Calls from the Wilds


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* Hellmann's Mayonnaise - a bit of history. Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as - Sinko De Mayo. (heh, heh, heh)

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* Diets have been popular for decades:


Got a light? (don't get excited, I mean no disrespect for President Reagan)

advert 2


Last month I introduced you to Regress Press and the fellow who put it together, Jeff Steidle. Jeff is doing for historic car catalogs what we do for gun catalogs and I would appreciate it if you let all your car buff friends know about Jeff's work. Jeff added a couple hundred new catalogs this month so there is plenty new to see. Here are a few cars I had as a youth (wish I still had 'em). Rob Mouat

Guest Column

James Blackford discusses the Enfield Rifle and sister weapons used in British services shortly after WWII

I once heard an ex-London Bobby then serving in Africa, say that some miscreant would be much improved if he could only reach out and feel the top of the feller's head with his truncheon. Sharpshooters do much the same with their rifles.

From former Special Forces sources a few months ago I received a video clip of a long range counter sniping mission, presumably with something akin to a Barrett .50 Caliber Rifle. At about 1000 plus meters the filmed results were a little hazy but the target appeared to disintegrate with hydraulic internal pressures presumably built up by being struck with such a hyper dynamic force. The range didn't matter; it was a disaster for the would-be long range ambusher. Weapons and tactics have certainly changed in the last sixty or so years but marksmanship remains the essence of the army. I understand some units on the Middle east are using longer range rifles that hearken back to an earlier era.

Having undergone what was effectively basic training no less than three times, first as a National Service Recruit to the British Army, then as a Officer Cadet at OCTU Aldershot, England and finally in Junior Term all over again at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England I grew accustomed to lugging around and drilling with, and shooting, the then standard issue .303 Mk.IV Enfield Rifle.

At the R.M.A.S. we trained constantly and also spent hours on the rifle ranges, where we shot at up to 500 yards with the Mk IV .303 Enfield and the .303 Bren LMG. Ranges up to 500 yards with open 'Iron Sights’ were probably the 'norm' in recent infantry fighting in WWII Europe and immediately after WWII, when I entered service, economy of literally everything was the fashion so we made do with the old equipment both at the Academy and later on in both Malaya and then Korea.

One day during infantry demonstrations our Chief Warrant Officer Instructor of the S.A.S.C ( Small Arms School Corps, based at Hythe), proposed giving us a demonstration of what a highly trained Rifleman could do under admittedly somewhat ideal demonstration conditions, with the standard .303 fitted with ordinary infantry open sights.

At 300 yards was then set the standard 48" square rifle target with the 10" Bullseye and the 16"(?) Inner Ring. He said that he would shoot as many rounds as possible in one timed minute, with only hits in the Bull and Inner Rings to count.

The Senior Warrant Officer then lay on a slightly inclined wooden ramp, with his No. IV .303 Enfield held with doubled slings and the ammunition laid out in clips of five rounds. He was lying prone in the approved range position, with the bolt open.

On the signal to begin - he immediately loaded the first clip and began a series of five rapid shots spaced with a very slight pause as he reloaded the next clips. At one minute the cease firing whistle blew - he had fired 57 shots with each of them either in the Bull or Inner marker rings. No misses. He aplogised to us saying "Gentlemen I have shot up to 65 aimed rounds previously, excuse me, but today I have a bad cold." Which indeed he had - as his nose and eyes were streaming! I forgot to mention that it was a typical British weather day with gray skies and a continuous light drizzle, but wars never stop for rain! A 10" white bullseye at 300 yards in such conditions is merely a misty dot. Interestingly the firing sound being made was rather like a Bren LMG popping off single shots.

In Malaya, I sometimes carried the shortened, so called Mk.V Jungle Carbine version. That rifle proved to be a somewhat inaccurate weapon with a nasty kick. But my Malay troops liked it as it was much smaller and suited their slighter physiques when carrying it around. The old Mk. IV was too long and decidedly heavy for them.

