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Over 2000 Vintage Gun Catalogs & Manuals from 1850 to 1985... and more each month!
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Guns, Ammunition, Reloading, Telescopes, Sights, Archery (all Bear Catalogs), Fishing, Trapping, Sports...

March 2009 Newsletter
This Free Newsletter Goes to Over 8500 Subscribers Worldwide
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Email: Abby@cornellpubs.com (please don't "return" this newsletter to the unmonitored mailbox)

        In This Issue:

              1. Calls from the Wilds
              2. New Books and Special Thanks to Lenders
              3. Letters from Readers
              4. Notes for New Readers
              5. Provenance for Your Gun
              6. Serial Numbers by Year for Your Gun
              7. Original Publications for sale
              8. Rants and Raves
              9. Old Newsletters

Calls from the Wilds:Calls from the Wilds Image

*I've changed the format of this newsletter slightly to make it a bit easier for regular readers to navigate. Essentially, I put all the stuff I repeat each month at the bottom under a section that says it is for new readers. If you need to look up something from an old newsletter that I have repeated, such as credit card info, this is where to look for it.

 

*Link to past newsletters (click here)

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

Joel Black sent us scans of a super rare Cataract Rifle Telescope c1899 Catalog which should answer some question for Telescope collectors.

Walther made 400,000 Karabiner 43 rifles during the war. Greg Foster was kind enough to send us a manual (in German, of course).

Ammunition expert Jim Buchanan who lives in beautiful Surrey, England found a mint L. Ancion-Marx (Liege) 1909 which he sent us in the mail Thanks Jim! Jim also found a super rare Morris Tube 1905 Gun Sighting Practice Catalog.

Our friend Hamish Handley sent a Weatherby 1956-57 catalog all the way back from New Zealand for us to copy.

From Stock we have:

Marbles Catalog 1964

Maxim Silencer Catalog 1925

Merkel Freres- (in French) 1935

Mossberg 1933 Gun Catalog

Ballard- Nunnemacher 1945 Collection

Steyr-Mannlicher c1981

And now for Joe Vorisek. As I said last month, we are very pleased and flattered that Joe's widow, Shirley, has given us permission to reprint all Joe's research books and papers. Joe did most of his research before Al Gore invented the internet so he did it the hard way by interviewing collectors, gunsmiths, retired and current gunmakers and by hard research in libraries and musty basements throughout the firearms community. His body of work is amazing and invaluable to collectors. In the two short months since I began offering Joe's books I sold so many that I had to buy a third HP8150dn printer (that's a nice hundred pounder for those of you unfamiliar with HPs and all three run up to 15 hours, most days!). This month I added the following of Joe's books (some but not all of the information he presents in the shotgun books below is replicated in his Breechloading Shotguns Series):

Canadian Gunsmiths 1650-1900 & London Gunsmiths 1850-1900-Vorisek

Crescent Arms Trade Brands-Vorisek

DWM Headstamp Codes-Vorisek

Belgian Gunmakers with Trademark Names 1909 by Joe Vorisek

Listing of Observed Breechloading Shotguns by Joe Vorisek

Illustrated Breechloading Shotgun Identification Guide- Vorisek

Shotgun Markings Guide- Vorisek

The above books are in addition to all of Joe's books I announced during the last two months. Click here to see the full list.

*Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs requires Adobe Reader - which is free- if you don't have it click: Get Adobe Reader

By the way, last year Paypal softened it's previously hard line with respect to firearms and is now much more reasonable. I wrote about it in my July 2007 Newsletter.

Letters from Readers:

From Berta Lledo: Jim: Thank a lot for contacting Abby about my inquiry. Thanks for the picture too, It is exactly what we have and the date of it is just perfect. Can I ask you the exact reference? I might like to use the picture in my report to illustrate the use of the cannon ball.Bert'a Cannonball Image

From Jim Buchanan: "what you have is a cast iron cannon ball sitting in wood base called a sabot.  There were often straps that hold the cannonball in place on the wood sabot. The cannonball and wood sabot are loaded into the cannon together.  The purpose of the sabot under the cannon ball is to increase the compression and propel the cannon ball better by preventing the release of gas around the cannon ball. . Usually the sabot is destroyed in the process of firing.  The cannonball is definitely cast iron."

