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April 2008 Newsletter
Over 7500 Subscribers Worldwide
Email: Abby@cornellpubs.com (please don't "return" this newsletter to the unmonitored mailbox)
In This Issue:
Telephone Calls from the Wilds:
Calls are increasing from police departments and federal agencies as well as private forensics labs all seeking information about older guns. One major eastern city has decided to build a library of historic gun information by buying our catalogs alphabetically. We are pleased to help all enforcement agencies in any way we can but I do wonder what happened to the kid from out west who called for help proving the sawed-off shotgun with the filed-off serial numbers and broken stock the cops found in his truck was actually a production weapon from the 30s (no it wasn't an Ithaca). We are getting more calls from overseas too, including a poor secretary from Italy who doesn't speak English but who wants to fax us something. Our fax won't cooperate with hers but she tries and tries. I wish I knew what to do to help her. We thought spring was almost here a week or two ago but then the snows came back... again.
New Books and Special thanks (see the bottom of this letter for the complete alpha list without accompanying text):
Our special benefactor Dick Carleton, who with his brother, Al, have sent us more material than you can imagine came up with two really teriffic hardcover books this month. First is the Improved American Rifle by John Chapman and written in 1848. The distinguished American shooter Ned Roberts thought so much of this book that he personally reprinted it with a supplement containing those few points he though could use an update. This book is a must for any serious shooter and masterfully connects him with our shooting heritage.
The next book from Dick is The Schuetzen Rifle. This book is actually a collection of 11 essays written by Ned H. Roberts and privately printed by Gerald Kelver after Roberts died. They cover the history, development, and maturation of the Schuetzen Rifle and include records, matches and most makers who sought to offer such a gun. If you have an interest in long range shooting don't miss this one! Dick's Sporting Goods Dealer from 1911 is also interesting, not for it's listings of guns because there are only a handful of gun ads, but for the wonderful articles therein. Dick also included a Garand wartime manual and a Lyman No 35 from 1949. Emerson Hoblit sent us a Lyman No 43 covering 1960-62- see the notes below about this book*.
Al Carleton sent a wonderful copy of the American Rifleman's Encyclopedia which, in 142 pages, carefully explains the meaning of every word or expression pertaining to shooting or firearms as they applied in 1902. Also in Al's package were a 1959 Colt catalog and a 1959 Smith & Wesson both in color. Al's limitless Winchester collection contributed his 1955 Full Line Winchester Catalog.
Stuart Barlow sent us four wonderful old European catalogs. The Louis De Brus, Manufacture Belge D'Armes catalog we dated to c1938 because it was printed on tissue paper suggested it was light enough for air mail. His beautiful 50 page Bayard- Anciens Establissements Pieper c1921 is in color. The Suhler Waffenwerk Gebruder Merkel is a 1932 Merkel treasure that even includes a rare, at that time, manual. The monster 194 page Schroeder Freres is a 1932 complete sporting catalog from Belgium.
Ed Cornett loaned us two really rare WWII manuals. The Aircrewman's Gunnery Manual is soup to nuts about the Browning .50 cal machine gun M2 and its buddy the Browning .30 machine gun M2 both twins and singles... and when you run out of belt ammo there is always the caliber .45 automatic pistol. The manual covers guns, mounts, sights and sighting, maintenance, turrets and tactics in over 300 action packed pages. To help with the difficulty of hitting attacking fighters the "gumment" issued the Air Gunner's- Get That Fighter, a 38 page booklet devoted just to fighter/bomber gunnery tactics something unknown today in the age of over the horizon missiles.
Rudi Prusok, archivist for the American Single Shot Rifle Association, has loaned us more catalogs than we can remember. This month we feature the Charles J. Godfrey Co. Catalog from 1906-07, a long lasting mail order firm established in the latter 19th century. Also, Greener, Shots from a Gun, 1923 which was a newsletter of sorts from the company. The Kynock 1902-3 is another beauty from the archives. Rudi, a professor of German, found a Mauser Rifles from 1928 in German but the Nobel, Eley, Kynock 1925 is in English. The shorter Nobel, Eley, Kynoch 1925 is not illustrated. Rudi's 1917 US Ammunition catalog is one of the nicest color reprints we offer. The ASSRA reprint of the Schuyler, Hartley & Graham 1864 is a very early edition of the venerable and long-lived Hartley & Graham Co. See the webpage for some more history.
Last month we introduced you to Bob Beach from Griffin & Howe and his service that can give you the original owner if your gun was sold by VL&D or Abercrombie during the first half of the 20th century. Bob loaned us a 1929 Griffin & Howe and a 1960 Griffin & Howe to add to our collection.
