Calls from the Wilds


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I mention this from time to time but it needs to be repeated. I speak with loads of people who tell me they don’t like to use their credit card “on the internet”. Well, here is the story: each time you give your credit card to a waiter at your local restaurant, a cashier at Macy’s or the local florist or buy a gallon of gasoline your credit card goes on the internet, there are no more paper charges sent by mail. The key to being safe is trusting the person and business to whom you give the card.

Every business now uses an internet connection to process credit cards through a “virtual terminal” with a bank or credit clearing house. If the business has the actual card in hand the cashier “swipes” the card through a reader connected to the internet and the payment is processed. When the cashier takes the card number on the telephone he or she writes it down, brings up the clearing house on the internet and enters the card number manually. Either way it goes on the internet. A third alternative is for the buyer to enter his or her own card number on his computer directly through the company website connection with their clearing house instead of calling the company and giving the clerk the number.

This last method is actually better because the buyer is giving the card number directly to the clearing house and the product company never handles the number thus eliminating the piece of paper the sales clerk writes your number on. Either way it is essential you trust the company in the middle. It makes no more sense to give your card to a shifty looking waiter who disappears with your plastic than it does to pay the “processing fee” for your “winnings” with a card to a nameless individual in Africa.

A New Book about Rigby

Rigby—A Grand Tradition marks the rebirth of John Rigby & Co., the oldest surviving gunmaker in the English-speaking world, which came under new ownership in 2010 and is now based in Dallas with an office in Bend, Oregon. The book combines the eye appeal of a coffee-table volume with the scholarship and attention to detail of a history. The authors are Silvio Calabi, Steve Helsley and Roger Sanger, of Hemingway’s Guns fame, who have also collaborated on many magazine articles. They combed the Rigby ledgers (more than 70 books) as well as British patent and military archives, a wide assortment of earlier writings, and even Ancestry.com. In addition, Calabi said, “We ordered every Rigby catalog you have, plus the Handbook for Hythe. All of them were invaluable.” The result is the most comprehensive picture yet of Rigby, a company with a unique history among fine gunmakers.

Cover Image

In addition to covering the Rigby family and its famous firm up to the First World War, the book discusses in depth their many technical advancements. Some of them may have helped put an end to dueling. Others, such as the first Nitro Express and the rising-bite double rifle, the Magnum Mauser bolt-action and the .416, changed big-game hunting forever. When he was superintendent of the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock (from 1887 till 1894), the third John Rigby even helped develop the .303 cartridge and rifle that served British forces until 1957.

Rigby—A Grand Tradition also presents a fresh look at some notable Rigby customers, including “Karamojo” Bell and Jim Corbett, Fateh Singh, the 31st Maharana of Udaipur, and Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim. It also tells the absorbing story of the first international match at Creedmoor, New York, in 1874, where the Irish (Rigby muzzle-loaders) and American (Sharps and Remington breech-loaders) rifle teams shot nearly to a tie. This chapter includes the birth of both the British and the American National Rifle Associations, and it poses the intriguing question: What became of George A. Custer’s Rigby?

Hardbound, 210 pages with 240 illustrations; $45.00 from John Rigby and Co. or call 541-306-4599.


The Burnside Carbine

Ambrose Burnside did not achieve greatness as a Civil War general. At best, his war performance was mediocre. He is remembered, however, for several other things;

-His fopishly bizarre facial hair style, then called "burnsides" a word now evolved into the modern word "sideburns"

-Three terms as Governor of Rhode Island

- His role in forming the National Rifle Association and serving as its first president.

-And, of course, inventing and developing one of the most successful breech loading percussion carbines. One, to the delight of gun collectors, that evolved through at least five and perhaps six different variations.

The Burnside Rifle Story begins sometime around the year 1853 when the idea for a breech-loading long arm first developed in Lt. Ambrose E. Burnsides mind. Legend has it that he had observed that the Hall breech-loaders had significant leakage at the joint between the breech and the barrel and that the leakage of burned gunpowder caused a serious buildup of fouling, eventually making the breech difficult to close. He concluded that a thin-walled metallic cartridge whose body transitioned that gap would better seal the breech and prevent that fouling and loss of pressure. Further, it would be a step toward a relatively waterproof, self-contained cartridge. He sketched his idea and petitioned the Army Adjutant General to allow a prototype to be made at Springfield Armory. The prototype was apparently successful enough to encourage him to resign his commission and pursue manufacture of the arm full time.

Funded by his wife's family, he established he established a short-lived enterprise with partners William Bishop and George Foster in late 1853. By year's end that initial venture was set back by a fire in a rented facility. In early 1854, using the insurance money from the fire, a new firm-- Burnside and Bishop, was initiated in Providence, Rhode Island with George Foster in charge of operations. The facility operated briefly as a general gun manufactory.

In 1855 Burnside received his first patent from the British Government. Shortly thereafter, a U.S. Patent, the first of several, was granted on March 25, 1856 (#14491). His patent made two claims-- first the use of a thin-walled cartridge case to transcend the breech gap and to seal it during ignition and second, a moveable seat to break the cartridge case loose after firing and facilitate it's removal.

By 1855, the firm had expanded and was re-incorporated in May as the Bristol Firearms Company with the addition of Charles W. Jackson, a Providence entrepreneur. Jackson was successful in influencing the Chief of Ordnance, Col. H.K. Craig to authorize a test of the now-evolved Burnside arm. The test resulted in the Ordnance Office placing an order for 200 guns on April 21, 1856.

