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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


Links To Arms Related Pages

If you have a firearms or militaria related page and you would like us to link to it, send us an e-mail. If we add your link, we request that you have a link to on your page.

Miscellaneous Interesting Sites  - One of the best resources available on line for all things related to the Mosin Nagant rifles. Also, it has extensive detailed drawings for all sorts of different styles of portable and permanent gun racks.... and even sell pre-cut parts if you are too lazy to make them yourself. Highly recommended site for Mosin Nagant collectors to understand the diverse example that exist and some on their history and excellent tools for identification and understanding of various markings.

American Society of Arms Collectors- home of the prestigious, invitation only, group of very advanced collectors. They recently began putting copies of their superb "Bulletin" articles on line to share the information with all collectors. Highly recommended, covering virtually every area of arms collecting, with articles by some of the more knowledgeable collectors and authors in the world. Most highly recommended.

Arms Heritage Magazine- This is the newest entry in the collector arms periodical field, filling the void left by the demise of the venerable "Gun Report" magazine, but far surpassing it in the quality of the content. This is a "digital only" publication with full color, and links to reference and advertisers. A most innovative approach to a very traditional topic. Very highly recommended.

Bannerman Castle Trust - Dedicated to the preservation of what little remains of this historic bastion of the glory days of military surplus goods offered by Francis Bannerman.  Interesting photos and invitation to support their efforts. Focus is on nostalgia and architecture of the structure, not the fascinating details of the contents.

Carbines for Collectors - Wonderful summary of information on various carbines (not rifles) of Mauser, Mosin-Nagant, SKS and many other foreign types.  Great for identification and history of these interesting and often affordable collector arms. - Curtis Steinhauer has produced "The Worlds Largest Cartridge Collecting Web Site" which focuses on identification of cartridges. Massive tables showing dimensions, headstamps, makers, dates, etc with loads of photos. Very impressive and useful. Info also available on CD for your future reference. (Note- military 20mm and above are outside the scope of this site).

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) - Formerly Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM). Info on how to buy M1 and some other items direct from govt.  These are the folks struggling to keep the art of marksmanship alive both on the competitive level and to provide a basis to meet military needs.  Frequent target of anti-gun zealots.

Civil War Artillery- Everything you want to know about cannons and artillery ammunition of the Civil War era. Authoritative and well researched.

Civil War Guns - Interesting site with info on Civil War small arms and artillery, much related to actual shooting of these items, and the North-South Skirmish Association. Tired of reading about military history and want to actually live some of it? Check it out. They even have a 6 day Civil War Summer Camp for kids 15 and older (including much older)   that includes participation in a reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The even offer "Homework Help" on Civil War topics.

Collectibles Insurance Services - Highly recommended source for insurance for your gun or militaria collection. Good rates, excellent coverage options, and prompt settlement of claims.  They insure both collections and business inventory.  In our opinion better than NRA coverage.  CHeck their site and get a quote. You can NOT afford to not have insurance.

Colt Automatic Pistols Home Page - Everything collectors would ever wanted to know about M1903 (.32 ACP and .380 ACP) and M1908 (.25 ACP) colt pistols, the whole .45 ACP family, etc.  Sam Lisker generously shares his thoroughly researched info with  you.  This is collector stuff, not shooter oriented.

Colt Woodsman Page - Bob Rayburn's comprehensive site devoted to the Colt Woodsman pistols in its many collectible variations.

The Company of Military Historians - Highly respected group focusing on North American military history, especially Civil War and earlier, with many experts on uniforms, flags, artillery, etc. Excellent Journal and annual meetings.

Curio & Relic Listing - Information on C&R FFLs and has links on left side to BATF's full list of what can be sold to holders of Curio and Relic FFLs. Be sure to check both the basic publication at the top, and ALL of the other updates which have hundreds of additional items listed. (Yeah, you would think a government agency would provide a single combined list, but they don't.)

Firearms Technology Museum- An Australian museum focused on Tranter revolvers which has put their collection on line instead of being restricted to walk in visitors. Innovative concept. Lots of interesting links too. - Norm Flayderman was the most respected name in the antique arms business. He wrote the book that the rest of us refer to constantly.  Always an interesting variety of items in his 118 catalogs dating back to 1952. He died in 2013, but his family continues the business on their web site.