The Mk.V 9mm Sten Gun was the SMG of issue but we even had the earlier Mark I's and even the modern Patchett/Sterling. Later, in Africa we used everything from civilian sporting arms to Italian War Berretta left over’s. But I digress.

After I left the Army the infantry weapons began changing relatively quickly in comparison to former times. This was principally due to NATO Forces Standardizations both in weaponry and ammunition. So our old military arts disappeared to be replaced by new ones. More about those the next time that I write!

In case you think I am exaggerating about the range of the old .303 Mk. IV, I have just checked my own souvenir rifle with the better standard 'Iron Sights' which range from 200 to 1,300 yards adjustments.

James Blackford

(Intake VI)

San Francisco


Note by editor, Rob Mouat:

I am not sure how quickly things changed in the British forces after James left the service, I trained with Enfield Mk.IV rifles at the Royal Naval college, Dartmouth in the mid sixties although I will admit that in our second term, we did get FN SLR rifles which were a bit easier to drill with, not always banging on your shoulder when doubling.

By the way, I cringed last week when I read the Navy has rented a ship, named HMS Protector, from the Norwegians to defend the Falklands for the next few years, this after they killed off their last fixed wing carrier, Ark Royal, last fall. I will not mention my feelings about the government. RM, Brighton, Michigan

RN Ship

New Books and Special Thanks

Many thanks to all of you who contributed original copies for me to scan and return this month: Duncan Andrews from France, Mike Blake from England, Fede Graziano from Argentina, Mike Carrick, Al Carleton, Dick Carleton and Bob Toth from the USA. Bob Gussman sent a big box of treasures for next month. Without your help I couldn't possibly do this job, Cheers to all! Abby

You can always see the reprints added during the last six months by clicking on the Recent Additions link to my website.

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Letters from Readers

Abby, I tried to order a book from you. Master Card and PayPal both failed. You are TOO DIFFICULT to deal with. Forget it! Larry G. Stout

Larry, You must realize that I designed neither Paypal nor Mastercard and that I am just as frustrated having to deal with them as you are. If you want the book, you can always call me at 810-225-3075 and I'll happily take care of it for you. Abby


Hi Abby, I'm looking for the Winchester catalog with the first reference to the Hotchkiss rifle and carbine with 1-piece stock, especially the carbine. I think it is in the 1879 catalog. If it is, I'll place an order. Thanks! Jeff John, editor GUNS Magazine

Hi Jeff, The first appearance of the carbine (carbine and rifle called the Hotchkiss Magazine Rifle) is in the May 1880 issue. The prior two issues 1879 & 1878 feature the Hotchkiss Repeater which is not a carbine and the stock is different than the 1880 version although I cannot say that it is two piece. If you enter the word "hotchkiss" in the search box at the website you will see other sources of information about the weapon. Cheers, Abby

Hi Abby, The catalogs are great and got the info I need for my story! Thanks so much. Cheers, Jeff John


Abby, I am historian/archivist of the Birmingham Proof House Museum, UK we have been gifted a Federal Laboratories gas billy. I am trying to find out more info, is there a catalog. Your assistance is appreciated. Dave Evans

Readers, can you help Dave with identifying Dave's billy? Abby


Abby, looking for a manula for a hercules 12ga shotgun ser.#67122. eddie tucker

Readers- Anyone know who made the Hercules?


