Calls from the Wilds


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

* Several people sent notes, most very polite, indicating they didn't receive a July Newsletter. Well, summer is here and with our daughter visiting we just didn't do one. Instead you get this combined July-August, somewhat longer, version. Thanks for tuning in!

* We live about 45 miles west, northwest of Detroit in a microclimate. We've had a few days of stormy weather recently but the weather almost certainly confirmed that we live in a very protected and small micro-weather system that was called Pleasant Valley by the pioneers. Weather almost always splits before it gets to us and passes north or south. This seems to happen regardless of the direction of approach. Storms and just rain clouds can approach anywhere from the south, west or north and as they near us they divide and pass us by. Of course this doesn't happen every time, we do get rain, but the bad storms seem to avoid us. I've watched this phenomenon for a dozen years now and with the computer radar I have seen it happen time and again.

Our ancestors must have noted the same thing because our little area was never, as far as I can tell, planted in corn as were the surrounding areas. Instead they planted apple trees which being deep-rooted, are less dependent on regular rainfall. Our property is part of a section* of apple trees that was planted in 1928 and we still have the trees although they are too overgrown to bear fruit. Anyway, while the NOAA weather warning blasts caution to us, most times Abby and I can watch the lightning pass to the north and south of us and except for the occasional strike nearby it is merely entertainment. In fact, counties to the north and south often have tornadoes and but for one about 15 miles west, northwest of us we have been spared (touch wood).

I wish I could figure out what about our topography causes this split in weather and the attendant less rain that we get during the growing season because we do pump a lot of water onto the garden. Although, of course, even if I did figure it out, there is little I could do about it.

Then, in the end of July we had six inches of rain in 36 hours, it knocked down a third of our corn and the power was out for three days. So much for that theory.

Rob Mouat

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) defines 1 section (1 square mile) = 640 acres


dog in car

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A Bridge Too Far

It was a normal day, April 12, 2002, in Sharon Springs Kansas , when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded 100 car coal train for the long trek to Salina.

Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted allowing a metal support drop down and grind on the rail resulting in white-hot molten metal dripping from the assembly.

A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train. They immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules and set out on foot to investigate, again, as per the rules.

The car with the defective bearing was a half mile back, stopped on a bridge with creosoted wooden ties and trusses. By the time the crew reached the car, the molten metal dripping from the wheel had set fire to the bridge. The crew detached the burning car and five others and moved the rest of the train away from the scene.



Atomic reactor

Above you will see a new type of atomic reactor as pictured in Popular Science this month. That blue at the top represents 800,000 gallons of water stored there to cool the core in the event of water pump failure as occurred in Japan this spring. Built to withstand the direct impact of a large aircraft, I noted with interest, though, the very bottom of the picture. That is the control room where they say a crew of 11 can survive up to three days with canned air keeping out the bad stuff. Hmmm... sounds like a job for Homer Simpson!


Guest Column


John Browning was famous for designs of machine guns as well as handguns including the ubiquitous Colt Model 1911. He had a special relationship with Winchester though, and beginning with the Winchester Model 1886 Single Shot Rifle and the Winchester model 1887 Shotgun, Winchester bought every patent for rifles and shotguns Browning came up with. In fact, WRA company assigned its employees to work with Browning to make certain his patents were unbreakable. Thomas C. Johnson, who had joined the WRA in 1885 was the lead designer to work on protecting the patents and one of his best protections was for the autoloading shotgun design Browning was working on in 1899.

It took several years working with Johnson for Browning to perfect the design so as not to infringe the patents held by others and by 1902 Browning was ready to finalize the manufacturing deal with longtime partner, Winchester, but there was a problem. Winchester was accustomed to purchasing the patent for all firearms improvements it used and the royalty agreement Browning sought might have caused dissent among Winchesters own team of talented designers so they turned Browning down. Rebuffed, Browning took his gun and patents to FN which produced in huge numbers the very first year. By 1905 Remington offered their version and Winchester could only watch with chagrin as the gun became a worldwide best seller. The Browing gun became the famous Auto-5.

