Calls from the Wilds


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Remember last month when I showed you that horrible pickup crash on an icy road? Well, this month we have some pictures of a fellow who should slow down after this prang...

car 1 car 2


Thanks to Jim Buchanan

Schuetzenfest Von Milwaukee

Schuetzenfest Von Milwaukee


The "fest" has been a hallmark of Milwaukee culture since German and Germanic people arrived in the city in the mid-1800s. While bierfests (beer), saengerfests (singing), theatrical festivals and religious festivals still abound today, one once-popular festival has since fallen into obscurity – the shooting festival, or schuetzenfest.

Schuetzenfest Von Milwaukee takes a historical look at Milwaukee's shooting festivals of 19th century. The exhibit includes 23 locally significant firearms, period photos, replicas of awards and the Milwaukee Sharpshooter's Club flag, and a number of other interesting tidbits of Milwaukee and shooting festival culture. The show will be on exhibit into 2012.

Schuetzenfest in the United States

A schuetzenfest was a gathering of marksmen, and their families, competing for honors in marksmanship. An old German practice dating back to the military drills of late medieval armies and Renaissance era citizen militias, the earliest competitions were actually military drills practiced with swords and spears. Over time, the types arms used in competition expanded to include the long bow, the crossbow and rifled firearms. Other hallmarks of the schuetzenfest were parades of marksmen, religious ceremonies, awards ceremonies, feasting and singing.

The schuetzenfest came to America with German immigrants, especially those of the mid 19th century, hence the popularity of the fests in Milwaukee. The city's Germanic population grew steadily throughout the 1840s and 1850s, and at times more than 1,000 people per week arrived in Milwaukee from Prussia, Saxony, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria and other German states. Wherever Germans settled in America, schuetzen gesellschafts (clubs) sprang up, and by 1880 Milwaukee had ten hunting and target shooting clubs in the city.

Schuetzen boomed between 1880 and 1910. A National Schuetzen Bund (club) was established, and common rules, targets and club structures were reinforced. Schuetzenmeisters traveled from competition to competition winning honors for themselves and their hometowns. Shooters often returned home laden with ribbons, medals and trophies.

Changing Times

During the 1890s changes occurred in the shooting world. Then, in the early 1900's, rising anti-immigrant sentiment started sweeping America, especially against Germans due to growing German imperialism. After 1910, the use of German language was frowned upon, and the beginning of World War I in 1914, reinforced by the entry of America into the fighting in 1917, effectively stopped the practice of all things German in America. The Volstead Act of 1919 established alcohol prohibition and put an end to the festive aspect of the schuetzenfest. With these changes in place, schuetzen had soon diminished as a sport, never to recover its former glory. The last of the old Milwaukee schuetzenmeisters and their shooting grounds were gone by 1930, but today there is resurgence of interest in this tradition, and small clubs still practice the art and tradition that is schuetzen.

Thanks to the Milwaukee Public Museum


click here

You know those banal advertisements we see on TV for shows that look even more boring than the ads? Well, Telnet, a channel available in Europe has an idea how to attract your attention... What if they set up a nice large red button on a stand in the middle of the road with a sign pointing to it exclaiming "PUSH TO ADD DRAMA"? I'll let you do it to see what happens.

thanks to Joe Molitor

Scale of the Universe


I think the descriptions were written for grade school children but the concept is fascinating and the graphics are convincing... worth a gander... It could be called "Quarks to Quasars and beyond"

We do NOT sell GUNS.

We do NOT sell PARTS.

We do NOT offer GUN VALUES.

We do not represent any gun
makers or sellers.

Len Nonlen asked a pithy question: "Why not??!"

