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Dates in Firearm History

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Frequently Asked Questions
(From the Cody Firearms Museum)

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At Other Sites

Evaluating History of a Gun
Article by Jim Supica

Learn - Advanced

Factory Letters
And Military Records

Museums With Arms Exhibits

Arms Collector Groups

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Book Reviews


U.S. Military Arms

Factory Letters
And Military Records

Krag Bolt Removal

Which U.S. Bayonet?

M1917 Enfield Parts Markings

M1917 Enfield Sling Instructions

M1 Garand Disassembly and Parts

Cartridges and Ammunition
International Ammunition Association

European Cartridge Research Association
(headstamp info)

Edged Weapons
Society of American Bayonet Collectors

Sword Collector Homepage

Internet Sword Collectors


Manufacture Dates

Pre-1899 Antique
Serial Numbers

(From Empire Arms. Use at own risk.)


Mauser Pistol C-96


(& Factory Letters)

U.S. Military



Serial Numbers
(foreign language)

Gun Marks

House Brands

U.S. Inspectors

WWII German
Codes & Markings

Mosin Nagant Markings


Spotting Fake Firearms
Antiques Roadshow Advice

Article by Jim Supica

The Anti-Gun
Crowd Wants


Article by David Kopel

Collection Care & Records
(Preservation tips, inventory software, insurance)

Arms / Gun Show Listings

NRA List

Man At Arms List

Shotgun News List

Crossroads List

Living History
(Info coming soon)

Mannequins for Uniform Display
Make them yourself!

Main Page


Welcome to


sponsored by
Antique and Collectable
Firearms and Militaria Headquarters

Check out some of the information here to learn more about the interesting hobby of arms collecting.

This is an opportunity for you to own, enjoy and preserve pieces of history, and better understand past events.

In addition to the historical aspects, there are also collectors who are fascinated by the technical aspects of the evolution of various types of arms, and the part those innovations played in history.

And, many antique or modern arms are valued for their artistic qualities. For example, the uniquely American "Kentucky Rifle" required the diverse skills of a cabinet maker, a blacksmith, a jeweler, and an artist to create. And, they were created not as artistic objects, but rather as utilitarian arms for defense of self, family or country, and for putting food on the table, or for the sport of target shooting.

You and your family and friends MUST be registered to vote, and politically active to defend the future of arms collecting. We strongly encourage you to join the National Rifle Association, or if you think they are not tough enough, then join the Gun Owners of America.

After five years of serving collectors and students of firearms and military history on our site, we have learned that there is a need for a convenient resource center for information useful to firearms collectors. We have developed this site to fill that need.

Check out the"Featured Collector Item"
Right now, it has 27 superb studies prepared by the late David Radcliffe, which first appeared on his "Midwest Gun Show" site. They are used here with the kind permission of his son, Reed Radcliffe. These are detailed studies of one or several related arms, with interesting stories and lots of good factual information and clear photos.
We certainly enjoyed these, and know that you will too.

Enter "Featured Collector Item" section.



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 to anyone interested in arms collecting.

Fifty years ago, only a few dozen books were available for arms collectors. Today, they number in the thousands, and are getting better all the time, and cover more than just Colts and Winchesters. Some recommended books are listed on this site.

Only a handful of gun collector groups existed prior to 1960, but today there are dozens of regional groups as well as dozens more who specialize on some specific collecting field. We have a listing of these great places to share ones interests, and exchange collectible items.

In less than a decade, the Internet has made it possible to find information all over the world in a matter of minutes, and seek information from hundreds of people with greater (or often lesser) knowledge of the subject. We have links to many fine sites.

Our focus is to share access to many of the resources we believe will be useful.

We do not pretend to know everything about arms, or have the biggest, best, or most valuable collections. However, we know we can help the vast majority of collectors and hobbyists who would like to enjoy some aspect of arms collecting.

Arms collecting has many facets, but most focus on the historic, technical or artistic merits of the arms which make them appealing to collectors. Some collectors cherish a rusty bayonet, or musket ball recovered from an old battlefield. Others like the artistry and craftsmanship of a Kentucky rifle, or a valuable pair of cased flintlock dueling pistols, or a shotgun engraved by one of the living masters. Others find suits of armor, or swords, or even military vehicles (small jeeps to big tanks!) as their chosen connections with history. Ammunition collectors delve into the minute details and evolving technical aspects of cartridges of all sizes. Some collectors seek to fill a collection with arms of a single maker, others of a single historic period, some concentrate on a specific caliber, or country of origin. Many just want to own guns that they like for various reasons. Some only collect bayonets.

Many arms collectors enjoy shooting their guns, and many people interested in living history (reenacting) become arms collectors as an outgrowth of that hobby.
While not purely collectors, they are potential future collectors, and their experiences can provide valuable information to collectors. We need to encourage these people in their endeavors.

Arms Collecting is a threatened or endangered hobby.

There are some anti-gun zealots who believe that EVERY gun (and most likely sword or bayonet as well) should be taken away from law abiding citizens and destroyed. They claim it is "for the children" or will "prevent violence" or other noble sounding reasons. These misguided souls are unable to show where a gun ban, or other increased gun control laws have ever been successful, even total bans on private arms ownership. England, Australia, Washington DC and Chicago are decimated by gun violence, because criminals simply do not obey the law, leaving only disarmed victims. They want to take YOUR guns away,not matter how old, how valuable, or how historic. They have a long list of various excuses about why some specific type of gun is too big, or too small, or too cheap, or too ugly, or something else, and IT should be banned. Regrettably, in 1986, gun owners fell for that scheme and most ignored the attacks on continued manufacture of machine guns, effectively shutting off that area of arms collecting. In 1994 "assault weapons" (whatever that means) were banned, because the shotgun and pistol owners didn't pay much attention. Henceforth, it is imperative that EVERY gun owner resist EVERY attempt to pass ANY sort of restriction on private gun ownership. Your derringer collection or your properly licensed self defense pistol will be attacked as a "pocket rocket" or cheap "Saturday night special". Your engraved trap gun will become a potential "sawed- off shotgun gangster weapon." Your deer rifle or prized target rifles will be described as "evil sniper rifles that can kill from a great distance."

We need to encourage youngsters who have some interest in firearms. Years ago nearly every boy (and may girls) were given a rifle of their own when their parents thought it was appropriate for them to learn about gun safety and marksmanship. This was usually about ages 10 to 12, and many high schools had rifle teams as well as most colleges with their ROTC programs. Sadly, the antigun folks have successfully sold the myth that access to, or even knowledge about, firearms has suddenly caused an increase in violent crime especially gun violence. Research should show that decades of permissive parents, glorified violence from the "entertainment" industry, and an education industry bent on indoctrination and power are the real culprits. The end of traditional universal military service where every young man learned gun safety and marksmanship as part of their obligation to serve our country has also eroded familiarity with those topics.

Again, Welcome to our site.

John Spangler & Marc Wade

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