Gun Selection: 1930s


January 18, 2003, 07:19 PM
Okay, I'm conteplating writing a story set in, I don't know, 1930 or so.

What kind of guns would my characters have available? Here're some ideas I have, but I'm especially fuzzy on the handguns of the era.


-Winchester 97 (or trench variant)
-Browning Auto-5 (was it out then?)
-M1903 Sprinfield (which model...A3, A4, what's the difference?)
-Enfield No 1 Mk. III (when the the No. 4 come out?)
-Winchester 95 lever action
-Thompson 1921, 1928, Navy Model
-Browning Automatic Rifle (M1918A1, A2...or was the A2 a World War 2 variant?)

Was Marlin's 1895 really released in 1895? Would a .45-70 lever rifle have been available at that period? What about a .45 Colt one? I heard those didn't come out until later.


-Colt Government Model/M1911/M1911A1 .45/.38 Super
-Browning Hi-Power (If I set my story in or after 1935...but were these widely available in the US?)
-S&W 1917
-Webley (Could one function well if converted to .45ACP?)

What kind of large framed, double action revolvers were available in .44 Special and .45 Colt?

What kind of small pistols were available then? I know there were all kinds of .380s and .32s, but I don't know anything about them.

Any input and suggestions for revolvers, pistols, rifles, and shotguns is appreciated. It'd especially help if you included pictures or links to pictures. Also things like magazine capacity, and other little details to make sure I get things right.

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Jim V
January 18, 2003, 07:59 PM
S&W had their "N" framed .44 Specials and .38-44s. Colt's New Service revolvers were still around and they were chambered in several calibers, NYSP used them in .45 Colt for a long time. Lots of 1917 Colts and S&Ws.

There were a number of small caliber non-US made pistols on the market. Colt was still producing their 1903/1908 pocket automatics.

Lever action rifles were not chambered in .45 Colt, at least not as a commercial product.

Winchester had their semi-auto rifles in .351 and .401 Self-loading.

Lots of P-08 pistols floating around from the Great War.

Dave Markowitz
January 18, 2003, 08:06 PM
The -A3 and -A4 versions of the M1903 Springfield were not introduced until World War 2.

The No.4 Lee-Enfield did not enter production until early WW2, and didn't see widespread issue until '42, if not later.

No production lever guns were available in .45 Colt.

.45-70 lever guns available during that time frame (perhaps as used) were the original Marlin 1895 and the Winchester 1886.

The Browning Auto 5 was intorduced in 1905. It was also made in the USA as the Remington Model 11.

January 18, 2003, 08:13 PM
Great Gun for a story, Remington model 8 in 35 Rem, you get to mention the unique action of the gun.

January 18, 2003, 08:16 PM
Remington model 8 in 35 Rem, you get to mention the unique action of the gun.

:uhoh: Uh, yeah, that unique did that go again? (I know nothing about this rifle....) What was unique about it?

January 18, 2003, 08:32 PM
Nightcrawler, it's the only gun I know of where you can move the bolt by pushing the end of the barrel and.
It's recoil operated, the bolt and barrel move back together, the barrel goes forward before the bolt, thus cycling the action, I don't know the technical term but someone here can explain it better than I This was one of the rifles used to kill Bonnie and Clyde

Old Fuff
January 18, 2003, 08:46 PM
O.F. Stoeger was a big gun dealer/distributor in New York City during this period (1930’s and 40’s). They published a thick (about 1”) catalog with everything related to guns, ammunition and accessories of the time. Their 1940 catalog is available for modest cost in reprint form. Any bookseller should be able to get you a copy and within it you’ll find everything you need. Between 1930-1940 guns didn’t change much because the Great Depression was on. All you really need to check is the introduction date on whatever weapons you chose to use.

January 18, 2003, 09:00 PM
I don't know hat kind of "characters" BUT I did have relatives who kyacked down to Panama (!) in acouple ocean going kyac's about 1937 and wrote book about it. They took a shoulder stocked Mauser pistol(!), and 1895 Win. .22WRF pump takendown. They shot Jaguar and deer and other things and routed bandits and hostile indians. When uncle was around his ranch he would carry a 32-20 Official Police Colt and Auntie her .22 WRF Police Positive Target Colt.

