No.32 - January 2007

Colonial Display Night

Thanks to all those members who participated and especially those who displayed. The broad theme idea worked well and the range of arms and other items displayed were just what we had hoped for. Of course, such events depend entirely on the willingness of members to bring items along and we want to continue to encourage not only the well established collector but also those who have just one or two items which they are prepared to show. Display nights are not competitions but chances to show and be shown items of interest. If it interests you, it is bound to interest someone else. Participation is everything.

Results of Survey "Your Guild- Your Views 2006"

We are very pleased to report that 100 members took the time and trouble to complete and return survey forms. Without listing every individual response here, certain interests were widely shared.

The most popular activity seems to be buying and selling! No surprises there!

In addition, a lot of interest was shown in:

  • Medals, Medallions and War- related Memorabilia
  • Swords, Bayonets and Knives
  • Powder Flasks
  • Gun related Tools and Equipment
  • Material related to the Zulu Wars, the Crimean War, the Boar War and the Two World Wars,
  • Post 1947 Firearms
  • The First Fleet, Early Settlement, the Gold Rush, Eureka Stockade and Bushranging
  • The American Civil War and the American West
  • Duelling pistols
  • Firearm Ignition systems
  • Uniforms and accoutrements
  • Police and Gaol Related themes
  • Artillery

  • Furthermore a large number of other themes were suggested, including the following:

  • Genealogy and tracing provenance of arms
  • Colonial arms dealers
  • Air guns (older types)
  • Medieval weaponry
  • Metallurgy, in the arms context
  • Napoleonic periodv
  • Firearms Curiosa
  • Early target rifles
  • Poacher's guns
  • Man traps and anti poacher weaponry
  • Proof marks (information about)
  • Firearm/ weapon laws (current)
  • Schutzen rifles
  • Flare pistols
  • Multi barrelled percussion guns
  • Sea Service weapons
  • SMLE/Lee Enfield variants
  • Care of collections
  • Identifying firearms
  • Early photos and cartoons
  • Daggers, battle axes
  • British military
  • Influence of technical development of firearms on battle outcomes
  • Methods of antique firearm manufacture

  • (If your suggestion does not appear it does not mean that it is being ignored, just that we cannot list everything here, so we picked the most popular)

    The following demonstrations were suggested:

  • Wood finishing. in the context of arms collecting
  • Taking dents out of powder flasks
  • Restoration techniques and approaches, generally
  • How to determine the age of firearms
  • Regulation of double rifles

  • In addition to those mentioned in the Survey itself, other visits were suggested:

  • Victoria Barracks (is there an accessible collection?)
  • Police Forensic Unit at Macleod
  • Tank Museum at Puckapunyal
  • RAAF Museum at Point Cook
  • RAAF Air Museum at Moorabbin
  • Viking Museum
  • Minesweeper "Castlemaine" at Williamstown
  • Bertram Bullet Factory
  • Light Horse and Artillery Museum
  • Old Melbourne Jail
  • Bandiana Army Museum
  • Point Nepean National Park
  • Williamstown cannon and time ball etc
  • Small museum Near Port Welshpool
  • Pacific Aviation at Wang (restoration of aircraft)
  • Range days (we have a problem with this as it would change the Guild into a shooting organisation and thus prevent us using our special and distinct position as non-shooters which e.g. allowed us to keep short barrelled pistols. However perhaps a visit to a SSAA Muzzleloaders Club shoot might not raise the same concerns as putting one on ourselves).
  • Country meetings
  • Taminick Cannon firing -winter only
  • Other collector's collections
  • ADI at Benalla
  • Tours of historic sites
  • South Channel Fort

  • In addition, we received a large number of ideas for activities and changes or improvements to the Guild, and also notice of some problems. The most frequently voiced of the problems were the difficulties encountered by older or infirm members and country members who could not make it to our meetings. This is a hard problem to address because our membership is state wide.

    In response to these concerns, we are considering having at least one meeting a year on one day during a weekend to make it easier for country members to come. Our current proposal is to hold a big "Bring and Buy" sale during the day on a Saturday in June and combine it with other activities in the afternoon. These might, for example, include a question and answer session (held in the front area so as not to interrupt the buying and selling) about restoration and repairs in which a small panel of expert restorers, assisted by a facilitator, answer questions. We are also thinking of running at intervals throughout the day videos on firearm related matters as well as maybe having some displays in the front area. We are still working on these and other ideas.

    After taking into account the results of the Survey. We propose the following themes for Guild meetings for the next six month up to and including the AGM. Please note that the customary trading and selling activities can continue as usual:

    Schedule for Monday Nights 2007 (January to July 2007)

    29 January -The 2006 Survey of Members reveals that the club activity that members enjoy most is the chance to buy or sell, so the January Meeting will be A Grand Buy and Sell Night. Set up from 7pm. Doors open to buyers 7.30pm. Space might be limited, so first in, best dressed. This is your big chance to clear out the Gun Room... or fill it up. Bring it all along! (Things offered for sale must have some connection with the Guild's reasons for being)*

    26 February - Display Night. Displays of or incorporating any of the following: Swords, Bayonets, and Knives etc. Your chance at last!**

    26 March - Display Night. Displays of or incorporating any of the following: Cased Guns or Pistols, Gun Accessories, Firearm Related Tools, Cartridges.**

    30 April - Display Night. Displays of My Favourite/ Most Interesting/ or Most Obscure Piece(s), plus, for those who would like to say a few words to members about any item they have brought along (this is entirely optional - no pressure), the chance to do so informally during the evening in the area to the left of the main front door to Eley Park, which will be set up for the purpose.**

    28 May - Display Night. Displays of or incorporating any of the following: Medals, Decorations, Memorabilia, Military Accoutrements, and Equipment etc.**

    25 June - Another Grand Buy and Sell Night! (Rules as for January)

    30 July - Annual General Meeting

    Please note:

    * Displays. Displays do not have to be formal or large, or only of rare and expensive items. If you have something which interests you, bring it along and put it on a table. One item or more than one - all are welcome. Items which interest you will interest others.

    ** Display Permits. A Display permit must first be obtained by you from Licensing Services Division (allow enough time) if you want to display, a firearm or ammunition held under a Category 1 or 2 Collector's Licence, or is ammunition held under an ammunitions collectors licence. The Guild will acquire a supply of the appropriate forms.

  • All sales or offers to sell or buy and any transfers must comply with applicable laws.

  • Important Notice: Compliance with all applicable laws is the responsibility of members/visitors and not the Guild or its officers. Similarly, and without limitation, it is the responsibility of members/visitors and not the Guild or its officers to ensure that items are kept safe from theft, damage or misuse, however that may occur. All firearms must be and remain unloaded at all times (whether with blanks or live ammunition) and no live ammunition may be displayed or kept together with any firearm in which it can be used. All items must be handled safely. To the maximum extent permissible by law, neither the Guild not its officers accept any responsibility for any of the above or related matters and any liability which might otherwise exist is hereby denied, excluded and extinguished.

    Henry Scott/Maurie Albert Award

    We are still seeking a suitable venue at which to hold this competition and this is still proving difficult. This important and prestigious competition is expensive to run both for the Guild and the competitors. Accordingly we want to ensure that the displays attracts at least six competitive high quality displays and are seen by as large a public as possible, especially potential members, and, in all respects, are an attractive advertisement for arms collecting. We are making enquiries of the Melbourne Antique Show, the SSAA Shot Show and also considering other options.

    To gauge the current level of competitor interest would those members who are thinking of entering please contact the Guild Secretary fairly promptly so that we can gauge if it is worthwhile proceeding.

    Trips to Fort Queenscliff and Puckapunyal Tank Museum

    The Committee is hoping to arrange early in the year a coach trip to the Queenscliff Fort to view the Museum and the collection of cannon and coastal artillery. We are also considering a coach trip to the extensive Tank Museum at Puckapunyal.

    Further details of both will be provided at or before the January 2007 meeting, however both trips will, of course depend on sufficient interest being shown. Please advise the Secretary (by phone, email, post or in person) if you are interested in these tours as we will rely on this to gauge interest.

    The Website

    The Guild has an excellent website which is the achievement of committee member Ben Thomas. It now contains a very useful index of articles in Caps & Flints. Visit it to see for yourselves. The address is http://www.armscollectorsguild.com/

    Or search in Google for Antique Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria.

    Change of Minister and up-date

    As you are aware Mr Tim Holding is no longer Minister for Police and Emergency Services. We are sorry about this as he was prepared both to listen to our concerns and pass our various submissions to the Department of Justice. Currently we have a number of submissions with the Department and, as usual, we are pressing for changes to benefit collectors.

    The new Minister is Mr Bob Cameron, formally Minister for Agriculture, and we are renewing our lobbying efforts on your behalf.

    Advertisements and Monthly Very Light - trial

    As buying and selling was listed in the Survey as the most popular Guild related activity, we are proposing that after the current issue of Caps & Flints the buy and sell section for member's private sales and wants (of items within the scope of the Guild's statement of purposes) will be moved to Very Light, which will experimentally be published once a month, provided we get in sufficient time for each edition an all up total of at least two pages of classified ads, so as to make the exercise worthwhile. To encourage members to use this new Very Light classified service, non-business advertising in the next two editions will be free. After that, we will see.

    However business advertisements of the type currently in Caps & Flints will attract charges and these will be advised once they are calculated.

    Please send your classified advertisements to the Secretary, Antique & Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria, Inc., PO Box 2976, Cheltenham, Victoria, 3192, or by email to info@armscollectorsguild.com


    Under section 101 of the Firearms Act 1996 Victoria advertisements for the sale of firearms must contain the serial number of the firearm and the licence number of the vendor. For sellers in NSW that State's laws also require that the advertisement contains, as well as the above, the name and address of the firearms dealer through which the sale is processed. Applicable laws of other States must also be complied with.

    The Guild reserves an unfettered right without being obliged to give reasons to reject any advertisement (or part thereof) it considers unsuitable. It may also limit the total size of advertisements which it considers would take up too much space, but will endeavour to get the remainder into the next edition.

    Membership Reminder

    All members are reminded that in order to hold the appropriate licence covering your collecting interests you must be a current financial member of an approved organization.

    Caps & Flints

    After experiencing some technical difficulties, the next edition of Caps & Flints is complete and in the hands of the printers. We are pleased to be able to recommence publication.

    Survey of Australian Heritage Colts

    Enclosed with this issue of Very Light is a survey sheet prepared by John McLean requesting details of Colts with Australian heritage significance for a proposed book Australian Heritage Colt Percussion Firearms.

    The Guild recommends that you help with this important initiative and if you have any Colts fill in the form and return it to John at the address indicated.

    Guild Address

    You are reminded that the Guild postal address is PO Box 2976 Cheltenham, Victoria, 3192 and the phone number is (03) 9584 2907.

    © Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.