Calls from the Wilds


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How Baseballs are Made

OK, I know this sounds corny but do take the time to watch this little movie. It is amazing what goes into a simple baseball!

Crazy Russian Gun Guy

Have you seen this amusing fellow on UTube? He plays with some serious hardware and I do wonder where he gets it. Here is a selection of his episodes: Crazy Russian Guy

Eonvrye woh can raed this rsaie your hnad

We got an email claiming that only 55 people in 100 can read the paragraph below. I kind of doubt that and think most people can read it. But if you can't please let me know. By the way, I don't think it has to do with intelligence, only the way your mind works.

I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Innovative Automobile Repairs

Why do big companies fail?

Conventional wisdom tells us that stupid management combined with stultifying bureaucracy causes the collapse of corporations. We’ve all seen emails that scorn GM or Chrysler for being mammoth failures feeding of the public teat after management failed to understand the overwhelming demand for small gas efficient automobiles. While this particular argument may be debatable there is no denying that the companies were brought to their knees. The emails persist and to listen to some people it is a wonder how our country managed to clamber out of the Stone Age much less manage the miracle of the industrial revolution.

So, how can we possibly excuse the senior execs of any large company for being blind to emerging markets and successes of smaller, less efficient competitors? Knowledgeable people often launch into unfathomable jargon describing a tangled web of socio-economic events leading to the inevitable disaster. But what if there is another answer, something beyond stupidity and imagecomplex financial entanglements, something simple, clear and neat? Well, there is at least one theory that explains this inconsistency. Clayton Christensen, according to his website “… is the architect of and the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation, a framework which describes the process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves ‘up market’, eventually displacing established competitors.”

The May 14th 2012 issue of New Yorker Magazine has an interesting article about Christensen who, to me at least, answers a lot of elusive questions about how big markets function, fail and grow. I wonder if his reasoning can be used to explain the collapse of some very big gunmakers over the years. If you don't have a copy or can't find the magazine at a local library you can download the article here.

Davis Arms Historical Museum

Claremore, Oklahoma


Who was J.M. Davis...and where did he get all those guns? What's the story here? Well, it seems when John Monroe Davis was seven years old he took his medicine like a good boy. As a reward his father gave him a muzzle-loading shotgun that cost $1.50 ( not a small amount in 1894). This began a fascination with guns that just never stopped. That first gun is still in the collection. In 1916, Davis traded 2,000 acres of Arkansas timberland for a hotel in Claremore, Oklahoma. Davis moved into the Mason Hotel and took over management. He continued to add to his collection one gun at a time. By 1929, his collection had reached 99 guns. He decided to display the guns on the lobby walls of his hotel.

But guns weren't the only thing Davis collected. He also collected: knives, swords, steins, saddles, music boxes, musical instruments, political buttons, World War I posters, John Rogers statuary, and Native American artifacts. All of which found a place of display within the hotel. And this was just in the beginning. Lobby walls became crowded, the ball room was filled to capacity. Upstairs the long hallways were lined with guns and memorabilia. Seven private rooms were filled to capacity. With the Hotel smack in the middle of Route 66, word of Davis' collection spread far and wide. A steady stream of people came from all over the world to see the collection, buy, sell, trade or just talk guns. He became internationally known as a gun expert. The man and his collection became the subject of numerous magazine articles.

In 1965, with an eye to the future, Davis transferred ownership of his massive collection to the J.M. Davis Foundation Inc. In turn the Foundation leased the collection to the State of Oklahoma at the cost of $1. for 99 years (with the option to renew). Part of the deal was that the State would build and maintain a modern facility to house the collection, and that the collection would be open to the public at no charge. The first section of the museum opened to an enthusiastic public on Davis' 82nd birthday: June 27, 1969. Since that time the entire structure has been completed with over 40, 000 square feet of floor space. Gun displays alone total to over one mile in length. In 1973 J.M. Davis died. He is entombed on the museum grounds: he is still with his guns.

Machine Gun Shoot

Oklahoma Gun Show for Machine Guns

Thanks to Jeff Steidle


Lots of gun collectors are also car collectors, I know, I'm one too! So, this month I want to remind you about 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).

