Herb's Fantasy

Military Surplus Gun Shop!

Herb's fantasy gunshop is now open with one of the best lines of military surplus rifles and pistols -- but only in the world of wish-it-were-true-cyber-space!

Come in and look around. Feel free to fondle the merchandise. I don't even mind if you clean the bores, ink the markings, or dry-fire these babies. Out back there's an imaginary target range so you can test fire 'em too. Just remember to bring your own imaginary ammo, ear muffs, and carpeting. Please don't ask for a shopping cart or place to enter your credit card number, because friend, there ain't none.

It's all make-believe!

Well, not exactly make-believe, but rather removed in time some 35 years. You old timers might notice that my main inventory bears a strong resemblance (read identical) to what Martin B. Retting Guns, Inc. (aka: "Ye Old Western Hunter") of Culver City, California, offered in his 1965-66 regular catalog (overflow and late additions went into additional specials lists). Little wonder, because it's actually Retting's 1965-66 catalog that you'll find here, plus some additional ads gleaned from late 1960s gun mags from my outhouse library collection.

Retting's 48-page masterpiece of post-World War Two American mil-surp gun culture will never again be seen in such a diverse yet affordable display of vintage fire power. Perhaps other year catalogs were better yet, but this is the sole example in my possession and the only one that I've ever seen. Too bad we can't turn back the clock with a time machine, but with modern purchasing power and our deep appreciation for mil-surp weapons. Oh yeah, and a large cargo plane to haul our treasures home in!

The variety you'll encounter here is stunning. Condition is typically better than today as well; many guns being offered in excellent condition: ("Iran Short Carbine...BRAND NEW, in Grease -- $45.00"). There are also some rare birds seldom seen today and at U-Fix-Em prices too: G33/40 for $40; Turkish M1887 Mauser for $37.50; Belgium M1889 carbine for $25; Lee-Medford for $37.50; M1905 Mannlicher pistol for $27.50, $65 Broomhandles, overhauled Lugers for $60, and a wealth of other drool-over-items.

On the other hand, some familiar mil-surps of recent years are not present. There are no Swedes, Brazilians, Makarov, SKS, or FR-7/8s in Retting's 1965-66 catalog. Special rarities aside, perhaps the best values present in light of today's prices are M1903 Springfields totally rebuilt with new barrels for fifty bucks each!

Alas, in March of 1966 when I sent my quarter to Martin Retting for this catalog, I was only 13 years old. At that time I was a substitute paperboy making at best a couple bucks a week and these guns were beyond my reach. I never placed an order. But I still recall the rifle I wanted most: the M1887 Turkish Mauser based on Retting's almost magical description of it being, "the ultimate development of black powder cartridges."

My father, who had done pretty well collecting German guns during World War Two, and who got me interested in firearms in the first place (I still have one Schuetzen rifle and his 1917 J.P. Sauer & Sohn Gew. 98 sporter), had three kids and house payments and wasn't exactly the collector type anyway. By then he'd sold or traded off most of what he'd sent home (K.98a, another Schuetzen rifle (cased), P.38s, and pocket Walthers). I doubt if I even asked him, but I know what his reply would have been: "What do I want with that old junk? I picked that stuff up for free." As a soldier in the 5th Armored Division, he did too.

"Victory Division"

Training for Desert Warfare, April 1943

T. Sgt. Herbert Wagner

Co. C 127 Armored Ord. Mt. Bn.

Fifth Armored Division, 1941-1945


Oh well, times change. Or do they? Amazingly enough, 35 years later there's still a decent selection of affordable mil-surp guns. How long it will last, nobody knows. But even today in 2001-era dollars great bargains can still be had. For example, back in 1965-66 the cheapest M98 Mauser for sale by Ye Old Western Hunter was the M1935 Paraguayan ("Made in Oviedo, Spain...Good +, Bore Fair to Good, good shooting condition") for twenty bucks.

That's pretty amazing, because in the past year during Century's "4-fer" deals, a lot of us bought M98/38 Turkish Mausers for $25 each -- cheaper by far in today's inflated dollars than the cheapest M98 mil-surp available 35 years ago! Plus our Turks came with bayonets and many had nice bright bores!

On the other hand, some rifles that went dirt cheap in 1965-66 are worth considerably more today. One modest example is the Uruguayan M1871 Mauser converted to 6.5mm Dauteteau (p. 7) for $11.50. Recently I saw one selling for $895.00!

Please enjoy your little trip back into this golden age of military surplus firearms. Because server space is limited I've posted only Retting's mil-surp material with the coolest line drawings and illustrations and omitted the antique pages. Sorry. Hopefully, you'll be able to read the small print as there's some interesting information given there. After the Retting material there are some miscellaneous out-of-date mil-surp ads from the late 1960s containing more great bargains.

Martin B. Retting Gun Catalog 1965-66

Page 1: Cover

Page 2: Italian, English, and Dutch Rifles

Page 3: Spanish, Dominican Republic, and Jap Rifles

Page 4: Russian, Czechoslovakian, and French Rifles

Page 5: Peruvian, Argentine, Belgium, and Turk Rifles

Page 6: U.S.Rifles (.30-06)

Page 7: Peruvian, Belgium, Uruguayan, and Spanish Rifles

Page 8: U.S. and Swiss Rifles

Page 9: U.S. Rifles (.30 Carbine)

Page 10: British Rifles

Page 11: British and Canadian Rifles

Page 12: German, Spanish, and Austrian Rifles

Page 13: Czech, Yugo, Greek, Lux., Persian, Polish, Paraguayan, and French Rifles

Page 14: U.S. Rifles (.45-70)

Page 15: U.S. Rifles (.45-70 and .50-70)

Page 16: .308, .318, and .276 Caliber Rifles

Pages 18 to 23: Barrels, Actions, Stocks, Accessories, Scopes, Ammo, Tools, and Inert Grenades

Page 17: Swiss and Austrian Rifles

Page 24: Pistols (.25 Caliber)

Page 25: More Pistols (.32 Caliber)

Page 26: Broomhandle Mauser, M1905 Mannlicher, and Other Pistolen

Page 27: Revolvers (.38 Caliber)

Page 28: More Semi-Auto Pistols

Page 29: German Lugers

Page 30: Big Bore Revolvers

Page 31: Big Bore Break-Top Revolvers and Flare Guns

Page 34: Sporting Rifles

Page 35: Winchester Rifles

Page 36: Early Repeating Rifles

Page 37: Collector Shotguns

Page 38: Civil War Carbines & Rifles

Page 39: Civil War Repeaters

Page 40: More Civil War Repeaters

Page: 41: European Muskets

Page 42: European Muzzle Loading Military Rifles

Page 43: British Whitworth Rifles

Page 44: Schuetzen Rifles

Page 45: Swiss Muzzle Loading Military Rifles

How to Blow Up Your Gun!

With the recent importation of Spanish-made FR-8 "CETME" Mausers and Ishapore Lee-Enfields -- both chambered to 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win.) case dimensions -- there has been an ongoing controversy about the safety of these rifles when shooting commercial .308 Winchester ammo. As a result, the subject of blowing up these and other fine firearms has become a hotly debated topic of late. For an entertaining and educational account giving step-by-step instructions on THE RIGHT WAY of blowing up your gun, check out this classic article! No gun nut should miss it!

Enter: How to Blow Up Your Gun!

Mil-Surp Ads From Late 1960s Gun Magazines!

The "Swedish Trapper," Sniders, and other bargains in this discount mil-surp list!

Southwestern Arms Co. (one-third page ad) September, 1968

Ultra Rare 7mm Model 34 Remington and Sedgley .30-06 Military Rifles!

Service Armament Co. (one-third page ad) October, 1968

Scoped Royal Enfield sniper!

Centennial ArmsCorp. (small ad) December, 1968

No FR-8s, but lots else!

Century Arms (full page ad -- cropped) January, 1969

New P.38 under a hundred bucks, '09 Argies hit the market, Kar.98a, and other bargains!

Hunters Lodge (full page ad) February, 1969

Greatest gun values at lowest prices!

Century Arms (quarter page ad) June, 1969


The obsolete advertising copy presented on this website is out-of-date and no longer useable. It is presented here for its entertainment, historical, and educational value only. The addresses, prices, and items shown are no longer available and this information is void. DO NOT PLACE ORDERS BASED ON WHAT YOU SEE HERE!

The author of this website has no affiliation with any firms portrayed here. Nor does he endorse the items found on these pages. Firearms must be treated with respect and safety measures observed when handling them. Obsolete military weapons and ammunition should be inspected by a competent gunsmith to verify their condition as safe for shooting purposes. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting and make certain of your backstop.

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