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May 2008 Newsletter
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Email: Abby@cornellpubs.com (please don't "return" this newsletter to the unmonitored mailbox)
In This Issue:
Telephone Calls from the Wilds:
I got an unusual call from a woman with an accent I didn't recognize. She started by saying that she inherited "guns from her Grandpa" (they all say that) and she wanted to know how much "they was worth". Now, most guns that come from Grammas broom closet are run of the mill Sears shotguns or belly guns from a distant past and are not worth much money at all, much less the time it takes to identify them, but this call was different. The more she talked the more I listened. By the time she got around to saying that the two pretty shotguns in the leather case said Purdey, I was all ears. Then she told me about the 1923 Thompson with the original box and papers along with the Class three license... The story gets even better though. I seems the old guy lived in New Orleans and moved, with his gun collection to this woman's house in Baton Rouge just the week before the big storm hit and ruined his family house. Her accent was apparently a Cajun dialect that was new to me. She called back the other day to say she was thrilled to find out the guns her Grandfather left are worth over a quarter million dollars and that she was just going to give them to the police department before she called me. Furthermore, she is expecting a baby and they can really use the money. Now, isn't that a nice story?
New Books and Special thanks (see the bottom of this letter for the complete alpha list without accompanying text):
This list may be a bit shorter than you are accustomed to. There was a death in my family and time just seems to slip by right now. Take another look at last month's recent additions I did a truckload then!
California Triumph and BMW Motorcycle Calmoto.com dealer Kari Prager loaned us two nifty Government manuals: U.S. Rifle Remington Model 1870 (Navy) Manual and U.S. Rifle Model 1895 (Navy) Manual. Doug Elliott just about completed the old Ideal Catalogs with the loans of Ideal No 19 1908, Ideal No 20 1910, Ideal No 21 1910, Ideal No 22 1911 and Ideal No 24 1913. That means we have all the Ideal catalogs from Ideal No 1- 1891 through Ideal No 32 1938 except the No. 30 which I will try to do this month. We also have a few of the later ones. Go to the Ideal web page for more information. Whew!
The Sellier & Bellot c1912 catalog is a beauty. Lon Berg sent it to us on loan and it turns out to be a color ammunition catalog from Prague in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. Al and Dick Carleton shared two unusual catalogs, a Smith & Wesson 1959 and a Colt .22 Conversion with Accro Sights 1967.
From stock we added by request, a Winchester 1886- April and its' sister, a Winchester 1886- October. Just so you know, I have the Winchester factory collection of catalogs which is complete through 1910 and the Carletons loaned us most of the rest so if you need anything you don't see completed, just let me know and I'll do it for you (the Coming Soon page has a list of them). I also did the Stoeger, AE Firearms and Sports 1940 for a client in Italy.
Now I have a couple of treats for you. One is a copy of the rare 1927 LD Satterlee book A Catalogue of Firearms for the Collector which is pretty much everything he knew about the guns and manufacturers up to that time. A lot of lost information here. I also did the Illustrated History of the Forehand Arms Co. by Joe Vorisek which I borrowed from Mike Carrick. This will tell you just about everything you need to know about Forehand Arms. Admittedly Joe Vorisek did not have a top notch photocopier so the picture are not the best (a little better than the Hopkins & Allen book though), but his work in research is unparalleled.
By the way, our indexes are not alphabetized and can be difficult to search. Until I figure out how to alphabetize them, hit the Control key (on the lower left) and the letter "F" on your keyboard. this will give you a search box on the bottom of the screen. Start to type in the name of what you want to find on that page and it should be highlighted on the screen (this works with most browsers). :-) Abby
Major Eastern U.S. police department has a problem:
We got a call the other day from a policeman who needs to know about bullets. Not any old bullets but the type with different color tips indicating what kind of bullet it is. This cop went on to tell us that companies and even countries all over the world make specialty bullets that explode on contact, tracers, armor piercing, frangible tips, shot shells, body armor piercing, practice ammo and others. What he wants to know is who made what with what color tip. While US ammo may have standard color tips indicating their purpose, who knows what Russian ammo looks like or those made in Kyrgyzstan (the capital is Bishkek in case you didn't know). The fellow said that his department recently seized 4000 rounds of Russian ammo with black tips. What does it do? How should they dispose of it (if it's filled with M4, perhaps the incinerator isn't the best idea)? Does anyone know of a source or publication that can help identify specialty ammunition from all over the world?
