Calls from the Wilds


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Color Photographs From a Tough Time

Color Photography was new in the late 30s and early 40s which makes these extraordinary photos assembled by the Denver Post an American treasure.

Pie Town, New Mexico

This photo, from the collection mentioned above is of Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders in Pie Town, New Mexico in October 1940.

Farm Auction

Above is a farm auction in Derby, Connecticut in September 1940, something we see too often here in Michigan today.

Fred Reed's Wisdom

Growing up was different in those days before all the gimcrackery we have today and Fred Reed captured some of the magic in his column last month:

"... Things were looser then. When I wanted to go shooting, I put my rifle, a nice .22 Marlin with a ten-power Weaver, on my shoulder and walked out the main gate. At the country store outside the gate I’d buy a couple of boxes of long rifles, no questions asked, and away my co-conspirator Rusty and I went to some field or swamp to murder beer cans.

Today if a kid of fifteen tried it, six squad cars and a SWAT team (in all likelihood literally) would show up with sirens yowling, the kid’s parents would be jailed, the store closed and its proprietors imprisoned, and the kid subjected to compulsory psychiatric examination. Times change ..."


I may have mentioned that Rob, my husband belonged to a shooting club that practiced in the basement of a local school... try to set that up today! Abby

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

The Monkey Analogy

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes the attempt with same result, all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when a different Monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.

To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the snot out of him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one.

The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.  The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs OR even why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. Finally, after replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys has ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Because as far as they know, that is the way it has always been done around here.

And that, my fellow monkeys, is how Congress operates.


Contrary to a nasty rumor that is circulating, the 60th anniversary, annual collectors arms show October 15-17 has not been cancelled. Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Stockyards Historical District, Fort Worth, Texas. Contact Ms. Kim Overall, PO Box 262701, Houston, TX 77207-2701

* WARNING- EMAIL SPOOFING SCAM - and what you can do about it

Last week I received this email ostensibly from Frank, my insurance agent:

"It is with deep sorrow and broken heart that am sending you this mail. Am in deep need and my situation is lamentable. my family and I decide to come visit Wales,United Kingdom for a short vacation. To our greatest dismay we were attacked and ripped apart at the park of the hotel where we were lodging, all cash, credit cards and cell phone were forcefully robbed off us at gun point but we still have our passports with us.

We've seek help at embassy and high commission, the Police too, unfortunately they have been unable to help or offer any reasonable support whatsoever. Our flight leaves in couple of hour from now but we are being held to ransom by the hotel management because we cannot settle the hotel bills. It is clear we would not be allowed to leave until pay the bill. Word cannot explain the anguish in my heart now. I am in need of immediate assistance. Frank"

If you read it carefully it isn't hard to perceive that it wasn't written by an English as a first language speaker. It also did not sound at all like Frank although the email address appeared to be his; the return email address used his name and a different email provider... a spoof for sure! However, had I not been careful, I would have written back using the return button and asked what I could do. Naturally the answer would have been that I should lend him, say, $2436 by wire that he would repay when he returned. That would have been the last I saw of the $2400.

What can you do to help prevent this from happening? Well, it's not so easy, but I can offer some information about spam and spoof that may help you to avoid losing your email address. This piece was written by Virginia Carter, our website guru. Virginia runs Carolina Web Creations so if you need any help with an existing website or if you want to create one, call Virginia- and her prices are super!

Read more below

* Harry James sent me a fascinating link - Julie Rehmeyer did an article for Wired Magazine entitled:

1848 Daguerreotypes Bring Middle America's Past to Life

Click on the title above to see some of these amazing pictures. The clarity of the images is startling for photos 160 years old.

The JFK in Malta

This photo has been circulating on the internet for ages but it is startling enough to reprint here. It is of the USS JFK docking in Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta in the Mediterranean (and the JFK wasn't the biggest carrier either- she was officially decommissioned on 1 August 2007 after nearly 40 years of service and is available to become a museum in your town!):


  • We need to show more sympathy for these people.
    * They travel miles in the heat.
    * They risk their lives crossing a border.
    * They don't get paid enough wages.
    * They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
    * They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
    * They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day ~ every day.

    I'm not talking about illegal immigrants ~ I'm talking about our troops!

