Calls from the Wilds


* It is with great sadness that I report the passing of my good friend Kari Prager. Kari died in his sleep on November 14th of a stubborn respiratory ailment. Kari and his wife, Gail, owned the California BMW and Triumph Motorcycles dealership in Mountain View California for thirty odd years. He was a renaissance man; a talented mechanic, historian, archeologist, poet, marksman and a good and generous friend. Many of the catalogs and manuals I offer today came from Kari. In fact, several of this month’s reloading catalogs were Kari’s. I will miss Kari and my heart goes out to Gail, Kristin and Maya.

Kari and Gail

* If you missed last month's newsletter, you missed a very good one, if I do say so myself. Ross Seyfried was in great form writing about the English gunmaker Webley, Silvio Calabi wrote a wonderful introduction to his new book, Dwight Hart found some great jokes and I introduced a bang up collection of new reprints.

Last month (November Newsletter) I plugged Silvio's new book: Hemingway's Guns. Well, I'm doing it again. I really loved this book and want everyone to read it. It would make a terrific Christmas present. I sold out the first order right away last month but I have two brand new boxes in the storeroom. Don't miss this one!

Book pic

Published by Shooting Sportsman Books

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

Click here to order your copy

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

Image 1937

1936 Image

1935-1939 U.S.A. - Today we gripe about loss of cell service, back then life was an adventure, but not always fun. Pictures thanks to an email forward by Dick Carleton.

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

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.


Maker of Fine Guns since 1829

by Ross Seyfried

At times I have to ask myself, “why are you so enthusiastic about Birmingham gun makers?” The best answer seems to be the wonderful variety of arms they made and in some cases still make today; combined with the creativity and sheer quality they demonstrate. We touched Webley in the last edition and today we are in the wonderful land of Greener, with Westley Richards waiting in the wings. I think it is relatively safe to suggest that these three makers formed the foundation for British gunmaking and the variety of arms they created can rival all of the others put together.

Greener in their own wonderful way is somewhat different. Unlike Webley and like Westley Richards, Greener is still in business today and still making magnificent arms. And perhaps unique in all gunmaking W.W. Greener, 2010 has a member of the Greener family at the helm. It has been a while since their beginnings in 1829 and William Greener, and nearly two centuries later it is marvelous to me to know that Mr. Graham Greener is indeed directing the making of Greener guns!
With that preface, we come to the purpose, Abby’s Greener Catalogues. There are at least a dozen of them, ranging from 1879. Within we discover the wonders that make up the firm and their history. Predating the existing catalogs a bit, we must think for a moment about William Greener who started it all. He, unlike most, forged his own barrels and put tremendous emphasis on creating the finest pattern welded barrels in the world. Beyond the barrels, I think the most handsome muzzle loading guns I have ever seen were made by him. It is from this foundation, a man who hand forged, bored and even rifled the literal soul of his firearms, we enjoy the firm.

One thing I like about Greener, which contrasts to many makers of exceptional arms is that he almost specialized in a variety of price and quality. While some makers made only “best guns,” a commendable pursuit, this limited the scope of their creativity. Over their history it was normal to have Greener best guns priced at about four times the more utility grades; which gave the sportsmen access to a wide variety of engraving and ornamentation, as well as action and lock types. As a collector, the catalogs that illustrate the variety and original cost of the various Greeners is invaluable. It is not uncommon for sellers to be somewhat ignorant of the model, or quality of the Greener they are selling. For instance, many guns are offered as pigeon guns, or as Far Killer Duck Guns . . .  Unless they have a blue rock pigeon or a duck on the rib or top lever, they are probably not these specialized tools. Further, the grades are often misrepresented. With the catalogues in hand, you can become a very discerning buyer.

But practicality aside, there is the pure, circus-like wonder of the Greener catalogs. Yes, they made double guns and rifles . . .  And pigeon guns, small bores, huge duck guns and miniature rifles; and then they got creative!

In the 1918 Single Rifles catalog we find the .22 Martini in a wonderful spectrum of flavors; and sights to delight the imagination. Here we have a literal text book of sights, illustrating things few of us have ever seen. The 1926 rifle catalogue moves us into the nitro era with fine side lock and box lock double rifles, bolt actions and falling block rifles from .256 to .600 bore.

While they are not quite rifles, the catalogue that illustrates the Martini-actioned harpoon gun is a great favorite of mine. That I happen to have one of these and have sugar-plum visions of an encounter with a great white shark does little to dim my enthusiasm for the photos of beasties taken and detailed instructions for making the thing work.

Another somewhat specialized catalog is the 1904, St. Louis Exposition. Most of the guns described in this one are specific pieces made and exhibited in St. Louis. What I find unique and interesting here is the direct price relationship between the British Pound Sterling and American Dollar. The catalog shows the price at Greener’s shop in pounds and again with duty paid in St. Louis . . .  At the time it was Seven dollars to the pound, showing the very high cost of best British things and in a way the great value of their old guns in today’s market.

