Calls from the Wilds


* I am happy to announce that I have persuaded Rob, my husband for over 40 years, to help me with some aspects of my business. Rob saw service in the Royal Navy and has many years as a shooter, gun collector and writer. You will see his name appearing on things he contributes to the newsletter. Abby

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

*We have a new printer we are very happy with. It is a Xerox Colorcube 8870 and uses solid ink, at least the "cubes" I insert in it are solid. The printer then melts them and using a magical process combines the colors to make beautiful images. You will be pleased with this new process that I use for all covers and the internal pages of catalogs printed in color. I have been a loyal HP customer for many years but this new technology is clearly superior.

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

I've plugged Silvio's new book: Hemingway's Guns before because it is one terrific book. Well, I'm doing it again. I really loved this book and want everyone to read it. It would make a wonderful Father's Day present. I sold out the first two orders right away but I still have a new box in the storeroom. Get your's today!

Book pic

Published by Shooting Sportsman Books

Hardcover, 184 pages, 98 sepia-tone photos, 8.5" x 11", $39.95.

Click here to order your copy

* We had the pleasure of attending the 2011 North American Model Engineering Society Expo in Southgate, Michigan on April 30 with Jeff Steidle. Jeff took scores of pictures and I will show some here. The work done by the members is absolutely extraordinary and the packed hall was bursting with interesting fellows from all over the US and Canada.




Speaking of our friend Jeff Steidle, he has done something we have wanted to do for years but just never had the time, he is doing for automobiles and other wheeled vehicles what we do for guns. His business, called Regress Press (click on the name to go to the website), is where you can find such treasure catalogs as an Auto Union DKW 3=6, or an Arnolt Bristol Competition Deluxe, or how about a 1965 Rambler American, a 1962 Studebaker Avanti or even a Peugeot 403? Jeff has already made available hundreds of old car catalogs and is working on hundreds more. Please take a look at his offerings and support his effort to preserve these old gems. By the way, Virginia Carter of Carolina Web Creations, our website guru, crafted his website to work very like ours so you won't have any trouble navigating all Jeff's catalogs.


Guest Column

Ross Seyfried is very busy moving some things around and writing an article for Double Gun Journal this month, so we will have to be patient to hear from him. But not to worry, we are very fortunate to have James Blackford, ex-British Army, ex-African Police weigh in with his opinions about the .45 cal vs. 9mm cartridge as the ammunition of choice when used by police and the military. While the action that took place to illustrate Jim's opinions might not be acceptable today, at the time the incident described took place it was the way things were done. Rob Mouat

Gunfight at the Biltong Corral by James Blackford


I wrote the following account of a quick “bush” action for Abby's monthly newsletter. We discussed the now over 100 year old controversy of the relative effectiveness of the old .45 pistol caliber weapon versus the .38 Revolver, or 9 mm Parabellum cartridges. The 9mm was oft selected to ease the recoil associated with keeping a .45 Revolver, or Automatic pistol on target, especially in high stress and exciting, sudden moments of combat. During and after WWII the British came to the decision to use one single cartridge for both their selection of a pistol and an improved SMG. Naturally, they selected the 9 mm cartridge and like the “Curate's Egg” it was good in parts.

Researching both the .38 and the 9mm reveals that they are best described as approximately the same diameter/caliber and leave it at that. Over the years from the late 1800's to mid 1900's there have been an amazing variety of actual shell casing lengths with differing propellant charges giving different muzzle velocities, which are composed of a large variety of chemicals. Rimmed, rimless, bottlenecked, short, long and medium lengths. In short every variety imaginable and manufactured by every industrialized nation in the world over the past 130 years or so.

Focusing on the 9mm, if it is used for what it has eventually been designed and somewhat adapted for, it is doubtless a useful close range weapon cartridge. But even at relatively close ranges many accounts of modern police actions in urban environments seem to end up with newspaper quotes such as, “The perpetrator was taken to hospital suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, he is expected to recover fully.” Today the police weapon of choice seems to be a 9mm automatic pistol or submachine gun capable of rapid single shot, or indeed fast burst shooting. Hence the multiple wounds.

