Calls from the Wilds



Last month in my article about the Marlin factory in New Haven closing I correctly identified the owners of the company as the Freedon Group. Then, I mistakenly called them Freedon Arms, a company that has nothing to do with the Freedom Group. Everything else in the article was correct to the best of my knowledge.

Also last month a customer told me about a missing page in the Lewis c1918 Machine Gun Handbook. Apparently the second page of armorer's notes for care and adjustment is missing. So, if you bought one of these and would like a copy of the Savage-Lewis Machine Gun Manual 1915 for free, just let me know.

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

* * Are you looking for a used book, perhaps one out of print? Well, go to http://used.addall.com/ which searches all the used books sites on the internet. When you get the results, you can sort them by price by clicking on the word price at the top of the column. This is a really neat tool- also will search for the best price on new books.

* Our friend Shirley has a copy of the book: Tables of Bullet Performance by Philip Mannes. This is a soft cover book and she is asking for $75.00 for it.

This is a very important  video regarding the latest CPR procedure from University of Arizona Medical School.  Please watch, save the URL and forward it to your friends and family.  You may save a life by utilizing this procedure that requires no training or certification. Basically, the technique does not involve mouth to mouth, just compressions. By the way, Jim Buchanan wrote to say that he was taught this technique in Britain thirty years ago. I wonder why it took so long to get to the US?

New CPR Technique from UAz Med School


* Here is a bit of bureaucratic history for you sent by Jim Buchanan in England:

Railroad tracks


The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England , and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England , because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.


So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.


Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?' , you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses.

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.


The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.


So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's rear. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything.

Ross Seyfried's Column


As we continue our adventure-stroll through the wonders in Abby’s world we pass from the familiar “New York” to the grand exotic places like: Calcutta, Delhi and Rangoon. Tropical flowers, exotic spices, broiling heat and the horse-like smell of elephants perfume the air. We are now in India and Burma, not long after WWI, in the glorious days of the Raj and the British Empire. It is a land of almost unimaginable game, wealth and wildness. That catalogues that fulfilled the desire of the sportsmen are perhaps some of the broadest spectrum and interesting ones in the arms world. Here is a glimpse inside their covers and out of the windows of Abby’s wonderful time machine.

Along with the variety of arms, ammunition and accessories found in the old Indian catalogs, I find the prices very interesting. They are one of the best ways to compare the value of things from not only the British makers, but some Continental and American as well. Having an old Indian catalog is not unlike having a whole pile of catalogs from other places. The prices are all in Rs (Rupees) and to lend some relativity I will extrapolate with no doubt a little literary license. If we take two sorts of gold-standard things that appear in catalogs here in the States and in India, in the same time frame, it helps us establish an exchange rate. The catalogs all revolve around 1930, so if we use the price of a Model 94 Winchester from Winchester that is $33, it sold for about 130 Rupees, and its .30-30 ammunition was about $7 or 27 Rupees per hundred. If we gently extrapolate we can say that in 1930 a dollar was equivalent to about four Rupees. So, as I play with prices just divide by four to get an idea of the dollar price in India at the time.

The guns sold in the Indian catalogs are truly fantastic, because the exotic place wanted exotic guns, rifles and yes my pure passion ball and shot guns. The catalogs had the most basic and inexpensive hammer guns that were about Rs. 130 and a Model 12 Winchester for Rs.230. They also had very pretty single and double muzzle loading shotguns for 80 and Rs. 115 with the Manton name. Rodda carried the muzzle loaders a little further by offering various qualities, from the plain to best quality “Rodda” guns for Rs. 175 and even Westley Richards and Purdey for Rs. 250. Yes, you could buy a best quality English muzzle loader in India in 1930!

Of course in the era we were not limited to hammers and muzzle loaders. You could buy fine hammerless ejectors, both boxlock and sidelock as well. A best quality Westley Richards 12 bore was Rs.1000, while a Holland Royal was Rs. 2850. Manton at the same moment would fix you up with a pair of WW Greener “Presentation” guns, “chiseled and gold ornamented” at the truly princely price of Rs. 8000 for the pair! Coombes Company in Rangoon offered “Best Quality” Belgian-made guns by Raick Freres for Rs. 200. There were also lovely names for the guns like the “YAN-GYI-AUNG” CONQUERER. This was a “special line of best quality German made guns,” and Coombes had the sole right to import them into Burma.

There is another interesting facet of the shotguns sold in India at the time. While the English market was dominated by light, 2 ½-inch chambered game guns, Indian sportsmen seemed to want big guns. There were many offerings of “long range duck guns” or “pigeon and waterfowl guns”. Many had 32-inch barrels and 3-inch chambers and some were made for the 3 ¼-inch cartridges.

And because we are in India, the land to tigers, bison and elephants, along with sambar, black buck and cheetah, rifles were extremely important. There were air rifles and .22s from around the world. There were most models of Winchester .22s ranging from the little single shots, to the bolt actions, pumps and autos. You could get a Martini or a walking stick gun. For larger game we had the Winchester and Savage lever actions filling the American repeater niche. They sold Mannlicher Schoenauers and Mausers. Moving up the scale a bit you could have a Westley Richards .318, plain finish for Rs. 500, a Holland .240 Apex for Rs. 690 or the iconic .275 Rigby for Rs. 750. Bolt actions for big game were very important. The greatest values were with the Rodda, Manton or Coombes house names, but they were not so far behind the famous. A .425 Westley was Rs. 675, Holland’s .375 Magnum was Rs. 900 and a Rigby .416 was the most expensive of all, costing Rs. 1250. I find it fascinating that Rigby in London thought their .416 was twice as valuable as a grand .425 Westley. Hmmm, perception is everything!

The double rifles were as you might expect wonderful as well. Again there were the house-names and rifles from the famous English makers, as well as a few over/under rifles from Continental makers. The least expensive doubles seemed to be the Rodda hammer ones for Rs. 690, with a boxlock costing Rs. 1000. These are .400s or .465s, keeping in mind that .45 caliber rifles were prohibited, a law that spawned many of the other calibers. A Manton .470, plain boxlock was RS. 1250, while their “presentation” carved in relief and gold plated was Rs. 2500. A Holland Royal .375 or .465 was Rs. 2800 and a best Purdey was . . . well it must have been severe, for just like the restaurant menu that frightens us all, Purdey double rifles were “Price on Application.” Along with the large bore rifles there were an interesting selection of small bores. Over and Under rifles were listed in .30 Springfield, 300 Hi-Power Savage and 280 Ross and was side by side.250-3000; Interestingly all high-pressure rimless cartridges.

But enough of the ordinary, India was the land of Ball and Shot guns, of every description and flavor. It was an every day concept to shoot some sort of bullet out of a smooth bore “shotgun”, choked or not. Coombes may have carried it further than most with its “MOKE-SOE” which was a special quality ball and shot gun. One barrel full choke, the other cylinder and it had three leaf sights on the barrel! Beyond there were the various flavors of full-length rifling like Manton’s “Nitro Conical Ball & Shot”, that fired a round nose, hollow-inside bullet of 726 grains at 1200 fps. There were a variety of Fosbery Patent rifled choke guns on the Holland & Holland principle to fire Paradox ammunition and the full compliment of Westley Richards Fauneta and Explora long range guns.

Along with the ball and shot guns there were the weird and wonderful kinds of ammunition ranging from the very standard sort of Paradox and the exquisitely sophisticated Westley Richards LT capped bullets to the truly bizarre. There was the Rotax, which seemed to be a large 12 bore sized bullet shaped somewhat like an airgun pellet, but with a hole all the way through the center. Then there was the Destructor which was sort of a round ball with two rings around it and filled with buckshot. The Lethal bullet with three thin steel disks dividing it into several pieces and last but not least the Contractile. This one was really something, “a core containing a copper box containing a substance which possesses the maximum weight attainable in any given bulk.” Then an inner spherical bullet surrounding the core, surrounded by a space filled with wax, outside of that were the “projections” supporting the inner sphere and last the outer bullet. I know, it is impossible to perceive with words . . . but there are detailed drawings in the catalogs. In essence all of these were round balls, of rocket-science sophistication designed for great killing power and accuracy out of a smooth bore, choked or not! What is really interesting to contemplate is what would it cost to have bullets like these made today.

If you tire of guns and bullets there are knives and swords of almost every description from simple pocket knives to presentation pieces with ivory and gold. Or should you be the secretive type, sword canes would be your choice. You could get your polo “sticks” and polo balls made of bamboo root. For the less tame horsemen there were magical looking pig spears and lances, mounted on seasoned Male Bamboo. These were only Rs. 15, but if you went past pigs to bear and leopards they had the spear for you at Rs. 30!!

Of course you would not want to be without your patented electric shooting lamp, suitable for double rifles and shotguns for night shooting . . . and the special night sights to go with. And so you did not suffer over the long haul you could get the “Genuine Thermos Field Flask” to keep your liquids hot or cold. And I cannot resist the Marion Icy-Cold Basket”. I have always said there is nothing new, and here is, “charcoal plate, mineral compound insulation, beautifully polished three-ply (wicker look) veneer basket that holds its ice from 16 to 24 hours”. Mr. Coleman eat your heart out!

Well, it is all in good fun and if you like history and fine things, there is a pure delight in “Out of India.”

Ross Seyfried, Elk Song Ranch, Oregon - 2010

New Books and Special Thanks

This month I added over 50 titles... mainly because it was too hot and wet to work outdoors for most of the month. Some of the catalogs have been sitting around for years and represented gaps in major makers catalog collections and so, August being a slow month anyway, I added all the leftovers. Others were lent to me by wonderful generous collectors like James Swidryck who sent a whole box of latter 20th century treasures so a lot of these are his. David Colvin sent me a replacement for my incorrectly dated Remington 1934 catalog (it is now 1932). Mike Carrick sent a Remington 1967 Parts catalog, Reginald Darnell a Savage 1965 and David Williamson an LC Smith 1937 (he also corrected an earlier incorrectly dated catalog- the now correct LC Smith 1913-14 Catalog).

The Stark's 1949 catalog is interesting because they bought so much suplus stuff from the government after the war. Simmons looks as if it was going through a rough patch in 1956 because half the items in the catalog have a red stamp over them saying to buy from someone else.

The Gun Digest Exploded Parts Book is the best assembly helper around and doesn't cost a fortune. The 1032 page book features a lot of pre-WWII weapons with isometric (exploded) parts views, something not available in catalogs from before the war. By the way, a fellow I knew in Connecticut by the name of Alex Aderer was the developer of the exploded concept when he worked as an enlisted man for the Bureau of Ships in Washington during the war. Escape plans for all the world's navies and marine services began using exploded deck plans within months during 1943. He was never given credit for his idea but he died knowing he saved thousands of lives.

Lots of people ask about Lee Enfield rifles and I now have several very good manuals for them listed below. Heckler & Koch catalogs are also oftrequested so thanks to James I now have a couple- same for Dan Wesson. Knife guys will love the Randall catalog, (which costs a fortune to print -very ink intensive)!

Here is the whole group:


* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

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

* Abby, In your newsletter, you asked what catalogs are used for.  Speaking personally, I like them for special guns or bows I collect.  First of all, there is a wealth of information in the old catalogs.  And second, I simply enjoy reading about those old items.  To sum up, for me, the old catalogs enhance the collecting experience. Best of luck!  Larry Cooke

* Abby, Ross is an exceptional and gifted writer!!! I consider many of his articles (especially those in the DGJ) to border on the poetic. He's able to see and put in prose what many of us just pass over. A true artist. His insight is incredible. In that vein he realizes the extremely important and unique contribution you are making to the cause of knowledge in the field of firearms, thus his willingness to write for your newsletter. Tom O.

* Abby, You’re welcome.  You have a good website and excellent source materials.  Without some of them I'd be in serious trouble, especially with as many early guns as I deal with. One thing I am looking for is any pamphlets, marketing brochures, or other factory descriptive items from "Allen & Wheelock" out of Worcester Mass, circa 1850s.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much, Ron Barter

* Abby, You asked in your newsletter why we buy the catalogs we do. Simply said: "The 1931 Pacific Sights catalog helped be identify the parts used on my vintage customized rifle and determine what was missing. It also helped me determine the era my rifle was modified." Regards, Robert

* Abby, Per your request re "research": I am an author of two books on early police equipment and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington. I research both the equipment and the inventors/ dealers/ manufacturers of this equipment. I have bought your catalogs in the past because they represent primary source documents, without my having to pay the price of originals. I look for advertisements, comments and  photographs/ illustrations of the equipment. In time I can estimate the dates of the first and last ads for a product. I sometimes can prove that an item invented was actually manufactured. Some are so rare that no one in the field has one. Sometimes the catalog will have something to say about the company's history or have likenesses of the founders. This too is helpful. Matt Forte

* Abby, you ask the question "what is research?" In my humble view there could be several answers but the bottom line is that it is the quest for knowledge. It is how people use that knowledge which is important. For some it is hoarded as power, unleashed when a day arrives when it can be used against someone for financial or other advantage. But, in my simple minded view, the only purpose of gathering knowledge is to come to a greater understanding of whatever topic is one's passion, and there is no point in having that unless it is shared with whoever is in need of it. The first group are the misers of wisdom who take everything and give nothing  back; the second are the benefactors of society. I suppose it might be compared to Morton who tried to patent ether anaesthesia to make a profit out of people's suffering, and Lister who purposely didn't patent his method of antiseptic surgery so everyone could benefit freely. But then, I am just a simple naive Englishman! Regards, Peter G Smithurst, Curator Emeritus, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Huddersfield, Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive Leeds LS10 1LT

* Abby, You have the reason I purchase your catalogues sort of right.  I collect old British shotguns & rifles & I want to ensure, insofar as is possible ~100 years after the fact, that the gun/rifle represents the works of the gun-maker, albeit usually after I make the purchase.  As well, it is nice to have a copy of the catalogue to go with my rifles.  (Each one has its own catalogue).  In a lot of cases, especially for the British gun-makers, there are no factory records remaining, due to disposal, destruction by bombing during the war, &c, so your reprints are the prime method of researching the maker's offerings.  I use your catalogues for research to further my understanding of the range & price of the models I collect. Having said that, I also get a number of your catalogues together during a long cold Canadian winter evening & sit with them, while listening to classical music, a glass of adult beverage on the side table, my black Lab, Hannah, at my feet, in my wing-back chair & am transported back to the time they were made & imagine ordering a new gun from one of the makers & then going either upland shooting or on an African safari.  There are more reasons to buy your catalogues, at least for me, than there are not too.  I am getting a list together for the next order. So to recap: research, enjoyment, knowledge, enlightenment.  Who could ask for anything more? I especially like how you cross-reference the lists for my passion of BSA rifles by different retailers. Hope this is the type of thing you wanted. Take care, Jim

* Abby, I just read your latest newsletter and find the addition of a column by Ross a very nice touch. Thank you! Best, Robert

* Hi, Abby, Just a quick note to thank you for being so pleasant and conscientious in your business! The world needs more people like you.  I have only made one purchase from you, some time ago, and overlooked paying for it promptly via Ebay.  I offered to send extra payment to help cover your inconvenience, which you would not accept.  However, more importantly, you were so gracious in your reply that you put me at ease about my error.  Needless to say, you instantly made it into my "excellent human beings" list.  :-)  I know there is a significant population of "jerks" out there that probably make you want to grit your teeth, but you have many more who think very highly of you.  Simple acts of kindness that you probably take for granted are not forgotten by others.  Thanks again, and all the best to you! Sincerely, John

* Abby, I think you meant to write Freedom Group a few times (in your newsletter), not Freedom Arms? As far as I know, Freedom Arms is still small independent but very good gun company in Utah (making premium single actions that are very famous), unrelated to the conglomerate called Freedom Group. Tom Mintner

Quite right, my mistake, don't know what I was thinking! Abby

* Abby,   I also deal with the public and as such get to deal with some folks who come to life's  battle of wits woefully under armed.  However, you deserve a medal, maybe a retailing silver star, an award recognizing outstanding restraint when dealing with idiots and morons.   Truly it is a miracle that you haven't used one of your manuals to construct a weapon capable of dealing with mass stupidity.  Just reading through your "rants and raves" column assures me that you have access to a target rich environment.   Well, keep up the good work, I will be purchasing an item or two in the future as I find the subject matter offered nowhere else and I do want to reward you for your restraint and good humor. Pastor Rick Miles

* Abby, I was given a bolt action rifle by a family member who stated that my father brought it back from the European Theater after WWII. It has been sitting in a garage for a long time and it shows it. I have no idea what make it is but the serial number starts with the letter "A" and has five digits. Where can I go to help identify this rifle? Arthur Chapman ...............Readers? Abby


Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's winner is: "Hello, Would like this (Bear 1959 Catalog) for a gift for someone but not wanting to pay $16 plus for unsure how appreciated it will be. If you will take $12 dollars including shipping please get back with me. Thanks, Wayne eye860 on Ebay

Gosh Wayne I can't, why don't you try Walmart? Abby :-)


Some Daisy and Hubley buyers are quite discriminating others are really quite painful (First is the ad followed by some emails): Abby

Daisy 1967 BB, Pellet, Play Guns and Accessories Catalog

  • I would like to have more description of that item Thank you - shogiedenis
  • Is this the guns or just some of them. All for $9.95-RIGHT? Hiow much for postingage? Dave
  • what is this- 518marvin
  • Is this a book or all the guns? - scharfenberg5
  • Are the guns working in rite order or are tey bad- Ted
  • What are they worth if i sell them? Jimmie
  • Im reporting you to Ebay because it is ilegal to sell guns on ebay and Im going to rteport you to the FCC to! Sharon

Sharon, Calm down. If you read the advertisement carefully, you will see that I am selling a REPRINT of an old Daisy catalog so I am reasonably certain the Federal Communications Commission will not be too interested. Abby

Hubley 1961 Cap Guns Catalog

  • Wondering when you will ship the pistols. Please advise. I bought them for my grandson and he's very anxious to receive. Thank you. - rcbgs5

Oh good grief! Abby


To see pages of Rants and Raves, and my replies, go to: RAVES and RANTS

Notes for New Readers (useful info repeated each month)

* The purpose of this section is to repeat in every newsletter some of the things I have said in past newsletters. By naming the section "Notes for New Readers", longtime subscribers may simply skip over it and read something new to them.

* SPAM!! I get, on average, about 300 new subscribers each month. Many are folks who signed up. Others are people I automatically signed up when they bought something at an auction site or my website. Of the folks I sign up to get the newsletter normally only six or eight unsubscribe each month, usually because they have a last name the same as a catalog they bought or made the purchase for a friend or relative. I am naturally flattered that so many folks are pleased to hear from me once a month and thank you all for your indulgence.

*Spammers intercept emails using various tools and strip the emails of all the addresses. All it takes is for one addressee on your list to visit the wrong site on the internet and wham all the addresses you mailed to are on a spam list.

But there is something you can do to help fight SPAM. When you forward emails to many individuals use the BCC: space (stands for Blind Carbon Copy) instead of the To: or CC: spaces in your email forwards.

Many address books will only put selected email addresses into the TO: box so go ahead and do that. Hold down your left mouse key, select all the addresses with your cursor and release the left mouse key. Go to Edit, Cut. Then click on BCC:, click Edit and Paste. Finally, put your own email address in the TO: box and press Send. None of the other email addresses will be visible to any of the addressees and they will love you for not contributing to the spread of SPAM! Whoopee!

* 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 July 2007 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.

* 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 Nigeria and you are sending money to "the government" to pay taxes on the $2,000,000 you won in their very generous random lottery, 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 Azerbaijan. 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

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.

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.
Kenn Womack

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: http://www.joesalter.com

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

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: www.griffinhowe.com
(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 www.cornellpubs.com 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]".