Calls from the Wilds


* CORRECTIONS: One of my printers went goofy in mid October and printed some books with either horizontal banding or vertical lines. I sent an email to each person I thought might have got one of the defective items asking for them to let me know but I may have missed someone. If you have a bad catalog, please tell me so I can replace it.

* If for any reason this letter does not display properly, you can view the newsletter on our website.

*Mike Rich, owner of I Have THIS OLD GUN, has been involved in firearms restorations and appraisals 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 or resolutions or for owners who simply want to know "what's it worth?"  Whether one gun or an arsenal, send Mike an email to get started. Prices for a written appraisal begin as low as $35.00.

* If you missed a newsletter or want to look something up - click here

Silvio Calabi* Silvio Calabi is Anglo American Sporting Agency's director. He has been arranging hunting and shooting-related travel and tours in North America, Britain, Europe, the South Pacific and southern Africa for 15 years. He was a publishing executive for more than 25 years and has been editor-in-chief of both Shooting Sportsman and Fly Rod & Reel magazines (and is now an editor-at-large for both). He has roamed the world on assignment since the 1970s and has written half a dozen books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles related to fine guns and shooting, hunting, fly-fishing and sporting travel. His latest book is Hemingway's Guns which has received rave reviews and is almost sold out on Amazon. You can still get a copy by following the link below. I asked Silvio to write me an introduction to the book and he was kind enough to do so. Abby

Abby, Attached is the writeup about our book and the role your catalogs played in it. Best regards, Silvio

This is a picture of Ernest Hemingway at the age of 5 at Walloon Lake, Michigan during the summer of 1904. He posed with a break-action Markham King Air Rifle that then sold for about 65¢. Markham Co. advertisements pointed out that "Every live, healthy boy wants a ‘King' Air Rifle." Hemingway became a convincing testament to Markham's claim. (picture courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library)

Hemingway at six with his King Air Rifle

The Story Behind Hemingway's Guns

by Silvio Calabi

In September 2007 I received an email from a professor in the Department of English at the University of Tel Aviv—Miriam Mandel, a Hemingway scholar who was preparing a book about Ernest Hemingway's African works (Green Hills of Africa, Under Kilimanjaro, True at First Light, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and "Snows of Kilimanjaro"). She was looking for input from someone knowledgeable about guns and hunting and Africa:

"I worry that readers of Hemingway (me among them) don't know one end of a gun from the other, and how can one write responsible criticism of a book about a safari if one doesn't know anything about guns? I think this sort of information would be exceedingly valuable for Hemingway studies, which tend to float off on clouds of literary theory without being grounded on the stuff that's in the text."

An academic not squeamish about firearms or hunting? I agreed to write a chapter for Prof. Mandel's book, a chapter that steadily became longer as the research became more and more interesting.

It was impossible to stop. My friends Steve Helsley and Roger Sanger offered to help research Hemingway's other guns, the ones he used, from childhood on, in Europe and in Cuba and the US. From each one the ripples spread outward across world history and to Hemingway's wives and sons, his remarkable friends and extraordinary experiences—a life nearly unreal to us today. The result is our book called Hemingway's Guns, published last month.

Our research extended from Sun Valley to Key West and from Nairobi to Madrid to the JFK Library in Boston (which houses the Hemingway archives). It included Hemingway family biographies, many books about Hemingway, period issues of Look, True, Ken, Esquire, Rogue, the New Yorker and other periodicals; auction catalogs and gunmakers' histories; and personal communications with people who knew Hemingway or his family as well as with Patrick and Valerie Hemingway and A.E. Hotchner. Hemingway bought many of his guns from Abercrombie & Fitch, and the owner of the company's records—Griffin & Howe—made them available to us. Especially valuable to us was Abby's unique inventory of vintage firearms catalogs here at Cornell Publications. For example: The Hemingway family had at least two Model 21 Winchesters; neither Tony Galazan, who now builds the M21, nor Warren Newman, curator of the Cody firearms museum, home of the vast Winchester collection, could tell us the origin of the "21" in the gun's name. If you'd like to know, you'll just have to buy Abby's mid-1960s Winchester Model 21 catalog reprint—a bargain at just $9.95 plus postage.

