Toad Hall Rifleshop & ye Yeller Tom Cat
Building Since 1974
Toad Hall Rifleshop and the Yeller Tom Cat Forge are located amid the rolling and fertile fields of central Iowa. We fondly call this part of Iowa, “Corn Patch”. If you’re seeking information on building a muzzleloader, you’ll need to go elsewhere, but if you’re looking for information regarding my Toad Hall Rifleshop style/methods of barrel forging, boring, reaming, and rifling a muzzle loader barrel all by hand and with no electricity what-so-ever, you’ve come to the right place. Now, when it comes to rifling by my instructions….well….
If you have questions, I have answers.
I’m long RETIRED from custom muzzle loading rifle building, but still like to mess around with my wooden riflers and boring benches. The site’s focus is now mainly concerned with hand rifling operations. The “how to build’em” websites are a dime a dozen, so find one you think will suit you. This website will be periodically revised and updated in an effort to share my understanding of the arts & mysteries of my style of rifling and it’s related facets. Caveat: I often type in my “Iowegian” dialect….just like I talk! For you folks in Scandinavia, there are a few pages or articles skrevet i Dansk og Norsk.
You’ll find that several of the subjects listed above will have more than one page for you to check out. Go ahead and explore the site. Lots’a copyrighted photos for you to take a look at. Just “click” on any photo to get an enlarged view. There are some “Big Honkin’ “ pages on this site covering 40 years of my experience, so please be patient if some of the pages load slowly. Often there are more photos & videos per page than what the program recommends. BUT….the wait will be worth it. If the site ain’t working correctly or the articles not helpful, drop me a line and let me know, please. One piece of free advice for you: Be known for the rifles YOU make. Not for copies of dead men’s guns
—Steve Bookout, Master of the shop
“In a few more decades all the mountain rifle smiths will have passed on to the better world, and they will be only a memory like the pioneer, the buffalo and passenger pigeon, and the world will have lost more of the old-time geniuses.” Capt. Ned Roberts
Last Updated: 2 September, 2013
The Toad Hall News
Doing some recovery from a few heart attacks this month and figured it were past time to update the site.
SPECIAL! SPECIAL!! SPECIAL!!
Check out the Southern Album. 15 photos of one of Hacker Martin’s “fancy” rifles are on display. This is a rare rifle, yes indeedy, fellers. It was made for none other than the famous gun maker, Royland Southgate. Craig Oatman was feelin’ sorry fer me after reading that I collected Hacker Martin stuff and sent several photos of this rifle to share with us and it’s a hum-dinger. All I can say is: ENJOY!!
Back by request is my personal rifle, Durty Nelly. Dern! She is still one sweet shootin’ lady. A little rough around the edges now, but knows how to please. A fan of Toad Hall emailed some photos he had taken from my original web site years ago to replace the ones I had lost when the original site’s provider went belly up. She has her own page, so since you asked for her, here she is.
Another page back by popular demand is how I go about modifying a Siler lock to a more English appearance. Thanks to Dr. Fox, down in Texas, these photos have come home to be recycled.
A few of you have sent photos of your rifler-reamer bench projects. They will be posted in the near future. I have been asked to bring back two features from the old web site: my Durty Nelly, and how to alter a Siler lock and give it a more “English” appearance. All I can say fer the moment is: I’M WORKIN’ ON IT. Can’t locate all my photos and scribblings……
The rifling FAQs are still being answered and posted. If you’re building one of my rifling benches, read through them and see if you can pick up a couple of pointers.