Why? well why not? We have some items that have been hanging around a while. So, we decided to do some drastic markdowns to see if that would encourage you to add them to Santa's list for your house. This includes some really good stuff that you have overlooked, and some "stuff" that proves one man's trash is another's treasure (or was that the other way around?).
The special Christmas sale prices will be good until the end of December, then anything left will go back to the regular price, or maybe marked down some, but not as low as the Christmas sale price. We will mark down each page on the following dates, and here is the super secret schedule, just for our newsletter subscribers. (See, you DO get your money's worth from our free newsletter!)
While a lot of older (and wealthier) collectors enjoy concentrating in the traditional specialties of Colts, Winchesters, or U.S. military arms, many beginning or younger collectors have found themselves to be priced out of that part of the hobby, except for examples that are in marginal condition or heavily restored (or alas, sometimes faked).
It seems that many newer collectors are exploring nontraditional specialties, and having fun, learning a lot, and still able to afford food and mortgage payments.
Some examples we have seen include: Japanese military rifles; Mosin Nagants; SKS rifles; Russian military arms; South American military arms; and civilian guns from makers like Remington, Marlin, Savage, H&R, Iver Johnson; and newer makers like Ruger or North American Arms. We have seen some interest in replica black powder revolvers (where you can buy a top quality gun for about the cost of a letter on an original Colt percussion revolver.) Militaria from WW2 has been popular for quite a while, but interest in Korean War and Vietnam era items seems to be increasing as well. Even Cold War era and Gulf War stuff seems to have more collectors.
As we prepare this newsletter we still have three scarce Japanese military rifles- a superb, Type 99 LONG rifle; a nice Type 97 6.5mm sniper rifle (sorry, no scope..); and one of the nifty Paratroop quick-take-down rifles. We have been talking with the owner of another scarce WW2 German G41(W) rifle made by duv in 1943. We recently picked up a nice collection of the basic types of U.S. military rifles, but many of them have already sold. We just got another collection that is heavy on WW2 miltaria, and will be getting it out as soon as we have time to catalog it. A number of nice M1911 or M1911A1 pistols have turned up recently, but going fast. We are negotiating with the owner of a small, but nice, mixed collection of British and U.S. military long arms, including a Brown Bess, some scarce early Lee Enfields and some of the more common types as well. We have a very nice ordinal flint U.S. Model 1816 musket to be added shortly.
For nearly ten years you have known us as OldGuns.net and we will continue to use that name. However, we have also added the website name "TheBestOldGuns.com" and you will see that being used as well. No need for alarm, and we have not sold out to anyone, or changed management. We are just adding another name for a bit of added marketing presence on the internet.
Oddball And Obsolete Ammo-
What Happened To Old Western Scrounger?
For many years, "Dangerous Dave" the "Old Western Scrounger" has been a popular source for obsolete and hard to find ammo in many different calibers. A few months ago he suddenly ceased business and it took a while to find out what was going on. It turns out that Dave sold the entire Old Western Scrounger operation to Val Forgett III of Navy Arms, and they will begin offering much of the same sort of ammo that Dave had, plus other items. Their new website is http://ows-ammo.com/catalog Meanwhile, Dave is making a really cool old gun- the .45-70 caliber, double barrel crank operated rapid fire Gardner gun! You can find some photos of one (actually the one that was used as the pattern) in a recent Utah Gun Collectors Association show report http://ugca.org/04jan/ugca0401main.htm
Note that the first display shown is Daisy air rifles...speaking of which...
Air Guns (BB Guns) For Collectors And Kids Of All Ages
Many of us had our first exposure to shooting with "BB Guns". With proper instruction, supervision, (and responsible kids), that was safe and fun and taught responsibility and marksmanship. Of course, mishaps can occur, fortunately seldom very serious. The best known air rifle is the Daisy "Red Ryder" model, thanks to the annual broadcast of the 1983 film, "A Christmas Story". Actually the story goes back many years earlier, when author Jean Shepherd first told a version on a radio show, then he wrote it up for Playboy magazine in 1965. (Apparently there actually were stories in Playboy, not just photos....). Other versions appeared in Field and Stream magazine and in a book by Shepherd and eventually in the 1983 movie. (More info at http://www.flicklives.com/Glossary/red_ryder/gl_bb_gun.htm)
If you want your kids to grow up with proper understanding of gun safety, it is up to you to teach them, and you can start them out with a Red Ryder BB gun, available at Cabelas, Bass Pro, WalMart and other stores. Hopefully your spouse has not yet been brainwashed into hysterical screaming "You'll shoot your eye out!" at the mere thought of this.
Some collectors will want to watch for the Daisy air guns used by the U.S. Army as part of the "Quick Kill" program used for a while during the Vietnam War to teach instinctive shooting. They used the BB guns to fire at small target discs, even when thrown in the air. These guns are fairly easy to spot because they do not have any sights. However, there were similar guns sold for the civilian market, under the politically correct name "Quick Skill" and they are hard to tell apart.
For the history buffs- Daisy actually started in 1882 as Plymouth Iron Windmill Company. They manufactured windmills (mainly used for pumps on farms and ranches) in Plymouth, Michigan. By the late 1880s the windmill business was slowing down and company began looking for new ways to attract customers. In 1886, Clarence Hamilton introduced a new idea to the windmill company. It was a combination of metal and wire that sort of resembled a gun and could fire a lead ball using compressed air. Lewis Cass Hough, then president of the firm, gave it a try and, after his first shot, enthusiastically exclaimed, "Boy, that's a daisy!" The name stuck and the BB gun went into production. BB guns were initially used as a premium item given to farmers when they purchased a windmill but the gun was such a huge success that Plymouth Iron Windmill soon began manufacturing the Daisy BB gun in place of windmills! The company name was changed to Daisy Manufacturing Company, Inc. in 1895. Since then they have gone through several name changes and now operate out of Rogers, Arkansas.