January 18, 2003, 09:04 PM
In handguns you have a great selection. The P-35 didn't arrive until the middle of the decade and so would have been pretty rare. But that doesn't mean there weren't lots to choose from. Here are a few of mine from that period.

The Colt Police Positive

or Army Special

There were the Smith Double Actions

and of course the big framed 1917s

and don't forget the K frames, first marketed as Hand Ejectors.

There were also the great handguns from Harrington & Richardson, Forehand and Wadsworth, Remington and Sharps.

In rifles there were the lever actions, and the Springfield 03. Lots of shotguns.

Don't forget that Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Wards were where lots of folk got their guns.

Mike Irwin
January 18, 2003, 09:18 PM
Wow. You've bit off a big questions to chew on!

Literally, there were dozens, if not well over 100, different handguns that could have been relatively easily obtained at this time, in a pretty baffling array of calibers.

My suggestion would be to hit the local library and see if they have a copy of the Blue Book of Gun Values.

A few of the manufacturers whose guns could have been easily to relatively easily obtained are:

Colt/FN -- most of the guns were Browning designs, made in the US by Colt, in Europe by FN, calibers from .25 ACP to .45 ACP.

The Hi Power probably wouldn't have been available here until WW II.

Colt of course made a lot of revolvers in this time period.

Remington -- semi-auto, .32 and .380 ACP (very popular)

Savage -- semi-auto, .32 and .380 ACP (fairly popular)

Smith & Wesson -- mostly revolvers, but they did have one semi-auto that was never very popular.

Iver Johnson -- revolvers, mainly breaktops, not expensive.

Harrington & Richardson -- same as Iver Johnson, with some Webley inspired semi-autos.

Walther, Mauser, HsC, and Sauer -- semi-autos, all German. The first PPs and PPKs by Walther MAY have been available around this time, but there were other, earlier designs from all of these companies that could be had.

Webley -- revolvers and semi-autos.

Luger -- the German Luger would have come back with Doughboys during WW I, and the gun was also a relatively popular import in the US between the wars.

These are probably the major manufacturers that would have been readily available at the time in the US.

4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 10:48 PM
Gordon - what an adventure your Aunt & Uncle had. What book?

January 18, 2003, 10:53 PM
A 1911 WITHOUT front cocking serrations and goofy safeties??? :eek:


January 18, 2003, 11:48 PM
My father bought a 12 gauge Winchester Model 12 duck gun in 1935. It is still the tightest shooting 12 gauge in the family.

January 19, 2003, 12:02 AM
Which was the same type of gun as Frank Hamer's rifle used against Bonnie & Clyde:

Now, the Springfield rifles you had available came in a few different flavors. One was an 1873-pattern Trapdoor Springfield single-shot in .45-70, which would've been available through the DCM at the time for probably very cheap.

Then there was the 1894-1898 Springfield Krag rifle in .30-40 Krag, which may also have been available through the DCM as surplus.

The 1903 Springfield in .30-06 was still very much a front-line gun in the military, but the versions in existence would have been the 1903, 1903Mk1, and 1903A1. The 1903A3 and 1903A4 were a later WWII development.

Another military rifle in good supply was the M1917 U.S. Enfield in .30-06.

January 19, 2003, 12:11 AM
Did the 1911 come in anything besides .45 Auto and .38 Super?

I'm guessing also that aside from Lugers, 9x19mm pistols weren't real popular?

What were some popular revolver catridges of the day?

I'm familliar with .45 Auto, 9mm Luger, of course, as well as .45 Colt, .44-40, and a few others.

When did .44 Special come out? .38 Special? Were there other popular cartridges in the .38 caliber around?

January 19, 2003, 12:18 AM
They had an example of a rifle like that in a gun store for like $1300. I guess they're rare these days.

What was the magazine capacity? I like that rifle.

Tell me about the Winchester 95, too. In .30-06. What was it's magazine capacity? What barrel lengths did it come in?

As for the Krag....I read somewhere that after World War 1 the government was selling them off for a dollar apiece....

January 19, 2003, 12:31 AM
5 rounds were the norm, chambered in .25 Remington, .30 Remington, .32 Remington, and .35 Remington. Later Model 81's added the .300 Savage chambering.

