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October 2008 Newsletter
This Free Newsletter Goes to Over 8500 Subscribers Worldwide
Email: Abby@cornellpubs.com (please don't "return" this newsletter to the unmonitored mailbox)
In This Issue:
Calls from the Wilds:
*Hurricane Ike is still big news around here. We too lost power as a result of Ike passing through Michigan and for two days we were powered by the generator... again! Rob's monster generator that he bought to run off the PTO on the tractor choked and died when he back fed it into the house (we don't have a transfer box installed yet) so he has been working on that. It seems the generator has a negative ground and the house doesn't or something. I guess we need an electrician.
*Just after Ike passed by, and as I predicted, we started to get the phone calls from people who suddenly "inherited a gun from grandpa" and urgently needed to know how much it was worth. When I lived in New York they used to say suddenly found wealth like that "fell off a truck". Interestingly, not one of the guns people called about during September was interesting enough to remember so I will spare you that part of the story. It's kind of flattering, people go to the library and type in "Stevens shotgun" or "Hopkins and Allen gun" and they get me so they call me assuming I am the factory and will know how much the gun is worth. "Hmmm, I'd say about a buck three eighty"?
*Texas is really important to me! I've got over 700 customers in Texas and although not all of them live in areas under Ike's path, enough do that I noticed a real drop in business after Ike. It is sobering to think how people like me so far from the scene of a natural disaster are affected indirectly and while I will almost certainly recover I feel great sorrow for those folks who lost so much that it will take years for them to piece together their lives.
*I get a lot of questions about serial numbers. Some people send me an email that says something like this one: "l have a Stevens .22 rifle with the serial number xxxxxx, please send a catalog featuring that gun." Others say they can't find a serial number and where would it be on the weapon. I asked Mike Powell of the ATF if he could shed some light on the question. This is what Mike says:
"Many U.S. firearm manufacturers placed serial numbers on their firearms long before the advent of Federal firearms statutes; however, this was done voluntarily and not required by Federal law.
The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), taxed the manufacture and transfer of certain firearms, including machineguns, sawed-off and short-barreled rifles, sawed-off and short-barreled shotguns, silencers, and firearms classified as “any other weapons.” Any firearms subject to NFA provisions have required a serial number since 1934.
Further, in January 1958, regulations under the Federal Firearms Act were adopted (effective July 1, 1958) which required that each licensed manufacturer and importer of firearms place a serial number on all firearms except shotguns and .22 caliber rifles, unless such shotguns or rifles were subject to the provisions of the NFA.
Finally, the Gun Control Act of 1968 required that each licensed manufacturer and importer of firearms place a serial number on all firearms, including shotguns and .22 caliber rifles."
When Mike called on the telephone he added that where a serial number is present it may not tell you what you think it does. For example, he said, that H&R, until 1904 used only four digits to number their guns and then they started over. In other words, when they got to 9999, they reverted to 0001 on the same model weapon. Soooo, there are many H&Rs floating around with the same serial number!
I also want to add that not one of the catalogs I reprint has serial numbers in the catalog. The reason is obvious, but not to everyone. Catalogs are printed to sell guns not yet manufactured so companies have no idea what the serial numbers will be in the future.
*I'd like to start a feature on a different sporting club each month in my newsletter. After my note in last month's newsletter I figured I would hear from at least one or two members of gun clubs... but no, not one person called or wrote. So maybe this isn't such a good idea. But being pretty resilient, I will try again- if you belong to a gun or sporting club and would like it featured in this newsletter, please get together a brief (one or two paragraphs) description of the club's activities, how to join etc. and send them along to me with a couple of appropriate photos and I will be pleased to have a look.
*Next, please double check your address to make certain it is current on all sites where you might order something. It will save a lot of trouble and anxiety. I am thinking of Ebay, Gunbroker Paypal and Auction Arms in particular. And, while I am on the subject, I try to keep my prices as low as I can, but, not surprisingly, one of my greatest expenses is advertising, so, if you order directly from my website - www.cornellpubs.com - and not through the auction sites, you will save me a bunch of money that I can reinvest in new, old catalogs for you!