Garry Fellers Gun SIghts -  Great guy with wonderful selection of iron sights, scopes and scope mounts. Best bet is to call him at (817) 346-9633. - An auction site for those who like such things.

GunHoo: Categorized Gun Links - Great links site to just about every firearms related thing out there. Well organized, good search system. - Probably the most popular of the gun auction sites for collector guns. As with any auction, you need to know what you are bidding on, and if the seller is likely to be reputable and knowledgable...or not.

Gun Owners of America - Pro-gun activist group. "The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington." Check their alerts and analysis of pending legislation.  They waste a lot of effort maligning the NRA when they should be fighting the anti-gunners, but they still have some good points.

Gun Parts Corp - The best and biggest place to look for gun parts  Impressive on-line parts catalog.  Good service.  Pretty good operation that has been in business for decades (formerly Numrich Gun parts).

High Standard Collectors Association - Lot of info on all arms made by this maker.

Historical Parts & Militaria - German (K98k Mauser, G43), Italian and Japanese military parts and lots of other info related to such weapons.  Great site if  interested in those topics.

Horst Held- Antique Handguns - Loaded with a real variety of unusual antique (and some post 1898) handguns. Excellent photos let you appreciate some of the guns you probably will never see in person.

Johnson 1941 Rifle Site - Jim Pullen's superbly researched and detailed information on the least documented U.S. military rifle of the 20th century.  Should be in print as well as on the web. - Every gun owner must visit this site regularly.  Daily summary of all gun related news stories (and full archives) and excellent archives of examples of lawful self defense with guns.  No compromise "attitude" sometimes annoying, but I check this site EVERY day.

Martini-Henry Page - Loaded with good info about these interesting old rifles, their accessories, ammunition, etc.  Many great links to related topics.

Military Rifles in the Age of Transition  - Exceptionally useful site loaded with info on non-U.S. black powder, metallic cartridge military rifles (1865-1888).  Well researched info (usually only found scattered piecemeal in obscure books) and photos to identify most models from this period.  Info on parts, ammo, and some items for sale too.  Keith Doyon deserves special thanks for this great site.

Model - If you like U.S. military .45 autos this is the place for you.  Great photos and details to check originality of pistols.  Also has WW2 Ithaca shipping records and can provide "factor letter" on these guns. Highly recommended.

Russian Mosin Nagant & Historic Military Firearms Page - Another great site on this popular and inexpensive collecting specialty.

Nambu World - Very impressive and loaded with good info on ALL TYPES of Japanese WW2 arms. For Japanese handguns and related material, just scroll down the main page. For Japanese weapons other than handguns (everything from rifles and machine guns to edged weapons), please click on the Other Japanese Weapons link or for non-weapon Japanese militaria
click the Other Japanese Militaria link.

Non-U.S. Black Powder Metallic Cartridge Military Rifles - The Rifles of the "Age of Transition" (1865-1888) Very comprehensive and nicely done by Keith Doyon.  Great collecting field with lots of variety.  Good links to related sites.

North-South Skirmish Association - Well established large group of clubs who enjoy shooting original and reproduction Civil War rifles, pistols, carbines and cannons in competition.  Good links to find local units (all east of the Mississippi).  Many links to other Civil War sites and living history topics.  Everyone should visit their "shoots" in May and October near Winchester, VA and take some kids to expose them to Civil War history.

NRA (National Rifle Association) - Check "news" files to keep up with events on national or state level. We urge you to join NRA today!  Also sources of information on shooting competition, firearms safety, the NRA Museum, etc.

Precision Gunstocks - Makers of very nice quality reproduction stocks for Winchester, Marlin, Stevens, Remington and Colt rifles.  This is where we would go if we needed one.

Proxibid Firearms Auctions - A great way to browse and search many of the well known, and some less well known auction houses offering firearms and related items, and to securely bid on items.

Replica Percussion Revolver Collector's Association - A four year old group promoting interest in the collecting of modern production replica, black powder, percussion revolvers as used in the Civil War and on the early Western Frontier. A great field for the beginning collector with a limited budget.

S&S Firearms  - Superb source of original and high quality repro parts I have used for years. Only "Military Americana" items basically Charleville thru Krag with excellent selection of books and also accoutrements, etc of interest to reenactors and shooters.

