Big shot - show


#1

For the 1993 SHOT SHOW my friend Tom Nelson arranged at great expense to assemble the top famous living ordnance designers. According to Tom this was the only time in history that these giants of ordnance were in the same place at the same time.

Tom Nelson is likely the least known most important person in arms and ammo collecting of the century in the U.S. As VP of Interarmco he traveled the world buying the guns and ammo which most of us have in our collections. Later he created the “non-gun” exact model non-firing guns made of soft metal so that they could be sold worldwide to collectors. He sold his business , “Collectors Armoury” to Franklin Mint and then bought it back a few years later when he was not happy with the way it was being run. In addition he established IRONSIDES publishing which has published many of the major ordnance reference during the past 30 years.

His newest " Assault Rifles of the World" is excellent and has a much larger ammo section than previous publications.

He had been friends for decades with all of the men seen in this photo. One of the last trips Uzi took when he was on the decline was a fishing trip with Tom at Tom’s vacation home in Michigan. Uzi told him ,at the time, that the only big money he made in life came from suing people for using his name and patents without his permission.

If you collect any caliber or military ammo you have shells in your drawers which were bought by Tom and imported into the USA.

I met Tom over 30 years ago and have been honored to have been involved with some of his projects.

Every time I saw Tom Nelson I made money.

He is now retired ( well, semi-retired as a man of this scope only retires in death) and does plenty of fishing.

He has turned over most day to day business matters to his son.


#2

Wow! Talk about a “Room Full Of Legends”!!! Extreme history!


#3

Interesting group, and something new to most of us.

When you have the time and inclination, please share some more about each of these folks and some of the projects they have been involved with. A few of us may associate them with one thing or another, but a more complete listing would be most interesting, and perhaps a valuable “ordnance obituary” historical footnote for future collectors and historians.

And, maybe some of the other folks, like Col Jarrett, etc.

And, your own bio is probably worthy of being chronicled, even if contrary to your usual low profile.

Tell us more about “the good old days” and the interesting folks.-- At your convenience, when the mood strikes and the memory flows.

Thanks for sharing.


#4

My fantasy version of what you show, in terms of ammunition innovators would be:

Tom Burczynski - Hydrashok, Starfire, EFMJ, Quik-Shok
Joe Zambone - Magsafe prefrag, Q-load EFMJ, Junkyard Dog, etc…
Paul Kopsch - KTW
Andre van Dyk - Monad, Sentry, Eliminator, Arcane clone, 9mm API, various South African pistol loads
Dean Grennell - various handload specialties
Neal Trickel (Strommen Trickel) - incendiaries, tracers, exploders, other oddities
David Dardick - Trounds
Andre Antoine - Alia & THV


#5

[quote=“DKConfiguration”]My fantasy version of what you show, in terms of ammunition innovators would be:

Tom Burczynski - Hydrashok, Starfire, EFMJ, Quik-Shok
Joe Zambone - Magsafe prefrag, Q-load EFMJ, Junkyard Dog, etc…
Paul Kopsch - KTW
Andre van Dyk - Monad, Sentry, Eliminator, Arcane clone, 9mm API, various South African pistol loads
Dean Grennell - various handload specialties
Neal Trickel (Strommen Trickel) - incendiaries, tracers, exploders, other oddities
David Dardick - Trounds
Andre Antoine - Alia & THV[/quote]

Nice idea but this reunion would have to be held at the cemetery for a couple of these guys.


#6

[quote=“JohnS”]Interesting group, and something new to most of us.

When you have the time and inclination, please share some more about each of these folks and some of the projects they have been involved with. A few of us may associate them with one thing or another, but a more complete listing would be most interesting, and perhaps a valuable “ordnance obituary” historical footnote for future collectors and historians.

And, maybe some of the other folks, like Col Jarrett, etc.

And, your own bio is probably worthy of being chronicled, even if contrary to your usual low profile.

Tell us more about “the good old days” and the interesting folks.-- At your convenience, when the mood strikes and the memory flows.

