Gibbs Cartridges' 30-06


#1

Where is Gibbs located? I assume the USA but don’t know. Inside are “MFS 30-06” headstamped cartridges. Is someone buying Hungarian brass and loading it here?
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#2

Vlad
There are 2 “Gibbs” that I know of, one is a company in England and the other is a (now deceased) western US gunsmith/wildcatter/reloader named Rocky Gibbs.
I don’t know a lot about the English company, but Rocky is known for his 30-06 based wildcats where he moved to shoulders forward to leave only about 1/4" of neck on the case (his 30 Gibbs falls just short of the 300 Win Mag for case capacity).
Which one made your box, I have no concrete data, but based on the headstamp, I’d have to say it wasn’t Rocky


#3

With those crowns on the box I would guess this is a English company, but I doubt if it is the original Gibb’s that designed cartridges in the 1920’s.


#4

Sorry, the answer is much simpler than that.

Val Forgett, III son of Val Forgett, Jr, founder of Navy Arms in the 1960s set up Gibbs Rifle Company in 1991 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, basically to escape from the ridiculous gun laws in New Jersey where Navy Arms had been founded.
They later bought out “Old Western Scrounger” and seem to have used that name on some of their products as well.

Here is their official history from the company website at http://www.gibbsrifle.com/

"THE GIBBS RIFLE STORY:
Gibbs Rifle Company, Inc., was founded in 1991 by Val Forgett, III, originally to act as a distribution arm for Navy Arms’ curio and relic firearms and to refurbish curio and relic firearms. In 1991, Navy Arms was headquartered in anti-gun New Jersey, who had elected the most anti-gun Governor in the nation at the time. Val, Jr. and Val III had just purchased the rifle division of the famed Parker-Hale of England and, rather than expand operations in New Jersey, decided to take a chance on West Virginia, its people and its culture. Val III moved there immediately after graduating from Clemson University in 1991 and knew instantly the right decision had been made. Gibbs grew to become the bulk distribution point for Navy Arms on its curio and relic firearms and ammunition sales, and also became a distribution and warehousing facility for numerous other firearms and ammunition firms. "

Navy Arms got their start with black powder replicas, and basically created that market from scratch. (See William Edward’s “Civil War Guns” for details.) and also had a side line of modern firearms, mainly surplus stuff, so they have/had numerous contacts around the world which would include both arms and also ammunition.


#5

Thank you John.
So it looks like there are actually 3 “Gibbs” that collectors need to be aware of (and I was mixing the English and WV,USA ones together in my mind)


#6

Interesting one this, I don’t know of a Gibbs Cartridge manufacturer/seller in Britain (except in the context of the .505 but he was the designer I think) although the type face is British. It appears to be Times New Roman and Times New Roman Italic. The Bolder caps are harder but could be Spartan Bold italic. The crowns are Imperial. All pointing to British or Empire.

But .30-06 FMJ is odd, never popular over here to that extent although there was always a small following from the P17. Whether that was enough to describe it as a market for the calibre , Im doubtful, most were converted to 7.62 and I’m not sure that a Hungarian cased round would be good enough to suit the needs of dedicated target shooters, but I am happy to be corrected on that.

I’m wondering if we should be looking to Australia and I wonder if its something DocAV might be able to pick up on


#7

As usual John S. is correct and this box is from the US company. The contents used seem to be any available 30-06 – both military surplus and imported commercial rounds. The boxes that I had (before I came to my senses and stopped collecting 30-06) had mixed US military ball ammunition with headstamps including SL 53 and LC 68 in the same box. Codes inside (on mine) seemed to imply mid 1990s packing. The spelling of “caliber” is a bit of a give-away though how Forgett got away with using a crown on the label I don’t know !