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Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters
www.OldGuns.net
Newsletter
Number 6, August 1, 2002
Celebrating Five Years Of Service To Our Collector Friends!
copyright 2001 All rights reserved


Contents:



Feature Article:

Important New Web Site Open

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).

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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 to them.

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.

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 OldGuns.net Site Outage:

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).

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Book Review

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.

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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.

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Darwin 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
 

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 identification.

It turned out that Mr. Shields had car-jacked a pickup with a manual transmission, but he didn’t 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 perpetrator’s 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 your weapon.

DarwinAwards.com 1994-2002

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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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