The Colt .22 pistol that Ernest acquired as a teenager in Michigan just after the First World War disappeared in Kenya in 1954, then re-surfaced there briefly in 1997 before vanishing again. His Westley Richards .577 Nitro Express has a connection to Winston Churchill and played a completely improbable role in hunting German U-boats in the Caribbean in 1942. His matched pair of Merkels, bought second-hand after WWII, had been made for a grandson of "robber baron" Jay Gould, a playboy who may have been the model for the great Gatsby. Sheer luck and some detective work led us to the gun with which Hemingway ended his life on 2 July 1961, a question that has remained a mystery until now.

There are many more guns and man more stories, and it proved impossible to separate the guns from the man, Hemingway the hunter and Alpha male. As we all know, the choice of guns is as personal as the car one drives or the mate one marries—another expression of wealth, status, education, experience, skill and personal style. Hemingway's guns, as well as how he acquired them and what he did with them, tell us about him as a man. And as a man, not just a writer, Hemingway fascinates us to this day.

Book pic

Published by Shooting Sportsman Books ISBN: 978-0-89272-720-9

Hardcover, 184 pages, 98 sepia-tone photos, 8.5" x 11", $39.95.

Click here to order your copy

* Dwight Hart sent along this:

* Wait a second, I'll just give her a call on my new cell phone to let her know...

cell phone

* Mike Carrick very graciously invited us to the semi annual meeting of the American Society of Arms Collectors held in Ann Arbor last month. It was a privilege to see displays of some of the rarest and most valuable guns in the country. Mike told us the club is limited to 200 members and that membership is by invitation only.

A customer has two books for sale that I promised to mention in this newsletter. If you are interested in purchasing one or both please send me a note by email:

  • The American Single Barrel Trap Gun by Frank F. Conley 1989 $150.
  • The Story of Merwin Hulbert by Art Phelps, First Edition (not color pics) $225


Would you care for a shot with your Budweiser?

Ross Seyfried's Column

Ross Seyfried has been an editorial contributor to: Petersen's Hunting, Guns & Ammo, American Rifleman, American Hunter, Rifle, Handloader, Successful Hunter, Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, Cigar Aficionado, The Double Gun Journal, Under Wild Skies, Sporting Classics, and Vapen Tidningen (Sweden). He served as a licensed professional hunter in Zambia and Tanzania and is now a licensed guide and outfitter in Oregon. In addition, Seyfried won the World Pistol Championship in 1981.

P. Webley 1888 Catalog

by Ross Seyfried

I suppose we could begin by saying that Webley is somewhat similar to Westley Richards. Both are in reality from Birmingham and both relative to the boutique London "names" are overlooked as fine gun makers. Webley is certainly even less famous than Westley Richards. There are two striking dissimilarities; Westley Richards continues today as one of the World's finest gunmakers, Webley does not. In Webley's credit, they may have contributed more actual "steel" to the English gun trade than any other.

But I do not mean this to be a comparison with Westley, this is about P. Webley & Sons, who are certainly among the most important gun makers in history and Abby's wonderful catalogue, that in its own way may give us a more precise look at the British gun trade than many others. I say this because unlike many other gunmakers, Webley indeed made the guns, the actions and forgings. They in fact supplied anything from raw materials to finished guns to much of the British gun trade.

Their catalogue is like a wonderful illustrated text book. It begins with the most basic double barreled hammer shotguns, "Backwork, Plain Fence" costing only about 6 Pounds. We move forward to the "C" Special guns with pretty percussion fences, with underlever screw grip, top lever or top lever with bar locks. We are now up to about 9 Pounds. A few pages later we have hammer guns with bar locks, top lever, screw grip and circular hammers costing between 18 and 44 pounds depending on quality. Choke bores on all models of shot guns seem to cost 9 Pence extra.

Paging over finds us in the land of the No. 5 System Treble Bolt(an active, top, third fastener). This could also be had in conjunction with a lovely Bar in Wood action. The technological growth pauses for a moment at the "Zephyr" guns, truly light weight 12 bores that weigh from 5 pounds to 5 pounds 3 ounces. These are top lever hammer guns and now even Anson & Deeley hammerless (The Westley Richards Patent boxlock that still rules the world!) They say the guns are for the ordinary charge of 3 drams and 1 1/8-ounce of shot. Can we use the word "delightful'? And why have I never seen one of these wee treasures?

