I have 2 boxes of White Feather ammunition, unused and in original box along with The exhibitor pass given to Carlos Hathcock when he attended the Shot show in 1996 when the ammunition was introduced.The ammunition was produced by Talon Manufacturing company which is no longer in business.I know that there is more modern ammunition capable of producing the same or better results than this ammunition but im curious as to the “collector value” of the ammunition if any and if Carlos’s original exhibitor pass combined with the ammunition adds any collectability to this package.Can anyone help me out with a little information on that subject. Thank you very much.
Cjorge–a picture of the box would help a lot. Also, what caliber are they? What is the headstamp?
White Feather .308 Winchester ammuntion was designed by Talon Manufacturing of West Virginia to be a commercial equivalent to M118LR and uses IMI cases and Sierra MatchKing bullets. The headstamp is PAW-MATCh 308 WIN. I will post pictures of the box once I have access to a scanner.
For several years I lived only a few miles from Paw Paw WV, but on the Maryland side of the Potomac, and no doubt the Paw-Match HS refers to Paw Paw (which is a type of roundish fruit with a mushy interior which has sort of a banana taste) as that was where Talon was located. Talon mainly disassembled US military surplus ammunition then re-assembled the components for commercial sale. I guess at that time the practice passed for “demilitarization.” I haven’t seen any Talon boxes for several years, but at one time they were very common. Ones I have seen were more or less plain military in style, not commercial with many colors and graphics.
I don’t think Talon exists anymore. Lake City ATK now sells overruns and rejects directly, under the XM, PD, and SMQ lot nummbers.
While the name Carlos Hatchock may not be well known among ammunition collectors, his biography in Wikipedia (quoted in very small part below) is an introduction:
"Carlos Hathcock (May 20, 1942 – February 23, 1999) was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills. Hathcock’s record and the extraordinary details of the missions he undertook made him a legend in the Marine Corps. His fame as a sniper and his dedication to long distance shooting led him to become a major developer of the United States Marine Corps Sniper training program."
"In 1967 Hathcock set the record for the longest combat kill. He used a Browning M2 machine gun mounting a telescopic sight at a range of 2,658 yd (2,430 m), taking down a single Vietcong guerrilla. This was not exceeded until Canadian snipers from the 3rd Bn. Princes Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry during the War in Afghanistan in 2002.
Hatchcock’s favorite weapon was a Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 caliber, preferably using match ammunition.
He wore a white feather in his hat, and that earned him the nickname among the enemy of “Long Trang” or “white feather sniper” and a significant cash bounty was placed on him.
Hathcock worked closely with LTC Norm Chandler, former head of the USMC sniper program, and later head of “Iron Brigade Armory” in North Carolina which specialized in ultra accurate sniper type rifle for law enforcement use, as well as the ammunition and training to effectively employ them.
Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis in later life, Hathcock was invariably cheerful and happy to be amongst friends at shooting ranges and gun shows. I had the pleasure of meeting this fine gentleman several times and respected him greatly.
Of the four biographies on him, Charles Henderson’s “Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills” is probably the easiest to find and most readable.
Hathcock was nominated for the ["Congressional’] Medal of Honor, but for whatever reason, he ended up being awarded the Silver Star, although he really was not at all inclined to accept any decoration, deeming himself unworthy.
Bottom line, Hathcock is almost worshiped by Marine snipers and their admirers, and any memorabilia associated with him would have some pretty good collector value and interest. With that context, the ammo itself is a lot more interesting than what its metallurgical and chemical components may normally deserve.
I would add to John S. comments that Carlos Hathcock’s name is well known among almost anyone with any interest in modern military small arms (not necessarily with collectors and students of ammunition). It is likely the Exhibitor Pass with his name on it that will make the ammunition very collectable, rather than the ammo itself, especially if the pass can be authenticated. JMHO
I dont know how I would go about authenticating the exhibitor pass. Carlos’s wife and my mother were best friends and we lived about 10 minutes from where carlos lived on raff road in virginia beach.I have the Publishers proof signed by carlos for my father of the posters that were printed on carlos as well as a hard back and soft back copy of 93 confirmed kills one with my name in it and one with my fathers name in it.So like i said Im not familiar with the overall value of the ammo and pas but would appreciate maybe a good starting point to ask for the ammo and pass.The other items have sentimental value but I have no attachment to the ammo and pass as I do not own a rifle capable of even firing this ammo.Also thanks for the info you have given me so far.
Gunny Hathcock was the Wimbledon Cup winner at Camp Perry in 1965 (no small accomplishment!) and set several MC shooting records that still stand.
cjorge - the other items you have with your father’s name and your name on them, relating to Hathcock and people who knew him, are a very good start to authenticating the exhibitor’s pass, as they establish a relationship between Hathcock and your family. They could be copied, or simply shown to anyone interested in the items you are selling, for verification of how and why you have the Exhibition Pass and the ammo.
Sometimes it is impossible to authenticate something and it must simply be taken in faith - up to the buyer to do so or not. The seller cannot control that.
If the pass does not have Carlos Hathcock’s name or signature on it, it doesn’t have much in the way of provenance. It might help to find something authoritative in the way of a news article, publicity release, etc., that establishes that he attended that particular SHOT show as it would at least indicate he was there and it COULD have been his pass. If there was some family relationship, it would be a good idea for all involved to write up a brief but complete document outlining where the pass came from and how it came into your possession, including copies of other relevant documents, then have it notarized. Again, not conclusive provenance, but much better than nothing.
At one time NDIA (or National Defense Industry Association, which was formerly the American Ordnance Association) had an annual Hathcock Award given to a notable authority in military small arms or small arms ammunition development. The award was a pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 rifle with scope, as Hathcock used in Vietnam, mounted on a wooden plaque. I do not know if that award is still given, or how many awards have been made, as I have not been to a NDIA small arms meeting in over seven years. An awardee might well be very interested in your items. NDIA could probably provide names of awardees.
I attended a SHOT Show where Carlos was signing autographs.
NDIA still presents the Hathcock award, as well as one named after George Chinn