Calls from the Wilds


* If for any reason this letter does not display properly, you can view the newsletter on our website. For a downloadable copy of our catalog of reprints or manuals click this link. If you missed a newsletter or want to look something up - click here.

* If you think a friend would enjoy reading this newsletter please forward a copy by using the link at the top of this page.


This is an excellent video of a World War II air battle between the British and Germans. It is modern so we assume it is mainly done with animation but, to be honest, it looks real to us. It only lasts only about nine minutes so take the time to watch, and thanks to Dick Carleton for sending it to us:

World War II Aerial Battle- The German


Many emails today are hysterical in nature. They seem to be parroting the lurid scandal sheets you see at the supermarket checkout counter with headlines like the one above. They trumpet every conceivable frightening and disgusting event imaginable. The mail below that we received talks breathlessly about a Monster Alligator stalking the waterways of Winter Haven, Florida.

gator 1

It claims the beast is over 28 feet long. Other versions of the email have it at 80 years old, weighing over 4000 pounds and living in Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia or Cape Canaveral. When I saw the photo of the gator hanging from a backhoe I figured it must be a pretty big backhoe or that the image was doctored or, as it turned out, the fellow was deceptively far behind the reptile creating the illusion the gator was huge. The picture is real, though, even if it is deceptive. Then I looked at the photos of the deer in the swimming reptile's jaws. Figuring a really big buck has a torso no longer than five or so feet, it looked to me as if the alligator could be no more than 13 or 14 feet in length.

gator 2gator 3

I Googled "mammoth alligator" and the Snopes explanation said the hanging gator was actually a little over 13' and was dispatched in West Columbia, Texas. Oh, and my wizard idea of comparing the size of the deer to the gator? That happened somewhere else at a different time.


Here we have a fascinating video of Civil War veterans meeting at Gettysburg in their dotage. These films and stills were apparently shot between 1913 and 1938.

Civil War Veterans


The big guns of the of the world's navies have long been the aircraft carriers and their attendant task forces of warships, tenders and submarines. Now that the Chinese have ascended to the world stage they too long for a blue water carrier group to impress friends and neighbors. Chairman Mao wrote about his dream of a carrier task force as early as the 1950s. Recently China achieved that goal in a round-about fashion that compliments their inscrutable reputation. This is the new Chinese aircraft carrier the Shi Lang:

aircraft carrier

But the story isn't as simple as it appears. It seems that the Shi Lang started life as an Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier named the Varyag over thirty years ago, but when the Soviet Union dissolved she ended up, still unfinished, in the Ukraine. Some years later the country, strapped for cash, offered her for sale and Hong Kong entrepreneur Cheng Zhen Shu bought the hulk for $20 million. His company, the Chong Lot Travel Agency (sounds a lot like the Asian version of Universal Export for you Bond fans doesn't it) announced they intended to turn the Varyag into a luxury gambling casino (wink, wink). That seemed reasonable enough to the Ukraininans, and the cash was tempting, so the deal was done and the vessel was towed south out of the Black Sea bound for Macau.

Meanwhile, alarmed international governments pressured Turkey to deny passage to the Varyag through the Bosporus, the strait that links the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara separating European and Asian Turkey but assurances and probably other things passed hands and in 2001 the Varag escaped into the Mediterranean just like the Bismarck before it slipped into the Atlantic through the Denmark Strait in 1941.

But shortly afterward a powerful fall storm parted the tow cables and sent the Varag adrift. Rescue efforts were successful and the ship passed uneventfully through the Suez canal, the Indian ocean and, surprise, not to Macau but to Dalian, a port in northern China distinguished, more surprise, by the largest shipyard in the country.

After a decade of denials and obfuscations China, triumphantly announced the birth of the Shi Lang and although she has yet to land on aircraft she is afloat and at sea for trials. Of note is that the Shi Lang is named after the seventeenth century Chinese Admiral Shi who led an armada that conquered Taiwan. Read the whole story in the Bloomberg January 26, 2011 article online: Floating-Casino Bid Turned into China's Biggest Aircraft Carrier Purchase.