SELL Antique Arms - Steve Evans and Linda Lasseter are highly respected dealers in the antique arms world with a huge selection of quality items. Only part of their vast inventory is listed on their web site, but check it out and if you don't see it, give them a call to see if they have something you are looking for. Visit their store in Salt Lake City if you have the chance.

Single Action Shooting Society - An international organization created to preserve and promote the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting™. SASS® endorses regional matches conducted by affiliated clubs, stages END of TRAIL®, THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING, promulgates rules, procedures to ensure safety, consistency in Cowboy Action Shooting matches.

Small Arms of the - (Formerly Small Arms Review) Absolutely the best source of info on collectible and currently used machine guns and submachine guns, and also legal matters related to them. Their printed magazine is great, and web site is loaded with good solid info on the subject. Editor Dan Shea is well known and highly respected among the class 3 world. They also publish a number of excellent MG/SMG books.

Swiss Rifles - Everything you would ever want to know about Swiss cartridge rifles (VETTERLI, Schmidt-Rubin, SIG, etc) related ammunition, bayonets, disassembly, etc. Exceptionally well done and worth checking out just to see how informative a site can be.

Sword Collector Homepage - Excellent site loaded with helpful information on identification, specialized links on swords, etc.

Swords of the United States - Preserving the history of Antique American Swords. Extremely well done with loads of information and superbly detailed photos.

Sword Restoration Services - Tom Nardi can straighten guards, rewrap grips and replace the grip wires. Site has an excellent guide to sword values (U.S. military types) and a link to a very helpful photo guide to ID swords.

Trapdoor Collector - Superb site by Al Frasca, author of the best books on the subject.  Full description, photos, details of standard and experimental versions from 1865 to 1890.  Very active discussion board on trapdoors, stuff for sale,  Highly recommended. - The Collector's Edge - SABC member Ralph Cobb's bayonet reference web site offers a bayonet identification guide with photos, a bayonet history timeline, an online bayonet reference library, articles, and more. Probably the best bayonet site we have seen. On Facebook, follow Ralph's collecting and site updates at


Springfield Armory National Historic Site - National Park Service info on their great museum and many other attractions in area. Lots of special programs, speakers, etc. Plan your vacation pilgrimage now! Web site includes schedule of special events; tours of the collection not on display; some manufacturing dates & serial number info; on line info about many collection items and archives they hold.

Books - Large selection of mostly out of print books on firearms, military manuals, reference material and military history books. Also new copies of some of the best arms reference books.

IDSA Books - one of the largest mail order seller of new gun and military related books.  Highly recommended.
IDSA Books, PO Box 1457, Piqua, OH  45356  (937)773-4203

Man at Arms - Premier periodical for arms collectors.  Nice selection of past articles, books they publish, links.  Recommended.

Military Books - Out of print and used books on military history and some firearms offered by Richard Williams of Washington, DC..

Military/Info Publishing - Fantastic source for photocopies of all sorts of obscure and out of print US military manuals and a few military books.  On line catalog.  If you need a manual for information, not as a display item, this is the place to go!  Be patient, they take a while to deliver but it is worth the wait.

S.P. Fjestad's Blue Book of Gun Values - You can order one of the most popular guides on gun values. Good on modern stuff, but Flayderman's is better for older items.

Scott A. Duff Publications and Historic Martial Arms -  Scott is the noted author and expert on the M1 Garand.  Besides his books, also offers good assortment of U.S. military arms and related items.  John has known Scott for years and rates him as one of the most ethical dealers in the business today.  Highly recommended site.

SELL Antique Arms - Steve Evans and Linda Lasseter are highly respected dealers in the antique arms world with a huge selection of quality items, including a huge number of gun related books.. Only part of their vast inventory is listed on their web site, but check it out and if you don't see it, give them a call to see if they have something you are looking for. Visit their store in Salt Lake City if you have the chance.

Shotgun News - Many interesting on line articles about gunsmithing, gun history, legislative issues, etc. Well worth checking out. Their hard copy snail mail listing of classified ads was THE place for buying guns a half century ago, but is largely irrelevant now, superceded by on line auctions and web sites.

Trapdoor Collector - Superb site by Al Frasca, author of the best books on the subject.  Full description, photos, details of standard and experimental versions from 1865 to 1890.  Very active discussion board on trapdoors, stuff for sale,  Highly recommended.

revised 3/12/14