Specifically Ron asked: "Thank you for the information you sent me it's a start for one country. What I am looking for is a source on military ammunition from the past to the present on the color code of the bullet to determine its specific purpose. I don't think there is a standard system. Each country that manufactures military ammunition has a different color code. For example, British 303 black tip is an explosive round. Where U.S. 30-06 black tip is armor piercing. What I am looking for is something that is a consolidated source with all information about each country and there color codes and their stamp marks on military ammunition."
I did ask a few people about this and Jas van Driel introduced us to an interesting ammunition tracking computer program, CartWin for cartridge collectors.
Jim Buchanan said "Modern ammo is not really my thing and yes it is a complex subject, with different colours meaning different things in different parts of the world. In the UK police forces use the military for the disposal of all seized ammo, they burn it all in special sites, am surprised your man does not have military contacts for the disposal of seized unknown ammo? There are many books on the subject, I suggest he contacts the International Ammunition Assn., perhaps through the questions page on their website, although I see you have already forwarded this to Chris Punnet. One book that springs to mind is “Military Rifle & Machine Gun cartridges” by Jean Houn, but I am sure there are others.
Lon Berg is looking for the following copyrighted books on ammunition:
- European Shotshell Manufacturers before 1945,Gustave Genshow. By Manfred Beutter. 1993
- Rosenfield D.C.Co.-C.I.L. Shotshells 1886-1954,An Illustrated Handbook. By Nick Krevosheia Edmonton, Canada 1966
- Cartucheria Espanola-Spanish ammunition by Molina Lopez and Orea Maestro Valetin Merino Spain 1993
- Shotgun Shells:Identification, Manufacturers and Checklist for Collectors by Frank Steward B&P St. Louis Mo 1969
- Shotshells of Australia by Errol Tucker Dubbo Ausrtalia and the addendum
- Historia de Cartucheria Orbea Argentina S. A. 1906-1966 Imprenta Lopez by Juan Ventieri 1966 Buenas Aries, Argentina.
If you have a copy of one you would like to sell or if you know where Lon could buy one, please let me know and I will pass it along. By the way, I have mentioned before but will repeat that the website http://used.addall.com/ is a super place to look for used books from booksellers from all over the world. Addall combines all the used book sites into one. Abby :-)
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)
Double Gun Classics Magazine
If you have yet to take a look at DGC, please do so now. This fine magazine is filled with interesting articles, hints, reviews and visits to some of the most fascinating places around.
You can look before you buy because many issues are available in "trial size" pdf downloads from my website.
Just follow this link to take a gander: Check them out!
Original Publications for sale:
Because of events this month I did not get to the offering of original catalogs. Pardon me, but I will try to do better in May. However, be warned! My son is getting married this month so I again have distractions! If you are interested in the hundreds of originals I have in boxes, please sign up for the newsletter announcing the sales. 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 signed up already! IF YOU HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED THERE IS NO NEED TO DO SO AGAIN.
This month's winner is: I really like the Stoeger 1939 catalog reprint you sent me but I have a major problem with page 76 where you state in your advertisement for Ithica that the Field Grade guns... I can therefore not trust anything in this book and will return it for a full refund. For the rest of this story, go 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
Ed Lipply Asked: Dear Abby: I have a percussion rifle, that as close as I can tell was made by enterprise gun works. It belonged to my Grandfather or maybe older. In the Illustrated Directory Of Guns by David Miller.pg. 416, is an illustration of what appears to be my rifle. It states that the rifle pictured was probably produced in the 1850s. My rifle has no markings on the barrel. In the James Bown & Son 1876 catalog, that I recently received, It says that James Bown & Son, Pittsburg, Enterprise Gun Works and a deer stamped on the barrel and the words Kill Buck was stamped on every rifle barrel. Does this indicate that the rifle was produced before 1871. Any information and or literature about Enterprise Guns Works would be greatly appreciated. Ed Lipply
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.
A Catalogue of Firearms for the Collector by LD Satterlee 1927
Colt .22 Conversion with Accro Sights 1967
U.S. Rifle Model 1870 (Navy) Manual
U.S. Rifle Model 1895 (Navy) Manual
Ideal No 19 1908
Ideal No 20 1910
Ideal No 21 1910
Ideal No 22 1911
Ideal No 24 1913
Illustrated History of the Forehand Arms Co. by J. Vorisek
Sellier & Bellot c1912 Ammunition- Prague, Austro-Hungarian empire
Smith & Wesson 1959
Stoeger, AE Firearms and Sports 1940
Winchester 1886- April
Winchester 1886- October
(Please let me know if you have any problems with the website where I confess to an occasional bug.)
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Abby Cornell Mouat
P.O. Box 214
Brighton , MI 48116
810-225-3075 (9-5 Eastern Time Zone please)