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THE LAST WORD
People Who Made a Difference Frank Sellers
Frank, a native of Kansas, but resident in New Hampshire for many years was as dedicated to the subject of antique arms as anyone I have ever met. He was a living encyclopedia on the subject and his archival legacy was extensive. He was probably best known for his 1978 published book Sharps Firearms, a treatise on his favorite subject. That book has been the bible of Sharps enthusiasts since and is hopefully in the process of being updated. I probably don’t have a complete listing of the books he wrote or co-wrote but nearly all of them belong on the bookshelves of any serious collector.
Among the most important titles is his compendium of American Gunsmiths - once available only on the secondary market but recently reprinted. Another must-have book is American Percussion Revolvers, co-written with Sam Smith-- a treasure trove of information and worth tracking down on the internet. No one but Frank could have put together a book on Baby Hammerless Revolvers, rescuing these mundane guns and elevating them to true collector status.
Frank’s contribution has been enormous and has probably touched every collector in some way. Sadly, he passed away in 2008 leaving a great void behind.
The 2013 NRA Convention held in Houston, Texas is now a part of history, but it will be remembered as being a very successful event hosting, as it did, over 550 exhibitors showing, demonstrating, extolling every kind of firearms imaginable plus the plethora of accessories, accoutrements and other related stuff in quantities sufficient to state any gun aficionado’s appetite for anything gunny. At its several forums, NRA presented a star cast of politicians, military
personnel, and interested (and interesting) private individuals to beat the NRA drum and to repeat its mantra ‘The Fight Is On’. Judging from the recent and subsequent events in Washington, D.C., this message was received loud and clear.
Almost lost amongst the acres of ‘guns and stuff’ (NRA’s billboard words) were the collector club sponsored displays all competing for an award. Three wonderful displays of antique firearms stood out – all with components vying for NRA’s coveted silver medals. These displays were sponsored by the following organizations:
Antique Percussion Firearms – American Society of
Colt Factory Engraving: Models 1873, 1877 & 1878 –
Ohio Gun Collectors Association
Army vs Navy and The Navy’s .36 Caliber Relatives –
Texas Gun Collectors Association
Another display, Silver Medal Winners, presented by the Dallas Arms Collectors is worthy of mention here because, as its name suggests, it was a display of old firearms which had previously been awarded silver medals, and therefore could not be considered again for such.
A further display very much in keeping with the above noted exhibits and representing the superb and rather eclectic collection of a private collector, Cletus Klein, should also be mentioned. In this writer’s opinion, it was the simplest and most elegant of all the displays, and as such is worthy of note here.
I mention these displays, not because they were in any way superior to the other twenty or so competitors’ efforts, but because they represent the kind of arms which are of primary interest to the majority of our readers, and maybe secondary interest to the rest of ‘elm.
It was a weekend well spent.