By the way, last year Paypal softened it's previously hard line with respect to firearms and is now much more reasonable. I wrote about it in my July 2007 Newsletter.
* If you have an interesting gun story or unusual firearm and you would like to share with Newsletter readers, please send it in by email or post with pictures- (I can return original photos, just give me a call first to talk about your story). Don't worry about how well it is written or spelling and things like that. I can take care of any editing necessary and will be pleased to publish stories with or without credit given to the author. No promises about acceptance though. I've received a couple of suggestions just a bit too racy or political for my old bones.
New Books and Special thanks (see the bottom of this letter for the complete alpha list without accompanying text):
Jim Hughes sent me, some time ago, manuals for the Austrian Model 70 Revolver and the Austrian Model 98 Revolver. I guessed that the 70 was from the 1880s and the other from the 1890s. Am I right?
Gerard Doneski once again came up with a whole parcel of European catalogs including Armi F.lli Piotti Artigiani c1985, Churchill Guns (Harrisburg, PA- Italian) 1984, Elderkin (Lincolnshire, UK) 1985, F.lli Gamba 1974, Franz Scodia (Austria) c1985, Fratelli Poli Armi 1970, Renato Gamba 1974-75, Renato Gamba 1976-77, Simson Suhl (Merkel) 1985, Somerton (Somerset, UK) Guns 1988, Valmet (Finland) 1985, Ventura Guns (Calif) 1984 and a beautiful Westley Richards 1986 .
Rudi Prusok, archivist for the American Single Shot Rifle Association loaned an original copy of the Bannerman Guns, Surplus and Cannons 1904 catalog. Mike Carrick found an Abels c1962 Cannons and an Abels c1964 Cannons catalog for Berta Lledo's (see below) archeological project. Dick Carleton's seemingly limitless library yielded Hunting & Trapping 1882, a memoir from a century of different hardships.
Our friend Mike Blake in England sent us a different Kynoch Axtite Powder 1905 booklet and Eric Nicholas found a Midland (UK) 1949 to complement the other Midland catalogs I have.
From my own collection I processed a BSA Medium Rifle Flyer c1955, and a BSA Single 12 Shotgun Flyer c1958, a Daisy BB Guns 1965, then a Davis, NR c1910 to accompany a Davis (Davis-Warner) 1926. I also found an Eley-Hill c1934 flyer and three Hellis publications: Hellis, Chas (UK) 1935, Hellis, Chas (UK) 1951, Hellis, Chas (UK) flyer 1951. I had requests for a Marlin 1973, a Mossberg 1969, a Savage 1980 and the Winchester 1932 and finally a Woodward 1936.
By the way, not all our indexes are alphabetized and can be difficult to search. Until I figure out how to alphabetize them, hit the Control key (on the lower left) and the letter "F" on your keyboard. this will give you a search box on the bottom of the screen. Start to type in the name of what you want to find on that page and it should be highlighted on the screen (this works with most browsers). :-) Abby
Ertuğrul Gazi, (1198 – 1281) was the father of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. On September 16, 1890 the namesake Turkish naval ship Ertuğrul sank off Kushimoto, Japan...
I am an archaeologist and I am working in an underwater excavation of a Turkish naval ship, the Ertugrul, built during the 1860's. The ship sank in Japan in 1890 during a diplomatic visit to the Japanese Emperor. Along with the ship, 550 sailors died that evening. As a good navy vessel, it was carrying a lot of armor which we are now finding during our work, not in very good condition, some times in pieces, also lot of ammo.
Unfortunately I never had any education in armor, guns or ammo so I feel a bit lost when it comes to identify the parts and guns we are finding. I hope some of your readers may be able to help me identify some of what we have found..
These are some of the guns the ship had on board when it sank, again, the ship sank in 1890 but most likely the arms were dating from 1860's on, the Winchesters I think are the 1873 model.