But wait, there's more... not satisfied with the Shi Lang, a kind of run of the mill aircraft carrier, the breathless email crowd went to work and came up with this set of images, along with an impressive list of capabilities, of "The New Chinese Aircraft Carrier due by 2015" (I particularly like, in this age of missiles and supersonic stealth jets, what appear to be 4" guns set fore and aft):



Somali Pirates Make a Bad Choice

Could have been worse for them, though

We found and interesting article in the New York Times the other day. It seems That C.J. Chivers and Tyler Hicks are reporters shadowing the Somali pirates aboard a U.S. Navy vessel patrolling the embattled waters off East Africa. The usual drill for the pirates is, when approached by a patrolling warship, to throw their weapons overboard and claim to be simple fishermen or lost day sailors or something.

Well, apparently things went normally this one day, the U.S. Navy approached, the pirates in the skiff dumped their guns, we boarded, searched, then let them go; all in a day's work. But then, we called in a chopper to shadow the skiff as it returned to the mother ship which, in addition to more pirates held Iranian hostages. When the USS Kidd showed up alongside, the pirates had a problem. If they threw away their weapons they would have no leverage over the hostages and if they didn't they would be caught red-handed. They kept their guns, we boarded anyway, they didn't fight back (which was probably a sensible decision when faced with a broadside of much bigger guns- you know the adage about taking a knife to a gunfight) and we won, taking prisoners, and freeing the Iranians. Hoorah, Hi-Ho Silver!


sar 80Later, the reporters looked over the stash of weapons seized by the Kidd and found an SAR 80, Singpore Assault Rifle from c1980, an unusually rare gun to find in Somalia, or so they thought. It turns out that the company that made the guns sold some to the Somali government, when there was one and that is how they turned up in the pirates lair. Read the rest of the story.

Somali Pirate Gun Locker: An Oddball Assault Rifle, at Sea

Antique Firearm Trivia

9 Questions About Colt Firearms

1. "Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them [what?]."

2. Colt has been around for 173 years. How many revolvers, pistols, and rifles bearing the Colt name have been produced? 3 million, 30 million, or 300 million?

3. Samuel Colt had a brilliant idea that he patented for his first firearm. What was it? If you know the answer, then how did he come up with the idea (i.e., what did he observe that gave him the idea for his invention)?

4. Colt firearms sold sluggishly at first. In fact, Sam Colt briefly shuttered his gun business to focus on waterproof ammunition, underwater mines for harbor defense, and, in association with the inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, the telegraph. What happened to reignite interest in his firearms?

5. People often referred to Sam Colt as “Colonel” Colt. Why?

6. Sam Colt was only 47 when he died in 1862. Towards the end of his life, the Civil War became official.

6a. Colt sold firearms to the Union forces, but did he also sell to the Confederate forces?

6b. How many guns did he sell while he was alive (hint: he sold guns for about 25 years)?

6c. When he died, how much money did Sam Colt have?

7. After Sam Colt’s death, Colt Firearms began a long relationship with John Moses Browning. This relationship was positive for both companies, and gave rise to what very famous model?

8. Colt introduced the AR-15 in what year?

9. Has Colt always been a successful privately-owned company? Who owns it now?

Answers to the COLT questions- click here

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

Rigby- A Grand Tradition

Cover Image

Last Month we mentioned that Silvio Calabi has a new book about Rigby Guns. This beautiful oversized volume is available from the Rigby company but the link I gave didn't help much to find where to buy the thing!

Apparently Rigby put the link to purchase under the Press section. Buy the book, it is great reading and has wonderful pictures. Hardbound, 210 pages with 240 illustrations; $45.00 from John Rigby and Co. or call 541-306-4599.

Accurizing Your Lee Enfield Rifle

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

Available on CD disc and in print at:

Enfield Resource

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

Rob Mouat

Arms Heritage Magazine

Thomas Bacon and Norwich, Connecticut

If you were to ask the average gun collector, "What city was the hub of gun making in the mid-nineteenth century?” very few would correctly answer "Norwich, Connecticut".

