Gettin in range

Friendship’s Spring Shoot
brings celebrity appeal

This year’s event features
Tom Selleck’s movie gun collection

Staff Report

FRIENDSHIP, Ind. (June 2007) – The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association in Friendship, Ind., will hold its week-long celebration of all things relating to the sport and history of muzzleloading June 9-17. Black powder shooting competitions, Early American living history demonstrations and classes, museum displays, youth activities, and some of the finest commercial vendors in the muzzleloading community will be available to see.


Photo provided

Historic bowmaking,
weaving and gunmaking
are part of the demonstrations
to be seen.

The National Spring Shoot is an opportunity to view an important part of our nation’s heritage in operation. The event grounds are located in southeastern Indiana about forty miles from Cincinnati. Public attendance is welcome and encouraged.
Actor Tom Selleck’s movie guns will be featured in a special exhibit at the NMLRA’s Rand House Museum on June 9-10. Selleck’s firearms were used in several of his films and then donated to the National Rifle Association’s National Firearms Museum. These outstanding pieces from movie history are on loan to the NMLRA Museum for the duration of the National Shoot.
Fans of Tom Selleck’s films will recognize guns the actor used in “Quigley Down Under,” “Last Stand at Saber River,” “Crossfire Trail,” and “Monte Walsh.” Items of interest to Lewis and Clark buffs will be on display June 9-16.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 9-10; and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m on June 11-16.
A highlight of the Nationals is the interactive living history program featured in the Primitive Encampment. Located on the banks of Laughery Creek, the Primitive Encampment serves to remind both visitor and participant alike of the importance of the historical heritage behind the sport of muzzleloading.
At various times throughout the Nationals, visitors might be treated to the sounds of a French Canadian duo or hammer dulcimer and bagpipe music. Scheduled programs and traditional crafts artisans include an oxen team, a frontier scout horse encampment, basketmaking, weaving, 18th century medicine, and many more living history demonstrations in camps scattered throughout the Primitive Encampment. Classes include ones devoted to the arts of bowmaking and hornmaking.
Special activities are planned for children, including butter churning, glass bead stringing, an archaeology class, costume try-on booth and candle dipping.
National-class competitive muzzleloading shooting is a strong focus of this gathering. There are so many matches that there is truly something for shooters of all skill levels, and with all types of muzzleloading equipment. Win, lose, or draw, all the matches are enjoyable, and a great opportunity to learn by shooting with the best.
A special feature of the competition area is the Youth Range, developed by the NMLRA as a way to safely teach children how to shoot muzzleloading firearms and get them involved and engaged in the sport at a young age.
To see truly fine examples of craftsmanship, visit Gunmaker’s Hall during the Nationals. Exhibited at this facility are some of the finest examples of modern gunbuilding by today’s master craftspeople.
The Commercial Vendor area features a myriad of muzzleloading guns and supplies for the serious shooter or the enthusiastic beginner. Many rows of booths offer merchandise ranging from guns and gun parts to books, period clothing, leather goods, and other supplies relating to the sport.
The Commercial Vendors offer a wonderful opportunity to listen and learn from the experts in the hobby. In addition, the Primitive Area on the event grounds provides for some interesting browsing and buying amongst the quality vendors of period merchandise and historical crafts.
Handicap parking is available. No pets are allowed except assistance animals. Gate hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 9-17. Admission is charged for visitors 16 and up, and part of the parking fee benefits the American Legion.

• For more information on the NMLRA’s National Spring Shoot and the living arts programming, call 1-800-745-1493 or visit: www.nmlra.org.
Visitors attending the National Spring Shoot might also be interested in another area attraction, the two Flea Markets that are adjacent to the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s event grounds. Flea Market activities are ongoing throughout the National Spring Shoot and hours vary.

• For information in regards to the Flea Markets, contact the Old Mill Campground and Flea Market’s Gary Stutler at (812) 667-5322 and the Friendship Flea Market’s Jan Schnell at (859) 341-9188 or (812) 667-5645. Or visit: www.friendshipfleamarket.com.

• For directions to the site, and information about hotel and motel facilities and other area attractions, contact the Ripley County Tourism Bureau office at 1-888-747-5394 or visit: www.ripleycountytourism.com.

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