The art and skill associated with muzzleloading, particularly traditional designs, has become something of a scarcity in today’s world. The more I gravitate back to those older tools and traditions the more I see that there is less and less support available. Whether this is by design for by consumer preference that drives different industries doesn’t really matter. The symptom is the same either way. I end up having to build or modify my own gear 90% of the time.
Let’s take for instance my pursuit of an old school style possible bag. For those of you who are not sure what a possible bag is, let me elaborate. A possible(s) bag is used to store your odds and ends needed when shooting black powder firearms. These bags are designed to hang across your body with a strap and, in all reality, resemble a colonial purse. You could call it a murse for gun crap I suppose. The real problem I ran into while trying to find one that was “manly” enough and had a long enough strap was that most are built in Asia and designed for the average worker over there. If you are over 5’5″ tall, you no longer have a bag. You have a necklace.
At first I was going to build my own. I figure that it couldn’t be too hard to do. The old school shooters built theirs with less equipment and probable lack of Corona to drink while sewing. That means that I should be good, right?
Lucky for me I found a company that builds the items they sell on site and at a reasonable price. Most “custom” orders or “special order” bags I looked at were in the $180 – $250 range. October Country Muzzleloading hooked me up. A guy names John answered the phone over there, answered all my questions, and they added an extra 12″ of strap to my bag at no extra charge.
You catch that? No extra charge for the extra length strap.
The bag was ordered on Thursday morning. By Friday, the bag was already built and shipped. The special order bag was built the same day as being ordered and was in the mail the next day.
Here is the bag:
As you can see, I kind of over guessed the length I need. When I told them 72″ long I thought that the very end of the strap would be 72″. They measured from the top most whole. This really isn’t a big deal because I know how to poke holes in leather and can cut the end if I need to. I probably won’t cut it and will just put stropping compound on the back of it so I can sharpen knives in the field. Either way, they definitely delivered.
I am not sure you can see from the pictures, but there are two compartments. The back compartment has a small pouch as well.
Here is the front compartment.
I was actually hoping that this would have been bigger. When I read the description I was envisioning one big bag with purse type dividers in it. Instead it is two pouches that are kind of hinged at the top. Ultimately, I may like this design so I am not looking through my colonial murse when I need to reload my rifle. It is 5000x better than using cargo pockets, however. Loading this bad boy up will be a lot of fun tonight.
If I had to grade October Country’s product I would give it a solid A-. The bag is a little smaller than I thought, but the fit/finish push it back up to the grade I gave out. The company’s customer service, quality for price, and speed of build/shipping get a very enthusiastic A++. Over time I know I will love this bag for either the quality and/or the function. I realize this will happen, but at this time I am just a VERY small bit disappointed that it wasn’t just a touch bigger.
From what I can see on their website and after talking with John, I would have to say that October Country is a great source for your muzzleloading needs. When I take into account the way they treated me when I called, the order process, and everything else I have a sneaking suspicion that they probably know better than I do as to what size bag I should carry…… They are colonial murse experts, if you will.
In conclusion, I would not hesitate to call them for help again and plan to the minute I need additional assistance. At this point I am not only an enthusiastic supporter, but a happy customer. I strongly recommend them.