Norwich, Connecticut was a natural incubator to become the gun-producing center of the world in that time frame. It is located at the confluence of the Shetucket and Yantic Rivers which join there to form the navigable Thames River, just 18 miles inland from the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean and less than a day's run by steamboat to the markets of New York or Boston. Thus it had a constant, year-round supply of reliable water power. In 1840, the Worchester and Norwich railroad commenced regular service, opening up yet more means to ship goods and receive supplies. Because of these assets, the city had become a manufacturing center, with all of the peripheral businesses necessary the support gun making. The Norwich and Preston Iron Company, for example, could produce fine iron or steel castings on short notice. The industrialization was supported by a sophisticated financial structure and provided a base of skilled tradesmen.

Some twenty different arms markers set up shop in Norwich at one time or another, several hanging on until the early 1900's. One of the first major makers was Ethan Allen, who moved his Grafton operation to Norwich in 1847. The records indicate that one of his Grafton employees, Thomas Bacon, made the move with him. While in Norwich, Bacon left his direct employ and became a subcontractor to Allen, providing cones (nipples), trigger guards and other small parts.

Thomas Bacon was to become one of the most interesting and prolific of the Norwich gun makers. At one time or another, he founded and operated three separate firms, each bearing his name.

Bacon and Company- 1850 to 1857

Bacon Manufacturing Company- 1858 to 1868

Bacon Arms Company -1864 to 1888

Throughout the years 1850 through 1888, Bacon was instrumental in forming several other well-known companies, After the demise of his first firm, he became superintendent of the newly formed Manhattan Arms Company. He left to form his second company that eventually evolved to become Hopkins and Allen. Finally, after his third company closed the assets became the basis of Crescent Firearms.

The story in detail will be told in the June 2012 issue of Arms Heritage Magazine. A sample issue and subscriber information can be found at the website (click here).

Three of the distinctive underhammer pistols produced by Bacon's first company, Bacon and Company

Bacon Pistols

Readers: Those of you who collect old firearms and ammunition know of the dearth of periodicals dedicated to the hobby. There are a few club magazines, a couple of high end sporting publications and, of course Man at Arms. That's about it. Fortunately, we now have another great source of information and entertainment, Arms Heritage Magazine. It is written by some of the most respected collectors today and features beautiful photography. Subscription are less than a few cups of high end coffee for a year's subscrition and in our present situation of dwindling support for the gun culture we need to encourage all newcomers, publishers and collectors to embrace our hobby. Arms Heritage is currently available online but they are working on making a print version available. Please support Arms Heritage Magazine. Abby


New Books and Special Thanks

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

This month I want to give special thanks to Jim Hughes, Mike Blake in England and Red Rabeneck, a retired bomber pilot and member of the Greatest Generation for lending us such splendid additions to the collection. The Read catalog in particular is interesting because for its emphasis on parade and military school rifles, swords and accesories.


* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs
This printable file requires Adobe Reader, which is free.
Those on dial up, beware - it is a large download. (30mb)
Adobe Reader

Letters from Readers

* Last month Ron asked for directions to adjust a Canjar trigger. Jerry Locati found some and sent them along, so, Ron if you send me your address I'll pass them along (I also sent you an email). Thanks Jerry! Abby

Hi Abby, I need a book that shows the parts and list for a stevens visable loader plus the take down and re assamble does your book have this in it. Thank You, Vincent

Vincent, The visible loader is one of the more difficult rifles to re-assemble and I don't have good directions about how to do it. I do have one catalog with a cutaway view but that is only a little help. I suggest you go to Google and enter "visible loader assembly" (note the spelling of the entry). Good luck, Abby

Your products and service are excellent. Keep up the good work! Stephen

The Hopkins and Allen catalog I bought from you is great! It's just what I wanted and needed. It arrived sooner that I thought it would. I gave you excellent feedback. Jeff

