Old Western Scrounger


What year did this company move from California to Martinsburg, WV?


Hi Vlad,

Here is a list of the different addresses and their time frame:

Old Western Scrounger, Inc.

  • El Cerrito, CA: 1976-1984
  • Montague, CA: 1985-2001
  • Yreka, CA: 2001-2003
  • Carson City, NV: 2003-2005

Old Western Scrounger, LLC

  • Martinsburg, WV: 2005-2017




I assume that most of the animated-style color print labels happened during the Montague - Yreka run from 1985 to 2003 (and mostly then in the late 90’s)? Most of that box style that I have seen have said Montague in the lower corner anyway. I have a few of them and was wondering if anyone has catalogued them, or collects them? Some of the labels are kind of goofy, and all seem collectible if you can find them in excellent condition.

I particularly like the .30 Mauser and .32 French Long boxes:

The 7.92x33 OWS box actually had a big swastika on it for the Montague boxes anyway, for at least part of the production run. It wasn’t very popular in distribution (due to lack of guns in the U.S. at the time) or appearance (for obvious reasons).


DK - my friend Dave Cumberland, who started in the Bay Area (El Cerrito)
with the “Old West Gun Room,” now owned by a former employee
of both the store I worked at and the OWGR when Dave owned it,
was anything but politically correct! :-)

To answer the collection, while I did not try to get every little variation
due to cost, I did and do collect these OWS Inc. boxes if in auto pistol
calibers. They are fun, for sure.

John Moss


Matt, I don’t know when they were introduced, but their 1995 catalog illustrates 36 different boxes. They also exist with the Carson City address, but I have very few pictures of them, even though their 2005 catalog illustrates 76 different models!

It’s worth mentioning that their 7.63 mm Mauser load is interesting because the bullet used was a special run made for them by Hornady, that back then was not available from any other source. The latter also made for them a 86 gr. FMJ bullet for this caliber and 93 gr. FMJ and SP for the 7.65 mm Para.




I hear that the 1993 catalog did not show any images of their boxed ammo like this. There was a listing for an OWS 93 catalog on Ebay and the seller let me know it had no ammo boxes by OWS shown in it. 76 types is impressive, they certainly did some obscure calibers for a time.


Here is a fine example of a OWS ad from 1990…


Is that a coyote on Vlad’s .348 Wnchester box? That calibre seems overkill for hunting coyotes.

I am basing this opinion on some information online that recommended calibres such as .223 Remington and .243 Winchester. We don’t have coyotes here in the UK.


Looks like a Coyote to me. We have one occasionally seen,
and heard, in our neighborhood. Never thought we would ever
have one this far up the San Francisco peninsula.

Overkill - you bet!

John M.


To answer the question on the box-cover image relation to the caliber as far as .348 for a coyote, I have noticed that some of the O.W.S. Box images have nothing to do with the caliber at all. Some are obviously intended such as Winston Churchill on the .455 Webley box, and a plate of spaghetti on the 6.5 Carcano box (not kidding). Others however, like the rabbit on a .401 WSL box, and a burglar on the .38 Auto box, seem totaly random.

Recently I had a customer in the ammo store who mentioned having an early 2000’s OWS catalog with the color photos of all the boxes and he is going to bring it in. I will scan the pages and post images here. Fede, did you have images of the pages from that 2005 catalog?


Matt, here they are:


Awesome, thanks Fede! I look forward to comparing them to the one my customer will bring in and see what differences their might be.

… A shark on the 8x68S…? Classic.


My customer with the 2001 catalog came in and I scanned the pages showing box labels. It’s interesting to see that not all of the known boxes are there, and some change over time. Anyone who shoots .32 extra-short rimfire with one of those lemon-squeezers is probably wishing they had stocked up more when OWS was offering it! I see that both this 2001, and Fede’s shown 2005 page shows the 7.92x33 with the swastika, but I just recently found some boxes with the Iron Cross instead. I also scanned a page showing “Dangerous Dave’s collectible cartridges” from the catalog.

Some 7.92x33 boxes with the Iron Cross:


I was chuckling looking at some of the box art, but when I got to 7.35 Carcano I almost spit coffee onto my keyboard.


Why a biplane on the 8.15 x 46R Box?

I am fairly certain that calibre was never used in early aerial warfare. I would be interested to be proven wrong.


You are taking marketing b.s. too serious.
Many other labels (hunting sharks with 8 x 68 S or kangoroos in Austria or elks in France, for example) are also only remarkable for how unbelievably ridiculous they are.


Dave Cumberland was very, very knowledgeable on
ammunition, but he loved to “pull people’s chain” a little
here and there. He was, to say the least, not "politically
correct, either. His box labels run from perfectly sensible
animals and other caricatures for the caliber of the gun (even
the Hackenkreuz representing the 7.9 Kurzpatrone is "correct"
but very politically incorrect, as is the term “Jap” on some of
his labels). Others are a bit sublime and many are, as Peelen
said, downright ridiculous. I would bet that Dave found the
ridiculous art work to be his favorites.

He was basically a really good guy, but like many, he marched
to his own drummer. RIP “Old Scrounger.”

John Moss


I met Dave twice in the course of my employment as an hydrologist. He simply happened to live adjacent to two rivers I was studying. The first time was on a road along the Klamath River. There was a better-than-ordinary house with 14" naval projectiles as driveway markers. Behind the house was an old White Scout Car, perhaps used for runs to the local grocery store. That was in the late 1970s.

The second place was on one of the Klamath tributary rivers east of I-5, an almost-desert. That place had fences & a lot of higher-tech surveillance equipment. I had to do a lot of talking to get in.


John, would that be “Dangerous Dave”, who also owned a tank or two outfitted to drive on the roads when he lived in California?
I met him when I worked at a gun store in Virginia in the early 80s’, and still have the catalogue he gave me, along with his business card… somewhere!


One of his best speeches I had at the Nurenberg show, as he ones told me:
If you bring your workers to lie for you, be not surprised, if they also lie to you…

and a lot more of all his political incorrect speeches…and his jokes in his old catalogues…