Number 5, May 1, 2002
Celebrating Five Years Of Service To Our Collector Friends!
copyright 2001 All rights reserved
I consider the Colorado Gun Collectors Association show to be the second best show in the country (Baltimore is the best.) Adjust your schedule now to attend this great show at the Denver Merchandise Mart (I-25 at 58th Avenue) in Denver Colorado. If you need a place to stay there are a wide variety of motels at the 120th Avenue exit of I-25.
Over 900 tables will be loaded with good guns and related items, no flea market junk, cell phones, beef jerky, etc. Not just the high priced stuff found at Las Vegas, but items in all price ranges from collectors with a wide range of interests. Stop by and introduce yourself.
This is a serious collectors' show, with dozens of great displays (58 last year) so you will encounter items seldom seen outside of museums. Everything from multi-barreled flintlock pocket pistols to Colts, Winchesters, military arms, and well, everything! Their show of the Millennium in 2000, was in my opinion, the finest gun show ever held anywhere, and their other shows are darn close. Dealers and exhibitors come from all over the country for this once a year event. This is open to the public. Visit their website http://cgca.com
As a step up from our usual like of fine junque and common arms we are privileged to offer some exceptionally fine quality pieces right now, along with a lot of other new items that will be posted as soon as we can get to them.
Last week we attended a local show, notoriously unremarkable for quality, although pretty good size and well advertised. However, we encountered one exhibitor with the most unique items we have ever seen at a show. This gentleman is a retired machinist, clearly with unbelievable talent and a lot of time. Many years ago he helped get the Furr line of miniature Gatling guns into production.
However, he went on to build a series of miniatures showing the evolution of the hand operated machine gun. He brought out four of these, along with some of the tools, jigs and fixtures used to produce them. They were made using a Craftsman 6 inch lathe, to which he added devices (he designed and built) to make it work as a shaper, milling machine and other tools only a machinist would understand. The hand operated rifling machine was pretty neat, and yes the barrels are all rifled with the correct number of grooves and proper twist!
All are made exactly to scale, and are about 14-18 inches overall, including the wheeled carriages. Not just are they beautiful visual examples, they actually work. That is not just parts moving, these actually shoot! Besides making the guns, he also made the ammunition. You have never seen a .19 caliber Minie ball, or .15 caliber versions of the .45-70 cartridge, all made from scratch, and working! Yes, he made his own primers and percussion caps too!
Reportedly this craftsman genius has turned down an offer from Bill Ruger to come to his place to examine an early Gardner gun and work with Ruger engineers to get drawings so he can make one of those too. Just too much trouble to travel, he says.
This miniature museum included the following:
These are truly museum quality pieces, and reportedly discussions are underway with a major U.S. Army museum to acquire them. If I understand correctly, when the first of these was made, R. L. Wilson, the noted Colt author was involved in getting the late Robert Q. Sutherland to fund the maker to produce two of each, with the maker keeping one and Sutherland getting the other. Whereabouts of the Sutherland examples is unknown, but someone certainly is enjoying these beauties.
This was truly a once in a lifetime experience to observe these, and meet the maker, an awesome experience akin to someone able to meet John M. Browning and observe a true arms genius and his work.
Check out http://M1903.com This is a site we have been developing
in our spare time, but is not quite ready to be publicized for general use.
We have a lot of things we plan to do with it, and make improvements as we
find time. We have some Krag and M1917 stuff there too.
This is the end of the OldGuns.net Newsletter
We hope it was useful or interesting. We invite you to visit Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters, http://oldguns.net when you are ready to add to your collection, or even if you decide to sell all or part of it.
John Spangler & Marc Wade