Anyone Remember Potomac Arms aka Ye Old Hunter, Hunters Haven Gun Store?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by 32 Scadoo, Jan 16, 2022.

  1. 32 Scadoo

    32 Scadoo Member

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    When I was a kid in the mid 50s I used to hang around this WWII surplus and gun store on the waterfront in Alexandria, Virginia. Of course I had almost no money, but the deals were fantastic at that time: Surplus Thompson SMGs with the breach welded for $75.00, Model 1917 Smiths and Colts for 17.50, Model 1911s for 25.00, M-1 Garands for $45. I used to lust after that stuff, and did buy maybe a half dozen handguns from them over the next decade or so.

    The building occupied by the store started out in 1947 as "Beachcombers Restaurant" and was situated on pilings over the water of the Potomac River. This was desirable, since its off-shore status exempted it from rather stringent Virginia alcohol laws. In the early 50s the restaurant folded and the building was occupied by Interarmco, and set up shop as a retail store for new and surplus weapons. Interarmco sold the building in 2006, and today it houses a boat club. Note that the outdoor balcony still remains.

    Ye Old Hunterr early2.jpg Ye old Hunter before.jpg Ye Old Hunter Now.jpg
     
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  2. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Yes! Its heyday for me was the 1970's. The best deal I made there was for an original, unaltered M1894 Krag (the model with the full-length cleaning rod). I don't think they realized how rare it was.
     
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  3. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    Looks like some SERIOUS land reclamation / landfill has happened last 60-70 years or so!
     
  4. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Yup,used to go in there a lot when it was Interarms. My cousin lived down the rd and was a small time gunsmith. Early 1970's.
     
  5. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    I lived in an apartment off Columbia Pike, near Baileys Crossroads. About 1-2 miles from the pentagon. I went over to ZERO Prince Street to "Ye Old Hunter" to see what they had. (The store was across the street from the address.) I think that was the same place. They had a big table (4' X 8') covered with ammo and artillery shells. I bought some! I was into collecting inert ordnance, but not guns at the time. It smelled like cosmolene! That was at least 55 years ago.
     
  6. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    In the early sixties I used to order those $14 dollar rolling blocks and $20 Springfields every week with my money from working at the grocery store. It was called "Hunter's Lodge" in Alexandria and featured the hillbilly "Ye Olde Hunter" is all heart as the logo.
    Had about thirty guns when I started college and after my sophomore year started to sell them off for tuition money. Made 500-1000% on some. Today, the increase would be mind boggling.
    Would like to have one each of my old RB, 1903 and 1917 today.
     
  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The boundary between Virginia and the District of Columbia is the shoreline (high water mark) of the Potomac on the Virginia side. (I believe that boundary was fixed in the 1840's, when the Virginia portion was retroceded from the original 10-mile-square District.) Later landfill would not change the surveyed boundary, which means that that building is technically in the District, and not in Virginia. Remember that in 1976, the District changed its law to make handgun purchases practically impossible. I wonder if that had anything to do with the demise of that building as a gun store. All it would have taken would be for the District to start enforcing its gun laws there.
     
  8. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I used to go there on occasion, until they closed up. Didn't buy much, but they had some interesting guns for sale.
     
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    32 Scadoo

    Never got to visit the store but I do remember seeing their ads in old gun magazines.
    aHFPSs8.jpg
    BdzIvJ3.jpg
     
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  10. tark

    tark Member

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    Do you remember if that cleaning rod had a brass tip.? The first pattern rifles had this and they are EXTREMELY rare. The second pattern guns had an all steel rod. Either one, today, is worth thousands if all original and in reasonably good shape.

    Early in the production run the under barrel cleaning rod was eliminated.
     
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  11. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    Back when I got back from overseas in the late80's got a couple of chances to visit the store and what they had on display was well worth the visit. Interarms office and warehouse were a street over on a seperate street and I think had direct access to the Harbor
     
  12. tommy.duncan

    tommy.duncan Member

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    I went into Full Metal Jacket Surplus and bought several M1 Carbine mags still in the wax paper wrapping. They moved farther up Duke St.
     
  13. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    My M1894 Krag has the all-steel rod. At one point, when I was downsizing my collection, I offered it to a dealer for $1,200 and he turned it down! So as luck would have it, I still have the gun.

    One reason these are so rare is that the vast majority of them were converted to the M1896 specs by filling the cleaning rod channel, reconfiguring the butt, etc. You used to be able to find the converted ones fairly easily.
     
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  14. tark

    tark Member

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    post deleted
     
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