53 ChevyMy first car (running car that is, I had a Morris 8 first but that was a non-runner) was a '52 Chevy ($25). We took the seats out and I put a bucket seat from the Morris in the driver position with wire to hold it down, then I cut a piece of plywood for the floor under the pedals that had rotted out and put mattresses from the dump in the rest of the car. I thought is was the cat's meow until I got the '53 Chevy convertible ($50) I hand painted white. Fitted with a new top from JC Whitney and blue plastic seat covers from Sears I was moving up in the world.

Jag XK150My dad had a friend who owned a '58 XK150. I got to use it for a couple of thrilling months while we reconditioned it to sell. I remember a few annoying things about that car. It had twin six volt batteries in compartments behind the front wheels. The covers were rusted on and after we got those off the darn Lucas (Prince of Darkness) battery connectors had a Phillips screw in the top that was impossible to remove or even get at with an offset screwdriver. The car steering column also had a universal knuckle in the engine compartment held together by rubber grommets, three of the four were severed. Imagine the wobble if the forth gave way at 130 mph? Finally the sender for the speedo was on the end left camshaft and to get it out you had to drop the front of the engine. Nuff said.MGA

A few months later, I bought a used 1960 MGA ($400) with money earned plowing snow with a Jeep a friend owned. I was a really proud senior in High School with that one, even if it lacked the panache with the ladies (and their mothers) of the mattress Chevy! I liked it so much I bought another MGA while I was stationed in England a few years later. I repainted both, the first from white to British Racing Green and the other from yellow to a beautiful Burgundy. The fellows in the hangers at Linton on Ouse did that one during my flying training. I had the red TR3 after I came out of the service but sold it in Florida because it was way too hot in summer down there.

DodgeThat's when I bought the Dodge Coronet 500 with a/c. I was driving from Fort Pierce to Orlando one morning at dawn, cruising along in the orange groves doing about 120 mph when I passed a cop going the other way. He caught me about fifteen miles later but just wanted to see the engine. It was big but not as big as his! Told me to take it easy until I left the county. Whew!

Regress Press is bound to bring back memories and when you show your car with the original catalog you won't have a heart attack when someone walks off with the irreplaceable paper.

Rob Mouat

The Case of the Mysterious Case

curtis's case

(The image was upside down so we reversed it and that is why it looks odd)

Dear Abby, I recently bought a wooden box related to Curtis & Harvey (just because it looked very nice) and after my thorough search I still haven't found any indication of it's authenticity. I did however come across the website of Cornell Publications from which I gather, has much information about said company. So my question to you is if you can verify to some degree the authenticity of the wooden box I purchased. I've attached a picture of it with this email. Sincerely, Alexander Boere

When we got the above note with the accompanying picture we stared at it and knew there was something wrong but just didn't see what. We could tell that the effort appeared to be hand painted (and rather casually at that), but there was something else about it not quite right so we asked Jim Buchanan to take a look. Jim is a renown ammunition expert based in the UK and his reply was quick and embarrassing (for us).

He said, "Hi Rob, Sad to tell your man his box is a fake. Nothing whatever to do with the firm of Curtis's & Harvey the gunpowder manufacturers. I have seen similar boxes before and the artwork is just to crude/naive to be the real thing, apart from the obvious mis-spelling of the name. On the box it shows CURTIS, it was NEVER spelt with one S thus - it should be CURTIS'S. It is just possible that it was put together by a hardware store or powder retailer to keep his powder stock in? See attached pics of some genuine C&H. items, note the spelling of the name. Jim"

Pic cans

To further establish the fact that the box didn't come from the Curtis's family Jim asked one of them. Bill Curtis is the UK's leading gunpowder expert and a direct descendent of the Curtis gunpowder family mentioned.

Bill said, "Jim, good to hear from you again. These boxes are, in my opinion, crude modern fakes. It is not just the lack of an apostrophe S, the Cyrillic letter I instead of U in Curtis, on the small central piece, the shaky ampersand and the overall crudity shout FAKE possibly from former East bloc. That they are turning up here and there says modern tourist fake. There is no way that C&H would have printed rubbish like that. Regards, Bill"

W. S. Curtis, A.C.I.I.,
Vice President (Hon.), Crimean War Research Society,
HBSA (Hon. Life),
Assistant Curator, Museum of the National Rifle Association,
Whitworth Rifle Research Project,
We reported what we learned to Mr. Boere who very kindly wrote back "Thank you very much for the quick reply! I completely believe what Jim wrote, it's a fake and that's fine. I'm just happy someone was able to give me an answer about the box. Cheers, Alexander"

We then scrambled to correct the same mistake about the 's in the titles of the Curtis's we reprint! Mea culpa! I did ask Jim why he thought some ads referred to Curtis's and Harvey's products while catalogs called the company Curtis's and Harvey. Jim thinks it is an obscure rule of the English language. I'm going with arcane aberration. Readers?


