Poll about members-only features you would like on website

Soon there will be a members only section on the IAA website that is only accessible to IAA members.

The section will have resources such as publications, maybe the rest of the scanned in catalogs (not sure yet if these will be members only or public,) documents such as old auction catalogs, headstamp guides, videos, maybe exclusive articles, image archives, etc

I am wondering what kind of features you, as a member, would like access to on the new member-only section. You could answer with certain type of documents or info, or maybe web related services that would make collecting easier, membership referral program, other things I have not thought of.



Brace yourself! This is sure to bring down fire and brimstone upon little old Linden AZ, but -

It’s 2013. The wide, wide, world of print communications is changing. (Some will say not for the better.) Is it time for the IAA to consider eliminating, or at least phasing out the printed JOURNAL? How about a “Members Only” section on the website featuring the electronic version of the JOURNAL? This could be accompanied with a re-structuring of the membership fees, possibly adding even more revenue. Once the JOURNAL is on line, it may be possible to accomodate non-members wanting to access certain articles of interest, something that they cannot do now except by joining, which they are not likely to do.

That’s my idea. I’m an old-fashioned sort and never would have thought that I’d be encouraging a leap into the future, especially the future of cyber-space. I always thought it could only be done with a lot of kicking and screaming. But, if I can change and adapt, so can others.



There is already an e-journal that many people get and download from the website.

It is $25 for membership with e-journal which is a great option for non US members and those who prefer digital. It also posts sometimes weeks before I get my print journal.

Existing print journal members can also add the e-journal for only an extra $10

Also non-members can buy journals based on articles they want. I do plan on making this easier though with instant downloads.


You are not telling me anything I do not already know. I’m an e-journal member.

You asked for comments and suggestions. I gave you mine!



Many other forum websites allow posted text to be viewed by all visitors to the forum but only allow posted pictures to be viewed by forum members who log on to the website. Correct me if I’m wrong but I assume this is done to control/prevent photoimages posted by forum members from being used/copied by Bing, GOOGLE or other search engines.

Is that something that should be considered here?

One possible drawback is the pontential to turn off those who encounter this forum for the first time.


On the topic of the E-journal & print journal:
I think 90% of IAA members receive the print journal, and a certain number of them also receive the E-journal. Only about 10% of IAA members are E-journal only. I have noticed that something around 10% of IAA print-journal members have no email at all, or at least no email listed in the directory.

One idea for the member-only section would be to have the headstamp guide in a user-accessible submission style database like Wikipedia. maybe even make an “IAA headstamp wiki” where we could submit new headstamps, or headstamps not listed in the current database. It seems like there are plenty of times when people mention headstamps in the forum which are not in the headstamp guide, and having a database with a Wiki style would not only allow user-submission, it would allow photo submissions of the headstamps. Being member-only as far as paying IAA members having access would be key there.

If this were done, then having a clever portmanteau wiki-name would then be standard… My vote is for “Headstamplifipedia”

I was thinking the exact same thing about a user editable headstamp wiki page when I clicked this thread, but it looks like I was beaten to it.

I would be against a headstamp guide that could be added to by anyone signing on. It is an invitation to simply turn the list into another Forum. There would be erroneous information put on the site - it happens/has happened with every headstamp list I have ever seen, including ones I have made up within my own field, and with help from people far more expert than I. Then,
when someone with a different opinion of the headstamp ID chimes in, right or wrong, bingo! You have another forum.

If we had a one or two person “committee” (I actually hate that word) that people could report headstamps too, and that were willing to do research before they put something on the list, that would be far better. I am NOT volunteering for the job. It would have to be people dedicated to keeping the list up, not only for new headstamp additions, but also corrections as they are verified.

The Forum could be used by the oversears of the headstamp list to try to verify the identity of new additions, or to challenge older identifications already on the list if that was deemed advisable.

Something like Wikipedia would become a disaster in the making, I fear.


I sent a few emails off to various pople in the IAA possibly offering to update the headstamp guide but I have heard nada back so I assumed someone was taking care of it.

Several years ago, me and 2 or 3 others volunteered to update the Headstamp List with a new format that allowed viewing the actual headstamps so different styles of such headstamps as “F”, etc. could be shown. As it is now, if someone looks up a headstamp and there are 2 or more listing for a “F”, they have no way to tell which is the correct ID for what they have in hand.
When the list, as it now stands, was put together, we did not have the computer technology to show images. Today it is an easy thing to do. We wanted to do as comprehensive a list as possible, but were told the purpose of the list was as a “Rough” guide, not a catalog of headstamps, and we were told in so many words to forget it because the list was good enough as it is. I STRONGLY disagree, now and then. Perhaps the climate has changed and now a proper list could be done. Personally, like John Moss, I am too busy now with other projects to take this project on. If anyone is interested, I could try to dig up what we had put together as a Relational Data Base format at the time and send it to them.

I meant for the headstamp database idea to be for known headstamp submission - such as, somebody has a box, with caliber written on it, and the rough time frame from whence it came. I didn’t mean for it to be very encyclopedic, and I think having the forum as a back drop whereas a link in the wiki would refer discussion to a forum post if one existed or were needed. If somebody had a headstamp image only, with no associated cartridge photo, and the caliber is not known, then it wouldn’t really be submission material. Like wikipedia, headstamps with uncertain provenance could have a tag at the top saying “awaiting verification” or some such thing.

I imagine it would take 5 years or so to populate a list like that with most headstamps, but then it would be more for new headstamps which come out since 90% of typical headstamps can be found in the guide, and serious collectors already know most headstamps in their field from pre-2000 type years.

A new headstamp like “Nugent 10mm auto” or “Coonan 357 mag” would be pretty self explanatory.

Interesting conversation! Thanks to everyone…

The IAA has been averaging a bit less than 1200 members a year. A few of these are complementary members (like key people in the ATF, and other ammunition associations around the world) and almost all of these get the eJournal. We have over 1000 members who subscribe to the print journal and a bit more than 200 who get the eJournal, including those who get the eJournal in addition to the print Journal. The print journal is clearly preferred by most of our members, and they are willing to pay more for it.

To some of the broader questions that were raised. The IAA is incorporated as a tax-exempt 501C7 (Social Organization) under US Federal Law, and that status requires approval by the Internal Revenue Service and annual reports to the IRS. The 501C7 status, the only category we qualify for, requires that our reason for existence it to provide services to our members. If we wanted to be an advocacy organization or a political action organization, those are different types of 501 organizations with different requirements. There are limits on the income we can make from non-members (and such income is taxable) and to the services we can provide to non-members. In fact, our services to non-members must directly result in improved services to members. We can operate this Forum because it provides a research tool for IAA members that would otherwise not be available. The IAA website had had ONLY TWO reasons for existence since the day it was established. First, to encourage membership in the IAA which directly benefits members, and second, to encourage the study and collecting of ammunition, which also benefits members in a wide variety of ways. Each year in our IRS submission we have to report on the past years activities and how they benefit members of the organization.

The List of Headstamp Codes on the IAA website was originally created as an INTRODUCTION to identification to interest people in cartridge collecting, not as a definitive tool for identification. If it had been the second, it would not have qualified as a member service since it is equally available to non-members. I would like to see this list updated, and the software was developed by a member to allow it to be expanded to include shotshells, rimfire, large caliber, etc, but nobody, or group, has offered to take on this effort within the current purpose of the list.

Notice that the content of the public access part of the website includes articles that are “Introduction to …” for exactly the same reason.

I applaud Aaron and his effort to put up a members-only section to the website, because it will allow us to expand services to our members-which is what we are chartered under law to do. In doing this we cannot forget the basic purpose of the website (and the Forum) which is to gain new members for the IAA and to encourage research and collecting of ammunition.

There are a lot of people on the IAA Forum who are not IAA members, and we welcome you. You bring a lot of benefit to the Forum and to the cartridge research conducted by IAA members, including my own. We wish you were all IAA members, but you each have good reasons for your choices. It is interesting that some of the fine articles in the IAA journal are written by non-IAA members, usually because they are non-English speakers, but want their research to appear in a first class Journal and the IAA Journal meets that criteria.

I have no problem with a Wiki like database on the website, but not as a replacement for the current headstamp code list, which requires validation and authentication of the data, but rather as a source for new information that may find it’s way into the headstamp code list after authentication, or perhaps into a more definitive information in the members-only portion of the website.

All these are great ideas, the problem is that they all take time, and usually lots of time by a team of people. Cartridgecorner has offered to help, and I have written him separately. Lots of people, including me, come to the website with great ideas, but run out of time to establish and maintain the material. We need to scope what we do to match the resources to sustain the things we build.

Many of the IAA members understand this because it has been discussed in the Journal, but I wanted to make sure everyone understands what the IAA is doing and why. Or, at least what I think the IAA is doing and why!!!

Thanks again for the great comments.


A nice members-only feature might be to post the seminars from SLICS, either the slide shows or video of the presentations.

This has been mentioned in the past too. I personally love this idea.

One example is the Smith & Wesson Forum (smith-wessonforum.com) which could be a good model. They have a general section (subdivided into many areas) that anyone can access and post to, and another section which requires a paid membership to access. They have more advanced information and data bases there, but I do not know exactly what it contains, as I am not a paying member. It seems that the S&W “priesthood” seems to hang out there mainly, and not so much with the commoners.

Regarding print vs. digital media, I am digital only. I’m out of room for any more paper in my life. I just save the digital copies in a file.

I talked about some of this, as well as many other ideas in the board of directors meeting this morning. I think we will definitely have some nice member benefits soon on cartridgecollectors.org!

Do you mean videos of the seminars as hosted on somewhere like Youtube (if they exist), or just the Powerpoint files converted to something like Adobe .PDF? The Powerpoint .PPT files are pretty large, but .pdf’s could work.

Videos of the presentations would be great although that could potentially get expensive in bandwidth charges if they were hosted by IAA. I wonder if it would be problematic getting consent from the presenters if the videos were posted on YouTube?

PDFs of the slide decks would be ideal, both for the smaller file size as well as making the presentations accessible to folks who don’t have Office.