Newsletter Archives for the V.G.C.A.

V.G.C.A. NEWS June and July, 2001

This Month's Topics:

NRA Convention Plaudits One for Our Side
Show and Tell Next Meeting Picnic
Other Shows Secretary's Subtleties President's Corner

General. The last meeting was held at the NRA Headquarters on 24 May.  As usual we started with the Pledge of Allegiance, but this time we added a moment of silence in our respect for Phil Orem.  Those who knew Phil respected him and will miss him.  Our sympathy is with his family.

Program. The Program was presented by Paul Davies, the author of CS Armory Richmond 1798-1823.  Paul educated us on the armories and relevant cities in the South: Richmond, Danville, Harpers Ferry, Fayetteville, Atlanta, Macon, and Columbia.  He gave fantastic explanations of machinery, stocks, barrels, and every facet of the production process during the timeframe covered in this book.  He taught us that the SA cartouche on some long arms does not stand for Springfield Armory.  Instead, it stands for Sam Adams. We also know about high-hump locks and low-hump locks.  In his research for his book, which represents a true labor of love, he found one-half of the original payrolls from the Richmond Armory and the last official letter sent from the Armory in February 1865.

NRA Convention. We were again well represented by Charlie and Vince Rausch, Jack Bokinsky, and Gary Holderman.  Charl9ie gave us a short update, and he once again won a medal (silver this time) for the VGCA with his Derringer flintlock military rifle.  The convention next year will be in Reno, Nevada.

Plaudits. Moe Phillips gave a nice talk concerning an incident regarding one of our dealer-members.  The HNI in my corporate name stands for Honesty n' Integrity.  David Condon couldn't have embodied that spirit anymore than he recently did.  A customer claimed that a rifle that he purchased was not as advertised.  After closer scrutiny, Dave agreed and reimbursed the customer.  Chalk one up for some of us reputable dealers.  Speaking of dealers, David Buehn is now buying shotgun parts.

One for Our Side. Hank Hagenau of the 59th district is a candidate for the House of Delegates.  The primary is scheduled for 21 August.  The 59th District includes parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Prince Edward counties and all of Nelson, Cumberland, and Buckingham counties.

Show and Tell. We outdid ourselves this time, so if I leave anybody out or don't get a name right, please forgive me.  Larry Hare brought a rifle in which the barrel and receiver are one piece.  Bob Sears brought a rifle made by American Standard Tool in 1880 and a shotgun made by John Stokes of Baltimore in 1870.  Bob also told us that only one company made Damascus barrels in the United States, Ithaca.  Con Rice brought a few books, one of which covered weapons in general beginning with the axe and ending with today.  Marc Gorelick brought a French 1822 pistol that started life as a .69 caliber flintlock, was converted to something else in 1854 (I can't read my writing), and ended up with .71 caliber rifles barrels.  Dick Berglund brought some Snell saber bayonets.  Hal Prucha brought a Sharps rifle that can be construed to be a parts gun.  He also told us that the show in Denver is twice the size of the Baltimore show.  Wow!  Last but not least, Al Jorgenson brought an 1819 Hall flintlock that could have been used in the Indian Wars in Wisconsin and in 1861 belonged to the 2nd New Jersey Infantry.

Next Meeting. The next meeting is 23 August.  That's the fourth Thursday in the month, not the last Thursday.  Please remember that our meetings are always on the fourth Thursday, unless there is a special occasion.  For all those who called me and told me that we always have two events in June, that was only last year folks.  One time does not a tradition make.

Picnic. Those who let the threat of rain scare them off missed a great time.  As always the food, the camaraderie, and almost everything was second to none.  We had Moe's boat cannon again, we had a Cowboy Action Shoot demonstration by Emory Hackman's group, and we had exploding targets.  One memorable event on the firing line took place when one of the members didn't think anyone (Rick Nahas) could hit one of the targets with his first shot.  Rick said that he could, picked up the rifle for the first time, and (boom) an exploding target.  The shotgun range was also active throughout the day and far safer.

Other Shows. I recently attended a show in Connecticut sponsored by the Connecticut Gun Collectors Guild.  Two of our members who almost always come to our shows to help are officers are members in the Connecticut organization.  Peter cook is the President and Bill York is either the Secretary or Treasurer.  Bill took care of me and introduced me to a great many fine people.  One thing that stood out before I ran into Bill and Peter was the fact that I didn't feel like anyone was trying to cheat me or give me the runaround at any of the tables.  How nice it would be to have someone say the same about one of our shows.

The Potomac Arms Collectors Association's second of its twice yearly shows is scheduled for 13-14 October in Frederick, Maryland.  Sales tables are $35.00 each, and display tables are $15.00 each.  Many PACA members are VGCA members, and they deserve our support.  One of these days I'm going to fill out my application and join.  Since I'm from Connecticut, I'm going to join the Connecticut Guild too.

Secretary's Subtleties. Most of you know by now that I don't mind saying what I think, that I applaud when it is due, and cast darts when they are due.  Now I'm going to tell you what the silent majority in this organization has been telling me, some of it quite adamantly.  The first is the disrespect starting to pop up again at meetings when someone has the floor.  Many members voiced their unhappiness with the two who wouldn't shut up while Charlie Rausch was trying to give us an update on the NRA Convention.  Two attempts to quite them didn't work until yours truly stood up and asked them to please stop.  The general opinion is that if you want to sell guns at the meetings, do it before or after.  If you have to do it during the meeting, take your goods to the outer room to conduct your business.

The second complaint regards safety and control on the firing line.  Someone actually loaded a rifle and placed it on the table facing downrange when people were downrange.  Some people actually pointed loaded weapons to the left, right, and real while talking to others when they were in the process of firing.  I'm hesitant about the next comment, but there were enough complaints to warrant it being said.  Unsupervised children have no business on the firing line.

We all know better.  Someone (me) on the shotgun range practiced his tracking while people were in front of him in the shed and also walking back up to the firing points.  Yes, we all know better, even me.

President's Corner. My thanks to everyone who braved the weather and were blessed with a rainless day until late in the afternoon at the picnic.  One thing though, none  of us can preach enough about safety.  Next year we will have some specific guidelines on paper, and there will be more help on the firing line, or it is possible that there won't be any firing.  None of us, especially me, want to see that happen.  Shooting our weapons is the highlight of the picnic and is why many of the members attend every year.  IN fact, some of our members fire only once a year and look forward to our picnic so they can shoot.

Please plan to attend the meeting in August.  It will be the only one before our Gun Show in September and we need more help.  I would ask all of you who have been pushing for three and four VGCA sponsored shows a year to volunteer to help.  The next one is going to be more tightly controlled than ever.

There will be another Newsletter in August.  In the meantime, please fill out the enclosed Questionnaire and mail it back in the stamped-return envelope .  Let's keep it rolling -- Addison