Hi Abby, I recently purchased a 1962 Churchill Catalogue from you, which is simply wonderful thank you! I thought you might be interested to know some information about my gun which might help with your dating list. It is a Churchill Hercules numbered 7516 & was ordered from Churchills on the 2nd October 1962. This information has been obtained from the makers own register. Hope that is of use! Peter Lax

Thanks Peter, but it isn’t the one above I am afraid. Abby


Stoeger 1939 Catalog featuring Mauser Firearms… can a person still order from this book? Jimmy

Jimmy, Sorry, not since last Wednesday, Abby


Abby, Mark 1, the book to explication to the gun tank you, Steve Girard

Steve, One tank too many me tinks, Abby


Abby- I have a c73 Krupp cannon #923 andI’m looking for anything I can find out about where this particular gun came from. I thought I saw these in an early Bannerman catalog. Can you help or research this guns origin. we found it ,complete, in Piney Point, Maryland pointing at Virginia, it is dated 1873. Could it have been used in the Oyster Wars. We don’t know what it was doing down there. If you can find a catalog we would like one please. Thank you, Tim Marum

Tim, How interesting. I’ll ask my readers if they have any knowledge of this gun. Abby


Abby, A friend of mine has a 410 pistol with the 17 circled and number 1339 with a 5 laying down. He is trying to find out how old this gun is it has been in his family for years and would like some help if possible. Thank you for your help. William Robinette

William, We don't normally answer this type of question because we just get too many of them. But in this case, off the top of my head and lacking a picture, I would guess that the pistol is a Stevens Auto-Shot No. 35 or Pocket Shotgun (1876-1906) or Crescent Davis (the company was bought by Stevens in 1930) Ever-Ready Mod. 200 (1931-33). Abby


Abby, Does (Hibbard Spencer and Bartlett Co. 1933 Cutlery Catalog) tell in the knife book what year some of the knifes were made. i would like to buy the catolog, i have about6 or7 hibbards knifes and would like to find a date they were made. - ph44smile

Dear ph44smile, I don't know exactly how to answer your question. The catalog is from 1933 and depicts what they planned to make during that year, sort of like a brochure you would get at a Chevrolet dealer. Now, while I am sure it features knives offered before that date, they wouldn't take the opportunity to date them. Abby


"We print to order". What does this mean? Ben E Barnett Platinum Advisors, LLC

Dear Ben, We have no inventory. As you order we print what you ordered. I don't just go pick it off a shelf and slip it in an envelope. It is printed bound and cut to order. It takes a day or so. And then has to be weighed, posted, etc. It is not an overnight process. If I had inventory of the over 3000 titles I would need forklifts and employees. Many thanks again, Abby


25 stevens short or long rim fire, fred arbogast

Fred, You message is unclear. What can we do for you? Abby


Hi Abby, I have just left a very good feedback to you on all the items, however i admit that i'm a little bit desappointed about what i received.

- first, the quality of the covers is not very good

- a date was added on the cover because they are all the same, but there is a contrast

- the size is not respected, and there is a white border around some covers. but you had no choice, otherwise the picture of the cover wouldn't be clear enough if you increase the size

- finally, the way you bind some books, is not correct (i mean, not as they should be made)

The quality of the service is good (communication, shipping, packaging) i have nothing to say, and as i'm a serious member, i didn't left a bad feedback, but the products (is what I finally pay for) are not satisfying. Hope it can help you to improve in the future, Best regards, Sébastien Dauxerre

Dear Sebastien, I do not make forgeries of originals because to do so would increase the price exponentially. I print as good a quality reprint as the original allows and I reprint over 3500 catalogs. This is what I say about "quality" on my website. Abby

Hi Abby, Thanks for your answer. I don't blame you in any ways (you can see the feedback i left on ebay) maybe the picture of the original books were smaller consequently no matter what you do, or the quality of the machines you are using, the picture will always remain blurry. it's like if the size was 180x126 pixels and you printed it as a 800x600 (i exagerate, but the result seems to be a little bit like that). I'm desappointed because i was hoping a result much more similar to the "real" ones". Anyway, don't misunderstand me, i'm happy with what i have after all. Thanks for your professionalism. Best regards, Sebastien


Abby, I have recently come across a baseball bat by edw. k.tryon baseball bat and was wondering if you would have any other information relating to this. this is a signed bat. Any information would be helpful. thank you. Debbie Albright