First Model BurnsideRifle

These were the First Model Carbines. Col. Craig, however, insisted that they be equipped to use the automatically fed Maynard tape primer, currently very much in vogue. This system was to be in addition to the percussion cap/nipple method as used on the trial piece.

The Burnside Story is told in detail with extensive photographs in Volume 1, Issue 5 of Arms Heritage Magazine. The magazine is currently available by subscription, on-line, at ARMS HERITAGE MAGAZINE. A printed hard-copy version will soon be available from Cornell Publications.


Accurizing Your Lee Enfield Rifle

The 2012 Complete Book on Lee Enfield Accurizing by Roger Wadham, (A4/215 pages/365 images) is a thorough look at the accurizing methods developed by target shooters and master gunsmiths from the first Enfield Golden Age of 1900-1912, right through to the secret behind the surprising successes at 1000 yard shooting in the early 1970's.


The book includes '28 Old Timer' secrets’, which rarely made it off the range and into the text books, two case studies of different barrel bedding methods along with target results for each of the No1 Mk3, No4, and No1 MK3 H barrels, plus receiver bedding, and many other topics covering the front to back of the gun.

Whether preserving your Enfield in its original condition or modifying a project rifle, the methods and techniques are well explained, dimensioned, and illustrated. Historical methods are looked into and new frontiers investigated, including carbon fiber sleeving the barrel of an Enfield/Ishapore 7.62, something that produced great results. This and other untried methods will likely prove that there is more life in the 'ol girl' yet, and that a new generation of shooters will surely develop the same intuitive connection to their Lee Enfield that the masters had.

Available on CD disc and in print at:

Enfield Resource

(The web site Enfield Resource is a large links listing of 150 plus Enfield related websites around the world, and a growing photo file of images, plus links to many top notch videos on YouTube.)

New Books and Special Thanks

You can always see the reprints added during the last six months by clicking on the Recent Additions link to my website.


The three volumes above contain a wealth of information for collectors covering the period between percussion arms and the advent of smokeless powder. All three deserve to be in the library of any serious student of the period. While the second two are not new to my collection, they deserve to be showcased with the 1872 book.

While on the subject of study, the man who greatly influenced the Industrial Revolution and arms manufacture in particular was, of course, Sam Colt. This old tribute to his legacy is also a must have to students of history and arms.

The Clark's catalogue is one of the first gun catalogs ever published. Their technique was to tell a story. This edition discusses the materials best suited for the construction of the making of stub-twist, wire-twist, and Damascus barrels, powder, balls, &c before advertising the wares of the "Gun Emporium" located in Memphis, Tenn.

James Puckle in 1718 was credited with the rotating magazine gun and the Gatling Gun was first used at the Battle of Fair Oaks during the Civil War. The De Montigny machine gun saw service in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 but Captain JF Owen, R.A.; Captain Instructor, Royal Gun Factories noted in this treatise about the advent of rapid firing guns, their arrival as an accepted weapon by the great armies of Europe and while there was much then left to learn about the weapons to "end all wars" they had made their existence well know.

By the end of World War I the machine gun was well entrenched (excuse the pun) as a battle weapon of all armies. This book describes tactics with which to maximize the MG effectiveness.

Springfield Rifle, Carbine and Army Revolvers 1874 Schofield S&W .45, Colt's .45 SSA

The single shot Springfield 45/70 Rifle seems almost an anachronism alongside its brethren the single action 1873 Colt Army and Schofield revolvers in 1874 when reading about machine guns and Mitrailleurs of the same era but this is the manual the army issued to dismantle, clean and manage the weapons.

* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

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Letters from Readers

Abby, In your latest Newsletter (December 2011) your reader Kevin asks about the .303 Gaudet cartridge. It is listed and pictured in the Eley catalogs for 1904 and 1905, - it does not show in the issue for 1906. It does NOT have a three page spread as Kevin suggests, just a pic on the bottom of one page of each of these catalogs. This is the entry for Gaudet in my database:

A practice cartridge for the .303 Service rifle, designed by Major Gaudet of the Royal Canadian Artillery. Submitted for trials in 1902 at Hythe, along with the Ewart, the Andrews, the Norwegian Nardrup and the Morris tube. *A&E.4/1902. The Gaudet system re-used a fired .303 cartridge case with a distinctive cannelure around the case neck and a round nosed lead bullet weighing 40grns. propelled originally by a charge of 10 grns black powder, which caused objectionable fouling in the bore. The 1904 Eley catalog lists this with a smokeless powder charge and a Nickel based bullet. *A&E.8/1904. Jim Buchanan

Hi Abby, Do you have any others that have lots of knives in them? I know mostly you have gun related catalogs, but an older Remington catalog might have some knives as well. Thanks, Mike

Mike, There are two links on the left side of our website that have links to various types of blades. All the catalogs linked have significant knife sections: Switchblades or Hunting and Clasp. Abby

Abby, Is this a 1906 Ross catalog, the picture shows a 1905 ross catalog. I have a 1906 ross rifle and would like to make sure it is the right catalog. Thanks, Cliff

Cliff, You are sharp eyed! Actually, the cover shows that the catalog contains information about the MODEL 1905 Ross rifle. It was copy righted in 1906, hence the designation as being a 1906 publication. Cheers, Abby

Hi, Can you tell me if this book contains pictures of the swords made by Hartley & Graham too? We have one that I inherited from my grandpa & I'm trying to find more information on it, dates produced etc. Thank you very much!! Tina

Tina, The only Hartley & Graham catalog we publish that has swords in it seems to be the 1902 edition. Abby

