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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ray Riling Arms Books

America's oldest mail-order arms book company is gone, sadly, and in dishonor. I was in high school when I started buying from them. In their words, a few years ago: "When one thinks of firearms and hunting literature, one automatically thinks of Ray Riling. An ex-Army officer, an architect and building contractor with 25 years of success behind him, Ray found retirement impossible. In the 1940's Ray Riling Arms Books Co. was launched when he advertised some duplicates from his extensive personal library of arms books. Most everyone over the years agreed that his stock and service has never been equaled. Over the years Ray wrote and published over fourteen books on arms and related subjects and two of them, "The Powder Flask Book" and his bibliography on arms books, "Guns & Shooting", are both known as "truly monumental." Joe Riling Like his dad, Joe is also a publisher of arms books and has written two books himself. Over the years Joe has been the compiler of "The Arms Library" section for the annual edition of the "Gun Digest." Ray Riling Arms Books Co. is dedicated to the sale of arms books both old and new and we carry in stock thousands of titles that include many rarities. A yearly catalog is available upon request. In the tradition of quality and personal attention, we look forward to being of continuous service now, and for many years to come."
Now, from Ian Skennerton: "Larry Riling of Ray Riling Arms Books advised us in November that he had declared bankruptcy with prime assets such as his apartment in Bridgeport PA under foreclosure. This is a sad end to a fine tradition commenced by his grandfather, Ray Riling, decades ago, and carried on my his late father Joe. Larry was absent from the last Tulsa OK show." "More recent news however is more concerning... revealing substantial unpaid debts to many publishers & booksellers. Larry's appears to be closed down, a more recent Amazon site seems to have much of Larry's stock, maybe set up in another name? Buyers need to exercise caution before sending funds to Riling, links have been removed from our Recommended Websites page. A Google or Yahoo search for 'ray riling arms books' will show many disgruntled customers who sent money and received no books or explanation. See the internet ripoffreport, complaintsboard, etc. for more details. Caveat emptor." (Me)


Unknown said...


Thanks for the straight skinny on the evidently now defunct Ray Riling Arms site! I had to search around to find out what happened to what once was one of my favorite weapons book dealers. What a shame!:{(

Would you happen to have a copy of:

- Brown, Rodney Hilton.

Very interesting website! I will add you to my long list of bookdealers.

Thanks Again!



Jim Handcock said...

Steve, sorry, I don't have a copy right now. I suggest that you use ABE as I see several for sale through that search site:

Glad you found the post and site of benefit!


Rooked in Reno said...

My thanks for the skinny on Ray Riling Arms Books Co., Inc. too, but don't look now, Ray Riling Arms Books Co. is still listed on the internet as doing business only from a new city. The street address is the same, 6844 Gorsten St. and it lists the same phone numbers, even the same web address of, only this time it is not in Philadelphia, PA 19119, this time the street address is in Schnecksville, PA 18078.

A google search of that address yields no such address (surprised?) in Schnecksville, PA, only 2 listings to Ray Riling Arms Books Co., Inc.
Seems like Larry is still trying to defraud web-shoppers' out of their money using his Grandpa's name. He got $77.90 cashing my Sept. 20, 2009 check to RRABC. Bankruptcy hasn't prevented him from starting a new web business (same name, same phone numbers, same web address, only a new city) now did it?

Some folks just can't resist an easy buck.

Anonymous said...

It saddens me to see that fall of a great empire per say. Both Ray Riling's son's are now deceased as well. I'm embarressed to know that my cousin has acted in such a way. Ray Riling Sr., grand-daughter.

Anonymous said...

Just for the information of your readers, Larry Riling (Ray Riling Arms Books) has been selling books all over the internet since his bankruptcy. He's on eBay using the handle "riling1" and he's on Abes Books under the name "The Gun Book Co."