Debbie, Tryon was a large retailer from the 1800s until before WWII. It sold lots of sports equipment much like the old Abercrombie and Fitch company. Abby


Abby, I would like to find a H&R parts and Components catalog similar to the Mossberg 1946-47 Component Parts List that I purchased from you off of ebay. I need an exploded view of the H&R 22 Special as I have a receiver, barrel and 9 shot cylinder and I am liking to put this gun back together and have fun shooter, I hope. Your recommendation of the best catalog/component parts list to purchase is what I need. I am looking for a good clear exploded view of this particular model. Any help would be greatly appreciated. God Bless, Frank Gailliot

Frank, I don't know which 22 Special you are talking about. They did make a .22 Special Heavy Frame from 1924-34. These guns were Models 944 and 945 and were target revolvers both top break. The Mod 944 went on until 1941. They also made Gold Front Sight Line Revolvers as 22 Special 6" barrel, 22 rimfire and 22Wrf but I don't know. if these guns were the models mentioned above. There were no exploded parts drawings done before WWII (Alex Aderer came up with the concept while working for the Bureau of Ships to aid evacuations form ships). So, depending on which model you have, you need a modern drawing of the gun. If you have a Model 944 it is the same as the "Bobby, 299 New Defender 32, 926, 976, Guardsman, 766, 999, .22 Special, 925 Defender and 955 Expert. Most H&Rs were the same internal parts so this book would probably help you . It lists the 999 and Gun Digest Revolvers Assy Manual (out of print) lists all the ones above as being the same internally. Hope this helps. Abby


Hi Abby, I appreciate the quality of your reprinted publications and your friendly, personal service. Your email newsletters are also entertaining and informative. Your patience with some of the cranks is commendable. You must be a former teacher. Sincerely, Blaine Milner

Blaine, Yep. Abby


Dear Abby, I am interested in purchasing this 1902 Parker gun catalog. However, the picture shows it to be green, not the color of the original. What is the actual color of this catalog? Thank you for a prompt reply. – soldcheap

Dear Cheap, To be honest, I don't remember. I think the cover was water damaged and faded so my best guess was that it was green. Abby


Abby, i have a 22cabliber nickle plated, with a pearl handle.it was man. from hawesfire arm.in la calf.it has germanyon it.model "68729 im trying to find out how old it is. my uncle bought it in in the 60s.its in great cindition. its been in a saft for years. Troy

Troy, I would guess it is from the 1960s. Abby


Abby. You have two Ackley hand books for sale. Can I get a itemized list of the contents.The list needs to be large enough so I can read it. It would help me decide if I want to purchase one or both at a later time.Thanks for your time & trouble. Reuben Griffith

Reuben, Each item I list on Ebay has a contents section that is as comprehensive as my limited knowledge of reloading allows. If the type is not big enough for you to read and you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, try holding down the ctrl (control) key while rotating the wheel. I am afraid that is the best I can do for you on the off chance you might "...want to purchase one or both at a later time". Cheers, Abby


Abby, Do you have any vintage tractor manuals? I'm looking for Cletrac or Cleveland Tractor Company manuals, parts book etc 1915-1925 Thanks Roland Bleitz

Roland, You could try to use Google.com for "tractor manuals". I reprint old gun catalogs. Abby


Abby, I have an Mossberg&Sons old pump 12g.shot gun model 200ka would you happen to have anything on that shot gun thanks Tommy

Tommy, Possibly, what sort of thing would you like? Abby


Abby, I just spent an hour reading your rants & raves and enjoyed every minute. You're a real pistol and I would love to meet you. It's not hard to believe there are so many idiots out there, I deal with them every day also. I e-mailed you a thank you for the Stevens 1912 shotgun catalog a couple weeks ago and also wanted to know if it was possible to custom build a book with just the info on the Stevens 520,521 522 525 530,& 535 from the various catalogs that they were offered. Please let me know if this is possible and what the cost would be. I'm sorry if you have just not had time to figure this out and respond, but I drive for a living and often have to use unfamiliar computers and just wanted to make sure you got my request.( And I'm just real impatient.) Thank you so much. Rich McKinney

