Golden Era of Guns Is Over. Or is It?/


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Amadeus
August 28, 2005, 07:06 PM
Everything has a golden era. Television during the fifties. Hollywood during the 1930's and '40s. Cars? Not sure. I'm not a big car buff. But I reckon it was in the fifties sometime.

What about guns? When was their Golden Era? Was it during the 1860s with the advent repeating firearms?

Was it during 1920's when Full auto was legal -- everwhere? Maybe it was in the 1940's when America's M1 Garands, Thomsons, and 1911's helped outgun a tyranical regime.

I believe that firearms met their golden Era in the early 1990's when advances in ammo and the introduction of polymer guns gave shooters a wider and more effective selection than ever before. The .40 added an option for those who could not handle a .45 and could not stomach a 9mm. Those who preferred the steel wheel of Smith and Wesson 19 could still get one without Lawyer locks or aluminum parts. Glock-heads could immerse themselves in plastics, and the 1911 was still known as a gun for "grown up" shooters. Ak-47's were still found on shelves at reasonable prices, and department stores still carried ammo next to the fishing rods. Sadly that's all gone now.

But that's just my take on it. When was YOUR Golden Era for guns? Or is there still a grand day on the distant horizon that shooters have not yet imagined?

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M-Rex
August 28, 2005, 07:08 PM
I'd say the 'Golden Era' ended with the Big Clinton Gun Ban, possibly when HCI started throwing their money around just prior to the Brady Bill.

Cowgunner
August 28, 2005, 07:13 PM
the golden era will end when we all carry laser guns..............

dpesec
August 28, 2005, 07:38 PM
Cowgunner, that will never happen. Yes they will exist, but us poor peasants will never be allowed to own one. They will be baned as soon as the first one appears on the civilian market. Just like RPG, Stinger missles etc. :fire:

CARRY'IN
August 28, 2005, 07:39 PM
-the short-barreled wheel-lock pistol could be loaded in advance, easily hidden under a cloak or in a deep pocket, and then aimed and fired with one hand.

These characteristics inspired some of the first attempts at gun control. In 1517 the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I prohibited the manufacture or possession of "self-striking hand-guns that ignite themselves"-language that could only be describing devices with wheel locks. King Henry VIII of England, an enthusiastic collector of pistols himself, attempted in 1537 to severely restrict the ownership of guns less than two and a half feet in length, stock included. His heirs repeated the effort. Queen Elizabeth issued four proclamations against overly handy firearms between 1575 and 1600, each progressively stronger in wording. Elsewhere in Europe, other rulers and regimes similarly tried, but failed, to control the pistol. (THE WHEEL-LOCK GUN
Thomas F. Arnold)

It will never be over.

Black Majik
August 28, 2005, 07:44 PM
Not sure when the Golden Era was for firearms, but it's not still continuing, thats for sure. With all the locks,FPS and warning labels imprinted on the gun, I'd say the Golden Era for firearms is dead.

CARRY'IN
August 28, 2005, 07:49 PM
For myself, personally, the golden era began the day I picked up my CCW and I knew no one would ever be able to threaten, intimidate, or assault me or my family again without facing the consequences. The "golden era" will continue for me as long as I carry a handgun.

Baba Louie
August 28, 2005, 07:54 PM
Cowgunner, that will never happen. Yes they will exist, but us poor peasants will never be allowed to own one. Why not? We can own laser sights and pointer thingies. If the .gov develops one first then maybe not because I have learned in my 50 years, we ARE NOT OUR GOV'T... but... if one is developed by the private sector first and the technology is patented and prototypes made and sold... who knows what the underground/black market will do?
The Golden Era? I'd say Right now, what with the current technology in metals, ammunition, optics, polymers, design and availability. One can argue finishes and hand fit/finish and I would concede that the '20's - '50's might have been a better time than now in some aspects, i.e. cost per unit to mfg., but looking at the overall picture, when in history has so much been available for so little cost?

jefnvk
August 28, 2005, 08:10 PM
It ended as soon as plastic was used on guns.