For six decades, the Forgett family has provided hundreds of thousands of firearms and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition to shooters, hunters, sportsmen and collectors. What started in the basement of my late father, Val Forgett, Jr.'s home in Teaneck, New Jersey in the 1950's has grown into a multi-division firm providing quality and value to gun owners in the category of historic arms and ammunition. After graduating from Clemson University in 1991, I founded Gibbs Rifle Company, Inc., to distribute curio and relic firearms and ammunition and to craft 'Historical Remakes™' of classic military firearms. In 2005, I purchased Old Western Scrounger Ammunition from "Dangerous Dave" Cumberland and expanded his outstanding line of obsolete and hard-to-find ammunition.

How Dad founded and grew Navy Arms over the course of 40 years is well documented in books, magazines, websites and annually in the Navy Arms catalog. What is less well known are some of the origins of how got started, how he progressed Navy Arms and how he and I worked to transition the company to a new generation of ownership and management.

Therefore, starting in this, our 54th year of business, I will add new stories and chapters not widely heard before on Dad and Navy Arms. The first new story is how my father generated the funds to begin producing replica firearms by winning the contract to clear the famed Bannerman's Island of all live ordnance in 1956. Link to Bannerman Island Article Download

There you can read about how a then-26 year old Val Forgett, Jr. spent the Summer of 1956 clearing thousands of live grenades, artillery and mortar rounds that had been stored there for decades. The funds he earned that summer gave him the means in which to begin production of the first run of replica 1851 Navy revolvers that started the revolution in replica firearms.

Before he passed away, Dad told this story to an assembled group of collectors, in his own words. Fortunately, that talk was captured on video and we are pleased to provide this speech on DVD to collectors, with 100% of the profits going to the NRA Foundation. Dad served proudly as the President of the National Firearms Museum and worked closely with the NRA Foundation to build the world-class museum that exists today. He would be proud to know that the entire collection of Navy Arms prototype guns were chosen to be featured in the front display case at the National Firearms Museum that greets every guest to the Museum. I am grateful for the work he started and honored to continue that legacy.

Thanks to Navy Arms

Arms Heritage Magazine

Murder at Madison Square Garden

Erik Goldstein

whiteLong before the trial of O.J. Simpson for the grizzly killing of his ex-wife and her friend, millions were engrossed by another sensational case which may take the proverbial cake as America’s first “murder of the century.” Like any truly good crime story, the case involved fame, fortune, a gorgeous woman, and, of course, a gun.

In a seemingly spontaneous act, one Harry Thaw approached a certain Stanford White, then immersed in watching a saucy musical comedy, and assassinated him in a very public manner – and it was all over a dame.

What made the case world famous wasn’t the actual crime so much. It was the names of “celebrities” involved, the great wealth of the perpetrator and the outrageous trials brought on by the murder’s family. This made great fodder for the newspapers, which viciously competed with each other in to print the most scandalous accounts of the trial & those involved, all in pursuit of profit. Sound a bit like today?

More than a century behind us, the 1906 murder of Stanford White is now part of American lore, and has been the subject of numerous books and even two movies, including the 1981 production of E.L. Doctorow’s masterpiece Ragtime, where it was sloppily treated.

Fifty three year old Stanford White was the illustrious architect who designed the second Madison Square Garden, which was simultaneously one of his best works and the scene of his death. Although married, he had penchant for much-younger showgirls. They found him charming and irresistible, thus allowing “Stanny” to “cut many notches” in his belt, if you get my drift.


