Firearms Ephemera

Over the years many gun businesses have come and gone. Most were small concerns which served a niche market and while they may have enjoyed some initial success they often failed to thrive. A few of these ventures really took off and truly influenced the shooting public by improving the quality, availability or variety of firearms and ammunition. As is the case with most everything, nothing lasts for ever and most of these businesses have faded into history.

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Homer Clark Jr's company, Alcan is credited with greatly expanding the popularity of shotshell reloading in the United States after World War II

Bair Loading Tools

Bair Machinery manufactured a line of metallic and shotshell reloading presses based on Pacific designs during the 1960s and 70s.

Hansen Cartridge Co.

Started in 1975 by John R Hansen, the Hansen Cartridge Co. imported reasonably priced boxer primed non corrosive rifle ammunition for many military calibers at a time when the only alternatives available were the expensive Norma brand cartridges or non reloadable berdan primed military surplus ammunition.

Starting in 1980, Hansen imported 30 carbine and 5.56 mm NATO ammunition manufactured by the Poongsan Metal Manufacturing Co. of South Korea (Waters 283).

Soon they were importing quality ammunition, made by Prvi Partizan in the former Yugoslavia, now Serbia. Available in a variety of military chamberings such as 303 British, 7.62 x 54 Russian, 6.5 Arisaka, and so on, it used quality boxer primed brass. I still use some Hansen brass from cartridges that I purchased in the early 1990's. I never used Hansen, 22 rimfire or the centerfire pistol ammunition but I assume that it was of comparable quality to their rifle ammunition.

For whatever reason the brand dissapeared in the early to mid 90's.

Street address to Hansen - 244 Old Post Rd Southport CT

Herters Inc.

A mail order catalog behemouth, selling all manner of hunting and fishing equipment, Herters collapsed under its own weight and some poor business decisions during challenging economic times


At one time the largest private dealer in small arms in the World, Interarms imported a wide variety of affordable firearms to the U.S. market.

Potomac Arms

Literally, just a stones throw away from Interarms was Potomac Arms, once one of the best gun stores in Northern Virginia.

Before the gun control act of 1968, both Interarms and Potomac Arms did a brisk business in mail order sales of military surplus arms and ammunition.

Waters, Ken "American Bulleted Cartridges" Gun Digest 1980 Deluxe Ed. 1979 p.283

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