Soon we encounter double intercepting sears, semi-hammerless (the ones with the little circular hammers without spurs that are cocked internally). And almost last, but not least the infamous Webley Screw Grip that I might suggest is found on about half of the boxlock shotguns and double rifles in existence. Along with guns is an in-depth description of the way it works, and at least Webley's opinion of its superiority. There is a fine comparison of Siemens Martin steel and Damascus in a side by side blow up test. Guess who won?

Within the catalog we find big waterfowling guns and of course Webley Pistols. And yes, rifles; from the little .360 express, all the way to 4-bore. They have them in double and single, in most familiar actions, including the wonderful Fraser. There is a plethora of fine loading tools, cases and other goodies. Certainly not least is an article, many pages in length, written about P. Webley & Son Gunmakers in the British Industries journal in 1881.

In short, if British arms matter to you, this catalog is very important.

October 2010

Elk Song Ranch, Oregon

New Books and Special Thanks

Many thanks to Kari Prager for sending me the Belding & Mull 1959 and to RJ Thomas for the Browning catalogs, the Fecker Telescope Manual and the Dupont ballistics charts. Bill Swinton sent in the Burkhard's 1930 and the Freeland 1968.

The Dominion 1924 is an example of an "upgrade". I first offered a reprint of a photocopy from Jim Buchanan in England, Recently I was able to purchase an original and so this copy is in color.

I worked out an arrangement with Gun Digest that makes it possible to offer their following books at a substantial discount:

* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

This requires Adobe Reader, which is free.
Those on dial up, beware - it is a large download. (30mb)
Adobe Reader

Letters from Readers

* Dear Abby, Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed Ross Seyfried's column in your October Newsletter.  I hope others will do as he did at Elk Song Ranch. Thanks - Ron

* Alan Joyce wrote to thank us for sending a copy of the Handbook for Hythe - The school of Musketry of the British Army 1860 to him in his capacity as a representative of the Hythe Civic Society. He said "although the School of Musketry has moved the actual ranges are still very much in use by the Military and Police, both UK and EU forces." The Hythe ranges are in Kent on the south coast of England near Folkstone.

* Greetings Abby, I am giving a copy (of your reprint) to a friend who has a 'Prussian', J.P. Sauer & Son with Kruppe Fluid Steel Barrels. This item has been in his family since before WW-1.  He will be passing the SxS along with the 'catalog' to his Son.  The Schoverling, Daly & Gales Catalog will help to serve as a bit of provenance, thanks' in no small part to you. Don't know what we would do without you Abby. Best regards, Roger D. Kurowski


* Oh my gosh!  I just spent this morning reading the Rants & Raves section (at the website).  Abby, I just wanted to say thank you and please don't let those people get to you.  Hopefully you have too much money and time invested to quit the amazing job you do w/the repros. (Yes, I'm a greedy soul).  I still have the business card you sent with my second order where you hand wrote "Thanks for returning." A great personal touch.  That must have been when you first started?  Anyway, thank you very much and have a great weekend. Curt Hopkins

Name: Matt

Subject: m17s manual

Comments: Is it real or a copy?thanks

Name: Jim

Subject: Info

Comments: Need info on Model 1211 Pump Action 12ga Shotgun.

Name: Jan

Subject: Info

Comments: Thank you for your reply. I know that I was returned to the account of a certain amount. Its value was low and corresponded to one manual?

Hi Abby. Once again a very good newsletter, thanks. I would utter a word of warning concerning any 'Old' guns from India / Pakistan/ Afghanistan as many of them still have wet paint on them!!!. There is a huge trade in 'copied' weapons going on and some are particularly good looking until you get your hands on them! BUYER BEWARE..................................! Thanks for your time. Duncan

Hi Abby. Thanks for your email. Please go ahead and process the order and I will look at the others and may order them later. I am not too concerned about the postage. I assume that the catalogues do not have serial numbers? I am trying to track down the date of manufacture of a Midland 20g boxlock, but I am also generally interested in other products they were manufacturing between WW1 and WW2. Kind regards. David

David, Oddly, many people ask if catalogs have serial numbers. They don't for the obvious reason that they were printed as advertising to sell guns not yet made. Abby

From "Shim2911" on Ebay:

"is this juss the manual. or is it the manual and the gun together ????"