The whole story of this footnote to American history is told by Erik Goldstein, Curator of Firearms and Numismatics at Colonial Williamsburg in the June issue of Arms Heritage Magazine. Subscriptions are available at the Arms Heritage website. Subscribers have access to all back issues at 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. Many thanks to Mike Carrick and Greg Larson for lending us catalogs for this month's offerings. Greg has almost completed our collection of latter 20th century catalogs. The knife catalogs came from Mike who has come up with some of the most intriguing things we offer. Check out the Federal Gas Life Protection 1933 Catalog and Federal Gas Protection Laboratories 1934. These fellows had the brilliant idea to rig up banks and retail stores with central tear gas systems that could be triggered during a holdup to confuse the robbers! Their comforting motto was "No Shooting in Crowded Lobbys".

Of note are the two Lovell catalogs. We have offered the 1890 Lovell catalog for years and rarely sell it but that is a shame. It is beautifully illustrated (as is the new 1887) and offers a remarkable selection of guns and goods. While on the subject, so do the 1880 Homer Fisher catalog, the Great Western catalogs from 1871 to 1897 and the Bown catalog of 1876. So there you have some nifty selections for Old West studies!

New Additions:


* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

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Letters from Readers

Ref: Abercrombie & Fitch Firearms & Sports 1907 Catalog. Do you have any Abercrombie & Fitch Catalogs that just feature Fly Fishing? Inshep (Ebay)

Inshep, Stand alone hobby catalogs by A&F were a relatively modern invention. Sorry but you have to buy the tents and guns too! Cheers, Abby

Ref: Walther Polizei Pistolen Modelle PP & PPK 1936 Manual (German). Hi, I was wiondering if you had a manual for a 1933 Walther PPk? Thanks! Steve - smsayre70 (Ebay)

Steve, I’m sure the 1936 PPK manual you selected would cover a PPK made in 1933. Cheers, Abby

Hi Abby, The Parker Hale catalog turned up last week. Outstanding! Very happy thank you. Great service and fast delivery. Have your website on my "favourites" and will recommend to my friends. Regards, Adrian (UK)

Abby, Got the books, thanks. Is it possible to get the books punched for a three ring binder? William I.

William, Yes, but I would have to charge you to take them to Staples or Office Depot for machine punching if they are over about 20 sheets. You can also take them to a local office supply store that has the machine for the same service. Cheers, Abby

Hello Abby, This is my third order and they all are fine (Tho some finer than others.) As you bind these, can I buy (and pay for) hard bound? The covers are quite soft. David

Dave, Yours presents an interesting question. We print on 20# paper with 60# covers mainly to save weight. Postage is becoming more and more expensive and now represents over 25% of gross sales and, of course, it is mainly dependent on the weight of the package (for Priority, the weight of the paper determines how much we can stuff into an envelope or box).

Hard covers are available as a system for the binder we use but they tend to be expensive. They are sold as sets of 10 (I believe) and in various sizes to accommodate different thickness books. So, the answer to your question is yes, we could bind with hard covers but it would be pricey. What do you have in mind? Abby

Hello Abby, I am doing a bit of research on ammunition prices. The folks over at TheFiringLine.com referred me to come talk to you. I am trying to locate a pricing history on just the ammo (not the guns) for the past 20 years on a variety of common calibers – 9mm, 40, 45, 223 and 7.62. My goal is to have a good sense of the increases over that time period – such as an annual starting figure in January, or a yearly peak, or end of year – as long as we are consistent all the way through. That way it is something I can compare to a historical annual inflation table. Do you have a resource that may be able to accommodate such a request? I see your catalog date range goes up to 1980, which is a bit earlier what I am looking for. It would not hurt me to have more years of info, as long as I still had the most recent 20 years. However, I would rather prefer not to have to purchase 20+ catalogs if I can avoid it. Thank you, Greg Bauman (aka Zombie Apocalypse Games – my blog, and my shooting enthusiast forum name)

Greg, I am afraid we won't be much help to you for several reasons. First, you are right that we print little in the last 20 years and given that is the period you are interested in we are out of the ballpark already. But the sort of research you asked about is also time intensive and holds little reward for us in that you don't want to even buy the catalogs we identify after the research is complete. Don't feel badly though we get lots of requests for detailed and obscure research and most customer then want to know how much "just that page" would cost. Oh yes, don't forget that prices placed in catalogs such as the ones we reprint probably don't reflect the market value of retail sales as they are prepared months in advance of distribution. Cheers, Rob