I would be willing to pay a total of $7 for this reprint. Let me know if that is possible? Thanks, Mike

Mike, This is a store item, not an auction item, so we don't dicker over the price. Cheers, Abby

Hi , the company is long gone now but I like the old airgun catalogs.Would you accept $10. including shipping? PomPom

Dear Pom, So you want me to knock off $2 on a hundred year old catalog reprint and eat the postage? Hmmm... no. Abby

Hi Abby, the re-prints arrived in good order today and look great! Exactly the documentation that I had hoped to find. Many thanks again, Mark

imageGood day, my name is Anton. I'm from Ukraine. I'm the owner of an antique rifle which was made old Austrian firm Ludwig Koppensteiner Urfahr. Can you help me, I would like to know the history of the manufacturer of this rifle? Any way... I'll be very grateful for any support. Antonimage


Readers, can anyone help Anton?

Dear Abby, Regarding Dr C.A Bergeron's inquiry in your January Newsletter regarding the availability of Schultz & Larsen's circa 1960's catalogues. I believe that this company did not produce ''catalogues'' as such, but relied on brochures, perhaps one or two double-sided A4 pages in size, for each model produced. There were brochures produced around 1967 for the M61 and M62 Match rifles, and also the M68DL for the US and other English-speaking markets. I re-collect once seeing a brochure produced in 1962 for the M65 sporting rifle, and much later one for the M84 (1984??), and the Model 100DL.(date unknown).

I do not know who the US importers were of the S&L range of rifles, or even if they are still in business in the USA. Here, in Australia, they are all dead & buried! Unfortunately, the original S&L family company is no longer in business. The new S&L Co. only purchased the business name. This crowd will not even give you the courtesy of a reply, regarding the original models manufactured at Otterup, Denmark, which, I suppose, is fair enough. Like Dr. Bergeron, I certainly would like to obtain copies of the 1950's to 60's brochures if they were available in reprint form. Keep up the good work! Ray McMahon, Australia

Dear Abby, I have a 1860 Henry with no stock. A friend found it in attic. I'm puzzled about the lever keeper button is approx. 3/4 of inch behind lever end. Did they make some that way? What would you suggest on a stock? Thanks, Kirk Pittman

Kirk, I'm sorry, we are publishers not gunsmiths or antiquarians so that is a question I cannot answer. On the other hand we sell reprints of old gun catalogs that help collectors determine information about their guns like that you asked about. Abby…. Readers?

Hi Abby, In latest Readers letters a Roger Rusche asks about loading for the .410. You can direct him to the Fourten website. I am sure he will find the info there. Jim Buchanan

Hello Abby, Replica Arms Co. (Famous Guns) c1968 Gun Catalog, I live in Taiwan, is it legal for me to buy this replica gun from your shop? and is it like the real gun 100%? I need it to make my film, so it should be like the real one, thank you!!! - ryan0401

Dear ryan, We reprint old gun catalogs, we do not make real or replica firearms of any sort. What you are looking at is a reprint of a 45 year old advertising catalog. Abby

Well Abby it has been several weeks and I have not heard from you. I know I hurt your feelings in an e-mail a while back and tried to apologize on your web page at which time I asked either for the Ruger .44 carbine owner’s manual I requested in December or my money back. Looking over my account I see no money has been returned or have I seen a manual show up in my mail box. Yes I was one of those hateful people in your Rants and Raves page but business is business and it seem yours is to take money and not deliver a service. What a novel idea. Your profit margin must be great. I prefer to be robbed face to face so I can at least put up a fight and go down swinging but in this case I will just chalked it up to lessons learned and wish you adios. Keep the money, keep the manual and try and keep your self respect. I have mine. Brian - "Brian Hennefeld" BWHennefeld@Pella.com

Brian, What a hateful note you sent. It was completely unnecessary, derogatory, presumptive and combative. To the best of my recollection you told me you didn’t get the catalog you bought. Several mailings were apparently lost over the holidays so I resent them, no questions asked and on my nickel too (oops, there goes that bloated profit you smirked about). Although I don’t recall your specific second free copy from the over 1500 packages I packed and shipped in the last six weeks I am reasonably certain I sent it. I never heard from you again so I assumed you got it.

