Bill Woodin's collection-lab (photos illustrate the "mass")

two different people told me the cartridges of bill woodin’s collection started to be sold.
Is it right ?

I am currently (Saturday 16th) in the Woodin Lab doing inventory and valuation and will stay for a couple of weeks. Lew Curtis will join me Monday to help finish the job. Other people are also helping with identification and valuation, including Chip Orr, Norm Hower, etc. I’ve been here since Thursday. As far as I know nothing has been sold, so your rumors are wrong. The plan is to keep the collection intact and sell it to a buyer who will keep it intact and make it available to collectors, researchers, etc. like Bill did. A potential buyer has been identified. When the sale closes, I’ll let you know.

Bill’s duplicates will be sold later but again, as far as I know none have been sold yet. It’s a huge collection and is just taking a long time to document things and get it ready to sell.


Hello Mel !
the rumor is not wrong because you say : “The plan is to keep the collection intact and sell it to a buyer”
and I said : “the bill woodin’s collection started to be sold”
You justr add : “who will keep it intact and make it available to collectors”

Pease tel us when the the duplicates are ready to be sold


Jean Pierre - Mel was correct. He said a “Potential” buyer. That indicates the sale is not a done deed yet. Let’s not rush things. It is a huge task, and those of us that know Bill’s wish was the collection be kept together have not enough words of praise for the very few people who are giving their time and efforts to it.

John Moss

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I have total trust in the wisdom of the plan described by Mel and the total integrity of everyone involved in this project. I am confident that the final outcome will essentially be the continuation of the Woodin Lab collection as a valuable reference and research asset available to the same sort of people who have used it in the past. Likely in a different physical location, and lacking rattlesnakes, etc, but unquestionably the finest collection of military and police ammunition under 37mmin the world.

No need for anyone to second guess the process Mel has put in place, or the respected team of others assisting in the sorting and culling of DUPLICATES, not sneaking unique specimens out for private disposition.

I am sure Mel will keep us advised and we will all be very happy and excited if the project is completed as Mel envisions it.

The amount of work involved in planning and executing this project, balancing the interests of the heirs, the collecting community, the Woodin legacy, future stability, and the interests of the potential buyer is extremely complex. It appears that Mel is trusted by all the stakeholders in this process.

I look forward to the final results. We all owe him, and the other players in this project a huge thanks for doing what must be done to preserve the legacy of the Woodin Lab. I think Bill Woodin would heartily approve what is being done.


Very nice project. Some special thanks to all the people who give a lot of their time to preserve Bill’s collection!!

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Would be fantastic if was being photographed - what a resource that would be, especially for those of us unable to see it in person. However, I appreciate the enormity of such a task.


Mayhem; Actually, much if not most of the collection has been and is being photographed, especially the cartridge display boards, not only by me and others earlier but by Chip Orr, who is a professional-level photographer whose skills are way beyond mine. Chip is doing a wonderful job producing photos that will appear in the IAA Journal (if Dwight approves) and elsewhere. In fact, Chip has already photographed almost every drawer of rounds in the collection. The challenge is that there’s just so much.


Thanks for the update Mel. I understand it is a large collection but I don’t know how large. Are you able to give an actual (or estimate) count of the main collection?

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Bill once told me over 250,000 rounds and over 8000 different case types.

Remember these are only military & police with the exception of some which were match or some sporting case types that had a military/ police link / adoption, like the .30 WCF

All are post 1885, & in 7.9 he collected only the lowest and the highest lot number in ball rounds per factory per year, not every lot number.

Also the collection was limited to 30mm? or under I believe as he sold the 37’s some time ago.

So massive doesn’t even begin to describe the scope of the collection

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That would be something special to see that sort of collection in photographic splendour, one hell of a task, congratulations for even attempting it.

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Any chance you might take some video of the collection to give members an idea of the task you have?

I would not recommend a video. Until the process is finished and done with, publication of such would have security issues, in my opinion.

John Moss

I did not mean anything detailed, just a minute or so, pan around, show how massive it is? Just an, “Oh, WOW!” sort of infomercial-type thing…

Jack, some bits are here:

And there was an article in a gun magazine which I can not find but was also subject here in the forum.
Maybe someone can help?

…missing Bill!

The Bill Woodin article was in Small Arms Review. They have a link on their website.

Takapu can you link it here?

Brian, thanks! This is it!

Just saw Mr. McLean at the barber shop last Friday.

A good article.