Chic Gaylord "Handgunner's Guide" C. 1960


Jeff Timm
October 1, 2005, 09:23 AM
Chic Gaylord Handgunner's Guide, Copyright 1960, by Chic Gaylord, Hastings House Publishers New York 22.

This is a famous book, found in a used bookstore in Jacksonville, FL and presented to me by My Lady Wife for Christmas 2004.

This book was pre-Gun Control Act, pre-Assault Weapons Bans, pre-ballistic jelly and even Pre-Zip Code!

But in many cases, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Gaylord was primarily a holster maker, back in the days when exposed trigger guards were in style. He worked from a shop in New York City! And worked with many LEOs in the 1950's he distilled their experiences and his opinions into this book.

He was a strong believer in Adapting Your Gun, Chapter 1, to fit your hand, with Trigger shoes, custom hammers, custom grips and grip fillers behind the trigger guard. One of his favorites was the Fitz Gunfighter grip, renown in song and story. He reflected the conservative nature of his clientel, "I cannot recommend the use of adjustable sights on a service or defensive weapon."

He also had much to say about the quality of firearms available, "Manfacturers today don't take the care they should in Zeroing in the sights....You would do well to seek the help of a competent gunsmith, who has range facilities to check your sights."

"For any work requiring the services of a gunsmith, you should make sure that the man is qualified to do an expert job. Today there are only a handful of really fine gunsmiths left. Put your gun in their hands, not in those of some half-trained gun butcher. Unfortunately, the fine ones are far outnumbered by the "butchers." To avoid the latter and locate the former is an arduous task, but it will reward you a hundredfold."

Who is shocked by how little somethings have changed in 45 years. :cool:

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Jeff Timm
October 1, 2005, 09:27 AM

In Weapons for Concealment, Chapter 2, he believed the 3 or 4 inch revolver concealed as well or better than a 2 in.

In Personal Defense Weapons, Chapter 3, he observed, "The civilian who carries a firearm should receive marksmanship training from a competent instructor. Too many people -- and, unfortunately, this includes large sections of the police and the military -- are far from expert in their handling of handguns....Permits to carry a pistol are issued all over the country to people who have no more than a vague idea as to which end of the gun the bullet comes out of! Such irresponsible gun toters are a menace to life and property." And, "No one should carry a snub-nosed revolver having a barrell of two inches or less without shooting an average of 100 rounds a week in practice. Anyone unable to practice his shooting to this extent should carry a gun having a barrel three inches or over, preferably one with a four inch barrel. In my judgement, Colt's .38 Police Positive Special is the best gun of this type." On liability, "Judges and juries quite rightly take a dim view of having their fellow men shot up for no good reason, and our hero may find himself in hock up to his eyebrows to pay off these claims." He was a big Colt fan.

"No Magnum revolver should be used for work in a city or suburban area: the bullets travel too far and have too great penetration.....One of the arms companies would do well to produce a rugged, compact .357 having fixed milled sights that would give as clear a sight picture as do the target sights. Colt's Government model .45 ACP can be an effective personal defense pistol when properly holstered. This piece of artillery should not be toted by those who have not mastered it. It is an exceedingly fine gun, however, in the hands of anyone who knows how to shoot it." Remeber Lee Juras haddn't yet formed "Shooter's Associates" much less "Super-Vel."

Jeff Timm
October 1, 2005, 09:32 AM

For Service Weapons, Chapter 4, he was once again conservative, "The old Colt New Service .45 with the five-inch barrel was an almost perfect service weapon. If the ejector rod had been enclosed, as Colt now has done in the Python, it would have been unbeatable." 10mm fans take note, "The caliber that I feel would be the most effective of them all is a .41 Magnum firing a 200-grain semi-wad-cutter bullet at a velocity of about 1500 feet per second." Little hot for me.

Guns for Combat Practice, Chapter 5, he advocated a duplicate of the Service Revolver in .22 Caliber, "If your service weapon is the Colt .38 Official Police revolver you are fortunate, not only because it is an exceptionally fine police weapon, but also because the identical gun is make in .22 caliber."

The Fun Guns, Chapter 6. He starts out with the Ruger Bearcat (not the current safety model), the "S&W .22-.32 Kit Gun, 4" barrel, all steel. The finest fun gun available today." I can't argue with that. He wasn't big on semi autos for fun guns, "Every instance of accidental discharge of a handgun that I myself have been witness to, and fortunately there have not been many, the offending gun was a semi-automatic pistol. It is my personal belief that semi-automatic handguns with exposed hammers are generally safer than the models having concealed hammers."

Ammunition, Chapter 8. "Readers of this book may get the impression that I recommend only the most vicious and destructive handguns and ammunitions. I do. You are defending yourself, your property, or the lives or property of others. Trouble may come at any moment. You should be able to handle this trouble effectively and quickly, with the least possible danger to yourself and innocent bystanders."

He was an advocate of the .38 Special 200 grain Super Police load. A very blunt round nose bullet, at relatively low velocity. But he also said, "The adoption of the .38 Special as the prescribed arm for police departments in the majority of cities and states in our nation has amounted to a triumph for organized crime. If a man really wants to put up a fight, a few punctures from the standard .38 Special police bullets won't stop him. Unless he is hit in a viatal spot, he'll go on shooting right back. In contrast, one shoulder hit with a .45 revolver will knock a man off his feet and take all the fight out of him." "In choosing ammunition ge the most effective load possible for your gun. After all, anyone you have to shoot at isn't likely to be a friend."

He was not an advocate of the hollow point bullet, "Some peace officers favor the .38 with the hollow-point bullet -- the Keith load....It is so deadly that the majority of police departments frown on its use. There is the possibility of legal repercussions in the event of a wounding or a fatality of an innocent bystander....Prosecuting attorney and attorneys for the plaintiff in damage suits are wont to refer to the hollow-point as a 'murderer's bullet.'" Hummm must have had an ACLU back then.

Jeff Timm
October 1, 2005, 09:35 AM
He illustrated many positions for shooting, one of which may be familiar to most of us, he called "the Braced should level." Most of the other positions favor an exaggerated crouch.

May 25, 2009, 09:10 PM
Good Read and worth a Bump!

If you enjoyed reading about "Chic Gaylord "Handgunner's Guide" C. 1960" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!