The Early FBI's Acquisition Of Weapons Hard Cases


FBI files reveal the early Bureau obtained bids for hard cases in 1934-1935 from three main sources, namely, Kansas City Trunk, Virgil Weeks Trunk, and Bettinger's Trunk Companies. 

A 1935 Bid Sheet From Books Regarding Rifle Hard Cases For The FBI. The names being used by Books, the manager, on his letterheads resulted in confusion with regard to payment; see below. 

Conroy in the 1930s

Conroy in the 1930s

SAC E. E. Conroy of the Kansas City Office was no doubt the Director's "point man" for obtaining bids and coordinating purchases of "hard cases" used by the Bureau for various weapons.  In the 1934 letter (below) to the Director we see his early beginning contact with the Books Kansas City Trunk Company, sometimes referred to in Bureau documents and outside readings as simply "The Kansas City Trunk Co."   Readers might notice that the company's letterhead, left, shows "The Books Trunk Co." while the logo on that same stationery is different.   

The appearance of these varied names for the same company may cause some confusion with researchers and others. 

Files we've examined reveal that "hard case" purchases were made between late 1934 and 1935, with the logistics of Conroy establishing contact, the need for specs and drawings, the necessity of finding three bidders, legalities involving U. S. Government bids and back and forth communicating with Headquarters. It does appear that although other bids were obtained on various cases, the Kansas City Trunk Company won the bids on each occasion, at least in the initial phases of the Bureau's purchases. We're not certain what transpired between the FBI, Kansas Trunk or any others in the ensuing years after.  

Conroy was a decorated World War I veteran and today, his son is a retired agent of the FBI.  His biography is in that section of this website. 

The document shown here provides some insight into the early beginnings of the relations, the weapons handled and the caution of Conroy to the Director about inferior products.

See Conroy's 1934 letter to Hoover is here.

The confusion between the names of "Kansas City Trunk Company" and "Books" with regard to payment is shown here. Conroy was requested to ensure this was straightened out. 

"Hardcase" information on various shoulder weapons may be located on that weapon's individual page(s) or may be shown below.

(Other hardcase specs etc. being accumulated as of March, 2015)