You, on the other hand, assumed I am a crook, a thief and took pains to tell me so. What a conclusion, ouch! What is the matter with you guys who say things on the computer you would never in a hundred years say face to face to another person, for fear you’d get a flat nose? Does the relative anonymity of the computer empower you to vomit horrid words and ill-conceived ideas at other people? I don’t know, but I assume it has to do with some suppressed weakness or the misery of your lives that leads you so quickly to mindless anger. You must be one of the emasculated, downtrodden little people who lash out in futile attempts at recognition from the repressive “system”… or something.

Well, at least you and others like you give me something useful to repay me for the death of a thousand cuts you inflict on me each time you dart out of your burrow; you give me the smug pleasure of revealing your dark side to my readers and faithful customers, newsletter readers and visitors who number over 30,000 (a month). They will revel in reading how mean and foolish you are. Happy New Year, Abby

Abby, You are correct, I am mean and hateful for expecting to get what I paid for. In a previous e-mail to you, the one I really got mean and later apologized for, I included a picture of everything I received in the 2 envelopes you spent 2.16 cents of my 12.94, still a pretty good haul, to send me. Neither one included the Manual I requested so don’t get all in my face for me being a bit put out with your so called business. In the envelopes I got 2, 8 ½ x11 copies of Ruger ads, not an owner’s manual for a Ruger carbine serial numbered 102, 103, or 200. I do not think 9.95 for some typing paper of ads to be a good investment, but then again, I’m not in your business. I would make a suggestion though, instead of trying to come off like some web page martyr, you use some of you ill gotten gains to hire a competent employee to sort some of these customer complaints out. I look forward to seeing this on rants and raves. Take care, it’s easy to get away with. B….

Brian, Hidden between all your corrupt, personal insults I discern I sent you two envelopes with the wrong thing in them, right? What you wanted was the Ruger 44 manual which I just printed and will send today. But please, when something goes wrong, just suck it up and try as hard as you can to simply state your gripe and politely ask that it be fixed… a simple, pleasant task and not really one warranting such invective as seems to come so easily and quickly to you. I admit to mistakes, but only a few a month that amount to only about 3/10% of the total, not a number that would warrant hiring employees with all their associated obligations. Unfortunately, those few people affected by my mistakes seem wont to summon all the hammers and wrath of Hell to avenge their deep distress… right out of the box. Wow, not mellow at all! By the way, although my little business may appear to be wildly profitable it really isn’t. Abby

Got it (for the first time), the other two times were more or less empty envelopes. It is nice. My advice, slow down and do it right the first time. Thanks

And my advice to you, Mr. Hennefeld, is to be more polite when requesting customer service and to do your job when at work instead of railing at me. I am sure the Pella Company would appreciate your full attention. Abby

Abby, I have a old sword with the name Schuyler Hartley Graham new-york,Esto-peppetua.it has a romam holding asword on the case that holds the sword,am trying to see if worth-$$$$ Linda Conrad Fuller

Dear Linda, As it says in 22 point, red type directly above the form you filled in:

We DO NOT sell GUNS or GUN PARTS or offer appraisals or PRICES. Also, we DO NOT sell any of the PRODUCTS advertised in the reprinted catalogs we sell, nor do we stock parts for any product or know where you can get parts! For Firearm Appraisals: email Mike Rich


Abby, I was just looking through your site and saw that U had item # 2356 "1913 Lefever Gun Catalogue Price List" @ $7.95. Please explain the descrepancy in your pricing (between that price and the price I paid at Gunbroker). Thanks. Steve

Steve, Gunbroker, Auction Arms and Ebay all charge fees to sell on their websites, our own website is, of course, free of those fees. To encourage customers to buy on our own website we charge no additional fees or to put it another way, we discount sales on our website. Hope that covers your question. Cheers, Abby