Len, I suppose you figure we are, in some way, anti-gun because of the above statement posted on our website. Well, the real reason is actually much simpler. The problem is that guys get down in the basement after a few pops and, looking at our website think that they can buy a Weatherby rifle for $135 or a Colt Peacemaker for $12. Then they think of the old H&R their grandfather left them and they want to know how much it is worth or if we have the triggers because we have the parts catalog, so they ask. Alternately we used to get loads of calls from people thinking we were the Purdy company or Smith & Wesson or Hartley & Graham or some other company that went out of business 100 years ago. So, before we put up the notice, we used to get a half dozen of that sort of request a day- drove us nuts and wasted a lot of time. Does that answer your question? Rob

Wright Brothers 1909


This film clip from the Austrian archives shows the Wright Brothers demonstrating their airplane in Italy in 1909. There was an on-board camera on the Wright plane and the last part of this three minute film shows what it recorded. Wilbur Wright is at the controls on both of the flights. This 103-year-old film is great, especially considering the film quality and how heavy the motion picture camera was. Remember too that this was shot only five years before WWI. The advances made in the aircraft technology were impressive.

Thanks to Red Rabeneck



This film is enough to make Richard Henry Dana, Jr. or Ferdinand Magellan queasy. It was apparently shot at and around Tierra Del Fuego at the southern tip of South America.

Thanks to Chris Jones

Willie Nelson

I guess we all change as we get older

Thanks to Dick Carleton

The Old South Rises Again!

How many hours would one have to work to buy a repeating rifle from Winchester? Reader Tim Case makes an interesting argument illustrating how many hours of work it takes to buy one then and now. He takes his argument a step further to draw a parallel between our situation now and that of the South after the Civil War. You can read his thesis at Lew Rockwell's website. Tim gave us a plug at the end of the article for having available the reprints of old catalogs he used in some of his research, thanks Tim!

Will Mouat's Trivia

Questions derived from:

The Manufacture of Firearms and Ammunition

A Report to the Census Bureau by Charles H. Fitch, 1882

image1. In his 1882 report to the Superintendent of the Census, Charles Fitch says that one change in the gun industry had a greater effect than all others. What had happened in the previous fifty years that had so dramatic a change?

2. 2,272 employees at Connecticut firearms manufacturers in 1872 were males above 16 years. How many were “Females above 15 years”? How about “Children and youths,” presumably 15 years old and younger?

image3. At the World’s Fair in 1851 in London, a number of Mississippi rifles made by Robbins & Lawrence of Vermont were exhibited and received the award of medal. Why did they receive so much attention?

image4. During the Turkish War (the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, not the Turkish War for Independence in the 20th century), did American companies arm the Russians or the Turks?

5. In the 1870s, how many fine military rifles were produced per employee per year?

6. Who is credited with the first use of decarbonized steel for gun barrels?

7. Fitch writes that what percentage of decarbonized barrels “burst” in proving? image

8. How much did Congress pay in 1845 for the rights to the invention of the ordinary copper percussion cap (patented in 1822 by Joshua Shaw)?

Download the answers as a .pdf file

Arms Heritage Magazine

Dueling Pistols

Cased pairs of dueling pistols have always been a collectors delight. They bring to mind gentlemen and their supporters gathered in wooded copses at the break of dawn to settle insults, real or imagined. Back to back- walk a proscribed number of pace and turn and fire at the drop of a handkerchief. There is both truth and fiction in the romantic visions of the duel. They conformed to rigid rules which were written in elaborate codes that must be strictly administered.

dueling pistolsDueling as a matter of preserving ones honor, of course predates the use of pistols. The practice of using firearms developed as an antidote to over-qualified bullies who ran up their reputations by challenging and dispatching opponents of lesser size or skill. The use of pistols became the great equalizer. Here, being larger was a distinct disadvantage!

The pistols themselves were true works of art and were made by the best makers of the day. It was a matter of prestige for the lord of the manor to own a set made by Manton, Mortimer or one of the other big names of the period. Military regiments usually had a pair which could be used to settle issues between officers. Even after the practice was outlawed by the Queen, an officer who refused the challenge could expect to be driven from his regiment in disgrace.

The story will told in great detail in the June issue of Arms Heritage Magazine. You can view a sample issue and subscribe for only $19 per year.

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.