Compare this account with the old days when one hit with a .45 weapon would have been sufficient to incapacitate the most “PCP” stoked up hophead and knock him smartly on his butt. If the desire is merely to cosset the ranting nut cases and other violent criminals, especially if not actually armed - why not simply throw a weighted net over them?

The Gunfight

"One day in an African land far away, we received a report that a local "Freedom Fighting Gang" (sic) had absconded with, and run off one of the local farmer's six draught oxen, very important animals in rough country where tractor ploughing may not be so practical.

A Police hunter team was being dispatched to track down and, if possible, recover these valuable animals before the local Freedom Seeking Thugs turned them into “Biltong Strips” or dried meat. I asked if I might go along with them, not having seen much action since Far Eastern days. Grudging assent was given with the injunction for me to remain very quiet and in the rear. I drew a 9 mm Patchett/Sterling SMG from the armoury, thus armed and with my .455 Smith & Wesson Triple Lock, we headed off to the farm.

Upon arriving at the farm, a very tough and taciturn White Hunter, who would have made any “he man” Hollywood movie star look like a ballet dancer, led us off with his native bush tracker. Then followed a demonstration of what a real forest tracker could do.

We came to the camp where the thieves had slaughtered the animals and had begun the biltong process of sun drying the meat in strips, but they had swiftly fled on our approach shooting wildly in their haste. More silent tracking then later, as I was drawing up the rear, all hell broke loose with yells, bangs and crashing about the bush. I broke out into a clearing, where piles of meat lay next to biltong strung out on crude racks. It was a scene of general mayhem and chaos, and one thief, who we would today call a “terrest”, was heading like greased lightning up the next brush covered slope shooting over his shoulder while some of the hunters chased more gang members in another direction.

I ran across the clearing and promptly disappeared like Alice in Wonderland down an enlarged antbear hole, instantly popping out again like a small cork from a huge bottle because those holes can contain all sorts of nasty surprises. I ran to the top of the nearby anthill and let loose with carefully aimed 2 & 3 shot bursts from the Sterling/Patchett. The “terrest” continued up the brae going like the veritable clappers. Out of 9mm ammo, I tried a shot with the long barrel Smith & Wesson but he was, by then, too far away. The Assistant White Hunter took a snap shot with his 8mm Mannlicher but only slightly grazed him. If anything he ran even faster with our group in hot pursuit.

The butcher-rustler disappeared into the Bush, never to be seen again. I said that I had obviously missed my shots but one of the hunter's said “no you didn't”. The hunter then found and held up the thief’s discarded gunny bag, shook it out and counted eight or nine holes from my 28 round clip. He had seen dust flying off the dried animal skins and sacking slung across the man's back, his veritable armor!

At about 75 yards, my 9 mm shooting had most probably only served to push and accelerate the fleeing gang member up the hill and deep into the bush, never to be seen again. From this incident I learned one thing; a 9mm SMG is not much use except in very close up shooting.

Later, visiting a famous London gunsmiths & dealers, I was able to buy an immaculately kept .44/40 Winchester 1894 Saddle Carbine, lightweight, at about five and a half pounds, but packing a real punch with a slick lever action. With 10 in the magazine and one up the spout it proved to be a lethal weapon well beyond the range of any 9mm SMG pistol sized cartridge. I still have it, not fired in years, but I will never sell it nor swap it for a military Berretta or Browning FN 9 mm!

I often wonder if the choice of a special rimless .357 S & W. Magnum round might have been a more efficient choice for a joint military Pistol- SMG ammunition?

James Blackford


1st May 2011

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.