Hi Abby: Yours is a terriffic service to collectors. I will be ordering more in the future. I have an article appearing in the next issue of the American Society of Arms Collectors (ASAC) Bulletin pertaining to the National Projectile Works (NPW) of Grand Rapids, Michigan 1896-1910. They manufactured "lubricated wire-wrapped bullets." Normally my writings have dealt with American Federal period militia material, edged weapons, and single shot target rifles (German and American, percussion and cartridge). To date, I have authored five books - Japanese Sword Guards in the Peabody Museum Collection, The Ames Sword 1829-1935, Am. Perc. Schuetzen Rifles, Material Culture of the American Freemasons (includes uniforms and swords), The American Fraternal Sword; and 9 articles in MAN AT ARMS Magazine and 11 articles in the ASAC Bulletin (including the latest on NPW). My wife has authored "Silver in The Fur Trade 1680-1820." Its like eating potato chips, its hard to stop once you get going.

I did uncover a nifty catalog you might be interested in while doing research on NPW. That company published a rare, undated, 9-page illustrated catalog of the loaded cartridges and bullets they offered to the public in a variety of calibers and loadings. Let me know if this one is of interest and I will contact the owner to see if he wishes to have it reprinted. Nice to chat with you. John Hamilton

Dear John, Many thanks for your note and I will look forward to reading your article. Regarding the catalog your friend has I would certainly like to have scans of it as my reason d'etre is to preserve these old bits of ephemera before they are all gone. I do recognize, however, some collectors just don't "get it" and hoard their bits of information until they are gone; at which point their children arrive to dispose of it with a disapproving "Oooo guns!" Thanks for your help, Abby

Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

Name: Fida Hussain Abdul Ali & Sons.

Email: fidahussainNsons@hotmail.com


Comments: i want to know the detailed history about this specific weapon which is made by your firm so kindly let me know that what this weapon is exactly... As i have this weapon so i am interested in knowing the complete background of this weapon rather this is a Shotgun of 12 bore or DBBL Rifle... And the weapon which i have is written with this (Joseph Bourne & Son Makers 82 Mark Lane London) serial No:5342 written on the weapon barrel...

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".

There are many easy ways to reduce your risk of being a target for spam - education and understanding is a great first step.

* Paypal - I don't like Paypal 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 are cheaper by far than a bank for a small online business, They are reliable and they are secure. No, I don't like many of their policies but they are the least expensive I can find so we have to live with it. I do accept checks if you prefer and I don't wait for them to clear. If you stiff me with a check you go directly to the Rants and Raves column with your full name and address displayed for the world to see. By the way, Paypal has softened (somewhat) its previously hard line with respect to firearms and is now more reasonable. I wrote about it in my Newsletter.

* Ebay - The wizards at Ebay decided (just after they laid off a whole bunch of employees and their business is down) that they will no longer allow sellers to advertise that they will accept money orders or checks in payment for purchases made on Ebay. Customers may still pay that way but we cannot advertise the fact. I think the idea is to force people to use Paypal, which is owned by Ebay. Now, to be perfectly honest, I would be much happier if you bought things from my website Cornellpubs.com because that saves me sales commissions to Ebay!

* 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 the many different browsers out there.

* 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.

* More on Indexes: Not all my indexes are alphabetized and can be difficult to search. Until I find time to alphabetize all of them, hit the Control key (on the lower left) and the letter "F" on your keyboard. this will give you a little 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 and on any web page). :-) Abby

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. Just start with any category link: All Catalogs, 1835-1899, Ammunition or any other and you will find that the capitalized links indicate "master pages". When you select one you will see on the right, the links to the other merchants who sold that brand.

* I have some nifty tricks for you! 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.

* Gun Value & Parts - I get scores of phone calls that start out "I inherited this gun from my grandfather and I just want to know how much it is...", I do not do appraisals, nor do I sell parts. See here for parts suppliers.

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.

* 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. Each year you can buy the Standard Catalog of Firearms which lists most guns and their value used at Borders or Barnes & Noble or online at Amazon.

