms supplies and accessories.

The .50 and .54 caliber rifles sell very well during hunting season, and smaller calibers are popular for target shooting the rest of the year. Mowrey offers a seven day turnaround on gun repairs that accelerates to 24 hours during hunting season thanks to a staff of additional gunsmiths. If there is along-term problem, Mowrey supplies a loaner gun to customers.

According to the company hunters often enjoy the loaner guns so much that they end up purchasing them.

Navy Arms Company

Navy Arms Company of Ridgefield, N.J. was founded in 1958 by Val Forgett, who is widely considered the founder of the replica black powder industry.

Today navy Arms Produces a variety of muzzleloading firearms and accessories including flintlock and percussion pistols, Pennsylvania and Kentucky rifles, LeMatt revolvers, Civil War pistols and rifles, guns of the Old West, target rifles rolling block rifles, hunting rifles, and muzzleloading shotguns.

One of the new guns Navy Arms in 1992 is the .50 caliber Smith Artillery Carbine. Parker-Hale rifles are produced for Navy Arms Gibbs Rifle Co. in Martinsburg, W.V.

Ox-Yoke Originals/Blue & Gray

Ox-Yoke Originals of Milo, maine, offers original shooting and gun cleaning products for every type of gun, while Blue & Gray features special products for muzzleloaders. These includes wads, lubricants, stains, ticking, and patches.

One of their most popular accessories is Wonder Lub, a micronized, muzzleloading patch and bullet lube.

Thompson/Centers

Thompson/Center in Rochester, N.H. sells its nationally known line of black powder firearms and accessories through distributors, who in turn sell through dealers. Its new muzzleloaders for 1992 include the Tree Hawk, High Plains Sporter, and Pennsylvania Hunter Carbine.

Thompson/Center has put together a Muzzleloading Sales Manual for use by dealers who are unfamiliar with black powder hunting. The company also provides a videotape on gun care and cleaning with non-petroleum products.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Schneider, Jim
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:Directory
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:1071
Previous Article:Colt - more than just a legend.
Next Article:Shooting industry's 1992 shotgun survey.
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