If you were law enforcement, you could also order a 15-round magazine for your Model 8, which looked like this:

The Model 95 Winchester levergun used a box magazine, was sold in carbine, rifle, and musket lengths, and was chambered in the following calibers:

.30-40 Krag
.30-03 Springfield
.30-06 Springfield
.303 British
7.62x54 Mosin-Nagant
.40-72 W.C.F.
.35 W.C.F.
.38-72 W.C.F.
.405 W.C.F.

I've shot a .30-06 Model 95, and it walloped my shoulder pretty good. I can only imagine what a .405 W.C.F. Model 95 would feel like.

January 19, 2003, 12:38 AM
Hey...don't forget the 1908 Colt 25 Vest Pocket

And the 1908 Colt Pocket Hammerless in 380

January 19, 2003, 01:19 AM
The .44 Special came out in the early 1900's, and was chambered in the famous S&W "Triple Lock" guns (predecessor of the N-frame, and the basis for the 1917 revolver in .45 ACP). The .44 Russian, precursor to the .44 Special, was chambered in various S&W revolvers as well, although by 1930 it would have been considered obsolete.

Mike Irwin
January 19, 2003, 02:16 AM

The Triplelock wasn't a predecessor to the N-frame, it WAS an N frame.

It was simply the earliest variation of it.

Mike Irwin
January 19, 2003, 02:18 AM
Forgot to mention for rifles the Savage Model 99.

Chambered for more standard calibers than any other lever gun.

In the 1930s it would have been chambered for, among others, the .22 Savage Hi Power, the .250 Savage, the .300 Savage, .30-30, .32-40, and others.

Mine dates from 1936. Such a sweet gun!

"I can only imagine what .405 felt like..."

It's NOT pleasant.

Mike Irwin
January 19, 2003, 02:33 AM

The .44 Spl. came out in 1907, the .38 Spl. about 1899, althought I've seen dates as late as 1902.

Popular revolver cartridges of the day included:

.22 LR, .32 & .38 S&W (break top guns), .32-20, .32 S&W Long, .38 Long Colt (losing ground, but still fairly popular), .38 Spl., .41 Long Colt (losing ground, but still available), .44 Special, and .45 Long Colt.

Other revolver rounds that could be regularly encountered, but which were losing popularity, or just weren't all that popular to begin with, included:

.32 Short & Long Colt, .38 Short Colt, .44 Russian, .41 Short Colt, .38-40, .44-40, .44 Bull Dog, .45 Auto Rim, and .45 S&W.

January 19, 2003, 02:53 AM
Some popular revolver cartridges were 32-20 and the 41 Long Colt. Others have already mentioned the some good choices. the most popular with the working man might have been Harrington Richardson or Iver Johnson in 32 or 38 S&W (not 38 special)
Let's not forget the Ruby (32 ACP) automatic, many came home from The Great War.
It wasn't called WW1 until WW2.
Remember that there were no antibiotics, so even a small wound was often fatal. Surgury was more fearful than a severe beating.

Lone Star
January 19, 2003, 08:21 AM

Do you write books about a Michigan game warden named Grady Service, set in the Upper Penn., where I gather you live?

As for your question about Webley .455's converted to .45 ACP, that was done by USA gun dealers after WWII, when large quantities of the Webleys were sold off as surplus by the British govt., and .455 ammo was fairly scarce. My first handgun was one of these, a Mk. VI. It took .45 Auto Rim ammo, too, and the lead bullet shot a little better, probably swaging up a little more to bore diameter. (Jacketed .451-.452" .45 ACP bullets are too small for good accuracy with a bore running about .457". The Colt New Service .455's converted to .45 Colt work out much better.

I really think you need a copy of Elmer Keith's, "Sixguns" to give you a general overview of US handguns from the mid 19th century until 1955. A second edition was revised about 1961, and includes a few new models. There are also scads of general gun books that will familarize you with the history of firearms.

I think your characters would be best off if you limit their guns to US military models of the time, the S&W M&P .38, the Luger, and the Colt pocket model autos in .25. .32, and .380. S&W .38/44 and .44 Special or Colt New Service or Official Police and Detective Special guns were also quite popular. The .357 Magnum appeared in 1935, but would be ordered only by an affluent enthusiast. Most European guns, save the Luger and Mauser Military models would be quite scarce here. The Browning Hi-Power wasn't sold commercially here until 1954. (War trophies would have been here since 1945...)

