Woodins' Visit to SLICS 18

Two of Bill’s sons, Peter and John Woodin, attended SLICS 18 to meet Bill and Beth’s friends and to learn all they could about cartridge collecting and cartridge collectors. In addition to spending most of the day Friday in the show hall, they attended the Thursday night seminar and the Friday night banquet and live auction. This is part of an email from Peter Woodin to me:

I also wanted to let you know how much John and I enjoyed coming to the St. Louis show. Folks were so incredibly welcoming and so generous in sharing with us their many vivid and heartfelt memories of our father and Beth. It was an amazing experience, and gave us such a strong sense of Dad and Beth’s role in the cartridge collecting world, which neither John nor I had really understood, and the high regard in which they were held.

Please convey our thanks and deep appreciation to all for the warm and gracious welcome we received.

Best wishes,
Peter Woodin


Nice. Wished we had recorded his comments Friday evening and transcribed them for all to read. I was too enamored to think of that before he spoke and regailed us of a family trip that was a wild and fruitful cartridge find

Pepper; Not to worry. That story and many others will be part of a Bill Woodin biography that he resisted during his lifetime. Some people are just uncomfortable talking about themselves, and Bill was one of these.

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I had never met Bill or Beth, but I had heard about him since I started collecting cartridges, surely the most well know cartriges’s collector in the world! I hope that Bill’s sons discovered a new hobby when attending last SLICS and they will preserve the woodin’s lab for many years again!

To paraphrase part of the story told by Peter on the banquet night: “On a family trip to Darra, Pakistan”… (let that sink in for a second)… “our father was thrilled to find such a variety of odd firearms & ammunition available which were virtually unknown in the west. Having only a limited amount of time, Bill managed to find 3 boxes of very rare cartridges in one store, but only exited with a few cartridges. When we asked him why, he replied that they are so rare, that he figured nobody else in the world will find them here, and a few are enough for him”.

Maybe Bill knew of a select number of collectors who had whatever this cartridge was, and he didn’t want to flood the market with them?, sort of like finding a few dozen .40BSA cartridges and not wanting to spoil things for those who have paid $900 for one in recent years. If such a thing were found in Darra, then I can see how one would figure that they would remain safely there. I can’t remember exactly when he said that family trip was, but that would have been in the 70’s or early 80’s I presume.

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And there were so many shops and so little time.

my recollection additons

a street lined with gun & provision stores

guns being test fired in the air (in/on that street)

a multi month…driving…camping…rare hotel/shower trip as I recall

you could hear a pin drop as he spoke

PS…Random high-lite and cheer…

when Peter held up his Dad’s “#1” cartridge auction bidder card and said something to the effect “I guess this is retired now?”

(as it was a “feared” card to see “in the air”…as if Bill was bidding…he was “BIDDING”…and your efforts would ultimately be futile

One guy I introduced Peter and John to asked whether they might become cartridge collectors, and said that if they did, they would have a pretty good “starter” collection to build on.


For those of you who might like another view point or perhaps more about the trip Peter mentioned, look for a book titled Circle of the Sun (1971), by Ann Woodin.

It looks like Ann Woodin also wrote:
“Home Is The Desert A woman’s life with four sons, a hundred animals and the brilliant desert of the American southwest.”
I just ordered the last copy from ABE books, but other sources may have more.
Her “In the Circle of the Sun” book has a dozen or so copies available, most in the $5-15 range.

The Woodin Family trip “around the world” was in 1966-1967. I was stationed in Tucson at the time and was told by Don Amsbury that i should visit Bill, but I transferred to another assignment before they returned.


Ordered me a copy of both.


Excuse my ignorance, but how do you grow up with this guy as your dad and not know anything about cartridges?

My dad was a career chemist. I don’t know much of chemistry. My kids been around my collection 24-29 years. They don’t know .50 BMG from a rim fire

It happens

Also, the two sons in question are a lawyer and a mathematician, so they were very busy with those fields from college through present day, and they didn’t live in Tucson since going to school I believe.

DK; Actually, the two Woodin sons who attended SLICS were John, who has a construction company (custom homes) in Tucson and Peter, who is an attorney in New York. Another son, Michael, has lived in Tucson for years at the Woodin’s. The fourth son, Hugh, is the mathematician, and apparently a very brilliant one. Quite a family.

For those who may not have caught it…Michael lives at the family compound where the lab is located.

Oops, right you are. Building in Tucson has been a 24/7 business for the past 50 years, so that explains his lack of time for ammo