By Dietrich Apel
We welcome any new information for our website and archive and will periodically update and improve the website and announce information and events of interest, as well as adding contributed material. All personal information such as addresses and telephone numbers will be held in the strictest confidence.
The thoughts that led to this website
First let me introduce myself to those who are not familiar with me and my motivation. My name is Dietrich Apel. I came to the United States in 1952 and served gun owners and collectors as a gunsmith for over 50 years. When my retirement age approached I decided to found the German Gun Collectors Association and served this association for over 13 years. During the years I devoted to the GGCA I never found the time to do some of the things that were most important to me and were spelled out in the original Vision and Mission Statement and the original bylaws of the Association. The main reason for founding the Association was the educational effort for preserving the history of German breech loading hunting guns and their makers, and the IRS recognized the GGCA as an educational non-profit association. Although I am no longer active in the German Gun Collectors Association, this website will allow me to continue the work I had started before I founded the GGCA. It is my hope that some of you will join me in this effort.
Those among you who have collected German guns and information about them may wonder whether there is really a need for this website. Turn to History-Article Nr.4 with the title “How did so many German Hunting Guns come to America?” and read why we feel that this website will provide an important service.
Many of us might agree that the computer and Email are a blessing but also a curse by taking up a lot of our time. It is for this reason that we will only from time to time make you aware by Email of our website and how it is progressing. We welcome your interest and your help. We urge you to take the time to find answers to your questions by visiting the various sections listed in the index as they become available.
If you are looking for a certain gun maker or gun dealer, it is best to go directly to German Gun Makers and Dealers or Austrian Gun Makers under About the Makers, look for his name in the beginning of the section and if his name is listed, scroll down to his thumbnail biography. If you wish to read more about that maker click on his last name in blue and underlined. This will take you directly to his archive page. If you do not find him in the listings, look for his name on the list of pages under the Archives.
You will, however, get a good overview by scrolling down through the listing of all gun makers and dealers and might see something that is also of interest to you.
We are adding more names every month, but the list of gun makers is very long and will never be complete. It will remain a work in process.
The Web Site gets a new Editor
By Larry B. Schuknecht
For those who may not know me, let me introduce myself. My name is Larry B. Schuknecht. I operate a business known as Dutchman Wood Works. I do many types of custom fine wood and metal work. My specialty is the repair and restoration of antique and classic long guns and custom stock making. I began collecting antique guns about 50 years ago when in my late teens. I have been a member of the German Gun Collectors Association since my good friend Dietrich founded it. I had the privelidge of accompanying him on two tours of Germany in 2000 and 2008. He has always had my support in his efforts to educate the world about the rich German heritage of Guns and Hunting.
In July of 2016 Dietrich voiced his concern about carrying on the web site noting that at his age it was becoming a burden. After some consideration I offered to take it over and with his agreement we began the transfer and my web host began giving it a fresh look while maintaining the same great information.
The German Gun collecting and Shooting community has been good to me and my business. Hosting this web site is my way of saying Thank You for your past patronage.
Please bear with us while we make the transition to this new program which will allow me to add material as it becomes available. Like any remodeling project we have problems to overcome. In the near future I hope to add to the Gun Makers and Dealers and build up a data base of Sporting gun Patents. I also hope to begin explaining the Sporting gun Components.
My humble thanks go to Dietrich for the years of hard work he put into building this wonderfully extensive site.
I may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. or by phone at (716) 741-3739. I invite comments, suggestions and contributions of information.
On Thursday, October 27, 2016 Dietrich Kurt Albert Apel passed away peacefully at his home in Meriden, N.H. The Shooting and Collecting community lost a great friend and skilled craftsman who overcame many obstacles to build a successful business- New England Custom Guns, founded the German Gun Collectors Association, led many tours to Germany, and established this web site. To see a photo collection or to read his Obituary go to the page Dietrich Apel. or to read his life’s story in his words go to the Founding of GGCA page in About the Makers.
I encourage anyone who has an interest in German Guns to join the German Gun Collectors Association. For more information you may call Jon Spencer at the German Gun Collectors Association headquarters at (435) 979-9723 or go to www.germanguns.com