Antique and Collectable
Firearms and Militaria Headquarters www.OldGuns.net Newsletter Number 12 - October, 2003 Celebrating Over Six Years Of Service
To Our Collector Friends! Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.
Any gun collector with the opportunity to visit the Washington,
DC, area before December 31st NEEDS to include a visit to the National
Firearms Museum (NFM) at the NRA Headquarters. They have a special, once
in a lifetime, temporary exhibit "Exceptional Arms." It features some
of the rarest and most historically significant arms known. There are
over 100 items including historic flintlocks, a Whitworth sniper rifle,
the only Pedersen device ever made for a M1917 rifle, John Garand's personal
M1 rifle (serial number 1,000,000), outstanding presentation swords, beautiful
target rifles, superb condition and/or extremely rare or historic handguns,
and even a miniature railway cannon. These are among the very best items
in the collections of members of the prestigious American Society of Arms
Collectors. Most are never seen by the public, and to see them all at
once is a delightful sensory overload. The $10 exhibit catalog filled
with sharp photos of the items is highly recommended, so we can savor
it again when we get home (to our more humble accumulations).
This is probably the finest exhibit of arms since the "Samuel
Colt Presents" exhibit at Hartford in the 1960s, and covers a much broader
field so there are treasures that will dazzle and delight any arms collector.
You definitely do not want to miss this one!
The permanent exhibits of the NFM are superb in their own
right and well worth one or more visits, and they are done in a way that
will appeal to all family members, not just "gun people." THe "Exceptional
Arms" exhibit will close December 31st, but the other fine exhibits
Plan on two hours or more to enjoy all of this. There is
an excellent cafeteria on the first floor of the other part of the NRA
headquarters building, so you can eat lunch there.
Location: Fairfax, VA- 11250 Waples Mill Rd. From the Washington
Beltway (I-495), take I-66 west to Exit 57-A onto U.S. Route 50 East toward
Fairfax. On Route 50, turn left at the first traffic light, onto Waples
Mill Road. The blue and white NRA Headquarters building will be on your
right. The National Firearms Museum is located on the 1st floor south
tower. Go through the center driveway and free parking is in the back.
Free admission, and hours are 10:00-4:00 daily except major holidays.
For additional information, call (703) 267-1600
We have mentioned the Big Reno Show before, in our opinion
one of the top dozen shows in the country with a wide variety of items
and about 900 tables of goodies. The next show will be November 14-16th,
at the Reno Hilton. See you there- Look for the John Spangler Antiques
sign on top of John's gun rack.
Note: Darwin Awards are earned by those who remove
themselves from the gene pool by extraordinarily stupid actions, demonstrating
the survival of the fittest members of a species.) Used courtesy of
(16 March 2003, Michigan) Ignoring Coast Guard warnings,
David Manley ventured onto the icy surface of Saginaw Bay with his pickup
truck one chilly morning. Predictably, the vehicle broke through the ice,
but the 41-year-old managed to avert tragedy and escape from the sinking
truck. He reached the shore wet and cold, but alive.
Despite his traumatic experience, and despite a day of sunshine
and warm temperatures in the 60s, David returned to Saginaw Bay late the
following night. This time he was driving an all-terrain vehicle, and
accompanied by a friend. Surprise! The ATV also plunged through the ice.
His companion survived, but David had used up his luck.
His body was recovered by the Coast Guard southwest of the Channel Islands.
An autopsy was scheduled to determine whether anything besides a desire
to win a Darwin Award was a factor in his demise.
NRA memberships are still on sale at only $25, and make
great Christmas presents, and if you get one for a family member you can
specify a different magazine. As NRA membership continues to grow well
past 4 million members, it just drives the liberals nuts. (Maybe even
sign up your antigun neighbor or boss as a member- anonymously, of course,
as a token of your esteem?)
A note from one of our customers-
"As a direct result of the information posted on your site regarding the
recent ban of 50 caliber firearms in California, I have joined the NRA.
As a collector, I cannot stand by any more and watch as our basic rights
are assaulted by the left. While I dislike Wayne La Pierre intensely as
a result of his careless comments subsequent to the Waco, TX debacle,
[BATF agents = jackbooted thugs] I feel that I can ill afford to
let that stand in my way of fighting the extremists." J.H.- Virginia
Japanese Military Rifles; and Uniforms and
Equipment of the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II
Fred L. Honeycutt, Jr,
and F. Patt Anthony, Military Rifles of Japan (5th edition),
207 page 8.5" x 11" $42.00
It is the best of books. It is the worst of books. I like
gun books, especially those that are well researched and loaded with
useful information for collectors, and this one certainly meets that
criteria. However, this is the ONLY book I have ever seen that has the
totally idiotic layout where the pages are all laid out in "landscape"
format and then bound in "portrait" format. It makes reading it a colossal
pain in the butt. This is a totally inexplicable insult to readers.
Previous edition were laid out and bound in "landscape" format and easy
to use, so I do no know what bit of insanity or malice caused the authors
to agree to this publishing format. Cut off their saki ration now and
put them to work building railroads in the jungle or something before
they screw anything else up.
