Calls from the Wilds


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The Date of our Demise was Exaggerated

Many people inferred from the January newsletter that our retirement was imminent. We hope that is not the case. What we were trying to say is that we've been preserving old catalogs and manuals for twelve years and the end of the project is now closer than the beginning. Therefore, we ask you to dig out your treasured old gun catalogs and manuals and let us borrow them before either we or you are gone! Another idea- do you know someone with as stash of ephemera you could talk to about lending them? No damage will be done; we get the originals back quickly and even trade for some of ours!

DOGS LOVE WINTER (Well, a little anyway)


youtube video

This 100 Drone Synchronized Airshow Is The World's Largest, And Most Impressive

2 Min 25 Sec (youtube video)

Drones have a lot of people worried about privacy, but they can be used for good as well as nefarious purposes. Take, for instance, a spectacular display of drone technology by Intel Corporation (USA) involving 100 small aircrafts being launched skywards in formation has earned a new Guinness World Record for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously. Controlled on the ground by a crew using PCs with Intel software, the mass of drones lit up the night sky in sync to a live performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and executed a stunning light show resembling a fireworks display. Drone 100 took place at Flugplatz Ahrenlohe, Tornesch, Germany, in November 2015. The record was set in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab to push the limits of the UAV industry and to show what UAVs can be used for.


thanks to Mimsy


Facebook video (that's the airbag in the lower right)

airbag video

Alexander the Great

Basileus of Macedon, Hegemon of the Hellenic League, Shahanshah of Persia, Pharaoh of Egypt, Lord of Asia, Alexander III of Macedon, King of Macedon (356 BC- 323 BC), tutored by the philosopher Aristotle until the age of 16. At twenty-two he began his conquests by invading Persia (modern Iran) and by the age of thirty had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt into northwest India and modern-day Pakistan. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders. Alexander died at age 32 after drinking too much bad wine.


John Tyler, President of The United States

(March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862)

John TylerThe tenth President of the United States (1841–45), made the annexation of Texas a focal point of his presidential platform. He was married twice and fathered more children than any other president, fifteen in all. Two of his grandchildren are still living, Harrison Ruffin Tyler and Lyon Gardiner Tyler who maintains the family home, Sherwood Forest Plantation in Virginia. The Plantation had been previously owned by William Henry Harrison ninth President of the U.S. and no relation to Tyler.

Julia Gardiner, Tyler's second wife, was a descendant of Lion Gardiner (1599-1663) who settled Gardiner's Island between the North and South Forks of Long Island. Gardiner's Island was the first English settlement in what became New York. It has been privately owned by the Gardiner family since 1639 and is the only real estate in the United States still held by a royal grant from the English Crown. Lion Gardiner is buried in East Hampton, NY and his sarcophagus shows him in armour.

Cars Outperforming Drivers


Rob Mouat

Militarization of Police Departments

Last month I discussed David Koresh and his band of Branch Davidian followers. The article focused on the use of military gear by police departments during a couple of notable incidents some years ago. Since that time more and more military gear has filtered into local police departments and that will be the focus of this month’s article. We had quite a few letters from readers after last month’s comments. Most people agreed with the premise of what I said but I will print the letters at the bottom of this column. Here is a link to last month if you would like to start there.

I don’t disagree that Koresh and his armed associated deserved to be arrested and tried for the crime of killing the ATF officers. What I object to is the fact that the second assault killed the very people the first effort was staged to protect.

The point I would like to make is highlighted by recent events here in Michigan. The Federal government has recalled some of the ex-military gear it distributed to police departments across the country and at least two of our local Sheriffs are not happy about the decision. They have taken steps to replace the gear with similar gear from other sources. (I maintain that the fact that these recalls were made on Obama’s watch is beside the point).

What gear you may ask? Well, the hardware includes thirteen tracked armored vehicles, eight grenade launchers and 45 bayonets. Law enforcement officials have stated that armored vehicles are vital for officers on the front line of domestic terrorist attacks. They point out that officers responding to the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino used tactical equipment and armored vehicles to stop the terrorist couple from causing further damage.

BayonetsSo, let’s talk about these three items, the tracked armored vehicles, the grenade launchers and the bayonets. First, bayonets are traditionally the last line of defense and are used when, after leaping out of a the trench and racing across no-mans-land you come face to face with the enemy and you are out of bullets. Then the bayonet is useful. I cannot imagine a charge by police against terrorist lines with fixed bayonets. Even in a parade I think fixed bayonets displayed by police are unnecessarily provocative.