Rich, Thank you for your note and compliments. With regard to your request for a book of instructions, I can tell you that although it could be done, it would not be something I could take the time to do myself. It would take hours and would not be something I could sell afterwards to other people. That said, it might be possible to make up a book using the catalogs that have such information and extracting the pages, then assembling those pages into one book. Problem is that they are probably different sizes and would have remnants of other pages on the obverse sides of some pages... not very professional. Frankly, I think you would be better off with just buying the catalogs you need and sticking a bookmark in each one with the model in that catalog. Sorry I can't be more help. Abby


Hello Abby, Correction :) your Zeiss 1926 telescope catalog is a 1921 first year with a 1926 price sheet, date says effected 1.1.26 but the new updated variable power scope models Zeilmulti and Zielmultar are listed came out in 1922/23 calendar year. you will see that the price sheet is missing the Zeildovier and Zeildosechs which were mostly discontinued in 1922 with only 6 others made from left over parts. The Zieldosechs was made in 1924 and only 1 was made. This is also why your catalog has the Zieldovier and Zieldosechs pictured and offered for sale but missing from the price sheet. Not sure if you know Zeiss date's all there catalogs. page one is dated USA 8-1-1921 and page 2 has the Zeiss plant dated 1920 and on the bottom right the page is dated again in German with a W or VV.1.21. the last 2 digits are always the year I have not deciphered all the other roman numbers, letters and number yet. on page 3 they talk about why they have introduced Zeiss hunting scopes to the market. now I have many other catalogs and some times they let prices stay the same from yeat to year and what they do is keep reprinting the old catalog but all Zeiss catalogs have a taped in supplement for that years pricing. They might have for there introduction of a new hunting scope line have a 5 year price freeze. i have to say i have from 1927-1940 with a couple of year missing but my bigest gap of missing catalogs is from 1922-26. I also have what they call catalog updates were in this situation they send a flyer type update for new production items that are missed in there catalogs. not Zeiss ones yet but for Ajack and Hensoldt yes. hope this helps, Vaughn Everlast

Dear Vaughn, Thanks so much! I made the corrections. Abby


Hello Abby, Thanks for another newsletter - I always enjoy reading them though regrettably I don't often buy stuff from you. What I have bought, however, I have been totally satisfied with.

I would just like to comment on one of your topics about Firearms Legislation in the US. As you may well know, following certain outrages committed in the UK, the political knee -jerk reaction, to show the populace that they were doing something about it and get their votes at the next election, resulted in a total decimation of the rights of the legitimate gun owning fraternity. New laws first banned self loading rifles; the next round saw the banning of self loading pistols and revolvers. And as your commentator rightly observes, the only affect it had was on the legal and law abiding gun owners. The politician’s loudly trumpeted measures to stem armed crime was a total farce; criminals by definition don't obey the law and they carried on as normal. After the last round of laws, the Times quoted a Home Office spokesperson saying that the measures were not aimed at reducing armed crime! So why bother? But again, the hyper ventilating media, when they get hold of a story about a gun crime, completely ignore the rarity of such an event (in England at least). I recently had to give a talk to museum professionals on "the ethics of guns in museums", and made the point that, again in England, only one person in 50,000 is injured or killed in a gun related crime (and that is from government statistics ca 2008); a far higher proportion are injured or killed through alcohol related disorder and drunken driving. But the politicians have yet to ban alcohol, no doubt because of the great loss of tax and duty income they receive from it. I find such hypocrisy appalling, but common to many politicians it seems.

