Request info J.B. Arms 9mm

Greetings, I’m attempting find any info on the J.B. Arms Co. Leicester, England. I have two full boxes of 9mm from this manufacturer. On the side of the box is an importer’s info; E.M. Farris & Sons
Gun Suppliers
Portsmouth, Ohio

I can’t seem to find anything thus far and want to research and determine value. Thanks

I have the same box, with the same American seller’s label on it. I have never been able to find out anything about either company.

The ammunition that was with my box was British Military surplus Ball Mark 2Z, with headstamp: B^E 45 9MM MK 2Z

The ammunition is common, and since the box label doesn’t represent a manufacturer, but rather only a repacking of surplus ammunition, I can’t imagine this ammo having any high value. If the boxes are in nice shape, perhaps worth a little more than shooting ammo, with the box label being more of a collectible than the ammunition in my view.

My box has never been the subject of much excitement by visiting collectors over the years (I have had it for probably 25 years, at least, even with those that collected boxes and didn’t have it.

I just did a quick Google search, and while I found no information about them,
there was, apparantly in the 1950s and later, a Muzzle-loading supply dealer called E. M. Farris & Son in Portsmouth. He seems to have been one of the officers, for a time anyway, of the Ohio Muzzle-Loader Shooters Association, or an organization with a name similar to that. I could find out anything else.

Perhaps someone in Ohio or that region of the country could do some first-hand research on him in City Directories for Portsmouth.

I could find nothing else on J. B. Arms of Leicester, England. Perhaps of our English forum users could help out there.

I believe Farris was in business before 1950, and he, or his sons continued well into the 1960s. I have seen a No. 4 Mark 1(T) .303 SMLE Sniper rifle in wooden chest with a shipping label to or from his ship, without the import markings, so it was before 1968, and probably dates to the early 1960s when the first big flood of surplus military arms hit the American market. I suspect that ammunition from British (or Commonwealth) sources would have come in around the same time.

I actually visited their shop once in the late 1980s- it was still in business but had almost no inventory of any sort and I think on the verge of closing.

Their advertising appeared fairly often in old American Rifleman and Muzzle Blasts magazines circa 1950s-60s.

Farris was well-known by the nickname Red Farris & information might be found under that name. He was very active in the muzzle-loading community. Jack

Thanks guys. That corresponds exactly, right down to the “Red Farris” with what little I found on the internet.

Now, if we can find out something about that Leicester, England firm, J. B. Arms.

Thank you all for the helpful info. My 85 year old neighbor gave me a tool box full of old ammo that he wanted me to “get rid of” for him. Peters, Remington, Western, Frankford and a couple of others along with loose rounds. I’ve cataloged the items and I’m having fun doing research. If I sell the stuff I’ll surprise him with half of the take. Thanks again, Bill

Here is an image of a J.B. Arms 9mm box I found posted recently in a Facebook ammo collector group. The headstamp was reported as: B, (broad-arrow) E, 45, 9MM, MK 27Z


I have one of these for many years. Mine is empty. My vague memory is that I was told, probably by Herb Woodend, that this was a guy in Leicester who over-labeled British 9mm boxes and exported them to the US. He told me, as I remember, that this guy only operated for a few years and then killed himself.

I have no notes on this that I can find so take this only as a possible starting point, vaguely remembered.


This is all I can find.
J. B. Arms Ltd, 112 Wellington Street, Leicester, England.
It seems they went bankrupt in 1950.

From the Leicester Mercury newspaper, Saturday April 8 1950. An announcement for the sale by auction of J. B. Arms Ltd’s assets on Wednesday 12 April 1950.

I also have this box however it is without any importers label and is full of" B/|\E45 9mmMK2Z" headstamped rounds.

I’m pretty sure I have another box of some kind from this J.B.Arms Co. but can’t locate it at this moment. But I’ll continue looking.

photo of the bottom