I got this at a garage sale, thought it might start a nice ammo topic.
Here’s a belt buckle for you:
It’s a 4-barreled .22cal buckle gun with spring loaded cover. Supposedly a few were made during war time, but I’ve heard other accounts claiming that these were post-war curiosities made to look like top-secret SS type stuff. I’m not sure.
The rest of the info and pics on this particular buckle is here:
I don’t know a single cartridge collector that doesn’t have some “souvenirs” like that belt buckle (I am NOT talking about the one with the Reichsadler on it) kicking around. What do they call things like that - ancillary items? Guys who collect NATO might have a H&K ball-point pen made up of two NATO cases, or a guy who likes Winchester ammo might have a Brassard from that company. Having worked in the industry for 36 years, I have two dresser drawers full of things like that buckle, all to do with firearms and ammunition in one way or another, and my criteria for that “collection” was they had to be free. If I had bought everything, I could have had a house full of it. These days, you go to a trade show, and the “freebies” are in short supply, at least at shows like the “SHOT” show. It used to be, back in the NSGA shows at McCormick Place in Chicago, and even the first SHOT shows, that all the major companies, and many minor ones had brassards, belt buckles, lapel pins and other things like that free for the asking. Not these days. Kind of took the fun out of the trade shows and made them mostly work. Nowadays, some of the ammo companies with literally hundreds of dummy rounds on display - boxes full - get absolutely nasty and condescending if you ask them for one! To me that’s silly, because in the overall cost of doing business and promoting your business, the expense of those items is a pimple on an elephant’s butt. At our store, we used to give away, to anyone who asked, the lovely Remington calenders. At the end, they cost us about three or four dollars apiece, but we still gave away one thousand every Xmas, and we were just one retail gun shop. We also had things like drinking glasses with our names on it, baseball caps once, and the like, we gave to friends of store - your regular customers, based on how nice they were to serve, NEVER on how much they spent or didn’t spend. I don’t even have one each of every promotional free item we had like that, because sometimes if we were out and a really good “friend of the store” would be “to slow on the draw” to having got one, I brought him mine from home, as did some others at the store. Customers, whether they are dealer-customers of jobbers and factories, or retail-customers of a store, appreciate little things like that. While not always cheap, they never amounted to an major expense even for small potatoes (compared to manufacturing companies) like us.
Not knocking it. Those are the little “extras” that spruce up your hobby room. It doesn’t matter what you collect, there are always items like that to add interest to your den.
And, I’ve found just recently that those knik-knaks and gizmos are worth big bucks. A lot more than the cartridges in my collection. Back when I was into pistol shooting I did most of the pistol-smithing for other shooters in the club. In those days when you bought a Smith & Wesson or Colt revolver it came in a nice box along with a screwdriver and cleaning rod. The more expensive pistols came with a belt buckle. The first thing you did was throw those two things away. The screw driver was small and couldn’t be depended on to turn a really tight screw without bending. The cleaning rods were generally OK but most shooters had their own cleaning kit and didn’t need another rod or brush. We had a box at the range where they could toss those things for other shooters to rummage through and take what they needed. Anyway, long story short, I accumulated dozens of those screwdrivers and rods over the years. A couple of months ago I was going thru my junk boxes and decided to sell some of that stuff. I advertised 4 of the screw drivers on a Smith & Wesson site for $20. I immediately started getting emails telling me I was damn fool. I was told they were worth 10 times that amount. I immediately pulled the ad and re-advertised them as OBO. Would you believe I got $200 for them!!! Since then I have sold about 10 more plus about a dozen of the cleaning rods. All for big bucks. I have also sold screws, springs, sling swivels, old pistol grips, sights - and, yes, belt buckles - all kinds of junk that I was going to take to the dump. I would be embarrased to tell you how much moolah I’ve deposited in the checking account this past summer. And I’m not even close to the bottom of the barrel yet.
I never realized that the younger generation craved these sorts of things. OTOH, I cannot sell a book. It seems that youngsters are no longer interested in books. Everything they want to know they look on the Internet. Times they are a-changing.
Ray, are you talking about the grooved silver-color aluminum handled scredrivers? Lord, I’ve probably given away 75 of those over the years. I still have about a half dozen of them in a box. I never kept any of the cleaning rods. I know the S&W collectors want these to replace lost ones for mint guns in boxes - even the modern blue boxes. I used to still have a couple of the older S&W screwdrivers with black very “square” checkered handles. Don’t know if I have any of those left or not. I have hundreds of Brassards, but they don’t seem to sell well at all. I took a big box of extras to a show and couldn’t even get a buck apiece for them. Most of them cot more than that fifteen years ago. I wonder if there are any real dealers in that stuff - I might sell all of it that I have at wholesale, if they would take it all.
Except for my few Makarov parts, all of my many SAA Colt parts, and a few miscellaneous parts for the M1, M1 Carbine, and .45, I gave away all my spares a few years ago. Guerss I should have kept them or sold them. Too much like being back at work though. I like my retirement!
I saw a discussion about the supposed SS belt buckle guns on gunboards a while ago. Apparently they were made after the war and sold as being original. I suppose you would have to register one of those with the BATF in the same way that you do with pen guns and similar items.