Dear Abby, I have recently perchased a 16ga sxs dated Jan. 1924 made by Carl Stiegele. Because all serial #'s match, including the butt plate, the seller believed it most likely was custom built for someone. So, now I'm intersested in finding out who that may have been, and more of the guns history. If you could please point me in the right dirrection, I would be most grateful. thank you, David. Oh, that serial # 14445 if that is helpful. David Hampton

Dear David, I'm sorry, I have no idea who first purchased our weapon or where to look for records. If you enter the name in our search bar you might find some advertising by the company but that is all I can offer. Abby……… Readers?

Hi Abby, See I do read your newsletters !! In the latest Readers letters a John Maples asks about a William Ford case label. I do not have an original spare, but I attach a pic. You may be able to use this in your next newsletter? Jim Buchanan


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

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

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

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

Thanks Abby. Your site is a gold mine; I'll be passing it on to my NCOWS pards. –Mark Smith

Hi Abby. I wonder. How do you manage to write all these pearl strings of knowledge? Here in Denmark we have 24 hours from midnight to midnight. How much do you have in the US? I really enjoy your monthly letter. Thank you. Best regards from the "Old Hunter". Jörgen Pedersen.

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

William Juch replied, “Sometimes the ejectors are weak, the gun needs a strip clean and oil, the shells get sticky for a number of reasons, or the chambers are not at SAAMI dimensions, or all the above. This Churchill trained gunmaker can diagnose and fix it properly: Stephen Hutton of Britannia Sporting Arms at 895 Sagamore Ave Portsmouth, NH 03801 (606-431-3512).


Royce Williams of the Powder Keg Gunsmithing says: “Hi Abby, I can’t help on the “year of manufacture” but I think I might be able to help Roger on the extraction problem. Tell him to take 0000 (4-0) Steel Wool and wrap it around a dowel stick. Either put this stick in a drill or just use by hand and polish the CHAMBER as bright as possible. Using WD-40 or similar solvent will help the process. That should eliminate the extraction problem. I have cured many extraction problems in shotguns with this simple method. It seems the bores get cleaned but the chambers don’t get much attention. A type of fouling builds up from the chemicals that cook out of the plastic hulls and special attention needs to be addressed to clean the chambers. Of the hundreds of chambers I have cleaned with 0000 steel wool, I have never caused any chamber damage by using the 0000 steel wool and WD-40. Clean out the WD-40 afterwards. It will cause sticking when it dries out.

Also, thanks for another super newsletter. I’m sure you must spend many hours putting it together for each issue. There is so much information and interesting articles. Thanks for taking the time and effort to provide us with such a wonderful newsletter. Royce Williams, The Powder Keg – Gunsmithing.

Abby, If the knife illustrations are full size in either of the Remington catalogs I'll purchase two of them. Thanks, Mike Robuck

Mike, We do not necessarily print to the exact size of the original catalog due to paper and print restrictions, so I could not tell you if they are exactly life size. Abby

Abby, Thompson 1923 Submachine Catalog: the description says the contents include information on the '1928' version, but surely in the '1923 catalog', the '1928' version did not exists? is this a print error on the description? Thank you. rpb.cps

rpbcps... My you are sharp eyed! Nobody else in seven years has noticed the misleading info in the description. Should have read: "28 Gun Army/Navy air mounted models- 12 forward firing, 16 rear firing". Abby

Abby, need some help finding info on what says to be a windchester, looks like a colt, and is a 6 barrell. Please get with me on any advise. The windchester site was no help. windchester 1925? Jeri.