JohnKSa
August 28, 2005, 08:20 PM
I'd say it was between WWI and the GCA of 1968.

PromptCritical
August 28, 2005, 08:25 PM
1985 Glocks invented (the beginning of the polymer revolution), new machine guns were still available, guns were reasonably priced. Unfortunately, I was too young to enjoy it.

MikeJackmin
August 28, 2005, 08:31 PM
The golden era was always right around the time you were a kid, or maybe just a little earlier...

GW
August 28, 2005, 09:05 PM
For this Californian, the Golden Age ended in 1989, when private party sales were banned in here

Lord Bodak
August 28, 2005, 09:24 PM
With the proliferation of shall-issue CCW permits, the expiration of the AWB, and the lawsuit bill, I think the golden age may still be in the future.

The tide is turning our way, slowly but surely, and we can't stop fighting!

Vern Humphrey
August 28, 2005, 09:29 PM
I can carry in most states I care to visit. I can buy a newly-made Winchester Model 70 Classic. I can buy an M1911 that is better than those made in the 1930s. I can buy a quality American-made side-by-side shotgun (Ruger Gold Label). I can hunt turkey, deer, bear and elk where they didn't roam when I was a boy.

Standing Wolf
August 28, 2005, 09:41 PM
For myself, personally, the golden era began the day I picked up my CCW and I knew no one would ever be able to threaten, intimidate, or assault me or my family again without facing the consequences.

I concur.

That saidô, I think most people tend to think of their childhood years as a golden age that's been eclipsed by ugly times. I'm sure it's an illusion.

Chrontius
August 29, 2005, 12:46 PM
Cowgunner, that will never happen. Yes they will exist, but us poor peasants will never be allowed to own one. They will be baned as soon as the first one appears on the civilian market. Just like RPG, Stinger missles etc. :fire:

Too late for that, they're on the market now (in an extremely limited form) and are the stuff of highly intelligent hobbyists with deep pockets (or good sources)

I think the first golden age is over, but that there will be a second golden age with the advent of desktop rapid prototyping and the re-ushering-in of DIY. And maybe plasma weapons, too. Those would be loud, splashy, and fun. ^_^


I'd say the first ended around the time of the 86 ban, here's hoping it gets repealed.

Matthew748
August 29, 2005, 01:01 PM
I agree with you JohnKSa. I was not around back then, but I have talked to plenty of people who were. The first rifle my dad ever bought was from a shop in Chicago proper and it was done entirely through the mail. He was also quite young at the time. Of course, this was well before the GCA of 1968.

Ian
August 29, 2005, 01:03 PM
Hey, I think we're in the golden age of firearms. The only real thing missing is full-auto innovation, thanks to '34, '68, and '86. Things like the smart guns and integral locks are fairly minor and limited in scope. Consider the bright side:

Cowboy Action Shooting has brought about a huge revival of the "Old West" guns. A zillion kinds of Single Action Armies and lever-actions, plus Schofields, coach guns, Colt Lightning replicas, Sharps rifles, and so on.

The AWB spurred on the development of small pistols and expanded the 1911 market. Noow that the ban is gone, we hhave the best of all worlds - single-stack fullsize guns, "wondernines" and concealable pistols. Rohrbaughs, KelTecs, and micro-1911s. Just about every big company is making a polymer-framed 9/40/45 blaster, and most of them also make an all-steel 1911 to boot.

Combat rifles are expanding beyond .223, AR alternatives are all over, and yet there are still ever more people making ARs than making 1911s. In .223 we have the KelTec SU series, the XCR, the M96, the AR-180. The 6.8 is coming along well. In .308 there are factory new FALs, HKs, M1As, Garands, and AKs, plus all the imported guns.

Three-gun is expanding fast as well, and briniging with it new designs for autoloading shotguns and super-duper electro/optical sights.

It may not last forever, but I'd much rather be around in today's firearms market than any other in history.

