A Question of Duty By William C. Blynn

At the May 2001 O.G.C.A. meeting in Cleveland (Brookpark, Ohio) I tabled a display in the annual display competition and it’s subject was SHOULD YOU AS AN EXPERIENCED KNOWLEDGEABLE COLLECTOR CONSIDER WRITING FOR PUBLICATION? (or, The Joys of Writing About Your Specialty). My display was well received and I consider the subject so important I want to expand upon it here.

People who know me in the firearms collecting field and related areas know that I did not shy away from writing for publication if I was privy to information I felt would be of considerable interest to casual readers, collectors, historians or anyone who may possess a zest for learning. My reasoning was that after all is said and done, is it not true that our collecting interests are enriched by available information that is the results of others who made the effort to commit their knowledge to print? The combination of beautiful photography and factual information has enriched our own collecting lives, has it not? And, I wanted to be a part of that and contribute whenever I had a worthy topic.

In light of that, do not you people reading this who have not already done so and have amassed moderate or considerable amounts of generally unknown knowledge or unusual experiences regarding gun collecting or, in particular, your special field of interest feel an obligation, yes, even a duty to share it? And, what better way than creating even a small literary work and getting it into publication for others to use or enjoy.

There are certain benefits awaiting. Money? Unlikely, unless one can fill a book and reach the market. Of the humorous articles I succeeded in getting to press (some excellent efforts failed to see publication), the book authors I helped and the many minor contributions I made to book, I was paid only once - $350 for “expenses”. So, what tangible benefits are there? Read on.

Besides being a labor of love and having pride in helping fledgling collectors, you may bring persons to understand and appreciate your special collecting field and desire to enter it. Then there is the pride in seeing your authorship efforts in print and available to the world. And, having your work and your name logged into the various storage archives in such institutions as the Library of Congress for posterity.

After you are gone, your gun collection probably will be dispersed away from your family. However, your written word will be there for your grandchildren and theirs. Then there is the mail from distant lands and cultures that you shall receive.

So, how difficult and complicated is it to become a published author? Well, not very. One need not have any special talent for writing, nor experience or training. However, one cannot “fake it”, either, because he’ll surely be called on it. And, do not plagiarize; it is not “cricket”. If you must, request permission, first.

When you complete your effort and are satisfied you did your best including great photographs, submit your article to a publisher who’s name and address is in the frontispiece of the book or magazine you have chosen to publish in, or, your library will find you a likely candidate. Better, yet, contact the publisher for permission to submit, first. Or, you might try O.G.C.A. member/publishers such as Joe Schroeder who publishes “Gun Collector’s Digest”. Anyway, those methods worked for me.

Do not conclude “who would be interested in my area special field of collecting; it is not really “collecting”. Or, “ I am merely a student without material examples of my interest; what makes me qualified to write about it?” Well, personally I believe almost everything is related to firearms (weapons). I believe Napoleon once said “Political power comes but of the barrel of a canon”. (Conversely, Ben-Gurion said, “Victory is not the thing of armies.”). Anyway, say your interest was in fingerhuts, better known as thimbles for sewing. Is it, not related to guns having been a military necessity to both adversaries in the Civil War? Or, say you focus on Indian Peace Medals (a subject dear to my heart). Tell us about it! In war and peace for over three hundred years in America, diplomacy (and victory) was closely hinged to the IPM and they were possibly more important than firearms during the era when the “Indian” was a factor to reckon with. What a great subject with few devotees. Get my point?

Alright, so you feel you have no special “expertise” to share, right? Well, not so fast! You do not get off that easy. If you have been associated with guns and collectors for anytime you probably have had some “experience,” that if told would fascinate others.

For instance, what about that “world class fake” you were “stuck” with years ago? Remember that engraved and inscribed with symbols pistol that fell into your hands and that you just “knew” was correct (that old “gut feeling”). It just screamed at you “I am right, I am important, I am a mystery that is going to be a challenge.”

And, how when you took it to an O.G.C.A. show and put it upon your table and awaited comments, the “OUT HOUSE EXPERTS” were quick to deride it as “too good to be true”, and so forth. Your heart did sink, but not break – you still had faith (now, here is where getting into print does help).

You put together a package and fired it off to a publisher and soon that magic letter from Europe arrived identifying the gun and authenticated it with period documentation! It had once belonged to one of the most famous (or, infamous) persons in modern history! One of those million dollar guns! What a story and a fascinating one; how impressive it would be published. (Author’s note: some of you probably guessed - my story. Unfortunately, I had “caved in” to their rhetoric and swapped it off two weeks before receiving the documentation. Story of my life; however, many of us have similar ones, I’m sure. (Reminds me, I should write it up and get it off to the publisher!) The point is, dear reader, if your find is fertile and loaded with imagination (and it would have to be for you to be a collector - only the most interesting of people collect) you have things to write about. Now, let’s get to it!

In conclusion: in case you do not know it, fellow collectors, the time may be near when you shall no longer be able to speak of or own guns, let alone write about them. There shall be no room for such “archaic relics of the past” in the coming secular “new global economy” with its world government. So, seize the opportunity to exercise your current right to free speech and press and lock in your place in the archives of history.

AUTHOR Firearm-Related Books By
Members of The OGCA
  More Information:
 Adamek, Robert J.  Pistols of World War I Robert Adamek
942 Segar Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
 Antaris, Leonardo M. Astra Automatic Pistols

Star Firearms

1230 E. Rusholme St., Suite 107
Davenport, IA 52803
Antaris_leonardo@ msn.com
(563) 326-8181
 Baumgardner, Roy  Precision Shooting with the M1 Garand  Precision Shooting,
222 McKee St.
Manchester, CT 06040

(860) 645-8776

 Dorsey, R. Stephen (author or co-author) American Military and Naval Belts, 1812-1902
Guns of the Western Indian War
U.S. Martial Web Belts and Bandoliers: 1903-1981
Indian War Cartridge Pouches, Boxes and Carbine Boots
Gun Tools, Volume 1 Gun Tools, Volume 2
The American Military Saddle, 1776-1945
The American Military Spur
Bridle Bits of the American Military, 1776-1945
Collectors’ Library
P.O. Box 263
Eugene, OR 97440
www.rsdmilitaria.com (under “Collectors Books”)
 Frasca, Albert J.  The .45-70 Springfield, by Frasca & Hill, 1980, Reprinted 2000
 The 1909 Springfield Armory Museum Catalog, by Frasca & Hill, 1995
 The .45-70 Springfield - Book II - 1865-1893, by Frasca 1997
 Frasca Publishing, 3378 Baker Road, Springfield, Ohio 45504. afrasca@erinet.com,


 Hill, Tracie L.  Thompson: the American Legend, The First Submachine Gun  B/H Dist., P.O. Box 8710
Newark, OH 43058-8710
 S.P. Fjestad  The Blue Book of Gun Values  Blue Book Publications, Inc. 8009 34th Ave. S., Ste. 175, Minneapolis, MN 55425 (800) 877-4867
Fax (952) 854-5229 www.bluebookinc.com


 Hutslar, Donald A.  Ohio Gunsmiths and Allied Tradesmen, 1750-1950 Photographs by James B. Whistler (Five Volumes)
Vol. I: Adams – Fulton Co’s Vol. II: Gallia – Jackson Co’s
Vol. III Jefferson – Montgomery Co’s Vol. IV: Morgan - Stark Co’s
Vol. V: Summit thru Wyandote Co.s

Research funded by OGCA and the Ohio Historical Society.

 Available through: The Assn. of Ohio Long Rifle Collectors, 1996 – 1999 Route 1, Box 168-A Beverly, OH 45715 and through some muzzloading suppliers.

Also wrote Gunsmiths of Ohio, 18th & 19th Centuries Published 1973 by George Shumway, York, Penna (out of print)

 Iannamico, Frank  The British Sten Manual for Shooters and Collectors 2nd Edition
The Reising Submachine Gun Story
The German MP40 Maschinenpistole WWII
The US M3 and M3A1 Submachine Gun WWII
American Thunder, the Military Thompson Submachine Guns
The Machine Gun Buyers Guide and Owners Manual 2nd Edition
Hard Rain, The Browning Machine Guns WW II
 Moose Lake Publishing LLC
223 Sugar Hill Road
Harmony, Maine 04942
(207) 683-2959
 Mullin, Timothy J.  American Beauty: The Prewar Colt National Match Government Model Pistol
American Beauty
Training the Gunfighter
The 100 Greatest Combat Handguns
Testing the War Weapons
The Complete Fighting Submachine Gun, Combat Shotgun and Machine Pistol
Handbook for Handguns
Special Operations Weapons and Training Techniques (release date 3/03)
 American Beauty: The Prewar Colt National Match Government Model Pistol
American Beauty
Training the Gunfighter
The 100 Greatest Combat Handguns
Testing the War Weapons
The Complete Fighting Submachine Gun, Combat Shotgun and Machine Pistol
Handbook for Handguns
Special Operations Weapons and Training Techniques

(release date 3/03)

 Poyer, Joe  The .45-70 Springfield, co-written with Craig Riecsh
The .45-70 Pocket Guide
The Winchester Trench and Riot Guns and other U.S. Military Shotguns
The M1 Garand, 1936-1957, co-written with Craig Riesch
The SKS Carbine, co-written with Steve Kehaya
The M14-Type Rifles: A Shooters and Collectors Guide
The Swedish Mauser Rifle, co-written with Steve Kehaya
The SAFN-49 Battle Rifle: A Shooters and Collectors Guide
The M16/AR15 Rifles: A Shooters and Collectors Guide
The Model 1903 Sprinfield and its Variations
The American Krag Rifle and Carbine
 North Cape Publications, Inc.
POBox 1027 Tustin, CA 92781
 Reese, Michael, II  Autographs of the Confederacy
Luger Tips – Revised Ed.
1900 Luger – US Test
 (Title 1) COHASCO, P.O. Drawer 821
Yonkers, NY 10702 (914) 476-8500

(Title 2-3) Pioneer Press, P.O. Box 684
Union City, TN 38261 (901) 885-0374

 Schott, Noel, P. and Richard Hoffman  Handbook of Military Rifle Marks 1866-1950
Handbook of Military Rifle Marks 1866-1950 New Second Edition
 Noel P. Schott 12 Stratford Way
Belleville, IL 62223 (618) 234-5884
 Schiffer, Tom  Peters & King The Birth and Evolution of the Peters’
Cartridge Co. and the King Powder Co.
 (859) 371-7778
 Senick, Peter R.  The German Sniper (co-author Howard Kyle)
Limited War Sniping
Pictorial History of U.S. Sniping
The German Sniper: 1914-1945
The German Assault Rifle: 1935-1945
The Complete Book of U.S. Sniping
U.S. Marine Corps Scout-Sniper: World War II and Korea
The Long-Range War: Sniping in Vietnam
The One-Round War: USMC Scout-Snipers in Vietnam
 Peter R. Senich
515 Gaspar Drive
Placida, FL 33946
 Shea, E. Daniel  The Machine Gun Dealer’s Bible, 4th Ed
Small Arms Review magazine
 Small Arms Review 223 Sugar Hill Rd.
Harmony, ME 04942 (207) 683-2959
 Strayer, Larry M. and Richard A Baumgartner  Echoes of Battle: the Atlanta Campaign
Yankee Tigers: Through the Civil War with the 125th Ohio
Echoes of Battle: the Struggle for Chattanooga
Kennesaw Mountain, June 1864
 Blue Acorn Press 5589 Shawnee Dr.
Huntington, WV 25705 (304) 733-3917
 R.L Wilson & Preface by Joseph A. Murphy, Ph.D.  Fine Colts, The Dr. Joseph A. Murphy Collection  Sheffield Marketing Associates
6154 Stoney Hill Road New Hope, PA 18938
(215) 862-3963
 Worman, Charles G.  Firearms of the American West 1803-1865
Firearms of the American West 1866-1894

(Co-authored with Louis A. Garavaglia)

 P.O. Box 292624 Kettering OH 45429