E.L. "Gene" Scranton's passing Jan 2, 2013

We received word today that the world renowned cartridge illustrator, Gene Scranton, passed away yesterday, Jan 2, 2013, at his home in Tucson, Arizona.

It would be an understatement to say the 2 volumes (and eagerly awaited Volume 3) “A History of Modern U.S. Small Arms Ammunition” by F. W. Hackley, W.H. Woodin, and E.L. “Gene” Scranton are the iconic US military small arms cartridge reference, bar none. I would add Gene’s “Color Tip” reference work as a cornerstone to my fascination with the color markings of small arms rounds (how I have wished it was continually updated)(what a daunting task to consider!)

Many were graced with Gene’s congenial presence at SLICS 2012. I will, as many, many folks will, miss his quiet unassuming way that a treasure trove of knowledge was cloaked within.

Stay tuned for a fitting tribute in the IAA Journal

A lousy start to the 2013 year!

Pepper Burruss
IAA President

I was fortunate enough to have a dinner outing with Gene once while in Tucson a couple years back. He was great company, a great collector, illustrator, and archivist of cartridge data. Always generous with information, knowledge and cartridges, it’s sad to see him go.

Indeed, a sad way to start off the new year.

Gene is best known for his illustrations and his work on color tips but he had interests far beyond those two. He was also an avid Wildcat Cartridge collector. When I decided to move away from that specialty it was Gene who got nearly 1000 of my older wildcats. He knew more about some of them than I did and often called me to correct my cataloging. His tiny apartment was a “junk” collectors delight. He collected everything from bottles to pin-up posters. He seemed to know where everything was but I think even he had no idea what forgotten treasure was buried under the stacks of papers, magazines, and boxes. I often went to his place with the intention of digging through the piles, but usually ended up just sitting and talking for hours about everything except cartridges.

A quiet, unassuming gentleman in every way, he’ll be missed.


Remembrances will flow

Dinner w/ Gene SLICS ?..was an event (near religious) to join him if it was at one of h1s favorite rib joints ?

The bones were near ready for a museum they were so clean !!!

PS…you had best not be in a rush either !!!

We owe him a debt of gratitude far beyond anything we can ever express. And, to his co-authors as well, since their books were a team effort, but he made major contributions to our knowledge independent of the well known books.

He will be missed.

A true gentleman, always a pleasure to catch up with him. I was sorry when he move from PA, but always enjoyed our greetings at SLICS.
Gene, you will be missed.

Another great loss for the cartridge fraternity. I knew Gene pretty well and even had the honor of his company at my home on a couple of occasions. He was a fascinating man, a talented draftsman full of knowledge about anything upon which he set his mind to learn about. He had a sharp sense of humor, and along with it, did not suffer fools. It was especially great to see him with Bill Woodin and Frank Hackley - kind of the three musketeers, and each man different from the other in so many ways, and yet such great friends. My own life, and that of countless others, was certainly enrichened by our acquaintance with Gene. He will be sorely missed.

He will be missed.

A picture I took a few years ago at St. Louis.

the “three musketeers” were at SLICS several years ago…many of us took photos (of them)…I wished one of “us” (any one?) could find (and post) a copy of one.
(I was typing while krag56 was doing just that) !!!

ponder this

if we had the IAA Hall of Fame for the Consummate Gentleman Collector

Gene would be a first ballot shoo in

(I could nominate several others that are in my IAA mentoring HOF too)

'it’s healing to ramble a bit

not Gene’s last SLICS (2012)…but one from the 2011 files of SLICS “official” photog…Jerry Janik


(the trademark black briefcase…and plastic cartridge case boxes!)

Sure, pretty bad news… I had been in touch with Gene (thanks to Bill Woodin), for years… Could’nt think this could happen that way. A very fine gent…

If any of you could extend my deep condolences to his family… I was was not able to do it before, due to informatic problems (as usual), and the letter I sent him in december was turned back from the hospital, for I dunno know any reason…

R.I.P., dear Gene, we are very sorry…


For those of you who may be wondering, and do not know that I am editing Hackley, Woodin, and Scranton’s History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Volume III, I’ll add to the conversation by saying that I already have 100% of Gene’s drawings for Vol. III in hand … all 838 of them. When I agreed to edit Vol. III, Gene was prompt in sending these to me, perhaps because he understood his health issues and their possible impact on the book. The drawings had been completed for some time.

As I work with the ink on parchment paper drawings, I feel sort of like I’m handling the Dead Sea Scrolls of cartridge illustrations. And I can guarantee you that I treat them accordingly.


Mel - there is no better person to handle this proof reading and editing of Volume III, and Gene’s work, than you. Thank you for taking it on.

I sincerely hope that somewhere, there is an archive of all of Gene’s original drawings for the work he did on his own stuff, stuff for the Lab, and for other authors. It would be a shame if there is not.

Was always a pleasure to see Gene at our CA shows. He will be missed. Gene was a treasure trove of knowledge. Was interesting to see as someone describes them the three musketeers working on common cartridge information. Went back over my picture albums of the 36 years of WSCCA shows and was shocked at the number of collectors the hobby has lost.

[color=#0000FF]In my name and our association I join in your displeasure
If any of you could extend deep condolences to his family ours …
Gene thank you for your labors


As a somewhat novice collector I reciently came to purchase The great landmark works of our field HISTORY OF MODERN U. S. MILITARY SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION vol 1 & 2 by F. W. HACKLEY, W.H. WOODIN and E. L. SCRANTON. I was very much saddened to learn of Gene’s passing. and a notice that F. W. Hackley was having serious health issues came a few weeks later. I was encouraged that Mel announced that he had all Gene’s wonderful drawings for Vol. 3. I am wondering if Volume 3 is due in the near future?