Abby, Dreyse pistol: do you have any books on a Dreyse needle fire pistol FV Dreyse Sommerda, Gary

Gary, To be honest, I don't know. However, everything we currently produce is listed on the website. Enter Dreyse in the search box to see what comes up. Abby

Abby, How about a gun parts catalog manual for a sears JC Higgins 22 lever action rifle. 22 long rifle,long,short. I am advised it was manufactured by Marlin Firearms for Sears. Marlin model 57 or Marlin Levermatic model 57. Definatley not for the Magnum 22 shell.(57M). Sears JC Higgins model 44DL 10319880. Year 1959 to 1965. Regards, Kadeane

Dear Kadeane, I doubt we have one of the Sears model however it is likely the Marlin one is listed in the contents of one of the Marlin parts catalogs we sell. Abby

hi, i have a couple of old ww greener shot guns, on the barrell of one its got,ww greener birmingham gun trials 1875-76-78 any info would be appreciated, thx Dawn

Dawn, We reprint old gun catalogs including some Greener ones. You could also contact the Greener company. Abby

Was just browsing around looking for more info on my rifle when I came across your page. My grandfather inlaw was the owner of tradewimds in tacoma. I have boxes of old catalogues and other original printed material on all the guns he sold. Interesting stuff! Cool to see it on the web! Steve King

Abby, re recent purchase 1906 Ross Catalog The advert for this catalog states that it includes "spare parts, accessories and original bayonets as well as complete original examples for all models of Ross rifles". It contains none of this information. Regards, Tom Hallett

Tom, I am sorry, you misread the description of the contents of the catalog. The reference to spare parts etc refers to Ross dealer Barry Delong. The index of contents is on the right side of the page for the 1906 Ross catalog. Abby

Abby, do you have an original one of these ? would like one if so, will pay top dollar for one thanks clueman1

Clueman: Incidental to our effort to preserve old gun catalogs we do sell originals when we are done with them but only at our website. We sell them for our cost and put up new batches periodically. Cheers, Abby

Abby, Simson Suhl side by side sn 224017 16 gage 2 3/4" shells. Pls adv year of mfgr. Beatiful shape . Need ejector adjust as spent shells stick. Where do I contact specialist gunsmith? Roger Haxby

Roger, I’m sorry, I don’t have that information. Readers? Abby

Abby, I am interested in info on william ford, english gunmaker til about 1960. Would especially like a case lable if possible. Thanks, john maples

John, Sorry, we reprint old gun catalogs, not labels. Readers? Cheers, Abby

Abby, Which Sharps Catalog has 1874 ammunition info? I am looking for factory ammo data from Sharps for my 1874 45 2-7/8 Business rifle, circa 1879. Which Sharps catalog lists factory ammo bullet weights, Fg charge, and velocites? The only catalog mentioning 1874 is Sharps 1878 catalog from my searching on your website. Thanks, Brett Benak

Brett, I don't believe any of the sales catalogs contain ballistics specifications. Perhaps the early Ideal catalogs would help? Abby

Stoeger Mamilcher Schoenauer c1959 Catalog purchased by DJL Janesville Wi. Would you please get in contact with DJL and give him my E-mail & phone # . Tim Shabel

Dear Mr. Shabel, I am accustomed to cryptic requests but... I am guessing you saw that someone purchased a catalog from us possibly from an auction site (we advertise on several) and that you want to get in touch with him. However, lacking specifics from you I don't have any idea where to begin and, of course, this is the busiest time of the year for us. Cheers, Abby

Abby, Can you give me his address or phone #// Thanks He had a auction gunbroker.com and I was out of town for a week and missed his address,etc. Tim

Dear Abby, Sounds like a letter to a columnist, but it is a thank you for the alert. I received my shipment yesterday and it was perfect. I appreciate your courtesy and professionalism very much. Please have a most wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year! Dwain Grunke

Dear Abby, The rant by Ken Gregware is from someone with a name too close to my name for comfort! I hope it is clear that it was not sent my me, Ken Ware from Bogart, Georgia! Keep up the good work. All best! Ken

Dear Ken, I’ll put your note in the newsletter so no one will confuse you with a Ranter! Cheers, Abby

Abby, I just purchased the '55 catalog reprint. I'm researching whether Bannerman's sold a .36 caliber Volcanic Repeating Arms pistol. It would look like a cut-down Henry rifle. I'm so anxious in finding out, I guess that's why I'm writing. I'm glad folks like you are preserving History this way! Kyle Litz

Dear Kyle, The Bannerman Company was formed just after the Civil War and began what could be called Army-Navy Surplus stores. His idea was to sell individual items as surplus rather than tonnage of junk after a conflict. His biggest catalogs with the greatest number of items for sale were printed in the mid-1920s. After Francis died the family essentially sold off the stock they had on hand. So, you will find that the 1955 catalog was near the end of the company life with the last major catalog issued in 1966. These later catalogs were mainly reprints of the old advertising from earlier catalogs. Abby

Abby, When I was in my teens, in the early to mid sixties, I was collecting gun catalogues. I was writing to dozen of firearms and firearms related companies for their catalogues. So they sent them to me. I have literally hundreds of them, most in mint conditions. The material is mostly American but I have quite a few from Europe. I am still collecting guns and these catalogues are a good references source. I own several Schultz & Larsen rifles and would like to find their catalogue from the sixties. Maybe we can help each others. Let me know what you think. Dr Caude A. Bergeron

Dear Caude, While I don't think I have a Schultz & Larsen catalog (Readers?), I'll keep it on my list. Meanwhile anything you would care to lend me that I don't have I would be delighted to copy. It is only through the generosity of people like you that I have been able to assemble the collection I offer. My project during retirement is to preserve old gun catalogs and publications before they are all gone. I would be happy to share some of my reprints in return, just let me know what you have that I don't and we can begin. Cheers, Abby

Abby- Firearms international 1954 gun catalog- Can you please e-mail me and tell me on the firearms international 1954 gun catalog the Janssen triple lock shotguns are they over and under shotguns or side by side shotguns and are they 12 gauge, and would you have a Nikko golden eagle gun catalog, from the 1970s. Thank you, Kon.