Very special thanks to Les Haas for his Marlin catalogs, Ray Cresswell to the Sharps and Bob Stewart for his Weatherbys and finally to Fede Graziano, of the Argentine Gun and Ammunition Collectors Association for a lot of the following catalogs:


* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

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Those on dial up, beware - it is a large download. (30mb)
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Letters from Readers

* Regarding your article on pre-1898 firearms which are classified as antique and your implication that they should be reclassified and treated as regular firearms.......There is no question that a colt single action army in 44-40 would kill someone just as dead as one manufactured in 1900. However the 1898 date was an arbitrary date which essentially separates black powder firearms from smokeless powder ones. If serious collectors of valuable antique firearms had to go the the added inconvenience of having to license these guns every time one was purchased or traded far fewer people would be involved in collecting restoring and preserving these fine historic weapons. I think any above board ATF agent would tell you that there are extremely few pre-1898 handguns ever used in a crime. Not when there are Glocks, Rugers, Smith & Wessons In semi autos available. So my take would be "Don't advocate burdening your readers, customers and constituents with more unnecessary gun laws...........we've got enough already" Gary Shineman

* I saw your description about your visit from an ATF agent and had to laugh. They make up these stupid regulations and pass them on to some gun-grabbing congressman who then gets them buried in some appropriations bill and passed into law, which even they can't figure out, much less enforce even-handedly. We have 20,000 gun laws in this country which only burden the law-abiding, not the criminals.

I live in California and we have a plethora of idiotic laws too. Similar to the issue your ATF guy was pursuing, we cannot buy handguns from out of state which are not on the California Department of Justice's approved safety list, meaning they have to pass a "drop test" and be certified by the manufacturer, unless they were designed before 1899. If the gun is already in California when I buy it, that's OK. So, when I bought a new-in-the-box Colt New Frontier Single Action Army made in 1958 from a seller in Pennsylvania that was legal because it was designed in 1871 or 1872. But, I can't but a 1950 Smith & Wesson from the same source, I'd have to find one already here.

It doesn't make sense. If the purpose is to prevent the sale of "unsafe" guns, why permit them if already resident in the state. Conversely, why prevent only imports? Rob F.

* Dear Sirs: Perhaps I can help with some questions & make suggestions for your inquirers. I was a commercial reloader, then owned a gunshop for almost 30 yrs before retiring.

1/ Tell your friendly ATF inquirers concerning the antique gun (is a) club problem, that the Federal Prosecutor really should be dealing with this & could also have the State & Local Prosecutors go after the purp, but it depends on how well they work together. They should have the purp CHARGED with using a firearm & let the lawyers argue it out. I hold with your interpretation, not the second, since blackpowder-loaded cartridges such as .32rf & .44-40 & shotgun rounds ARE readily available, some through the net, others by special order at a local dealer. It is up to the courts to decide what constitutes "ordinary channels of commercial trade", it can be argued that any ammo made by an ATF licensed ammo manufacturer is in the "ordinary channels", since the GCA ‘68 established the ATF’s authority. For a precedence in this argument, if an arm with an unrifled smoothbore will accept & fire (it doesn’t say safely) a fixed shotgun shell, it can fall under the National Firearms Act of 1934, especially if is MODIFIED to do so after 1968 by the purp to do so. Saw off a pre ’98 made Greener to less than 18"bbl/26"o.l. & you can be charged with an NFA violation. Actually, under the GCA '68 the regulation-making & directive-issuing power of the ATF Director allows the the ATF to act as if the ammo is covered in investigating & working with the Attorney General and the Attorney General’s directive-issuing power would allow them to have the user CHARGED as if it were modern ammo. If the ATF Director would issue a directive to have the use of non-smokeless loaded ammo in a federal crime to be the same as the use of regular ammo and the Attorney General would direct the purps be charge that way, they could go after the purps until specifically forbidden by suit, the courts or Congress until the law is changed. Here in Ohio, not that all of our laws are sensible, the use of anything that expels a projectile or projectiles by the use of expanding gases is counted as a firearm when misused, assault someone with a .44 c&b rev. & it might as well be a .44 mag., carry an airgun concealed & it’s a concealed weapon. Of course, you’re not allowed to own or use a BB gun until you’re 16 without adult supervision and there is no way to get a permit to legally carry a large knife concealed or a sword cane.

2/ Regarding the Hy Hunter “T-62 Civilian Defense Weapon" which was an AR-7 .22 action stuffed into a totally nasty wooden stock. I don’t agree with Don that it was a POS, the original Armalite AR-7's were far better made than any later iteration & they were as reliable as any .22 of the day when clean & fed with good ammo. They had an interesting ‘flippy’ 14rd mag made of two 7rd-ers fastened base-to-base & the wooden stock was better feeling than the original. It was good pre-10/22 ultralight defense auto .22 rifle & great for training the recoil shy. Thanks, Jim Farmer

Dear Jim, Thank you for your comments. I don’t disagree with most of your observations but the ATF hands are tied now that Federal courts have held, and have therefore established a precedent, that pre-1899 firearms are not firearms or, more accurately, that they are antiques and therefore exempt Federal firearms laws. This, in fact, holds for ALL firearms made before 1899.

I am aware of several instances where ATF agents were trying to establish when a certain revolver was manufactured. For example, let’s look at a break top Iver Johnson .32 revolver. We can establish that it was made before 1899 so the weapon itself is not a gun by decision of the courts. In our example, however, the perp had it loaded with modern smokeless ammunition and he was an ex-convict. That man, in this instance, could be charged with possession of ammunition, a crime, but not with possession of a gun.

Your example of the shotgun is interesting. While I have not sought clarification about this particular example, I would be willing to bet that the short-barrel Greener manufactured before 1899 and loaded with black powder ammunition would not be considered a weapon under interpretation of Federal law or the Gun Control Act (18 USC Chapt 44) (16) (A) (ii). I guess prosecutors will not charge a perp with a gun felony they know will be dismissed by a judge based on precedent set in common law. I suppose it is important to point out that we are talking about Federal crimes committed with antique weapons and that individual state or local laws could possibly be used to prosecute some of these crimes.

The AR-7 was an interesting little rifle. I was easily disassembled and the action and barrel could be stored in the plastic stock. I had an Armalite as a youth and I don’t recall it ever jamming. That said, I am not sure I would want to use such a weapon against a squad of invading soldiers. I suspect such an act of bravado could make them really angry. Cheers, Rob Mouat

Abby, Tod, in Australia requested info on SPORTCO manuals. Well, I have SPORTCO parts drawings for Tod. Regards Des Hill

Tod, I am embarrassed that I have lost your email. If you write to me, I'll send you Des' email and you can work out the manuals with him. Abby

* Hello, I want the (Reising Automatic Sporting Goods & Pistol Catalog), but I also want to get a few others. I have a colt Bicentennial set and would like a catalog of it. Is it mentioned in the colt 1976 catalog? I also have a Bannerman Mosin nagant that was converted to 30-06, Do you have a catalog that lists the conversion for sale? Also have a LC Smith hammer gun by Hunter Arms (I have the date at home, I will get back to you on it) as well as a Generic Merkel (I have the model # at home) I would like them as well if you have them? Thanks, Too Big

Dear Too, Colt: you don't mention what your set consists of, necessary to identify if it is in the catalog. Bannerman: Here is a link to all the Bannermans we reprint. If you want to select one or two, I'll have a quick look at them for the Nagant. LC Smith: Here is a link to all the Smith catalogs we reprint. Pick a year when you look at your gun. (note the index to the right of each catalog page) Merkel- Here is a link to the Merkel catalogs we reprint. (note the index and on the main page other merchants who sold Merkel arms). Cheers, Abby

