Who are the younger members with similar interests?

It concerns me greatly that so many of our members may be, like myself, old fossils, and when we go, who will carry on.? I’m 73 and pleased to be here, cause it beats the alternative, but we need to be able to pass the baton and hand on our collections and/0r documentation to passionate followers. Do we know the ages and interests of our members? Perhaps we can at least know who wants our information so we can document that and pass it on to a younger generation. I’m going to actively start searching for a young Aussie collector with my interests and try to communicate what knowledge I have.
Any ideas?


John, good point! But kinda hard to implement.

I fully agree as I harldy see anybody in my age (43) or younger (extreme few). I may be pessimistic but I fear in about 20 years there will be nobody to discuss ammo with. At best on the level of gun (nut) forums which as we all know is shallow (kindly said).

Also I think looking for “mental successors” should not be limited to the own country as that may become more than difficult when we look at the young people around or better “not around”. The fact that we are all gathering in this forum is some sort of proof of my words. Given the whole English speaking world could be here we are shocking few!
Did actually ever anybody count the countries our members are coming from?

As mentioned in another thread on preservation of knowledge at some point (I guess a certain age) I will make copies of my hard drives and provide them to a row of people and institutions which I think deserve to have the results of my research (by now +25 years).
By now it is even hard to find somebody who is sharing my particular interests, so how to “keep the fire” by passing on knowledge and experience?

Alex, I’m a young 54! I very much plan on communicating with you 20 years from now. I can’t even begin to imagine how we will accomplish that, but we will ‘talk’…somehow.
Short of us all meeting at SLICS, the ECRA shows, etc., the means of transferring our “knowledge” are pretty stable. We all need to publish books or articles when we can, and we should all be reading and posting on forums like this one. As long as there are some collectors with libraries, and means to archive the various internet sources, the information we have now, and will discover in the future, will always be there. Unfortunately we have little to no control over the information that has been lost, or exists only in the minds of a few people, but that is surely not a new problem.

I’m probably one of the younger members at 40 years old (or at least, it sounds like it). I’m not a hard-core general collector like some of you though; I only “specialize” (if you can call it that) in a small, niche area. As for passing the torch, I’ll likely pass my collection on to my son…who hopefully won’t sell it for pennies on the dollar at an estate sale.

I currently use MS Excel to maintain a spreadsheet where I try to keep the majority of the info I’ve collected as it pertains to my section of this hobby. If my son isn’t into cartridge collecting when I finally leave this world, I hope to leave a spreadsheet that might give a starting point on the values and/or rarity of my stuff (including, but not limited to, cartridges). At least that way, I know they’re more likely to get a decent chunk of change from my years of hard labor vs. selling it cheap, giving it away or tossing it in the trash.

As for the info, I’ll likely instruct my successor(s) to pass the information I’ve gathered over the years freely on the various forums I’ve got bookmarked. My biggest hurdle is crediting/remembering references on the info I’ve gathered; I’m forever re-researching in an effort to find what I might have overlooked or to try and validate/corroborate the information I’ve already gathered.


Important and interesting thread.

Some observations from my part of the world-

In general, participation in many common fields of collecting is down at the moment (in addition to my full time job I also work part time for an auction company), this is very noticeable with younger people. Typically the pendulum will swing back and collecting will improve.
Many young people are into computer gaming,texting and Facebook, they have very little interest in anything else. I work near a university, its funny sometimes (and sad) watching students walk to and from class, all of them absorbed in there texting or reading texts little word. Collecting something is the last thing on there minds.

For the IAA two very important recent events have occurred. First was the creation of the all color photograph IAA Journal, and secondly the offering of the Journal in PDF format. Both hugely important in creating and sustaining interest in the Journal and cartridge collecting

I believe this Forum and others like it are the key to creating and holding interest in cartridge collecting. I just turned 59 and am struggling to learn the ways of computers but this is how most younger people communicate (electronically), this is were their interests are developed and expanded upon. .

This Forum and others provide instant access, world wide, to a vast array of knowledge, information and camaraderie. I believe the single most important issue facing the IAA Forum at this time is the fact that there is no way to permanently retain photographs used in a particular thread. So when you do a search of past threads many KEY photographs are now missing which in many cases makes the thread almost useless. If younger collectors cannot find the information they are seeking then they will go elsewhere, simple as that.

Other forums have on site photo storage, reducing the loss of photographs because the person who provided the photographs is no longer responsible for maintaining them on line.

As an example the British Ordnance Collectors Network (BOCN) has a “cookbook” formula for uploading photographs when someone posts information or asks questions. These photographs are maintained by BOCN and unless removed on purpose by the person who posted them, the photos are always available when a thread is viewed.

Aaron Newcomer & I (both under 36) have been using Facebook quite a bit and various other forums over the past couple years in particular with regard to IAA promotion, and I can pass along a couple observations:

There is a group on Facebook called “Vintage Antique Ammo Collectors”, which although being less than one year old, has 1,778+ members in the discussion group and 956+ members in the buy/sell/trade group. It is a well regulated, diverse discussion group for vintage ammo collecting, and I would wager that 95% of the members are not in the IAA, and that the average age of the members in the group is a solid 10 - 20 years below the average IAA member age. So there is apparently interest out there, it’s just a matter of swinging them to the IAA so they can begin to appreciate the journal, forum, and knowledge of existing members. Aaron and I do make mention or link to the IAA when possible in there, and the creator of the group Duane, has become a member with us.

In terms of other forums or groups like the one mentioned above, I get the sense that there is a degree of passive interest, that, although enthusiastic enough to spend relatively high amounts on old ammo boxes which would typically get passed over at SLICS, they rely on a Facebook / Twitter / App-alert type of rapid notifications which they are following to cue into noticing the items to actually buy them or discuss them. To that end, we do have 630+ followers on Facebook, of which I would guess at least 75% are not current IAA members (some are ECRA members), so that helps. It’s as if people are more hedonistic with their hobby pursuits, or perhaps lazy, but I think the technology has both steered people to this behavior when they might otherwise be more pious & active members, but has simultaneously opened up doors to many more people who would otherwise have not become involved. I would say it’s a net gain anyway.

Brandon Luter (around 35yo) has also been promoting the IAA at gun shows in Texas, and I did a table for IAA promo at a gun show in Bangor, and these sort of traditional things are nice, but don’t have quite the reach that the digital efforts have, which take far less effort & investment.

Another thing I have been playing with over the past year is aggressively looking out for, specifically, new 9x19mm ammo releases and immediately doing a post in the IAA forum with many photos and lots of what I think would be commonly searched for key-words related to this new ammo. I do this because 9mm is the most popularly purchased, discussed, and talked about ammo in the forums online and whenever a new one comes out there is lots of fervor over determining whether it is “good to go” as they say, and what it’s qualities are. This kind of discussion crosses over into many different specific gun & tactical forums and I have found that getting an IAA forum post up very early on causes it to remain high on Google search results so that we get more exposure. This is true lately of such 9mm ammo as Sumbro, Perfecta, ZQ1, Pobjeda, Yavex, Piney Mountain, Recon-Ops, and others.

I hear you there. It depends mostly on whether the person who did the post has “hotlinked” the photo from wherever they saw it originally, or is hosting it from their own storage site such as photobucket. If the image is linked from the site where they originally saw it, it may or may not remain there indefinitely. I find that is usually a 50/50 proposition, especially after a year or two has passed. 99% of the photos I post are from my photobucket account, and will always remain up since I will never deactivate my account there. Sometimes, for whatever reason, people will delete or change their photo hosting site which ruins all the photo links they had previously used.


From my personal experience, a good starting point would be to suggest your club to purchase a headquarter and start communal libraries and collections. The Argentine collector’s association started this back in 1966 and today, even after all our worst years, its members have access to a huge accumulation of books, catalogs, cartridges, boxes, etc. Of course, due to our limitations it will never be anything close to the Woodin Lab or many US and European private collections, but it has the potential to became what the generosity of its members want of it.



Wonder how many there are, my age- I turn 20 this year!

This thread actually reminded me I needed to become a «real» IAA member.
So after getting my card out, now I’m $27 poorer and many future experiences richer!

  • Ole

Fede, We use to have an IAA library which the an officer dutifully carried to shows and which would be lent out to members. It was a lot of work and seldom used. About 15 years ago it was sold at the IAA benefit auction.

I was very impressed as you know with your association’s headquarters, reference collection and library. You have a great advantage with most of your members in a single city where they can attend regularly. The IAA membership is far too spread out and quite a few are not even in North America. We have debated some of these subjects, and concluded that the right location for an IAA Library is probably in a members only area on the website, or divided between a members only and the general access portions of the website based on the donors preferences. I am no longer an officer so I am talking ancient history so a current officer like DK probably should step in and correct me.

Right now my major concern is with the preservation of the information compiled by members, who have passed away or are old like me. We are working with the ECRA in preserving and making available to members Tony Edwards records which include the records of Peter Labbett. Others have great files of information that should be preserved and made available to other collectors, but it is a hard issue to work.

Someday, it would be great to have a video collection for reference, but we have been unable to find the people and talent to update the headstamp code list which is over a decade old since the last update! Some are willing to help. but the match of the willing and the talent to implement the update has been missing.

Lots of challenges, but the IAA is an all volunteer organization. Even our legal support is volunteer. It is the right way to run our type of Not-for-Profit 501C7 organization but it also means we can only do those things where there are volunteers willing and able to take on the task.


Being in a part of the world that is pretty much removed from everything, together with a government that is intent on disarming the legal gun owners (my first application to possess a shotgun took three years), there are not many collectors left. That was why the idea of the website came in. It was an idea that I discussed in length with the late Peter Skala, who was one of the greats in South African collecting circles for many years. I was very lucky to purchase from the estate all his notes and reference materials. There are thousands of pages of mind blowing information on a very wide variety of subjects in cartridge collecting.

These notes and reference pages came from the pre- doing everything on computer era. This hobby we have must be one of the most rewarding there is. There is so much history. I had a 280 Ross in my collection that had an inscription scratched on the side “J McKee 1922.” Who he was and how it ended up in our neck of the woods - what a story that must be.

The aim of my website is to get all this information digitised and out there for free for everyone to read. It can be a virtual library for everyone. It will be a sin to have all that information gathering dust on a bookshelf. If we are no longer here, the information will be there for the next generation to take over. The more the information and history can be shared, the greater the chance of a bigger collector community in future.

I’m a youngster :-) ( 30 ).
But I never saw more guys in my age range at meetings

Like many collectors my age (old), my notes and catalog span several years. Some of the early ones go back to a time before things such as Xerox machines and a time when the average person did not even have a typewriter. Intermediate ones include some simple PC programs such as Word Perfect, while later ones may be in a more sophisticated spreadsheet format. The same for photographs. They run the gamut from crude hand-drawings to scanners.

I could take the time to update everything but then I’d have little time left for collecting and research.

My point is that I do not envy whoever happens to get my collection when I am gone. While a universal “library” devoted to cartridges sounds like a good idea, whoever has the task of putting it together has to be more oriented toward bookkeeping and cataloging because he certainly won’t have much time for collecting.

One thing that I would like to see is more posts on the Forum that are strictly show and tell and less question asking. And, I’d also like to see more of the young collectors writing articles for the JOURNAL.



I’d like to add something which many of you will regard as anathema.
I, like many of you, got interested in ammo because of guns. I, sorry to say this, still see myself as a gun collector with interest in ammo. But wait, there is something good about it. That means that the future of ammo collecting is closely tied to future gun aficionados, and as long as gun hobby and gun collecting are flourishing, there will be a bright future for ammunition collecting.
P.S. I realize that in many places outside of U.S. gun collecting is a difficult and suppressed hobby, but let’s have a hope.

Cause guns are bad,- thats the public opinion here in Germany .
We are all peacefull and dont need guns :-)

So you have to ask for an expert opinion to get licenses for ammunition oder gun collecting.
But its feasible.

[quote]I hear you there. It depends mostly on whether the person who did the post has “hotlinked” the photo from wherever they saw it originally, or is hosting it from their own storage site such as photobucket. If the image is linked from the site where they originally saw it, it may or may not remain there indefinitely. I find that is usually a 50/50 proposition, especially after a year or two has passed. 99% of the photos I post are from my photobucket account, and will always remain up since I will never deactivate my account there. Sometimes, for whatever reason, people will delete or change their photo hosting site which ruins all the photo links they had previously used.


A serious question. What happens to the photo bucket account when we are no longer here, and our computers are trashed.?

Together with Peter White, we are, trying to compile a history of the first 125 years of ammo military ammo production in Australia, together with photos of every known headstamp from each factory and each month/year. Thus far we probably have a photo record (not brilliant photos so far, but will get better), of 95% of the known examples, and many of the packets. The problem will then be, how best to preserve and present the information. Colour printing would be best, but when the likely market for a book like this would be less than 50, it’s not feasible. For the moment I’m just going to keep accumulating data and then worry about how to present it.
I am pretty computer literate, for an old guy, and thought of creating a proper database, but finding some young guy with the time, knowledge and enthusiasm to pass it on to would be almost impossible. I look at Tony Edwards website and shudder to think what could have happened.

Your comments about Facebook are very relevant. With the current emphasis on social media, it’s probably the way of the future.


I note your comments about a headquarters, library etc. however, in a country where our 350 members are scattered over an area as big as North America, it’s an ideal which is unlikely to be achievable. We also are subject to rather strict gun laws, which also deters guys from collecting.

But one of the strengths of this forum is that we can share our joys and worries and hope someone will come up with a solution to these problems.

I am a younger member (age 23). Due to the laws in the UK, I have only ever collected inert items. A collector’s license is available if you are willing to do the paperwork, but I have never applied for one for a number of reasons.

Due to the current negative opinion of guns and ammunition in the UK, I rarely mention my collection to anyone outside of the hobby. This obviously makes it difficult to recruit new members. I highly doubt that anyone my age in the UK would be interested anyway.

I keep it quiet as it only takes a phone call to the police by an someone who is ill-informed, and I could be arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences. The collection would also likely be destroyed by EOD without testing as to whether it was inert or not.

I think the only relaible way is to have data digitalized and being spread out to the world as only there the data can survive on everybodies hard drives, that is like a thousandfold backup.
Everything located in only 1 spot (no matter who is hosting or archiving) may disappear within seconds as we all see (technical reasons, people passing away etc.).

Re: Losing links to photographs -

Several years ago my PC crashed and burned and my Photobucket album was lost. I did not lose the photos themselves because they were backed up. So, any of my old posts with the photo missing is because of that.

Today I do not use a Photobucket album. I use TinyPic which generates a one-time link for posting photos. I have no idea what will happen to those links in the future.

Whenever I see a photo that interests me, I save it to my PC. So, even if the link is broken I still have the photo in my files.


The photos uploaded to TinyPic are only hosed by them for a limited time. Eventually they will disappear, or be replaced by other images using the same web address.

I have seen this happen on other forums, where an image hosted using TinyPic later changes to something completely unrelated. I am not sure of the exact time period this takes to happen.