8× 15 cm Krupp guns
5× 150 lb (68 kg) Armstrong guns
2× 4, 2× 3 font Krupp guns
2× 5-barreled Hotchkiss guns
2× 5-barreled, 4× Nordenfeld
1× 12 lb and 1× 6 lb rocket launcher
1× torpedo launcher
100× Martini-Henry rifles
100× Winchester rifles
The Ertugrul Project
Institute of Nautical Archaeology,
Sualti Sokak 6, Bodrum, Turkey
I'm in Williamsburg so don't have access to my reference books, but I can tell you the several hundreds (maybe thousands) of Winchester Model 1866 rifles were sold to the Turkish Government. One large battle I remember they were used in was the Battle of Plevna. If any are found in the wreck, the key feature will be that they have brass receivers.
I am not certain about the Winchesters. I did not find any useful identifying pictures on the internet and I do not have the proper bibliography here in Turkey. I saw some pictures of the model of 1973 with a butt piece similar to ours but I do not know if there were more models that had the same type or not. I did find the following comment in a web page: “the 1873 model was bought by Turkey and used very effectively in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-8”, but have no idea if that is true.
I am attaching three pictures of what we are finding regarding the rifles (one of a rifle fragment, a rifle butt and one of lead bullets). As you can see they are not very well preserved. I also include three pictures of the only complete rifle found, it was raised from the sea floor 30 years ago and it has been in exhibit in a local museum in Japan since then, unfortunately it is in very bad shape because of the type of exhibit case it has been stored in, I could not take a picture of the complete piece. Please feel free to pass it to your friend if he would be so kind to take a look, he might know which model it is? (the photo is in the downloadable pdf at the end if this article- Abby)
You advised that great care be taken when handling ammunition from the wreck. In 2008 all the ammo we raised had no gunpowder preserved at all, however, this coming year we will be excavating areas with better preserved artifacts and we might be find ammunition in better condition. We'll make sure to take the proper precautions, but could ammunition also be dangerous when still underwater or only after it dries?
We have a web site about the project, unfortunately it is in Turkish but here is the link to the page with the pictures galleries, http://www.ertugrul.jp/pages/fotograf-galerisi.php We only have a few articles in English in the following page: http://www.ertugrul.jp/pages/articles-in-english.php. These are English versions of the ship's history: http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=151388 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20080413x3.html.
I prepared the report attached for our archaeological committee meeting next month. I want to apologize about it in advance, I always have my reports edited by an English native person but I would not have the final edited version until later this week, so I am sending it to you in my rough English.
You may include my email address email@example.com for people to contact me. I am most anxious to identify the models of the guns and ammo, and bayonet; actually any comments will be welcome.
Does anyone know what this is?
Readers: Please help identify some of the guns and ammunition Berta and her team have brought to the surface. Here are links to .pdf files of the photos:
Report to the Ertuğrul archeological committee (illustrated pdf download)
Photos of Guns and Ammunition Berta wants to identify (pdf download)
(requires Adobe Reader - free)
Letters from Readers:
Further to your letter from Jarrod Walker about the "Snider". The so-called Snider shotgun is a ZULU shotgun, made in Belgium from a French Model 1867 Tabatierre Rifle, which in turn was converted from a musket. This example, with a brass breech block, was made in Paris while it was under siege by the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War.
Flayderman gives more details and cites my magazine article on the Zulu.
Best regards, Jim Hughes
Mike Carrick also sent a reprint of an article he wrote for the July 2006 Gun Report. He quotes Jim Hughes.
Fred Husher had a question in the September newsletter about pre-WWII Japanese shotguns:
The single barrel 16 ga shotgun pictured in your September newsletter appears to be an over and under receiver with a single barrel fitted to the O/U receiver. The fact that Fred mentioned that this gun has a single trigger indicates that he is aware that this is in fact and over and under frame. Otherwise, why would a single barrel receiver have an extra trigger? My best guess is this gun was manufactured by Mirouka, a manufacturer that has been in the firearms manufacturing business for over 100 years. They first appeared in the US (if my memory serves me correctly) as the Chas. Daly that was imported by Sloans Sporting Goods in NY City. Mirouka (Daly) also offered a 12 ga single barrel trap shotgun thru Sloans. Since 1972, Mirouka has been making all of the Browning Citori and the single barrel BT99 and BT100 shotguns.