 

Sabot Image

*Abby- I very much doubt it is made of lead.   Lead shot this size would be a very uneconomic proposition.   The band on the right of the photograph suggests a  copper driving band and that in turn suggests a conventional cast iron spherical shot and a sabot-type round fired from a breach-loading gun.   But one would need to know precisely what the materials actually are.  If it really is a projectile  -  it could  not be fired from any of the weapons listed.   However, i have great respect for Japanese ingenuity and it would be a very cheap way to use a rifled gun using a conventional separate bagged  charge.  Why it was on the ship is an entirely different problem. Rob Lucas-Dean

*Dear Abby, Just saw your comment in your newletter about the disgruntled caller who was  not happy that you couldn't tell him all bout his .22 rifle used for WW2 troop training. The rifle(s), actually there were two models, both made by Mossberg. They were the Model 42MD 46,000 produced, and the Model 44US. A little over 70,000 produced, both models made for the US under contracts, during WW2 era for Army & Navy uses.  Full details are on pages 105 thru 112 of "Mossberg, More Gun For The Money, The Histroy of O.F.Mossberg & Sons, Inc." by Victor  & Cheryl Havlin.  Published by Blue Bird Publishers, Minneapolis, MN., 1995.  I provided the authors my research data about 15 yrs ago and they sent me a copy in 1995.  (ISBN 0-9625843-9-3).  Good Luck, Ed Cornett 

*Hi Abby- I saw Jim Tillinghast's name in your news letter and thought you'd like to know a little about him. He died of a stroke at a young age, which was years ago. Jim sold ammunition and a few guns as well as antiques from his shop in Marlow, NH. His sister was a state rep for some time. Her husband, Perry White is still with us, and has a gun shop in Rindge, NH. In those days, Jim would buy a box of antique ammo and spill the shells out to sell them individually in his catalogs. The empty box would go separately to someone else who collected the boxes. I had a Sharps .22 4 barreled hand gun which was missing the right grip. I had looked all over for a grip to complete the gun. One day, stopped in to see Jim and in a display case there sat the correct grip, which matched so perfectly it was unreal. Funny part is, he only had the one I needed. I think he charged me 50 cents for it. I'm quite sure I sent you one of his catalogs, but doubt you thought much of it as it dealt mostly in single bullets. He did have some rare stuff. Another gun crank from around here in the 40's and maybe into the early 50's was Shiff, the gun man. I may have sent you some info on him, as well. As I told you some time ago, Ned Roberts was a local. He was before my time in the gun world but I have some old friends (mostly passed) who shot with him. I bought some of his stuff, and a few guns of his that came to me through one of these old timers. Think I sent you at least one of his books, probably the one he re-wrote about target shooting. Hope you find this interesting. Take care, Dick Carleton

*Herbert James of West Virginia wanted to learn something about the his shotgun pictured below.

Image

 

(Picture of gun with close up of trigger)
Drop Box 12 gauge single barrell
Manufactured by Dexter Smith Arms Co.,
Springfield, Mass
Pat # Jan 8; Oct 1-67; Feb 8-14; Mar 7-71

Abby, Mr.James asked about the Dexter Firearms Co.  Dexter Smith was the son of Horace Smith, of Smith & Wesson. Dexter Smith, together with C. W. Buckland, Superintendent of the S&W Factory, Daniel B. Wesson and J.W.Storrs, S&W distributor in NYC, formed the Wesson Firearms Co. in 1867 to manufacture a high end shotgun for that American market. Design and production problems resulted in only about 200 of the Model 1869 Wesson double barrel shotgun being produced before the company ceased production in late 1869. D.B. Wesson bought out the company, but did not continue the production of the gun. Dexter Smith went on to open the Dexter Smith Co. but made only a few guns. I believe. There were various licenses granted, etc  and also patent infringement charges involving Remington and some English makers, etc. that affected both the Wesson Firearms co. and probably Dexter Smith also.  That's all my notes tell me at this time.  Good luck, Ed Cornett.

