Early and Modern Firearms Company, Inc. (EMF), General US Grant, SASS #2, proprietor, is one of the early suppliers of Old West firearms and has been a consistent sponsor and supporter of Cowboy matches since the inception of Cowboy Action Shooting™
E. W. Spinney Jr. and his father, E. W. Spinney Sr, incorporated Early and Modern Firearms Company, Inc. in California in 1956. Colt Firearms had recently discontinued manufacturing the Single Action Revolver, so EMF purchased the Great Western Arms Company and began manufacturing a copy. EMF’s efforts were very successful and essentially cornered the market for Colt-style revolvers until a gentleman by the name of HY Hunter took a Great Western Revolver to Germany, began manufacturing an excellent copy, and then imported them into the USA through Hawes and Company. The cost of this imported single action was less than half the cost to manufacture the Great Western, hence the demise of the Great Western.
During the 1960s EMF established two retail gun stores, one in West Los Angeles and one in Studio City. They handled all sorts of firearms and did a good business. Early and Modern Firearms Company reduced their name to EMF because the only way to ship firearms in those days was through the US Mail in a box with a big red label on it marked "Firearm." Insurance rates soared because they were often stolen in transit.
In 1968 the Federal Gun Control Act went into effect. With so many new restrictions then in place, EMF closed its retail store in Studio City and opened a small office in North Hollywood. The company began offering blackpowder guns through a catalog mail-order business because the new Federal Gun Control Act did not cover these guns. That entire product line was purchased from an importer in Florida.
In 1970, General Grant (Boyd Davis) joined EMF as President. He determined it would be best to purchase directly from the manufacturer and become an importer. He contacted the Italian Consulate and made arrangements to meet with the major manufacturers in Italy. He went to Italy, hired an interpreter, and spent a few weeks meeting with many of the firearm manufacturing companies’ owners.
Upon his return to the states, he obtained all of the required permits and licenses to become an importer and lined up several major distributors. This made it possible to buy in large quantities and establish the company as a major player in the game.
In 1974 EMF moved its operation to a large standalone building in Burbank about a block from NBC. Then in 1980 EMF purchased an industrial condominium in Santa Ana, California where the business remains to this day.
In 1981 General Grant met Judge Roy Bean and joined Coto de Caza, a club in Orange County with a Trap and Skeet facility and a shooting range. The General and the Judge, along with Gordon Davis and Bill Hahn, dissolved the Orange County Practical Pistol Club and formed what became the Coto Cowboys to start the Cowboy Action Shooting™ Game. EMF donated just about all the prizes for the first three World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting™ called END of TRAIL. General Grant became the president of The Single Action Shooting Society when it was formed in 1987, and EMF, through General Grant’s efforts, was instrumental in soliciting match prizes for clubs around the country through its contacts in the shooting industry. Even though everyone in the industry now recognizes SASS and willingly supports Cowboy Action Shooting™ matches, EMF remains a major contributor to the game.
Because of its exemplary support of SASS and Cowboy Action Shooting™ from the game’s inception, SASS is proud to induct EMF, General Grant proprietor, into the SASS Cowboy Action Shooting™ Hall of Fame 2013. EMF began business in 1956 and was instrumental in creating SASS though its support and sponsorship of Cowboy Action matches around the world.