Thanks for sharing.[/quote]

Thanks for the kind words but I would hate to put the shotshell,rimfire,.22box, sport, match and patent ignition folks to sleep.


#7

Gordon Ingram - world.guns.ru/smg/smg22-e.htm MAC10 etc.
Uzi Gal - world.guns.ru/smg/smg17-e.htm UZI - of course
M. Kalashnikov - AK47 - need I say more?
Gene Stoner - M16 - again - need I say more?
Bill Shepard - Mr. William Shepard, S&T Advisor, HQ USSOCOM
(Science and technology , Headquarters , United States Special Operations Command)

Col. Jarrett invented the foreign science and technology command at Aberdeen PG. based upon his own collection and his museum of ordnance which was located on the Steel Pier , Atlantic City NJ. When WW2 came along his special knowledge was recognized and he was activiated from reserve status. He traveled all over the world recovering captured enemy weapons as well as examples of Allied weapons for study and testing at Aberdeen PG.

After the war he spark plugged the development of the Ordnance Museum and collection at APG. He had special team which covered the various fronts selecting special ordnance items and tagging them for return to the APG. These fellows had high priority and could bump anyone short of a general officer off of transport.

IAA member Phillips Williamson ( recently deceased ) of Edgewater Md and San Antonio Tx. was one of these men on the KANGAROO teams as was old timer Doug Duer ( S&D Bookstore,Indiana Pa.) who many might remember from the hundreds of gun shows which he set up at on the East Coast. I bought Dougs extensive library just before he died 15 or so years ago. I sold Williamsons collection for him 2 years ago. Much went to Bill Woodin.

Jarrett was a GOLDMINE of information and souvenirs. He named much of what we call things today like the KISKA grenade, for example. I bought the original Kiska which was first recovered by our troops from him.

Jarrett recovered a great deal of ordnance at Hillersleben proving grounds ,Germany as well as other sites.

His first big scores were in North Africa where Gerlich squeeze bore AT guns were recovered and brought back to test. I have one of the shells in my office. It was fired by Jarrett at APG .

It goes on and on. He was a GIANT in the history and technology of ordnance and is in the ordnance hall of fame at APG.

Early ICCA member Phil Sharpe was also one of Jarretts men and stationed at APG. They were both still alive when Charlie Yust cme there as museum curator. Charlie was a long time White and Munhall tech. and wrote the first detailed articles about tracer , AP, blank , incendiary ammo etc. for the AMERICAN RIFLEMAN and Gun Digest. He was a boyhood hero of mine. I recovered the copyrights to his articles from the NRA and Gun Digest and along with Steve Fuller had them published as a book. I still have about 100 or so left for sale. It is the BEST 1 volume publication for ID of rifle and MG ammo of WW2 and prior ever printed.

Imagine Charlie Yust , Phil Sharpe and Jarrett all at the APG at the same time. It was ordnance heaven.

Most of their work has been ruined and / or trashed over the years by the following administrations.

Now the museum is being closed !

For anyone who is still awake my short BIO can be seen on EBAY by clicking the “me” on any of my pages : CSAEOD . There are 1000+ listings so not hard to find . Some of it may even be true. I have not read it in many years so can’t say which parts.

Now I am about ready to go to sleep.


#8

Now that is History in a group!! It is an impressive set of pictures! Thanks Vic


#9

This is a 1944 article about Col. Jarrett ;

books.google.com/books?id=0CoDAA … tt&f=false


#10

I’ll be around Las Vegas at the time of 2011 SHOT Show. I never heard of this show, Pete told me about it. All I understand is that it is a show for dealers (which I am not) and it has a pricey admission. Do you think I need to go there in 2011? Will it be possible to see anything like your photos show?


#11

[quote=“DrSchmittCSAEOD”]
Nice idea but this reunion would have to be held at the cemetery for a couple of these guys.[/quote]
Yeah, that’s why it’s a fantasy meeting. Like having a fantasy baseball team with Babe Ruth. Joe Zambone died too young in a motorcycle accident in New Zealand several years ago, and Dr Kopsch almost two years ago now.