Hi there, Thank you for a quick reply. I hear you on the time intensiveness of the request. That’s precisely why I am looking for a single source of this information, myself. And I appreciate the catalog pricing issue you raised. I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks again, Greg

Hello Abby! I hope you can help me validate one or two of the positive results I get when I search your website for "WR" (I don't get any positive hits for "W.R." I am looking for W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. I get many hits for "cutlery" and many for "case" but can't tell that any of those actually relate to W.R. Case. When I search the result bar for "WR" I don't see any words that contain those letters. If you could possibly search for "WR", and then just physically check one or two of the catalogs, that would show whether there are any actual results for W.R. Case Cutlery knives or items? Thank you in advance for any further assistance you can offer! Regards, Thomas

Thomas, I have some postwar Case catalogs I have not yet processed but I don't see any pre-war stand-alone Case catalogs. It is possible other merchants sold case products but it is equally possible that because I specialize in firearms that I didn't specify the make of knives sold by each merchant. I'm sorry, but I think you are out of luck unless you know of a merchant that was likely to have sold case knives such as Abercrombie. I would be willing to look to see if they specified makes in their catalogs. Unfortunately, most merchants didn't mention what makes they sold. Cheers, Abby

Hi Abby, Could you please check the 1910 Abercrombie & Fitch catalog for any "Case" knives? They could be "W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery" or "Case Brothers Cutlery." This catalog is one of the results when I search for "WR" (with no periods between the initials). Thank you! Thomas Enright

Thomas, There are many pages of knives and only a few are identified by maker. None are said to be Case knives and none of the pocket knives seem to be named. Abby

How are you Abbey? Ref: Iver Johnson c1907 catalog. I was wondering if you could tell me if the "I" grade or "DS" was listed in this catalog before I purchase it? Thank you, Shane Lee

Shane, As you can tell from the index there are an awful lot of makers listed in that big catalog. Which one are you interested in before I start the search for specific model? Cheers, Abby

I'm sorry Abby, it would be for Lefever!

Shane, I suspect that is the one they call the Dursten Special Grade in the catalog. Abby

Hello Abby, I'm looking for manuals (original or reproduction) for; Early FN Browning .22 autoloader (A model-1950's) and For FN Browning "Trombone" pump .22 Thanks, Ken Reimer

Ken, Check out Browning listings and Browning Manuals as well as those for FN. Cheers, Abby

Thanks Abby, I'm a BIG fan of the service you provide to firearms enthusiasts. Scott Anderson

Abby, Ref: Harrington & Richardson Arms 1936 Component Parts Catalog. I have a model 765, will this help me on assembling my pistol? – bilsae (Ebay)

Dear Bilsae, The 765 seems to be a post-war weapon and is not listed in the index for the 1936 H&R catalog you selected. It is, however, featured in the later H&R component parts catalogs... 1949, 53 etc. Those are available on Ebay or you can find them at the website cornellpubs dot com. Please understand the component parts catalogs as revealed in the accompanying picture depict parts in a plan view and not an exploded view. Rob

Thanks Abby. No problem with a bit of a wait as your products are ALWAYS worth it!!! Ron West

Dear Abby, I have a complete intact 1922 Spring/Summer edition Catalogue No.40 M.W. Savage Co., Im interested in determining it's worth, purchase demand and Co. history during that time span. Can you help or refer me to somewhere/someone who could? Thank you in advance, Theressa Hollopeter

Theressa, MW Savage was, as you no doubt know, a merchant, not a gun maker. As such the catalogs are less valuable than those of companies that made things themselves. I paid about $30 for the MW Savage catalog we reprint but have never seen another. It could be that the company was short lived (the catalog mentions the company was established "several years ago") and this was the only large catalog. Anyway, the best price can probably be realized by selling on Ebay. Rob

Rob; Any catalog on Gallagher rifle..civil war vintage..?? GuyRon Mundale

GuyRon, When looking for something in our catalogs that doesn't show up under any of the alpha listings I always suggest entering the name in the search bar at the top of each page. I entered "Gallagher" and see there are no sale catalogs listing the rifle, however it does show up as being for sale in some merchant catalogs such as the Bannermans and Service Merchandise. Rob

Abby; as a customer of many years I have enjoyed your publications....I have a set of nice OLD books I inheirited and at my age I have no use for them ..but I was informed they have value. Harry Castlemon Books were published by George Winston and have copyrights from late 1890's...perhaps you can put me in contact with a knowlegeable person whom may be able to give an estimate of worth or perhaps a purchase... Kindest Regards, Guy R. Mundale

Dear Guy, Thanks for your note. I usually use the website ADDALL to determine the value of old books. This is a used book search engine that looks at all the major used book sites. If you can book sellers advertising the books you have you can get a good idea of their worth. You can search by author or title or both. I did a search for "Harry Castlemon" and the search returned 172 titles. I did notice that the publish dates vary so the books may have had more than one publisher. Anyway, it should give you some place to start. Naturally, condition is very important to collectors. Please let me know if I can be of any other help. Cheers, Abby

Dear cornellpubs, Ref: FN Model 49 Self Loading Rifle Manual, You do realize that the pics and text on the righthand side of the lavendar colored cover is for the FN Fal NOT for the FN SAFN Model 49. Jack – nemoixxiv (Ebay)

Dear Jack, Thank you for your note. The title page of the manual says "FN Model 49 Self-Loading Rifle Users's Manual". Are you saying FN got the pictures inside the original manual incorrect when they made the manual? Abby

Dear Abby, Ref: Shapleigh Hardware Co. 1915 Parts & Materials Catalog (St. Louis, MO). Great looking Catalog! While I consider this one can you tell me who I can talk with or how I can get an Original or Reprint of a 1907-1908 Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. (St. Louis) original catalog if they do exist. Thanks in advance! Regards, Sam - srosser1 (Ebay)

Dear Sam, I've no idea. If you put a permanent search on Ebay, I suppose one day one will turn up. Abby

Abby, Would you possibly have a manual for the Spencer Repeating Shotgun ? I would be interested in obtaining one.. Thanks, Galen W. Taylor

Galen, All manuals we reprint are listed under the manual section of my website. Cheers, Abby

Dear cornellpubs, Ref: Lee Enfield Rifle, Instructions for Armourers 1931 by The War Office, Part II. I see you have a number of manuals relating to the No. 1, Mk III rifle. I have a problem with my rifle; it shoots too far to the left and I would like to obtain the manual that would tell me the most about this problem and what I might do before taking it to a gunsmith. Do you have a recommendation? – boneilbohelen (Ebay)

Dear Bo, Well, not having the rifle in hand I would hazard a guess that your problem is sights, at least that is the first thing to eliminate. Not knowing if yours is an ex-military rifle or if it is civilian, perhaps from Parker Hale or if it is military but with aftermarket sights etc. I would be hard pressed to know which manual would best serve your interests. The armourer's manual you were looking at is a good technical manual for the rifle and discusses everything from takedown to adjusting the front sights- perhaps that is your problem? Sorry I can't be more specific without more information. Abby

Dear Abby, I am surprised that I find no information/catalogs for the B.C.Mirkou Firearms Mfg. Co, of Japan. An old company that produced the Charles Daly shotgun for Sloans Sporting Goods Co in NYC (you have a Sloan's 1937 catalog)and currently the mfg'r of the Browning shotguns. (The original Browning model Citori was a clone of Sloan's Char. Daly.) Bill Gillette

Thanks Bill, I'll keep an eye out for some. Abby (Readers?)

Abby, I went to your web page and found a very funny section called Rants.........All I can say is thanks for what you do. Dave Blackman

Dear Abby, Thanks very much. Your reprints have been of immense help to me in researching my various books. Best, Joe Poyer

Dear cornellpubs, Ref: Klein's Sporting Goods & Gun 1946 Catalog (Chicago). Can you tell me if the catalog has listing for the Creek Chub Beetle. I collect ads for that specific lure manufactured by that company. Thanks for any help. – ccbcoguy (Ebay)

Dear ccbcoguy, Normally don't answer questions like yours because we get so many for everything from guns and ammo to whistles and plumb bobs but I happen to know this catalog has an ad for The Beetle by Chub Creek.., do you want to buy the catalog? Abby

Dear cornellpubs, Sorry, but in my enthusiasm for Beetles I missed the fact that it was a reprint. Thank you SO much for responding but I will pass. – ccbcoguy