Grenade launchers. Back in my day they were mostly fixed to a rifle and then fired with the butt of the rifle firmly planted on the ground. With luck the grenade landed somewhere “over there”- you hoped. Later came the large bore, stocked, tube thing that fired a breech loaded, single bullet-like projectile with somewhat better accuracy. Although the article I read didn’t specify which grenade launcher the police had, I assume it was something like the U.S. Marine Corps 40mm M-32 six shot model which has a range of something over 1200 feet. My question is, how exactly would the police department plan to implement this device? How would they choose ammunition for it (HE, Air Burst, Metal Pellets, CS Gas etc.) and how much practice has the fellow or gal firing it had, as I’m sure those rounds are fun but expensive?

Tracked VehicleNow let’s deal with the tank, oh all right, armored vehicle. To me is it has tracks, as these do, it is a tank (I was a flyer so perhaps the nuances of land vehicles escape me). Given the top speed of these vehicles I doubt it would be much use to run down the perp in his get-away Ford Mustang so let us assume he is barricaded in a building somewhere. We call for the tank and it duly grinds its way up the street to stand petulantly in front of the building we suspect the perp is hiding in. Now what? The operator could open fire with the grenade launcher by poking it out of one of the tanks small orifices or he could just ram into the building, hmmm. “Captain, should I fix bayonets?”

My feeling is that police departments should not equip themselves with military gear. I think it makes them behave in a less of a “serve and protect” mindset and in more of an adversarial manner and while rare incidents occur like the two guys with the machine guns in California a few years ago most times the police use tanks are like the one here in our town a couple of years ago. It started when some old drunk barricaded himself in his house armed with a shotgun and refused to come out while threatening to shoot himself. The cops outside sent for the tank.

The guy did eventually surrender and at first glance one might think it possible the guy sobered up, looked at his Mossberg pump and then at the tank and then at the Mossberg again then decided to quit, but that is not the whole story. Before it all ended the police drove the tank into the guy's front porch and tore it off the building, then threatened to crush the entire house. The guy was by then apoplectic with rage, but also presumably thinking of the cost of replacing the house, he gave up. It seems to me this was more of a case of brinksmanship than thoughtful negotiation and if the fellow had been suicidal smashing his porch might have been the trigger.

Also, what was the plan if he didn’t surrender, crush the house with him in it? How did they plan to deploy the tank later on in the stand off should it have continued and how much experience did the driver have? My opinion? Flack vests are good for police, black ninja outfits and camo clothing are not good. AR-15/M-16 semi auto rifles are good in the right circumstances, grenade launchers, bayonets and full auto weapons are not good and neither are tanks. Our local sheriffs though are miffed and they are searching for a new tanks to buy. That’ll show 'em! My question, show whom, why and to what end?

Rob Mouat

March, 2016

Reference articles:

Detroit News 9/17/2014

Detroit News 12/23/2015

Detroit News 2/11/2016

Response Letters From Readers-

To Last Month's Article

These comments refer to last month's article, not necessarily to the comments I made today:

Nice job, Rob ! You have explained the essence of a very important issue. Al Hopfmann

Rob, Thanks for the evenhanded story on Waco. Am looking forward to your next story. There is so much hype from both sides of the great gun divide you are refreshing. BTW have been a Life Member of the NRA since May 1953. Our NRA ain’t what it used to be. Dan Hess

Rob, I agree with you. Ever since the "Patriot Act" and the birth of "Homeland Security" I read between the lines and saw " Gestapo". Perry Hecker

Rob, In the past there was a respect for "the Law" and when a police officer came knocking the offender generally gave up. The may carry a knife of a .38 special. They knew they were out manned and out gunned and if they were smart surrendered. Now the criminals have firepower and ammunition that surpasses that of a round nosed round fired from a short barreled .38 S&W that most law enforcement used to carry. They also have resorted to tactics that are much more violent and deadly. In each of the cases you mentioned, the criminal, and they were all criminals, had weapons that were much more deadly and advanced than any service revolver, and each expressed their willingness to use them. So as the criminals and thugs have advanced their weapons and tactics, law enforcement has been forced to do the same.

I cringe at the fact that some people think that if the police would just go back to carrying only batons and walk a beat sans bullet proof vests, that the crime rate would just decline on it's own. Or, that well if the police had just let the Boston bombers go, instead of chasing them, they would have just went away and all our problems are solved.

In most of the cases you mentioned the criminal was contacted by authorities far in advance to their final demise. They knew they were criminals. They knew they were wanted. They knew what could happen if they resisted requests to surrender. They chose not to. Don't blame law enforcement for trying to stay ahead of the criminals. When the day comes that you are the one that needs them to come riding in I bet you would want them to do everything they could to protect you, not walk away and say sorry but we aren't equipped to help you and someone might get hurt if we try, so you're on your own. We'll wait until the criminal turns himself in. We don't want to offend anyone. Jack Clark

Rob, Your comments on the use of “disproportional force” in police situations were very thought provoking. I was raised to believe that you do not argue with a man (or woman) who carries a badge (and a gun). He/she, right or wrong, is “We the People” and should be respected as such.