#12

VLAD - the first time you go to a SHOT Show it is pretty staggering the amount you see. When it was at the convention center in Las Vegas, if you walked every aisle in the show, you walked about 20 miles. You cannot begin to see the show, even the gun stuff (there is plenty of related stuff not of interest to most people not dealing in it) in one day. Also, it is a dealer’s show only.

For a dealer, the show is not at all expensive of itself - that is, not the registration fee. But three nights in the hotels dueing a prime exhibition when it fills their rooms, meals, cab fares, etc., can run the expense up quite a bit. For a successful dealer, even a small one, the cost is a minor expense and deductable, for the most part. For a non-dealer paying the freight himself, who manages to get a credential to get into the show, it is plenty expensive.

The show was not always in Las Vegas - still occasionally is in Florida - and I have been to them in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, San Francisco (the first show - can you believe they picked San Francisco for the first show? It wasn’t as bad then as it is now, but even then I was shocked. It sure was easy though - we could walk to the show from our store. That was a thrill for me - I was a lot younger, and one of the first people I met at the Show was Uzi Gal, followed almost immediately by Bill Jordon. Both really nice people, and ones who I saw and had nice discussions with at many other SHOT Shows. Las Vegas, though, is far and away the best venue, in my view. At one of the Texas shows, I forget now whether it was Dallas or Houston, the arrangement of the hall(s) was so bad that you could get lost just trying to find a men’s room. Everyone was complaining about the layout.

I remember the show that started this thread. I got to meet Kalashnikov, albeit just for a coule of minutes. Quite a thrill. I didn’t get to meet Stoner, but would have liked to. You could get your picture taken with Kalashnikov, but the line was hours long and I was just too busy, which I regret. However, I took seriously that I was there on my boss’ time and money, not mine, and there was plenty of work to be done when you are the only guy from your business who is there.

Remember, though, this is a dealer show. You cannot just walk up to the door, pay a fee, and get in unless you have dealer credentials. Most people pre-register.

John Moss


#13

Is there a way for a non-dealer to get inside, like a friend of a dealer or something?


#14

Vlad - you would have to find a dealer who would entrust you with copies of his dealer’s licenses and let you act as a representative of his business. My friend has a shop only with he and his wife running it, and he cannot normally get away to the show, so I go, when I can, and being retired from the business, act as his agent. I still know lots of the people that man the booths, but not so many as time goes on of course. It is a good deal for both of us. I take care of his requests but still have plenty of time for my own interests at the show. I didn’t go last year, though, as he had no business to attend to there, and frankly, I am getting old for all that walking on cement floors. Also, many of the new guns coming out don’t interest me much at all, since they display nothing new in features. Most of the handguns seem to be clones of the SIG-Sauer or the Glock to the extent that I often wonder if there is such a thing as a patent any more, and most of the new things in ammo are sporting rifle calibers and loads these days, which are out of my field. Very little new in pistol coming out, except that everyone has found it necessary to have a jillion different loads in 9 mm and some other popular calibers.

As I said, for someone who has never been, it is a great and interesting show. After the you’ve been to ten or more of them, they can become simply a lot of work and for an individual, a lot of expense.

John Moss

John Moss


#15

Gun bloggers can now get media credentials.


#16

I think that John Moss can give you a letter as an IAA Media representative. Bill Woodin often goes and other IAA folks who like to work the front lines.

When Buttweiler was in charge I usually went to the AUSA show in DC as IAA MEDIA but have not done that for years. Don’t need it.

Ask John about that. You can report back on all the latest ammo.


#17

I remember the show that started this thread. I got to meet Kalashnikov, albeit just for a coule of minutes. Quite a thrill. I didn’t get to meet Stoner, but would have liked to. You could get your picture taken with Kalashnikov, but the line was hours long and I was just too busy, which I regret- John Moss.

Imagine the line if you could get into the photo which I started with. Tom spent mucho to line up this group.


