I was born in 1949 in Shipshewana, Indiana. My interest in muzzleloading rifles was sparked in 1971 while watching "Gunsmith of Williamsburg" and being in the gunshop there in Williamsburg, Virginia on my honeymoon with the woman who is still my sweetheart.
I worked as a self-employed furniture and cabinet maker for 32 years, gaining a firm understanding of working with wood and various types of finishes, etc. Now as a gunbuilder, my focus is on mid to late 18th century longrifles and early 19th century work. My first work of "scratch building" a rifle was in 1985. Since that time I have continued to shape and hone my artistic skills as it pertains to longrifles, including attending several of the NMLRA gunbuilding seminars in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This includes the forging of iron parts and decorative engravings, etc.
My fascination in shooting and hunting with longrifles began in the early 1980's. Since then I have conquered all sorts of game with my muzzleloaders - including squirrel, deer and antelope. I consider being able to bag game with the things I have made, such as rifles, turkey calls, powder horns, knives, shooting bags, etc., a "working art" that has brought fulfillment and joy into my life.
Working in wood and metal, each gun becomes a labor of love as I fashion each gun into a fully functioning work of art. I choose to create guns in the style of the old masters without completely reproducing their work. Virginia is rich with Colonial and Early American history. Living in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, some of my favorite guns are those of Virginia orgin - especially of the early makers. By adding touches of my own, the rifles that I make are faithful to our historical past and, at the same time, are treasures of today. No two guns that I make will be exactly alike since they are truly an individual work of art. I build to fit the needs of the customer and prefer to discuss the details of the project by phone conversation when an in-person meeting is not possible.
Since completing my first longrifle, I have done lots of hunting with the muzzleloading firearms that I have built. They are accurate with fast ignition. They handle well, function well, and they look good too.
I build various styles of rifles and smoothbores in a wide range of calibers - from .32 caliber to .62 caliber. I encourage active dialogue with prospective customers in order to build them a truly custom gun. Please call or e-mail for pricing, as each gun I build is truly a one-of-a-kind gun.
You can view some pictures of the rifles I have made on my website at www.lowellhaarer.com.
Contact Lowell Haarer at:
8997 Mt. Zion Road
Linville, VA 22834
phone number: 540-833-4985