At the time these overly stringent laws were introduced, collectors did benefit from relaxation of the law relating to "antique firearms", determined largely through the nature of the ammunition they used being "no longer commercially available". No cut-off date was established. But at the same time, they decreed things such as an original Colt 51 Navy was perfectly legal to own without any license (as long as it was not fired) - but a replica Colt 51 navy constituted a firearm for which a license is required! It seems to me law makers are totally removed from reality, or are guided by advisers equally well removed - the original or the replica are identical in every operational respect so why the distinction?

It seems to me that it is not the gun which is dangerous - a loaded firearm could sit in a drawer for a hundred years and do no-one any harm. Its danger lies in the nature of the person who picks it up - but to acknowledge that would open up some very difficult cans of worms for legislators to grapple with so they take the easy way out. Perhaps they would be better focusing on the wrongdoer and leave the innocent until proven guilty in peace. Guns are here to stay and the criminal will always find a source.

Sorry for the rant, but at least it is not directed at you or your readers! Regards, Peter Smithurst


Hello Abby, This is Juergen Lemm from Germany and England. May I draw to your attention that Messrs.Talleres Echevarria, Calle Magdalena in Elgeta .Spain make an enormous variety of forged springs, even to order according to sample or drawing. One can be so stuck with a broken spring. Furthermore in El Museo de Armas en Eibar, Guipuzcoa they have a vast collection of old catalogues. Maybe you can buy from them or swap. Correspondence of course preferably Spanish, but English possible. Best Regards, Juergen


I'm Francis Tan ( As Frank Massacre ) Good day, May i know that you are the zsstore of Frank Gun Smith of New York City of Queen Blvd.? Can you contact me back by your private e-mail. 'cause i have some difficulties problem wants you to help me for. Waiting for your Swift responsed onto my private e-mail at the above. Thanks... Frank Massacre

I'll pass, that you, Abby


Hi- You have a Francotte gun catalog (1930) for sale on eBay. Does this catalog have any converted rifles re-worked to flare rifles (lance fusee)? Are any flare pistols shown? Thank you, Fred Loos

Fred, The Francotte 1939 does have a flare pistol but at a glance I don't see a flare rifle. Abby


Abby, I have received the books. There are beautiful copies and I thank you very much. I'm looking in the website very carefully. Best regards, Paolo Ronco, Roma


Abby, Ammunition Pocket Guide 1924 Admiralty, UK. I saw this book for sale and I wanted to ask a question. I know you put everything on 20# 97 paper, but "Pocket Guide" implies that the pages are maybe half that size. Do those pages cover the entire 20# 97 page ? Ted Carlson

Hi Ted, I hope your question isn't just idle curiosity and that you are interested in actually buying the book. Well, the original page size was about 8.5" by 5.3" but the type was rather small so I decided to enlarge it slightly and I printed it on 8.5' by 11'' paper but with top margins of 1" each making the page size about 9" by 5.7" rather than printing it in book-fold format which would have resulted in slightly less than the original 8.5" by 5.3" page size due to the .25" margin required by the printer. I hope that explanation answers your question. Abby (Ted, bought one- thank you Ted)


Dear Abby and Friends, I am interested in purchasing any and all publications on the Auto Ordinance Thompson .45 cal. submachine gun, Model M1A1 of WW2, regarding history, operation, cleaning, break down, etc. We are especially interested in the two books by Tracie L. Hill (if we can afford them). Please advise of prices. Can you ship to Croatia? We are willing to pay whatever shipping costs. Thanking you in advance. With kindest regards, Robert R. Reisig-Franotovic

Dear Mr. Reisig-Franotovic, Here is the link to the Thompson material we have available. We will ship to Croatia. Use Addall.com to search for books by Hill. Cheers, Abby


Dear Abby, I'm researching a firearm, a Hopkins & Allen New Model Vest Pocket Derringer (Parrot Beak), .22S, tip-up chamber that's Nickel (or chrome) plated with a gold (or faux gold) plate body, serial number 951. The Cornell Pub site lists several H&A catalogs; which one should I choose to order? Which catalog lists serial numbers with year of manufacture? I'm thinking the 1914 early or late catalog. The gold plate appears to be unusual, compared with examples I've seen on auction sites. Can you please steer me to the correct catalog to order? Thank You, Brian Mehren

Dear Brian, Gun company catalogs never feature serial numbers because the catalogs were produced before the guns were made- think car company catalogs. Your best bet is Joe Vorisek's H&A book with has serial numbers and descriptions as well as images of most H&A guns. Also, The 1914 Hopkins & Allen Catalog has a New Model Vest Pocket Derringer that featured H&A gold monograms, has 1.75" barrel. Cheers, Abby


Hi Abby, There is a book about Vermont gunmakers, which I believe is a limited edition, out of print and quite expensive if you can find a copy. Mobray recently published an excellent book about NE underhammer guns. Merrill Linsey published a nice picture book with lots of references to guns (unfortunately) not all illustrated. Paul Henry published a great book on Ethan Allen / Allen and Wheellock guns and pistols. However, much as I would like to see a good book on Massachusetts rifle makers of the pre 1860 era, I do not know of one.

I do not know Jim Whisker. However, from the thrust of his present and past work, I think he may not very interested in New York / New England and mid west gun makers. There are books about Ohio / Indiana gunsmiths which are old and probably out of date. I wish that there was a current copy of something from that region.

The only book about Michigan gun makers, that I know of, was published last year by James Kelly of Rochester, MI. Michigan Gunsmiths "from the 18th through the easrly 20th Centuries", by James Kelly and Dorr N. Wiltse, is a hardbound, 250+ page, very limited edition, book full of references and photos. A long story, but I just bought one of his last copies from him. FYI, he is talking about developing a new expanded edition.

As with everything else, there tends to be provincialism among antique gun collectors. The ethnically Germanic, Pennsylva long rifle, migrated south along the Shenandoah valley road into Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and west into Appalachia, along with those people. So there is a "Pennsylvania interest", a "Southern" (Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee) interest, which is sometimes, maybe often, but not always shared. Then there were Pennsylvania gun makers who moved to Ohio and Indiana, as well as some who moved north from Kentucky / Tennessee. However, I think they tend to form a subset of late Pennsylvania rifles. As Kelly points out, the overwhelming number of gunsmiths in Michigan (mostly mid to late nineteenth century) came from New York State. Predictably, Michigan half stocked rifles do look like an eastern NY state product.

Late, eastern NY state rifles have a lot in common with New England, especially eastern Massachusetts, work. I think that the halfstock rifle originated there, inspired by late eighteenth century English guns and rifles. Therefore, New England / New York forms another interest group, which does not seem to overlap with Pennsylvania at all. These are my impressions, but some of this may be reflected in Jim Whisker's book subjects. Frank Slyker


Abby, do any of these books have very much info on 300 bullets? i have a 300 h&h improved and trying to figure out the improved part and have found about 12 different 300 so far and i need info from the WWI-WWII era for this gun. - jakyl17

Dear Jaky, We reprint literally scores of ammunition catalogs of that vintage, I have a whole section devoted to ammunition at my website. I also reprint eleven H&H catalogs from the 1800s to latter years and they discuss ammunition in detail. Not knowing exactly what you are looking for, I would think a bit of time spent poking around the website might give you the best direction. It is cornellpubs dot com. That said Ideal catalogs contain a wealth of information but I am not sure they would be best for what I am guessing you are looking for. Abby


Hello Abby, I have bought 4 catalogues from you for research purposes. I am doing an article on shotguns and optics. I would like to use pictures of the following covers, 1933 Parker Hale, 1899 Cataract Machine Tool, Zeiss, in my article. Brian Buckman

Brian, I certainly would not think there would be any problem with you using any cover in your article. Who are you writing for? Anyway, you have any permission I could grant you. Thanks for asking. Abby