Your reprint of the 1905 J. Steven Arm & Tool Co. catalog I purchased last winter not only had the data that I had been searching for, but improved my history of this old manufacturer. Keep up the good work!
Bill Gillette, Master Gunsmith www.bigridgegunsmiths.com
I just arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia, this evening. Below is a photo of my gun case as it came off the baggage carousal.
I made up some posters for an exhibit about the special British Board of Ordnance Contract of 1813 describing the particular guns the B.O. sent to Canada during the War of 1812 to arm the friendly Indians in Canada to help fight an invasion by the Americans. In this gun case, I had one of the properly marked long guns supplied by one of the Contractors: Ketlnd & Allport, and one of the pistols made by Joseph Moxham. Both guns have the Board of Ordnance markings for this contract.
You can see from the photo on the bed that I was extremely lucky. I had the long gun packed all the way to the left in the case, and the pistol was at an angle at the other end. The bend in the case just happened to be at the space between the two guns, and neither had any damage of any kind. This is a very heavy metal case and has been around the world on many trips with me, but somehow they managed to really destroy it this time.
Ever wonder who first purchased your gun or rifle or wished you had a certificate of origin? It could increase the value of your gun!
Rex Allen , or Nudie Cohn or some other celebrity may have been the original buyer. Perhaps the provenance would increase the value of your favorite fowling piece or rifle. Well, now you have a chance to find out for free if the gun was sold by VonLengerke & Detmold or Abercrombie & Fitch, two of the largest and most prestigious gun houses of the 20th century.
If you own a gun by one of these makers write down the serial number and compare it to the serial numbers at the G&H website:
A&F, Baker, Bayard, Boss, Britte, Browning, BSA, Cashmore, Churchill, Crescent, Defourney, Dumoulin, Folsom, Fox, Francotte, Fred Adolph, GE Lewis, Gibbs, Greener, Greifelt, Griffin & Howe, Harpoon Guns, Henry Atkin, Hoffman Arms, Holland & Holland, Hollenbeck, Hollis, Bentley & Playfair, Ithaca, Iver Johnson, Jaeger, Jeffery, Kimball 20th Century, Krieghoff, Lancaster, Lang, LC Smith, Lefever, Leonard, Liege, Luck, Mahillon, Mannlicher-Schoenauer, Marlin, Martini, Mauser, Meffert, Merkel, Nimrod, Ogden Smith & Hussey, Owen Parker, Purdey, Remington, Remo Gehr, Rheinmetall, Rigby, Sauer, Savage, Schmidt & Haberman, Sedgley, Seymour Griffin, Simson, Springer, Springfield, Stephen Grant, Stoeger, Syracuse, Thieme & Schlegelmilch, Thompson, Tolley, Venus Waffen Werk, W&C Scott, Walther, Webley & Scott, Westley Richards, Winchester, Woodward.
Robert C. Beach, Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Website: www.griffinhowe.com (scroll down to see all the makes when you get there)
Double Gun Classics Magazine
If you have yet to take a look at DGC, please do so now. This fine magazine is filled with interesting articles, hints, reviews and visits to some of the most fascinating places around. And now you can buy bound printed copies of all issues from Cornell Publications!
You can look before you buy because many issues are available in "trial size" pdf downloads from my website.
Just follow this link to take a gander: Check them out!
Original Publications for sale:
This fall I promise to unload some of the twenty or thirty boxes of originals blocking the second bay of my garage! I decided to put up pages on the website (one page per box of about 70 catalogs each) with a list of catalogs priced at what I paid for them or in many cases much less. Here is the link: Original Catalog for Sale if you would like prior notice of the sales, please sign up for the announcement newsletter. The hundred and thirty or so people who already signed up knew about this sale last week and some of the best bargains are already gone. To register for the special newsletter, send an email to the following address and put the word REGISTER in the subject line: firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to all of you who signed up! IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED THERE IS NO NEED TO DO SO AGAIN.
