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Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters
www.OldGuns.net
Newsletter
Number 5, May 1, 2002
Celebrating Five Years Of Service To Our Collector Friends!
copyright 2001 All rights reserved


Contents:


Great Gun Show Coming Up

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

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New Items At OldGuns.net  (posted now or coming soon)

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.

  • Shotgun enthusiasts recognize the legendary qualities of the Winchester Model 21, and we are proud to offer a beautiful 20 gage example, which has been used just enough that you will not be afraid to take it out and enjoy the fine handling qualities in the field.
  • A Winchester Model 63 rifle is now a superb object of beauty, thanks to the talented work of noted engrave Angelo Bee, best known for his work for Browning. High relief gold inlays and border work are truly magnificent.
  • We have a number of nice Colt percussion and early cartridge revolvers, some neat edged weapons, and on and on. Not everything is out yet, so please keep checking.
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An Awesome Gun Show Exhibit

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:

    1. The 1862 Ager "coffee mill" machine gun, a single barrel .58 caliber design that used a heavy metal charger or case (similar to the Roper shotgun or early percussion Gatling gun) that is fed from a hopper on top. A crank on the side cams the charger into place, fires it and then removes it. Reportedly the crew consisted of one crank operator and about a dozen soldiers kept busy reloading the charges with powder, minie ball and percussion cap. As the earliest version of what became known as a machine gun, the U.S. Army was reluctant to adopt it as there was no tactical role for it, and neither the infantry nor artillery thought it fit in with the role of their branch. This was a chronic problem until World War 1. John H. "Gatling Gun" Parker, who managed to get his battery included in support of the assault on San Juan Hill (July 1, 1898) was a determined, but largely ignored, advocate for the integration of machine guns. ("Bullets & Bureaucrats" is a well done study of this issue, if you are interested in learning more.)
    2. The 1862 Gatling gun, also [originally] in .58 caliber and using percussion capped "chargers". The first of the long line of this highly successful gun, with copies being made by several makers today and derivitive designs used aboard modern aircraft in 20mm and 7.62mm versions.
    3. A .45-70 version of the Gatling, using the tiny cartridges mentioned above. Of course with the brass casing this is an exceptionally handsome gun, mounted on the wooden wheeled carriage.
    4. A Nordenfelt 37mm revolving cannon, on an all steel carriage. The trail of the carriage included a storage area for tools and spare parts, so of course, the miniature contains the proper spare parts and tools, all handmade, just as with every other part of the gun. Screws, pins, extractors, and a working monkey wrench about 1/2" long.

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.

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M1903.com Our New Site

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.

The "rifles for sale" page lists ALL the newer U.S. Military rifles we have for sale, while on OldGuns.net we only post a limited number to avoid too many duplicates. The M1903.com catalog page just has a brief title and the price, but you can click to open up our usual fully detailed description and photos.

We will add detailed coverage of unusual variations of M1903 rifles (not for sale) as opportunity permits, to help inform you what to look for when adding things to your collection. We also will add what we think might be useful reference information.

We do this because we are nice guys, but also because we hope that as you learn more, you will decide to add more junque to your collection, hopefully from our catalog pages.

We would like to hear your comments about this new page, and any suggestions for things you would like to see added, or topics to be addressed. Send your comments to comments@m1903.com .

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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 Headquartershttp://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

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