#18

Vlad - I am not anything in IAA that you aren’t - just a member. I have no official position or standing in the organization. I was Secretary for ten years, but gave that up due to increasing family obligations with care of family members, among other reasons.

You would need to get in touch with Chris Punnett, I would think, since the only way anyone could get a credential from the SHOT guys thru IAA would be a press credential. I got that once, and they required I not only submit a letter from IAA, but also samples of articles I had written for the Journal. That was not IAA’s requirement to give me the letter, but rather the SHOT Show’s requirement.

I did that the first year I was retired, but never again, as with that credential, none of the companies represented there, unless I knew them because of my many trips to SHOT for our store, wanted to talk to me at all, and some wouldn’t even give me a catalog, because they had never heard of IAA. They were only interested in the gun writers from the popular gun press where 90 percent of the time even a mediocre product gets glowing reports of how great it is.

Remember, the poeple who show all those items we would love to see are there only to introduce their products to dealers, and if they sense there is no sale to be made, it is “see you later.” I can’t blame them, as they spend a lot of money to set up booths at the SHOT Show.
It is cheap for the dealer to go to see the show, but it is not cheap for a manufacturer to participate in it, considering all expenses involved - thousands of dollars for the average dealer, and probably tens of thousands for groups like Winchester-Olin, Remington, Browning, ATK (CCI, Speer, etc.).

John Moss


#19

Didn’t know that you gave up the post. No interest in IAA politics. Last political letter I got was from Lew as president telling me I had to ask you for a letter.

Here is the worst part of your post ;
"…none of the companies represented there, unless I knew them because of my many trips to SHOT for our store, wanted to talk to me at all, and some wouldn’t even give me a catalog, because they had never heard of IAA".

This is really a shame. Buttweiler and I tried for years to get some PROMOTION going at a level where these fellows would know but always got more “friendly fire” from the cigar box boys than support.

We both gave up. He took a powder , as you know . I am still a lifer but have given up expecting anything more from the IAA than a hobby “CLUB” . The JOURNAL is great and this FORUM is a treat BUT we are all talking to each other. Growth ? As you said “… they never heard of the IAA”.


#20

Nothing at all to do with whether or not IAA was able to get their message across. You must remember that Most of the people in the gun industry are not collectors or even real students of small arms and ammunition, and that my own interests in arms and ammunition go far beyond cartridge collecting. Those at the SHOT Shows I have attended that know ammunition are well aware of the IAA and the work it does. I did not then, nor do I now, expect some Italian maker of fine custom shotguns, or some large European maker of sporting arms to know who IAA was.

My point in mentioning this was simply to reinforce the point that they are there to sell, not to talk to collectors. Some are more cordial than others in discussing their product at a collector’s level, simply because they have maintained the enthusiasm that probably led them to their profession, but there are those who are simply professional executives that would be much more at home talking about Golf as a hobby than about firearms.

At Winchester’s both one time, I asked a technical question about ammunition from a very nice gentlemen who, after hemming and hawing, admitted to me that he worked in the accountring department, did not even own a gun nor did he have any interest in them, and that he didn’t really know why he “had to come” to the SHOT show. Well, orf course he “had to come” to it because they needed X-number of people to manage their impressive and large booth, and he could be spare at the factory for the few days of the show.

Under Lew Curtis and the others on the Board during most of my tenure as a Board Member did, in my estimation, a good job of promoting IAA. The Journal is the best its ever been, in format, size and content, and we have a website that we never had years ago. This is not a criticism of those days, but simply a sign that the Association, perhaps from its inception and despite ups and downs sometimes of its own making and sometimes not, has continue to mature and grow, the natural order of an association that is reasonably well run on an all-volunteer basis.

Can it be better - almost certainly. My own belief is that is has continued to improve past my involvement in club matters (which may have been inevitable), so this represents just a member’s opinion.

Just thought I should clarify my statements here as I did not intend to denigrate either the IAA or the firearms industry as a whole. Ours is a hobby - the industry is a business. The two are not always the same.

John Moss