583 NH Route 104
New Hampton, NH 03256
(603) 744-3786
Article from the Laconia Citizen dated January 13, 2008
Abe's offers 'unique to unusual' armaments
Off the Main Road
By BEA LEWIS, Staff Writer

Abe offers unique to unusual armaments
This Winchester 1897 pump-action 12 gauge shotgun is among one of the many used guns available for sale or trade at Abe's Awesome Armaments owned by Abram 'Abe' Foote of Tilton. The shop specializes in knives, swords and firearms and buys, sells and trades.

NEW HAMPTON, NH— Abram "Abe" Foote grew up in Barre, Vt., target-shooting with his father and visiting gun shops and shows, looking for bargains. Today, Foote owns and operates "Abe's Awesome Armaments," a shop at 583 Route 104 in New Hampton that specializes in buying, selling, trading and appraising knives, swords and firearms of all types.

"Our motto is the unique to the unusual," said Foote, pointing to the top shelf of a glass display cabinet that holds a dozen Randall knives. Foote said he bought the mint condition knives from a collector, explaining that if you placed an order with the Orlando, Fla. manufacturer today, the company is so backlogged you wouldn't get your knife until 2011.

Walking to a display case full of handguns, Foote reaches in and picks up an antique Smith & Wesson #1 6-shot. 22 caliber engraved nickel handgun featuring mother-of-pearl handgrips that was made from 1868 to 1882.

"I do get some interesting stuff," Foote said, noting his stock is always changing because he never knows what someone is going to bring in the door. In past years, Foote said, a customer brought in a Civil War-era rifle — and also the diary of the enlisted man it belonged to — as well as a glass plate photograph of the solider.

An elderly woman once brought in several early photographs of her great grandfather and his Civil War rifle, bayonet and sword, Foote recounted.

A resident of Tilton, Foote said he obtained his federal firearms license in the early 1980s and has been buying, selling and trading firearms ranging from flintlocks to semiautomatics ever since. He attends all of the instate gun shows including those in West Lebanon, Concord and Manchester. Such shows are popular with buyers, he said. because they can go to one place and look at a variety of guns. Similarly, dealers like them because as many as 4,000 people or more may come through the door in one day. He said it is a common misnomer that people buying guns at a gun show do not go through the same stringent background checks as those bought in a retail shop. When computer access to the federal database is working correctly, Foote said it takes about 5 minutes to garner approval to by a long gun and 10-15 minutes for authorization to buy a handgun. He uses the same process whether you're buying at his shop or a show.

He bought the business in 2000 when it was known as Trapper John's Knives. He decided to add firearms to the shop's line of more than 1,000 knives and swords. In 2005 he cleared trees from the front of the property and had a log-style building custom built of yellow pine to increase the size of his retail area.

Abe also sells Air Soft guns and ammo. The equipment, made by a number of manufacturers, has supplanted paint ball gear as the hottest new outdoor weapons for games. Guns that fire six-millimeter plastic pellets from 250 to 440 feet per second are powered by a variety of different methods, including spring, CO2, "green gas," and even rechargeable batteries.

"Nearly every town has a team," Foote said of the growing popularity of the sport, in which players can use fully automatic rifles that are substantially more accurate than those made to fire paint balls.

On the opposite side of the shop, Abe stocks an impressive display of swords including "Katanas" that are hand-forged and take three months to make.

"We have knives from a dollar to hundreds of dollars including Swiss Army and Benchmade," Foote said.

The sales of swords and replica medieval weapons increase during the annual Highland Games and when King Richard's Fair opens in neighboring Massachusetts, he said.

A life-size fully functional suit of armor that had adorned the shop for years recently sold and another re-enactor purchased a full Scottish dress outfit including kilt in Blackwatch plaid, according to Foote.

As for customer looking for brand new guns, Foote said, he can order nearly anything and have it available for pickup in a day or two.