The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, with headquarters in Friendship, Indiana, will host its annual 9-day celebration of all things muzzle loading beginning on Saturday, June 11 and wrapping up on Sunday, June 19. Events will include daily black powder shooting competitions, Early American living history demonstrations, special museum displays, youth activities, black powder-related vendors, gunmaker demonstrations and much more.
Highlighting this year’s event will be the dedication and grand opening of the NMLRA Education Building, a project that has been years in the making and made possible by the hard work and contributions of many members and supporters. Two of the facility’s primary benefactors, Frank Brownell of Brownells and James Kirkland of Schuetzen Powder, LLC, will attend the opening ceremonies, scheduled to take place at high noon on Saturday, June 11.
Intended as a gathering place to teach and learn the art and craft associated with the history and heritage of the sport of muzzleloading, the NMLRA Education Building includes an auditorium, several shops, numerous classrooms, a kitchen, machine- and wood-working shop, and library/museum center.
National-class competitive muzzle loading shooting is the focus of the annual NMLRA gathering. Matches include competition for every genre of front-loading firearm, including rifle, pistol, shotgun, slug gun and chunk gun. As in recent years, the NRA National Muzzle Loading Championships will be held in conjunction with the NMLRA event at Friendship’s expansive Walter Cline Range.
The NMLRA National Firearms Museum located in the historic Rand House (circa 1876) will host special museum displays throughout the event, including the collection of Steve Smith, a member of the Indiana Antique Arms Collectors Club. The exhibit will feature numerous Civil War-era carbines, including a 52 caliber Gwyn and Campbell 2nd Model, which was manufactured in Hamilton, Ohio, and a Palmer 50 caliber, an early bolt action breech loader, which had the contract for their production let late in the Civil War.
The NMLRA Gunmaker’s Hall will be open daily during the week, exhibiting some of the finest examples of modern gun building by today’s master craftsmen. Demonstrations will also take place on the premises.
Another highlight of the event, the NMLRA commercial vendor area, features a wide array of muzzle loading guns and supplies for the serious shooter or the enthusiastic novice. Vendors offer merchandise ranging from guns and gun parts to books, knife-making supplies, period clothing, leather goods, and other shooting and hunting supplies.
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As the historic national center of muzzleloader shooting, education and competition in the U.S., the NMLRA headquarters and expansive range complex is located on nearly 600 acres in rural and scenic southeastern Indiana. The Friendship facilities are an easy drive from nearby Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as the metropolitan areas of Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Since 1933, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association has worked to preserve, promote and support the rich American muzzle-loading heritage through recreational, educational, historical, and cultural venues–including match competition, hunting, gun-making and safety, historical re-enactments, exhibits, museums, libraries and other programs.