Kon, that is the sort of information most people buy our catalogs to learn. They are SxS and available in 12 ga. Nikko does not show up in the search box on the website. Abby

Abby, Shotshell reloading - I am looking for reloading data for 2.5 inch .410 brass shot shells. They are will be loaded with smokeless powder, not black powder. Like I would tell Mon, I did look before I asked for help. This information is probably in one of the old Ideal load books. Thank you, once again. Roger Rusche

Roger, I sent your question to a friend in California who is a long time member od the ASSRA and ammunition societies and he answered below. Abby

Doug, We got the note below from a fellow and I have no idea how to answer. While I know shotshells are not your specialty can you give me a some direction? Cheers, Abby

Abby: It is out of my range of experience; I have loaded only a few shotshells, and that only with a Lee hand loader, 12 Ga. paper shells with un-rifled slugs. But I Goggled up "Brass Shotshells / .410 Gauge" and came up with several leads, of which this one: looks the most promising, with links to other sites and discussions. Ideal / Lyman mentions the .410 gauge in their Shotshell Handbooks, but only the paper and - primarily - plastic cases and wads, which would not be applicable to brass cases with their larger inside diameters (thinner walls); they also - I believe - take the standard rifle /pistol primers, rather than the battery-cup primers used with paper and plastic shells. I hope this leads tour inquirer to a good source of current information. Doug

Readers- anyone know about brass .410 shells? Abby

Hi Abby, Thank you for your email. I am looking for information on Perazzi shotguns, the early import days pre 198o. Do you happen to have any magazines or books that have articles on this? Thanks and regards, Alex.

Alex, I am super busy with the holiday orders so can't do too much research for you right now. Enter Perazzi in the search engine and press submit on the website. That should give you what we have. I think Ithaca carried them in the 70s. Abby

Hello Abby, I read your newsletter with much interest every month, however I am not always in a position to purchase, much as I would like to. It depends on what a guy's interests are. Mine are multiple, regardless of my age, and I really appreciate the aplomb with which you handle the blokes who try to give you hell. You do put them in their place and it gives me a positive pleasure to see you do it. What you are doing is a pleasure to read and I don't know who is going to follow on. All the Best, Roger Gibbs

Does this Browning 1954 Pistols Catalog show the lightweight Baby (.25) ? Thanks, Mark

Mark, The catalog has the .25 Browning as illustrated on the cover of the catalog but I don't believe that by that time they were still calling it the Baby. The term was used at the time of the manual we reprint for the Baby. Abby

Abby, Wichester model 61 22 mag. woold like to order manuel alex davenport

Alex, Sure, click on this link, then press "add to cart" and follow the directions, we'll get it out to you right away. If you want to pay in a different manner than with your credit card just let me know, but don't worry, ours is a secure site. By the way, every time you give you credit card to a waiter or cashier or gas station or anyone else they put it on the internet. To be safe, just be careful who you give it to. Cheers, Abby

Hello, I plan to purchase some reprint catalogs from you all. What are your shipping costs? I live in New York City. Thank you, sincerely, Erin Casson

Erin, That depends on what the catalogs weigh and by extension how many pages they have- how big they are. We reprint publications all the way from a page or two to thousands of pages but as a rule of thumb a small catalog costs less than $3.75 to mail, several can usually fit in a Priority envelope for $4.75 and lots in a Priority box for about $10.95. That should give you a general idea and the website is usually pretty accurate about postage when you buy online but if it is way off I can refund some shipping. Abby


Hello Abby, Thank you for your acknowledgement. I hope to go to the US one day and visit your establishment. In the meantime here is a picture of me in British Columbia taken this June. Regards, Patrick

Union Fire Arms 1907 Catalog. Does this catalog have the parts breakdown (schematic) of the repeating shotgun? Roger, Revelation Arms

Roger, No, back in those days few companies did more than give you a few written instructions about how to dismantle a gun. This catalog doesn't even give a parts diagram. Three dimensional schematics didn't come into common use until after WWII. Abby

Hi: I have been investigating and I believe that this Marble Safety Axe Catalog 1906 RePrint was reproduced from either an original or, more likely, a copy of an original Marble Safety Axe Catalog 1906 that I purchased from Mr. Cooper (in late November, 2011- ed). Mr. Cooper tried to sell copies that he made of the catalog until I complained to eBay. That stop that nonsense; however, it appears that he is still trying to make money off of a catalog that I bought from him for more than $170. Before I take my complaint to eBay, I would like to have your response to my allegation. I am willing to forego any further action if you break-off the deal with Mr. Cooper. As a reward for being truthful about this issue, I will let you continue to publish the copy up to 50 times. I am not asking for any remuneration. All I want is for Mr. Cooper to stop jacking me and harming my investment. Thank you. Robert Ternes -

Dear Mr. Ternes,

Thank you for your note. I don’t quite know how to begin with you so I shall just start with the statement that I reprint over 3500 old gun and sporting catalogs for collectors and institutions all over the world and have been doing so for a decade. That said I never heard of you or Mr. Cooper before I received your threatening note.