Great Father's Day Gifts!... Hemingway's Guns by Silvio Calabi and, we were lucky to be able to buy ten sets of the America- Stories of War DVD Collection to offer here. For those of us who saw some of the 50 full length films on TV in the 50s and 60s they will bring back memories, but it is the documentaries that are most extraordinary- over 100 hours of them covering the Civil War through Viet Nam and including the award winning series Victory at Sea. We only have ten sets and are keeping one for ourselves so please buy now if you want a set.

Also notable this month is the Scott A. Duff and our friend Walter Kuleck's collection of paperback publications we now offer. Scott and Walter are well known for their authoritative assembly/disassembly manuals as well as research materials.

For catalog reprints, the MK 760 was an update to the S&W M-76 SMG. Henry Squires was a major mail order supplier of the latter 19th century and this month's catalog is a beaut. We get a lot of requests for Walther catalogs so WB Smith's book about them written just after the war should answer many questions. Smith's combination manuals for most weapons used during the war are collector standards: A Basic Manual of Military Small Arms 1943 and A Basic Manual of Military Small Arms 1945.

Many thanks to Mike Blake, Tim Carney, John Milewski, Count D'Elvioni and Boris Laski for sharing their publications.

imageAmerica Stories of War - 36 DVD Collection- 50 Films & 100+ hours Documentaries

Scott Duff - Walter Kuleck Publications:



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Letters from Readers

Dear Miss, I am in search for the book "The Italian Vetterli System" by Robert Wilsey from 2007. Could you please help on of these books (or electronic copy). Marck Slootweg (Netherlands)

Marck, I use used.addall.com to locate out of print books. It searches all used book sites. Abby

I'm old & not to swift with computer, can't find books on military bayonets, hint? Robert H.

Hi Robert, I'm old too but I think I can help a bit. Lots of catalogs we reprint have bayonets from various countries and eras. The first thing to do is to enter the word "bayonet" in the search box. This will bring up all the catalogs with the word mentioned in their index. As you scroll down note the red "check contents" box. By clicking on that and then scrolling down you canse where and in what context the word is mentioned. Close the box (the x in the corner) and go to the next one.

I also suggest the Bannerman catalogs as a good source (for almost anything to do with guns and militaria). They featured a lot of bayonets over the years, however they tended to be repetitive.

Finally, we are adding a book called "American Military Bayonets of the 20th Century" by Gary Cunningham. It is 116 pages, 8 x 11", soft cover, illustrated for $21.95. Cheers, Rob Mouat

Hello, I received the copy of the old Meriden Firearms catalog. I have to say I was disappointed. The catalog arrived bent; the cardboard insert was about 1/3 the size of the catalog it was to protect. Then catalog itself. I realize the reprint was from a poor copy, but I had no idea it was that bad. I guess you get what you pay for. Regards, Dave Sheehan

Dave, I am sorry you feel disappointed with the "quality" of the Meridan Firearms catalog reprint you bought from us. There are degrees of "poorness" I suppose and perhaps I should have said in the advertisement that the catalog was from a very poor original rather than a rather than just a “poor original” but then Meridan catalogs are so rare and hard to find that it was the best we could locate. The purpose of our project is to preserve these old relics before they are all gone so even baddies are included- that's why we include a picture with each one we advertise and warn buyers of those that are not “good” quality. We also don't charge much given the amount of work it takes to process, clean, advertise, print, collate, bind, pack and ship them. Some of our 3500+ catalogs we may sell one a year so we are not exactly a high volume business. Anyway, I refunded the $7.50 you paid for the catalog, please keep it with my compliments. Cheers, Abby

Abby, Can you send me a scan or photo of the Ben Hur Tent ad (From the Edw. Tryon 1929 Volume III Sports catalog). That is critical to my decision. Thx, Jon

Jon, I’m sorry, we just get too many requests for "just the picture of... or just the page featuring..." from folks. 0ur collection offers over 3500 old catalogs- too many to be able to do that. We also cannot sell just one page from any catalog. I just plain takes too much work for us with too little compensation. Cheers, Abby