* 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. One of the most prolific authors of gun history was the late Joe Vorisek. I am fortunate to be the authorized only source of his gun histories. Joe even has his own webpage of all his histories.

* Browser Usage - Sometimes people mention they cannot follow the links I put in my newsletters, or that the pictures don't show up. Well, sometimes browsers are set to only receive messages in plain text. This is usually because their internet connection is slow and pictures make it even slower. There are settings to allow or disallow HTML language (pictures and links).

Your browser (the program you use to view emails and internet sites) can be set to allow you to click on links to other web pages. The link can either open a new window with the original window disappearing to a small block near the top of the screen or it replaces the current window with the new selection. In the former case to return to the prior window, click the box near the top of the screen. In the latter example click the "back arrow" also at the top of the page (different browsers such as Firefox, Netscape or Internet Explorer use different symbols for the back arrow). For the most part, I use links that replace the newsletter page with the new link. So, to return to the newsletter, you will have to use the back arrow to return to the newsletter.

* Must Read: 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.

* If you collect Military Arms please check out the link page I have to Government and Military Publications as well as 75 Manuals of the World's Military Weapons (1945) in A Basic Manual of Military Arms - 1945 as well as the link to Machine Guns.

* YOUR ADDRESS- Yes, I am shouting! Each month I get angry phone calls, emails or letters from folks who "ordered the book xxx days ago and STILL DON'T HAVE IT! Usually they don't have it because the registered address at the website where they ordered the book is false (to "protect" their identity) or long outdated. When I point that out, they usually say that I should have double-checked or that their correct address was on their check or some other excuse. Sorry, I print address labels from the website as you typed it in. If your address is wrong the book goes to the wrong address. Please check your address at the website whenever you order something online. Thank you.

* 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!

Of course, the second consideration has to do with what the company does with the information, the company integrity. If the company is located in Nigeria and you are sending money to "the government" to pay taxes on the $2,000,000 you won in their very generous random lottery, well, go ahead, you are a lost cause and I cannot help you. The point is to be careful about companies you never heard of before, don't know where they are located and the website has no telephone number. Caveat emptor, buyer beware. 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.

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". So, a little more about credit cards and the internet. Every time you use your credit card at banks, gas stations, restaurants, stores and 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.

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.

Your best bet is to confirm that the website address where you enter information begins with https:// rather than just http://. The 's' stands for secure, meaning encrypted. Also, be confident that the website itself is trustworthy, has 'contact us' information including a name, address and telephone number. Beware of offshore websites. Even with all these protections, some cards are stolen. We had a card stolen by thieves in Azerbaijan. How they got my card I have no idea but I check the charges on my card regularly (daily, in fact) and picked up the scam quickly and cancelled the card.

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.

* This company sells a huge variety of springs: Talleres Echebarria, C/Magdalena 2, ES -20690 Elgeta, Spain, Tel.(+34)943-768073, Spanish Only!

* Hello Abby, I am responding to your request for parts source information for Remington Rolling Block Parts. We are attempting to supply reproduction parts needed to restore or rebuild the majority of models of rolling blocks made from 1867 onward. While this is a work in progress, I believe we are the largest supplier of these obsolete parts in existence. Thanks, Kenn Womack

* Check out the Peter Dyson & Son Ltd. Co. of Yorkshire, England. They sell all kinds of parts and reproduction parts for antique arms. They have leather products, Damascus barrels and tubes, miniatures, used guns, air guns, reloading tools and much 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 (three volumes and over 2700 pages of invaluable information including parts diagrams) is available at (605) 343-9544 for $39.95

* 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

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!

Sammy Baugh, or Eddie Dew 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 Von Lengerke & 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 dozens of manufacturers write down the serial number and compare it to the serial numbers at the G&H website:

or Contact:
Robert C. Beach, Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Email: research@griffinhowe.com
Website: www.griffinhowe.com
(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 the website with links to websites that offer serial numbers and years of manufacture:


Original Gun Catalogs and Books for Sale

Here is the link to Box 4. All other boxes can be accessed from that page. If you would like prior notice of the sales, please sign up for the announcement newsletter. The hundred and fifty or so people who already signed up knew about this sale last week and some of the 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: eightbore@comcast.net. Many thanks to all of you who signed up! IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED THERE IS NO NEED TO DO SO AGAIN.

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]".