Now, I am sure you are aware that the 1906 Marble’s catalog is in the public domain and that there is nothing to prevent me from reprinting as many as I wish, however, according to my records, I sold four in the last seven years so I am not exactly “flooding the market”. The 1906 Marbles I offer is just one of ten different Marbles catalogs I reprint and they are just not big sellers. As far as where my copy came from, it was reproduced from a photocopy given to the ASSRA by a member twenty years ago so I don’t think you should have any fear that Mr. Cooper is “jacking you” as you so eloquently put it.

One last thing, you really should not worry that a few reprints of old sporting catalogs will undermine the worldwide market in original ephemera, they won’t. Actually, they enhance the originals by maintaining interest in the old companies with new generations of people.

Happy New Year,


Greetings Abby: Thank you for your reply. I didn't intend my message to be "threatening". I asked you for your input before I decided whether or not I would take any action. As for eloquence, the term "jacking me" was my sole instance of vernacular usage and it derives from the term "hijacking". I realize that the Marble Safety Axe Catalog 1906 is in the public domain; however, there is an exception based on who owns the particular catalog used to make the reprint. I should have investigated further prior to sending my message. After examining my catalog, the copy of the catalog that Mr. Cooper was attempting to sell, and the reprint that you are selling, I am convinced that your reprint didn't come from my catalog. Therefore, I owe you an apology. Good luck in the coming year. All The Best, Robert Ternes

Thank you. Abby

Abby, Marlin parts list A1E and/or A1DL. I am looking for a good copy of the parts manual for these two models. I have a copy from the marlin firearms book by Brophy but I can’t really see the parts I have to search for or have manufactured. So please any help in finding the correct manual to buy would be greatly appreciated! I think it is from 1945, no serial # on it, 22 long rifle only, smokeless greased roll stamped on the barrel the parts list i have a copy of says model a1 - a1e I think i seen a catalog that I need on your page but I think you had it as A1D1 not A1DL I think the date read 1945 The gun I have is a 22 rifle, about 1945 as best as i can tell, plastic trigger guard and a 6 shot clip If you could look at the 1945 catalog and see if it has any parts list for the A1E and/or A1DL I would like to buy that one. Thanks Jeanie Foose

The 1946 Marlin parts catalog has a cutaway of the "A1" basic model with parts identified and the 1938 parts catalog has a nice, single, flat plan of the "A1, A1C and A1DL". These flat plans are not, of course, blueprints or dimensioned engineering drawings. Here are the links: Abby

Hi Abby, Thanks very much for your email. I'm eagerly looking forward to retrieving a slice of nostalgia to pore over again, a host of memories from my teenage days of airgunning and small bore shotguns : this is what we did when the light had gone, or the weather become too uninviting ! I wouldn't want to take up too much of your valuable time, but thought I should just congratulate yourselves on your "project". I came by your website in trying to find out if Parker-Hale's own brand bolt action .243, (manufactured it seems by Mossberg), had a 1 in 10 rifling twist in its barrel, this being to do with bullet weight and accuracy, etc etc . . Well I was all over the web for hours without any particular success, but eventually dropped on your site . . It may be that I still don't get all my answers too easily, but thanks to you I at least have a way in. More significantly, for all my trawling, I didn't find any other source particularly resembling yours or of such comprehensiveness, so for now have concluded that what you're doing is unparalleled, and likely to be a valuable reference resource for like-minded others too. I consider myself neither a gun buff nor a gun nut, but regardless, this is fine work. Kind regards, thanks again and many congratulations on your cumulative results, and on the value of your archive. - David Horsfield

Abby, Beretta S0 3EL info in manual- Two questions, First: Does your Beretta manual reprint # 1207 contain info specifically on Beretta S0 3 EL O&U shotguns? What sort of info & how much? Second question: is info on the Beretta S03 EL guns in your items #2669 and #86 duplicative or different? Thank you. Regards, Bertram Dunn

Bertram, Item No. 1207 is an Eley Cartridge manual and Item 2669 is a California Arms catalog. Would you check your numbers and get back to me. Exactly what information do you seek and about what? Abby

Dear Abby- I am hoping you will be able to answer a question of mine. What is the meaning of life? Is their purpose beyond life? No just kidding. My question concerns one of your reprints. You had listed, and I purchased, a H&H catalog as circa 1952 and it featured light green covers. I know you don't make exact facsimiles. but with your H&H Catalogs you stayed true to color of the originals. The circa 1952, has the exact same contents as you H&H 1958 reprint with dark green covers. H&H has no records and or recall of catalog production of that period. There is a plausible explanation for why a light green cover could have been used, however, before I conjunct, I would like you to confirm that there is indeed a "light green" variation to the 1958 Dark Green catalog if you can. Do you own it, do you know who owns it? Please do not assign any great urgency to my querry. I know its a long shot that you recall the specifics of one of your 3,000 progeny, but I need to ask. The devil is in the details, which cause me to think of: Chuck Zerby's, 2002, THE DEVIL'S DETAILS A History of the Footnote, is an interesting and brief read. I am guessing you have the right mindset Thanks- Isaac Oelgart