The “good guys” require either a “visible crime in progress” or a warrant or a “self-defense” situation before “force” can be used. Having led Infantrymen in combat, before I would lead your son in a “charge” on the “bad guys”, I would, without hesitation, call artillery on the target. This was without concern for the “disproportionate” use of force or the unknown collateral points of the situation. My job was to protect your son first, and, if my actions killed the “bad guy” or deterred the next conflict, that was a bonus.

Police should have control of reasonable “force” and if it scares people, I put my faith in “We the People” who control and direct that “force” to allay those fears. Is there any doubt in your mind that in each cited situation the “bad guys” were subject to reasonable warrants? And, in Boston, the searches were not “unreasonable” (see Forth Amendment) and did result in the capture of the “bad guy”.

I never really understood the totality of the events that you cited but I do know about guns and tanks and tank recovery vehicles. I know that there must have been warrants and people in charge and warnings and the opportunity to end each conflict without bloodshed. These were rejected even in the face of overwhelming force. Does anyone think that a force with tanks and automatic weapons would choose tear gas grenades to kill people?

The options as I see them were:

1. Be sure that the warrant was served or that a crime or “self-defense” situation was in effect.

2. Continue to wait while letting the “bad guy” group know that “resisting arrest” is a crime.

3. Take some “non-lethal” action to encourage surrender (such as tear gas).

Mistakes will be made. The responsibility for any failure will rest with the “Officer in Charge” and should be reviewed openly for reasonableness after the event. The term “Protect and Serve” that you quoted was, in my youth, called “Law and Order”. I believe in protecting the representatives of the law first. They are you and me. They are the “good guys”. Those who do not submit to the tenants of the law are “outlaws” and should be treated as such. Lethal force should not be the first option, but it should be an option. Best regards. Dan Donaghy

PS. The 4th Amendment that says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. " My point was that without a warrant, reasonable searches are permitted, e.g. signs of distress, a reasonable manhunt, traffic stop or things like that, which, after the fact are subject to the test for reasonability and if any evidence of a crime is found, determination whether or not it is admissible in a court. Dan

Dan, Thanks for writing. That was just part one of two and I will try to make a point in the second. As far as this one goes, I agree with you up to a point. The thing is we have to remember that the whole operation originally was organized to save a lot of children from alleged abuse. The second assault killed many of the same children and that is wrong even if we wanted to get Koresh for killing the ATF agents. I believe the problem was caused by police using mil grade equipment and mil assault tactics to quell a civilian situation and the mil grade tear gas shells were probably too powerful and set fire to the compound. Lots of blame to go around starting with Janet Reno but read next month for the rest of it and please comment. Rob

Dear Rob, I had written a long email on this topic but decided it was going to be too long and probably not germane. Anyway, I think this video is right on the mark. I will be interested to read what next article(s) will hold, Bob Poulsen

CartoonBob, I’ll send you the second part of the article (attached). Thanks for your note. Rob

Rob, Seems to cover the ground even without tracks or a rocket launcher (cartoon-Rob). The populace, particularly men, have become a herd of frightened bunnies. What are we so afraid of? Anyway, I think you have said something that needs to be said to your particular audience in a very diplomatic way. Bob

Dear Rob, Looking back, it is of no doubt that these were not your typical folks in the neighborhood, but in America we are a pretty tolerant lot and the Constitution protects the not typical, thank God and some intelligent founders for that. It’s also pretty clear to me that if David Koresh was the issue, it would have been pretty easy to apprehend him while unarmed, away from the compound. As a retired Army Military Police Lieutenant Colonel with earlier service as an Armor officer, I have a pretty good understanding of and some experience with law enforcement operations, special response team operations and armored vehicle tactical operations. I also have the greatest respect for federal law enforcement officers and entities that I’ve worked with over the years. But I have to say Waco can best be described as a “goat rope”. The initial plan was overkill, apparently some attempt for positive publicity gone badly wrong. Once someone sees a peer wounded or killed the human instinct is to rescue them and emotions ran high with undisciplined automatic fire from the initial party. They were eventually replaced and a decision was made to force the issue with armored vehicles leading to the fiery disaster, which some tried to explain away as caused by fatigue of the law enforcement officials. A goat rope. Since then, the statist cure has been to provide M-16s with bayonets, helicopters and mine-resistant wheeled armored vehicles to local and county departments who are becoming increasingly militarized. As are the gangs and terrorists. Sadly it is polarizing the relationships between the police and the citizens they are paid by and sworn to protect and serve. The up-to-the-second media compounds conflicts and encourages stereotypes, worsening the problem. The tactical genie is out of the bottle and I’m not sure how to put him back in but we must, for our continued liberty and the Republic. Regards, John B. Fowler, LTC, US Army(Ret’d)