Vern Humphrey
August 29, 2005, 01:10 PM
The first rifle my dad ever bought was from a shop in Chicago proper and it was done entirely through the mail.

I bought my first centerfire rifle, a Spanish short Mauser in 7X57 mail order for $16 when I was 16 years old.

While I was on my second tour in Viet Nam, fighting for this country, Kennedy and the other elbows took my right to do that away from me.

Cosmoline
August 29, 2005, 02:04 PM
The "Golden Era" for small arms came between about 1888 and 1918. This was the period where most of our modern small arms and cartridges were designed. What came after was largely adaptation and modification. When you boil most small arms down, they can be traced to this period. Even modern assault rifles and battle rifles, since the basic actions they use were all invented during the golden era.

Vern Humphrey
August 29, 2005, 02:17 PM
The "Golden Era" for small arms came between about 1888 and 1918.

While you might buy a rifle from Newton's Buffalo Arms Company, or a .280 Ross (if you had the money), there were very few sporting bolt actions being produced in the US in that period. Developments like the .357 and .44 Magnums were far in the future. The great Model 70 Winchester wasn't developed yet. Even many out-of-production classics like the Colt Woodsman and the Winchester Model 52 weren't yet developed.

Rob1035
August 29, 2005, 02:21 PM
I think the answer to this question really depends on which state you are in...

boofus
August 29, 2005, 03:02 PM
I agree with the previous notion that the golden era was from 1900-1968. You could get anything you wanted from a lever-action Winchester to a Steyr Mannlicher MP40 to a M1 Garand to a 20mm Solothurn anti-tank rifle. Practically every type of gun could still be manufactured and imported and surplus weapons of all types were everywhere.

John C Garand, Hiram Maxim, John Browning were all allowed to tinker with their designs during that period with little government interference.

Small arms technology is stagnating because only the chosen government few are allowed to dabble in it. If every person that wanted to was allowed to tinker who knows. Maybe we'd all have automatic silenced pulse rifles that fire caseless heatseeking projectiles that bio degrade. Thomas Edison didn't have to get a bloody permit and pass zoning restrictions to invent the phonograph or light bulb.

Checkman
August 29, 2005, 03:10 PM
Well I guess this is a matter of opinion isn't it? Nevertheless for revolvers I'd have to go with a sixty year stretch from 1897 - 1957.

It was during this time that that Colt introduced the Official Police, Police Positive, the New Service and the great Python.

S&W came out with the Military & Police, Triple Lock, 38/44 Heavy Duty & Outdoorsman, the legendary Registered Magnum followed by the .357 magnum and the very durable Highway Patrolman and of course the big old 44 magnum and then the K frame .357 Combat Magnum. And finally, but not least, S&W introduced the Chiefs Special during this time thus ensuring that backup guns would never be the same again.

Naturally there were great rounds that were developed at the same time. Many of you alrady know what those rounds are if you are familiar with the above named wheelies. But for those who are unsure here are just a few.

38 Special
38/44 HV
.357 magnum
44 Special
44 magnum

Ever since 1957 revolvers have been just variations on the Smiths and Colts. Even Ruger has just been tweaking the Hand Ejectors. I'm not addressing manufacturing quality or even different materials used in the manufacturing process such as MIM parts or casting vs. forged. I'm talking about innovations. Those sixty years were exciting ones for the DA revolver. I think that we've pretty much topped out with that particular technology. But at least I own several specimens. You'll never see times like that again - at least not concerning wheelies. Kind of sad. :(

Cosmoline
August 29, 2005, 03:52 PM
While you might buy a rifle from Newton's Buffalo Arms Company, or a .280 Ross (if you had the money), there were very few sporting bolt actions being produced in the US in that period. Developments like the .357 and .44 Magnums were far in the future. The great Model 70 Winchester wasn't developed yet. Even many out-of-production classics like the Colt Woodsman and the Winchester Model 52 weren't yet developed.

