When I left the regular Army in late 1959, one of the hobbies I took up was collecting semi-automatic pistols. As part of this collection, I decided to try to find one cartridge of the correct country and era for each pistol that I acquired. I soon recognized that there were lots of variations in headstamps, loading and box labels, so I simply started collecting all auto pistol cartridges and boxes, whether I had pistols in that caliber which were appropriate to any given specimen, or not. My first recognition that I was not the only person demented enough to collect ammunition rather than shoot it was the monthly article on cartridge collecting in “Gun Report Magazine.” I submitted a question on German material analysis codes on headstamps and Lew Curtis and Dick Manos, now gone from our ranks, answered. That was the beginning of 40+ years of corresponding on the subject. In 1972, I sold my auto pistol collection but kept the cartridges. Today, I still follow that original specialty, and once again collect auto pistols, but limited to 9 x 18mm caliber.
On a personal note, I have an AA Degree with a history major and English minor, am now 69 years old, married for 45 years and have a son who is a twenty-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, a lovely daughter-in-law and two wonderful grandchildren, a boy 11 years old
(Kevin) and a girl 18 years old (Lindsey Nicole). After some initial jobs, I ended up working in, and then managing, a large and successful gun shop in downtown San Francisco, California, near where I live, and stayed there 36 years, until the store closed and I retired at age 60 -1/2. When I had my first auto pistol collection, I wrote several articles for Shooting Times Magazine, and one for Gun Digest. From then on, everything I have written has been primarily on ammunition, and with the exception of my book on the 9 x 23mm family of cartridges, only for various ammunition-related Associations. I am currently writing a book on Makarov pistols, which will probably be published only on disc…
I am a Life Member and former ten-year Secretary of IAA, Inc., a Benefactor Member of the National Rifle Association, a Charter Member of the California Cartridge Collector’s Association, and a life member or annual member of various other firearms and ammunition-related associations, as well as a Charter Associate Member of the California Sheriff’s Association.
This picture was taken just hours before its posting, December 3rd, 2008, so is as current as it gets. Unfortunately, what you see is what you get.
John L. Moss
Broadmoor Village, California