 * Last May I made a video of a punt gun in action available for download through the newsletter. Dick Carleton had sent it to me. Unfortunately, many of you with dial-up connections couldn't see it because it is too big. Well, I found a copy on youtube and here is the link:

Punt Gun In Action

Tracked vehicles are pretty nifty but I am not certain of the purpose of the front wheel:


This is from Jim Buchanan. We don't know who wrote it but if you do, please tell me so I can give credit to a grand example of "spin" for advertising:

How gun review articles are actually written.

Instruction From The Editor To The Journalist:

Frangible Arms just bought a four page color ad in our next issue. They sent us their latest offering, the CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer. I told Fred to take it out to the range to test. He'll have the data for you tomorrow.

Feedback From Technician Fred:

The pistol is a crude copy of the World War II Japanese Nambu type 14 pistol, except it made from unfinished zinc castings. The grips are pressed cardboard. The barrel is unrifled pipe. There are file marks all over the gun, inside and out.

Only 10 rounds of 8mm ammunition were supplied. Based on previous experience with a genuine Nambu, I set up a target two feet down range. I managed to cram four rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. I taped the magazine in place, bolted the pistol into a machine rest, got behind a barricade, and pulled the trigger with 20 feet of 550 cord. I was unable to measure the trigger pull because my fish scale tops out at 32 pounds. On the third try, the pistol fired. From outline of the holes, I think the barrel, frame, magazine, trigger and recoil spring blew through the target. The remaining parts scattered over the landscape.

I sent the machine rest back to the factory to see if they can fix it, and we need to replace the shooting bench for the nice people who own the range. I'll be off for the rest of the day. My ears are still ringing. I need a drink.

Article Produced By The Journalist:

The CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer is arguably the deadliest pistol in the world. Based on a combat proven military design, but constructed almost entirely of space age alloy, it features a remarkable barrel design engineered to produce a cone of fire, a feature much valued by Special Forces worldwide. The Destroyer shows clear evidence of extensive hand fitting. The weapon disassembles rapidly without tools. At a reasonable combat distance, I put five holes in the target faster than I would have thought possible. This is the pistol to have if you want to end a gunfight at all costs. The gun is a keeper, and I find myself unable to send it back.  

Scottish Hunters

Two hunters from Glasgow hired a pilot in Canada to hunt moose. They bagged four.

As they started loading the plane for the return trip home, the pilot tells them the plane can take only two moose. "It's aboot the luggage space, hey? The airplane can only hold twoo moose, hey?

The two Scots objected strongly, stating, "We’re nae are payin fur two trips. Tha last year we wuz oop 'ere tha pilot, Reggie, let us tak fower, an did'na charge us at'all fur any mower ! An‘e ad' the same ourplane as yourn."
Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all four were loaded. "We'll never get owt of 'ere, hey! Unfortunately, even at full throttle, the airplane couldn't handle the load and crashed shortly after takeoff.
Climbing out of the wreckage, one asked, "Och,  MacTavish, can ye guess whur we're at ?" The  other replied “Och aye Dougal, I cannae say fur cair'un, but ina tha Reggie's right wing o'er thar? I'm thinkin' we’re right aboot whur we crashed the last year!

Ross Seyfried's Column

Smith & Wesson 1900 and 1901

We return home from the exotic arms and the far flung corners of the Empire to an American Icon, Smith & Wesson. While I suppose Colts were more famous, Smith & Wesson were certainly more creative. The spectrum and quality of vintage ‘Smiths is truly wonderful. Unfortunately, many of these have become rare and too valuable for most of us to actually have and hold; but they are alive and well in the catalogs of the era.

The 1900 and 1901 are my favorite issues because at least in my eyes they embody the greatness of the old guns and demonstrate that transition from the early arms to the first of the “modern” styles, the “hand ejector.” The cartridges are still loaded with black powder, because, “yet it is yet far from being equal to black powder in stability. Were it not for the irregularity and danger attending the use of some brands, black powder for Revolver ammunition would be a thing of the past.” Ah, and we wonder why Damascus barrels were blamed when things blew up!

As we look at the catalogs, we begin at the end if you will, with the first model hand ejector revolver, the model of 1896. This is a rather homely little gun, but oh what it represented! It has an odd but delightful cylinder bolt in the top strap and the patent data was hand engraved on each cylinder, demonstrating S&W’s great pride in the achievement. It was the very beginning of those revolvers with swing-out cylinders. On the next page we begin to see a revolver that represents, in essence, the final evolution of the Smith & Wesson, the “.38 Military, model of 1899.” They were available in .38 Special and .32 Winchester (.32-20). When we look at the cut of this revolver we see guns we truly recognize as the modern double action revolver. Too, it is the longest lived and highest production of any kind. The great, great grandchild the .38 M&P is still being made today!

The catalogs also show us the “hammerless safety” revolvers and those wonderful small frame single and double action revolvers. Within this category are to me the most beautiful revolvers ever created, the model 1891 and their related .22s the first model single shot target guns. These first models still had all of the parts necessary to be a revolver and indeed some of the rarest and valuable S&W guns were cased sets that contained barrel and cylinder sets that were revolvers and single shot barrels as well.

The large frame top-break revolvers are always fascinating. They came in both single and double action and were chambered for a variety of cartridges from the pure target versions in .32 and 38 caliber, right up to the very powerful 38-40 and .44-40 Winchester cartridges.

Along with the fun and information about the guns themselves we see very complete information on the ammunition, loads and bullets. Unquestionably one of the most fantastic and wonderful cartridges ever created is illustrated here, “The New Model Cartridge, with self lubricating bullet.” To me this is an incredible thing; basically a hollow-base bullet filled with lubricant, with a plunger filling the hole in the base and with four holes in the sides of the nose. When the powder went off, the pressure drove the plunger forward, which forced the lubricant out of the holes, in front of the bullet. The idea of putting lubricating grease where a bullet was going, instead of where it had been, as is done with every other lubricating system, is an amazing bit of technology. The advantage when combined with black powder fouling and the many shots that might go down a revolver barrel are easy to imagine. The flip side is they must have been a nightmare to manufacture and frightfully expensive.

The catalogs also show us examples of engraving, exploded parts drawings of all models and telegraph codes for the various models and combinations of stock materials: ivory, pearl, wood and rubber. Too, this is just the tip of Abby’s Smith & Wesson ice berg; the selection of catalogs ranges from 1883 to 1986. You can find information for about any era of interest.

Ross Seyfried, Elk Song Ranch, Oregon - 2010

New Books and Special Thanks

This month I owe a big debt of thanks to our friend Joe Norcom who lent me all the British catalogs below to compliment all the ones he has contributed before. Joe called it the "mother load" and he was right. Thanks Joe! Mat Macauto sent over the Basic Manual and the Martin Retting. The Basic Manual is a must for any collector of Military Arms of WWI or WWII vintage (The 1945 is a bit larger). David Colvin is another old friend who has contributed a lot to my collection; this month the Ithaca '41. Frank Michaels found the Turner and Ross reprint which is very nice to have and Joel Black sent me the Weatherby '53, a real beaut!

Of the books from my stock, I call attention to all the Stoegers which are a wealth of information covering over a half century. Speaking of which if you missed Ross Seyfried's column about Stoeger, here is a link to the July Newsletter.

* Download our latest flyer of old gun catalogs

This requires Adobe Reader, which is free.
Those on dial up, beware - it is a large download. (30mb)
Adobe Reader

Letters from Readers

* Abby,  Thanks again for a most informative and entertaining newsletter! I always read them to the end and find interesting (and humourous) items galore! Thanks for taking the time to put this together, and thanks to Ross for his great contributions. Best regards, Max Davis

* Hi Abby, I thought I might miss that order but not to worry, you did too good a job with the piece in your news letter about India, it got me hooked on the early Indian hunting scene. So could you included a letter to my wife explaining why I must have an Indian gun catalogue from the 1930s??? Only joking. Thanks for your prompt service its always great. Take care, Robert McCann, Australia


Samcolt, You are quite right, of course, my main interest is in 19th century catalogs, but I reprint over 3000 titles covering about 130 years and do the more recent catalogs because people a) share them with me and it would be rude not to process them and b) people who are researching material for a particular year want a source where they can get that information without searching through storage facilities for a thirty year old piece of advertising. Also, I use a utility program to download listings for Ebay from my website and it is cheaper and easier to advertise everything on Ebay than it is to sort through all the listings to delete the recent ones. Hope this answers your questions and you will note that I didn't write back to you in all capitals which is considered yelling on the internet and is very rude. Cheers, Abby

HEY ABBY,  its me haider ali from pakistan.  i have a GP GREENER GUN which is nealy 70 to 80 years old or may be more than this and that is in a genuine and working condition on which  word (BV)(BP) is stamped and its serial # is 8. what i want to say is that, "i am willing to sell that gun to the particular manufacturing company" which are you people. If you people are interested to see that gun than i can show you the picture of that gun. hoping to see your reply soon. thanking you in anticipation. Regards, Haider Mr. Haider Ali, Cell No : +92-321-5255657 hello2hadi@gmail.com

Readers, I don't know what is involved in importing a gun from Pakistan but you are welcome to contact Haider if you would like to discuss his Greener.

Abby, Thanks for putting together an amusing and interesting newsletter, I'm sure to tell my friends to subscribe to it. Have you got any information about an old double 12 ga I have that says Wright Arms, Lawrence Mass.? Harold Martin

Harold, I can't find much about them. They made mostly cheap pistols in the last quarter of the 19th century and that is about it from my end. Abby

Dear rhm11075, I would pay 6.00 for this (Interarms 1982 catalog). If interested, please advise. I would also be interested in a volume purchase of 5 Interarms catalogs ranging in the following years: 1982, 1983, 1981, 1985, 1980. Please advise. Thanks. Dan

Sorry Dan the Interarms catalogs are very expensive to print, they use a lot of costly ink so actually, even at the price I charge they don't make much money and I certainly can't sell them for less. Abby

Handbook for Hythe-  I need more information that is covered on the Enfield Musket and the Whitworth Rifle before I order this from your company. Thank you: Steve

Steve, I'm sorry, but due to the number of requests I get to read books and write abstracts about a myriad of things people ask for, I have to tell you that I just can't do that. I'm sure you understand. Abby

Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves image

This month's Ebay winner is:

"Dear rhm11075, Wow I'm real sorry but this iPhone went lag crazy and just straight up bought you item. I don't even own any guns in this booklet. I've never canceled on a transaction and don't want neg feedback. But neither do I have money to waste on unnecessary stuff. - whatsinyourattic"

Your iPhone did what? 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 ones 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!

Virginia says:

First -- email address harvesters can't get your address book. That sits locally and the only way they can actually SEE your address book is if you give them access to your hard drive. Second - the only way they can "intercept" your email (that is forwarded, sent, whatever) to your entire address book is if they are a recipient of such email.

There are TONS of ways that spammers get a hold of your (or anyone else's) email address. If you have EVER posted your email address on the web, you're at risk...unfortunately, that's the sad truth. This is why we removed your explicit email address from your website. Spammers send harvesters/robots out to the web to peruse EVERY...SINGLE...PAGE out there, and if it finds an email address, it harvests it and dumps it into a huge database that they then use to send out emails. (And subsequently, they can check to see which are valid emails -- ie: if someone opens an email they have sent, then they know it's a good email address and then they'll sell it to other harvesters.)

When people get an email from cornellpubs@comcast.net -- it's not really coming from cornellpubs -- it just "looks" like it is. The email is actually coming from 1z6h353214hasd@yahoo.com (or some other email address that they use) but in the scripting code for sending the emails, they replace the DISPLAY of the email address, with random VALID email addresses, hoping that someone will go, "oh look...here's an email from Aunt Sue!" and open it. It's very difficult to teach people how to recognize SPAM emails -- I open them all the time at work, because they'll come with the word "music" in the title, or "camp" in the title -- but if I see that the sender is "Huchan Wazin" or "Alexandria Mechaw" or some name that looks suspicious, then I don't open it. If I get an email from a trusted friend, but the subject line is a bit shady, I don't open it and if I think it *could* be something valid, then I'll email them back and ask, "hey, did you just send me an email?" Also, if emails contain ANY attachments and I'm the least bit suspicious, I don't open it.

Person #1. Joe Smith has his email address program set up so that whenever he gets an email, and perhaps responds to it, it adds the email address automatically to his address book. Now -- Joe has about 300 emails in his address book in his email program. He has signed up for lots of things online, posts a lot in forums (where his email address is visible), etc. His email address is very much "out there". (And trust me -- harvesters will find it and abuse it.)

Person #2. Sally Rogers has always taken considerable steps to prevent spam - she never uses her email address on websites - never signs up for anything with her "real" email address, doesn't open emails from anyone she doesn't know, etc. She's never received a piece of spam email in her whole life! (hah, yeah ... fat chance, right?) Sally and Joe are good friends and frequently email each other, so Sally's email address is in Joe's address book.

Person #3. Mr. Nigeria has a ton of email addresses and he's ready to send out notifications of a winning lottery number (2 million US dollars!) to see if anyone will reply and ask for more information. It just so happens that he has, amongst his 14,000 email addresses, Mr. Joe Smith's email address. Mr. Joe Smith receives this email and it just so happens that Mr. Smith purchased a lottery ticket yesterday! So, he is curious - and he emails Mr. Nigeria to find out more details about this supposed lottery that he just won. Bear in mind that because Mr. Nigeria received a response from Mr. Smith, he knows that this is a valid email address and will use it now, repeatedly -- and will forge emails that he sends, using Mr. Smith's address as the "FROM:" address, so that people think it's coming from Joe Smith -- poor Sally...

The fact that Mr. Smith REPLIED to this email address, AUTOMATICALLY ADDED Mr. Nigeria to his address book. So now? Every time Mr. Smith sends an email address to his whole address book, guess who gets all those addresses? Yep -- Mr. Nigeria. And poor Mrs. Rogers -- who has taken every possible step to prevent having her email address farmed -- is now doomed because of Mr. Smith's email practices and program preferences. That is how they get someone's address book.

This is, unfortunately, just one of the many ways that farms will harvest email addresses. And, this is why 1) people should make sure they know everyone in their address book (email), 2) if they must forward or send emails to their entire address book, use your method of BCC'ing everyone, and 3) understand that there are not millions of US dollars waiting to be claimed in Nigeria! :)

Here are two good websites that explain how all this happens in more detail:




* 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

Mike Rich, owner of I Have THIS OLD GUN, has been involved in firearms restoration and appraisal since 1962.  Although Mike specializes in appraising Early American “Doubles,” side-by-side shotguns and rare rifles, he also does firearm appraisals for most American made guns.  These appraisals are frequently used to establish value for insurance, estate sales and/or resolutions and for owner’s wanting to know “what’s it worth?”  Whether one gun or an arsenal, send Mike an email to get started. Prices for a written appraisal begins as low as $35.00.


We get hundreds of calls about parts.

Some folks are doing something about supplying parts...

* Spare parts, accessories and original bayonets as well as complete original examples for all models of Ross Rifles- Barry DeLong  or 423-472-1972.

* This company sells a huge variety of springs: Talleres Echebarria, C/Magdalena 2, ES -20690 Elgeta, Spain, Tel.(+34)943-768073, Spanish Only!

* Hello Abby, I am responding to your request for parts source information for Remington Rolling Block Parts. We are attempting to supply reproduction parts needed to restore or rebuild the majority of models of rolling blocks made from 1867 onward. While this is a work in progress, I believe we are the largest supplier of these obsolete parts in existence. Thanks, Kenn Womack

* Check out the Peter Dyson & Son Ltd. Co. of Yorkshire, England. They sell all kinds of parts and reproduction parts for antique arms. They have leather products, Damascus barrels and tubes, miniatures, used guns, air guns, reloading tools and much more.

* Trapdoors Galore Email Address: 3240 W. Arby Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89118.   Phone No.  702-361-5322  Everything For The Trapdoors + Free Research On S/N's For The Trapdoor & Krag's

* Joe Salter sells all sorts of things including butt plates, antique guns, collector ammo, air guns, holsters... well, check him out: Joe Salter

* Phil Stewart sells parts, stocks and grips. He can be found at (740) 398-1941 in Mt. Vernon, OH.

The big parts houses for older guns are:

* Jack First in Rapid City South Dakota their catalog (three volumes and over 2700 pages of invaluable information including parts diagrams) is available at (605) 343-9544 for $39.95

* Gun Parts Corporation (Numrich) Kingston, New York (845) 679-2417. Well established with a good website.

* Sarco Inc. Stirling, NJ (908) 647-3800 Email

* Bob's Gun Parts Po Box 200 Royal AR 71968 501-767-2750

* Dixie Gun Works, Union City, TN (800) 238-6785


Provenance for Your Gun

Ever wonder who first purchased your gun or rifle or wished you had a certificate of origin? It could increase the value of your gun!

Sammy Baugh, or Eddie Dew or some other celebrity may have been the original buyer. Perhaps the provenance would increase the value of your favorite fowling piece or rifle. Well, now you have a chance to find out for free if the gun was sold by Von Lengerke & Detmold or Abercrombie & Fitch, two of the largest and most prestigious gun houses of the 20th century.

If you own a gun by one of dozens of manufacturers write down the serial number and compare it to the serial numbers at the G&H website:

or Contact:
Robert C. Beach, Records Research
Griffin & Howe, Inc.
33 Claremont Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Email: research@griffinhowe.com
Website: 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]".