Winchester obviously needed an autoloading shotgun of its own and the task fell to Thomas Johnson, the designer of the Win automatic .22 model of 1905 which had designed in ever increasing calibers right through the .401 cal. Model 1910. The Model 1911 Winchester autoloading shotgun was not a great success due to accommodations Johnson had to make to avoid patent infringement held by Browning that he helped to write. Whew! The Model 1911, later the Model 11, was not a great success. It had a notable recoil due to the design, was hard on parts and had an odd mechanism used to cock the weapon. To charge the gun, one pulled the barrel back using a knurled portion of the barrel in front of the forestock. Read More about the M11 Winchester in an article by Gun Digest for 2011.

Johnson redeemed himself the next year with the introduction of the Model 1912, the famous Winchester slide-action hammerless shotgun which was a standout success for decades to come know as the Model 12. He also was instrumental in the design of the Model 52 and Model 54 which evolved into the Model 70. He also introduced the Model 21 double from Winchester.

One of his last achievements, just before he died in 1934, was a beautiful little gun, the Winchester Model 42, often referred to as a “baby Model 12”. Actually, it was a completely redesigned and scaled down Model 12 chambered for the 3” .410 cartridge.

Dick Carleton and his brother Al own an enviable collection of firearms including a lot of Winchesters. Dick shared a pair of his beautiful hign end Model 42s along with his comments. Dick said, “I jotted down a few facts about one of my 42's. Skeet models are pretty rare and I thought people might like to see something different, for a change. As you know, the normal 42 has a plain barrel and straight grained wood and is in full choke. Due to the full choke most everyone ordered (because of the light load they thought the full choke would concentrate the shot better) the M42 is hard to hit anything with. Modified or skeet choke is a much better choice as far as shooting goes. My gun is in super condition, the only thing we ever used it for was shooting bats in front of the barn when I was a kid and didn't know any better. It worked pretty well for that. Luckily, Al and I took good care of it, I bought it from him a few years ago. We still call it our bat gun."

Skeet Model Winchester Model 42:

Win M42

"The 42 Winchester was designed by Thomas C. Johnson. Manufacturing started in April, 1933 and continued until around 1963; although production was halted from 1943 to 1947 because of the war effort. Skeet guns are quite rare as are any special order feature in this model. The illustrated gun is a 26" skeet model with a solid rib in 2 1/2" chamber. It was made in 1947 and has quite burley wood and what looks to be extra finish. This gun is all original and has seen very little use.

Speaking of the 42, I recall when Al bought it we talked it over and decided that $200.00 was a good price so he went ahead and paid for it. Years later I bought it from him for $1600.00 and now I'm sure it would bring $3500.00 at auction. I have to tell you, that beats the return from my stocks. Presently I have just one more 42, a deluxe model with a vent rib. It has the nicest wood I have seen on a Winchester 42. The deluxe models had a different checkering pattern than any other gun they produced.

This is the later post war deluxe model. Winchester was having trouble selling the 42 because of the price and the small caliber being difficult to shoot effectively with, among other reasons. To boost sales, they created the deluxe with fancy wood and offered a rib produced by Ernie Simmons, Originally Winchester installed the ribs, later due to production problems they sent the guns to Simmons for the installation process."

Dick Carleton

New Hampshire, June 2011

Deluxe Model Winchester Model 42:


Win 42 Deluxe

Winchester 1934 Catalog (first one to feature the M42):

WIn 1934 Catalog

Winchester 1948 Catalog:

Win 1947 Catalog

Letters from Readers

Hello: You list a 'clinometer' as being included in your Stark's 1949 Surplus Goods catalog. Can you tell me the model number?--is it American--or British—or German or whatever. Is there just one type of clinometer described? Is there a photo of it? Thanks for any info you can provide. Thank you, Al

Al, there is no model listed for the clinometers and it doesn’t say who made it. There is just one pictured. Abby.

Dear Abby, In this 1955 Winchester catalog, is their a couple pages of an shooting instructor teaching a young Italian man to target shoot at clay pigeons? I am looking for this certain pamphlet or catalog. Please let me know!? I might be off a year or two. Thank you. - burgie!