Hi Abby - The best thing about placing an order with you is that I know that I will not be disappointed, I always look forward to the high quality of the material that you produce. Spring is here for the day anyway, I will take it, as the local TV station has predicted a possibility of snow this coming weekend. I am most anxious to get out to the farm and do some shooting again at my own range. The ice has gone out of the little lake I live on and am next door to Mullet Lake which has lost its ice. So spring is somewhere around. Wayne

* Abby, It's a pleasure to do business with people like you. Hope we have the opportunity to do it again. My best regards from France. André

* Abby: My Beretta catalog arrived in fine shape, I'm happy with it, but I must have a older Beretta Double barrel and would like to purchase an older catalog if you have time to look for me. I have a Beretta PB 409 16 gauge, the stock meets the receiver in a straight line, not indented by 1/4" as the 1963 catalog I ordered shows. If you would have time to look at your other catalogs and let me know, I would like to purchase the right one. Thank you, Brian Klinginsmith

Brian, It is kind of difficult to discern small differences with a description but I will try. The PB 409 in the '63 seems to me to have a droop in the stock abaft the receiver. The 409bis in the 1956 doesn't seem to have the drop at all, it goes straight back in a line on top of the receiver and into the stock. Does that help? Here is a link to the 1956. Cheers, Abby

* Abby, Just spoke on the phone. Am looking for the following owner’s manuals. 1. Bernadelli .22 short 2. Armi - Galesi .25 ACP 3. Baby Browning .25 ACP 4. Colt pocket junior .22 short Spain - made by Astra for Colt. These are all small pocket guns. Thank you for your time. You can respond either by email or phone. Stafford Starn

Stafford, Thanks for your email. I recognize one right away. Here is the link to the Baby. As far as the others go, I don't think I have a manual for them. Here is a link to the manual section of my website. Perhaps you will have better luck than I: Cheers, Abby

* Dear Sir/Madame, I am interesting to order products from your store, but before I go further, please allow me to ask you some questions below. Do you accept Visa / MasterCard as a payment method? - Could you manage shipment using FEDEX International Express through my address in SINGAPORE? Do you have any discounted prices if i want to buy one or more? I look forward for your confirmation. Thank you, Best Regards, Andoko Sukadi, andokosukardi@ymail.com

Dear Andoko, You may order online and use any credit card you wish. If you supply your own FedEx number I will refund any postage paid on the order. There are no discounts available for purchases of different catalog reprints or books we sell. I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers, Abby (never heard back form him... hmmm!)

  • Name: aeshi jamal
  • Email: ic.arshijamal
  • Subject: to know about gun history of the companies


* Thank you for having such rare literature :) sincerely RJ Glinsmann

You are very welcome, Abby

* Sometimes it is our opportunity to gripe! Dear Eileen, I received the item I bought from you today and I want to share a problem with you. You used a new, unused USPS Priority Envelope as a package stiffener. I deeply resent what I view as greedy, thoughtless act that costs all of us who use the post office serious money. Probably half the ephemera I buy from Ebay comes packaged furtively with Priority Envelopes and I feel this act deserves a NEGATIVE feedback to stop. I will not give you a negative this time but if I get another package to any of the Ebay personages I use I will give you a negative. Using a PO envelope in this manner is illegal but the only way it can be stopped is by fighting back against it with a negative feedback. Sincerely, Abby

Understood! Eileen (mr. diggy)

Hi Doug, thanks for your purchase of the 67 Shotgun Catalog. See all the BROWNINGS and MANUALS at the website. Abby

Is waht I bought a reprint or an original? I assumed it was an original. Doug Pierce

Doug, Please read the description at my website where you purchased the catalog:

Cornell Publications LLC, World's Largest Old Gun Catalog & Manual Reprinter

71 pages about 11" x 8 1/2". Restored, enhanced and reprinted IN COLOR on heavy super-white paper for detail, with glossy color covers.

Also see:

• other Browning catalogs we reprint

  • Name: Louis Frey
  • Email: frey3255@roadrunner.com
  • Subject: Books & Manuals
  • Comments: Are your Books & Manuals the E-book type?

