Arms Collectors Journal
Several years ago we published our Journal in a sixteen page tabloid size newspaper format. We have been working on a new issue and we now have it ready. Click on ACJonLine link to view our Front Page and also to down-load, print or view our entire Journal on-line.
We are thinking of publishing our Journal again. Click on link. 2009
Good stuff below is what we were using for ACJ
New Article ~ History Mystery, 1795 Springfield
Visit our Gun Show page for more info and opinions
Saratoga Springs Show Report
By NEACA President, David Petronis
As they say, to explain some situations, “You just had to be there!”In this case, ‘there’, was at the NEACA Arms Fair recently concluded this past March 19, 20 and 21, 2004.After twenty years of steady growth of attendance and quality of merchandise, a culmination of better and better shows seems to have generated.For Gun and Militaria Shows the Saratoga Springs, New York event at the Saratoga Springs City Center, on Broadway, has become the Premier Show in the northeast.And it happens here three times a year.
In 1982 our New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates had its’ beginnings with six collectors. In a short time Cathy, my wife and business partner, and I remained the sole workers and owners of NEACA, Inc.We were the first to promote an event at the brand new, state of the art, City Center in August 1984; a high quality Antique Show.Prime dealers from the east coast made our Premier event a great success.Tuxedos and flashy cars visited our preview and our exhibitors were treated with rolling trays of hors d’oeuvres and wines served by gorgeous, wonderfully dressed, Beauty Pageant winners. And the best part, I can almost still fit into the tux I bought for the occasion nearly twenty years ago! Well, almost.
Among the glitz and glamour though, only about fifteen hundred people showed up for a hundred booths of dealers.Luckily, most came to buy.As we were setting up the show the last of the lobby chandeliers were being installed and the smell of fresh paint was just fading from the air.We were all very new at this game.Since then a lot has been learned and success has arrived, as witnessed by dealers and public at this past March Show.
A month later we staged the first of 55 Saratoga Arms Fairs. We didn’t fill the 20,000 square foot hall but it was a quality event with fine displays of collector and investment firearms and vintage militaria.Gun Shows were fairly new then and generally only serious collectors set up displays and professional dealers or gun shop owners made up the body of exhibits.Our first show was successful and they continued to grow more so each year.Our twenty year anniversary Arms Fair will be this August 6, 7 and 8 at the still wonderful, Saratoga Springs City Center.
Our Antique Shows have waned; we haven’t produced one since 1997 as we have concentrated efforts nearly exclusively now on the Saratoga Arms Fair.We used to promote over twenty different shows a year throughout New York and New England but we have cut back to only several small guns shows and our Saratoga Arms Fair each March, August and October.We are striving more for quality of venue and venders and also concentrating on public attendance and growth of our NEACA membership, which currently numbers over 1000 though all not still active.
This past March Arms Fair saw a record crowd and a sold out exhibit floor of an excellent mix of fine military collectables, quality dealers in hunting and shooting sports and excellent collector displays.The finest of investment grade and collector double shotguns were there for sale or simply to gaze at their beauty, as were exhibits of all types of guns from all periods of time.Ancient weapons to antique books to vintage art to classic safari rifles to personal handguns could all be seen and purchased.And were they purchased.I didn’t find one single dealer with a forlorn face. The show was simply great!
The August show is quickly heading for a sellout and probably will be after our routine dealer mailing later this month.As good as ours was, however, the great Baltimore Show is always on our same weekend in March.Some of the dealers who can’t do our March Show because of Baltimore will be there for August and October.A dealer waiting list should be forming soon after our mailing. Naturally we try to accommodate long-standing members but quality of displays is beginning to rule even that roost.If you are still among the exhibitors who have not deposited, I would urge you to be diligent in your haste if you wish space.
