Main Page

Learn - Basics

Dates in Firearm History

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
(From the Cody Firearms Museum)

Links to Forums
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

Other Useful Links

Book Recommendations

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


Collection Records

If you know of a good method for keeping records of an arms collection, send us an e-mail. We will be glad to review it for inclusion here, including commercial programs, shareware, individually developed software, or manual (paper) records.
We reserve right to decline to list items or make comments about any system listed, and will remove listings of the submitter requests.

Collection Care and Records

Collection items need to be protected from rust, theft, fire, or other damage. Some special techniques and ideas from respected sources below will help protect your investment.

Keeping track or what you have, the proper identification, where it is stored, and any reference information or related accessories can be a big job as a collection grows. It is helpful for enjoying a collection, and essential for the time when the owner decides to sell, or an estate is faced with disposing of a collection. Some information will also be essential for insuring a collection, or to make an insurance claim.

Protection and care of your collection:

Preservation Techniques - (Many emphasize use of Renaissance brand Microcrystalline Wax.)

National Park Service
Museum Handbook- covers the full range of concerns faced by large musuems, many of which are equally important for your small collection.
Conservograms- tips and techniques for many different types of artifacts- guns, books, furniture, textiles, etc
Conservogram- Longarms - this is the one directly concerned with guns

Minnesota Historical Society - a pamphlet dealing with arms conservation

Texas A&M University Conservation Research Laboratory- Arms conservation for cannon collectors
- another discussion of care of arms collections

reCollections (Australia) - Wide variety of conservation tips for many types of artifacts.

Collection Protection (Rust, theft, fire, etc) - (from respected airgun historian and collector) An excellent discussion of a wide range of issues collectors should consider.

Collectibles Insurance Agency -
Highly recommended source for insurance for gun or other collections. Good rates, excellent coverage options, and prompt settlement of claims. (Note: Not currently available in California due to their unique requirements.) In our opinion better than NRA coverage. 

Your Homeowner's insurance policy may provide limited coverage, or you may be able to get a "fine arts" addition, but coverage for guns is often severely restricted.

Some good collection record options:

Manual System (paper)
[under construction- coming soon]

Gun & Other Collection Software (listed by price)

Ordnance Collection System -(Individually developed)- Microsoft Access based system to track primers, cases and projectiles and link photos to them. Well explained, but not the actual program for you to use. Basic concepts applicable to any collecting field. (Free)

NM Gun Collector Software - tailored to C&R Firearms $10.00-20.00

The Gun Collector - From it is a version tailored for guns, but they have wide variety set up for many specialties (books, etc) and generic forms which lend themselves to any field. $15.00

Gun Tracker 2.3 - From the Blue Book of Gun Values folks, includes all the info and values from that publication as well as record system. Much improved over earlier versions. $35.00

Collection Master - Very flexible system which can handle images and links as well as data. Comes with 60 templates for various collecting fields.$40.00

Organize Your Collections - Another flexible system with templates for 80 specialties. $40.00

CartWin- Cartridge Collection Software- a database program that was originally developed as a means of cataloguing cartridge collections. Now, after ten years of development, it has evolved into a very fast graphic database for identification use as well as information storage. CartWin is menu driven. Input of measurements can be given in either the metric or English system (millimeters or inches; grams or grains). The program has four parts: caliber, collection, headstamp and color-database, which are linked to each other. All items are displayed as drawings: in actual size or in any other desired scale, complete with measurements. These drawings can be printed, or copied for use with a word processor. Special character fonts and cartridge headstamp symbols are included as TrueType fonts. The program supports Dutch, English, German and French languages. Price about $150.00 for collectors. (Professional version also available for commercial/law enforcement use at about $865.00)