Hi Abby, I bought a pre WW1 1909 dated Book Of The BSA Air Rifle from you a couple of years ago and it is a mine of information. So much so that I have relied on it for factual records in the book I am preparing on BSA Air Rifles. I have also noticed that you are currently offering the book with a date of 1911, whereas the one I obtained from you was dated 1909 on the cover. Both covers look the same, even down to a few marks and what looks like an original owner's name along the left side. The printed date of 1909 has been omitted on your current catalogue. My question is around the date of the book I bought. Was it a 1909 edition or was the printed date incorrect on the earlier copy? Hope you can help and have a record of why dating has been revised? John

John, I'll try to answer. When I get a catalog and am reasonably certain of the date, I put it on the cover. Sometimes, however, I am wrong or people with more knowledge than I tell me I am wrong and offer a new date. If I think they are really right, I re-date the catalog. If I am sort of sure they are right I re-date it but make the date with a prefix of "c19xx" indicating circa or about. In the case of the BSA I failed to record the reason but see that it is now c1911 which is a best guess for that catalog. Sorry I can't be exact but unfortunately that is the nature of my project. Cheers, Abby

Abby: I sent a couple of emails, but received no response. Sorry to say I am extremely disappointed in my purchase of the Simson "book". The quality of the printing is fine, but the content is horrible.... Nearly all of it is information readily available on the internet - for free. Don't think there is anything new, original or comprehensive..... Please discontinue this product or find some other author to put together something decent for you to sell. Bob Adams

Bob, I am sorry, your email doesn't ask a question, just instructs me to "discontinue this product". If you are asking about getting your money back, simply return it and will I refund your purchase. Abby

Hello - I am trying to obtain access to the business records of Schuyler, Hartley and Graham and successor companies. In particular, I am trying to learn where they subsequently shipped an item that Smith & Wesson sold them in March, 1891, at which time they were dba Hartley & Graham. Any referrals or suggestions as to how to obtain access to their records would be welcome. Thank you for your consideration. greg trousdale

Greg, We talked about this before but I am afraid I have absolutely no information about the company after it was dissolved and given that it was over a hundred years ago I doubt any record exists today. Sorry, Abby

I have a J. Stevens Springfield Model 84C and I'm looking to rebuild it, would your item # 2215 be the proper catalog for the diagrams and parts. Thank you, Bob

Bob, The 1946 Stevens Parts Catalog will give you a flat drawing of what the parts for your gun look like and a list of their names. Is that what you are looking for? Abby

I need to know if the Handbook for Shooters & Reloaders Vol II 1966 Ackley-Wildcat has reloading data for the .475 ackley magnum if it does I will buy it thanks. mac Anderson

Mac, We get so many requests for specific loads I spend a lot of time looking through the Ackley books even though I am not a reloader. Basically, as far as I can tell, the cartridge you asked about is not in the '66 Ackley but is in the '62 Ackley know as Volume I (there is also a '59 and a pocket handbook of '64 in addition the the '66 you asked about and each has different contents) along with a couple of other similar loads for the same caliber. Rob Mouat

Abby, I am unable to locate any date anywhere on or within the catalog I received. Terry

Terry, I’m not certain what your question is. If you are questioning the date I placed in the advertisement for the catalog reprint, I believe the date was on the mailing envelope that came with the original. I didn't reprint the envelope! I'll put a date on the cover for other customers. Abby

Hello Patrick, many thanks for your purchase of the three Walther Manuals on eBay. I have refunded $5.75 of your postage as they will ship together and are not large. Cheers, Abby

Abby, How civilized of you! No Yankee on this side of the sea would have given me a refund. Thanks and best regards!!!! Cheers, Patrick

Parts list and diagrams to repair a hopkins & allen. Revolver xl bull dog 38 cal center fire patten 1871 #1871 how old is it thanks laot. Don

Don, Not all H&A revolvers were numbered but of those that were, most are identified in the Vorisek History of H&A book which gives dates of manufacture. For a parts list you would have to look at the H&A section of the website for your pistol. Depending on when yours was made, Gun Digest 2011 Book of Revolvers Assembly/Disassembly may help with the assembly: but at least the first book I noted will help you identify exactly what you have and when it was made. If its action is similar to the ones in the Gun Digest book that should help. Rob (Last we heard from Don!)