August in Saratoga has been billed as “the place to be” if you are prone to the pursuit of ponies.Actually, prone to watching and betting on the finest of the world’s thoroughbred racehorses.Two things happen then; the air is filled with splendor and the avenues with glamorous and spending tourists.Another, is all the prices of everything go up, dramatically! So, we have the good but which is also bad if you need to find a room for the week or weekend. If you haven’t made your reservation in Saratoga there are still plenty of places to stay within a twenty-mile radius.
Rooms were one of the problems with our continuing the Antique Shows in Saratoga.Traveling dealers couldn’t find rooms without paying a premium.But local dealers, of which there are many fine ones in the area, were intimidated by the promoter of another show in Saratoga.‘You do his and you won’t be in mine’ – you all know the story.Well, that show is no more and we were wondering if perhaps the time may be right again for a revival of our own Saratoga Antique Show.And, to enhance our August Arms Fair weekend by doing it the prior Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Tuesday being a “closed day” at the racetrack.The streets of Saratoga are nearly crowded with people from the early morning hours to wee hours of the evening.Plenty of folks who want to do other things than racing and gambling.I can have the space at the City Center – for at least one hundred booths, but with Ebay and dealers not wanting to do “new” shows, will we fill those booths?
We have decided to send these comments to our Antique Dealer database and ask you who receive it also ask other dealers, “Would you like to do a Saratoga Antique Show?”If I get a good initial response we can make a final determination of promoting a show in the future.As for cost, a booth will generally run about $150.00, give or take.To make it more interesting and fresh for the Tuesday morning crowd, no sales will be done prior to opening or during setup.Other information about our organization or shows can be found on our website at NEACA.com.
If you haven’t “experienced” Saratoga yet, you owe it to yourself to at least come to the city and taste of its flavor.This old Victorian health retreat has maintained its elegance while entering a new century full of vibrance and progress.New shops and hotels and shopping centers surround the great width of Broadway and the quaint back streets and alleys while keeping with the traditional architecture of the past. Truly, Saratoga Springs is one of today’s best destinations for tourism, pleasure or business.We are proud to do our part in keeping with the tradition of high rollers and plain folks that make up a wonderful city.We hope to be there another twenty years.
Dave Petronis with his display at November Easton, MD Show
Read the November Gun Show Report
See "What's New"
By David Petronis
Our 54th Saratoga Springs Arms Fair just concluded this past November 1 & 2 and we had a full hall of exhibitors and a healthy crowd of buyers.I personally had one of my better sales events during the weekend.When I have a good show – and with my prices – I figure everyone must have a great show.But as usual, some dealers did and some didn’t.
Either you guys are glutens for punishment or aren’t telling me the whole story, ‘cuz I’ve got an awful lot of tables already deposited for our next show on March 19, 20 & 21, 2004.Any of you prospective exhibitors wanting tables, should not wait until a few weeks prior to the show to respond, I think you might get a “sorry sold out” reply.
The one thing that I keep hearing about our Saratoga Show is how much people like it, even if they didn’t make money at that particular time.And I also hear it continually from the public coming in.That is, except from the guy who left a message on my machine about how terrible the prior August show was … “even a whole table full of crap dolls. I thought it was a gun show!”Give me a break!That is all I’m going to say.
Our Saratoga Show has the highest percentage of all gun tables, or collectable militaria, to total tables of other shows around. We must except the “all antique gun shows”, however.They are supposed to have all pre 1898 guns and militaria.That is not our show – ours is general and varied … and much more interesting to the public, that’s why they come.
I remember the first time I displayed at the Allentown, PA Show – many, many years ago.I was so worried I wouldn’t have stuff good enough to show. The first tables by the door when I went in were bare tabletops filled with tons of new patches and gizmos.So much for the worry.I still ended up behind a large column in a dark room – thanks, Mr. Howard Hoffman; who has still has never reciprocated the table rent.