My advice is to become familar with the basic types and to not try to be too exotic. Especially, don't try to describe that Remington long recoil action on their M8 and M81 rifles. You'll probably just muck it up, and readers won't care... except for the ones who'll spot your errors and tell your publisher!

I read a LOT of books with guns in the plots, and quite few authors who aren't already gun knowledgeable get it right. Donald Hamilton was easily the best, with his old Matt Helm series. John Sandford does pretty well with his "Prey" series, and Patricia Cornwell, after getting off to a bad start, got interested in guns and began buying them and now gets into stuff that only a specialist would know, like Birdsong finishes. Robert B. Parker copes pretty well, although he errs sometimes on the side of casual knowledge or desire for drama, as when he equips PI Sunny Randall with a double barrelled 10 ga. shotgun in her closet. Her carry gun makes more sense. His Spenser and associates do okay, but Parker is clearly just into the realm of adequate knowledge.

Jack Higgins doesn't know guns as well as he'd like to pretend he does, so he just trots out brand names, except for the Walther PPK .32 and the Browning Hi-Power. (He's British, and those see a lot of official use in the UK.) Peter O'Donnell did well by Modesty Blaise, being the only author who had a heroine (and others) ever carrying a .41 Magnum on occasion. She usually had a Colt .32 of unknown type or a Star PD .45. I think that he read some copies of, "Guns & Ammo", a magazine that he badmouthed by having a nutso gunman brag that he studied it and kept copies under his bed. (I think that volume was, "Dragon's Claw".)

Hope this helps. If you are the author I think you may be, I think that Grady Service's .40 S&W Sig-Sauer makes sense. Is that what Michigan CO's actually carry?

Lone Star

January 19, 2003, 12:45 PM
I've yet to write any books, muchless one about a U.P. Game Warden. I am but a college student who writes short fiction in his spare time. I do this mostly to practice, but also because it entertains myself and my friends.

In any case, thanks for all of your help. The pictures are great, too. :)

Lone Star
January 19, 2003, 05:20 PM
If you want an audience that will enjoy and critique your fiction, try: Get on the Message Boards and check out the main discussion and the Fan Fic threads. Members will also direct you to "Lost World" fan-fics at other sites. This show's extremely loyal viewership includes many talented writers, and you'd be welcome to join the list. Fave themes include the romance between Lord Roxton and Marguerite and the one between Malone and Veronica, but anything having to do with the characters and plot is okay. A lady called Lex wrote probably the best bit of erotica by a female that I've seen as, "Heartsblood." One of the fans can tell you where to find it.

But I'd like to see some guy write more of an adventure short story, finding gold and diamonds and a way off the Plateau. I don't have the time!

Be warned: you DO need to be very familiar with the show and the characters. But you'll get a very friendly audience of people who want to read your work, and who'll offer helpful hints. Members come from 8-9 countries, but the Board language is English.

Lone Star

January 19, 2003, 06:50 PM
Must ask once again: was the original 1911 or 1911A1 ever available in anything besides .45ACP and .38 Super? I know now you can get them in 9mm, 10mm, .40, and others, but what about back in the day?

Jim V
January 19, 2003, 07:12 PM
I think that Colt did not chamber the 1911A1 or Government Model in 9 m/m until the mid '50's when they introduced the Commander. .45 ACP and .38 Super were the only choices in the mid '30's.

January 21, 2003, 08:24 AM

C-96 Broomhandle Mauser.
Merwin and Hulbert revolvers.
Colt 1905 in .38 ACP.
Spanish Astra M-21/400, in 9mm Largo. A full-power blowback.
Webley/Fosbery auto-revolver.
Webley Royal Irish Constabulary and Bulldog revolvers.
Remington Double Derringer.
Colt DA Frontier.


Colt Lightning pump rifles.
Winchester 94's, 1886's, and 92's.
Remington Model 14 pump rifles. "Gamemaster"?
Winchester Hi and Low-wall single shot rifles.
Trapdoor Springfields were very common surplus guns.
Remington Rolling Block rifles.
Enfield #1 Mk. III. bolt guns.
Martini-Henry single shot rifles.