Hi, Does this Meriden Gun Firearms Company c1910 Catalog, or any that you have, show any of the Meriden hammer double barrels? Please let me know. thanks, Anthony

Anthony, Meriden was formed by AJ Aubrey for Sears Roebuck Co. It began making doubles in 1907. The 1910 Meriden catalog does not show hammer guns but the 1908 Sears catalog does under the name AJ Aubrey, so I reckon that is your best shot so to speak! Rob Mouat

Have found and bought, Abby, some material from the L. Charlin company. It's a four page ordinary paper brochure that identifies the models, including which ones have which animals stamped on them. Believe it's from the 40s. Also there's a one page price list that goes along with but is separate from the brochure for the same guns in the brochure. Finally is a two-sided paper that reproduces the high proof certificate from the St. Etienne proof house with the reverse some quotes about the weight of shotguns and about Charlin, one dated 1921. I have very high resolution TIFF images that I can send you or I can send the original material by registered mail if you will return it the same way. Best, Tim

Hi Tim, Sure, I would love to have the images for the Charlin. Thanks for your help. They don't have to be huge (a file of 500-1000 kb is fine) but should be in color so I can remove the background smudges etc. If what you have is too big to send by email, I use www.sendspace.com. Thanks for your help. Abby

Abby, Does breechloading shotguns 1860-1940 vol. 3. have alot of information about the subject Rivolier? like models, years made,and serial numbers. or does it have very little information about this manufacturer. would like to buy your book if it has a lot of information. thanks and take care. Bud Brewer

Bud, Neither gun is discussed in the sort of detail you are searching for, particularly serial numbers which are very elusive. Rivolier made shotguns in St Etienne, Fr from at least 1928 to 1940 that were marked RPF. Darne was three pages illustrating models and a bit of company history but you might be better informed by a selection of Darne catalogs: http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/historic-darne.php. In all, I don't think the Breechloading book would be worth the price to buy for yout purposes, it is really more for the large collector as a reference or a dealer who deals in many makes rather than an individual seeking a lot of notes about one maker. Abby

Dear Abby: I want to Thank You for the Newsletter, what a Great collection of information and it's Fun too. The Pakistani border closing? I couldn't believe My eyes! Too Cool! It's Awesome! Thanks Again: R.A.B.

Abby, WELL DONE! Being an avid collector, and retired news guy, I enjoyed the first time read of your newsletter. Thanks, Dave Nichols

Thank you Abby for such a great site, Al.

Abby Thanks for keeping me entertained. Dean

BTW, each time I read your newsletter all the way through, I wind up with the same thought: That Abby is the most patient and forgiving woman on earth. Silvio Calabi

Very interesting photos of the Civil War you placed on this edition of the news letter, Very clear and well done from the age of the work done back then with the primitive equipment and the unavailable dark room. all the chemicals were stored in a wagon, and river water was the best they could gather for the work. Richard S.

Hi Abby, In addition to single shot rifles, in general, I have become very interested in J. Stevens Tip-Up Rifles: specifically, the Model 1880, Number 6 Expert Deluxe in .38-35 caliber. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of published information available on these firearms…. 1.) Could you tell me how deeply the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Co. History; by Joe Vorisek book that you offer goes into this particular topic? From the index, it doesn’t appear that much space is spent on “tip-downs” (invariably referred to as “tip-ups”, today) 2.) Is there a particular Stevens catalogue which zeros in on this subject area? Thanks, Bill PS: I’m not in any rush over this info…

Bill, Thanks for your note. I get a lot of this sort of question and I don't really know how to answer. Not knowing exact parameters of what you seek it is virtually impossible to abstract a book and tell you whether it contains the information you need. If you can be a lot more specific I'll try to help. As you may know, we reprint alomost 4000 catalogs, books and manuals so I confess I am not intimate with the contents of each. I try hard, though, to do a reasonable index for each, so when I do research for a customer I need to know exactly what they need to know. Cheers, Abby

