A look to the Past...


December 25, 2002, 09:42 PM
So, I inherited a large collection of my Father-in-Law's firearms library, including Gun Digests from 1951 and 1973-1981 inclusive. It's amazing how much has changed, and how much hasn't. Interesting bits so far:

Rimfire cartridges in other than .22 caliber.
"We predict the new Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun will be a big seller." You Think?
High velocity vs. Heavy Bullets articles.
Comparing 9mm vs. .45 ACP stopping power.
Complete lack of "military-style" weapons; everything is bolt or lever-action.
Constant references to .357 Magnum "being able to disable a running automobile engine."

And I still wish there was a "Handguns under $90" section!

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December 25, 2002, 10:05 PM
Calanctus, I remember as a kid being told by some older friends how a .357 Magnum would shoot through an engine block!

What other rimfires were mentioned? Latest I know of is the .17HMR. Not very familiar with earlier versions.

December 26, 2002, 12:08 AM

And the community is STILL arguing 9mm v .45 stopping power and speed v weight! :D

It used to be easy to stop a car engine with any gun. Just shoot it in the distributor cap or carburetor.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

December 26, 2002, 12:11 AM
You forgot the all mighty gas tank :)

December 26, 2002, 12:21 AM
I meant stop it instantly!

Way back then the engines you'd most likely want to stop were exposed so you wouldn't have had to penetrate hoods, etc., or wonder exactly where your target was. Besides most hoods didn't lock....

December 26, 2002, 12:33 AM
Dunno about a hood that just "locks" - don't they usually "lock 'n load"??? (The armed ones, anyway!) :D :D :D

December 26, 2002, 01:03 AM

Back then, armed hoods weren't a big problem, armed with guns that is. They favored chains and knives as being safer for them. Accidentally killing somebody they were just hassling was a relatively quick and ignominious ticket to execution.

Can you believe it? In the '50s, the young criminal elements had respect for their victims' lives and a fear of punishment. Of course, I don't know about NYC, Detroit, Chicago, etc., since I grew up in a Mafia controlled western city....

December 26, 2002, 03:02 AM
And nowadays, what are we s'posed to aim for, the Electronic Control Unit chip for the fuel injection system? :rolleyes:

December 26, 2002, 11:18 AM
I'll double check on which other rimfires there were; unfortunately, I'm at work right now. I think there were 2 or 3 in the .32 range, plus .22BB, .22CB, and the Short, Long, and Long Rifle.

I'll post more as I flip through it. Kind of weird not seeing some standards in there, like .223, 7mm Rem Mag, .44 Magnum, etc.

Oh, and for the record, the article did rank 9mm above .45!

December 26, 2002, 01:37 PM
included the 22 short (which started the ball rolling for ALL cartridge guns today) then the 32 rimfire (about the size of a 32 S&W round)also in S&W tip up revolvers of the 1860's. the henty of the same time period also used a rimfire round called (of course) the 44 henry. Cap & ball revolvers were converted to this round simply by making a new cylinder for the gun. also the 22 magnum round an another 22 magnum-like round that preceded it (more power than a LR but less than the current magnum) there was also in modern times the 5mm remington magnum also a rimfire cartridge.

December 26, 2002, 02:52 PM
I've used all the .22 stuff Calanctus mentioned except (maybe) the .22 BB. Not sure just what that is. I have shot the equivalent of a .22 shot shell cartridge, is that it?

JMLV, if I'm doing my math correctly, a 5mm equates to .20 caliber, correct? And was the Henry tube loaded from the butt, or am I thinking of another historical firearm?

December 26, 2002, 03:35 PM
and thats one I missed its was a 50/56 caliber and it too was a rimfire cartridge. The henry loaded fron the muzzle, this was changet to where we now load lever action guns on the side of the frame with the introduction of the 1866 or yellowboy rifle.
Yes the 5mm is a 20 caliber. It was a varmit round that died out years ago ammo goes for a preium now as if you have a rifle and no ammo you arr up a creek. Recently a centerfire conversion was created with wildcat cartridge cases which allowed you to shoot your remington 5mm guns again.

December 26, 2002, 03:46 PM
Oh, and for the record, the article did rank 9mm above .45! Interesting! Could you post the article reference information such as mag, date, title, author, etc.? I'd love to read it if I can find it!

December 26, 2002, 04:00 PM
What Blackhawk just said.. Please post the article or the name and date of the book that it was in. Thanks! ;)

December 26, 2002, 04:05 PM
Don't think he can post the article, Schuey. It's in a mag from BC, as in Before Computers, so it won't be in an electronic form -- unless of course, some silver tongued devil can talk him into typing it into a postable file. Maybe he could be talked into scanning it into big enough GIFs to be read. Oh the possibilities are endless, but who among us could talk him into going to all that trouble...? :D

December 26, 2002, 04:41 PM
or the name and date of the book that it was in. That's why I added this little nugget.. :D :D

December 26, 2002, 04:49 PM
Right. That was noted. I was addressing your "post the article" before the disjunctive.

I was also trying to inveigle him into somehow posting the article. :D

December 26, 2002, 05:09 PM
Roger that. :)

December 26, 2002, 05:24 PM
There are days and then there are days...

I gotta be older than I'm cataloged at: I thought that everybody interested in firearms had read the "old stuff", even if not really interested, just for "fill-in".

And, no, I've never used a non .22 RF, but how could I not have known that they once existed?
And I reload everything, and so have zero interest in the RFs...

Is there an elder board that somebody knows about that I should migrate to?

December 26, 2002, 06:06 PM
OK, finally at Home and at computer. To answer questions:

I'm quoting from the 5th edition of the Gun Digest, 1951.

From smallest to largest:
"Current " rimfire cartridges included 22 BB (Bullet Breech) Cap (Reputed to be the first rimfire load produced in 22 caliber), 22 Conical Ball, 22 short, 22 long, 22 long rifle, 22 special, 25 rimfire, 32 short (rimfire), 32 long (rimfire).

"Handguns Today", by Charles Askins. Tests for "smash and knockdown" by testing penetration of .75" pine boards (spaced 1" apart), blocks of paraffin, 10# bags of sand, half-gallon water-filled grapefruit cans, and 25# blocks of Ice. Tests produce the following chart:

357 Magnum
38 Spl, high speed, 150 gr metal point bullet
38 super automatic
9mm Luger
45 Auto
45 Colt
45 Auto-Rim
44 Spl
30 Mauser
7.65 Luger
38 S&W
380 Auto
32 S&W Long
22 LR
32 S&W
32 Auto
25 Auto

Interesting...22LR has more "smashing effect" than 32 auto? That's the last time I believe Q!! ("The Walther PPK...has the delivery of a gold brick through a plate glass window!") Although in his defense, it does outrank the 25 auto James Bond was using previously.... Did I mention I got a Bond DVD collection as well?

I do have a scanner, but really don't want to (or believe it's legal) to OCR several thousand pages. If there's a particular question, I'd be happy to share. Just wanted to share the joy!!!

December 26, 2002, 07:20 PM

Thanks! That is VERY interesting. "Smashing effect", I love it! :D

December 26, 2002, 07:31 PM
Great stuff, Calanctus, thanks for taking the time to enter!

December 26, 2002, 08:14 PM
I have the entire Gun Digest series from the first edition to 2002. I have the Shooter's Bible from 1948 to present (I am missing a bunch from before 1948 if anyone has any they would like to sell). I also have a complete collection of the Guns & Ammo Annuals, about 1969 to present. These are a tremendous resource.

December 27, 2002, 08:17 AM
how many gun digests were there from the first to 1960?
I have a 1955 issue and then every issue from 1960 to present.
It would be nice to know just how many I am off from a complete collection. Thanks. I have a lot of the G&A annuals as well Not sure if its a complete set. also a great many of the guns and American Handgunner annuals As well as ALL the "Petersons Handguns" annuals. You are right they are a great resouce.

H&K Fan
December 27, 2002, 08:40 AM
The photo layouts of custom made knives (and their associated prices at the time) were awesome. Huge Cooper fighting knives @ $50, Randalls at $25 and up and I can't bring myself to mention the price of Bob Loveless's integral knives. Try finding a mint Cooper today for under a grand or a Loveless for under two grand.

I have a few Gun Digest from the 1950s, as well as every one since 1960 and they do indeed represent an amazing resource. P.O. Ackley, Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan and a host of other excellent authors all of whom have exited the stage for good. A lot of advice there which for the most part is timeless and still applicable today.

If I recall correctly, Gun Digest started publishing in 1946 and today the first 5 or so issues are (in good condition or better) worth a fair amount of money. Several have been re-issued and even the re-issues bring a good sum on auction.

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