Burgie, No, sorry, it does not. Abby

Dear Abby The volume 1 (Handbook for Shooters & Reloaders 1959- Ackley) book cover looks nothing like what you have advertised here. You advertised that this 161 page book WAS volume 1 but it is NOT volume 1. Nowhere on the book I purchased does it SAY volume 1. The actual book that IS volume 1 has a picture of a mountain goat, some mountains, a large bullet and a rifle on it. I wish I could send you a picture of what volume 1 looks like, but on Ebay's message center I can't. I had no idea what the cover of the real volume 1 looked like until I did some research on it after my Dad received the Handbook I purchased from you. My Dad is the one who called it to my attention that this Handbook is NOT volume 1. Do you actually have for sale the Volume 1 book by Ackley? If so, how much is it? thanks, Jeff Greer

Dear Jeff, I refunded your money for the purchase of what I called Volume 1 of the Ackley books printed in 1959 with 161 pages because you were disappointed. I will make an attempt to explain what I know about the three books below.

I called “Volume 1” that because the fellow who lent me the book, Kari Prager, a very knowledgeable shooter, called it Vol 1 and the name seemed sensible to distinguish it from the second book I offer that was printed in 1962 that has 567 pages. The first one that I called Vol 1 printed in 1959 had the cover you saw in the picture of the book when you bought it on Ebay and is the correct cover for that volume. The book I call Volume II is called Volume II inside the book and is dated 1966 so that one is good. Volume II also includes over 200 hundred pages from the 1962 version called “Additional Loads for Cartridges… see Vol 1 for Additional Information”; so that tells us Volume one was printed before Volume two and must be the 1962 version.

So, we have three volumes, 1959, 1962 and 1966. The latter is Volume II and we will call the 1962 one Volume I even though it doesn't say Volume one anywhere in the book. The first attempt we will call "1959". I hope all this makes some sense.

By the way, the original covers are as depicted on my reprints, the 1983 reprint of both editions had the goats on the cover. Abby

Dear Abby, I read the description that the catalog (Benjamin Air Rifles 1946 Catalog) covers a lot of different subjects including the 317. Let me know what it details on the rifle model 317, as that is the only thing I need. If it does address the 317, let me know if it informs repairing or maintaining the seals, since that is what I need, and if there is a breakdown or exploded view of the air rifle. Thanks. - joes226

Dear Joes22, No. Essentially Benjamin wanted you to send it to them for repair. There is a cutaway drawing for parts ordering purposes- not an exploded view which was very new during WWII (Alex Aderer at the Board of Ships introduced the concept which saved many lives). This is a basic manual that applies to all single shot Benjamins (which shared actions). Does tell you how to maintain the gun and the seals but not how to replace them. Abby

Dear Abby: I have a Federal Laboratories catalog with the tear gas billie, but I can't find it. Eddie Tucker asked about a Hercules shotgun. Perhaps it is the one on page 100 of Joe Vorisek's book on Iver Johnson. The doubles were made between 1924-1941 according to another book I have. Eddie didn't give a very good description of the gun.

I'm feeling pretty sad about The Gun Report. No issues in 2011 and no response from the publisher to my emails. The Gun Report had been published since June 1955, and I've been doing the Powder Flask column since the year 2000. I was only the third doing that column in all those years. I miss the Q&A aspect of using my library. Regards, Mick Carrick

Dear Abby, I saw Eddie Tucker wanted a manual for a 12 ga Hercules shotgun. I think the maker was Iver Johnson. They Hercules and the Skeeter models. Jeff Chandler

Hello Abby, Hercules was a brand name used by Iver Johnson Arms for a boxlock SxS shotgun produced in a variety of gauges and barrel lengths. Single trigger, ejectors, vent rib and engraving were options. Skeeter and Super Trap versions were more finely finished and have higher values. Hercules "book" values range from $350.- up to $1,350.- depending on condition and demand. The on-line auctions may show recent actual prices paid. Dan Shideler claimed that the Hercules Model was built for sale by Montgomery Ward & Co. of Chicago. Regards, JG Doneski.

Abby: A response to a question about the Gas Billie: I know very little of these items other than the company was in business from, I believe, the '20's to '50's. They made products for law enforcement and prison guards; the "Billy" or "Sap" being one of them. Tear gas and riot control seemed to be a specialty. I have attached a copy of the instructions included with the Federal Gas Billy clubs when shipped. I don't know if they ever produced a catalog of their own but they did advertise and I have attached a war-time ad for reference. Hope this helps Mr. Evans. Ben Hammond

Gas BillyGAs Billie Instructions

The instruction sheet Ben sent says, in part:

The Federal Gas Billy Model M -29 Catalogue No. 301

To Load: Unscrew barrel (1) from handle (2). Pull the knurled knob (3) back as far as it will go and release. PUSH SAFETY (5) FORWARD. Insert the primed end of the cartridge into the recess in the front end of the handle. (USE NO. 302 MODEL M-29 CARTRIDGE ONLY.) Maintaining the cartridge in this position, reassemble the barrel to the handle. The Billy is now loaded and ready to fire.

To Fire: Grasp the handle firmly in the hand. Pull back safety. Point the billy at about belt level of the target. Push the firing button (4) with the thumb. The gas, in the form of smoke, shoots directly from the end of the Billy with a range of 8 to 10 feet. The gas continues for 3 -4 seconds.

Care of Billy: The Billy should be cleaned as soon as it is practical after firing. Unscrew the barrel from the handle. Remove the fired cartridge. Clean the inside of the barrel with cleaning fluid (carbon tetrachloride) or with lighter fluid. Dry and oil lightly. A few drops of light oil should be applied to the action occasionally. The outside of the barrel can be polish with furniture wax or shoe polish.

Use: This Billy is designed so that it can be used as a regular handbilly or blackjack either before or after the gas charge is fired. The Billy shoots sufficient gas to fill and ordinary sized room. Out of doors, this weapon generally can be used to successfully handle a small crowd. For best results, the target should be 6 to 10 feet away.


Saltsburg, Pennsylvania


Hi Abby, Attached are pictures of our Gas Billy it also has the dates pat Sept 15,1925 stamped on the side it also a fancy number 4 on the reverse side to the trigger and on the end of the barrel by the aperture. Dec 15,1925 and Dec 29,1925 We have been able to dismantle it and it has no battery nor does it look that it would have had one. Many thanks for all your help and everyone else that contributed. If I can be of any assistance to you with queries on guns & ammo please feel free to contact me. Regards, Dave Evans

Gas Billie

Hi Abby, Please tell Mr Evans from the Birmingham Museum, that when I worked for the California Dept of Corrections in the early 1960s most of their prisons had shoulder fired Federal Gas Guns as well as the clubs which were called "FeBats" in their armories. Joel Black

Hi Abby, Ask Dave at the Birmingham Proof House if these are what he's looking at.

They are known with several different breech faces so noone uses a conventional shotshell & blows themselves up. Plus the bore is quite constricted at the mouth. No idea if a catalog, but I'd think so, as they sold to police all over the US and for a long time. Federal was out of Pittsburgh PA, & made a number of different kinds of Billys & the gas ammunition to go with them. Pete de Coux

Dear Abby, My fathers day present this year is to restore a Bayard 22l rifle for my dad.I have no info on the gun and ask for any help you can give.the markings say bayard 22l made in Belgium with a 2014#. I am just wondering about year and where it came from or any other history you might have. Any help you could give would mean the world to me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Mike

Mike, I am afraid I can only do a little research for you because of the number of requests we get for "information". Bayard was, as you say a Belgian gunmaker. We sell one Bayard catalog reprint. If you enter "Bayard" in the search box at the website, you will see other publications that feature information about Bayard. If you choose one or two of them I will look for you to see if they feature a Model 221. There is also a serial number link on the website that might have Bayard information. Abby

Name: Louis Ohland

Subject: Ideal catalog confusion

Comments: Ma'am, while doing a big cut n paste of all the Ideal catalog indexes, I noticed Ideal 1913 Handbook and Catalog No. 23 actually is #24. Look at the image, and it says No. 24 I was wondering how No 24 was missing... but it isn't.

