Calls from the Wilds


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

*If you missed last month's newsletter, Paul Head, a casting producer for Pilgrim Films & Television, producers of Dirty Jobs, American Chopper and Top Shot is looking for a personable collector to star in a new TV show to be filmed at gun shows. If you think you would like to try out for the job, call him at 818-478-4692. Be a movie star!

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

* Jim Buchanan sent us this lively link to Aircraft Traffic Control

Summer's almost here, I can see the deer moving around the back yard:

deer in snow

Yep, won't be long now!

* A priest dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy who's dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans.

Saint Peter addresses this cool guy, 'Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven? The guy replies, 'I'm Jack, retired Continental Airlines Pilot from Houston '.

Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the pilot, 'Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom.' The pilot goes into Heaven with his robe and staff.

Next, it's the priest’s turn. He stands erect and booms out, 'I am Father Bob, pastor of Saint Mary's in Pasadena for the last 43 years.' Saint Peter consults his list. Saint Peter says to the priest, 'Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom'. 'Just a minute,' says the good father. 'That man was a pilot and he gets a silken robe and golden staff and I get only cotton and wood. How can this be?'

'Up here - we go by results,' says Saint Peter. 'When you preached - people slept. When he flew, people prayed.'


Ross Seyfried's Column

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

Reloading Catalogs

It is fair to ask, “why”, of course many people ask that of most I do, “but why do we care about old reloading catalogs and manuals?” The best answer fits almost every category of these old catalogs we visit, for the pure fun of it. But far beyond that, there is the ability to understand the foundation of this thing we do, called reloading. The “roots” of making our own ammunition are very interesting and to me exciting. While we have pressure guns, now even piezo electric pressure measuring instruments and very sophisticated chronographs that generate scientific data that is the finest we have ever known, something is often lost in translation. Hands-on people, seat of your pants, black powder, the origins of nitro powder, perfected cast bullet designs and those marvelous tools that you actually manipulated with your HANDS to handload are wonderful to me. In short, the old reloading catalogs and manuals help us remember how to do, what we do. And at times the old timers reveal data and knowledge that is simply not available in the modern context; totally forgotten in this sadly electric era we live in.

To begin at the beginning I think we have to credit Mr. Barlow and his IDEAL HAND BOOK of USEFUL INFORMATION for SHOOTERS. The Ideal handbooks would merge with Lyman in I believe 1925 with Edition 27. There had been a while in the interim when Ideal was owned by Marlin; which becomes an interesting and very related triad. Ideal made reloading tools, Lyman perfected the adjustable tang sight and Marlin made firearms and wonderful sights. The melding of knowledge of very good old things is truly remarkable. The Ideal Handbooks in Abby’s collection include the 1896. In the 1896 one on page 6 we hit a headline, “KNOWLEDGE GLEANED FROM EXPERIENCE.” Experience, not computer-twiddling opinion, did he say real experience? Yes, this is the stuff of real shooters with rifles, handguns and shotguns in their hands, knowledge found the hard way; by pulling the trigger. Ah, the feel of a fresh spring breeze and we only have to go back about 115 years to find it!

In this and many of the other early editions we find information about the correct lead bullet alloys for a plethora of old cartridges and arms. There are the loading tools, bullet moulds, shot and powder measures and yes, that wonderful information and just plain fun reading from a time when shooting was the most important sport in the world.

As we progress forward in time we enter the pure nitro powder era, and that of jacketed bullets for many cartridges. Often these mid-years will offer you data for calibers now so obsolete that none of the modern manuals acknowledge them. For instance the 75th Anniversary Lyman/Ideal Handbook (No. 39) has data and information for the .303 Savage, .22 Lovell 2R, K-Savage .22 Hi-Power, K-220 Swift and the .22 K Hornet; along with some information and a photo of Lysle Kilbourne who invented many of these very early and effective wildcat cartridges. Curiously, Lyman is still in business today and they are still printing reloading manuals and they still offer information found in few other places.

Another old maker of tools and fountain of good information is Belding & Mull. Their 1928 edition is probably from the period of the highest evolution of cast lead bullet shooting. They have lots of very good information, including one of the most succinct descriptions of the requirements of a lead bullet, “Seven Fundamentals In Bullets.” This describes the basic requirements of an accurate lead bullet better than almost any source I have seen. Within the manual there is a whole section on the .38 Special, done in a way that I have not encountered elsewhere. The data is in three sections: Cellar or Backyard Practice (8 to 20 yards), Target Loads 20 and 50 yards, High Velocity Field Loads, and Defense Loads. The other basic information on bullet alloys, barrel twists and the fine selection of tools and bullet moulds are all part of the whole.

At times I am amazed when I realize that Abby is not just a source of catalogs, but at times a source of impossibly rare books. One of this is the P.O. Ackley Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders (1959). This is a real treasure trove for those interested particularly in American wildcat cartridges. I remember well the endless hours of my youth, reading, no dreaming about rifles, big powerful rifles. That book almost caused me to succumb to the .475 A&M magnum. Then too, there were the Durham cartridges, wildcats made by an old friend and gunsmith from Aurora, Colorado. C.E. “Charlie” Durham was one of the old school, who tolerated me in his shop and actually barreled my first wildcat rifle, a .375 Weatherby on an Enfield action. His cartridges were wonderful and practical then, and my sources assure me we have not altered the laws of physics yet! Of course Ackley was a wildcatter in the truest sense and the book is full of his creations, reloading data and his opinions on most things that went bang. His 40-degree shoulder version of the .22-250 Improved may be the most perfect .22 hotrod yet created. As I wrote this I thought it would be interesting to see how much an original copy of the book would cost, and while I am sure they can be had, the search of the invincible Abe Books site did not reveal a single copy for sale!

While we are on the subject of American Wildcat cartridges, Abby has the Speer 1956 and 1959 wildcat reloading manuals.

Abby’s list of reloading-related catalogs and manuals is very extensive; with old editions of Speer, Modern Bond, Williams, Pacific and others. Most of these “reloading” thoughts have been directed at the American companies. One of these days we will delve into that wonderful world of British and Continental reloading tools!

To end on a perfectly general note, one of the delights of all of this; to me the one who does not like fiddling with computers, but who realizes their value, is the brilliant web site Abby offers us. The home page appears in a flash (even on my dialup) and a simple search for “Reloading” delivers a huge list of wonders.

March 1, 2011

Elk Song Ranch, Oregon

(Abby reprints every Ideal from No. 1 in 1891 through No. 41 from 1957)

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.

Paul Milligan is a historian and reenactor of events during the Indian Wars following the Civil War. He is responsible for us giving the opportunity to offer the Course of Instruction in Rifle Firing 1879 by Laidley which is an interesting counterpoont to the Hand Book for Hythe from Britain in 1860. This time Paul has sent us the Soldier's Handbook for 1884 which provides useful tidbits for the GI of the day involving such things as what to say when a comrade says he is going to desert the Army.

Tom Rowe was extremely generous and he is responsilbe for many of the German and Swiss catalogs listed below Including the Casimer Weber, Die Kleinkaliber, DWM Inland, GDC, both GECO and RWS and the beautiful Jehn. Fede Graziano, a staff member of the Argentine Gun and Ammunition Collectors Association, sent a new batch of catalogs including other German ones and the Madsen and they are also below although I have a few more to do next month. Fede also helped translate the Die Kleinkaliber catalog name into modern German and English. My old German is hopeless! Thanks Fede!

The reloading catalogs are part of my effort to compliment Ross' article and to enhance the Reloading section of the collection.


* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

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

Letters from Readers

* Abby, I would like to find the catalog that had the Colt walkers for sale. Bill V.

Bill, I would need a little more information to answer your question. For example, do you mean originals or the reproduction Walkers? Originals were, to the best of my knowledge, not advertised a such. What era, used or new? 1850, 1900, 1950, 2000? Auction catalog or merchant? Tell me what you are looking for and I'll give it a shot. Abby

Abby, I purchased a Colt Walker type gun at auction in Hyde Park, NY a number of years back, the gun has no markings. I understand that the gun being unpopular, Colt sold the rights and stock to a number of companies, one being Bannerman's, the fact that I got the gun at auction on the Hudson River, could it be from Bannerman? The gun has a serial number, 1011 on all parts of the gun, perhaps one of the parts had a number and was used to stamp all the other parts. I contacted Colt, they state it is not a Colt. I had a friend that worked for Bannerman, he stated that they did have Colt parts on Bannerman's Island on the Hudson River. My question is did Bannerman sell Colt Walkers in any of their earlier catalogs ? Thanks for any help. Bill

Bill, After talking with Rob about your question, we think this is the best reply: Walker Colts are very rare, only 1000 or so were made in 1847 (see: Walker Colts). The early Colt products were almost entirely handmade and most likely had little tooling associated with the manufacture that could be sold as unique to the gun. Also, given that the follow-on revolvers, the Dragoons, were all based on the Walker I doubt "rights" would have been sold to anyone, but I am certainly not a Colt history expert.

Now, Francis Bannerman was the first person to apply the concept of selling war surplus to the general public as individual items rather than as dunnage or bulk salvage to be melted and recast. He began in business after the Civil War (1865) in a small way and was not a significant force in the arms market until after the Spanish War (1898) so it is unlikely he bought any Walker material from the Colt company (Saml Colt died in 1862). His early catalogs, 1888 and 1889 do list Colt .44 caliber revolvers for sale but they are almost certainly later Colts.

I am unaware of any 100 year old Walker replicas but more modern ones have been made for decades. They have been made or sold by Uberti, Cimmeron, Dixie Gun Works and others. There is one other thing though, there were a few civilian Colt Walkers made (I believe all the 1000 military ones went to Col Walker for the war with Mexico) and carried no martial markings. The only thing they did have was a serial number and a rolled engraving on the cylinder that said (if memory serves) "addrs: Saml Colt, New Your City" usually this was rusted or worn off. The civilian Colt Walkers were serial numbered 1000-1100. Better have yours checked out by a professional. Good luck, Abby

*I have a c73 Krupp cannon #923 and im looking for anything I can find out about where this particular gun came from. I thought I saw these in an early Bannerman catalog. Can you help or research this guns origin? We found it, complete, in Piney Point, Maryland pointing at Virginia, it is dated 1873. Could it have been used in the Oyster Wars? We dont know what it was doing down there. If you can find a catalog we would like one please. Thank you. Tim Marum

Readers? Any idea where this fellow can look for information? Abby

If this doesn't give you a warm fuzzy feeling, nothing will:

Iver Johnson advert


From Dick Carleton


The Apache Fireball air pistol was briefly made in the late 40's by National Cart Corporation of Pasadena, California. The pistol was available in .25 or .177 caliber. They also made an "dual caliber" air rifle for which we have a catalog.



Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

Recirved the Paterson folder and I must say that the copy work looks like it was done on a fifty year old Zerox. Cover photo is great but the rest are so poor that it was not worth the effort or the cost. Pure crap! Pete Peters

Dear Pete, Pure crap huh? Charming turn of phrase, I must say. The Patterson was reprinted from an almost 80 year old self-published piece but I don't think it sinks to the level of "crap" so I'll send you another. Perhaps the printer cartridge was defective. Next time try to curb your tongue a bit, please. Abby

Next, this exchange with a fellow from Fort Meyers, Florida who bought a manual on Ebay using the moniker "purplefishart":

Abby, How was it sent and what was the tracking number? purplefishart

Dear purplefishart, I do not use tracking. I would rather refund the occasional lost package. Is your address correct at Ebay? Would you like another or a refund perhaps..... either if fine with me.... Thanks, Abby

Abby, Please confirm where we are at with this.Thanks - purplefishart

Dear purplefishart, I'll try to say it differently: I do not get tracking from the PO because it is expensive and I don't want to increase the price of shipping to my customers by that cost. So... I will either send you another one for free or refund your money. Which do you prefer? Does that explain things better? Abby

My last email was an inquiry to see if you had sent out a new booklet that I had requested because you had not responded to my last email. I'll try to say it diffenrently too. Please refund my purchase asap. I can see that customer service is not your long suit. Please advise when the refund for my purchase and shipping is complete. If it's not completed by Monday I'll fill a claim and give you the feedback you deserve. I'll be sure not to make this mistake with you again. Why so rude anyway?

Dear purplefishart, I am sorry if you feel I was being rude. I suppose you missed the return email I sent you in response to your question in which I said: "Dear purplefishart, I do not use tracking. I would rather refund the occasional lost package. Is your address correct at Ebay? Would you like another or a refund perhaps..... either is fine with me.... Thanks, Abby"

My second response was only an attempt to repeat the first in different language (you would be startled by how dense some of my customers are) assuming you did not understand what I said. Anyway, I refunded your payment and again, I regret causing you distress. Abby

Dear Readers, there are moments during the month when this advertisement from the 1920s sounds very appealing!

Blatz beer

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

Notes for New Readers (useful info repeated each month)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Hint- If you are using the browser Firefox and have trouble seeing any images on this website, try hitting the refresh button. Meanwhile I will continue trying to figure out how to make my website more compatible with the many different browsers out there.

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

* More on Indexes: Not all my indexes are alphabetized and can be difficult to search. Until I find time to alphabetize all of them, hit the Control key (on the lower left) and the letter "F" on your keyboard. this will give you a little search box on the bottom of the screen. Start to type in the name of what you want to find on that page and it should be highlighted on the screen (this works with most browsers and on any web page). :-) Abby

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

Using the merchant links, you can identify a catalog from just about any year that displays the Remington line and by looking at the individual page indexes you can figure out what models were made in what year without spending a dime. Of course I would be happy to sell you those catalogs too! Most major gunmakers have a "master page" and I am adding more all the time. Just start with any category link: All Catalogs, 1835-1899, Ammunition or any other and you will find that the capitalized links indicate "master pages". When you select one you will see on the right, the links to the other merchants who sold that brand.

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

copy clips image

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

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

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

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

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

* I often use the The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers by John Walter, Greenhill/Stackpole Books 2001 - ISBN 1-85367-392-7 to answer many of the questions I get each week about the origins of gunmakers. Like many all-encompassing works, some of the information may be inaccurate but over-all it contains a wealth of facts, dates and important history of great old companies. Each year you can buy the Standard Catalog of Firearms which lists most guns and their value used at Borders or Barnes & Noble or online at Amazon.

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

*Research- To help you learn more about the history of gunmakers I have a page of what I call Reference Books on my website. They cover a wide range of information by authors and the page deserves a look. One of the most prolific authors of gun history was the late Joe Vorisek. I am fortunate to be the authorized only source of his gun histories. Joe even has his own webpage of all his histories.

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

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

* Must Read: If you haven't yet done so, please read the About Us link on the website. It explains a lot of things such as why graphics vary in books, why I do this in the first place, errors and mistakes, guarantees, loans and more. Also, if you see something in the Coming Soon page you want, let me know and I'll move it up the list for you.

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

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

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

Of course, the second consideration has to do with what the company does with the information, the company integrity. If the company is located in Africa and you are sending money to "the government" to pay taxes on the $2,000,000 you won, well, go ahead, you are a lost cause and I cannot help you. The point is to be careful about companies you never heard of before, don't know where they are located and the website has no telephone number. Caveat emptor, buyer beware. That is one of the reasons I like to pay with Paypal. When you do that you are giving only an email address to the company, not your credit card number.

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

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

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

Parts Suppliers and Appraisers

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


We get hundreds of calls about parts.

Some folks are doing something about supplying parts...

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

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

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

* Check out the Peter Dyson & Son Ltd. Co. of Yorkshire, England. They sell all kinds of parts and reproduction parts for antique arms. They have leather products, Damascus barrels and tubes, miniatures, used guns, air guns, reloading tools and much more.

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

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

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

The big parts houses for older guns are:

* Jack First in Rapid City South Dakota their catalog (three volumes and over 2700 pages of invaluable information including parts diagrams) is available at (605) 343-9544 for $39.95

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

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

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

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

Provenance for Your Gun

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

Sammy Baugh, or Eddie Dew or some other celebrity may have been the original buyer. Perhaps the provenance would increase the value of your favorite fowling piece or rifle. Well, now you have a chance to find out for free if the gun was sold by Von Lengerke & Detmold or Abercrombie & Fitch, two of the largest and most prestigious gun houses of the 20th century.

If you own a gun by one of dozens of manufacturers write down the serial number and compare it to the serial numbers at the G&H website:

or Contact:
Robert C. Beach, Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Email: research@griffinhowe.com
Website: www.griffinhowe.com
(scroll down to see all the makes when you get there)

Serial Numbers and Corresponding Dates:

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

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


Original Gun Catalogs and Books for Sale

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

Old Newsletters are Available Online

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