Ray Phillips, an expert on Norwich, Connecticut arms makers let us copy his 1908-9 Hopkins & Allen catalog which is interesting not only because it is the longest H&A we have but it shares the same cover as two other H&As we own. One is a 1907 Hopkins & Allen that we are releasing today. The other is the 1905 H&A. Each of these catalogs may share a cover but each has different insides.
By the way, our indexes are not alphabetized and can be difficult to search. Until we 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
An author who wants to remain anonymous sent the premier Italian catalog Famars c1972. Robert Randolph found a good photocopy of a 1937 Parker catalog from the days after Remington bought them. Mike Carrick sent two very interesting Pasquale catalogs, the Army outfitter based in San Francisco before and after WWI. Peter Strong sent a Remington 1949 to go with our Remington 1936.
We purchased a few too. The Johnston's 1879 Great Western catalog fills in a gap in out collection of this pioneer mail order catalog. The 1905 Handbook on Ammunition from the British Admiralty covers everything from small arms to naval cannons. The Ideal no 37 from 1953* is interesting because it was the first Ideal/Lyman catalog. Iver Johnson catalogs are apt to be short but at least this one is in color- Iver Johson 1934. We also found a 1941-42 Iver Johnson. Our LC Smith 1909 not only fills a big gap in out catalogs but is really a beautiful piece. I bet our c1918 Webley Mk IV .38 Sales brochure and manual will find wide appeal. The Lee Arms Co, 1879, from Bridgeport, CT was owned by James Lee a Scottish-Canadian-American inventor who developed the rifle that became the fabled Lee-Enfield rifle of the British Army.
*Ideal/Lyman 1953 from above has announcement about Lysle Kilbourne and the 1960-62 Lyman has a letter from him:
Letter from Kilbourn to Mr. Hoblit was in back of the Lyman No 43 1953 – this excerpt is in our reprint.
Lysle D. Kilbourn
Lysle Kilbourn originator of the K. Hornet and a famous gunsmith and wildcat chamber specialist of many years experience has discontinued all chambering and gunsmithing and will now devote his entire time at this position with the Lyman Gun Sight Corp. With the ever increasing interest in reloading, wildcat cartridges and bench rest shooting, Mr. Kilbourn will help provide the service to shooters than has been the Lyman watch word for 75 years.
Mr. Kilbourn started working with Remington Arms Co. at start of World War I then went to Savage Arms Co. Later he began building custom rifles for the .22 Hornet Cartridge, which Winchester manufactured, but for which there were no commercial arms available.
Cooperation of the Savage Arms Company made possible the testing of these rifles in their shooting galleries. Savage was quick to see the possibilities of the .22 Hornet Cartridge in production.
A chance remark by John Pierce, then ballistic engineer at Savage, that the Hornet case did not burn all the powder in it to best advantage, gave Mr. Kilbourne the idea of changing the shape with an abrupt shoulder to get more perfect combustion. Thence came the K. Hornet.
The fact that the K. Hornet was the first wildcat cartridge where cases could be formed by merely firing factory loaded .22 Hornets in the chamber made it popular with reloading enthusiasts at once. Thousands of K.Hornet rifles are to be found all over the US and even in foreign countries. This business became too much for him to handle. Mr. Kilbourn has now discontinued all chambering and gunsmithing and will turn everything over to younger men to carry on. He will now devote all this time to his new position.
Short Chamber Shot Shells:
Dick Carleton sent us a note with the web address of a company that sells shot shells for old 16, 20 and 28 ga. shotguns as well as 10 and 12 ga guns. Try www.rstshells.com. (This is a free advert- they didn't pay for it!)
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!
Bonnie Parker, or Tom Mix 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 these makers write down the serial number and compare it to the serial numbers at the G&H website:
A&F, Baker, Bayard, Boss, Britte, Browning, BSA, Cashmore, Churchill, Crescent, Defourney, Dumoulin, Folsom, Fox, Francotte, Fred Adolph, GE Lewis, Gibbs, Greener, Greifelt, Griffin & Howe, Harpoon Guns, Henry Atkin, Hoffman Arms, Holland & Holland, Hollenbeck, Hollis, Bentley & Playfair, Ithaca, Iver Johnson, Jaeger, Jeffery, Kimball 20th Century, Krieghoff, Lancaster, Lang, LC Smith, Lefever, Leonard, Liege, Luck, Mahillon, Mannlicher-Schoenauer, Marlin, Martini, Mauser, Meffert, Merkel, Nimrod, Ogden Smith & Hussey, Owen Parker, Purdey, Remington, Remo Gehr, Rheinmetall, Rigby, Sauer, Savage, Schmidt & Haberman, Sedgley, Seymour Griffin, Simson, Springer, Springfield, Stephen Grant, Stoeger, Syracuse, Thieme & Schlegelmilch, Thompson, Tolley, Venus Waffen Werk, W&C Scott, Walther, Webley & Scott, Westley Richards, Winchester, Woodward.