Mike Irwin
January 21, 2003, 11:21 AM

There was the .22 Ace, a conversion unit for the .45, which tried to approximate the recoil from the .45 ball ammo.

Other than that, I don't know of any other calibers.

Browning did design a 9.8mm round put into a 1911-style gun that was submitted for Romanian military trials, but it was pretty much unknown in this country, and was never adopted by anyone. Ammo is rare, guns are exceedingly rare.

January 21, 2003, 11:53 AM
Maybe someone mentioned these already:

-The 30-40 Krag was readily available. Either VFWs or American Legions had them on hand to rent out for deer hunting - might be interesting to work into a 1930s story.
-Weren't full auto BARs and Thompson submachine guns available to the public until 1934?
-The Ithaca Auto and Burgler

"The Ithaca Auto and Burglar
By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

The faded magazine ad haunts us across six long decades of stupidity and corruption:

"Here's the Ithaca Auto and Burglar gun, the so-called "Sawed Off Shot Gun" which holdup men fear because its load of sixteen buckshot spread over such a wide circle that a poor gun pointer, who would miss with a revolver or pistol ... is very sure to hit ... handy to carry in the pocket of an auto or in a holster ... Detective Harry Loose ... first induced the banks in and around Chicago to use it, then its use spread to sheriffs, police departments, paymasters, watchmen, express messengers, and it's a wonderful home protector. The U.S. Army demonstrated what American shotguns ... would do during the late war. This Ithaca Auto and Burglar Gun weighs about 1 1/4 pounds, it has 20 gauge 12 1/4" barrels, cylinder bore ... Price, including excise tax, $40.55."

The Ithaca Auto and Burglar was a veritable marvel in its time, a near-perfect blue steel and walnut "magic wand" of self-defense, against strong-arm artists and protection racketeers in the age in which it was introduced, ideal -- because of its light weight, moderate caliber, limited range, and short length -- for women, the elderly, and children who might require it, not only against house burglars, muggers, and the like, but against an abusive or incestuous parent.
If John Lennon had been carrying an Ithaca Auto and Burglar under his coat, the Fab Four would be selling live albums of their fifth reunion concert by now.
It is illegal -- or, more accurately and revealingly, placed beyond the reach of all but an economic and political elite -- and has been since 1934, because its 12 1/4" barrels are 5 3/4" shorter than federal law mandates, and its overall length -- roughly 20" -- is shy, by about the same amount, of the minimum length specified by a statute that should never have been passed or judicially upheld in a nation with something like a Second Amendment in its Constitution.
When I was a kid, my first lesson in politics arose from the fact that my home town, Fort Collins, Colorado, was "dry" -- which is to say that it was illegal to sell "adult beverages" within the city limits, and had been since Prohibition. What made it educational was that this imbecilic situation was maintained at the polls every year by a tacit coalition of self-righteously muttering church ladies like my own grandmother, and -- to begin with -- by bootleggers who plied their trade inside the town, and later on, by proprietors of bars and liquor stores that came to surround the "Choice City" in a tight ring.
If you understand that, you understand the politics of victim disarmament -- commonly and improperly known as "gun control". National politics of the 1930s were dominated by an unprecedented violence and corruption that sprang directly from trying to outlaw production, distribution, and consumption of ethanol. Every bit of the criminal activity -- gang-wars, drive-by shootings, summary search and seizure, asset forfeiture -- that we have come to associate in our times with drug prohibition arose, to begin with, in the "Roaring Twenties".
In those days, Al Capone was the most politically powerful individual in Chicago, in the Midwest, and possibly in the United States. He purchased city councilmen, state legislators, congressmen and senators the same way that I (the daddy of an electronic-age seven-year-old) purchase AA batteries. Others of his kind did as much of the same thing as they could. I leave it to you to figure out whose interests were really being represented in Congress in 1934.
The "weapon of choice" for creatures like Al Capone was hardly the Ithaca and Auto Burglar, or even the infamous Thompson Submachinegun, it was the lives of countless revolver-carrying cannon-fodder thugs, and the influence of crooked politicians.
Who was really protected by the Ithaca and Auto Burglar and the Tommy Gun? Shopkeepers, householders, and especially truck drivers whose vehicles were often stopped and stolen (just as Florida pleasure boats are today) to serve as disposable conveyances for illicit alcohol. One store proprietor with a "sawed off" scattergun could discourage three or four goons who'd come to collect. One truck driver with a "Chicago Piano" could run off a dozen highwaymen.
As surely as the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed to disarm the militant non-nonviolent blacks who were threatening to overturn the political apple cart ...
As surely as the Brady Bill was passed because a certain variety of men -- well-represented in politics -- are mortally afraid to see women begin to arm themselves ...
As surely as Bill Bennett and Bill Clinton's rifle and magazine law was passed because -- in this dangerous age of multiple assailants, when a single individual's only chance against a gang is often firepower, and the ideal weapons of self-defense are semiautomatic rifles and pistols -- both right wing and left wing socialists couldn't bear the humiliation of Korean store owners successfully defending themselves against their clients during the LA riots ...
The Ithaca Auto and Burglar was stamped out because it threatened gangsters and hijackers who were the real constituency of the congressmen who outlawed it..."