PS: I can still see a use for the M113/577 armored personnel carriers (the tracked box) as they make a great moving barricade that provides overhead cover and the drop ramp rear door lets you run in quickly with someone on a stretcher, provide cover to get to them in the first place and clear crowds of rioters ala Baltimore or Ferguson when police cruisers cannot. But the black suited, automatic weaponed, helmeted, masked face, police ninjas on a routine warrant service are my concern. Read the new book, Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, it has a scary tale of such a police raid gone horribly wrong and is a model for an attorney's use in the future. In Detroit a few years back a child was killed point blank with an MP5 during an attempted arrest, subject wasn't even there, it was the bad boys in black and the Chief at the time was even allowing the film crew from COPS along on "raids". Very very scary. Regards, John

Rob - I too share your concerns about the militarization of our law enforcement agencies from the local city departments to the state agencies and federal levels. Not too long ago there was an open house at the State Police post at the Mackinac Bridge north end. The intent was to familiarize the local populace with what was available to the troops to combat crime and how they aid in emergencies. The one item stat stood out to me was an armored vehicle that was capable of battering its way into any type urban structure. In all my years of having resided in Northern Michigan (moving up here in 1962) as a transplant working for the DNR in a law enforcement capacity I do not recall anytime that such a vehicle would have ever been used. Many of my friends were State Police troopers and police officers of local units of government. We dealt with game law violations, drunks, some drug users and domestic disputes. At the time of my retirement of 35 years service in 1992 these were the main issues many of us dealt with. Meth was probably out there and its manufacturing process but not until the last ten years has it become commonplace to find the one pot method leftovers in the woods and trails and parks.

My point being that I believe the military should keep their armored vehicles in their ranks and unless such vehicles might be turned into firefighting tools (bulldozers, pumpers etc.) use worn out vehicles or surplus vehicles for recycling in the scrap metal pile. I noticed more fully equipped "riot gear" and "assault gear" being issued to local police departments and in some cases fire departments and officers running around like SWAT teams with low thigh tie down side arms and of course the AR series type rifles. I have gone from respect to many police officers and departments to a feeling of paranoia and suspicion when they announce the acquisition of new equipment that looks like it should be on a military base of overseas helping our beleaguered troops.

I am of that older generation that had the benefit of free speech and the right to bear arms to now having to suffer attacks from pc speech and too many restrictions on what I may own or purchase.

The sign of the times is that I recently had a new young neighbor move in to a house down the road from me along with his intended and I stopped to introduce myself and meet him. During the course of our conversation he mentioned he had recently purchased one of those "black rifles" and also had purchased a handgun. He then launched into a diatribe of how he had a right to own more than one gun plus an assault rifle to boot. After his discourse of which I sat silently listening he was worked up about his rights. He also said "I don't feel guilty about all these weapons". Apparently he must have been from some bastion of liberal anti gun city or urban area. I quietly assured him I was a life member of NRA among other gun organizations and strongly believed in the 1st and 2nd amendments. He had heard I was some kind of law enforcement ogre even after I had informed him I had been retired for a number of years and had left the job behind. He has now begun to wave when I drive by, apparently somewhat relieved I was not "one of them".

Sorry to go on so long, but just wanted to know I am a very big fan and customer of you and your wife. You two are performing a tremendous service for those who consider themselves collectors or users of one sort or another. Thanks again for being! Sincerely; Wayne Ruxton

Arms Heritage Magazine

The Shot Tower

Dotting the landscape in several countries are tall iconic structures, some still in operation, others relegated to the status of monuments to a bygone era. They are shot towers, but how many of us know the history of shot manufacture and the developer of a system still in practice?

An English plumber named William Watts was also a keen observer of nature. In 1782 he realized that falling drops of rain were, in fact, spheres of water. Whether he was aware of the science behind his observation we’ll never know (once they’ve fallen far enough, surface tension pulls them into the shape with the least surface,--a sphere). He wondered whether the same thing would happen to molten lead . The surface tension of lead is a lot higher than that of water so it does form perfect spheres as it falls through the air.

Watts TowerWatts went back to his brick row house in Bristol and began adding height to his house—it was already three stories high. He doubled that and added a little castle-like trim on top to perhaps please his neighbors. After knocking holes through each of the floors he placed a tank of water at the bottom.. At the top he poured molten lead into a sieve. The lead formed perfect spheres as the droplets fell into the water.

