to the
Utah Gun Collectors Association
January 2002 Gun Show
"The ORIGINAL Ogden Gun Show" Our 41st year of Quality Gun Shows in Utah
 Click here for date and location of our next picnic and historic arms shooting session

Here are some samples of the educational displays presented by UGCA members.
We hope you enjoy them.  Part of the pleasure of gun collecting is learning about the historical, technical, and artistic features associated with firearms.  Gun shows provide members, and the general public, a chance to appreciate these aspects.

 If you collect guns, we invite you to join UGCA.
Membership benefits include for free admission to all UGCA shows, reduced table rates, and a great newsletter.
 Click here for membership information and application

Copyright 2002 by Utah Gun Collectors Association.  All rights reserved.  Box 711161, salt Lake City, UT  84171

Let's go to the UGCA gun show!
Before we look at the displays, lets see some items that showed up with dealers or the guests.
      Two items with local connections showed up, from two of the great Utah gun makers.

John M. Browning, arguably the greatest firearms designer of all time, worked in Ogden, Utah, about 10 miles for the show location.  The great Browning Collection in Ogden is well worth a visit.  Browning first achieved fame from his invention of the single shot rifle that is now known as the "highwall" or Winchester Model 1885, which is still in production by various makers.

    However, our show was honored by the presence of one of the first versions, made in Browning's own shop.  Serial number 496, it is in .45-70 caliber with a 32 inch octagon barrel measuring 1 inch across the flats at the muzzle.  It would be nice to say that some rancher brought this in from the local area, but honesty compels us to note that a dealer brought it down from Montana.  One of our club members took it home for his collection.

    Parker O. Ackley is another famous gunsmith who operated in Salt Lake City, Utah after World War 2.  His specialty was manufacture of fine sporting rifles and development of new cartridges.  This is a well used .22-250 made on a Mauser action, but with one of the fanciest maple stocks we have seen. As indicated by the stock design it was probably made in the 1960s.  Ackley made it as a special item for his cousin, but it has since passed through another owner before arriving the in the hands of the collector who brought it to the show.

    Lots of people bring old guns or related items to our show for free appraisals or to sell.  Maybe you want to do this at the next show.

Now- on to the Great Displays!
Click on the title to go directly to one of these displays or enjoy scrolling down the page to see them all.
 Artistic Arms
Colt .22 caliber Frontier Scouts
Evolution of the Colt Dragoon
Guns used by the North & South
Winchester - A Shirt Maker's Legacy
Japanese Bayonets
10 Oddball '03 Springfield Variations
Arms of Springfield Armory
Bolt Action Rifles
Freedom is NOT Free
Tennessee Rifles & A Carbine
Crazy Colt Cut-offs and Cut-ups

People's Choice Award Winner!
Artistic Arms
    Weapons of wealthy owners have been lavishly decorated by skilled artists for many centuries.  This outstanding exhibit included items from all over the world, and from various time periods over the last 500 years.  Firearms displayed include guns with matchlock, wheelock, flintlock and percussion ignition.  Numerous cutting and stabbing weapons with strange names and beautiful decorations were included. (These were on exhibit courtesy of a collector who wishes to remain anonymous, but everyone appreciates their work and generosity sharing this outstanding display.)



 Best of Show Award Winner !
"Colt .22 Caliber Single Action Frontier Scout, New Frontier, and Peacemaker Revolvers"
Jim C. really likes these slightly scaled down versions of the famous "Colt Single Action Army" used by cowboys and cavalrymen from 1873 onward.  Jim has just about every variation known, and a story to go with each.  His display is truly magnificent, and attracts a lot of attention whenever he brings it out.  The photos below are just a sample of the contents.

Left- the "full size" .45 caliber Single Action Army shown with two of the smaller .22 caliber versions.  Right shows two of the original shipping boxes, which collectors love to find, in this case they are from a consecutively numbered pair of pistols.

 Second Place Award Winner !
"Guns used by the North & South"
    Old "Sarge" brought out a very impressive collection of handguns and carbines from the Civil War, along with ammunition and many related items.  It has been fun to watch this collection grow and improve over the last several years.
    Civil War guns have always been an especially popular collecting field because of the tremendous variety of models which were used.  Small arms designs were changing at an incredible pace, and the demand far exceeded the ability to produce any one kind, so that both very good and very bad designs were purchased and used with little chance to test them first.  In the space of about five years the army went from mostly single shot, smoothbore muzzle loading weapons to breech loading arms using metallic cartridges.

Old Sarge in front of his great display, and helping a visitor learn more.

Civil War Carbines- used by the cavalry during the Civil War, and many were used later in the Indian Wars.
Left: Spencer, Sharps, Burnside, Smith, Gallagher, Starr, Maynard, and Merrill.
Right- Cosmopolitan, Warner, Ballard, Sharps & Hankins, Frank Wesson, Joslyn, Hall, Palmer, Ball and Triplett & Scott.

Civil War Handguns and Ammunition for rifles.
Left- Starr, Whitney, Smith & Wesson, U.S. Model 1842 "horse pistol."
Right- Colt 1860 Army, Colt 1849 Pocket model, Remington Army, Savage Navy revolver.

 Third Place Award Winner !
"Ten Oddball '03 Springfield Variations"
    The vast majority of Model 1903 "Springfield" rifles fit into a few neat categories, and were made in huge numbers for issue to U.S. military troops.  However, a few oddball designs were made, or have been altered, or survive that inspire collectors to keep searching for more neat toys for their collection.  John S. brought these along for everyone to enjoy.
Model 1901 predecessor to the M1903 rifle (unfinished receiver only)
Model 1903 rifle with rod bayonet (all but a few hundred were later modified to take the knife bayonet)
Model 1903 rifle in .22 caliber for training (known as the Hoffer-Thompson)
Model 1903 National Match Special- one of about 150 made with special stocks
Model 1903A1 rifle marked "ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL but actually made at Springfield
Model 1903A2 rifle for use in artillery sub-caliber device
Model 1903A3 National Match rifle-  one of 140 made before they realized the design was worthless.
Model 1903 NRA Sporting rifle, used as the basis for a classic 1930s style sporting rifle.
Model 1937 "Bannerman" Springfield made from salvaged scrap parts from many different types of rifles.
Mann Accuracy Barrel, assembled to M1903A3 action for testing ammunition accuracy.


Model 1901 Springfield bolt and receiver, predecessor of the Model 1903.  Note that the 1901 safety lug on the bolt is lower, and rear receiver ring is rounded, while on the M1903 the is a raised bridge needed to clear the higher safety lug. Note the difference in the cut for thumb clearance when loading stripper clips.   The 1901 parts turn up from time to time, but were unfinished scrap, and rifles built using them are not safe to fire.

The Original .30 caliber cartridge, Model of 1903 (top) with heavy round nose bullet and case about 0.10 inch longer than the .30 caliber cartridge Model of 1906 (.30-06) shown below. About the same time that the rod bayonet rifles were being converted for the knife bayonet, they were also being altered for the much better .30-06 cartridge.

"About as poor an invention as I ever saw"- President Theodore Roosevelt's 1905 letter to the Secretary of the Army put an immediate end to production of the original "rod bayonet" design of the Model 1903 rifles.  Only a hundred or so of the rifles escaped being converted for the new knife bayonet design and new .30-06 cartridge.  These are very rare collector items, and even the few restored examples (such as this one) are extremely scarce and expensive.

Left-  The Bannerman and Hoffer Thompson rifles.
Right- "Bannerman" rifle, built about 1937 by the famed surplus dealers using scrap and salvaged parts.  THis has a low number M1903 receiver, with a barrel from an unknown gun.  Bolt, stock and trigger guard are from M1917 Enfields.  Krag bands and rear sight (jammed into a M1903 sight base) add an even more mixed pedigree.

Detail of the "Hoffer-Thompson" .22 caliber version of the M1903.  Each of the special "cartridges" is an adapter that is loaded with a .22 short cartridge, and has a firing pin in the rear portion.  The regular rifle firing pin striking the adapter firing pin into the cartridge and sends the bullet down the barrel which is only .22 caliber.  This rifle allowed practice firing on indoor ranges with cheap .22 ammunition and required use of stripper clips for loading.  These were only used from about 1907 to 1919.

Left- Model 1903A1 rifle marked Rock Island but actually made at Springfield.
Right- M1903 NRA Sporter rebuilt as a custom sporter in the classic 1930s style with Griffin & Howe mount and Lyman Alaskan scope, Lyman 48 rear sight.  Note the cheek piece on the right side of the stock for use by a left handed shooter.  This gun exhibits the finest quality workmanship of a fine gunsmith.

The Model 1903A2 is essentially a M1903 barreled action with the sights removed and the trigger pin staked in place.  Some, like this one, had "A2" added to the markings.  Many seem to have used salvaged barrels (set back a turn).  Using .30-06 subcaliber devices in tanks and other artillery pieces allowed training on regular rifle ranges with cheap ammunition instead of regular artillery ranges with huge safety area requirements.

Model 1903A3 National Match.  Special target sight added could only be positioned in one of two locations, one blocked operation of the bolt, and the other blocked the clip slot for rapid fire use.  OOPS!!!

The Mann Accuracy Barrel. For test firing it is held with the barrel resting in two "V" blocks to make it as accurate a test of the ammunition quality as possible.  The small piece of stock is just used to hold the action parts together and provide a minimal surface to grip during test firing.

Clearly marked ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, but they stopped making rifles or receivers in the low 400,000 range.  About 2,000 receivers that were nearly finished and had been marked Rock Island turned up in parts at SPringfield about 1928 and were finished, given Springfield serial numbers and built into rifles

Another oddball tidbit.  The "spare parts container" carried in many rifles from about 1911 to 1917.  This wooden case had slots for a firing pin, cocking piece and extractor, and was carried instead of the nickel plated brass oiler and thong case. A very scarce accessory, and most people would not recognize if they had one.

Tennessee:  Some Rifles & a Carbine [and a few pistols too]"
    George N. is fascinated by early arms made in the south, and shared this nice assortment.  Especially neat is the carbine made by A.J. Heath at the "Sumner Armory" in 1861 using the barrel from a Hall carbine (bottom rifle in the photo below) .

"Winchester- A Shirt Maker's Legacy"
    Many years ago, Art G. set a goal of collecting one of every standard model arm made by Winchester, and he recently accomplished that goal, and put on a magnificent display which required fourteen tables, and a full day to set up.
    Oliver Winchester, a New Haven, Connecticut shirt maker, invested in shares of the Volcanic Arms Co.  Although an innovative design involving a lever action design and very crude cartridges, the company failed.  Ultimately Mr. Winchester ended up owning the reorganized company.   They went on to become one of America's great gunmakers, best known for the lever action hunting rifles used by nearly every deer hunter at some point.  Here are a few of the very earliest guns associated with Oliver Winchester and his early efforts.

Very scarce collector's prizes include a Volcanic pistol (top center) Model 1866 "Yellow boy" and 1873 rifles on the left, and Henry and Model 1876 rifles on the right.

It all began with the Volcanic pistol, but you can see the operating lever, exposed hammer and tubular magazine under the barrel which have been common features of most Winchester arms for over 100 years now.

The evolution from Volcanic to Henry is pretty obvious.  This fine example features original engraving and remnants of the silver plated finish on the brass parts.

"Japanese Bayonets"
Larry specializes in Japanese military items.  While he only brought a small sample out this time, he finds it is good "bait" to attract people who want to sell him Japanese items.

"Arms of Springfield Armory"
   George shared a nice assortment of Springfield Armory rifles, with special emphasis on target models, and lots of related accessories.
These included excellent "trapdoors", Krags, Model 1903 and Model 1922 rifles made at the Springfield Armory facilities shown in the photographs.  Another photo show John C. Garand hard at work, inventor of the famous M1 "Garand" rifle, "The greatest battle implement ever devised" according to General George S. Patton.

And here are five superb Garand rifles, ranging from service grade to special National Match quality rifles.

The Evolution of the Colt Dragoon
    Jim C uses some really great modern replicas of the extremely valuable originals to show how Col. sam Colt improved his pistols over the years from a very basic concept (the revolver cylinder) into practical arms for use by our mounted troops.  Jim loves to explain the story to visitors.


"Freedom is Never Free"
    Our friends from the Western Military History Association brought some reminders that freedom is only won and preserved at a great price, as has been the case ever since the Revolutionary War.  They brought specific reminders of Utah's sacrifices since statehood in 1896, including participation in the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.  Even today, Utah National Guard and Reserve forces are deployed in the fight against terrorism.

Kids see some of the names and hometowns of Utahns who have sacrificed.

Two Relics of Utahns killed at Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941

Left, the Congressional Medal of Honor presented to the family of Chief Watertender Peter Tomich.  As his ship, the USS Utah (BB31/AG16) was sinking, he ordered the rest of the engine room crew to safety while he stayed behind to secure the boilers, giving his life to save hundreds of his shipmates. The bell from the USS Utah is preserved on the University of Utah campus by the NROTC building.
Right, the sleeve from the uniform of Captain Mervyn S. Bennion, a Utah native, who insisted on remaining in an exposed position on the bridge of his ship, the battleship USS West Virginia, to direct resistance to the Japanese attack.  After being injured by enemy attack, he refused to leave his battle station and died after ordering medical personnel to attend to other wounded men first.

Wacko Colts: Crazy!  Cut-offs and Cut-ups"
    Some of the oddest and most unusual variations you will ever see, most altered very crudely and to suit their owner's needs.

About 25 guns are included in this display. It was well received at the Colt Collectors Association show.


Left- A 1851 Colt Navy .36 caliber revolver with shortened barrel. Note that it has been struck by a bullet damaging the frame and also puncturing the cylinder.  Found in an old cow town or mining camp, it certainly must have an exciting story to tell, but no one will ever know what it is, as it was dug up.
Right- Colt 1848 .31 caliber Pocket model revolver that has been shortened and converted from a revolver to a single shot pistol.  An evolutionary step backwards that is almost unheard of.  Was it some desperado's attempt to keep a weapon operating, or simply something hastily salvaged to provide a youngster with a gun to practice with until ready for a better piece?

"Bolt Action Firearms"
    Mike Hillier brought out a small sample of this type used for sporting, competition and military use.

An Army of Volunteers
    Every organization depends on a small cadre of great people who do a lot of work.  Here are two guys representing the National Rifle Association.   UGCA is a NRA affiliated club, and has donated generously to support the NRA's National Firearms Museum and other programs such as "Eddie Eagle" to teach gun safety to youngsters in school.  Most of the gun control groups pretending to support "gun safety" spend no time or money actually teaching safety, only trying to get all guns outlawed.
    Of course, Utah Shooting Sports Council was present keeping everyone informed about political and legislative threats to safe and legal gun ownership.



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