The hot loading of .38 Specials, .44's and .45 Colts was certainly underway during that period. THis is what led to the formal adoption of magnum catridges.

The "great Model 70 Winchester" is for all intents and purposes a sporterized Mauser '98. It was a revelation for American shooters to have a high-quality Mauser sporter at an affordable price, but it was hardly a new design.

The Colt Woodsman begain productin in 1915, so again we are in the golden age.

And the Winchester Model 52 was developed towards the end of WWI and was introduced in 1919, right at the tail end of the golden age.

I rest my case :D

ctdonath
August 29, 2005, 08:47 PM
End of golden era: 1934. First practical national ban (MGs, SBRs, SBSs, suppressors, AOWs).
End of silver era: 1968. Registration (yellow form) begins; no by-mail.
End of bronze era: 1986. First all-out ban (MGs).

We now live in the twilight, gleefully refining what we can have but with little hope of owning the future: M4, FN P90, HK MP7, FN 2000, etc. - all based on increasingly exotic combinations of full-auto, short barrels, and armor-piercing ammo. Civilian-legal technology goes little beyond the M1911, M1903, and AR-15 - all 50-100 years old, and we increasingly have to ask permission.

No_Brakes23
August 29, 2005, 09:14 PM
I will take today's innovations over yesteryear's machine guns. FA is undeniably fun, but not that much fun.

I guess 85-89 was the best of the last century, but widespread CCW and modular EBRs make 2005 and beyond a bit of a renaissance, (Outside of places like Cali, that is.)

I think the future will consist of less restrictive access to firearms and CCW, but at the cost of more documentation/mandated training/"safety" laws.

benEzra
August 29, 2005, 09:19 PM
I agree with Ian. If you live in a free state, we're still in it.

1 old 0311
August 29, 2005, 09:23 PM
I remember as a kid looking at a Sears catalog and seeing all the guns for sale. This was through the Mail with no paperwork. :o

Kevin

Vern Humphrey
August 29, 2005, 10:23 PM
The hot loading of .38 Specials, .44's and .45 Colts was certainly underway during that period. THis is what led to the formal adoption of magnum catridges.

The "hot loaded" .38 Special dates to the 1930s. Hot loaded .44s were the brain child of Elmer Keith -- well into the 1920s.

The "great Model 70 Winchester" is for all intents and purposes a sporterized Mauser '98. It was a revelation for American shooters to have a high-quality Mauser sporter at an affordable price, but it was hardly a new design.

When you consider what you got with the Model 70 -- from its side swing safety to its trigger, plus pre-tapped for mounts, and in almost any caliber you wanted, that's a long way from a surplus Mauser.

The Colt Woodsman begain productin in 1915, so again we are in the golden age.

They were rare, since war production limited availability.

And the Winchester Model 52 was developed towards the end of WWI and was introduced in 1919, right at the tail end of the golden age.

I rest my case

Still outside the era.

Most of the guns we regard as classics were developed later -- and you can get things today you couldn't get then.

Grey54956
August 29, 2005, 10:50 PM
The golden era is still coming...

Have faith, Brothers and Sisters...

Monkeyleg
August 29, 2005, 11:17 PM
If you're talking about craftsmenship, it was back in the fifties and sixties. If you're talking technology that makes that hand-fitting unnecessary, then we're there now.

Politically, though, we've been screwed for decades. The Golden Age of Guns ended when civilians could no longer possess the same guns as used by our military: 1934.

The beginning of the end of the Second Amendment.

Cosmoline
August 30, 2005, 03:48 AM
Vern, we're talking about two different things. I'm talking about the golden age in small arms development, you're talking about the golden age of being an American firearm buyer. It took several decades for the innovations of the 1890's and 1900's to find there way to US markets. But they WERE innovations of the 1890's and early 1900's. From smokeless powder to virtually all modern parent cartridges and action types, it began right there. That was the era where Browning, the Mauser engineers and even the French were churning out one phenomenal design after another. Nobody alive today has witnessed anything like that period in small arms development.

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