As a happy user of earlier editions, I encountered the
familiar well organized material, explaining the marking system used
and Japanese arsenal system and the "type" system used to denote model
numbers. Then an excellent summary of each model followed by detailed
descriptions of variations of that model. For most Types, this includes
a breakdown of each "series" (a prefix code on a block of rifles) pointing
out features that changed during that series. All the standard rifles,
and most carbine or sniper and many experimental variants are covered.
There is an excellent section on foreign made rifles used by the Japanese
and the training rifles, both full size conversion from service rifles
and specially made smaller scale "youth" trainers. Separate sections
cover each of the major accessories, such as grenade launchers, muzzle
covers, monopods, slings, cleaning gear, ammunition and bayonets. While
the bayonet section if adequate for most rifle collectors who merely
want a pointy thing to hang on the end. However, for specialist bayonet
collectors, Larry Johnson's superb "Japanese Bayonets" is far superior,
and indirectly provides a lot of references to less common Japanese
military rifles (other than WW2 era) not found in Honeycutt's book.
(I keep begging Larry to get a revised edition done, and perhaps he
I know that there are a number of corrections and additions
from material in earlier editions, but using this is such a pain that
I could not bring myself to try to figure out what they were.
For anyone with an interest in Japanese Military rifles,
you need a copy of this book, but unless you are a really fanatical
collector, you will probably get about 95% of what you need from an
earlier edition that you will enjoy using rather than the goofy 5th
edition. Perhaps there will be a 6th edition that will revert to a reader
friendly format, and it would be worth waiting for that. I really wanted
to like this book, but was greatly disappointed to find it so annoying
to use. Maybe you will not be bothered, but if you are, we warned you!
Uniforms and Equipment of the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II,
Schiffer Publishing, 2002, 288 pages 8.5" x 11, $59.95
While collectors have the choice of many books on U.S.
and German military uniforms of WW2, up until now there has only been
a single book on Japanese items, written in Japanese and of very limited
usefulness. Mike Hewitt has done a superb job filling the need of collectors
and historians for a comprehensive reference. This is well organized,
starting with background info on Japanese dating systems, marking policies,
Army organization, and examples of rank, branch and specialty insignia.
One chapter clearly explains the three basic uniform series used (Type
5 (1930); Type 98 (1938) and the Type 3 (1943). Like most of the book,
this chapter is filled with sharp, clear, well produced WW2 era photos
showing the items discussed in the text, along with excellent color
photos of items from collections so readers can see details. Other chapters
cover undergarments, footwear, headwear, personal field equipment (packs,
shovels, belts, etc), extreme climate uniforms, and soldiers' personal
items. The personal item section includes all sort of items such as
manuals, grooming, saki cups, farewell flags, family items, etc. The
firearms chapter illustrates the basic types of small arms (rifles,
pistols, bayonets, grenades) and accessories. While this chapter lacks
sufficient detail to be helpful to gun or bayonet collectors, it is
good to see it in a uniform book to help provide "the rest of the story"
and context for military uniforms. Hewitt concludes with a page warning
collectors about quasi-military uniforms and reproductions and fakes
made for reenactors, movies, or crooks.
I was especially impressed with the thoroughness of the
author's research, using primary sources and clearly anticipating the
types of questions collectors would ask. That comes from his being a
collector since his teenage years. His understanding and appreciation
of military history stems from his service as a Marine Corps Reservist
during his college years, and after getting his B.A. in History, he
was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer, later serving in the Gulf
War. He lived in Japan for eight years, and has a Japanese wife, which
further explains his appreciation for the subject, and ability to gather
information and the excellent photos used in the book. Schiffer is noted
for high quality of their books, with good quality glossy paper,
Mike Hewitt's book is highly recommended as the definitive
work on Japanese Army uniforms and equipment of WW2. Anyone with the
slightest interest in collecting in this field needs to invest in a
copy, and any museum would do well to add it to their reference library.
We just got done cataloging a lot of different types of guns.
Before posting them for the public, we wanted to give our loyal customers
and subscribers a head start on them. A bit of everything with cheap
junky stuff (one man's trash, etc...) to a variety of good items, such
as a just about new in the box M1D SNiper rifle, a really nice M1903A1
National Match rifle,a M1 Garand National Match, a very scarce Siamese
contract SMLE rifle, a bcd coded Buchenwald built G43; some nice Japanese
rifles (including a Tye 2 Paratroop model); some western type rifles,
pistols from Berreta, Ruger and CZ; and who knows what else. Go check
them out at http://oldguns.net/nlspecials1103.htm
This page will only be up for a few days and then we will be moving
these to the regular catalog pages for everyone's shopping pleasure.
The Newsletter Specials page only has guns, so don't forget
to check all the regular catalog pages as we have added a lot of stuff
in recent weeks that you may have missed.
Please take a minute and give us your vote on this
topic. Here is the question for you to think about, and the link to
the poll is after the question. Please vote. (All responses are confidential
and anonymous, and will not raise the price of your free newsletter.)
How big is your gun collection?
Come on, be honest, we won't tell your spouse. Nor do we have any
way of tracking who answers what, so the black helicopters won't visit
your place. We just are curious as to how seriously addicted gun collectors
can be. Maybe the results will enable you to convince her that you really
need a few (lot?) more to catch up with other guys. Then you can point
out that investing in collectible firearms (which they might consider
rusty old junk) is much better than wasting money on beer, fast cars,
loose women, or more clothes and shoes.