Louis, Thanks for pointing out the typo. I fixed it. Abby

Name: lewis wagner

Subject: catologs originals

Comments: hi i am searching for a jeffery and co cat in the 1890 s period, wichester rifles in the 1880 s period remington armd co in the 1870 s period , colt fire arms co in the 1870 or 1880 s period , also early u m c union metalic cartridge co in the 1870 or 1880 period thank you. what would an original sharpsa cat sell for todaY INTERESTED IN YOUR COPY LEW WAGNER, tucson az

Lewis, All original catalogs we have listed for sale are found by the link on the left side of our webpage. If you wish to be notified when we add original catalogs for sale, you may sign up for email notification on the same page. I have never seen an original Sharps catalog and if you could find one for sale it would surely cost a fortune. Rob

Abby, The shipment arrived today...great books, great service, great gal...Tom Austin

Hello Abby i have got some photos of the numbers on the gun there is a few of them different owner i think i really dont know i think i would be intested in buying a book about the gun if we can find out what it is, also when i put the inquirey in to you i read that you do not do parts any help to get me going would be apprecited as my father own the gun but his father own it which is my grandfather so i am not to sure how old it is thank you. Jock ps where about in the world are you i am in australia in queenland jock

Jock's gun

Dear Jock, Looks like a very beat up old 12 bore muzzle loader, cap and ball, probably made in Belgium. I will ask some friends if they recognize it and get back to you. Abby

Dear Jock: The folks at Cornell Publications offer thousands of publications relating to the collecting of firearms, but they have little knowledge of the minutiae of various firearms. They have asked me to reply to your inquiry.

You have a double-barrel, percussion, muzzle-loading shotgun. The gauge is stamped on the bottom of the barrels: 18.4, with muzzle loaders, they could be any gauge; the standardization on 20, 16, 12, etc. came later when fixed cartridges were used.

The oval stamp with E L G inside is a Belgian proof mark that was in use from 1810 to 1893. The intertwined letters EL were introduced in 1852. The ELG is Epreuve Liege, Proof tested in Liege. The intertwined EL letters, mean the same thing, but were applied at an earlier stage of the testing--it was the provision proof and the ELG in an oval was the definitive proof mark.

There is a symbol that looks like a tower or obelisk, that is the mark of the city of Liege where the proof house is. And near that mark is a letter with an asterisk above the letter. The letter is the initial of the inspector. That style of letter mark started in use 27 January 1877. Prior to 1877 the letter had a crown above it. So, your gun was made after 1877 and before 1893.

You didn't mention a name of a maker of your gun. Often there is a name stamped or engraved on the rib between the barrels or on the sideplate by the hammer. But often there isn't. These shotguns were made by hundreds of small factories in Belgium in those years, and usually when there is a name on the gun, it is that of the firm that sells guns and not the actual maker. Regards, Mike Carrick

Dear Abby, I have a question about one of the books called "Breechloading Shotguns Vol. II G-P". It says it contains information about Theophilus Murcott's shotguns and I was wondering if it went into any detail about him or his shotguns. I own one of his pieces but it seems to be very difficult finding much informtion. It says on the books web page that I should ask if it would be worthwhile for me to purchase the book because some entries can be quite breif. If you could reply and tell me how much detail is included it would be much appreciated. If its a worthwhile source of information I will surely purchase it. Thank you for your time, Andrew

Dear Andrew, Glad you asked. This is all the book says about the fellow: THEOPHILUS MURCOTT Gun maker located at 68 Haymarket, London, England from 1861 to 1878. Murcott made a hammerless double based on his own design from 1872 until 1878. NOTE: The safeties on Murcott guns block only the triggers and not the sears; as a result these guns will fire If dropped. Abby

Dear Abby, I'm currently researching Remington Kleanbore .22 rimfires. In particular 1926-1936. I'm primarily interested in the index numbers of this series. Would you possible have any material available to help my research? Roger Huegel

Dear Roger, Forgive my ignorance but I am not certain what you mean by index numbers. Are you referring to serial numbers? Abby

Dear Abby, Remington uses an “index number” for each style of cartridge box.. For example: .22 short boxes in the 60’s were #1022, Longs were #1322 and Long Rifle was #1522. Older Remington Ammo/firearm catalogs just gave descriptions and an illustration of the cartridge. See the image for the index numbers - 1938 Remington Dealer’s Price List (Index # in first column)


Dear Roger, Ah, I see. Never knew that. Well, I looked in all the retail catalogs from within the time period you asked about and none has index numbers. I will BCC forward your request to Chris Punnett of the International Ammunition Association. Chris- can you help this fellow with Kleanbore ammunition index numbers between 1926 and 1936? Abby

Dear Abby, how can I get info on a 10 guage 3 1/2 magnum F@G Hawes Firearms Co. L A Colel(sp)w/working of ATA-Hawes Mod. Matador II made in Spain? Jed

Jed, I’ll ask the newsletter readers if anyone knows about your gun. Abby

Dear Abby, I recently bought a rare Iver Johnson special racer bicycle and I am not sure if it is a 1912, 1913, 1914, or a 1915. Would you send me a photo of the page from your 1915 catalog of the racer bicycle? If it matches mine, I would like to buy the catalog. Thank you, Blue Nelson

Dear Blue, Sorry, we don't send for free or sell partial catalogs. We get too many requests like that and doing so costs more than printing the whole thing. Abby

Good morning Abby, I understand . If I were able to walk into a shop in person, before the internet, look at the catalogue, then I would know. I want to buy the catalogue but only if it is for the bike I have, thats all. Since I don't even know what the catalogue looks like, only the cover, I was hoping you could help me. If I sent you a photo of my bicycle, could you take a moment and see if it is in your 1915 catalogue? If so, I'll buy it. Thanks, and we never know who we are helping sometimes. Blue

Dear Blue, Look, I am sorry but there are a dozen or more bicycles in that catalog and I just don't have time to scrutinize each one and compare it to pictures- I get a score of requests like your each day. I offer a money back guarantee, if you don't like it and buy it at the website I refund the purchase price. Abby

Hi Abby, You might be interested in how I happened to find out about the catalogue I just ordered, #1472 - Ideal 1930 Hand book of Useful Information #29. Having recently purchased a Stevens Ideal model 44 25-20 single shot I wanted to reload the cartridges it shoots. The ones available are a bit expensive. Your June Newsletter arrive a day or so ago and in it was a note from John Miller relative to reloading such cartridges and your very helpful reply. So, I immediately order that old catalogue and look forward to its arrival. Thanks to you and John!!! Cheers - Ron West

Hi Abby, I am afraid Rob Mouat is distorting history. The Royal Navy has long rented specialist Merchant Ships built to LLoyd's Register of Shipping "Ice Class" for its South Atlantic/Antarctic Vessel. This is sensible for obvious reasons. War vessels are totally unsuited for such service. The scrapping of the Fixed Wing carriers is a totally different issue. Best Regards, Eoin Sloan, Commander Royal Navy CENG FIMarEST, MRINA; (Ex- Dept of Director General Ships, Ministry of Defence (Navy), Bath,UK PS: I was 1954 Spring entry to BRNC Dartmouth

Rob responds: Cdr. Sloan is, of course, right. The RN has rented ships in the past. In fact, the ship HMS Protector replaces was also a rental (Hertz or Avis, I believe). The oblique point I was making was that Protector is a poor stand-in for the Royal Navy of yore particularly if called upon to go to battle with a handful of marines and the four RAF pilots stationed in the Falklands. Rob Mouat, 134FW BRNC Dartmouth.

Dear Abby, I am thrilled with my purchase of the take-down for the old Winchester 42 410. It is, without a doubt, the best I have EVER seen in over 35 years of doing this stuff. I will certainly recommend you folks highly on the various forums I use. Aloha, Mark Pinkston - Kailua Custom Guns, Hawaii

Dear Abby, I was wondering if there were any U.S. gun catalogs just before and/or during the American Civil War? And if so, do you print any copies? Thank you. Myron Winchester.

Dear Myron, There were very few catalogs as such until metallic cartridges caught on. Sharps did a couple and there may be more but I don't have time right now to look at all the results. Just select 1835-1899 at the website and check the entry dates. Oh yes, Colt had one and so did Cooper . I'm sure there are a few others at the website. Abby

Dear Abby - A much belated "thanks" for the Page Lewis catalog. It's been lots of fun. After reading some of the comments posted in the "R&R" column, (2) things come to mind. One is that you evidently possess the patience & tolerance of a saint. The second is that it's clearly disappointing some people could not have been legally prevented from breeding. Matt Stolle P.S. So, you don't sell guns, or parts, is that right? (Kidding. Settle. Sorry, couldn't resist.) P.P.S. I have this old paperclip - could you tell me when it was made, and by who? And could you send blueprints of it? (Again, sorry. I can't help it.) MJS

Dear Abby, Do you please have any reprints of possibly Bavarian/Swiss handbooks on 4mm Zimmerschutzen indoor target rifles? Thanks, Richard Parker

Dear Richard, They probably appear in one of the German catalogs but I am almost certain I don't have a manual for the weapon nor have I indexed the name so I wouldn't have the foggiest idea where to begin looking as I have no clue even what era they are from. Abby…. Readers?

Dear Abby, You charged a lot of money for what this Marlin 1973 Gun Catalog. I waited 2 weeks for it to arrive and now that I own it, I wish I didn't. You tell me, is this what you would want for YOUR money, Beau Yellowfinyachts

Dear yellowfinyachts, Beau, I offer a money back guarantee so I have refunded what you paid me and I will eat the loss. I print, bind, pack and ship to order so there is naturally a delay between the time something is ordered and when it is shipped. I also actually took off a couple of days over the Memorial day holiday. Why the PO takes so long to deliver first class and priority mail I don't know nor can I change them.

Now, the catalog you bought was originally printed by Marlin and they decided the contents so there is nothing I can do about that either. It is also extraordinarily expensive to print in color using as much ink coverage as they did and there are fees to pay Ebay and Paypal as well as the post office so there is little profit involved. Actually, in your case, no profit at all because I refunded your money in full.

Oh yes, in answer to your question, I have over 16,000 customers, over 8000 on Ebay alone who appreciate what I do, so I guess the answer is that most people figure their money is well spent on my products. Sincerely, Abby Mouat

Dear Abby, I thank you for your comments and the action you took to refund this transaction. I have to be honest, at this (point) I wish I'd been more deliberate with my pen as to not impugn your inventory or question your ethics. I'm sorry. I'll hope to make amends with a positive feedback. You make your case well as a business person who strives to insure customer satisfaction. I wish you the best of luck in the future. Regards, Beau

Dear Abby, I would like to purchase a copy of the catalog. However, knowing some pages have been left out, I want to make sure the item for which I want the cat. is included. Under cases/holsters is there a small coin purse type holster for .25 pistols advertised? Thank you for assitance. Skip Houghton

Dear Skip, Yours is one of those questions that is so very hard to research and answer satisfactorily. All pages featuring holsters are present as are ones featuring a small cartridge case and a 5mm revolver in a case. The cartridge case looks like a purse but the other looks more like a box. There are also some pages of game bags, cartridge cases and things like that but some of that section was redacted. Take a walk on the wild side and buy the catalog! Abby

Name: thomas gecsedi

Subject: Dannefelser, John P.

Comments: The gun was made in germany by V. Christofh Schilling around 100 years ago.

Dear Tom, You have not asked a question but if you enter “Schilling” in the search engine of the website it may help you. Abby

Dear Abby, I purchased a Breechloading shotgun with his name on it and was curious on who he was and what relation he had with Breech loading shot gun. He is the only person I am interested in. Tom Gecsedi

Dear Tom, This is from the Vorisek book Breechloading Shotguns vol 1: JOHN P. DANNEFELSER: Gunsmith and dealer located at 9 Chambers St, New York City from 1884 to at least 1918 and probably later. He was the successor to VINCENT BISSIG, another gunsmith located at 9 Chambers St Dannefelser seems to have made a specialty of what he called CHEAP CENTRAL FIRE BREECHLOADERS through the early 1890's. Many, If not most, of these shotguns were LeFaucheaux action hammer doubles marked with his name. In the 1890's Dannefelser was Lyman Gunsight Co.'s General Agent for New York City for both sights and Lyman labeled shotshells. Abby

Dear Abby, Looking for the instructions for the old Winchester 1894 reloading tool, but can't seem to find on your site. Maybe it is part of another book you have? Please let me know. Sincerely, Dudley Primeaux

Dear Dudley, I don't know if this is what you are looking for, but the Winchester catalogs contain complete descriptions of the use and purpose of the tools sold therein. While these are not exactly a manual as such, they appear to me to be adequate to understand how to use the tool. The specific catalog I looked at to verify this is the 1910 Winchester. Abby

Dear Abby, Love your stuff. About how long does it take you to ship out items, and how long to receive them? I'm interested in the 1937 Walther PPK/PP catalogue. Sid Mickell

Dear Sid, We print to order every two or three days so you can count on shipment within five business days, usually sooner. We ship by First Class Mail or Priority Mail but delivery times are totally dependent on where you live and how efficient the post office is getting the package to you. This phase varies greatly so you must be patient. Abby

Dear Abby: Thanks so much for still including me in your news letters. While I am not into firearms I get a lot out of them and read them through. I do have a need if you run into anything like this. As you may remember I collect Knives and axes. I have your old Marbles catalog. I wonder if any of the old Remington and Winchester catalogs show any of their knives. Thanks, Earl Hensel

Hi Earl, Sure, in fact, I have a link on the left of my home page to catalogs featuring knives. Cheers, Abby

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

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

Dear Abby, Hello I am interested in all of your publications on Cashmore Guns as I am the last member of this family of gunmakers to become a gunsmith,so any thing connected with Cashmore guns that you have I will almost certainly buy. Can you send me a list and prices,many thanks Jeff Price, Polesworth, England.

Hi Jeff, Thanks for your note and I am pleased to see you are carrying on your family tradition. I am afraid I don't have a lot about Cashmore guns, but what I do have is here: Cashmore Guns. Note the companies on the right of the page are retailers who sold Cashmore guns. Except for the large Breechloader books, most catalogs or several catalogs can fit in an Intl Priority Envelope for $15.00. Please let me know if I can help more. Abby

Dear Abby, I have a Model 70 and have taken it apart. I need a manual for this rifle in order to reassemble it. I was wondering if you had any such manual for the breakdown and reassembly of this rifle. The only stamped number on this rifle is A690. Thank you, Vern Vandal

Vern, That is one of those "good luck" questions. I have nothing to tell you how to reassemble the Visible Loader. Here is a forum you might read on the subject. Also, someone on an auction site had an NRA publication for sale but the auction is over. The description said: "Two page instruction and parts list covering the assembly and disassembly of the Stevens Visible Loader Rifle. Originally cataloged as the No. 70 and pistol grip model No. 71 Stevens Rifle. These are two actual pages removed from NRA firearms assembly guide, not a photocopy. Auction is only for the section on the Stevens Visible Loader Model rifle. Both pages are complete and undamaged. Covers a brief history, has nice instructions with diagram or exploded view, and parts list. Will be mailed unfolded in a large envelope." Sorry but this is the best I can do. Perhaps you can learn something useful from the discussions on various forums. Google “Visible Loader assembly" or "Model 70 assembly.” Good Luck, Abby…. Readers?

Dear Abby, I just saw your ad in Handloader magazine. Brilliant. You are going to the shooting world's "G" spot. I gave the Winchester catalogue to my son for Christmas and he was (is) mesmerized to say the least!!! Thanks for a service that lets us relive those catalogue yearnings of our youth. David Murphy


Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is:

Hello friend: Ideal-Lyman 1957 No. 41 Ammunition and Reloading Catalog: Need to know,1.) If this is, or not the original manual, what kind of shape is the cardboard cover`(s) for the front and the back in ???. 2.) And of the spiral plastic spine,is that in like new condition ?. 3.) Is there anything written or marked on or in the manual at all ???. Best Regards: Mr. Kenber 6.5.11 Ore.

Dear Mr. Kenber, I believe the description under the title in the advertisement will answer most of your questions: “New COLOR re-print restored and digitally enhanced from a nice original. Printed on high quality 20# 97 bright acid free paper. Fully Illustrated.”

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   barryj@localnet.com   or 423-472-1972.

*Jim Buchanan recommends: Peter Dyson & Son, Ltd located in Yorkshire, England "Specialists in the repair and restoration of Antique, Vintage and modern weapons."

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: trapdoorsgalore@gmail.com 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 info@sarcoinc.com

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]".