Prior to that, lead shot was made in gang molds, a time-consuming and imperfect process. Watts’s great invention was the height of the tower. Prior to that, some shot was made by pouring melted lead through a sieve into a water barrel. The shot produced by that method was irregular in shape and not particularly popular. (He is lucky he didn't live in Flint, MI! Rob)

Watts had gambled his house on the hope that his idea would work – and it did. Shortly, shot towers sprang up all over England and Europe. Shot became a major export from England, France and other European countries. Most of the Shot Moldshot used in the United States was imported until 1807. In that year Thomas Jefferson had the Congress pass the Embargo Act of 1807 which forbade all international trade to and from American ports. That was the end of importing shot from across the Atlantic.(pictured is a c1600 shot mold)

The story of the Shot Tower is told in the forthcoming June issue of Arms Heritage Magazine. If you are not already a subscriber, you can easily subscribe for a paltry sum of $19 by going to the website, Arms Heritage. You subscription provides access to all 31 back issues plus those forthcoming over the next year.

With the help of Cornell Publications we have produced “Annual Compendiums” of our first four years of publication. We have removed all commercial advertising and redundant material and the volumes are now pure articles on arms and related topics.

Check in at Arms Heritage Magazine

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. Special thanks to Roger Martin, Jim Handy and Will Ketters for letting us borrow their wonderful old catalogs and manuals to copy.

Connecticut Valley Arms 2003 Catalog

Federal 1974-75 Cartridge News Vol. 8

Ferlach 1952 U.S. Distributor- Flaig

Henry Repeating Arms 2006 Rifle Catalog

Hy Hunter's 1954 Frontier Sixshooter Manual

Mossberg 1996 Shooting Systems

P&S Sales c1960 Guns and Sporting Goods

Reinhart Fajen c1950 Gun Stocks No. 57

Remington 1963 Guns Price List

Remington 1974 Ammunition Components

Ruger 1995 Collection Fine Firearms

Ruger c1997 Fine Firearms

Savage 1982 Rifles & Shotguns

Smith & Wesson 1970c Floating Distress Signal

Smith & Wesson 1971c Icarus Parachute Illuminating Flare

Smith & Wesson 1972 Pellet Guns

Smith & Wesson 1972 Sporting Ammunition

Smith & Wesson 2004 Gun Catalog

Smith & Wesson 2005 Gun Catalog

The Arsenal At Springfield-1969 a History

Weatherby 1993 Gun Catalog

Weatherby 1996 Gun Catalog

Weatherby 1997 Gun Catalog

Weatherby 1999 Gun Catalog

Weatherby 2001 Gun Catalog

Weatherby 2003 Gun Catalog

Williams 1960 Gun Sight Catalog & Dealer Prices

Williams 1961 Gun Sight Co No 7

Williams 1970 Gun Sights & Products Catalog

Williams 1982 Guide Line Products

Winchester 1997 Gun Catalog

Winchester 2002 Law Enforcement Ammunition Catalog

Winchester 2002 Muzzleloading Catalog

Winchester 2003 Gun Catalog

* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

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Letters from Readers

(Dear Abby) were you going to print #27 Stoegers? I have your stoegers reprints and don't want to miss any. if I missed in your catalog let me know. and of course if you havd an original you want to sell let me know , thanks Don Johnson

Hi Don, I'll keep an eye out for a copy of Stoeger 1936, "no 27". You probably know we have this Stoeger 1936 Arms & Ammo Catalog which doesn't seem to have a number attached to it that I can see. Rob

Hey (Abby), Just wanted to drop you a quick message to let you know that Ammo.net has moved to Ammo.com. You may want to update your link. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can do anything to help. We truly appreciate your continued support of Ammo.com All the best, Sam Jacobs

Sam, I'd be happy to change that link, but I can't find it. Are you sure it is in the list and if so where? Rob

Rob: Gun Safety for Parents, Sam

(Dear Abby) If I buy this book will I be HOUNDED with emails AGAIN?? By you? (anonymous)

Dear… I checked my email with your email address and at least in the last 5 years I do not show that I sent you anything - you did not give your name so I don't know who you are. Best, Abby

(Dear Abby) I had to put your emails to my spam list.An yes it has been a long time since I bought from you. And just for that reason.You don't need my name to answer if that burage of emails will start again if I buy from you. Donald Smith

Donald, I don't know what you are talking about. We send confirmation emails and to those who don't care to unsubscribe, we send a monthly newsletter which goes to over 25,000 gun enthusiasts all over the word but we don't "hound" people with emails. So, whether you buy the book or not is up to you. If you do, expect the above emails but I don't think they are "hounding". Sincerely, Rob Mouat

Hi Rob & Abby, Happy to use your service again. I'm looking for information on the colt 1883 SxS shotgun. I couldn't find anything else when I searched your database but if you had any thoughts? Regards, Josh

Hi Josh, How about this: Colt 1888 Patent Fire Arms Catalog, Cheers, Rob

Hi Rob, Great minds think alike. That is what I'd found and ordered. 😀 All the best, Josh

Hi, You are welcome. You do everyone who loves American culture a great favor. Take care, Jeff

Colt 1981 Python Manual: Hello are interested in this catalog but my python is 1984 , can you help me ? I'm Italia, thanks gcpd1blu (Ebay)

Dear gcpd1blu- I am sorry, I do not know if the revolver was changed between 1981 and 1984. Rob

(Dear Abby) Thank you. Just received the book, which contains exactly the information I was looking for. I will be ordering from you again, in the near future. Thank you for your efforts. Bob

Hello Roy - I am sorry that there was an error in your item. We will send you a new complete one today. We had many outages and that seemed to spawn all kinds of glitches.... Our apologies and many thanks again for your support. Regards, Abby

(Dear Abby) Thank you very much. That's why I buy from you. You are tops. I do understand about your power outages. They can wreck havoc with computers. Roy

(Dear Abby) I ordered a "take-down and assembly operations" manual for a winchester model 94 lever action carbine. I didn't realize it was for 1957 as my gun is a mid-70's. I'll keep the book as I plan on eventually having an older model to redo, but seeing if u carry a manual for my year range of model post 1964? Or can steer me to a good source if you don't carry. thanks, this book is great, just can't use quite yet :) Deon

Dear Deon, If this is what you ordered: Winchester Model 94 Complete Takedown Manual. They were made by an engineer at Winchester between '59 and '62. He was gone by '64 when they shifted over to the stamped process and they never did another like that again. Does that answer your question? Rob

Rob and Abby, As always very satisfied with my items which arrived today. You do extraordinary work. James Romnes

Abby, Thank you for offering this item. Have a great weekend. Tom Masters

hi, what language is that catalogue: Sellior & Bellot c1912 (Prague) Ammunition Catalog? Appears to be German? Ohm-boy_dti5127le (Ebay)

Dear ohm… I would agree. Rob

(Dear Abby) Just got your package shipped email notification Abby. Thank you for the heads-up. I'm looking forward, for example, to see what the "XCD" on grandpa's old .22 Long revolver back home means, and who manufactured/ marketed it. That one has been a hard nut to crack. I've been an avid and active collector and accumulator for nearly five decades (since I was 9), and I think it is great that you and Rob are preserving and making available all this information. All best. EJS

(Dear Abby) Are your catalogs anywhere marked reprint or reproduction or cornellpubs ? aaworker: (Ebay)

Dear aawor… Yes. Rob

Dear Abby, Showed the February newsletter to my wife. She teaches Duplicate Bridge classes. She told her students that their partner would get a really funny look on their faces if they made a certain bid in a certain sequence. She used your video of the bear to illustrate her point. I can guarantee her class will never forget that lesson. Wanted to thank you for your efforts, and tell you about their positive impact in ways that you never could have imagined. Sincerely, Larry, Minneapolis MN

Thanks Larry, you made my day. Cheers, Abby

(Dear Rob) ref: Colt 1948 Fire Arms .45 auto to .22 auto Conversion Manuals I can't tell from your pics if this looks like my .22-.45 colt convsion or not, but on the frame is numbes 1872. Does that firt with your manual? medora_saddlebred (Ebay)

Dear Medor... I'm sorry, I just don't know enough about the conversion kit to advise you. Rob

(Dear Abby) I was trying to purchase Winchester Model 63 Complete Takedown Manual - PDF DOWNLOAD VERSION, and the checkout was adding shipping and handling charges. Why are there such charges for a downloaded manual. Thanks. Warren White

Dear Warren, That is our dear friend Paypal. You see they make a commission on everything including shipping so we have been unsuccessful to date in persuading them to not charge shipping. Therefore, if you buy the download version, we will refund the shipping. Sorry for the confusion. Cheers, Abby

(Dear Abby) Does the Navy Arms 1994 Gun Catalog show what the manufacturer's suggested retail prices were for the guns in the catalog at that time ? Thanks pcdinsd (Ebay)

Dear pcdinsd Looking at the index with the advertisement for the catalog I see it lists that the catalog has dealer and retail prices. Abby

Hello: I saw your book for sale and I need to know the following information. The index of you reprint indicates it has a section on early Marbles sights. i have a Marbles Sights Showcase that has a number of early 1900 marbles sights. Some are in boxes so I can identify the gun it was for as it is printed on the box. i have earlier rear peep sights such as the S-3 which I do not have a box for, so I do not know which guns it was for. So my question is, does your book list the different sights and spell out the guns they were designed for. Use the S-3 as a reference for determining my question if you would. Look forward to your reply. Regards, Bob oziskansas: (Ebay)

Dear Bob, The S3 in in the Marbles 1915 Hunting, Gun & Fishing Catalog (Gladstone, MI) and it does specify which rifle it was for. Rob- (we reprint a lot of Marbles catalogs from 1905-1964)