Dear Isaac, Well, you caught me unguarded! I was originally told the light green covered H&H that I bought was a 1952. Some time ago a customer with much greater professed knowledge than I rather emphatically corrected me and said what I called '52 was actually 1958. Based on his demand, I changed the date to 1958. Quite honestly, that is all I know. I certainly don't try to mislead my customers who often depend on me for factual information but I do confess to the occasional error that when found out I try to fix. Does that make sense and do you agree the 1958 date is right? So, in more direct answer to you query, the 1953 is actually now the 1958 and the cover colors are the same. Do you think I was mislead? I had the original, of course, but sold it some years ago. Cheers, Abby

Dear Abby: Mossberg's serial numbers. I purchased a used Mossberg Model 800A rifle chambered in .308 Cal. in the summer of 1967, as the rifle has a factory serial number might it be that your info about Mossberg not numbering their long guns until 1968 be in error? Thanks. By the way, I still have the rifle. Mike Cuningham

Mike, I'll try to remember to say not all pre-1968 Mossberg long guns were serial numbered... or perhaps yours was numbered in anticipation of the new law? Abby

imageGreeting’s Abby, Well Abby, you did it again. Have been hearing about Mr. Fyrberg’s Revolvers from Hopkinton, Mass. for nearly 70 years. Had one come in the door in a White Owl Cigar box. Just parts mind you, not one spring to be found. You may notice that this one has a two pin frame as well as a four digit serial number. Perhaps this is one of Mr. Fryberg’s early models. Now thanks to your Sears Sporting Goods '1903' Catalog, it is going home with some provenance. Thanks for all you do... Roger D. Kurowski

Abby, I seen that you say you had trouble with your Sept. news letter being junked by Yahoo. I think the reason Yahoo dosen't like your news letter is that it has no porn, dating sites, mussell building drugs,or weight loss items. Try making your news letter more "spam like" use funny names to maybe get a dope to open it up. Run a contest with a flashing logo or something.(Just for the record, I have a Yahoo e-mail and I did get the news letter for Sept.) Well, keep up the good effort, I like your news letter just the way it is. P.S. can you tell me the value of my gun I found in the creek out back? George B.

Hi Again Abby, I rec'd my books and one I ordered, while full of good stuff, seems like maybe you may have put the wrong pages between the covers; but I am not sure; so, I thought I would ask you. I have the Winchester 1873 catalogue and on the cover it says: Winchester Repeating Fire Arms, 1873, Shot Guns, Metallic Cartridges, manufactured by the WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS COMPANY, New Haven Connecticut USA 1873. However, on the inside page 1 it says on the title page "WINCHESTER REPEATING FIRE ARMS, RIFLED MUSKETS, CARBINES, HUNTING AND TARGET RIFLES, &c. and METALLIC CARTRIDGES OF ALL KINDS .........1873; BUT, on the inside it has military and government commission reports and information on "The Coming Gun" with field trials and targets w/groupings etc., & correspondence to and from Mr. Oliver Winchester; but, then on the last page is a picture and cutaway of that coming gun and it is a Model 1866! There is nothing between the covers (except the title page) that eludes to anything from 1873. I like the information and would like to keep it; but, I would really like the real 1873 reproduction catalogue showng the rifles, sights and stuff. There is only 58 pages in this one I have (counting both sides of each page). Anyway, I hope I haven't confused you as much as I have myself! ha ha ha Maybe you can fix the problem if there is one (maybe there isn't anything more in the 1873 cat. ?). Regards, Fred Puttroff, Jr.

Fred, No, that is the 1873 issue of the Winchester catalog. I double checked with George Hoyem's, Armory Publications 1991. These are bound volumes of Winchester catalogs between 1865 and 1910 (there are 10 or 12 volumes) taken from the Winchester archives. I don't quite understand your message though. At that time, many catalogs (catalogs were a pretty new idea then) used testimonials and letters to add depth to the issue. Perhaps you were expecting the Model 1873 to be advertised in the 1873 catalog? Well, actually, the 1873 doesn't appear until 1875. Maybe they were still developing it during 1873 and that is why it isn't in that catalog? Anyway, the references to "coming" regarding the Model 1866 were only letters and testimonials from years before referencing the "coming" rifle that was, by 1873 available in this catalog. Have I confused the issue enough? Does that help? Cheers, Abby

MY MISTAKE ABBY, There is one small thing, your website shows approx. 20 more pages than what I have and I am not sure what is missing exactly. Thanks for getting back to me so quick, forgive me for the trouble. Regards, Fred

Fred, The catalog has 76 pages but the last numbered page is 54. The extra pages are not numbered, they are the ones in the middle showing illustrations and are not counted in the page count. Put another way, if you count each side of every page you will come out with 76 irrespective of the way they numbered the catalog. I count pages by the actual pages because that is the way the ink company bills me (regardless of whether there is ink on the page) and the printing program counts the pages for me. Sorry if this is confusing. Abby

Abby, In the newest news letter you showed your book scanner (which allows a book to be scanned without pressing on the spine-Abby). Spent 42 years as a field technician in the business machine field. The last 29 working on copiers, faxes etc. Serviced all the public copiers in libraries and stores in the branch territory. Had several where people were copying large books like unabridged dictionaries, encyclopedias etc. where they pushed the books down on the exposure glass to get the fold and broke the glass. One library machine they pushed so hard the exposure glass support was bent. When the print button was pushed the scanner contacted the support. Lamp reflector was mangled exposure lamp broke and the drive cables came off the pulleys. Took me almost all day to repair it. Of course just like Sergeant Schultz nobody saw anything!! Gordon

