Does collecting commercial ammo make me a weirdo?

I cant be the only one who collects commercial ammo that is being produced by the boatload, right? I find the bear ammo series quite interesting. To each their own in the world of cartridge collecting, I hope?

I think most ammo discussed here was once made by the boatload and if nobody would have cared to preserve some of it we would have nothing to research anymore.
So research starts the moment something leaves the factory (or even before when it comes to experiments etc.).
I guess to the cartridge subject the expression “too late” is much worse then “too early”.

Wierdo? Absolutely not!!

In many ways, collecting military ammo is easier, because often it is better defined and documented.

Doesn’t matter what you collect, the main thing is to enjoy the chase.

I’ve been told I’m weird because I collect ‘bullets’. Why on earth would anyone want to collect those things, they are all the same and they’re dangerous, if a child was to handle a bullet (somehow the cartridge will explode on contact with a childs fingers)

Just don’t let the children handle “spontaneously combustable” bullets, and we will all be fine. :-)


To my mind, ammo collecting provides a direct and tangible connection to the history of politics, sociology, business, engineering, metallurgy, etc., etc. My sister was the sales manager for a large hotel. One weekend, she had every room in the place sold out to a group of tooth pick holder collectors. I’m not sure what tooth pick holders relate to but if they relate to enjoyment of a sort that does no actual harm to anyone else, go get em!

Yes…only military cartridge collectors are normal.

On the bright side, you aren’t paying 20$+ for single cartridges… generally. African game carts not withstanding :)

The following appeared in a gun collector group newsletter. Gun collectors and cartridge collectors are siblings, or at least cousins, so we can understand each other. (Unlike doll collectors, car collectors, or even people who collect toilet paper- yes there are such people!)

Someone Said Gun Collectors are Crazy?
Well, not compared to the people who collect these!

Wagon jacks
Hose nozzles
Ice cream scoops
Soldering irons
Coffee Mills
Coffee Cans
Plumb bobs
Duck calls
Match holders
Fountain pens
Glass telegraph insulators
Fire hydrants (unless you have a dog)
Cigar boxes
Salt and pepper shakers
Pencil sharpeners
Beer tap handles
Toy sewing machines
Wood planes
Bird decoys


Good list…I would add: Barbed Wire and Spark Plugs…

Also, once knew a fellow in Seattle who collected not only cartridges, but antique telephones…

Jonnyc’s post about concrete markers made me think of another thing folks collect…Antique bricks, especially with makers marks.


Walking the streets of Boston in my youth-ish years, I often used to notice small brass inserts in the concrete blocks of the sidewalks. They were the signature/advertising markers for each individual sidewalk contractor. I recall seeing lots of different ones and remember thinking that they would make an interesting collection. I don’t believe the practice exists anymore. Too bad.

Sand, yes beach sand. There is an organized collectors group that collects beach sand. The sand has to be gathered from a / any specific named beach.

Wife had a collection someone gathered years ago & it was all bottled & labeled. She thought gee neat, but what do I do with it. Went online & sold it on e-bay or such. Don’t remember the value but very surprising & she had a number of bidders.

There is also an advertising tin containers group & then we have blasting cap tins.

One of our Canadian members, the late Dennis Wright, was a serious collector of condoms. I thought he was crazy until I learned a bit of their history from Dennis, which included the first known specimens made from a section of sheep intestine. I got brave one day at a country antique store that had “something for everyone” and asked the male owner, trying to keep a straight face, if he had any antique condoms. He didn’t seem the slightest surprised, turned around to a large cabinet, and pulled out a tray of them which he set in front of me. He actually had one Dennis was looking for. Go figure. Apparently, the wrappers are everything, especially the WW II military versions.

That was one bit of cartridge collector history that I knew that I hoped would never see the light of day. Oh well. I’m sure Monica will be pleased to know it’s part of the group’s recorded history now.



Wow, gee George I too have a brick collection, one has a raised “Remington” in script quite like the company logo & the other has “1961” raised on both sides & so reads the same no matter which way it’s displayed.

Just a few More: Beer can collectors (Both full and Empty)
Matchbox and Matchbox Label collectors; and other “Ephemera” like railroad/railway tickets, theatre tickets, theatre programs, “snake oil” flyers, Wine corks ( imprinted), Wine Bottle Labels, Food Labels of any kind (the subclasses are Infinite) Glass and earthernware Bottles as well; Historical Ladies Underwear (New and Used), Sheepshearers clipper blade sets and handles (mechanical), Horseshoes (antique, ie before Autos)
Toilet seats (back to Roman days). Gasoline (Petrol) station Enamelled steel Signs, and the list goes on and on…

Reason: because the collector likes it…because of the Historical connection…because of the technical connection and development, and a host of other reasons. ( Monetary Value included)…

Because the Person is an “Obsessive Compulsive accumulator” (Psychiatric definition)…or just plain “Normal” in a Planet full of “Eccentrics”.

Doc AV ( one time MD & JD) Now just an OC Collector (of Guns and Ammo).

Down Under (yes, we have our fair share here as well.)

Having attended my fair share of rural Minnesota farm auctions over the years, a collecting area that has always fascinated me is old tools and the people that collect them. Many of the old tractors, farm machinery etc had unique tools for specific purposes.
Southern Minnesota has a museum dedicated to this named the Gilfiland Estate south of Redwood Falls, MN.
The old timers that collect these tools are walking encyclopaedia of information and history.
Soon it will be lost.
Bob R.

And how could we forget the CLOTHES-PIN collector that many of us know of???

Don’t forget the banana sticker collector who runs the St Louis cartridge show.

I would be really surprised if any of the cartridge collectors only collect cartridges or never collected other items. A collector mentality is wired into all of us. Cigar bands, stamps, coins, fishing lures, animal traps, decoys, powder cans, primers, advertising, match books, airplane sick sacks, napkins, beer coasters, 22 boxes, pick your poison. I sold my beer openers but still have a lot of logo golf balls. My pockets knives are dispersed, but I still have my first stamp collection and most of my coins. My cartridge collection has migrated over my 50 years of collecting ammo. From 9x19 only to USC Co, to British, to auto pistol case types, to everything but boxes (well only in 9mm and shot concentrators and spreaders, bullets, wads, and maybe I need to count my wood Camp Perry cartridge boxes).

It’s all fun.