I used to have three tables at the Baltimore Show, which was always held on the second weekend in March.When they moved from the Armory and changed their date to the third weekend (always our Saratoga Show) I had to give it up.Thinking back to that I can remember being instructed on what we, as exhibitors, could bring – and finding the best I had – low and behold the directors had a large group of tables in the front of the show filled with junk from toy trains, to ash trays, to surplus and GI Joe to whatnots.Just to show you – even the best of shows has a doll or two.And that too, was many, many years ago.
I think you finally start to realize just how time flies when your ‘new gun purchasing customers’ of 20 years ago are now selling them back to you as collectables.Every local area undoubtedly has had its share of old gun dealing characters.I feel I may be becoming one of them.Ours had names like Charlie McCarthy, Adolph Acker and Bob Collins, though his was more related to militaria.I remember them all and the ones who supported our early pipsqueak shows who are now no doubt making gun deals with angels.
Good ol’ Harold Waltermier with his Winchester displays or Ron Swanson and his Colts.And I remember the guys who left us all too soon; Chet Krosky, Bob Byron, Mark Cross, Jim Bleau and Art McKee, all loyal NEACA members and selfless contributors to our shows.And many more I mourn.It is hard to believe that I am working my way through the levels of this gun business as a replacement – no, a follower in their footsteps.
I can only hope to be remembered as I fondly remember their visit with me.And, it seems time surely does fly.
To make the most of that time, Cathy and I finally got out to someone else’s show again, haven’t done that in a while.Our good friend, Larry Higgins, told us about a nice show he’s attended for many years in Easton, Maryland.Well, we called for tables and by luck we managed to snare two from a cancellation.We drove the 365 miles in 7 hours to the show on Friday, November 14 and began setting up about 3:00 PM.
Easton seems to be the waterfowl capital of the east; A festival begins mid week and ends with the show.The whole town goes goosey or ducky as the case may be.We met a lot of fine people – renewed acquaintances with folks we hadn’t seen in years – and had a very nice experience for the weekend.As most of you know, when you go to a show, you take a chance on whether your sales will be good or bad.
Our minimum expenses were about $700.00 … plus pleasure … so a few thousand coming in would be about a minimum to expect.As I said before, some do, some don’t – we didn’t do one penny.Scratch that, Cathy found a heads up penny getting out of the van Sunday morning – expressing “that meant money coming in” – she was right!
But, we had a great time; gave them my money for tables for next year, same time, same place.Found a wonderful restaurant on Chesapeake Bay aptly named “Fisherman’s Inn” in Grasonville, Maryland.If in the area, stop in.I think they have the best Maryland Cream Crab Soup and Crab Imperial on the east coast – but now that they have a new chef and menu in “The Sports Bar” in San Francisco – possibly on both coasts!
The crowd was there on Saturday but opening day of goose season was also.Some high rollers came through and were nicely rolled but it just wasn’t my day.Nor was it Sunday.I heard the show in Richmond on the same weekend faired about the same with slow action by the buyers.However, we did meet a colorful area character, Jack Schmader from Bryn Mawr, PA.
And we did discover what may and certainly does not sell in Easton, Maryland.
These are still troubled times and it does show.The continuing good economic news will steadily push forward and the good old days will once again return.Just keep the chin up and proud American chest out and all will be right with the world.
Cathy, next to an Earth Quake Bomb ... at Aberdeen, Md.
One Americans' View Towards Liberty Island
Recently I passed our Statue of Liberty. She proudly stands upon Bedloe's Island, her torch still beckoning worrisome refugees their first gaze of our symbol of freedom. The sun shone brightly upon new gold leaf and green copper alike. For one brief moment, the dripping dew reflected as a tear from one great peering eye. Liberty was crying.
The morning brought news of French defiance of United States appeals to deaf ears at the not too distant UN Building in New York City. Did this giant Behemoth of Freedom hear echoes of French words of appeasement across the now shimmering water? Were her tears for the people of France, for us in this land of unparalleled liberty or for those still yearning to be free?