Jeri, I am afraid that is not enough information to help you. When you say six barrel, do you mean six shots or is this a 19th century firearms with rotating barrels? Picture might help. What does it say on the weapon? Is it a Winchester or really a Windchester? Abby

Hello, Abby! Happy fresh year to you. Pleased to be back on the rolls. My previous purchases from your astounding stock of publications covered most of my needs until quite recently. So glad to have your rich resources to draw upon. Lucie

Abby, Just want thank you for providing these wonderful, well produced catalogs! They are a great addition to anyone's collection! Jack Kephart

Abby, I have a query regarding this Catalog: Thompson 1923 Submachine Gun Catalog Is there any possiblility of being able to extract one or two pages from this catalog and purchase them in "electronic format" - i.e an image or pdf file? I understand that this is outside of your normal order structure, but would be happy to make an ad-hoc PayPal purchase.. Many thanks, Andrew Brady

Dear Andrew, No, I'm sorry we sell only complete catalogs. We get loads of requests for "just this page" and given the time it takes to locate and extract one page much less the discount the buyer inevitably asks for, it just isn't practical. Cheers, Abby

Abby, Happy New Year right back at ya! You stand tall with this great service you are providing the collectors community. I could not be more pleased with the work you are doing and the materials I have gotten from you. All the best--Joe Howard

Abby, Thank you for providing some free content online in addition to that which you sell. My question is in reference to your downloadable pdf page of serialization of many manufacturers. It could be that I didn't look hard enough, but I can't find a reference source for what book the information comes from. If you would be so kind, would you inform me as to the original source of the information? I would appreciate it! Thanks again Abby for being a great resource depot for gun information. John

Sorry John, I collected that information over the years from many different sources for different manufacturers, some I knew where they came from and other not, so I am afraid I can't help with that. If you click on the serial Numbers link at the top of the page the breakdown of links may help you. Abby

Abby, Bear 1964 Archery Catalog- Hello. If this was an original copy, what would you say it would be worth,approx. Just Curious. THANKS Steves4506

Stevens, Sorry, we don't trade in originals although I can tell you I paid about $35 for a Bear catalog on Ebay a few years ago. Abby

Abby, Just got the manual Winchester 77 Takedown Manual today - nice quality: large size format and the illustrations are clear (unlike some other photocopied manuals out there). I'll certainly keep you in mind if I need a manual for something in the future. Regards, Tom Dagai

Abby, Greetings: Your American Breech-Loading Small Arms 1872, Gatling Gun, Cartridges reprint seems to be advertised as having 24.95 pages and a price of $309.00. Is it possible that these numbers have been accidentally reversed ? Thanks. Groves Herrick, Bluehill, Maine

Dear Groves, Yes, indeed. Thank you very much. I won't sell many at $309 will I? I fixed it. Cheers, Abby


Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is Keith Archer!

Dear Keith, You left me a neutral rating on Ebay. You never contacted me to resolve your gripe. Ebay requires you to contact the seller when you have a problem. Your decision was unfair because it will result in the neutral sitting on my record for an entire year. This will hurt sales and probably result in increased Ebay fees. I believe I sent your package Priority Mail at no additional charge for shipping and just because the inept post office damaged the package it is not my fault. I would have replaced the book for free if you had told me. Ouch! Abby

cornellpubs: poor packaging. Keith Archer

Dear Keith, No, used PO approved shipping material, poor handling and a mean, nasty customer who pulled the trigger before he read the rules... typical. Cheer up, Abby

cornellpubs: Placing the book in the thin priority envelope is not protecting the book. The corners need protection, can't you understand that. Now quit bothering me. Keith Archer, Houston, TX

Dear Keith, Please read Ebay instructions for behavior and actions to take when you have a belly ache and before you bomb sellers for nothing their fault. Inability to admit a mistake is a childish failing. I blocked you from ever buying from me again. Have a nice life. Abby

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

Notes for New Readers (useful info repeated each month)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

copy clips image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parts Suppliers and Appraisers

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

We get hundreds of calls about parts.

Some folks are doing something about supplying parts...

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

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

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

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

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

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

The big parts houses for older guns are:

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

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

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

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

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

Thr Rifle Shoppe

Provenance for Your Gun

Ever wonder who first purchased your gun or rifle or wished you had a certificate of origin? It could increase the value of your gun!

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

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

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

Serial Numbers and Corresponding Dates:

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

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