Cartridge collecting is not dead yet


#1

Guy Hildebrand wrote:
. . .The concern that there are no decent cartridges left to find is unfounded. I think the internet has been responsible for a lot of great stuff coming out of closets, attics and garages all over the world . . . I don’t think its time to give up the search for good cartridges just yet. . .

A great observation. I have been thinking about starting a thread on that very subject.

In my own dark little world of US Experimentals and Competition cartridges I have recently found several instances where the the old standby sources of information have been proven to be wrong. This has led to some great cartridges that weren’t supposed to exist.

We owe the collectors of the past a great deal of gratitude for the sharing of their knowledge and collections and so it’s not easy to say that, “Hey, Joe Smith was wrong!” And there’s no doubt in my military mind that the next generation of collectors will probably say, “Hey Ray Meketa was wrong!” (Many more will say, “Who the hell was Ray Meketa?”)

The Internet is a great resource that cuts both ways. And both are for the good, IMHO.

There is still some good stuff out there if you’ll just look.

Ray


#2

(Many more will say, “Who the hell was Ray Meketa?”)

Maybe so, but we’ll NEVER forget Mary Lou! At least I won’t.
SEARED into my memory.

Rick


#3

I will never surrender!!! Would it not be great to be given a free pass to one of those military salt mines were all the old stuff is stored!

Steve


#4

As someone who has just jumped into this hobby last week (literally!), I am quite sure that the good stuff is not all gone. First of all, it is impossible that the good stuff has all even been found. On top of that, many of the cartridges that are currently in a collection will eventually be available for sale again (I’ll let you ponder why as I browse the pine boxes in my size).

The biggest fear I have is someone finding that crusty old ammo Gramps saved from the war, or had left over from hunting, and tossing it as unsightly and worthless. Ouch.


#5

Rich–You are right about people throwing away old ammo. I recently was talking to a new neighbor who just moved in about 2 weeks ago. I mentioned that I collected cartridges and asked if they did any shooting. They said “No, but they wished they had known about collectors like me a month ago.” It seems that his Grandfather had been a gunsmith and when he died 20 years ago, all the contents of his gun shop was put into storage. As they were getting ready to move to my town, they tried to sell the stuff to a current gun shop. That dealer only wanted the guns and parts. He had no use for all that “OLD” ammo from the 1920’s and 1930’s. They had about 300 boxes of stuff. They tried to get the local police to pick it up but they said they would not handle that quantity. They asked what they should do with it and was told to take it out in the middle of Lake Erie (which was 10 miles away) and throw it in!!! At this point, I had to go back home because it isn’t good to have a new neighbor see a 62 year old man cry. I can only wonder how many Sharps, etc. there was in that horde.


#6

Ron, whats the depth in the middle of Lake Erie?


#7

I was wondering that as well so I looked it up. It has an average depth of 62 feet (19m), and a maximum depth of 210 feet (64m). So it would be diveable. However, its surface area is 9940 sq. miles., so finding the sport where it went in could be a problem.

Would there be any underwater currents in a lake that size that could have covered it in silt or carried it away? Also, when an object is thrown into deep enough water, it won’t sink straight down, so the ammo could be spread over a few hundred sq. m at the very least. Obviously the boxes would now be ruined, but after 1 month the rounds would probaably still be alright.


#8

Jaco

No diving Jaco,it is to long driving to lake Erie…from the Netherlands

best regards
gyrojet


#9

I was at a cartridge meeting here in New Zealand, this subject came up, in the end we are only curators of our hobby. NO OFFENCE INTENDED, but when we fall off our cartridge perch and go into cartridge heaven, those collections maybe dispersed among other collectors. Cheers


#10

Throughout the years there have been many occasions where I was enlisted to help a neighbor or some other folks get ammunition out of their hands. Many wanted nothing to do with it after a husband or father had passed or it was found durring cleanups of barns, garages, etc. Usually common stuff, but some nice surprises have come that way. The days of the old gunshop with a bunch of ancient ammo on a dusty back shelf are mostly gone.

We all just rent space here and at some point the lease is up. I can picture the listing my wife will place in the Journal or on the Forum some day: “Collection of dirty old ammunition for guns he didn’t even have. Available to the highest offer or will trade for new pair of nice shoes.”

I just ask that you all will be tactful when you ask what size she wears…

Dave


#11

Well I plan to take my collection with me. So you guys stay away from my widow!

ray


#12

Not completely gone yet.

Some months ago,I visited a gunshop about 20 Km from where I live,since they posted an advertisement on a gun magazine about “collectible ammo”

I was astonished to see a bunch of old DWM and some Kynoch boxes still sealed into the ammo facility

There must still be a lot of these kind of places around


#13

There is the story of two old cartridge collecting Buddies who had been swapping cartridges and going to shows togeather for years.

One of them fell ill and was in the hospital, his buddy went in to see him realising full well it would probably be for the last time. When he got in there he found his old pal greatly troubled. Gently he asked what was wrong.

“Bill” said his friend in the bed “I’m really worried, you gotta promise me that after I’m gone you won’t let my wife sell my cartridges for what I told her I paid for them”


#14

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Well I plan to take my collection with me. So you guys stay away from my widow!

ray[/quote]

That won’t work Ray…we’ll just go dig them up. :)


#15

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]In my own dark little world of US Experimentals and Competition cartridges I have recently found several instances where the the old standby sources of information have been proven to be wrong. This has led to some great cartridges that weren’t supposed to exist.

We owe the collectors of the past a great deal of gratitude for the sharing of their knowledge and collections and so it’s not easy to say that, “Hey, Joe Smith was wrong!” And there’s no doubt in my military mind that the next generation of collectors will probably say, “Hey Ray Meketa was wrong!” (Many more will say, “Who the hell was Ray Meketa?”)
[/quote]

I know that feeling. I now have some of the same source material used in certain “definitive” books, and have found errors of interpretation and ommission. I also have the benefit of now having access to source material that simply wasn’t available to the authors of those books when they were writing them. The thing that really grabs my attention is when folks miss connections between related events and players.


#16

Hello,
I’m new to this forum and new to cartridge collecting… but my late father was an avid collector since before I was born (1960) and kept it going until probably about the mid 1980’s. He belonged to the Washington Arms Collectors and took me to more shows than I can remember. He passed in 2005 and his collection sat pretty much undisturbed until recently. So I’m looking to liquidate his collection and thinking that a gun show would be a good venue. I plunked down $80.00 for 2 tables for 2 days, and laid out all of these old boxes of cartridges in a couple of borrowed display cases (I kept the loose stuff separate in boxes). I don’t know what anything is worth so I put in a sign “entertaining offers”. One man came up and wanted to pay $100 for 8 cartridges. Seemed like a good price to me. I’m not even sure what he bought. My father had lists of cartridges (no prices) kept in various places, mostly in the cigar boxes in which cartridges are stored, and if someone came up looking for a specific cartridge “40-82”, I’d have my son dig around for it in the box. Sold a few at $5.00 a round… Then I found this web site and a few others advertising cartridges for sale. Will have to re-think this whole endeavor! Glad I didn’t part with the .30 Newtons.
I see this is going to be a good winter project.