As one looks at the Greener catalogs it becomes apparent that the firm has always been very dedicated to performance. That is the accuracy of rifles and the pattern and penetration of shotguns. They made their barrels and from the small .22s right through the huge gauge-rifles accuracy was a necessary component. When it came to shotguns, they clearly point out that their cartridges are loaded, in house, by hand. Each shell has a precise number of pellets in it, not just a weight. This was accomplished by the clever Greener Shot Counter. Further, while it is doubtful they invented choke boring, they certainly seem to have perfected it. I can tell you from very real experience that a Greener Choke bore gun is a wonderful thing. Round, dense, deadly patterns are the norm and some full choke Greener barrels might be more aptly called improved-rigor mortis. My 12 bore double rifle with self cocking hammers is one of my favorite things, and an exquisitely accurate double rifle. It is enhanced in my eyes by the day when through the huge Christmas snow flakes it flattened a big mule deer buck at about 125 yards; with black powder and round balls . . . Loaded just as the makers intended in 1880. That their little takedown Martini .22 is as accurate as any match rifle I have fired rounds out the spectrum. Greeners intended their guns to work!

Today Greener continues to make wonderful things including guns that recreate the famous St. George and the Dragon gun, to a complete set of finest quality hammerless ejectors . . fitted with original Damascus barrels found in the Greener basement!  Yes, nearly 200 years later and still going strong and well. And once again, the catalogs, the wonderful old catalogs allow us to glimpse and understand another of history’s greatest gun makers.

December 1, 2010

Elk Song Ranch, Oregon

Link to the WW Greener Website

New Books and Special Thanks

We have some very special catalogs and books this month. Of the German manuals below, the Waffen und Schiesstechnischer is fascinating. It describes everything the "order police" could ever want from small arms, mortars, anti-tank guns to armored cars and police dogs. I am not certain what "return charge rifles" were in 1867 but this catalog is lavishly illustrated.

My late friend Kari Prager wanted me to increase and improve my reloading catalog and book offerings and most of those below were from him. Doug Elliott thought I should add the 1973 Cast Bullet handbook from Lyman to compliment the 1958 version and I thank him for lending it to me. The two USCC catalogs came from Al Carleton who never runs out of interesting and important old catalogs.

Art Buchanan sent in the 1928 von Frantzius catalog along with dubious history of its owner. Frantzius sold Tommy guns to the bad guys in Chicago and you could buy them from his catalog.

David Hanson stopped by the other day and dropped off an original Fletcher, Jenks catalog from 1891 for me to scan. It is significant because they were based right here in Detroit before Henry Ford thought of automobiles.

Mike Blake in England sent "home" the 1928 Kirtland catalog. We dated it accurately because it refers to the "new Ideal No. 28" catalog that was published in 1928. Thanks Mike!

Well, there you have it. Lots of Christmas gifts for you to choose from and if one of these won't do, I have 3000+ more at the website.

Cheers, Abby


·  Die Handfeuerwaffen 1875  (Small Arms, Historical and Technical Development to the Present-1875)

·  Die Ruckladungs Gewehre 1867 (The Return Charge Rifles, Their Origin and Development - History- 1867)

·  Galstar- Pulver und Munition 1886 Der Deutchen Marine Artillerie  (Powder and Ammunition of the German Navy 1886)

·  Gebrigs und Kolanialartillerie 1910 (German)  (Mountain and Colonial Artillery 1910)

·  RWS Munitions 1926 Catalog  (Rhenish Westfalishe 1926 Catalog)

·  Waffen und Schiesstechnischer Leitfaden fur die Ordnungspolizei 1943  (Arms and Shooting Technical Guide for the Order Police 1943)


Ammunition and Reloading:

·  Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders 1959- Ackley  

·  Handbook of Cast Bullets by Lyman Corp. 1958  

·  Handbook of Cast Bullets by Lyman Corp. 1973  

·  Handbook on Small Bore Rifle Shooting 1941 - Whelan  

·  Lyman Reloading Handbook #45 1978  

·  Pocket Manual for Shooters and Reloaders 1964 - Ackley  

·  Rifle & Pistol Ammo Handbook 1934 Western Cartridge Co.  

·  Societe Francaise des Munitions (SFM) Septembre 1900  

·  Speer Reloading Manual 1959 Wildcat Cartridges  

·  Union Metallic Cartridge Company (UMC) 1907 Shot Shell Catalog  

·  United States Cartridge Co. 1916 Ammunition Catalog  

·  United States Cartridge Co. 1917 - How to Test Shells  

·  Western Ammunition 1931 For Rifle, Revolver & Shotgun  


Guns, Rifles, Handguns and Knives:

·  Whitby & Co. Kendal Knives 1965 (UK)  

·  Winchester 1911- October Rifle and Ammunition Catalog No.77  

·  Winchester 1929 World Standard Guns and Ammuntion

·  Fletcher, Jenks & Co. 1891 Guns & Sports, Detroit, MI  

·  Kirtland Fall Sports No. 104 - c.1928 New York

·  Verney-Carron 1960 Gun Catalog  

·  Von Frantzius, P c1928 Gun and Sport Catalog- Chicago, Ill.  


