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By way of introduction, I am John Donelson and I design and build custom black powder rifles, smoothbores, pistols, hand-forged knives, hawks, and tools needed by buckskinners, reenactors, shooting enthusiasts, and collectors. I have no predetermined "line" of goods to offer, the mix varies with each show and each day of production.

JD forging at Wapiti 2010  Ely 2011
I buy and make what I like to have. Besides my own guns, there's antique items: guns, knives, hand-forged traps. There is also my own knives, hawks, traps, and accoutrements.
in shop

For those wanting something not available to the right, I can build it as a special order, whether it's a gun, knife, trap, hawk. A waiting period will apply and may be as short as a few days for a hawk or knife and as long as a year or two for a hand-forged gun. Every item is unique — no two will be exactly the same.

I enjoy researching a style of work and then bring the best aspects from several pieces in the same style or maker to life with my own interpretation of that style, developing a superior product from that.

Donelson Custom Cherry

Terms are $800 down payment for a gun, balance prior to delivery. Lead time is usually six months to a year. Minnesota Sales Tax of 6.5% applies to all sales within the state. Satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back.

You can see me at the upcoming shows:


If you want more information on any of these events you can email me here: Email Me Here!

Donelson Wheatley
I always have an inventory ready for immediate shipment. These items for immediate sale are shown on the right side of this page!

Perhaps you know just what you want or have seen an old antique that you wish you had. Looking through books with photos of original antiques is a good way to determine what styles you like. Right hand or left. French and Indian War period to the Plains Rifle... all are possible.

We can use store-bought parts or I can hand-forge everything depending on your pocket book and your desire. I always supply my clients with photos of their gun in progress from the beginning pile of parts/materials to the finished piece (shows them that I didn't go to Jamaica with their down payment!).

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