Abby, Just ordered a book from you and got hooked on the rant column. Its too bad you cannot get an agreement with some comic strip or Saturday Night Live to have these shown nationaly. These are the same people who phone/text and read while driving, drive 75 mph on icy and wet roads then wonder why they have a wreck. Obviously they do not read your business statements. These are the same ignorant people who bully, don't respect the law. Just a bunch of stupid Stellas. If you have seen the 2011 Stella list you have your ranters. This type of person is chicken to contact people face to face. Gordon

Rob I recived the Lyman manuel BUT it was not a loading manuel just a product manuel I need loading for my 45-60wcf that is the only reason I need a older manuel I am returning this one please send me the correct manuel thank you Oree.

hi what is the earliest jeffery cat you have for sale send price for rifles lewis wagner

Lewis, Thanks for your email and telephone call last night. I didn't call you back this morning because I know you are at least a couple of hours behind us and I didn't want to wake you. Your message below seems to ask for an original Jefferys catalog, don't think we have any but the link to the originals is below. The Jeffery reprints are to be found here. Cheers, Abby

Abby, I have my grand mother's Page Lewis Modle D gun. The serial number is 14494. Can you tell me anything about this particular one or where I can find more abaout this particular gun? Thank you. Bev Yaeger

Bev, I am not very familiar with Page Lewis guns. I suggest you start with their catalog we reprint. Here is the link. Abby

Abby, I don’t recognize any items I want to purchase in the 2012 newsletter. And it’s been a while since I did purchase something from Cornell Pubs. But I do want you to know that I really do appreciate and enjoy the info that you are collecting and providing. You are always a fun read! How can I make a contribution to Cornell Publications to help you continue your good and interesting work? Bob in Amarillo

Dear Bob, How very kind of you to offer to make a contribution to my efforts to preserve old gun history. Truthfully, the most useful thing you could do is to keep your eyes out for old catalogs related to guns. If everyone did that and kept me supplied with material I would be delighted. I really appreciate your support and interest, you made my day this Monday morning, thank you. You know, on second thought, if you send me your address I'll send you some brochures of our wares to give to friends, that would help too! Cheers, Abby

Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

"I got the tracking number of the magazines i boute and it was delivered but I cant find it so i'm going to have to have your send me another batch" Ron Carmen, Pensicola, Fla.

Sure, Ron, right away, you bet, Sir. Abby (ever since I started sending tracking information to buyers, many now now admit they got them but "can't find them" and demand replacements... sometimes I just can't win for losing!)

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.

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 (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".

* Paypal - I don't like Paypal any more than most people 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 were cheaper by far than a bank when I started the business and it would cost a fortune to change the code for each page on the website to a new processor.

* 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.

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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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!

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 and, of course, 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.

Of course, the second consideration has to do with what the company does with the information, the company integrity. Be careful about companies you never heard of before, don't know where they are located and the website has no telephone number. 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 (Paypal holds that information for itself only).

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.

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.

Remington Rolling Block Parts. Ssupplies reproduction parts needed to restore or rebuild the majority of models of rolling blocks made from 1867 onward. Kenn Womack

Peter Dyson & Son Ltd. Co. of Yorkshire, England. Parts and reproduction parts for antique arms. Leather products, Damascus barrels and tubes, miniatures, used guns, air guns, reloading tools and 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

Blacksmith Bolt & Rivet Supply "Blacksmith Bolt & Rivet Supply has a page titled Guns & Guitars. On it, one will find some hard-to-find screws used by different gun manufacturers. Also included are a few Weaver style scope screws. In addition, upon request, we will search for hard-to-find screws used in guns. We stock an extensive range of slotted oval head wood screws in a black oxide finish, and others. David Naven"

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 is three volumes and over 2700 pages of invaluable information including parts diagrams - (605) 343-9544

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

The Rifle Shoppe

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!

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 Griffen &Howe website: They have records from Abercrombie & Fitch as well as the Von Lengerke companies.

Robert C. Beach,
Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Bob's Email

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 my website with links to websites and sources that offer serial numbers and years of manufacture: