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February 2008 Newsletter
Over 6500 Subscribers Worldwide
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Email: Abby@cornellpubs.com (please don't "return" this newsletter to the unmonitored mailbox)

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Telephone Calls from the Wilds:Calls from the Wilds Image

Every day I get weird phone calls.

Hello? "I want the gun." "What Gun?" "The gun on the computer for $9.95." "Who is this?" "John." "Well, John, you must understand I reprint old gun catalogs and I suspect you are looking at an ad for one of my catalogs that features a gun for sale for $9.95. That or the catalog costs $9.95." "Yes, I want it... for $9.95. Don't try anything funny!" "John, I wouldn't think of it. But you don't understand, we just reprint old gun catalogs we don't sell guns or hardware at all." "I thought so! You're just trying to weasel out of an ad for a gun that you got the price wrong on. That's illegal. I could report you." "Where are you calling from, John?" "Home." "Yes, but in which state do you live?" "Nebraska" (to myself: Well, at least that's a long way from Michigan) "John, the $9.95 is the price of the catalog I reprint, not the gun on the cover, do you understand?" "I think you're just a crook!" CLICK

WHEN YOU ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE,
LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD,
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT & SAY NOTHING

Fox in a pack of dogs image

 

New Books and Special thanks (see the bottom of this letter for the complete alpha list without accompanying text):

We have a lot of territory to cover this month so please bear with me.

Rudi Prusok was again a saint with the loan of the Abercrombie & Fitch 1936 and 1937  catalogs. These wonderful catalogs with their huge assortments of fine weapons make a mockery of the current day marketing this venerable old company does using mostly naked children.

Tom Carney sent us a Darne (French) 1952 which is also a Darne (French) 1939 with hand stamps changing the prices so we got two for one with that loan!

Ray Phillips who sells engraving equipment in Connecticut- RJ Phillips Associates,  67 Wawecus Hill Road, Bozrah, CT 06334; 860-823-1533. He is working on his website but there is a lot of information there for you to see about engraving: ngraver.com/engrave.htm.

Ray is an Army Air Corp WW ll veteran and a retired civilian Naval employee. He spent most of his later career as a designer and inventor holding 18 U.S. Patents.  Most pertain to submarine communication and surveillance systems. The later patents pertain to several engraving tools which he still markets to the firearms and jewelry trade under the Ngraver Brand registered trademark.  He also make stamps and dies for the restoration of antique firearms.

Ray became interested in Norwich made firearms because he was born in Norwich and have lived in this area most of his life.  Few people know that there were over 30 arms manufacturers in Norwich beginning before the Civil war. The local armories made over 80,000 Springfield Muskets for the Union army, and just prior to WW 1 made an estimated 30,000 Belgium Mauser rifles and carbines.  During a one month period in the early 1900's H&A produced over 40,000 (that’s forty thousand) revolvers. When Germany overran Belgium about 1914, the arms contract became void, thus forcing the Hopkins & Allen Co. into bankruptcy.  At that time, H&A employed about 600 employees in a five story building. This building still stands.  The last firearms manufacturer departed Norwich in the late 1920's.  Few people know that both Winchester and Smith & Wesson had their roots in Norwich, Connecticut. Our local Guns of Norwich Historical Society keeps some of the memories alive today.

Ray came up with several Hopkins and Allen treasures. This month we were able to get to a Hopkins & Allen 1909 publication called “The Report” and a Hopkins & Allen 1913. The big news is that he also sent along a copy of Joe Vorisek’s book on the history of H&A called 50 Years of Gunmaking. This terrific book is discussed elsewhere in this newsletter and is a must for H&A owners.

Jerry Mouer loaned us a nice Merkel-Glasser catalog from around 1962 and a Merkel Brockwaffen from c1981.

Nick Niles, one of the preeminent Savage and Stevens experts sent us a box of catalogs to fill in every space during the 1930s and beyond. I just finished his collection with the following: Savage Wholesale Price List (not illustrated) 1942, Savage Stevens Fox Product Guide 1950, Savage Stevens Fox 1951, Savage Stevens Fox 1960 (color), Stevens Wholesale 1928, Stevens Retail 1931 (Illus), Stevens & Springfield Export 1931, Stevens Wholesale 1934, Stevens Export 1935, Stevens Wholesale 1935, Stevens & Springfield Export 1936, Stevens & Springfield & Crescent Davis 1937, Stevens Springfield 1937 Export, Stevens 1938 Distributor's Catalog, Stevens & Springfield Export 1938, Stevens Export 1939, Stevens Export 1940. Thanks Nick!