The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers by John Walter says: Dexter Smith, Springfield Mass. Son of Horace. Born in 1833. Produced a single shot 12 and 16 bore radial breech loading shotgun in accordance with the US patent of 1871. Patents followed with variations on the basic theme. Production was confined to 1872-1875. He also received a patent for a cartridge loading machine. After the commercial failure of his shotguns, he turned his attention to revolvers. He received many patents. In light of his commitment to revolvers it is likely that Otis Smith was his son. Abby

*Al Jones wrote: www.merwinhulbertco.com (the history section is getting updated to my thousands of words "brief history") while we'll also link to you for other publications like your old catalogs for our Sharps Rifle Co. side and TopRound Ammunition which brings back Curtis & Harvey brand powder, we're making great progress on figuring out their formulas in part thanks to some of your books and our English contacts.  The buffalo hunters found it to be the best performing blackpowder of the 1870's-80's and spend considerably more to get it which indicates it made a performance difference.We're aslo bringing back the Merwin Hulbert revolvers for Cowboy Action and Cowboy Mounted Action Shooters, so they'll be American-made and engineered by a Marine veteran of real gunfights instead of movie prop seekers. The long guns and ammunition are further along but we expect to have the Merwins out in early 2010 or late 2009. Al Jones, VP Marketing & Sales, Merwin Hulbert & Co., Sharps Rifle Co., Billings, Montana

*Jack Sullivan really, really wants a Charles Lancaster 1897 catalog or another that "that shows and details their double shotguns/double rifles WITH ASSISTED, OR "SELF OPENING" MECHANISM." Does anyone have one I can borrow to scan for Jack?

*Abby, Browsing through your questions section, you may wish to add my work email and contact details to your list. I (we) get all sorts of firearms enquiries from collectors, publishers, researchers etc from all over the world so we may be able to help on occasions. Royal Armouries is Britain's National Museum of Arms and Armour and, alongside armour and edged weapons and artillery, we probably have the largest and most comprehensive collections of firearms in the world - big claim I know but we do have in excess of 25,000 firearms of all periods and nationalities. That doesn't mean we have all the answers of course - like anything else, there is always something new to learn and believe me we are constantly learning (and often forgetting!)If I cannot help directly, I can always pass on enquiries to one of my many colleagues.Regards, Peter -- Peter Smithurst, Senior Curator, Firearms, Visiting Research Fellow, Huddersfield University, Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds LS10 1LT UK

*Butch Phillips from Australia asked: "Hi Abby, It would be nice to see if any others out there owns a Vickers rifle like mine and if they have any information about it. I would appreciate it if you could ask in the newsletter. I just might get lucky!!! The rifle is a "Vickers" .242 Magazine Express rifle (shown in your reprint--Vickers Ltd. 1924 Sporting Guns & Rifles). My rifle serial no. 4033. There's no rush and no pressure as I've been looking for over 10 years now. Cheers from down under.  Butch.

 

Notes for New Readers of This Newsletter-

*I get, on average, about 300 new subscribers each month. Many are folks who signed up and others are people I automatically sighned up when they bought something at an auction site or my website. Of the ones I sign up to get the newsletter usually only six or eight unsubscribe, usually because they have a last name the same as a catalog they bought or made the purchase for a friend or relative. I am naturally flattered that so many folks are pleased to hear from me once a month and thank you all for your indulgence.

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

*Paypal- I use Paypal to process credit cards because they are cheaper by far than a bank, they are reliable and because they are secure. No, I don't like many of their policies but they are the best and 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 addrsss displayed for theworld to see. By the way, last year Paypal softened it's previously hard line with respect to firearms and is now much more reasonable. I wrote about it in my July 2007 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 save 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 Firefox

*INDEXES for Every Catalog I reprint... Every catalog I 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. At my website, many gunmaker pages have names of catalogs by merchants who carried the gunmaker's 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. Those are the listings on the right of the page. This means you can identify a catalog from just about any year that displays the Remington line. Most major gunmakers are done the same way and I am adding more all the time. Just start with a major heading: All Catalogs, 1857-1899, Ammunition or any other and you will find that the capitalized links have when you get there, on the right, other merchants links.