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest - tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
For over two hundred years, tired huddled masses of Americans breathed freedom to this land and succeeded and tried further to foster freedom across the world. The French people gifted this wondrous symbol to the citizens of America on July 4, 1876 as "Liberty Enlightening the World". Both countries recognized friendship created in revolution. Americans repaid with blood on French soil during two world wars and more.
Today, two great peoples watch and listen while two personalities reflect vast differences of similar peace loving nations. How has a two hundred and twenty-seven year friendship come to this bickering? Is it envious Frenchmen or arrogant Americans that divide us? Are we truly divided?
In the world scope today, a majority of Americans believe that the people of Iraq should also taste the sweet nectar of freedom. Do not the French?
Perhaps the change in diplomatic tone by our President is so different, so fresh, from past rhetoric, that the world bureaucracy is simply stunned. Bush, 'the cowboy from Texas' is how a good portion of the world envisions our leader. As do some of us. Personally, I've always liked cowboys! Who could dislike John Wayne or the Lone Ranger atop Silver? Remember, the cowboy is simply the end product of our first frontiersmen; the derivative of Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, Davey Crockett, Sam Houston and countless other famous adventurers and nondescript trail blazers. Individuals, who tamed a frontier, conquered a wilderness and brought civilization and prosperity to a wild land can't all be bad.
The practice of a hand shake as a contract, simple words as binding promises and the notion to say what you mean and mean what you say was not then philosophical but meaningful. Look friend or foe in the eye when you speak and speak words that convey true meanings of thought; these are attributes that modern men seem to not understand, hence breed wariness. I believe the shock of encountering a true and good man, a sincere and truthful leader, may be too much for today's cynic. If Bush appears a cowboy it's simply the old American psyche appearing from a dormant past.
In 1941 Japan awoke a sleeping lion. I believe our President today, like Teddy Roosevelt 100 years ago, may be the new American Lion that terrorists awoke. And the docile world knows not how to engage him.
My mind pictures Gary Cooper being called out at high noon. A man thrust into a battle he did not want among people who did not care. The recent thrust was by airliners into concrete and steel and Americans by a people most of the world do not want. The present stage for battle is the Iraqi desert, not the deserted street of a western town. If it were possible, our President would probably call out that foe, mano a mano, and conclude with a personal engagement. But wishful thinking won't solve this current dilemma only one last, last, last chance will.
The French will still argue against force, seeking allies around the United Nations table, convinced that Saddam Hussein will do nothing in the future to upset the balance of regional peace. Unfortunately that philosophy will never see the Iraqi people gather under their torch of freedom.
Lafayette aside, through the years and in evidence today, the French seem to hold a preponderance towards pacifism. Most Americans don't believe appeasement in the face of tyranny is a proper course or that inaction is a wise choice. Therein those differences, I believe, feed the current friction.
Perhaps a new revolution towards liberty is unfolding as all people yearn to be free. I think President George W. Bush envisions this window in time as an opportunity for that process to begin. What better place than in Iraq? Who better to steer the course to freedom than arrogant America?
by David Petronis, 6 March 2003
Easton, Maryland Gun Show Report
by Leonard J. Garigliano
Every year during the Easton Waterfowl Festival the Eastern Shore Arms Collectors sponsor a Gun Show at the Talbot County Civic Center. In the past the Festival was held on the second weekend in November. This year the Show and Festival were held on November 15 and 16 and did not, as usual, conflict with the Pottstown Show. This brought in some dealers who had not previously attended and it seemed the crowd was a little larger than in past years as well. While we call this our "local" show, there are dealers and customers from far beyond the immediate area. It is estimated that more than 20,000 attend the Waterfowl Festival which actually starts earlier in the week. Associated with that Festival is a cataloged auction of decoys and related items held at the Civic Center on Thursday and Friday.