Robert C. Beach, Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Website: www.griffinhowe.com (scroll down to see all the makes when you get there)
A Feast for the Aficionado… A New Offering from Cornell!
Do you revere the classic doublegun? Then you’re going to love Double Gun Classics Magazine. It’s all about this wonderful genre of sporting arms, as made and used during the Golden Era of field sport, prior to WWII.
But unlike other doublegun publications, Double Gun Classics takes you to a new depth of understanding regarding these wonderful instruments of art and sport. You’ll find articles on repair, refurbishment, refinishing, cases and accoutrement repair, and history. And what history you’ll find!
Double Gun Classics goes to a level of detail and background that you won’t find anywhere else, especially with regard to English and European doubles. Why? Because the makers of these guns kept more meticulous records of the original owners. And, despite the ravages of two World Wars, many of these records have survived. What’s more, the personal stories you’ll find behind those names are fascinating. From English Lords and statesmen to captains of industry and politics, the lives and intrigue are riveting. Fine guns were often the proud possessions of fine men… and some who were not-so-fine.
But Double Gun Classics also offers a "look inside" the actions and mechanicals. Readers learn how to preserve these old guns and their accoutrements through clear, step-by-step instructions and photos. You’ll also find the proper "insider" sources and services that you’ll need. Gun dealers, color case hardening, barrel blacking, engraving, stock work... all that and more.
Prior to this the magazine has only been available as a download (you can still download a free preview of many issues from the link at the end of this paragraph). Now you can buy printed and bound editions of DGC from us. Check them out!
Original Publications for sale:
I will continue to sell some of my originals each month. If you are interested, please sign up for the newsletter announcing the sale. To register for the special newsletter, send an email to the following address and put the word REGISTER in the subject line: firstname.lastname@example.org. And many thanks to all of you who registered during January! IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED THERE IS NO NEED TO DO SO AGAIN.
This month's winner is: I am relieved to report that this was been a quiet month near Lake Michigan and the Rants and Raves column has not grown much. The nuts from earlier are still there though! got to: RAVES and RANTS
Reviews of our work: During the last few years many winderful editors, among them Rudi Prusok, Holt Bodinson, Mike Carrick, Vic Venters, Ross Seyfreid, Paul Milligan and Jas Van Driel, have taken the time and opportunity to write about my project. The latest comments may be read in Gun Digest 2008 by John Campbell and in the NRA publication Shooting Illustrated for March 2008 by Rick Hacker. Thanks so much guys! By clicking on the link above you can go to the page where all the article may be read and I did fix the faulty links. :-) Abby -
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
David Fairhurst let us know what to wear when The Boss wants you to mow the lawn:
2-08 Delbert Nolan Wrote:Do you have any catalogs with the Aldis Brothers Telescopic rifle sights? I know they were used in WW1 on some of the British weapons, but I am looking for any scopes, military or civilian. They were probably manufactured in Birmingham. The period would probably be circa 1910-1930. Aldis lamps were used to communicate between ships but I have never seen an Aldis Telescope. Readers?
James West Answered: Aldis scopes continued to be available through Parker-Hale through at least 1951-52, when they appeared in the P-H catalogue. This probably represented assembly of WW1 surplus parts; great variety exists.
Mowrer5001 Wrote: I am 78 years old and when I was a teen-ager, I found a pistol in the dirt somewhere near Wooster, Ohio. I fashioned a handle out of wood just for fun. Is this pistol worth anything in your opinion and if I wanted to restore it, do you have any idea of it's worth? And would you carry the necessary parts for restoration?
Dear mowrer5001,We reprint old gun catalogs and do not sell, appraise or stock parts for old guns. Based on the picture you sent, it appears the hammer and trigger are missing and that is is a small caliber gun- .22 - .32 caliber and it is probably not worth much. I would keep it as a curiosity and not worry about it. If you are serious about finding more information about the gun, send a picture to one of the gun mags that answer questions. You can find copies of the magazines in most large book stores. Cheers, Abby... Readers- any ideas?
