American Rifleman - October 2009 - (Page 8)

CORRESPONDENCE EDITOR’S LETTER ’m a student of rearms and their history. As such, I’ve attended hundreds of gun shows through the years. Usually my wife requests that I leave the checkbook behind; it’s a reasonable request. I have learned more about model and manufacturing variations from guns on tables at gun shows than in the dozens of arms museums I’ve visited the world over. Although I enjoy museums more than most, you’ll see things at gun shows ranging from rare prototypes to common variations and, after asking permission, of course, I have been able to closely examine variations that ll in gaps in the chronology of arms development. On gun collector display tables, I’ve seen arms that range from what is likely the gun that was in the hands of Meriwether Lewis as he and William Clark set out with the Corps of Discovery: a Girandoni air ri e that had been in Dr. Bob Beeman’s collection for decades. I’ve seen guns of kings, presidents and soldiers, including the pair of Walker Colts owned by Col. Sam Walker himself. I was once even fortunate enough to handle—with white gloves, of course—“U.S. Ri e, Cal. .30, M1” serial number 1,000,000—John Garand’s personal M1 ri e. Indeed, gun collectors are the curators and stewards of most of America’s rearm history. They own the artifacts, cherish them, conserve them and study them, then pass on the gleaned information to other collectors and the public as a whole. It was through the scholarship of arms collectors that the Girandoni’s role in exploring the West was discovered. There are, at last check, more than 100 “NRA Af liated Gun Collector Clubs,” and they are based on everything from geography (the most common) to types or makes of rearms. Interested in M1 Garands? Then the Garand Collectors Ass’n is for you. How about Winchesters? Then you might I consider the Winchester Arms Collectors Ass’n. These clubs offer a chance for collectors to come together and share information as well as their passion for collecting. You need not have a vault full of engraved Winchesters to join these clubs, and a complete list can be found at www.national In addition to the work the NRA does with collecting organizations throughout the year, the NRA partners with a designated club to put on the NRA Annual Gun Collectors Show. This year it’s slated for Oct. 10-11 in West Spring eld, Mass. It’s a wonderful event open to the public and combines a great buy-sell-trade gun show with display-only tables as well. The display competition always brings out some of the nest rearms from private collections you may never have another chance to see again. There’s also the annual NRA National Gun Collectors Seminar where collectors from throughout the country will gather for an educational event that includes everything from tips on keeping your club strong, to how-to talks on arms and armor. The 2009 seminar was held in Anchorage, Alaska, and hosted by the Alaska Gun Collectors Ass’n. One of the guest speakers was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. We can promise another great event next year, but can’t con rm another appearance by former Gov. Palin. To see more about Palin’s visit go to, and to nd out more about NRA’s Gun Collector Programs go to www.national re Sincerely,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - October 2009

American Rifleman - October 2009
From The Editor
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
Welcome To NRACountry
Readers Write
News, Notes and Ephemera
Questions & Answers
Loading Bench
The Mayor vs. The People
Ruger’s SR-556: Ready To Run, Right Out Of The Box
The Colt U.S. M4 Carbine
The Truth About Gun Shows
Lincoln’s Rifles: “They Might Have Stayed To See The Shooting”
What Is A Purpose-Built Shotgun?
The ABCs Of Handgun Marksmanship
Making The Right Turn
Dope Bag: Data & Comment
Political Report
Trigger The Vote
NRA-ILA Report
Regional Report/Member Info & Benefits
Programs & Services
I Have This Old Gun

American Rifleman - October 2009