January 21, 2003, 11:58 AM
I also found an interesting list of "Pulp Era Weapons" that might help.

Roadkill Coyote
January 21, 2003, 01:34 PM
All though the double action and the semi-auto had come into vogue, it would probably be a good idea to remember just how many Colt SAA were wandering about as well. Not to mention gentlemen who remembered how to use 'em...;)

January 23, 2003, 11:03 PM
Tell me about the Astra 400. Was it available in the 'States? What about the 9mm Largo cartridge?

And the Webley revolver. Could one be converted to .45ACP?

There are some other pistols I've heard of, like the Roth Steyr pistol (the world's first striker-fired gun) and the Steyr-Hahn, but I don't know if these would be available in the US.

Now, the Broomhandle Mauser 9mm select-fire version had 10 and 20 round detachable box magazines, right?

Could anybody give me some examples of typical loadings (bullet weights and velocities) back in these days?


.45ACP (though I bet it was 230gr@800fps)
.38 Super
.44 Special
.38 Special
.45 Colt

January 23, 2003, 11:30 PM
I'd like my story year to be 1930 on the button, maybe, but I might set it a few years later. Just so certain weapons, like the version of the Broomhandle Mauser that was select-fire and had a detachable box magazine would be available. I'd also like to put a Tokarev in officially entered service in 1933, right?

Hmm...looks like the only version of the Mauser to have detachable box mags was chambered for 7.63mm. The character I have in mind would prefer the 9mm version. Was there ever a 9x19 version with detachable box mags, and if not, could one conceiveably be customized to be so?

Might make some "creative alterations" to the timeline, though. Crimson Skies, anyone? :)

January 23, 2003, 11:55 PM
The Savage M99 rifle was popular with alot of outdoorsmen.

This website has alot of information on the Savage 1895, 1899, and M99 rifles. They also have reprinted Savage arms catalogs from the 1920's for sale.

Mike Irwin
January 24, 2003, 11:36 AM
Off the top of my head...

.45ACP (though I bet it was 230gr@800fps)

9mm Most commonly 124-gr. FMJ at about 1150 fps.

.38 Super 130-gr. at about 1,200 fps.

.44 Special 220 (?) gr. at about 800 fps.

.38 Special 158-gr. at about 850 fps.

.45 Colt 255-gr. at about 900 fps.

January 24, 2003, 01:01 PM
Hey, Mike, thanks! You're really up on this stuff.

Now, if anybody knows about the Broomhandle Mausers....

Mike Irwin
January 24, 2003, 08:08 PM

OK, the standard bullet weight on the .44 Spl. was 246 grains, not 220. MV was 755 fps.

I was a bit off on that one. :)

January 24, 2003, 11:11 PM
What ya want to know about Mauser' pistols? The Schnellfuer with detachable 10 and 20 mags wasnt available until 1932 in US with most (a few) brought in before NFA of 34. The standard broom or bolos were popular in 7.63 with win and rem producing soft point ammo. I dont think that many people had them though . Nothing like Colt Army and Official Police or S&W's ect. I think they were less popular than Lugers.They were a gun a "world explorer" would use.