Mark Wrote: I would love to get a manual and spec for a Commando Mark III made between 1969 and 1976. Shoots 45 acp. If you have any contacts it would be nice to hear about this American short-live gun and the company. Great to see you growing by leaps and bounds. Nice newsletter. , Commando Arm formally Volunteer Enterpises
Mike Carrick answered: I don't know if this helps, but it is all I have: Volunteer Enterprises 1969 to 1978; 12198 Clinton Hwy, Knoxville, TN. Made cheap semi-auto look-alikes of Thompson Sub-machine guns in 9 mm and .45 acp. Used model number like Mk-3, etc. Name change to Commando Arms in 1978. Mike
Old Newsletters are available online:
If you missed a newsletter or want to look up an old one, please go to my website www.cornellpubs.com and look on the top of the first page for a link to old newsletters. You may view them online and in color with pictures. Also, on the subject of newsletters, I send out the newsletter in both HTML and plain text format. This means that if your browser is not set up to view pictures and colors, you automatically get the plain text version. I hope this explains why some of you don't see the pictures referred to in the letters- I know it has caused some confusion. Also, you should upgrade to the latest version of your browser for best results. To learn which version of you have, click the help button on the top line of this page and then look for the link that says "About [browser]".
Facts about some of my recent reprints:
I often use the The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers by John Walter, Greenhill/Stackpole Books 2001 - ISBN 1-85367-392-7 to answer many of the questions I get each week about the origins of gunmakers. Like many all-encompassing works, some of the information may be inaccurate but over-all it contains a wealth of facts, dates and important history of great old companies.
INDEXES for Every Catalog...
Every catalog we offer has an index at the bottom of the page or in the case of new listings on the right. Listings on Ebay, Gunbroker and Auction Arms as well as our website have indexes (I appreciate purchases at the website where we don't have to pay listing fees or sales commissions... shipping is cheaper for you as well!)
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.
Air Gunner's- Get That Fighter Manual c1942 3-17-08
Aircrewman's Gunnery Manual 1944 3-17-08
American Rifleman's Encyclopedia 1902 3-17-08
Colt 1959 Catalog 3-17-08
De Brus, Louis - Mfr Belge D'Armes c1938 3-23-08
Famar's Gun Catalog (Italian) 1972 3-17-08
Godfrey, Chas 1906-7, New York 3-17-08
Great Western 1879 3-23-08
Greener's- Shots From a Gun 1923 3-17-08
Griffin & Howe 1929 3-17-08
Griffin & Howe 1960 3-17-08
Handbook on Ammunition 1905 (UK Admiralty) 3-17-08
Hopkins & Allen 1907 3-23-08
Hopkins & Allen 1908-9 Catalog 3-17-08
Ideal No. 39 1953 3-17-08
Improved American Rifle 1848- Chapman with Ned Roberts supplement 3-23-08
Iver Johnson 1934 3-17-08
Iver Johnson 1941-2 3-17-08
Kynoch Ammunition 1902-3 3-17-08
The Lee Arms Co, 1879 3-29-08
Lyman No. 43 1960-62 3-17-08
Lyman Sights No. 35 1949 3-17-08
Mauser Rifles 1928 (in German) 3-17-08
Merkel Suhler- Gebrűder 1932 3-23-08
Nobel, Eley, Kynoch 1925 (illust- some color) 3-17-08
Nobel, Eley, Kynoch 1925 (not illust) 3-17-08
Parker Shotguns 1937 3-23-08
Pasquale Army Outfitters (San Francisco) 1912 3-17-08
Pasquale Army Outfitters (San Francisco) 1919 3-17-08
Pieper- Bayard c1921 3-23-08
Remington 1936 3-17-08
Remington 1949 3-17-08
Schroeder Frères 1932 3-23-08
Schuetzen Rifle, The (articles by) Ned Roberts 1951 3-23-08
Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, New York 1864 3-17-08
Smith & Wesson 1959 3-17-08
Smith, LC 1909 3-17-08
Sporting Goods Dealer, The 1911 3-17-08
U.S. Rifle .30 cal M1 1942 3-23-08
US Ammunition 1917 3-17-08
Webley Mk.IV .38 Revolver Manual and Introduction c1918 3-17-08
Winchester Full Line Catalog 1955 3-17-08
(Please let me know if you have any problems with the website where I confess to an occasional bug.)
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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
P.O. Box 214
Brighton , MI 48116
810-225-3075 (9-5 Eastern Time Zone please)