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Workshops List

Gunsmithing - Make your own black powder rifle or pistol

March 18 - 22, 2012

The rifle was one of the most important tools a homesteader carried. It not only kept the family fed, it helped to keep them safe. It can take a year or more, even with modern tools to build a rifle, so not only are they treasured for their usefulness, but also for the time spent creating them.

Blackpowder guns today are a way to connect to the past and building them is an enjoyable and fulfilling past time.

Join Ozark Folk Center gunsmith Jim Purdom for a week of intensive work to build your own pistol or rifle, starting from a kit.

This class requires instructor approval before registration. Call or email for contact information. Minimum student age is 18. Registration deadline is February 1, 2013.

Jim will give you a list of kits available for you to purchase for the class. The kits vary in cost and average between $300 and $500. Jim orders the kits in February and they must be paid for before they can be ordered.

You'll begin this class by visiting with Jim either in his shop or over the phone. You'll figure out which type of gun is right for your own needs and abilities to both make and shoot.

This intensive class often works evening hours to finish by the final day. On Friday, you will go to the Ozark Folk Center rifle range to site in the gun that you just created with your own hands.

Class fee $375.00, a non-refundable deposit of $75 is payable when you register. The remaining $300 is payable directly to Jim at the beginning of class.

Minimum number of students for class to make - 3, maximum 5.

Instructor: Jim Purdom

Jim Purdom, a native of Stone County, spent his early years hunting and fishing in the surrounding area. In the 1970's he became interested in pistol shooting, winning a couple of state championships. His interest in guns was further developed when he became part of the Committee of 100 apprenticeship program under gunsmith Jack Thomas. He built Kentucky and Pennsylvania muzzleloading rifles at the Folk Center from 1979 to 1985 when he left to work for the Department of Human Services. Guns were a hobby until Jim's retirement from the State in 2006. He returned to the Folk Center in 2008 as its gunsmith where he reestablished his mastery of authentic period 18th century muzzleloading longrifles traditional for Kentucky, Pennsylvania and this Southern region. He also repairs antique and modern guns.