I used to attend the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee each year. When I could, I'd spend a few minutes talking to an elderly muzzle-loading rifle builder that always set up his display inside the back end of the livestock barn there. He had a slightly derogatory nick-name which he'd earned honestly and embraced quite openly. He usually wore buckskins or bib-overalls, had a long grey and white beard and was always willing to talk.
He rifled his barrels the old-fashioned way - hand-cut on a rifling jig. He specialized in ratchet rifling and sang its praises loud and long. (They may have been progressive (gain twist), too, but then again, maybe my aging mind is grafting two old men into one memory.) His rifles were supposed to be good shooters, from what I've heard. I have to wonder though; was it because of the type of rifling, or simply good workmanship? I'll never know, I guess, since I could never afford one of his rifles. The show isn't what it used to be and he may now be dead, for all I know. He was an interesting fellow, though. © 2013