Clair Kofed was kind enough to send us the Schoverling, Daly & Gales 1923 which, he told us was important because it does not contain any of the famous "Lindner Daly" shotguns. “This indicates the closure of H.A. Lindners shop after WWI.” Clair also sent us what turned out to be the A. F. Stoeger 1933 which has an interesting story. I borrowed it because I needed a cover for the 1932 Stoeger I reprint (the original I used had no cover) but when I looked at it I saw it was printed by Press Publishing rather than Post-Star Printing. This tells me it was the very rare (short run of copies) 2nd printing of the 1932 number 18 Stoeger for 1933 at the height of the Depression.

The Rock Island Auction we won gave us a big collection of European catalogs and we were able to process a few for this month. Thanks to Joel Black for the heads up on that one! The Belgun 1950 catalog was an effort by the Belgian Gunmaker Association to band together after WWII there by offering a wide choice of fine guns.

FN Brownings are always of great interest and there were several manuals in the collection. They included the Browning FN Model 1900 Pistol Manual, a different Browning FN .22 Automatic Rifle 1910 Manual, the Browning FN Model 1922 9mm Pistol Manual and the Browning FN Model 1910 9mm/7.65mm Pistol. FN also contributed an FN Karabiner Modell 1926 catalog. Manuals for the FN Mauser from 1926 are now available in French or English.

We also won a beautiful 1922 Christophe Gun Catalog from Belgium and a 1962 Churchill Guns from the UK as well as a 60 page 1903 Cogswell & Harrison catalog from the UK (we have a 1993 Cogswell catalog but that one is still a bit new for us to reprint it). The Brits were represented by an aged Greener 1904 St Louis Expo catalog.

Our Swedish Husqvarna catalog from 1929 is now joined with a very nice Skjut Vappen (Sweden) 1939 (Paul Berghaus & Co.). That’s it for the auction catalogs- more next month.

More on Norwich, Connecticut Gunmakers

The gun making business in Norwich at the end of the 19th century was positively incestuous. All of them seemed to be related and at the center of the relationship was Hopkins and Allen. We wrote about some manufacturers in Norwich before but based on the book written by Joseph Vorisek, tersely entitled, Fifty Years of Gunmaking, The Story of the Hopkins & Allen Arms Company, 1867 to 1917 I think a revisit is in order.

Hopkins & Allen, in 1868, grew from the ashes of the Bacon Mfg. Co and the Continental Arms Co., which could have been one and the same; at least, they all had common owners. Another company, the Manhattan Fire Arms Co. may also have been involved. By 1871 Merwin Hulbert & Co of New York was the sole distributor for H&A guns, something they remained doing until about 1896. The relationship became even closer when, in 1874, Charles Converse sold his half ownership of H&A to Merwin Hulbert; Hulbert Bros after 1884. In 1890 H&A bought Bay State Arms but when the Hulbert Bros went bankrupt in 1896 H&A was on shaky ground going bankrupt itself in 1898.

Hopkins a& Allen Manufacturing Company reorganized in 1898 and emerged as Hopkins & Allen Arms Company. But then in 1900 the Franklin Street plant burned to the ground. Two years later H&A bought the Forehand Arms Co of Worcester, MA. This purchase helped H&A stumble through the years unti9l in 1907 when H&A modernized it’s line and bought the W.H. Davenport Arms Company.

WWI changed everything and in 1915 Marlin-Rockwell Corporation bought H&A. After the demise of the Marlin-Rockwell Corp, Marlin Fire Arms produced some H&A guns until 1923 or 24. Interestingly, O.F. Mossberg was employed by Marlin-Rockwell during the period when it operated H&A, yet another connection.

Now that I have you thoroughly confused, buy my reprint of the Vorisek book and learn all about H&A Trade Names, people associated with H&A and other companies, Serial numbers (for H&A, Merwin Hulbert, Forehand, Davenport), Trade Marks, patents used by H&A, patent drawings, illustrations of H&A guns, rifles, revolvers.

One last thing, I am looking for any survivors of the Vorisek family. If you know anyone, please put me in touch with them.

Original Catalogs for sale:

Last month I promised to sell some of my original catalogs on Ebay. Unfortunately a family member had sudden heart bypass surgery during January and I just didn't have time to do the ads for the sale. I will do my best to catch up during February, meanwhile, as I said before, I don't want to clutter up this newsletter with Ebay links. I, therefore offer those of you who are interested in original ephemera the chance to get a separate email when I list things for sale. 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. And many thanks to all of you who registered during January!

