Penobscot Longrifles club members enjoy shooting old-school muzzleloaders

Posted July 02, 2013, at 5:28 a.m.
The gunpowder ignites as Karen Moffett fires her flintlock rifle during one of the Penobscot Longrifles monthly shoots. A lot of the members and guests who shoot in the club use these rifles that are custom made exact replicas of guns that were used in the 1700s.
The gunpowder ignites as Karen Moffett fires her flintlock rifle during one of the Penobscot Longrifles monthly shoots. A lot of the members and guests who shoot in the club use these rifles that are custom made exact replicas of guns that were used in the 1700s.
Jeff Durkee of Stetson loads his rifle during one of the Penobscot Longrifles club shoots in Stetson.
Jeff Durkee of Stetson loads his rifle during one of the Penobscot Longrifles club shoots in Stetson.
Glenn Dickey fires at a target during a shoot he hosted at his Old Town home in the Spring. As the host of the shoot Dickey came up choose many of targets that day, such as driving nails into a board with a single shot. The Penobscot Longrifles club members maintain a shooting range and clubhouse in Stetson that they use year-round except for mud season.
Glenn Dickey fires at a target during a shoot he hosted at his Old Town home in the Spring. As the host of the shoot Dickey came up choose many of targets that day, such as driving nails into a board with a single shot. The Penobscot Longrifles club members maintain a shooting range and clubhouse in Stetson that they use year-round except for mud season.
Jeff Durkee (left) celebrates with Karen Moffett after she became the first person to win a match Durkee established. The idea was to shoot at a small spoon a button and a suspended ring and hit each one on the first try from about 20 yards away. Moffet was the first one to be able to do so, since Durkee came up with combination about three years ago. It was so challenging that he promised $300 to the first person who is able to complete the match.
Jeff Durkee (left) celebrates with Karen Moffett after she became the first person to win a match Durkee established. The idea was to shoot at a small spoon a button and a suspended ring and hit each one on the first try from about 20 yards away. Moffet was the first one to be able to do so, since Durkee came up with combination about three years ago. It was so challenging that he promised $300 to the first person who is able to complete the match. Buy Photo
Jeff Durkee (left) and his son Wyatt (right) clean their rifles at the Penobscot Longrifles shooting range in Stetson. The members spend a great deal of time maintaining their guns that are exact replicas of rifles used in the 1700s and early 1800s. The old-fashioned guns also present technical challenges as they must be properly maintained and tuned to fire in varied weather conditions.
Jeff Durkee (left) and his son Wyatt (right) clean their rifles at the Penobscot Longrifles shooting range in Stetson. The members spend a great deal of time maintaining their guns that are exact replicas of rifles used in the 1700s and early 1800s. The old-fashioned guns also present technical challenges as they must be properly maintained and tuned to fire in varied weather conditions.
One of the traditions at the Penobscot Longrifles club in Stetson that, there is always food prepared the members at each month's shoot. &quotWe get together even in the wintertime," said Glenn Dickey.
One of the traditions at the Penobscot Longrifles club in Stetson that, there is always food prepared the members at each month's shoot. "We get together even in the wintertime," said Glenn Dickey. Buy Photo
People check targets and post new ones during a monthly shoot at the Penobscot Longrifles shooting range in Stetson.
People check targets and post new ones during a monthly shoot at the Penobscot Longrifles shooting range in Stetson. Buy Photo
Jeff Durkee places his baseball hat on a stick and tops it with a potato during a shooting match. Durkee just missed the potato but hit Glenn Dickey's hat. The price is to place his own hat out there before the shoot resumes. This is just one of the many old fashioned and sometimes quirky targets they try their skills on at the Penobscot Longrifles club in Stetson.
Jeff Durkee places his baseball hat on a stick and tops it with a potato during a shooting match. Durkee just missed the potato but hit Glenn Dickey's hat. The price is to place his own hat out there before the shoot resumes. This is just one of the many old fashioned and sometimes quirky targets they try their skills on at the Penobscot Longrifles club in Stetson. Buy Photo
Karen Moffett showes off a card the shot at and split edgewise. This is one of the many old fashioned matches people test their skills on during shoots at the Penobscot Longrifles club. Karen and her husband Wade Moffett were the only ones able to split the card that day.
Karen Moffett showes off a card the shot at and split edgewise. This is one of the many old fashioned matches people test their skills on during shoots at the Penobscot Longrifles club. Karen and her husband Wade Moffett were the only ones able to split the card that day. Buy Photo

If you like to tinker with relatively simple mechanical things, enjoy good-natured ribbing from friends and would like to test your shooting skills, the Penobscot Longrifles might just be the group for you.

Imagine using a piece of equipment the design of which originated in 15th century Europe. After many improvements, the gun still was in use during the American Civil War although it was considered out of date by then.

Many members and guests at the Penobscot Longrifles club use replicas of the classic weapon made by present-day gunsmiths. The club holds monthly shoots on the last Sunday of each month at its Stetson shooting range and clubhouse.

Just about anything can be a target: Potatoes, spoons, popsicle sticks, buttons, lumps of coal, a playing card or an ax blade.

“We use a lot of targets that would have been used in the old days when there were few printed targets,” said Glenn Dickey, president of the club.

Many hunt with the rifles but some just enjoy the comradery and developing the skill to shoot accurately with these weapons.

Wade Moffett and two other muzzleloader enthusiasts started the group in 1979 and they welcome anyone who enjoys participating in a friendly target-shooting competition as long as they use a muzzleloader. The club may be contacted at penobscotlongrifles@gmail.com.

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