Rob, I just feel sorry for the dumb followers of these little Hitler’s. Cracked up at the comment of the German customer as to where his merchandise was (letter in the last newsletter-Rob). You are probably aware of the recent publication of the third volume of the cartridge collector book History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition by Hackley, Woodin, Scranton. Shipping has been a thorn in the side of purchasers. Canadian P.O charges are about $40! One French person posted on our forum that the publisher was a swindler with the European shipping cost plus the French customs charged him 20 Euros. Good one for your rants a rages column. IAA forum does not allow rants and rages, political comment or loading data so the “web police” pulled the post after a few hours. Gordon Martin

Hi, as im interested in the history of Ray Ban i was wondering if this catalog is genuinely from 1939 and what the item Ray Ban sun glasses contains in this catalog. Could i receive a scan from the article on forehand to fully understand it this catalog is a valuable addition to my Ray Ban collection? thanks in advance. Peter - be-negative: (Ebay)

Dear Peter, You make me nervous using the name be-negative! The '39 Stoeger reprint shows- three glasses, aviator, hard-rimmed and clip-on. I can't send pics through Ebay and wouldn't anyway because people who get what they want rarely buy and we would spend all our time giving away our business. The glasses take up the bottom 1/4 of the page across the bottom. Cheers, Rob ---- ps- if we are uncertain of a date we use "c" for circa before the date- this is 1939.

Hi thanks for your responds. It is possible to send pictures via ebay but i understand your point. So this catalog is from 1939 and talks bausch nd lomb sunglasses or is realy ray ban specifically mentioned? Thanks again

Peter, You asked about Ray Ban and that is what my response concerned. Rob

(Dear Rob) Breechloading Shotgun Old Parts: NEED TO SEE BOOK OF THAT TITLE. David Cooper

David, Your statement is a bit too brief for me to figure out what you want. If this is the book you are asking about: Breechloading Shotgun Old Parts Chart you can order it online. Rob

Hi, Lebeau Courally model 5 shotgun. would be grateful if you could tell me whether you have any catalogue featuring a Lebeau Courally model 5 shotgun. If so, can it be bought and downloaded? Thanks, Mark

Hello Mark,Both the below catalogs feature the gun you requested (note the dale of publication). Each of our catalogs has an index of contents. We do not sell pdf downloads yet.

Best wishes, Abby

Hello Abby, thanks for your answer. I am looking for information about a Lebeau Courally Model 5. What kind of info are present on the catalogue? Furthermore, can you ship to Italy? Mark

Mark, Please tell me exactly what information you are seeking and then I can look for you. It is too hit and miss to start writing back and forth with bits and pieces of "information". We ship to Italy but your post office is a bit unreliable and things to Italy go missing from time to time. Rob

Hi Rob, I am looking for every bit of information possible (draws, diagrams, description, photos, etc) relating to Lebeau Courally model 5. That is, I need just the pages of the two catalogues  relating to the shotgun in question, something which is obviously impossible to have without buying the whole catalogues. The unreliability of Italian Post is the reason why I asked for PDF copies. Mark,

Mark, Both catalogs have a basic description of the gun with the action and ornamentation including price. One shows the action open the other closed. Neither has exploded parts views or cutaway drawings of the part (as was common at the time). Cheers, Rob

(Dear Abby) Mossberg Components Catalog Query. Does the catalog contain an exploded view of the adjustable trigger tension assembly? This is a separate assembly from the Elevator assembly. Dennis

Dennis, You didn't say what gun you are asking about or what year catalog you were looking at. Rob

Dear Rob, This is the first newsletter I've rcad. Made a purchase of a gun manual earlier this year that was a great help in maintaining the gun. I spent quite a while looking through the "rants". My gosh, I guess I didn't realize how many really stupid and rude people there are in the world. Thanks for posting them. Please keep up your good work. Gene

Geez, Gene, consider too that all these guys are armed and angry too! Cheers, Rob

(Dear Rob) I sent an email to you after receiving the Xerox copy of the manual. I haven't heard back. I was unhappy with what you sent. I expected it to look like the original manual so I could place it in the guns box with the gun. Instead you sent a bunch of Xerox pages stapled in the corner. It looks like you increased the images to fit on the 8 1/2 x 11 inch copy paper. Even if I was willing to cut the images off of the pages and staple them together I couldn't fit them in the box. I would like to send it back to you for a refund. Please let me know where to send it. SACTRAINEDKILLER

Dear SACTRA… I picked up a few things in your note that require clarification:

1. This is the first we have heard from you- no other complaint.

2. Nothing we ship is “Xeroxed” – we print to order... on a printer

3. If you received the Mauser HSc Manual with the green cover it was not “stapled in the corner”.

4. You did not read the advert which clearly states the piece is about 11” x 8”: Mauser HSc Pistol Manual (German)

Now, we print it large because most people use it as a manual and asked for the larger format to see the detail better. I do a smaller version and will be happy to send you that. It has paper covers and more closely resembles the original but is not an “exact copy” because the paper is a bit heavier. Let me know if that would please you. Cheers, Rob (we sent him the small one and he seems to be happy)