Gun Digest Books of use:

·  Tactical Weapons - Assembly/Disassembly by Gun Gigest  

·  Old Gunsights & Rifle Scopes - ID and Price Guide - Gun Digest  

* 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

* Abby, I’m enjoying my book on the 1885 Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon.  I’m sending information on the two 47mm Hotchkiss cannons we have on display in front of our county museum.  The first (and most complete example) is marked 1884   No.1460 and the second is marked 1882  No.791. The Texas County Museum is located at 300 S. Grand,  Houston, MO 65483  Phone 417-967-3126 It would be very interesting to find out why they ended up here. Jeff

Hotchkiss Image

Readers... if you look carefully at the lower left you can just see the trigger; biggest handgun I've ever seen, just the thing for the next Pedator movie! Are you listening Hollywood? Abby

* Dear Abby, Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Catalogs arrived in yesterday's mail and contained the information needed for positive identification of a new Ithaca double that very recently came into my hands.  What a super service you provide!  I am sure I will buy additional products as time passes.  Your newsletter is interesting but will take time to explore it further. Nelson Wood

* Dear Abby, Can you tell us what is the meaning of a Spencer Carbine WITH STABLER CUT-OFF the carbine is 56.50 rimfire. We appreciate your time and dedication to answer this question.  Thank you very much. Rafael Garcia Zuazua.

Dear Rafael, After the US Civil war, Springfield Armory altered approximately 11,000 war model carbines. The barrels had liners installed to accept the new .50 cal. cartridge. A device know as the “Stabler Cut Off” was added which enabled the gun to be used as a single shot, keeping the magazine in reserve. This was a small piece very similar to a wing nut. It was mounted on the trigger plate just ahead of the trigger. When positioned lengthwise it prevented the breech block from opening far enough for the magazine to feed a fresh cartridge. When turned sideways it allowed the block to open fully. Abby

* Dwight Hart sent me these pictures. In the first one notice the little bumps on the face of the Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshoni River at Cody, Wyoming:

Cody Image

Now, here is a closeup:

Cody Image 2

Dear Abby: Just a a quick note to let you know I thought the reprints were great and the service excellent. Yours truly, Bill Macdonald

Dear Abby, I am a 5th grade student working on an archeology project.  I would appreciate any information you have on the United States Cartridge Company, of Lowell, Massachusetts.  I am particularly interested in information about a 12 gauge shot gun headstamp.  I dug up the headstamp in Newtown, PA.  It is about the size of a nickel, and made of brass.  The headstamp displays the following information:  No. 12 appears at the 12 o'clock position; CLIMAX appears along the 6 o'clock position; U at the 9 o'clock position; and S at the 3 o'clock position.   Do you have information about the shot gun cartridge?  I'd like to know when it was manufactured.  I'd also like to know if this ammunition was used for hunting or other purposes.  Do you have a photo of this cartridge?  Thank you for your time.

Fifth grade huh? My, you are a precocious lad or lass! I don’t normally reply to unsigned messages but in your case, given that you are eleven years old and deeply interested in “headstamps”, and not just an old codger trying to get something for free, I’ll tell you this: Climax cartridges were made from the 1880s until after WWI and were primarily for hunting birds. Go to my website and enter “climax” in the search engine: www.cornellpubs.com. Abby

Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winners are:

Abby, I have a set of Wooden Golf Clubs sold by your company back in the early 1900's on the East Coast.  I'm trying to find out what they are worth and I would like to sell them.  Any assistance would be appreciated.  Regards, David (david@themountaintop.net)

David, We are publishers and we don't do appraisals just like it says on the webpage in 36 point type above our email address. Our business is six years old. Abby

Abby, Your 36 point type is ineffective as your customer service response. David

Name: Thomas DeVault
Email: tcd33@verizon.net
Subject: G.E. Lewis rifle

i was given a rifle by a gentleman years ago. trying to find some info on it. rifle 308, drop breech, unique mecanism it has a duckhead as the release under the trigger, you squeeze the beak together  to open the gun.  thank you for your help.

Thomas, Thanks for your note. Given your good description, it was easy to find your gun. It was illustrated in the 1914-15 edition of the GE Lewis catalog (click on the link). Abby

Note: Thomas called me on the telephone and was furious that the catalog I suggested did not contain more “information”. He accused me of being a “crook” and misleading my customers so I hung up on him and sent him this email:

Thomas, I hung up the telephone on you because I don't like people telling me there is something wrong with the way I do business and will not continue a conversation with anyone who is disrespectful, accusatory and wrong about what took place. To that end I will not return your second call either.  You join a select group of insensitive louts in the Rants and Raves section of my website: http://www.cornellpubs.com/rants-and-raves.php

Now, your note to me said "trying to find some info on it". You failed to say specifically what information you sought. The reply I sent you that prompted you to buy the catalog said your gun was illustrated in the 1914-15 edition of the GE Lewis catalog. If you misunderstood the meaning of the word ILLUSTRATED that is not my fault. I do, however offer a money back guarantee and have refunded your payment. You may keep the old catalog reprint showing the illustration of your gun with my compliments. In future, please purchase your historical information from another source. 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".

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]".