Hi Louis, No, you have to read the description. Each one says: Printed on high quality 20# 97 bright acid free paper. Abby

  • Name: Jim Stoddard
  • Subject: Wilsey book on Italian Vetterli System
  • Comments: Hi, I'm writing mainly to get back on your email list for
  • updates, etc. I see you don't presently have Wilsey's book, but I
  • guess customer feedback may affect what you consider reprinting. I
  • see it's apparently sold out everywhere, so hopefully there'd be a
  • market? Thanks for the consideration, take care, Jim

Jim, Thanks for your note. I am unfamiliar with the book you mention but suggest you go to addall.com and click the used book section to try to locate a copy. Oh, I added your email to the newsletter file. Cheers, Abby

* Abby, Thanks for the prompt delivery of the very nice facsimile of the Austrian M98 Revolver (aka Rast Gasser) manual and the nice Ebay feedback. If they should ever happen to turn up, I would also be interested in the following manuals:

Austrian M07 Pistol (aka Roth Steyr, Roth Krnka)

Austrian M12 Pistol (aka Steyr Hahn, Steyr M12, Steyr M11/12)

Frommer Stop Pistol (all versions and calibers)

If I come across any unusual manuals, I will be sure to pass them along for duplication. Many thanks and kind regards, Larry Dunn

Readers, does anyone and a copy I can borrow? Abby

  • Name: Brian Guentzel
  • Email: coolrelaxingone@yahoo.com
  • Subject: wyatt earps gun
  • Comments: The gun i have meets the specs of his gun Mine was shipped to Schuler Hartley and Grahm in June 1878 and was one that was ordered to be redone from 44-40 to 45 colt a numbers match and some of the history is pointing that he was to have purchased this gun from there then. The serial number is 46154 any help would be great thank you Brian Guentzel

Brian, Thanks for your note but I don't have the foggiest what sort of help you are looking for. Please be more specific? Abby

Abby - Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate the high quality books and fast service. It is a good feeling to know that there are still businesses out there that believe in quality goods and fast service. I just won a bid on Gunbroker of some Lyman dies and the Lyman catalog and Lyman Sights fit right in with my purchases. The Martini-Henry manual is excellent and fits right in with my rifle. Thanks again. Sincerely, Wayne

Abby, Are there pages in ths A&F 1920 showing Heddon lures and if so, are they in color and how many lures shown. Thank you. heddonmuseum

Dear Heddon, Lots of flies, I don't think they are identified by maker and are not in color. Abby

dear sirs, lyman rear sight 48m inside parts marked v70 can you tell me what thread size is on the elevation screw that mates with the 1/2 thread on the tension slid???? thank you sgt. ow

Dear Sgt, Not the foggiest, sorry. Abby... Readers?


Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

Recieved (sic) my (1903 Davenport) Catalogue today ! I have to say, I was a bit disappointed . It is a poor quality copy . Can't make out any of the photos. And has very limited info on the actual firearm types. I was hoping for much more info related to serial no.s. Etc. Thanks anyway, but probably would,nt (sic) recommend to others ! Just thought you might like to know! Steven Wilkinson

Steven, Thank you for your note. I think your disappointment rests with your mistaken understanding of what you bought. What you bought was a reprint of a catalog issued by the Davenport Company to entice people to buy their products much as a car company offers a catalog of cars it plans to produce in a year. Regarding the text accompanying the pictures, I, of course, did not write the copy or select the pictures and your argument that catalog lacks information about the various firearms sold by the company rests with the people who wrote the catalog; and they have been dead a hundred years. Serial numbers, of course, never appear in a sales catalog because the catalogs are produced before the guns are manufactured and the company has no idea what it will sell in any year. The pictures accompanying the text are reproduced exactly the way they were in the original catalog… perhaps a bit better! 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)

* 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: Griffin& Howe
(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 Cornellpubs 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]".