Bear Pistol by Daniel Casey, Frank House, Hershel House, & John Houseadmin
by Eric Van Alstine
Every now and then a glimpse from the past foretells the brilliance of the future. When one sees such talent, grace and skill over the tools and hands that created a masterpiece, its inspiring for others to follow. This year a young talent rising to a new level in the contemporary arts of the long rifle culture is none other than Daniel Casey of Arkansas.
Having been a student of Hershel House and the Woodbury school, Daniel has quietly plied his trade, honing his skills, and creating his own flavor of Contemporary wares. This year Daniel has brought to the 20th anniversary of the CLA auction a very special item in the form of thanks and gratitude to the Contemporay Longrifle community that goes back a few years.
Several years ago Daniel, Chelsey and their son Wesley along with Daniels Brother Charlie lost their home and belongings in a fire that would define their lives in many ways. The word quickly spread of the unfortunate circumstance. Although everyone was safe, their young lives were turned upside down, but only for a short time. As the smoldering ashes of temporal belongings were gone the members of the CLA brought glowing embers of love and concern as they went to work organizing efforts to ease the burden of one of our own. Supplies, donations, phone calls and prayers poured in to succor those in need. It was a time of reflection and thanks knowing that family was there.
Since that time Daniel, and Chelsey have continued on in true country style, ever grateful of the love of others. This year Daniel Casey is saying thank you with a unique, and beautiful bear pistol, that is not only inscribed with the Casey name but that of Hershel, Frank and John House.
For this project Daniel went back to the roots of his training, where it all began for a young fifteen year old teenager from ArkansasDaniel went back to Woodbury, Kentucky.
This past February Daniel left his mountain top home to spend a week with his mentor(s) and friends to combine their efforts for a one of a kind Woodbury style pistol that stands as a shining tribute to craftsmanship. The process was a team effort but the focus was on the work of Daniel Casey. Surrounded by the House brothers, Daniel went to work. The highly figured curly maple stock was produced by Hershel, as well as the unique hand forged Woodbury style trigger guard.
Frank re-worked the triggers and lock while John handled the side plate and other forgings and breech plug work. The escutcheon inlay was silver that was wrought with the use of Franks roller mill. The rest of the pistol is pure Casey innovation and craftsmanship from the inlay work to the pewter poured nose cap.
In many ways this was a defining moment for Daniel. Although ever the student, his work is reaching a crescendo, and his talent is more refined. He is today amongst the masters of the craft. Daniel indicated that this pistol was not only for the 20th anniversary of the CLA but a personal thank you, a thank you to all those that helped him in that moment of need grateful for the sacrifice, friendship, hugs, tears and prayers in behalf of his family.
The bear pistol is a shining tribute to traditional American values of styling and workmanship, combined by the efforts of the four master craftsmen of the long rifle trade. This pistol is one for the ages, a 40 caliber with a 14 inch barrel and graceful lines. All the beauty of a forgotten era wrapped into one package.
It seems that Daniel is pretty apt to defining moments. The creation of this pistol will take it one step further. This auction piece was not only created by Daniel Casey and the House Brothers it was also the focus of the History Channels new television show Iron and Fire.stay tuned.
Daniel Casey may be contacted through his website at http://www.caseyarms.com/. Frank House may be contacted by email at email@example.com. Hershel House can be contacted by telephone at 270-526-3493. John House can be contacted by telephone at 270-991-0118.