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Over the log

This page is dedicated to spider killin’!

TheBevel Brothers




    Gents, this particular shoot was my introduction to over the log or chunk gun shooting.  I can only blame that pesky Lowell Gard, a.k.a. Bevel Up, for the slaverin’ at th’ mouth, wide eyed, when’s th’ next shoot?, chunk gunner that I’ve morphed into. 



     His smarter, younger, little brother, Joel Gard, a.k.a. Bevel Down, is probably just as much to blame as he is.  Now, Joey owns a little piece of property North of Weston, Missouri, called “Wise Acres”. This is where the annual World Championships are held.  The area is primitive, and there are limited facilities for over night camping, but they do have a porta-potty!!  The shoot is held somewhere around the last Saturday of October (but git you a flyer to make sure of the date!) and you better get there early because the range is on the small side, so real estate for tarps and chunks will be at a premium.  This also necessitates the limiting of shooters to 50.  Fees are paid with your registration and it’s first come first served. Lowell said that they’d start accepting registrations at their September shoot.  Prizes are great and lunch is provided on the grounds.  If you may be interested, contact the Bevel Brothers for more information…..AFTER I have my registration sent in!!

     The event consists of 10, one shot matches fired at 60 yards distance, an’ you need to bring your own sighter targets.  The shortest string wins.   The events are shot as fast as th’ slowest person, so you really have an opportunity to git off some good, well aimed shots.  If you’ve never shot over the log before, a little class is held and it makes no matter if you’re man, woman, or child, as all become an expert in a matter of minutes.  The shootin’ match ain’t exactly like shootin’ off hand, ’cause your target for record is posted behind your practice target! If you’re a shooter with a physical handicap, them pesky Bevel Brothers will see that you get to compete along with everybody else.  

 The 2010 Match

     You missed a great chunk match if you didn’t attend this year’s World Championship.  The mighty Tim Turnbull followed up with his win at Iowa’s Original Chunk Gun Shoot in August by capturing the coveted Tiara at Weston.  CONGRATULATIONS!, Tim.  Unfortunately, my photo of Tim in his raiment turned out blurry.


Brother Eric ‘Angus’ Leonard shot the best spider of the match!  Here’s a shot of him and his smallest chunk gun taken just before the matches started…..looks like the varmint is already gloatin’……


Here’s a picture of some of the firing line activity.  Hey, Dan.  Hell gettin’ old, ain’t it?…am I psychic, or what??? 


‘Ol Bevel Up brought his son, Andy, and introduced him to over the log festivities.  I gotta hand it to Lowell because he stepped up to the plate and guided Andy throughout the entire shoot and coached him on some of the finer points of the sport.



 Here’s a shot of the target for the Bevel Brothers first ever Inline Shoot!  The Brothers Bevel graciously provided all comers who desired to shoot an inline muzzleloading rifle the opportunity to do so.  Approximately 20 stalwart contestants stepped forth and enjoyed themselves.



Unfortunately, the shooters did not return the rifle in the same shape as when he made it available.  Here’s Lowell after the shoot.  Pretty upset, yes indeedy!  I fear that because of their actions, this activity might not be held in the future.

[This particular firearm was kindly mailed to me and is now on display in the Toad Hall Museum for all to see and wonder at.  Admission is $5 a head, cash in advance.  No refunds, coupons, discounts, or trades.]


Now, around 4 hours drive North of Wise Acres, according to a certain party who shall at this point remain nameless, (because I don’t want to divulge Lowell Gard’s name to the public) is our “cut throat” local match up to Jasper County called:

Iowa’s Original Chunk Gun Shoot

     This event has been held at the Beaver Creek Plainsmen’s range near Collins, Iowa for the past several years and is held in conjunction with our home club, the Buck Crik Muzzleloaders.  It’s what we call a “garage sale” shoot as you need to bring some kinda prize to place on the blanket.  There are other prizes awarded to the individual match winners and some for who place high over all.  Now this shoot ain’t as polished as them pesky Bevel Brothers’ event, but we have managed to attract shooters from all over besides here in Corn Patch, Iowa. Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and even Moscow, Russia!  Please note: We also limit shooters to a max. of 50.