We also call this our "little show" since there are only about one hundred or so tables. But, there is a huge variety of items shown and people are always walking around with items to sell or trade. Antique and modern guns could be found with price ranges from the $200 LeFevre 16 gauge I bought to engraved custom made shotguns and rifles with five figure price tags. In addition, all kinds of accessories, ammunition, accoutrements, and other related collectables were available. These other collectables were not flea market type items as those are prohibited from being shown. The Chesapeake Muzzleloaders had their usual table of information, items for sale, and raffle of a modern muzzle loading rifle. This year the Maryland Fire Marshall approved the sale of powder. A dealer from Annapolis was there with many different shotgun, pistol, and rifle powders for sale.
Tables for the November 2004 show can be obtained from Easton Shore Arms Collectors, PO Box 1836, Easton, MD 21601.
Australia's Gun Control
Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.
Try giving their guns back !!
Bob Zajac Editor-at-Large
A man wakes up one morning to find a bear on his roof. So he looks in the yellow pages and sure enough, there's an ad for "Bear Removers".
"What are you going to do," the homeowner asks?
"I'm going to put this ladder up against the roof, then I'm going to go up there and knock the bear off the roof with this baseball bat. When the bear falls off, the pit bull is trained to grab his testicles and not let go. The bear will then be subdued enough for me to put him in the cage in the back of the van."
Hardee, har, har ...
English Justice for Burglars
This case really happened. On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk, England, killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term. How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire? It started with the Pistols Act of 1903. This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns. Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns. Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the streets shooting everyone he saw. When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead. The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)
Nine years later, at Dunblane, Scotland, Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school. For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns.
The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the few side arms still owned by private citizens. During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released. Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands." All of Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.
When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by the police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply. Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens. How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been registered and licensed. Kind of like cars. Sound familiar?
Wasted Money for Liberty
At the top of your check where it states "to" write United States of America ~ American Liberty Fund. Put in the amount of at least ten dollars and sign it. Include one check for every member of your household and put their name in the area for purpose or memo.
If you have children of any age take each of them to their piggy bank and ask that they withdraw the check amount. If they don't have any money instruct each of them and show them if needed, how to work for and earn that amount.
Or go to the couch and chair and look under the pillows for change. Or go thru the drawers in the kitchen and bedrooms for loose cash. Perhaps you'll need to check the jewelry box for that two-dollar bill you've been saving or the pile of state quarters that have been accumulating. Or even the can of wheat pennies or jar of silver dimes you've had on that shelf for years.
If you still haven't found enough raw cash for ten dollars, check for refundable bottles lying around. Also check the car seats, floor and dashboard. Don't forget to check the ground for the pennies and nickels most people couldn't be bothered to pick up.
If you are old and feeble and on a fixed income, look around your home for an item or two that you can sell to the local antique dealer downtown; just takes a phone call to raise ten dollars ~ and maybe more. Farmers have so much junk lying around they think they have to pay people to take it. However, the iron man still buys iron and copper and aluminum and there is definitely an outlet for old tools, tractors and cars.
If you're still smoking cigarettes, or on drugs or have to have a booze jolt everyday, try for once, to give it up for a day or two and save that ten dollar bill instead of watching it go up in smoke, up your nose or peeing it out into the street. Go to the Post Office with your savings and send in a money order.
If you are affluent, witty, drive a red car, wear a suit and tie daily or work in theater, news or Hollywood, be sure to add one or more zeros to your ten-dollar amount.
Then write a short note to Mr. John Snow, seal it with your check, and address your stamped envelope to the Secretary of the Treasury, Main Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20220.
In your note, be sure to put that you want the money enclosed to be put into a fund held in escrow in the names listed, by the Treasurer for the specific purpose of creating, building, shipping, installing and dedicating a duplicate of our Statue of Liberty to be placed in a permanent location in Baghdad, Iraq.
And upon that statue the inscription to be cut in white marble upon a blue field in crimson red letters this simple phrase: "This Gift of Liberty is From Every Man, Woman and Child in America; Born From Sacrifice, Dedicated With Hope and Given Thru Blood. We Pray You Are Deserving."
By, David Petronis, Mechanicville, NY ~ March 23, 2003