Abby, (Your October newsletter joke) stole that photograph of a Stosel straight off my website, and I object to its being published in his ridiculous "joke," particularly since the gun in question is fully functional. The photograph is published without attribution, and even if it had been attributed I would object to its publication. My web page is clearly marked "Article and photographs copyright 2007 by Ed Buffaloe. All rights reserved." I hate to give you a hard time, Abbie, but you really should have asked him where he got the photograph and if he owned the rights to it. It really makes me mad when people steal my photographs. Ed Buffaloe

Dear Ed, Thanks for your note. Actually, that joke was from me and I was the one who found the picture, not Dick (he was named in your letter). The original emailed joke I received featured a Ruger automatic. Not wanting to upset Ruger, I used a Google Images search and came up with your picture. The link to what you say is your website was apparently dead when I tried it so I assumed the image was just floating around unwanted and unattached so, the pistol having no apparent ownership, I used it. It also didn't have big logo on the frame so I figured I wouldn't annoy a manufacturer. Now that you tell me the image belongs to you, I'll be happy to remove it. Do you have another image of I nondescript pistol I can substitute for the offending gun? Also, you evidently feel strongly about your image so I wondered how I could make it up to you. Would you like a link in my newsletters to your website and business? You might get a few customers that way and I'll give it to you for free. Just send me a link to your website. Abby

Abby, Monthly email Newsletters. I couldn't get the prt sc to do anything on my computer and I intended to take a picture of the screen to show you, but I'm not sure you could have seen the space between the top of the email and the top of the newsletter. I'm not sure if something has changed, but this month the newsletter is properly spaced at the top of the email. Thank you. Allen Godin

Allen, These things are elusive, sometimes we can see why they happen other times not. Usually it has to do with the browser you use. Apparently it is very difficult to get the newsletter to work perfectly in every type of browser but the newsletter mailing people work on it all the time. I'm glad this month was better. Abby

Abby, Thanks for tackling such a monumental task of finding, scanning, and printing these historically valuable publications!!! So much of our history is lost, and having access to this information globally will help keep it all alive!! I applaud your efforts!! I must admit, my focus is mainly on flyfishing, and bamboo rods. I think the information within the pages will be very entertaining!!! Thank you, I look forward to the books!! Best Regards, Paul McRoberts


Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

1. Abby
  Your reprints are junk!!!!!!
Rob Tomkins - mrt333@juno.com

And you, sir, are rude, crude and wrong! Abby

To see pages of Rants and Raves, and my replies, go to: RAVES and RANTS

Notes for New Readers (useful info repeated each month)

* The purpose of this section is to repeat in every newsletter some of the things I have said in past newsletters. By naming the section "Notes for New Readers", longtime subscribers may simply skip over it and read something new to them.

* Tired of SPAM? Virginia (our website guru from Carolina Web Creations) says:

1. Never use your real email address when signing up for stuff online. (ie: forums, purchases, etc.) There are many free email services out there (Google, Yahoo, Juno, etc.) where you can create an email address for your online activity. This will help ensure that your public email address is one you don't really care about, and will help keep your personal email address secure.

2. Use forwards cautiously - As much as we all like to entertain our friends with funny emails, cute links, and amazing videos, forwarding these things to your entire address book only add to the problem with email harvesters. While your address book may be clean and free of hackers, you can't guarantee that everyone receiving your forwarded email is as fortunate. Once you have forwarded that email (with all the addresses visible) and the recipient then forwards it to their address book, it's all downhill from there.

3. Use caution when visiting websites. Just because a site has appeared in the #1 position in Google doesn't mean it's a reputable organization. Web developers are savvy and are not only skilled at forcing a high ranking position in the search engines, but also at coding things to get what they want from those who visit their webpage.

4. If you get an email from someone you don't know, DO NOT OPEN IT. If you get an email from someone you know and the subject line is strange or inconsistent with something that you might normally receive from this person, DO NOT OPEN IT. And the most important - if you get an attachment from anyone with an extension of ".exe" - DO NOT OPEN IT! (.exe is an executable program, and once you double click on it, it will run some kind of program on your computer, usually designed to completely wipe out your hard drive, or something equally malicious.)

5. If you're interested in "cleaning up" your computer to remove possible spamware and malware, you can download programs like Spybot and Ad-Aware. I personally use both of these. Also, use caution when clicking advertisements - remember, these are ADS! They WANT you to click their ad and purchase their product and it's not always something "good for you".

* Paypal - I don't like Paypal any more than most people and I don't think they make much of an effort to be less arrogant than they have been in the past, but, I use Paypal to process credit cards because they were cheaper by far than a bank when I started the business and it would cost a fortune to change the code for each page on the website to a new processor.

* INDEXES for Every Catalog I reprint... Every catalog I offer has an index at the right of the page. Listings on Ebay, Gunbroker and Auction Arms also have indexes.

At my website, you will find many gunmaker "master pages" listing all the catalog reprints of one brand. To the right of each "master page" are names of catalogs by merchants who carried that brand of firearms. For example, I reprint over 60 Remington factory gun catalogs but I also reprint over 160 gun catalogs from merchants that sold Remington firearms such as Sears or Abercrombie & Fitch or Spalding. Those are the listings on the right of the page.

Using the merchant links, you can identify a catalog from just about any year that displays the Remington line and by looking at the individual page indexes you can figure out what models were made in what year without spending a dime. Of course I would be happy to sell you those catalogs too! Most major gunmakers have a "master page" and I am adding more all the time.