Abby: My husband has just acquired a Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle. It did not come with the manual and he is hoping to locate one, which is how I found your site. He does not need a catalogue for parts, but an actual manual on how to operate the rifle. We did locate the correct cartridge (Mannlicher-Schoenauer 6.5x54) which he can obtain. (As you can tell, I am not knowledgeable regarding riffles, etc.) Would you happen to have a manual or be able to give me a lead(s) on where he may obtain one. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kathy Wrinkle

Kathy, I am not familiar enough with M-S rifles to guide you. Why not contact Tom Tompkins of the M-S collectors society? Here is his website: http://mannlicherschoenauer.com/ Cheers, Abby

Abby, Is there a Winchester catalog or anything that shows or lists the sights available, standard or special order, for Winchester rifles (Specifically the Mod. 1895)in 1923? Thomas Brinson

Thomas, I would suggest the 1925 catalog http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/item_desc.php?item_id=2281 which includes 2 pages of sights for Winchesters. This catalog was released in 1924 and is likely to show what you need. Of course I suppose Winchester would do anything you wanted as a special order. I am reminded of a friend who wanted an Olds Cutlass years ago with a diesel engine, no air and a four speed. My brother actually went to the factory (he worked for GM) and said "put that engine in that car with that shifter and no air" to get the car built. Cheers, Abby

Abby, Ref: Eley 1905 Brothers Sporting & Military Ammunition Catalog (UK), I am a cartridge collector...does this have gd illustrations of all products listed – deeceeg (Ebay)

deeceeg, Tough question to answer. I am sure at least one product listed is not illustrated and is just a page of descriptions. For example, there is a page of waddings for muzzle loading guns but they are not pictured. Most everything else however has a picture. Remember, we didn't make up the catalog, we just reprint it and Eley chose the illustrations over 100 years ago. I would recon they took the opportunity to show all cartridges. Abby

To whom it my concern, I am Boris Krsul Croatian citizen leaving in Italy over 37 years. I retired two years ago as Mechanical Supervisor from American drilling company “Transocean Inc.” As retired , I have more time to dedicate to the gun collection , beside hunting , my only hobby I have. Recently I purchase one rifle made by Mannlicher Schoenauer Cal. 8X60 Magnum. Gun is in immaculate condition, but is marked “Made in Germany” which differ with all the Mannlicher Schoenauer I see. Please , can you help me to identify my gun . Appreciate any assistance you can provide. Best regards, Boris Krsul

Boris, Thank you for your note. I'm sorry to tell you that we are publishers, we print old gun catalogs, and as such just don't have time to try to match photographs with pages of our catalogs. We just get too many similar requests to yours to be able to do that. Why don't you try the company for help? Mannlicher or Steyr Arms Cheers, Abby

Dear Abby, Any chance of reprints of Ben Pearson catalogues other than the 1941 edition you have listed? In particular, I am interested in the catalogues of the early 1950s. Best regards, Dennis La Varénne, Australia

Dear Dennis, Sorry but that is the only one we have. I'll keep an eye out for others. I'm sure you saw we have all the Bear Catalogs from the 50s. Abby… Readers?

Abby, Ref: do u have or does this include parts breakdown on the savage model 720-12 gauge semi-automatic76299 built between 1930 and 1949? - 2010bsloan (Ebay)

Dear 2010, Oddly, the 720 doesn't appear in any of the Savage component parts catalogs during the period you mention... must have been some agreement with Browning/FN. Anyway, as you know the 720 is a Browning Auto 5 produced under license so any Auto 5 parts catalog should work for you. The "Browning 1935 FN Automatic Shotgun (A-5) Manual" we reprint should do nicely. It is available on Ebay or from our website cornellpubs dot com, just copy the name above and put it in either search box. Abby


Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

"Why do you waste youre time making such crap? Nobody will buy your junk and you just make honest buyer look too hard to find good stuff. I going to reporte you to ebey and theyllfix you. you and you s***." JS (Ebay)

Readers, you know I really dislike little weasels like JS. They use foul language, their arguments are specious and they are usually stupid and they can't spell either. Also, they almost always speak anonymously. Rob and I, working alone, last year reprinted over a million pages, we have over 20,000 unique customers in over 100 countries and offer over 4000 old gun catalogs and manuals most of which would be lost to time if it were not for our labors. With those credentials I resent monkeys like JS spoiling my day.

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

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: