Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters
Number 6, August 1, 2002 Celebrating Five Years Of Service To Our Collector
copyright 2001 All rights reserved
Here is a news flash for the 2,300+ fine folks who subscribe to the OldGuns.net
newsletter. John Spangler & Marc Wade are proud to announce the opening
of our new site, ArmsCollectors.com.
After five years of serving collectors and students of firearms and military
history at OldGuns.net, we recognized the need for a convenient resource center
for arms collectors looking for useful, accurate information. Our new site
will help fill that need.
The greatest enjoyment and biggest challenges of arms collecting are related
to finding accurate information about various arms. This is especially true
for people who have basic questions about one or more old guns they have inherited,
found, or purchased.
However, an unbelievable wealth of information is available if you know where
to look. We certainly do not know all about everything, but this new site
has many resources we think are accurate and useful, and we will be adding
more. (Your suggestions are most welcome, so tell us about things that others
might find useful).
Springfield Research Service (SRS) Data
Available at ArmsCollectors.com:
One of the most significant features of ArmsCollectors.com is the superb,
but not well known Springfield Research Service (SRS) serial number database.
Mr. Frank Mallory has been researching in the National Archives and
other authoritative primary sources for over 25 years, finding thousands of
documented references to specific U.S. Military firearms. Serious collectors
who subscribe to his quarterly U.S. Martial Arms Collector or own the
printed or electronic version of serial number data are familiar with this
resource. A few scoundrels even market Mallory's research information as if
they had done it (most notably Civil War and Trapdoor data). Well, now, any
collector with Internet access can check to see if any of his U.S. Military
arms have a verifiable history. There are over sixty different categories
of arms, some with only a single number, some with over 100,000 numbers. You
can check your number, and will also see the 10 closest numbers to it on either
side. For the numbers available, you will see the model, date and usage. Some
fascinating details in these old records, so we hope you enjoy having access
For a small fee (one of the lowest for any sort of "factory letter"
type service we know of) Mr. Mallory will provide a letter stating the known
facts, and the source of the information, and often a copy of the original
documents. If the gun is linked to a specific individual, he can often provide
copies of service record information as well, at a small additional fee. Unfortunately,
records do not exist on every serial number, so only a small percentage of
guns can be documented. However, this information is of great interest to
collectors, and in our opinion, adds greatly to the enjoyment and value of
any arm which can be documented. We strongly encourage you to make the investment
in a SRS letter.
I have letters from Mr. Mallory showing the original sale date and purchaser
of guns sold though the DCM program or at the National Matches. Others document
use with a certain unit on a certain date. My favorite is one that documents
a trapdoor rifle to a Illinois volunteer in the Philippine Insurrection, who
saw action in a bitter fight, but this guy was less than a model soldier,
and was court martialed over an unrelated incident
Unfortunately, records do NOT exist for all numbers, and please do
not ask about numbers that are not listed, Mr. Mallory does not make stuff
up in his spare time. He has to dig through mountains of old documents which
may, or may not, have weapons serial numbers listed. As he uncovers more,
we will add them to the on line database.
We know a lot of you tried and tried to get through to our site from about
22 to 29 July and got a "not found" message. We apologize for not
being there. However we are back up now, and do not expect there will be any
further major problems.
Our "host" (folks that provide the computers that talk to your
computers over the Internet) changed to a new set of computers. The supposedly
smooth transfer got incredibly screwed up (mostly by the #%&*!?@# owners
of the old computers who deliberately shut stuff down on them prior to the
transfer). Most major features are up and running again. However, it may be
a few more days before they get the secure links fully ready so we can resume
use of the secure order forms that many of you use to place your orders with
credit cards. Just fax, or phone them in, or print out our old fashioned paper
order form and put the card info on it. The Forums lost all the topics which
had been posted on them as well, and they are unrecoverable.
If anyone cares, this outage also shut down the other sites we maintain (M1903.com;
cartridgecollectors.org, fortdouglas.org, utahshootingsports.com).
W. Darrin Weaver, Hitler's Garands: German Self-Loading Rifles of World
War II. Collector Grade Books, 2001, 361 pages. Produced and edited
by Blake Stevens.
This outstanding study is a significant contribution to arms collecting knowledge,
and Military history. It is also one of the first books that I know of that
has relied heavily on world wide contributions from collectors and historian
via the Internet. Despite the use of new technology, the author still has
made extensive use of archives and museum collections and put together an
exceptionally comprehensive study of this previously little known area. This
is also one of the few arms collecting books that does more than just casually
mention that there may be fakes or reproductions out there. He devotes an
entire chapter to "fakes, frauds and fantasies" and ways to tell
them from originals. Anyone considering a purchase of a G43 related item on
ebay really needs to read this book first!
