Ray - where do I get your book on the subject? I would like to read it.
I was not aware of a second rendering by Fox et al., basically, from what it sounds, an update of the book I quoted. Obviously, the analysis of artifacts found continued on after the first book was published. I will try to find a copy for my library. Regardless of personal feelings, and the shortcomings of the “professionals,” the methodology described in the book was sound forensic analysis. However, it is always a shame when the advice and consul of knowledgeable people is ignored, much more so when it is scorned. Of course, this is an ongoing problem, I suppose in every field, but dramatically in the field of arms and ammunition.
I am a guy of average intelligence and limited business experience, yet I predicted almost every commercial failure of various guns put out on the market that didn’t make it. The same with some calibers (I missed it on .357 SIG, which has done better than I expected). Yet on many visits of various gun company executives to our store, it was obvious they only wanted to talk marketing, and were not interested in listening to anything, even the suggestions of those that were ultimately selling their product. The attitude was always “I am the boss (never mind that is usually some professional CEO who doesn’t know squat about the product his company is making) and your opinion is irrelevant.” Lest one think that I am touting my own horn, I mention that virtually all of my colleagues in the retail gun industry - they guys selling the product to the consumer - made the same predictions. The gun writers thought most of these products were the cat’s meow, of course. Gave them something to fill up the pages with.
I know for a fact that a segment of the popular gun press looks down on cartridge collectors, saying we don’t know anything about ammunition. I suppose they are primarily thinking of its actual use and performance, forgetting that most of us spent our lives not only sutudying the subject, but shooting as well. Of course, I find the popular gun press in America, especially, to be a bit of a joke. One can only read so many “what I did on my summer shooting adventure” articles. The ammunition industry has a big distaste for collectors, but that is, I think, fueled by the fact that we dig too deep and find and give information that they don’t want published, for reasons I usually find childish (unless we are speaking of military items that are classified by the military), but sometimes ARE valid. Of course, that is the mission of the historian, to dig out the facts and make them available to those who want to know. The name of ICCA was changed to IAA partially in recognition of the image problem connected with collectors, an image that is, for the most part, unjust.
Regardless of the pros and cons of the Custer battlefield book cited, I find it is a valuable reference for those of us that can’t find other published articles and books on the same subject - this is the only one I have ever seen in either a book store or an ad. Can’t buy what you don’t know exists. Another marketing problem.