We do NOT sell GUNS.
We do NOT sell PARTS.
We do NOT offer GUN VALUES.
We do not represent any gun
makers or sellers.
When we retired some years ago we found time to indulge a favorite interest, U.S. history. One day while rummaging through a library of books left us by an old friend, we came across a 1955 Bannerman Catalog. It looked familiar and after a while Rob recognized it as being his own copy from his youth that Rob's father had probably lent to our friend while Rob was in the Navy long ago.
We decided this wonderful old book should be shared with others and we sought permission from the Bannerman family to reprint it. That granted, we began the labor intensive task of preparing the book for reprint. That first book took almost three months, something we can do now in a matter of a couple of days.
We quickly learned the cost of having the book printed by even the least expensive jobber, in numbers we were comfortable storing, was way out of reason, so we began to look into doing the printing and binding ourselves, something we do today.
The Bannerman Castle Trust, which looks after the ruins of the old Bannerman Arsenal on the Hudson River near West Point, was one of our first customers. We added more titles from our own collection of old gun catalogs and soon a plan began to form in my mind. We decided to preserve old gun catalogs for future generations before they are all gone. This concept evolved into what we could call our Mission Statement:
Briefly put, we am attempting to piece together a definitive collection of old gun catalogs for future generations to use as a reliable source of information about relic firearms and for related historical research. One day, it is our intention that the files be made available to historians and collectors in .pdf format on-line for them to download and print themselves. In the interim, we sell bound reprints in sufficient quantity to allow us time to add new titles while supporting the business and allowing enough profits to add new titles.
The majority of our present customers are not computer savvy enough to print and bind their own copies, but we are hopeful the next generation and those to follow will be skilled enough with computers and technology to do so.
HOW TO USE THE SITE
This site is pretty simply arranged. We have one page that has links to all the catalogs we publish in alphabetical order. We also have multiple pages that link to different interest specialties such as Era, Reloading, British, European, Telescopes, Ammunition, Government, Mail order Catalogs etc. When you get to a particular catalog that interests you, just click on the link and the catalog page will appear. At the top of the page you will see a picture of the book, a picture of inside the book and a description including number of pages and size. You will also find ordering informationand an index of the entire book so you can tell what is in the catalog. When you see it means the item is under six months old. We do this as an aid to folks who only visit the site occasionally so they don't have to keep running back to the recent additions page. If you don't want to use the shopping cart, just write down a list of what you want (name and year is all we need) and send us an email.
In no way do we want to reproduce "forgeries" of existing ephemera. What we currently print is to support the business is, necessarily, in such small quantity that there is no chance our meager efforts will, in any way, adversely affect the now global marketplace for originals and only a moron would mistake one of our reprints as being an original. A reprint of an old catalog is not an original any more than a first generation Peacemaker is lessened in value by Uberti reproductions. Furthermore, we make no effort to use precisely the same paper, covers, inks, or even to duplicate the exact size of the originals. Our reprints preserve firearm information only.
Regarding the quality of our reprints wehave a few statements to make. All reprints are done on at least 92 bright 20# acid free white paper and the images are the best we can reproduce with the latest digital equipment and software available. Most covers are heavy semi-glossy (or high gloss) high contrast paper and are printed in color unless otherwise stated. Keeping in mind that we reprint over 5000+ different old gun catalogs, books, magzines and gun manuals, all our reprints necessarily reflect the quality of the originals or copies we work from. Not all are perfect by any means. By definition ephemera, especially as it refers to old advertising catalogs, was meant to be temporary. Many old catalogs were printed on poor quality, thin paper with cheap inks that bled. They suffer from stains, rips, bleed-through, fading and a host of other problems. Not all can be restored to original condition (although some can be made better than they were when they came from the printer). We also work with both old reprints and old photocopies. Why? Because where else will we find some of the most rare old gun catalogs we offer? We do, however, replace poor copies with better ones if they become available. Also, don't forget we don't charge much either. Irrespective of "quality" or rarity we charge based on number of pages, advertising costs and cost to acquire and reproduce (color ink is especially expensive). We should add that we do not necessarily reprint things to the exact size of the original or on the same paper or with the same binding etc. To do so would be prohibitively expensive. Also, some authored books also carry a royalty fee and the price reflects that. (See Guarantee below).