Christmas Gift Suggestions (Besides a Red Ryder BB Gun!)
NRA memberships- Great for your spouse or kids or grandkids- Junior memberships (under 18 years old) are only $15 per year, and adult memberships, usually $35.00 per year, are on sale at only $25.00. Kids get the "Insights" magazine with age appropriate beginner type articles, and adults get their choice of four Magazines (American Rifleman, American Hunter, America's First Freedom, or Woman's Outlook.) Click here for NRA membership application
Also, sign your kids or grandkids up for hunter safety, other gun safety training or competition with the Scouts, 4-H, American Legion, Scholastic Clay Target Program, etc. Better yet- see if you can help start, coach, or financially support a program in your area. How about a Junior membership in a gun collector group. See if your local public or college library would like a subscription to Man at Arms, or one of the NRA magazines. (Some liberal librarians would just trash them, so ask first).
Every gun collector should have a copy of Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values. We have many other excellent new and used gun books on the book catalog pages.
Our friend Jim Maddox is just getting ready to ship his brand new 540 page book with over 900 color photos, "Collecting Bayonets." Jim has been collecting bayonets for 45 years. He is an officer of the Society of American Bayonet Collectors, and has authored an impressive former website, and printed articles. His book is an overall guide to the collecting of bayonets with all types from all nations shown and described in detail. The development from plug bayonet to modern assault rifle bayonet is profusely illustrated. All the varied methods of attachment to a firearm are shown in a simple, organized fashion. You will find a wealth of information suitable for both beginning and experienced collectors. I have not received my copy yet, but know Jim well enough to recommend this without even seeing it yet. We will have some available at the regular list price of $129.00, but you can order one for a limited time for $97.00 postpaid direct from J.A. Maddox firstname.lastname@example.org ; PO Box 22245; Savannah, GA 31403 USA.
One of our clients reported that 25 guns from his collection were stolen in a home invasion robbery. He recently had some work done in the house, and guns were visible hanging on the wall and in a gun cabinet as workers went in and out. Three masked thugs with guns entered through an unlocked door on a Sunday afternoon, tied the owner up, forced him to provide keys and combinations, and then threw all the guns they saw in his car and sped away. The cops have some suspects since they only took the stuff they had previously seen (missing some good stuff elsewhere) and the abandoned car was shortly recovered in a remote area near the home of one of the contractors who had worked on the house. The guns have not been recovered, but the owner was able to provide a good list of make, model and serial number for the cops to enter in the NCIC computer that all cops use to check for potential stolen property. Chances of getting anything back are pretty slim, but he may get lucky. He had been working on getting these covered under a rider to his homeowners insurance policy, but had not finished. (See more on that below). Here are some tips he passed on for other collectors:
Get driver's license info from and take a picture of all unknown visitors, contractors, appliance service guys, cable installers, etc.
Install an always-on video camera, with extended record VCR, aimed at most likely entry/exit points.
Keep garage doors completely closed at all times, and lock the door between the garage and the house.
Install an electronic locator signal chip in your cars [e.g.- On-Star; Lojack, etc]
Put all guns out of sight (move them, or cover with some sort of temporary covering) when strangers are around.
Keep good records and have a good insurance policy.
You see what happened to the collector who got hit by a home invasion robbery and lost 25 guns---and had no insurance. How many collections got wiped out by hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast, or flooding in New England? Houses burn down all the time, and cars get stolen- even from people headed to gun shows or moving.
It is really stupid NOT to have insurance on your collection. You can get it as a "fine arts floater" added to your homeowners policy, but that tends to be expensive and many insurance companies don't like guns. NRA members can get some good coverage for collector guns and shooting guns from the NRA (and a small policy at no cost is one of the benefits of NRA membership). However, the best coverage we know of is available from Collectibles Insurance Agency .
We highly recommend them for insurance for your gun or militaria collection. Good rates, excellent coverage options, and prompt settlement of claims. Marc and John both insure their collections and business inventory with this firm, and we think you deserve the best too. In our opinion they are better than the NRA coverage. (Note: Not currently available in California due to their unique requirements. If you like guns, you should be moving anyway and escape from la-la land.) Many of our customers have a significant financial investment in large collections. Don't let a thief or natural disaster wipe it all out.
This is a rather thoughtful and extremely candid report by an enlisted Marine, with some very interesting conclusions, both for our fighting men and women, and also for future collectors. It is a bit long to include with the text of this newsletter, but well worth a few minutes to read it at http://oldguns.net/newsletter/iraqweaponscomments.htm
Anyone seeking further candid reporting and analysis of the war in Iraq should take the time to read the lengthy posts by Michael Yon. As a former Special Forces soldier, he has a keen understanding of soldiers and warfare, and reports with a gifted writing style and superb photo-journalism as well. The many posts on the Battle for Mosul are among the most insightful you will see, covering the political and cultural issues as well as the purely military matters. These are all under the "Previous Dispatches" section at http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/.
Please take a minute and vote on the following topics.
(Preview of the question and responses below. You must click the link to open the page to enter your responses!
Please vote. (All responses are confidential and anonymous, and will not raise the price of your free newsletter.) :
What got you interested in collecting guns? (check all that apply)
Scout marksmanship programs
Gun club or team at school
Looking at old family gun of some sort
Reading gun or hunting or history books or magazines
Attended gun shows with family or friends
Westerns or war history on TV or at the movies
Family member was gun collector
Went shooting (targets, plinking, etc)
Had BB gun by age 12
Family friend/relative gave you an old gun