* If you have trouble reading small type on my website or any other, you can increase the size of the text on the screen by holding down the Control key (that's the one in the lower left of the keyboard with Ctrl on it) and scrolling the wheel on top of your mouse back and forth.

copy clips image

* Whenever I scan a delicate old catalog with its covers hanging by a thread (and not wishing to be the one who detaches someone else's covers), I line up a bunch of paper clamps along the hinge of the book to hold the covers in place and then scan each page. This simple technique works wonders and saves old paper from harm. It also gives you handles to pick up the book!

The picture shows my book scanner. When I use the book scanner, the catalog hangs over the side of the scanner and only needs to be opened 90 degrees. This allows much less stress to be placed on the spine.

So there you have it, a tip that I hope will result in a torrent of eager collectors now willing and eager to let me scan their old gun catalogs... but, please call or write first, don't just send them because I may already have scans of that particular item. I still have hundreds of old catalogs on file that I haven't got to yet.

* Why Buy Old Catalogs- originals or reprints? If you want to learn about a gun or gunmaker I applaud you, and am so happy you found my website. History is what I am working so hard to preserve by making old gun catalogs available to collectors and historians. Buy a catalog from a gunmaker of the appropriate year and you will learn a mountain of true facts about your gun- right from the maker's month, so to speak. Never again will you have to rely on hearsay or bluster.

*Research- To help you learn more about the history of gunmakers I have a page of what I call Reference Books on my website. They cover a wide range of information by authors and the page deserves a look.

* How to pay for things on the internet while using your credit card with some safety... There are two areas of concern when you make the decision to pay online with your credit card. First, you have to make certain the site accepting your credit card is secure. There are two clues to security. One is in the URL or site address found at the top of the browser. Normally the URL begins with http://www etc. but a secure site has a different beginning. It starts with https://www. etc. The "S" means the site is using encryption software and it is pretty safe to send your card information to the company. By the way, do not send your credit card information in an email. Emails are NOT secure!

Many folks call me to give me an order over the telephone because they "don't like to use their credit cards on the internet". Well, every time you use your credit card at stores, banks, gas stations, restaurants and, of course, while browsing, the transaction is recorded on the internet! Small shops like ours carefully enter the information at a website belonging to a financial clearing house. Others, like Costco and Walmart are connected directly but they all go on the net.

Of course, the second consideration has to do with what the company does with the information, the company integrity. Be careful about companies you never heard of before, don't know where they are located and the website has no telephone number. That is one of the reasons I like to pay with Paypal. When you do that you are giving only an email address to the company, not your credit card number (Paypal holds that information for itself only).

What can you do to help make your credit cards safe? Know with whom you are dealing and what is happening when you hand over your card. Does a nervous and suspicious looking waiter disappear into the back room with your card? Hmmm. Does the gambling website where you are about to enter your card have no address, country or telephone number? Hmmm.

Parts Suppliers and Appraisers

Mike Rich, owner of I HAVE THIS OLD GUN, has been involved in firearms restoration and appraisal since 1962.  Although Mike specializes in appraising Early American “Doubles,” side-by-side shotguns and rare rifles, he also does firearm appraisals for most American made guns.  These appraisals are frequently used to establish value for insurance, estate sales and/or resolutions and for owner’s wanting to know “what’s it worth?”  Whether one gun or an arsenal, send Mike an email to get started. Prices for a written appraisal begins as low as $35.00.

We get hundreds of calls about parts.

Some folks are doing something about supplying parts...

Spare parts, accessories and original bayonets as well as complete original examples for all models of Ross Rifles- Barry DeLong or 423-472-1972.

Remington Rolling Block Parts. Ssupplies reproduction parts needed to restore or rebuild the majority of models of rolling blocks made from 1867 onward. Kenn Womack

Peter Dyson & Son Ltd. Co. of Yorkshire, England. Parts and reproduction parts for antique arms. Leather products, Damascus barrels and tubes, miniatures, used guns, air guns, reloading tools and more.

Trapdoors Galore Email Address: 3240 W. Arby Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89118.   Phone No.  702-361-5322  Everything For The Trapdoors + Free Research On S/N's for the Trapdoor & Krag's

Joe Salter sells all sorts of things including butt plates, antique guns, collector ammo, air guns, holsters... well, check him out: Joe Salter

Phil Stewart sells parts, stocks and grips. He can be found at (740) 398-1941 in Mt. Vernon, OH.

The big parts houses for older guns are:

Jack First in Rapid City South Dakota their catalog is three volumes and over 2700 pages of invaluable information including parts diagrams - (605) 343-9544

Gun Parts Corporation (Numrich) Kingston, New York (845) 679-2417. Well established with a good website.

Sarco Inc. Stirling, NJ (908) 647-3800 email

Bob's Gun Parts Po Box 200 Royal AR 71968 501-767-2750

Dixie Gun Works, Union City, TN (800) 238-6785

Thr Rifle Shoppe

Provenance for Your Gun

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!

If you own a gun by one of dozens of manufacturers write down the serial number and compare it to the serial numbers at the Griffen &Howe website: They have records from Abercrombie & Fitch as well as the Von Lengerke companies.

Robert C. Beach,
Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Bob's Email

Website: Griffin& Howe (scroll down to see all the makes when you get there)

Serial Numbers and Corresponding Dates:

Gun sellers often give themselves a lot of latitude when claiming the provenance of weapons they sell. Age or factory modifications to the base model can add considerably to the value of any gun. The question repeatedly is- The Truth! Having a Serial Number from the gun in question can often lead you to the year it was manufactured and then to a catalog we reprint. This can be useful in determining how the factory intended to make guns... models, styles, calibers, engraving, checkering and options available.

To help you on your search I have put together a page on my website with links to websites and sources that offer serial numbers and years of manufacture: