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This curious assemblage is of Indian origin. also known as "Fakirs Horns" They were carried by Indian fakirs (holy ascetics) who were not allowed to carry metallic swords or knives. They are fabricated from the horns of the black buck and often have metallic points affixed to the tips of the horns as does this example. Sometimes they are found without the circular shield which may be either steel or leather.
In a world o f collecting where mint or near mint guns are king, it is often easy to ignore the guns with true historical significance - those well worn arms that have that “been-there-done-that” look. Used but not abused pieces should have a place in every collection; these are the ones we look at and say, “if only it could talk” Even if the stories that may accompany these guns have been lost to time or fabricated and enhanced by the tellers, the romance is hard to ignore. Often times such...
In a world where collectible arms can reach six figures in value there are, believe it or not, areas of collecting that are still affordable. This column will regularly feature areas of specialization that are inexpensive, fun, challenging and highly rewarding in collector satisfaction.
Reloading shotshells was an important part of waterfowl shooting in the 19th century. Whether for market or table, few could afford the luxury of purchasing shotshells for single usage. Patented loading devices abounded but few were as elaborate as the Bartram. They were made with the pride and precision of scientific instruments. It’s interesting to see where they ended up. In addition to one I’ve owned for years, I’ve had specimens reported from the United Kingdom, Norway and Australia....
I remember when I saw for the first time one the most collectible boxes of them all: the Single Action Colt picture box. It was yellow and I believe it was made by UMC. And the word CARTRIDGES was prominent, boldly printed near the top of the lid label. If, however, you don’t see anything wrong with that, go back and look at the word more closely. Having grown up collecting stamps and coins
This article is a continuation of and conclusion to the first part in last month’s issue. As a recap, old images, usually unique, capture a subject’s actual appearance and in the case of this study, show those involving firearms. They are a very interesting “snapshot in time” showing people with authentic clothing and weapons that are in very fine to new condition during their period of use. A very brief history of early photographs will be repeated here, but a more detailed discussion is in...
The French Ordnance system is an interesting subject that you could spend years studying. I will focus on only the last two revolvers used by the French military. With that in mind I need to mention that the French were ahead of the rest of the world in the pinfire era. This period did not last long, as ammunition seemed to change almost every year until the centerfire cartridge was perfected. The centerfire era is the one I shall address in this article.
Orison Blunt was born in Gardiner, Maine, in 1816. At the age of fourteen he went to sea as a cabin boy. He soon tired of this trade and moved to New York City where he entered into an apprenticeship in the gunsmith’s trade. It is unknown with whom he served his apprenticeship, but he met there another apprentice, William Syms, with whom he soon formed a partnership in the gunmaking business at 44 Chatham Street.1 As business prospered Blunt & Syms moved to 177 Broadway.
The delightful little revolvers popularly known as “test fires” were the product of the imagination of Daniel Moore. He originally started out to produce seven-shot rimfire revolvers whose mechanisms were quite similar to those used by Colt for their percussion revolvers. Further to his lack of originality, he also copied Smith & Wesson’s patent for the rear-loading, bored-through cylinder without authorization; a big mistake! This latter cost him dearly with lawsuits (the story was told...