Weaver covers the earliest Mauser attempts at semi-auto arms, the influence
of the Russian Tokarev, the meddling of der Fuhrer in arms requirements, the
successes and failures of the G41(M) and G41(W) and the difficulty of introducing
a new weapons system in the midst of a war that you are losing. Further, the
involvement of the SS in "helping" with production (apparently helping
themselves to the finished product was widespread) He shows that the name
change from Gewehr 43 to Karabiner 43 was not reflected in weapons details,
but rather a propaganda driven decision to make people think the Germans were
fielding yet another new weapon.
Format is similar to that used in the late Richard D. Law's Backbone of
the Wehrmacht study of the K98k Mausers, with detailed tables of marks
and features for each of the makers and the various time frames. Large, clear,
period photos are found throughout the book, along with detailed photos of
parts variations and pertinent archival records. Weaver is very careful to
use the correct German terms (helpfully translated into collector jargon as
well). Production figures are stated where known, and deduced where necessary.
Besides the rifles, he also includes exhaustive coverage of the various scopes
and mounts, both pre-May 1945, post-war Military production by various nations,
and recent fakes for gullible collectors, the latter being alarmingly common.
Among other aspects, he covers the G/K43 connections with Czechoslovakia,
East and West Germany, Denmark, Norway, and even tenuous connections with
Brazil, Israel, and other nations.
He also covers accessories and other related items so you won't run out of
things to lust after. All of this is presented with the attention to detail,
and quality that is a hallmark of Collector Grade Publications, well bound,
with high quality paper.
This outstanding book belongs in the reference library of anyone interested
in WW2 armament of any country. If you plan to buy (or sell) a G43/K43 the
$75 price of this book will be repaid immediately by making you a better informed
buyer, or seller.
The extent to which this book balances the historical, technical and collector
details, drawn from an exceptionally wide range of sources, has truly raised
the standard for future arms book authors.
New Items At
OldGuns.net (posted now or coming soon):
Just a reminder that the beautiful half-size Napoleon 12 pounder cannon has
been reduced by the owner to a booming bargain $6,995 complete with accessories.
And, for your summer motoring pleasure, the meticulously restored M3A1 armored
scout car is still available.
If those are a bit big for your taste, we have an excellently restored Winchester
M1 Garand, and a host of other Military long arms, lots of neat bayonets,
some great handguns, both for collections and for folks with permits to carry
a weapon for self defense. (If you do not have a permit, you really should
consider getting one, unless you don't think your life is worth protecting,
or assume that someone else will always be there to do it for you. Terrorists
are likely to show up at unexpected places- like where you might be! Once
you have a permit you do not HAVE to carry, but at least you have the option
to if you feel it is appropriate.)
We will soon be adding a very nice U.S. Model 1903A4 Sniper rifle with full
pistol grip "C" type stock.
We have over a ton of old Military manuals on all sorts of gear, tactics,
etc. that we are busy sorting out and cataloging. We also have a lot of interesting
Vietnam era militaria, including a rare example of USMC body armor. U.S. forces
left Vietnam almost 30 years ago, and historical artifacts of that long, sad,
conflict are becoming a more popular collecting field. What was once considered
just "surplus" is now becoming collectible. This is the time to
get into this niche if it appeals to you. You probably have seen what has
happened to the availability and prices of WW2 items and even Korean vintage
items. A few collectors with more vision and foresight are already collecting
Gulf War (Round I) items. Check out some oddball ammo for collectors on the
ammo page, and some new bayonets and swords.
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
Shields vs. Shields
2000 Darwin Award Nominee
Unconfirmed by Darwin
(30 December 2000, Missouri) A Kansas City police
officer was in the Flamingo bar, waiting to see some friends play in a band. He had only
just arrived when a man ran into the bar and announced that he'd been robbed in the
parking lot, and so had another man!
The officer elicited the details, called for
backup, and rushed outside, assuming the villian would be long gone. To his surprise, the
suspect was still sitting in the pickup truck he had just car-jacked. The officer
approached the man, coincidentally named Shields, with his gun and HIS shield drawn for
It turned out that Mr. Shields had car-jacked a pickup with a manual transmission, but
he didnt know how to drive a stick shift. He tried to flee, but the grinding of
gears indicated that he was having trouble putting the pickup into reverse. The officer
pulled the incompetent criminal from the immobile car.
Mr. Shields challenged the cop to a gun fight and was quickly dispatched by five
rounds fired by the officer. A check of the perpetrators gun revealed it was fully
loaded, except for the most important round the one in the chamber.
The morals of the story are: If you are going to steal a car, know how to drive a stick
shift; and if you are going to challenge a police officer to a duel, make sure to load