Stembridge Gun Rentals was one of the earliest theatrical firearms rental companies in the world. The start was in 1916-18, and we have a lot more history on the company that we’ll be bringing to readers of SmallArmsReview.com as we put it together. Syd Stembridge has been a good friend to us for many years, and he has always helped to get the history recorded for posterity. What follows is a small piece of the history that was lost in a folder in one man’s files, until he found it and sent it on.
Most of our readers know that in 1998 through the mid 2000s, our company Long Mountain Outfitters was retained by numerous Hollywood firearms rental companies including Stembridge Gun Rentals to either liquidate their firearms collections or thin them down and harvest the value of transferable machine guns for their businesses. There were over 2000 NFA firearms, and significantly more than 10,000 Title I firearms that we sold off for the owners. It was a truly legendary period in the NFA community, affecting a large part of the collecting community. Today people talk about their “Red Dawn” AK, their “King Kong” Lewis, the “Sand Pebbles” BAR, or their “Spawn” M11. The list of cool and interesting firearms that came out of that, including the John Wayne guns, the Cagney Thompsons, etc, was staggering. We’re going to quantify a lot of that history on SmallArmsReview.com over the next few years, but there is one piece of the puzzle we can put together right now.
In 1973 Dangerous Dave Cumberland “The Old Western Scrounger”, and Dolf Goldsmith, were at Stembridge Gun Rentals in California, and they were asked to purchase the entire inventory. Dave told me he tried and tried to find $600,000 worth of value then, but it just wasn’t there, so the deal went south. Recently, Dave sent me all his photos from that event along with some other documents, and asked us to preserve the history. We thought this would be a nice treat for the readers, so that they can skim through the pics, drool a bit, and maybe, just maybe, see a picture of a firearm they own. Here are some excerpts from The Interviews I did with Dave and Dolf regarding that 1973 deal.