Abby, Thank you. I am trying put together an article for (a national magazine). I collect antique telescopes. I was looking at Ebay UK and came upon a naval telescope marked W W Greener, Gunmker Birmingham. It is what is called an officer of the watch telescope. I contacted Greener and they had no idea anything like that was ever sold by them. The did sell a small pocket telescope marked W W Greener but not a naval model. Opticians, naval outfitters, tailors specializing in naval uniforms. would sell officer of the watch telescopes to young midshipman or officers needing personal equipment. As luck would have it , a pocket Greener showed up a month later. I bought that too. As I did some research, I found many gun makers or catalogue stores such as Parker Hale sold shooting telescopes also but almost never branded with their own name. Brian


Hey Abby - The Winchester Books arrived today, super quality. I am very happy with them, they contain a wealth of information on my two most recent rifle purchases. Your repros are my most valuable resource for all my older collection. Thanks for fast service with a quality product. Wayne Ruxton


Hi Abby, two years ago my Aunt passed away. I inherited two hand guns from her. I know one is a swiss and wesson but I do not know the make or model. The only numbers I can see on it is 207237. I didn't know if that was the serial number or not.(Its a revolver) The other hand gun is also a revolver I know it's a .22 cal. It says young american double action, H&R arms company & the numbers on it are 469348. If you could help me I would greatly appreciate it. I really would love to know the year of both of them & the make. I believe it could be something I could one day to pass down to my children. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, KImberly Bottorff

Kimberly, Without seeing the guns it is difficult to identify the guns, however the first is probably a Smith & Wesson. Here is a link to serial number information. If you want more help identifying the guns. Send an email to Mike Rich. Best, Abby


The American Heritage Picture History of World War II by CL Sulzberger: My father gave me this book years ago for my son. I was looking for a way to value it for Insurance purposes. Totally forgot we had it until I ran across it recently. You may not be the appropriate source, but I am unable to locate info in this particular Edition. Appears to be an original 1966 print. Thank you for your time! Joanna Laxton

Joanna, You can look of values of used books at Addall.com. That one is not worth insuring though. Abby



I'm sorry the time it would take to do that would cost more than the catalog, at least a good more than $5. Abby


Hi Abby, from what I see of my order anyone bitchen needs to realize that even a good copy can only be as good as the original. They could search for an extended time to buy the original at several times the cost and still not end up with as good a copy. Most of the items you provide are very hard to find and finding a quality copy at an affordable price ain't gonna be easy. A very pleased customer, who will be back for more. Ug's Rant, James G Rush


Sorry, I should have been more clear. The 25-20 Single Shot (SS) is the predecessor of the 25-20 WCF cartridge. I'm not sure of the manufacturing dates but, I believe it was made into the 1920's. The Stevens model 44 and 44 1/2 used the round as did the 1885 Winchesters. It is still shot quite often in BPCR events. I've been told that the older lyman reloading manuals have loads for it but I don't know which manuals specifically. Thank you for any help you can offer. John Miller

John, The Ideal 1930 #29 has loading information for the .25-20 WCF (Repeater) and Single Shot. Abby


Hello Abby, Thank you for providing such a good service. As you may know gun ownership is very limited in the UK with many restrictions and regulations. So even collecting firearms is difficult. As I have an interest in firearms the next best option is a collection of firearms related literature and having period reproductions is great. Kind regards, John Higgins


Abby, I have a pistol 257 made by hawes firearms co western germany. when was it made thank you Garcia Moore

Dear Garcia, September 13, 1968. No, I'm kidding. From your description I have no idea. Have a look at this Hawes catalog we sell. Abby

Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

Smith & Wesson 1900 Revolvers: Is this a real pistol, it seems really cheap to be only 13.95; cowboy989809 (Ebay buyer)

Cowboy, No, if you read the advertisement you will see that this is a reprint of a 1900 S&W catalog. 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]".