Antique and Collectable
Firearms and Militaria Headquarters www.OldGuns.net
Newsletter Number 3, October 30, 2001
Celebrating Five Years Of Service
To Our Collector Friends! copyright 2001 All rights reserved
Remember these when you make
travel plans. The one near Denver is a great addition to a ski vacation,
and the other in wild Wyoming is best left for the warmer months, but is
a must see destination for the whole family.
Last month we had to go to Denver to pick up
a nice collection, so I decided to take the scenic route a little further
north, through Yellowstone Park to Cody, Wyoming and see the world famous
Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) again.
At the end of September the Park Service was busy shutting down after
the summer tourist season, locking up campgrounds, turning off the water
to the geysers [anyone paying attention?] and blocking off various roads
in anticipation of the coming winter snows. However, the critters
were all out (buffalo, elk, deer, chipmunks, but no bears) and the elk
outnumbered the Winnebagos so you can make fairly good time. Another
great time to go is the first part of June, before schools get out, just
call to make sure the roads are open, as they get SERIOUS snow there and
it takes a while to clear the roads again in the spring. Besides
the beautiful scenery in Yellowstone, the 70 mile trip east from Yellowstone
to Cody is full of fantastic views, well worth doing for that alone.
The BBHC has justifiably been called the "Smithsonian
of the West" and you really need at least a full day there to enjoy it
all. Naturally I like the Cody Firearms Museum the best, and it is
truly one of the finest firearms collections and exhibits in the world.
Not just Winchesters, although it began with the gift of the entire Winchester
factory collection. Remingtons, Stevens, Smith & Wesson, Marlin,
etc along with many of Bill Ruger's personal guns are skillfully presented
for your viewing pleasure. Military, high-art, etc are all represented
as well, along with temporary exhibits that change- this time they had
a huge Lee Enfield display, as well as guns from the entertainers. Guns
and holsters used by Paladin, James Arness (Gunsmoke), Ben, Little Joe,
and Hoss Cartright, (Bonanza) etc were all on display. The Boone
& Crockett trophy mounts in a rustic hunting lodge were neat, along
with a reconstructed New England arms factory building full of machinery,
and a western store selling Winchesters. Absolutely a first class
operation, and like just about everyone in Wyoming, they like guns and
gun owners! No political correctness nonsense endorsed there!
Other huge wings of the BBHC museum complex include
one devoted to Western Art. Some of the finest examples you will ever see
of paintings, print, sculpture, engraved guns, all displayed to perfection.
Neat outdoor sculptures, too. We caught the exhibit of "A storm on the
Plains" one afternoon as skies darkened and lightning flashed outside,
almost a mirror image of the paintings there. Awesome! They
have Frederick Remington's original studio there (transplanted from New
York). Charles M. Russell's original studio is still in its original
location in Great Falls, MT, only a few hundred miles away, if you care
to see the home of that great artist as well.
Another major wing that was just redone this year
is devoted to Plains Indian life, and is fascinating fun, as well as loaded
with information. It was not like you see in the movies, so you better
get the facts here. My wife really enjoyed this one.
The Buffalo Bill wing is not quite up to the standards
of the rest of the complex, but it covers the showmanship and entertainment
aspects of the "wild west". Buffalo Bill Cody popularized the romantic
notion of the Wild West all over the United States, and indeed, all over
Europe as his "Wild West Show" made its late 19th and early 20th century
rounds. This provided a level of excitement otherwise unavailable
to the public in those days before television or action-thriller movies.
A new wing to open next year will focus on Natural
History, meaning stuff like rocks and plants and dinosaurs, etc.
Great if you like that, and many kids will probably enjoy that more than
the guns. (A T-rex is cute but an engraved .458 magnum rifle is scary?
Better look into home schooling....)
Thanks to the courtesy of the curator, an old friend,
I was privileged to see some of the guns not on public display. GOOD
STUFF! ranging from probably the finest pair of engraved Remington Army
pistols known, to a prototype Winchester conversion of the M1 Garand to
full auto, and M1917 rifle variants worked up as possible commercial models,
and much more.
The Research Library is open to serious researchers,
and they are very close to making their index (finding aid as they call
it) to the remaining Winchester factory records available on line.
I spent a few hours checking into a handful of topics that I had questions
about. I found nothing on South Carolina's purchase of 1,000 M1866
Winchester muskets (amidst massive bribery and corruption scandals) or
on the Winchester's conversion of 100 of the M1870 USN .50-70 rolling blocks
to .22 rimfire. However, I did find a lot on their contracts for
M1917 Enfield rifles, including the definitive answer as to when they changed
receiver markings from U.S./W/[ser. no.] to U.S./Model of 1917/WINCHESTER/[ser.no.].
A future article will reveal that secret.
There are motels all over Cody, and prices are high
in the summer season, and low in the winter when the town is pretty well
shut down. Holiday Inn was as expected, but most of the local places
looked at least acceptable although some may be a bit "rustic". Besides
the museum and motels, Cody has a WalMart Super Center, so you can get
anything you need, and the downtown business district has everything you
don't need, but may want anyway. Lots of neat shoppes, and even outdoor
performances (gunfights) at Buffalo Bill's hotel, the Irma. Loads
of excellent places to eat. We though that La Comida served the BEST
Mexican food we have ever had, some really good dishes, not just your basic
taco or tomale, and pretty reasonably priced. The Proud Cut Saloon
looks like a dingy cowboy bar, but the food is excellent (highly recommended
by a local who has tried them all!). Grandma's is a basic family
place with simple but good food, pretty cheap, and heavily favored by the
locals. Stefan's looks pretty ritzy, but friends said that it is
superb for fine dining. (My idea of fine dining is any place without a
drive-thru so we better trust them.)
From Cody to Denver you go down through the Wind
River region, and some more beautiful country, then cut east across the
high plains, basically along about 100 miles of the Oregon Trail to Casper,
WY. Two towns about 30 miles apart each had a population of 10 (according
to the signs) so the area is still pretty much as the pioneers saw it.
We went for over 200 miles without seeing a fast food joint, so take your
There is a nicely restored fort outside of Casper,
which guarded successively the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, Pony Express,
and eventually the telegraph lines and the railroad as each crossed the
North Platte River there. My wife had an ancestor who was killed
in an Indian battle just outside the fort. After she mentioned this, a
nice lady there took us outside, pointed to her house on an adjacent ridge,
and told us that the battle took place next to where her house is. Who
says History is not fun? (Well, Sgt Amos Custard and his five men
did not have much fun, but the rest of us did.)
From Casper (former home of Vice President Dick
Cheney, and damn proud of it!) you head south, still along the Oregon Trail
until it cuts off to the east following the North Platte to Fort Laramie-
(A GREAT place to visit!). Then down through Cheyenne, which still
has a bit of a frontier flavor despite being the state Capitol.
Golden, Colorado (If
you drink beer, the name is familar)
Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave,
off I-70 west of Denver http://buffalobill.org
Everyone knows who is buried in Grant's Tomb,
but do you know where Buffalo Bill is buried? When he died in 1917
in Denver, the folks in Cody, Wyoming insisted that he should be buried
there, in the town named after him. The nice people in North Platte,
Nebraska insisted that since his biggest land holding was there, it should
be his final resting place [and tourist destination?]. Cody's sister,
living in Denver, insisted that his desire was to be buried on the top
of Lookout Mountain, on the front range of the Rockies, just west of Denver.
Since he died at her house, she got him planted on the mountain top, with
great ceremony, befitting the old showman.
Fearing envious body snatchers from the two jilted
towns, Colorado posted guards (including a National Guard tank!) at the
site, and after Mrs. Cody's death and burial, the graves were covered by
a huge amount of concrete to ensure the Codys would remain permanent residents
of Colorado. Cody's surrogate son established a memorial/tourist trap "Pahaska
Teepee" adjacent to the tomb to honor his mentor and carry on the tradition
of entertaining the public while making a profit. Eventually the
city of Denver took over the site, with its impressive collection of Buffalo
Bill memorabilia, and established a small, but exceptionally excellent
museum at the site.
This is well worth the trip, any time you
are in the Denver area, just follow the signs from exit 256 off of I-70.
The grave and museum are 3 or 4 miles north of the Interstate, but it really
is worth the time to visit. The view of Denver and the plains beyond
is wonderful. The museum film is exceptional, and the exhibits, although
not as fancy as those in Cody compress much of the same sort of material
into a place that you can visit and enjoy in an hour or two. Anyone
going skiing in Colorado should add this to their itinerary.
Anyway, it was a great trip, and by now you
have seen many of the fine items we picked up from one gun show, numerous
antique shops and a large collection being consigned on that 1,700 mile
trip. All for you, our Oldguns.net visitor!
Flayderman's Guide Now and get Free Shipping!
of the NEW
Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values (8th edition)
has arrived. List
price is $34.95 (plus tax and/or shipping.) However, as a special
for Oldguns.net customers who want to order now: the price will be $30.00
including free shipping in the U.S.
This is the
single most essential reference book that anyone interested in old guns
can own. The previous seven editions are all acclaimed for the accuracy
and detail of the descriptions and for the values being pretty accurate.
The new edition adds 16 pages for a total of 672 pages. Unlike
some price guides that like to sell books by printing a new one every year,
Flayderman's is only revised every three or four years.
your copy of the new Flayderman's Guide now: Pick
the way that is easiest for you-
Send us your name, address and credit card info by
Total charge to your account will be $30.00 (we are waiving the normal
Send payment by Paypal
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send $30.00 (we are waiving the normal 3% fee)
Make sure you include your name, address and "Flayderman" in the message
Mail a check for $30.00 to John Spangler, Box 711282,
Salt Lake City, UT 84171. Make sure you include your name, address
and "Flayderman" in the message
Many people like
to give these as gifts, or keep a copy in the car, so order several at
this special price. We will ship
immediately, so you will be among the first to get your hands on a copy.
At OldGuns.net (posted now or coming soon):
A "trick shot" portrait of an Indian
chief shot with a .22 rifle on a copper plate by famous Remington Arms
Co. trick shot artist Tom Frye All framed, ready to delight your
spouse on Christmas morning when they find it on the wall of your den!
Many good foreign military rifles, such as a very rare Japanese Type
2 paratroop rifle that unscrews at the action, several nice Krag rifles.
A wide variety of collectible handguns and rifles such as a Remington Model
12 NRA target rifle, about mint Webley & Scott, Harrington & Richardson
and Webley pistols and revolvers, plus a nice assortment of other above
Also an extensive collection of percussion revolvers and early conversions
to cartridge including Colt, Whitney and several Remingtons.
A bunch of US M3 trench knives, and many USN Mk 1 and Mk 2 knives, and
US and foreign bayonets.
Several boxes of top grade militaria that we have not yet begun to catalog.
Award Nominee (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 http://www.darwinawards.com
Confirmed True by Darwin, a 2001 Darwin Award Nominee!
Coke Is It!
(12 December 1998, Canada) A man crushed beneath
a vending machine while trying to shake loose a free soda? If you thought
it happened only in Urban Legends, you're wrong!
Kevin Mackle, a 19-year-old Quebec student, killed himself at Bishop's
University while shaking a 420-kilogram Coke machine. He had been celebrating
the end of final exams with friends. He died beneath the soda machine,
asphyxiated, with a blood alcohol level slightly over the legal driving
His last act was committed in vain. "Even as it
fell over, the vending machine did not let out a single can," the coroner
reported. Soda-holics take note! The report also states that toppled vending
machines have caused at least 35 deaths and 140 injuries in the last twenty
For those with questioning minds, I refer you to
a website dedicated to the quest to clear Kevin's name. His family questions
the official version on their cokemachineaccidents.com website, and recently
sued Coca-Cola, two related companies, and Bishop's University for "gross
[More followed on their greedy
scheme to sue others and deflect attention from their family's defective
genes. Perhaps you understand why we sometimes are skeptical about
1. A malfunctioning toilet sank German submarine U-120.
2. One of Japan's methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very
large artillery shell with only the nose exposed. When a tank came near
enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons
is no excuse
for defeat."-Lt. Gen. Mutaguchi
3. During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong British officers objected
to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer's mess. No enlisted
men allowed you know.
Top Book Review- U.S. Infantry weapons of the
First World War by Bruce N. Canfield 293 pp. 8.5" x 11" Andrew Mowbray Publishers,
2000, Available just about everywhere.. Price $39.95
This latest offering
from the well known prolific author and collector of U.S. military cartridge
arms joins his earlier volume U.S. Infantry Weapons of World War
II on my list of essential books for anyU.S. military collector.
It is solidly researched,
well illustrated, well organized, and comprehensive in its coverage of
the subject matter. (Bruce knows that I was not very enthusiastic
about some of his earliest books, but these two are above reproach in any
area, and deserving of the highest praise, which I gladly give them.)
Proceeding in an orderly
fashion it covers edged weapons, handguns, rifles, shotguns, automatic
rifles, machine guns, grenades and grenade launchers, trench mortars, the
Model 1916 37mm gun and the earliest flame throwers. Within each
section the weapons are thoroughly described, with lots of interesting
background information, and excellent insights on the availability of examples
on the collector market and things to watch for when making a purchase.
Besides the familiar US made weapons, he also provides good information
on the relatively unknown foreign made but US used arms such as the Canadian
Ross, the No.1 Mark III Enfield, the Mle 1907/15 Berthier, and Mosin Nagant
Virtually every weapon
discussed is illustrated with good photos, and most of the time accompanied
by WW1 era photos of the item in use. These are well selected, and
in many cases very hard to find, and Bruce deserves credit for the hard
work tracking them down for our edification.
The sections dealing
with the larger weapons are especially interesting, and present a lot of
information that most people will never see anywhere else. These may help
you recognize some exotic accessory that mystifies everyone else.
He presents easy to understand explanations of the complex laws and regulations
concerning ownership of these sorts of things. This will be a good
starting point for anyone who would like to expand into this area of collecting
historical arms, or provide a swift end to such aspirations for those daunted
by the paperwork and costs involved.
One of the books most
useful features is the 22 pages of "Appendical Tables" despite the uninviting
name. For each weapon discussed earlier, there is a concise summary
of technical data (size, weight, caliber, ammo capacity, etc) as well as
info on dates of manufacture, numbers from each maker, etc. While
some of this info is widely known, much of it has been painstakingly tracked
down from the most obscure sources and made available here to every collector.
I have two minor complaints
about the production of the book. The photos are printed a bit on the dark
side in my copy, but perhaps better in others. Second, the paper
used seems inferior to that in the WW2 volume, more like that of a trade
edition paperback than a permanent addition to a reference library.
Either U.S. Infantry
Weapons of the First World War or the author's companion book on
WW2 should be on your Christmas wish list if you do not already have a
copy. Each is an excellent value for the amount of information presented.
Your library is incomplete without both.
Site Insights - "Where do you guys find all this neat stuff?"
We just wait around and people give it to
us. Then we sell it and get rich. It is easy!
Actually, we work darn hard to track down this fine
old junque so we can offer it to you.
Some of the best items come from collectors thinning
out their collection, or selling off a bunch of stuff so they can get other
more expensive stuff. We will buy, trade, or sell on consignment,
so please contact us when you are considering disposing of items from your
We get some from estates of deceased collectors.
Sometimes the heirs know what they have, and other times they are clueless,
or misinformed. We try to make sure they get fair value for their
items, and we work with them to be helpful in any way possible. None
of us really own any of this stuff, we just pay for the privilege of taking
care of it for a few years.
We find a lot at gun shows, flea markets, pawn shops,
antique malls, junk shops, yard sales, in the newspaper ads, and occasionally
even some from the auction sites. Of course, we have to dig though
an awful lot of trash to find the occasional treasure that you might want
in your collection. We attend about 25 gun shows a year (down from
about 35 for a while) and put on about 35,000 miles a year to get around
looking for stuff. There are weeks when we do not see a single thing
you would like, and other times when we get huge loads back to back.
A lot of good items are found with little or no
information, so we spend a lot of time doing research and depend on our
extensive libraries to fill in the gaps in areas we are less familiar with.
Most of the time we can only find a single example
of an item, but on a few lucky days we may find several. We never
know what we will find, or when, or how much it will cost. Therefore,
we do not work want lists. When we get something we put it out, and
everyone gets an equal shot at the good stuff, not just leftovers after
our buddies pick through. We do not play auction games where the
professionals swoop in at the very last second and get stuff. We
put our price on it, and put it out and whoever finds it first can get
it. Some items sell literally within minutes or hours of being posted.
Some exceptional bargains lurk deep in the lists, overlooked for a long
We appreciate your visiting Oldguns.net and hope
we can help you with your collection. Remember us when it is time
to recycle your collection.
Address: IAA Membership, 6531 Carlsbad Dr, Lincoln, NE
Membership is $30 per year in US, $35 in Canada or Mexico and $45 elsewhere.
Main Area of Interest: The IAA
was founded over 40 years ago to serve cartridge collectors and professionals
in the areas of ammunition research and forensics. Well balanced
as to type of ammunition (early paper cartridges to latest James Bond stuff
for special operations forces); calibers (tiny rimfires to artillery rounds);
and country of origin (worldwide).
Geographic area of members: Large international organization,
although vast majority are from U.S.
International Ammunition Association, Inc. Journal, published
six times a year. About 44 pages filled with exceptionally well done
articles, photos, drawings. Every aspect of cartridges or ammunition is
included (powder, primers, bullets, complete cartridges, boxes, advertising,
etc). Patents, makers, markings, headstamps, boxes and labels, and
all sort of techincal data are presented.
Website http://www.cartridgecollectors.org/The Guide to Ammunition Collecting and especially its extensive
of Ammunition Terms is a tremndous reference source.
Take a few minutes to check that out and you will understand the significance
and allure of the whole world of ammunition collecting beyond the casual
desire for a pretty box to show with the a gun.
Meetings: Informal annual meeting of most members in March
or April at the St. Louis International Cartridge Show (descendent of the
one held in Chicago for many years). IAA members also flock to other Cartridge
Shows around the country at various times, with activities similar to gun
shows (displays, buy, sell, trade, B.S., etc) but focused on cartridges
instead of the broader gun interests.
Prominent Members: Pick up any book on ammunition and the author
is probably an IAA member. Willliam Woodin, Mel Carpenter, Chris
Punnett, Steve Fuller, J.R. Crittenden Schmitt, Lou Behling, John Roth,
Who should belong: Anyone who collects guns and is at all
curious about the stuff that transforms them from mere ceremonial accoutrements
or holders of bayonets into deadly weapons..
My observations/comments/recommendations: Amazing amount of knowledge
presented, and gladly shared among members via the Journal,
and in person or by correspondence. Beginners welcomed as well as
advanced collectors. A fun group, from extremely diverse backgrounds,
Membership Applications: Submit application available from
(Note: John Spangler is a member and will be happy to sponsor new members).