Rants & Raves Image

 

This month's winner is: "I am engorged with flame! I odered book from you. Has no picture as you decribed me too on phonic!... more, got to: RAVES and RANTS

 

 

Nook Reviews Logo

Reviews of our work: Over the years quite a few kindly editors have seen fit to say gratifying words about us in print. This link shows some of their comments that have helped me bring you these old catalogs. I am so grateful for their help all I can say is a big, big THANK YOU! There is a link on the first page of the website too. :-) Abby

Check this out:

Kenny Estes
Museum Director
Trapshooting Hall of Fame
601 W. National Road
Vandalia, OH 45377

Trapshooting Hall of Fame

email: TRAP200@aol.com

Readers Wrote:

Barry Lee Wrote: How about a manual for the Smith and Wesson bolt action rifle from the late 1960's and early 1970's or the Swedish Norhammer rifle? Those were the same thing as the Husqvarna HVA.

Mark Wrote: I would love to get a manual and spec for a Commando Mark III made between 1969 and 1976. Shoots 45 acp. If you have any contacts it would be nice to hear about this American short-live gun and the company. Great to see you growing by leaps and bounds. Nice newsletter. , Cammando Arm formally Volunteer Enterpises
 
Jack Wrote: Should you get any queries about guns marked United Arms Co., Chicago on left side of the receiver, I've found some answers through researching the Hoban Mdl. 45 rifle in my collection. The name was used by gun makers, mainly in Europe, back in the '50s for guns sold through United Binocular Co. of Chi-town. Usually marked MADE IN GERMANY - or wherever - someplace on the top of the barrel or receiver. I don't think United ever published a catalog, using instead full-page ads in American Rifleman and such. They also used various other names on their exclusive products. Got a list of them from the 1947 book American Boys Rifles 1890 - 1945  by Jim Perkins. This book, by the way, now sells for prices ranging from $75 to $225! Difficult to find.

Steven Groseclose wrote: I have a small handgun [revolver] with the markings:
IMP
IMPERIAL METAL PRODUCTS INC.
IMP # 54720
MODEL 7 cal.22 short
Kinston. N.C. USA

The only solid reference I have found is Numrich catalog # 24 page 302 where it refers to the model as a Clark. Would you happen to have a catalog or sales book for Clark or for General Precision Corp. model 20? Answer: I don't. In fact, the only reference to the work Clark in my entire collection is in a LN Mogg Rifle Telescopes 1900 Catalog but it isn't related to the question. Readers? Abby

Aubrey Holcombe wrote: I need some information on an old handgun. It is a single shot, break down, you pull the trigger assembly back and it will break down, just like a single shot shotgun. The wooden pistol grip is nicely checkered, and has a cobra snake, coiled  up on both sides, may be silver? On the bottom of this wooden stock is printed 905 and then a U. Barrel length is 113/4" long and it is 18" over all in length. Top of barrel LUKO INC., Albany Ga., Right side of barrel 44 CAL. BALL, Left side of barrel MODEL B-300/1. Bottom of receiver  MADE IN BRAZIL, SERIAL No. 937. Each side of the Receiver has the same marking. A sort of  engraving with a Big Capital B and across this B is written, bolto or boito. On top of this B in real small letters is marcareg and under the B is IND  BRAS. Does anyone have any idea what this gun is? Answer: Boito is a Brazilian arms maker of primarily shotguns. Does anyone know anything about this gun? Abby

John Tew wrote:  I am trying to identify my pistol as well find a manual to secure some parts needed, age unknown, possibly 1932-45? has German war eagle w/swastika also appears wra140 wings above, 32 acp breaks down at front, latch then nose turns, serial no. 103088, grip safety, having problem will fire after 3 pulls of trigger without grip safety applied, all parts match, want to repair if possible, any help in identifying, finding a manual, and parts reference appreciated.

Gary Langston wrote: Before I start I've read your web site and understand about people asking you to appraise there guns. My question is can you direct me to a book or web site or to a person to help me with some information on my guns. First is a side by side 12 ga. shot gun made by  L. Brancquaert Belgium. Second is a very small hand gun 6.35mm August Francotte. Third is a set of dualing pistols made by Lazrino Cominazzo. Can you tell me what book I can buy that would have these guns in them? (sic!)

Gary, Go to Borders or Barnes & Nobel. They sell the Blue Book of Used Gun Values and the Standard Catalog of Firearms (library may have it too). That is a start for a cheap way to appraise many guns. Other than that, some of the gun mags will let you write in for an appraisal. Condition, wood, model, grade, caliber or gauge, cartridge, age and engraving all must be considered so a professional appraisal is a good idea for valuable weapons. Abby (does anyone have anything to add to this advice?)