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

*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 below for parts suppliers.

*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.

*Why Buy Old Catalogs? 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 a 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.

*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 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) allows 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.

*Old Newsletters- 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]".

*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 thier check or some other excuse. I print address labels from the website. If your address is wrong the book goes to the wrong address. Please check your address. 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.

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*Parts suppliers. We get hundreds of calls about parts...

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

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

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 VonLengerke & 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
908-766-2287
Email: research@griffinhowe.com
Website: www.griffinhowe.com
(scroll down to see all the makes when you get there)

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Websites with Serial Numbers and corresponding dates:

John Spangler & Marc Wade operate ArmsCollectors.com!
They offer pages and pages of Serial Numbers to put a year to the following weapons:

| Marlin | Mauser Broomhandle (C-96) | Remington | U.S. Military | Winchester |

| Gun Marks | House Brands | U.S. Inspectors | WWII German Codes And Markings |

also at this great website is a list of handguns and rifles with known serial numbers that qualify as antique,

or: Antique Serial Numbers for lots of Makers (pre 1889 scroll down the page)

or: Doublegunshop.com for:

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Original Gun Catalogs and Books for sale:

This fall I promised to unload some of the twenty or thirty boxes of originals blocking the second bay of my garage! Rather than list them on Ebay, I decided to first put up pages on my website (one page per box of about 70 catalogs each) with a list of catalogs priced at what I paid for them or in many cases much less. If they don't sell to my on-line clients I will then go to Ebay when I get a change.

Here is the link to Box 4 which is now complete. 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.

Rants & Raves Image

 

This month's winner is... I DID RECEIVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK BUT IT IS NOT GLOSSY ENOUGH SOFT COVER PAGE LIKE IT STATES IN AUCTION. YOU DID REFUND MY MONEY BECAUSE THE FIRST ONE YOU SENT DID NOT GET TO ME. I AM TRYING TO REPLACE THIS BOOK I USE TO HAVE BUT IT WAS STOLEN. I WILL PAY FOR ANOTHER COPY IF IT COMES WITH SOFT GLOSSY COVER. CAN YOU HELP ME. THANKS DON... Sorry Don, that's as glossy as it gets. As I have stated many, many times, I DO NOT make forgeries of originals, only copies and I do them as nicely as I can. Abby :) To see pages of Rants and Raves, and my replies, go to: RAVES and RANTS

 

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]".

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

February Completed Catalogs:

Canadian Gunsmiths 1650-1900 & London Gunsmiths 1850-1900-Vorisek

Cataract Rifle Telescope c1899 Catalog

Crescent Arms Trade Brands-Vorisek

DWM Headstamp Codes-Vorisek

Karabiner 43 Manual (German)

L. Ancion-Marx (Liege) 1909

Belgian Gunmakers with Trademark Names 1909 by Joe Vorisek

Marbles Catalog 1964

Maxim Silencer Catalog 1925

Merkel Freres- (in French) 1935

Morris Tube 1905 Gun Sighting Practice Catalog

Mossberg 1933 Gun Catalog

Ballard- Nunnemacher 1945 Collection

Listing of Observed Breechloading Shotguns by Joe Vorisek

Illustrated Breechloading Shotgun Identification Guide- Vorisek

Shotgun Markings Guide- Vorisek

Steyr-Mannlicher c1981

Weatherby 1956-57

 

(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

TO UNSUBSCRIBE:

If you have received this mailing in error, or if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter from Cornell Publications, please send an e-mail with "remove" in the subject line to: oldguncatalogs@comcast.net. Or just hit reply on your browser and add "remove" to the subject line. Make sure you use the word "remove" and NOT unsubscribe or the program will resubscribe you (it picks out the word "subscribe" from the whole)!

I will personally add your name to the blacklist and you will be excluded from any future newsletters. If you would prefer to unsubscribe via postal mail, please contact me at:

Abby Cornell Mouat
Cornell Publications
P.O. Box 214
Brighton , MI 48116
810-225-3075 (9-5 Eastern Time Zone please)