This month's winner is: (We sent this guy a late payment query) If you would watch your news you would know that we just went through a hurricane we have been without electricity for 2 weeks and standing in water in our home and you have the nerve to get mad because I called you at 1 AM. Now we know your heart. And yes we will pass it around. Remember your last words to me because I will. For the rest of this story, go to: RAVES and RANTS
Reviews of our work: During the last few years many wonderful editors, among them Rudi Prusok, Holt Bodinson, Mike Carrick, Vic Venters, Ross Seyfreid, Paul Milligan and Jas Van Driel, have taken the time and opportunity to write about my project. The latest comments may be read in Gun Digest 2008 by John Campbell and in the NRA publication Shooting Illustrated for March 2008 by Rick Hacker. Thanks so much guys! By clicking on the link above you can go to the page where all the article may be read and I did fix the faulty links. :-) Abby -
Hint- If you are using the browser Firefox and have trouble seeing any images on this website, try hitting the refresh button. Meanwhile I will continue trying to figure out how to make my website more compatible with Firefox
Old Newsletters are available online:
If you missed a newsletter or want to look up an old one, please go to my website www.cornellpubs.com and look on the top of the first page for a link to old newsletters. You may view them online and in color with pictures. Also, on the subject of newsletters, I send out the newsletter in both HTML and plain text format. This means that if your browser is not set up to view pictures and colors, you automatically get the plain text version. I hope this explains why some of you don't see the pictures referred to in the letters- I know it has caused some confusion. Also, you should upgrade to the latest version of your browser for best results. To learn which version of you have, click the help button on the top line of this page and then look for the link that says "About [browser]".
Facts about some of my recent reprints:
I often use the The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers by John Walter, Greenhill/Stackpole Books 2001 - ISBN 1-85367-392-7 to answer many of the questions I get each week about the origins of gunmakers. Like many all-encompassing works, some of the information may be inaccurate but over-all it contains a wealth of facts, dates and important history of great old companies.
INDEXES for Every Catalog...
Every catalog we offer has an index at the bottom of the page or in the case of new listings on the right. Listings on Ebay, Gunbroker and Auction Arms as well as our website have indexes (I appreciate purchases at the website where we don't have to pay listing fees or sales commissions... shipping is cheaper for you as well!)
If you haven't yet done so, please read the About Us link on the website. It explains a lot of things such as why graphics vary in books, why I do this in the first place, errors and mistakes, guarantees, loans and more. Also, if you see something in the Coming Soon page you want, let me know and I'll move it up the list for you.
Abels c1962 Cannons
Abels c1964 Cannons
Armi F.lli Piotti Artigiani c1985
Austrian Model 70 Revolver c1880s?
Austrain Model 98 Revolver c1890s?
Bannerman Guns, Surplus and Cannons 1904
BSA Medium Rifle Flyer c1955
BSA Single 12 Shotgun c1958
Churchill Guns (Harrisburg, PA- Italian) 1984
Daisy BB Guns 1965
Davis, NR c1910
Davis (Davis-Warner) 1926
Elderkin (Lincolnshire, UK) 1985
Eley-Hill Flyer c1934
F.lli Gamba 1974
Franz Scodia (Austria) c1985
Fratelli Poli Armi 1970
Hellis, Chas (UK) 1935
Hellis, Chas (UK) 1951
Hellis, Chas (UK) flyer 1951
Hunting & Trapping 1882 (memoir)
Kynoch Axtite Powder 1905
Midland (UK) 1949
Renato Gamba 1974-75
Renato Gamba 1976-77
Simson Suhl (Merkel) 1985
Somerton (Somerset, UK) Guns 1988
Valmet (Finland) 1985
Ventura Guns (Calif) 1984
Westley Richards 1986
(Please let me know if you have any problems with the website where I confess to an occasional bug.)
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I will personally add your name to the blacklist and you will be excluded from any future newsletters. If you would prefer to unsubscribe via postal mail, please contact me at:
Abby Cornell Mouat
P.O. Box 214
Brighton , MI 48116
810-225-3075 (9-5 Eastern Time Zone please)