(Dear Abby) 1970-sheridan blue streak manual: I like your web page will you tell me what the shipping rate is thanks, JESSE WALKER

Jesse, Thanks for your question. The answer is I don't know, but not much for that item. You see, shipping depends on where you live in the U. S. or foreign country and which method of shipping you decide you want. Buy it and when you get to the cart select shipping an if you don't like the postage, don't complete the transaction by using your credit card. Or call Abby in the morning and ask her. Cheers, Rob

(Dear Abby) I have an old sword and know nothing about it and would like to find some information about the item! Lorenzotti Bresica sword. Robert Swiderski

Robert, As I advised on the phone you should look up Man at Arms magazine and write to them with pictures. Otherwise enter the words in google.com and see what comes up... Abby

(Dear Rob) Thank You for the info on printing the copy of a Marlin catalog. I do have a question, and that is do you own the original, and if so can the original cover be reprinted for this catalog instead of the cover that is shown in the ads? Thanks You, Ed Tippen

Gosh Ed, if we had the original cover you can bet we would use it rather than going to the trouble of making one! Unfortunately, as is often the case, covers are lost over the centuries and there was none with this one. I am sorry. Best, Rob

Hello Abby, I hope you/re doing well in 2016. I'm trying to identify one of your Remington Arms catalogs that provides a detailed listing of the center fire cartridges available for the No 1 Rolling Block rifle. I purchased your 1878 catalog last year. The 1878 catalog provides good information on the rim fire cartridges, but many center fire calibers were added by Remington in the 1880s and 1890s. Can you tell me what catalog may have the most detail in this area? Then I will place my order. Thank You, Jeff Viney

Hi Jeff, Most catalogs didn't go into a lot of detail about ammunition they were selling beyond a picture and brief description. For example the 1897 Rem catalog shows two cartridges for the rolling block but other than the calibre they don't go into much else- 45-70 Govt solid head and .43 Spanish, What do you need to know? Best, Abby

Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

"hello i need help i so mad no one not even u will put info down thatr is need it by people who r not so smart on this subject can u help me i want the cheapest item tho don't like no stuff ok so here what i need i live in pa an need a bird caller that calls the birds that r in pa not a duck or a engel normal plane birds also i may get the booklet on it also witch one is better i was looking at the 1947 cuz that was the year he was born the person i am buying this for pleas text fast. hanno.nic (Ebay)

Dear hanno.nic, Uh??, could be, I guess. 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)

Popups and Blockers

Popup Blockers on your computer may block some links in this newsletter from opening. Many people set their browsers to block popups. This popup blocker may make it impossible to see some of the links in this newsletter because the link may ask the program to open in a new window (popup). If you experience this and want to suspend the popup blocker in Firefox go to Tools/Options/Content and click the popup box. in Internet Explorer go to Tools and then Popup Blocker (about in the middle).

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

1. Never use your main 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 and help control spam.

2. Use forwards cautiously - Use BCC (look for the link to open it near your address bar). Cut and paste the addresses you want to send to into BCC and this hides them from hackers and harvesters... helps control spam!

3. Use caution when visiting websites. Just visiting a webpage can infect your computer. Not all No.1 listed sites on Google are safe!

4. If you get an email from someone you don't know, 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 hurt your computer, possibly ruin it!)

5. If you're interested in "cleaning up" your computer to remove possible spamware and malware, you can download free programs like Spybot and Ad-Aware.

At the Cornellpubs 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.

* 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 I use my book scanner. The catalog hangs over the side of the scanner and only needs to be opened 90 degrees. This puts much less stress on the spine.

So there you have it, a tip that I hope will result in a torrent of eager collectors now willing 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.

* How to pay for things on the internet while using your credit card with some safety... You have to make certain the site accepting your credit card is secure. Normally the site URL begins with http: etc. but a secure site has a different beginning. It starts with https:. etc. The "S" means the site is using encryption software and it is pretty safe to send your card information to the company if you trust 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 or anywhere else, the transaction is recorded on the internet! Do you trust the company you are giving the info to?

Gun Model & Makers, Parts Suppliers and Appraisers

Maker/Model - Cross Reference Link:

House Brand, Model Number, Original Manufacturer, Original Model


email William E Sterner Bill is certified by the American Gunsmithing Institute as an appraiser. His website for Black Shepherd Firearms Appraisal


Mike Rich, owner of I HAVE THIS OLD GUN. 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 selling parts for old guns...

Free Downloads

Serial Numbers and Corresponding Dates:


Abby and Rob