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The Fowler

Fowlers played an important role in early America. In a sense, this gun is representative of the first guns made in the colonies. They put meat on the table and answered the call to arms during times of conflict.

The fowler has been broken down into several groups, which are based on distinguishing characteristics of each. For instance, the Hudson Valley Fowler is easily recognizable due to its extreme length, which many times, reached five and even six feet. They were built in the Hudson Valley area of eastern upstate New York.

The Club Butt Fowler has a very large butt stock with a pronounced convex curve to its underside. These smoothbores were built mostly in Massachusetts but a few are known to have been built in Rhode Island.

My fowlers don’t fall squarely into any one classification. However, I do prefer to build them showing the flowing lines and other characteristics found on those of the New England Fowler group. According to ‘Flintlock Fowlers,’ by Tom Grinslade, the remaining groups are the British-Style fowlers, Kentucky fowlers, and Unique fowlers.

Even though the barrels are smooth-bored and used primarily for shooting shot at winged and small game, they can shoot a patched round ball with surprising accuracy.

I built this fowler to use on those gobblers that give my shop its name and make these hills ring with their mountain music.