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Whatever happened to Herter's?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by capvan, Jun 10, 2009.

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  1. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Whatever happened to Herter

    Herter's was just starting to fade away when I stopped shooting years ago. Whatever happened to it? As I remember they had some products that you just couldn't get anywhere else. I started shooting again a couple of years ago and I just happened to wonder what happened to them.

    Bruce
     
  2. Hitapair

    Hitapair Active Member

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    A Chicago sporting goods co bought them out and went belly up a few years later. A couple of others tried to revive it w/o success. Cabelas has the rights to the name now and markest a few things under the Herters name such as the plastic decoys, waders and some clothing.
     
  3. TALLEND

    TALLEND Member

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    Sir

    As they were primarily a "Mail Order Business",the 1968 Gun Control Act put them out of business.

    Tom

    P.S. I still have a Herters,".401 Power Mag"Revolver,--Skeeter Skelton thought it was a "great gun/ctg."---it came out about 2 years before the .41 Mag
     
  4. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    My first reloader was purchased from Herter's in 1969 along with plastic wads, primers and powder. I did not have a scale then and depended on the publications that came with the reloader for powder drops. I was in Bedford England at the time and shot my first rounds of skeet at Upper Heyford. Bought my first O/U, a SKB/BSA 12 ga for the sum of $150.00. I loved shopping at Herters(catalog) though and miss the reasonable prices. Jackie B.
     
  5. Hitapair

    Hitapair Active Member

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    tallend, Where did you here that story? Mismanagement put them out of business.
     
  6. colonel klink

    colonel klink Active Member

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    The Bass-Pro store in Springfield, Mo. has a large collection of mounted birds & animals that are from the original George Herter's collecton. Colonel
     
  7. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    As Hitapair says, it was mismanagement which seemed intended to drive customers away. In the mid-50's you could send an order and not see the product literally for months. A drive to Waseca would be better, but you had to plan for it to take all day to get them to find your feathers or whatever and sell them to you. It was best to place your order at the desk, go to lunch, and hope that you could pick it up several hours later.

    When you got the Tenite plastic lures home and painted them with the Tenite-intended finish, you would often find a lump of plastic was all that was left, or maybe a lure that never dried. Fly-tying was a lot harder than it looked, and the fish callers never worked either; I finally gave up on Herter's entirely.

    I still use the Bull Cook's knife to open shot bags and wonder if we'll ever really need apples to counter atomic radiation from Iran.

    Neil
     
  8. Gatguy

    Gatguy TS Member

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    At gunsmith school in the late 50s we bought nearly everything from Herter's, we thought GLH discovered America, or at least, hung the moon. Their presses were strong as a bulldozer, and they had some good wood too! I have several canisters of Herter's gunpowder which matches 4320, and some of their shotgun powder as well. Sad to see them go for sure, I have several of those old catalogs....some people said if all the BS was out of them they'd only be a half dozen pages long! Dick C.
     
  9. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I too remember those trips from St.Paul to Waseca in the early 60's, like Neil I was only 15 in the mid 50's. I was told that Herters was in court a lot fighting lawsuits about Patent infringements and outrageous claims in their world famous catalog. I always wondered if George Herter's book "How to Live with a Bitch" was about a dog or a woman ?
     
  10. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Well-Known Member

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    My dad and for a little while myself, bought mostly semi finished stock blanks from Herters, never had one problem with that.

    When the GCA of 1968 came in the feds where hot and heavy to make it difficult to sell anything Firearms related mail order.

    It was not only Herters that suffered from the rules that BATF came up with!

    Several small Mail order places here, one of them sold only bullets, no powder primers, cases or anything else, but because of the paper work that BATF was forcing on them along with threat of "If you sell it thru mail (90% of their buisness) and WE think we can say it was used in a crime, YOUR going to Prison!" they sold out there bullet making machinery.

    The last Herters catalog that I saw, was gutted of everything firearm, it became an outdoors camping, fishing, clothing catalog was sad. And shortly after that Herters was No More!

    So did the GCA of 68 along with the BATF force them out or mismanagement? It may be a little of both, but when a police agency comes in pretty much tells you that you can not do half or more of your buisness, even well managed buisness will fall on hard times.

    And just an after what was the inflation rate when Herters was being MISMANAGED?

    It is safe to say that things were tough all over!

    AL
     
  11. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    They had a helluva large retail facility with large-scale trucking for their mail order business in Mitchell SD many years ago.

    Didn't some of the gunsmith end up working for Allum in MN? Not sure about the spelling, but I'd got some parts and work done there, if I remember correctly.

    Whiz White
     
  12. DHN-MN

    DHN-MN TS Member

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    Whiz, I think you are referring to Ahlman's in Morristown, MN
     
  13. Old Doc

    Old Doc Member

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    Herter's got into big time trouble when they were selling and possibly importing Jungle Cock feathers for fly tying during the Vietnam War. They were contraband at the time. Also Jacques may have spent too much on safari. Both reasons may be idol rumor, but that shouldn't get in the way of a good story. D Winter
     
  14. AJKohler

    AJKohler Member

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    I have to admit that I loved the simple egotism of their catalogs. 'Model Perfect' indeed!

    Took it all with several pounds of salt, but it sure was fun to read.

    Tony
     
  15. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    I always liked these lines from the catalog:

    “Guaranteed not to rust, rot, mold, or mildew.”

    “Personally tested on five continents by Jacque Herter Jr.”
     
  16. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    As a kid in the 50's-60's, there was nothing better than reading through a Herters catalog and wishing you could afford some of their stuff. I had a stack of their catalogs along with Sears, and another big gun catalog whose name escapes me...maybe out of Chicago? And loved the Boy Scout handbooks of those years with the Savage/Stevens rifles/shotguns listed...man, those were truly the days.
     
  17. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Living on the East coast, Herter's mail order was our primary source for wads and primers. Those were the fun days of shooting, great memories. They did have some quality products and probably their share of not so good, but their BS was priceless. Bob
     
  18. Wingshotgod

    Wingshotgod Member

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    Old Doc is the winner of the quiz. It indeed was the illegal import of feathers that was the beginning of the end. I worked for them during that time and also for one of the companies that tried to resurrect them in 1983.
     
  19. GrubbyJack

    GrubbyJack Member

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    A few years back Outdoor Life or Field & Stream did a great story on Herters, wish I had keep it...Herters stuff is priceless, just check ebay...Jacques Herter was the greatest hunter that never LIVED.....Grubby
     
  20. walnutmaker

    walnutmaker TS Member

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    I think we all miss Herters. Thay actually had a lot of great stuff if you could read through all the bull. I Had a great career guiding for snow geese on the west coast using a goose call they sold--heavily modified --of course. Wound up taking over 13,000 geese in ten full years of guiding--not bad for a city boy.
    Still have a lot of dies, components and of course the Chalice wads and the venerable Vandalee wads.

    Those were great days we will sadly never see again. The duck hunting in the late 60's and early 70's was incredible out on the west coast.
    I miss it! Good luck guys--- we have the chosen one to look out for us now. Hold on to your wallets! Phil in Colorado!
     
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