Each book is printed to order and is hand made. We regret to admit that, on occasion, We make a mistake. Despite our best efforts, sometimes dates are wrong or something gets printed upside down or backward or the printer fails or something completely unforeseen happens. Mea Culpa! we are very sorry but we confess to being human and not a huge, anonymous, error-free machine and things happen. Don't panic and please don't use threatening or deprecating language when you describe the problem- just send us an email- firstname.lastname@example.org. We will fix it and send you a new copy for free and you probably won't even have to bother returning the bad copy. There, isn't that better? (See Guarantee below).
Regarding dates, we publish over 5000 old catalogs and manuals. We date them using the best tools we have but sometimes they are wrong. We depend on our customers to help us here and guide use to more accurately date things. So, if you see an error, please let us know so weI can fix it. Again, it isn't the end of the world, please treat us respectfully.
Anyway, all the foregoing is why we offer a money back guarantee. If you don't like it, we'll give you your money back. Of course, we don't do that too often with the same person! So, please don't be shocked, aghast, disgusted, left breathless or, my favorite "very disappointed" if you get a very occasional catalog that would not be of acceptable quality to insert in Double Gun Journal. It was the best we could do with it and you are covered by my guarantee (we do try to be fair in my descriptions too).
RETURNS: Contact us BEFORE you send something back. There will be no refunds without prior permission to send the item back. All returned items must be shipped WITH TRACKING.
We have been fortunate to have been warmly greeted by the firearms community. So many generous collectors have shared their valuable collections of old gun catalogs with us that we cannot express our gratitude edequately. We get calls from wonderful people from all over the world who want to help. These terrific people help you too. Their loans to me mean we can keep our prices low by not having to spend as much as we would otherwise be forced to spend to acquire old catalogs. Please send us an email telling us what you have to share! Many people let us give them a couple of our reprints in exchange as a thank you! (All Original Catalogs are not damaged, are sent by insured post and are returned promptly- references are available).
By the way, all our digital files are backed up daily and duplicates are stored off-site for security.
During the last many years wehave been gratified by the response of gun owners, historians and writers who have shared their collections of old gun catalogs with us. Equally exciting were the orders for catalogs by namesake descendants- Tryons, Greeners, Tolleys, Forehands, Popes, Lefevers, Hibbards and others. Then there are the actual manufacturers who sought copies of their own history. Holland and Holland, Shiloh Sharps, The Daisy Museum, Griffin & Howe, Boss, Winchester; not to mention two Hollywood "gunfighters", movie and TV producers, movie prop people, forensic experts, a host of college professors and school teachers and a lot of writers.
We have sold catalogs to people in thirty-two countries and now can make fools of ourselves in half the word's languages. We answer an average of twenty-five specific questions a day and a lot of non-specific ones such as "I have a wooden bar-bell thing, what is it?" We regularly field questions and requests from collectors of guns, ammunition, decoys, knives, tools, glass balls, bottles, skates, dog collars, whistles, folding boats sleeping bags, hats, folding metal targets and even plumb bobs. A major New York fashion designer ordered a whole box of old catalogs featuring outdoor clothing he could copy (we are still waiting to get paid)!
Lots of calls we get are from people who have a gun and want to know how much it is worth, sort of like Antiques Roadshow. Naturally, it is almost impossible to appraise a gun on the phone. One recent conversation ended something like this, "Bob, go to a national chain bookstore and look for a book on gun values that has pictures. That should help you identify your Stevens." "Uh, OK Abby. Ya wan me to tak my gun to Barnes an Noble an look for a book.?" "NO Bob! Do not take your gun to a book store, take a picture of it with you!"
With over 5000 old gun catalogs and manuals available at attractive prices, we feel we have a wealth of supporting information to offer anyone interested in old firearms. Collectors can learn a lot about the fabric of life at the time their weapons were made and Cornell Publications is a fine starting point.
Abby and Rob Mouat