Mid West Whips (whip shop)

Mid West Whips (whip shop)

As part of my road trip to San Diego last week I made a detour and headed over to Nevada to visit Paul, Lauren and Nikko at Mid West Whips.  We had a great time talking whips and cracking them (cracking pic’s will be in another post).

Paul showed me a very interesting way to make a shotbag, which I’ve already made and used one.   Lauren taught me a bit about braiding nylon, which I knew was a lot different from leather, but never really realized how different!

Another highlight was getting to see some of the Cooley Collection in person!  The Henderson whips were amazing to look at…and as a bonusI got to crack a Henderson whip!

They are a talented  pair of whip makers!


P.S. I’ll be posting more pic’s from my trip (cracking with Paul and Lauren, Western Stage Props and the San Diego Whip Enthusiasts Group)

7 thoughts on “Mid West Whips (whip shop)

  1. Great Pictures Louie! Wish I had that shop for whipmaking.
    I’m curious as to the method Paul showed you for making a shotbag. I just finished one this morning (first one) for a Snakewhip I have in mind and I am pleased with it. I tried Bernie’s mothod with the duct tape and I had no luck. Must be because I am using 2oz. chap leather instead of roo. My second try I took a tapered rod (riding whip core from David Morgan), and placed the leather around it. I wrapped electrical tape around the leather and core making sure the edges of the leather were together. There was about an inch at the top left unwrapped. I rolled the shot bag while on the core to smooth it out. As for shot – I bought a box of 12gau. #8 shotgun shells(5.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse) and broke them apart for the birdshot. I used a teaspoon to put small amounts of birdshot into the wide end of the shotbag and tamped the shot further into the bag using the tapered rod. I also held the open end between my fingers shut and spun the shotbag in a circle to help settle the shot and push it further down and compact it. I got about 2 inches open space at the top this way. It really helped to pack the shot in. To add further weight I made a plug from a 5/16 steel rod about 1 1/2 inches long. I put this into the end of the shotbag and secured the whole thing with sinew.
    Overall, I am happy with this method. Once I figured it out it seemed pretty simple and quick to make.


    1. Jeff,

      Unfortunately I can’t spill the beans and talk about what Paul showed me…not that it’s some huge secret or anything, it’s just not my place to say how people do things (and it’s not how Paul does his, but a neat way he showed me) on my blog.

      I get my shot by the 30 pound bag from a company called ballistic products or something like that…it’s cheap by the bag!

      For my shotbags I use one of David’s rawhide cores (I use either the thick one or the thin one depending on the job) and I fill it with shot. To fill it I use a business card rolled into a cone and I use the cone to scoop shot out of it’s container and pour it into the shotbag. When it’s about full, I flick the back with my fingers and also roll it between my fingers to settle the shot. Then I take on of the fiberglass riding crop cores (the white one) that I got from David Morgan and I ram it into the shot bag, like I’m packing gunpowder into a musket (at least that’s the closest thing to what I”m doing) and then if necessary I put a bit more shot in and repack.

      I’ve used several methods to plug the end, from rolled up leather to rolled up lead, sometimes I fold over the top and tie it down, sort of depends on the whip.


  2. Hey Louie!
    I understand. It sounds like I am using a similar method to fill a shotbag. I have the white rod also. I never thought about those rawhide cores that David Morgan sells. I’ve never worked with rawhide before. I found Ballistic Products website. That 10lb bag of #12 looks pretty reasonable. Cheaper than may local store and smaller in diameter too. I just bought a box of shells for the birdshot. I didn’t need a 10lb bag just to try it for 1 or 2 whips!

    1. The bag of shot seems like a lot, but it goes pretty quick. Also sign up for Ballistic Products newsletter they have $5 shipping sales quite often which saves you a ton!

  3. Louie – I forgot to add… I like Glen Dunholm’s method for loading a whip that he mentions on the APWA forumn. He takes a piece of roohide and glues the shot onto the leather and rolls it up. Sounds pretty easy to me!

    1. My early shotbags were made from a tapered piece of duct tape that I poured lead over, then rolled up.. Very similar to Glens, but I got more weight into them because there was no leather.


    2. Ballistic Products is having a 5% off sale use coupon code D5A

      it expires 7/30, so order your lead now and save a couple of bucks.


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