Jack Myers wrote: Should you get any queries about guns marked United Arms Co., Chicago on left side of the receiver, I've found some answers through researching the Hoban Mdl. 45 rifle in my collection. The name was used by gun makers, mainly in Europe, back in the '50s for guns sold through United Binocular Co. of Chi-town. Usually marked MADE IN GERMANY - or wherever - someplace on the top of the barrel or receiver.
 
I don't think United ever published a catalog, using instead full-page ads in American Rifleman and such. They also used various other names on their exclusive products. Got a list of them from the 1947 book American Boys Rifles 1890 - 1945  by Jim Perkins. This book, by the way, now sells for prices ranging from $75 to $225! Difficult to find.

Old Newsletters are available online:

If you missed a newsletter or want to look up an old one, please go to my website www.cornellpubs.com and look on the top of the first page for a link to old newsletters. You may view them online and in color with pictures. Also, on the subject of newsletters, I send out the newsletter in both HTML and plain text format. This means that if your browser is not set up to view pictures and colors, you automatically get the plain text version. I hope this explains why some of you don't see the pictures referred to in the letters- I know it has caused some confusion. Also, you should upgrade to the latest version of your browser for best results. To learn which version of you have, click the help button on the top line of this page and then look for the link that says "About [browser]".

Facts about some of my recent reprints:

I often use the The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers by John Walter, Greenhill/Stackpole Books 2001 - ISBN 1-85367-392-7 to answer many of the questions I get each week about the origins of gunmakers. Like many all-encompassing works, some of the information may be inaccurate but over-all it contains a wealth of facts, dates and important history of great old companies.

INDEXES for Every Catalog...

Every catalog we offer has an index at the bottom of the page or in the case of new listings on the right. Listings on Ebay, Gunbroker and Auction Arms as well as our website have indexes (I appreciate purchases at the website where we don't have to pay listing fees or sales commissions... shipping is cheaper for you as well!)

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.

Cheers,
Abby

Abercrombie & Fitch 1936 1-29-08

Abercrombie & Fitch 1937 1-29-08

Anschutz (German) 1967 1-29-08

Belgun 1950 (Belgian Gunmakers Assn) 1-29-08

Browning FN Model 1900 Pistol (Fr) 1-29-08

Browning FN Automatic Rifle 1910 Manual (Sp) 1-29-08

Browning FN Model 1922 9mm Pistol Manual (Fr) 1-29-08

Browning FN Model 1910 9mm/7.65mm Pistol (Fr) 1-29-08

Churchill's (UK) Guns 1962 1-29-08

Christophe (Belgian) 1922 1-29-08

Cogswell & Harrison (UK) 1903 1-29-08

Darne (French) 1939 1-29-08

Darne (French) 1952 1-29-08

FN Karabiner Modell 1926 (in German) 1-29-08

Greener 1904 St Louis Expo 1-29-08

Hopkins & Allen 1909 The Report 1-29-08

Hopkins & Allen 1913 1-29-08

Hopkins & Allen - 50 Years of Gunmaking by Joe Vorisek 1-29-08

Mauser FN 1926 Manual (in French) 1-29-08

Mauser FN 1926 Mauser (in English) 1-29-08

Savage Wholesale Price List (not illustrated) 1942 1-29-08

Savage Stevens Fox Product Guide 1950 1-29-08

Savage Stevens Fox 1951 1-29-08

Savage Stevens Fox 1960 (color) 1-29-08

Schoverling, Daly & Gales 1923 1-29-08

Skjut Vappen (Sweden) 1939 1-29-08

Stevens Wholesale 1928 1-29-08

Stevens Retail 1931 (Illus) 1-29-08

Stevens & Springfield Export 1931 1-29-08

Stevens Wholesale 1934 1-29-08

Stevens Export 1935 1-29-08

Stevens Wholesale 1935 1-29-08

Stevens & Springfield Export 1936 1-29-08

Stevens & Springfield & Crescent Davis 1937 1-29-08

Stevens Springfield 1937 Export 1-29-08

Stevens 1938 Distributor's Catalog 1-29-08

Stevens & Springfield Export 1938 1-29-08

Stevens Export 1939 1-29-08

Stevens Export 1940 1-29-08

A. F. Stoeger 1933 1-29-08 (same as 1932 edition-they used a different printer)

 

(Please let me know if you have any problems with the website where I confess to an occasional bug.)

website: www.cornellpubs.com (double click this link)

email: abbybooks@comcast.net

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Cornell Publications
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