Our match is held near Collins, Iowa in a nice little valley and there’s only 1 teensy little crik you have to cross to get there.  Shoot, we’re so upscale, there’s even a foot bridge for those who don’t want to get their tires wet & muddy.  We always provide free cow patties in both varieties, runny and flat rock specials.  Here’s the target frames.

The target frames are set up 60 yards from the firing line, which is covered. It’s an easy walk to retrieve your targets for score.  Notice some folks are walking with their heads down?  Guess what they’re looking for.  Sure not patch retrieval!

Here’s a shot of the loading area.

Each year, we have given away a beautiful pipe tomahawk which has a carved, inlayed, and pewter casted handle hand crafted by the famous Ken Guy of Signal Mountain, Tennessee.  It even comes with it’s own special plaque for hanging it up for display.  In order to win this coveted prize, you must be selected by secret committee and be declared to have “The Ugliest Rifle In All Corn Patch”, Corn Patch being my area of Iowa and fictional home town.  Below is a picture of Rick Welch who went out of his way to insure a win (the sneaky varmint). He had guts enough to dress his gun up and shoot it, so we had guts enough to let him win!  Great fun!

Remember Rule Number 10:  Force yourself to take a spider!!

Still don’t know what a “spider” is???  See below.

Above is my very first “Spider” an’ th’ silver dollar won as a prize for it bein’ the best shot of that match.  If I can do it, you can too!


  Git a life.  Git a chunk gun!!

Sighting Your Chunk Gun

        Fellers, these little formulae will help you get that chunk gun (or any other gun for that matter) on target quicker.  You got to do a little math, but it’s worth it.  I’ve had this in my shop for many years and figure you guys need to copy it down for yourselves for use later on.

1.  Load your gun as you always intend.

2.  Fire a group (3-5 minimum) at the distance you plan on shooting and utilizing the sight picture that you prefer.

3.  Measure the center of that group to the desired point of impact. (All measurements need to be in INCHES for this to work)

4.  Now measure the distance between your front and rear sight.  This is your “sight radius” for you scientific types.

5.  Multiply your sight radius by the sight correction needed.  Then divide this number by the distance to the target. This step will tell you how much correction is needed.


My ol’ Hawken, “Crow Killer”, was hitting 6″ high at 50 yards and 2″ to the right of the X, down at our Buck Crik Muzzleloaders range.  My sight radius (at that time in my life) was 23 1/2″.


1.  Convert the sight radius to decimals and multiply it by that 6 inches of error.  This is 23.5 X 6″ = 141.

2.  Divide this figure by 50 yards converted to inches or 1800″.  This comes out to .078″.

3.  Now, either raise your front sight by .078, or lower the rear by this much.


1. Multiply 2″ X 23.5″ = 47″.

2.  Divide this by that 1800″ = .261″ or rounded down to .26″.

3.  Now move your front sight to the RIGHT .26 inches or your rear sight to the LEFT this much.

Over The Log Sight Info

     If you’re considering sights for the first time on an over the log or chunk gun, try this info on for size.  The amiable Lowell Gard, a.k.a. Bevel Up, passed this on to me back in November of 2004 as a place to start getting my own chunk gun sighted in.

Front sight:  3/32″ wide.  1/4″ tall.

Rear sight:  Flat top and as wide as you can get.  Use a square notch (depth not that important) .040 wide.  (a Dremel disc works great)

How they are set up:  You need to be able to see a tiny amount of light around the edges of the front sight blade when viewed through the rear sight at the over the log match distance of 60 yards.  The top of the front sight blade is level with the top of the rear sight.

I use a dark black oblong shape in the center of a green background for my sighter target. The black oblong is oriented so that it is taller than it is wide.  The oblong on the sighter target “appears” to be the exact same width as my front sight width when view at 60 yards.

The way I use the sight set-up:   I simply align my front sight and the black oblong on their sides.  Then I level the front and rear sights on the bottom edge of the oblong.  That makes me “square to the world” and then am ready to pull the trigger.  EASY!