January 25, 2003, 05:38 PM
An Astra 400.

Pic from here. (

'Nuther good site. ( Packed with pics of EVERYTHING.

Great site. ( History, timeline, about a million good pics.

Crufffler history arcgive. (

That oughta do ya fer now.

September 11, 2003, 05:16 PM
See if I can't get any new insight into this topic.

And I'm LOVING all of the pictures. :)

September 11, 2003, 05:45 PM
Winchester Model 12 and 22 shotguns, as well

NRA Instructor
September 11, 2003, 10:31 PM
As you do your story be sure to mention that the '30's were what we now call the "Great Depression" and although there were some fine firearms available not many could afford to buy one. Excellent markmanship was important then as it could mean the difference between a good dinner and going hungry.

September 12, 2003, 03:48 AM
Something I've wondered about, during this period in history:

Were folks still able to pick up ammo for the Spencer & Henry Rimfires in the '30's? :confused:

September 12, 2003, 04:07 AM
First, go re-read your Dashiel Hammet.

The guns don't matter as much as the story.

Getting a Stoeger catalog is a darn good idea, also do web searches on Dillenger and Bonnie and Clyde. There is a famous pic of weapons siezed from the Dillenger gang that includes a full auto 38 super pistol!

Remember, if your character is an American he's going to pack American heat.

Also the pulp genre should include use of brass knucks, bare knuckles, broken bottles and the occasional ice pick.

Take as much care with the cars and planes and bikes of the time. there are far more car buffs than gun buffs.

Familiarize yourself with the jargon of the time.

Write an outline first, know what's going to happen when, write the in between stuff and you are done.

September 14, 2003, 02:45 AM
First, go re-read your Dashiel Hammet.

My what?

Matt G
September 14, 2003, 03:23 AM

September 14, 2003, 02:21 PM
You need really cool stuff, like this:

Or this:

Lester Gillis
September 11, 2011, 01:21 AM
Sorry for the necropost folks. This was from the good old days, winter 03 I had it made. Anyway, this post turned up while I was googling for an Ithaca A&B for sale, which apparently is my only shot (along with the Spanish Holland arms copy) at a baby SxS AOW in Michigan. To that end, it appears they are rare as hen's teeth and beyond my means when they do come up. Looks like it will be a Stakeout 20 or a 590 14" (12 ga. only).
Anyhow, I've spent a great deal of time researching this topic, in fact for my own writing project, as well as amusement. Here's the rundown, as if it still matters to anyone:

1911, 1911A1 (.38 Super was the choice of the top gunfighters on both sides, in the Motor Bandit days)
Luger 9 (Wilbur Underhill and the oldest Barker (who domed himself with one to avoid another stretch) were a couple fans, not generally well regarded)
Colt 1903 .32 and safety hammerless .38 ACP
Colt 1908 .25 and .380 (.380: see .38 Super)
Savage 1907 (et al) .32 (IIRC first double stack, Bat Masterson creamed when it came out)
Ortgies .25, .32, .380
Remington 51 .380 (this was the Bentley of "pocket"(for the time) autos, but Patton is the only guy i ever heard of having one)

Revolver (less favored by those in the know)/other
Smith Triple Lock .44 Special, .38-44 HV (which became, 5 years later, the .357 Mag)
Colt SAA (southwestern lawmen), Dick Special, Banker's Special, Official Police, Police Positive Special, New Service, 1917, Fitz Special (rare gun, even at the time, but fits the era like a condom), .41 DA
Throwaway "$2 pistols" (IJ, S&W, H&R, etc.) break top DA .32s and .38's
Remington .41 derringer

Winchester 1907 .351 (see .38 Super. The most important weapon in history you never heard of), 1910 .401
Remington 8/81 .25, .30, .35, and 14 pump
Winchester and Marlin levers, what you'd expect
Springfield aught six
Krag .30-40
Savage 99 (Fred Burke was a proud owner, .250 Savage was the first round to break 3000 fps, and the .300 or .303 (?) was the .308 of it's time, cool gun)

lets just start with the Barrow gang and associates, for starters-
Remington 11 riot and sawed off sporting, in 20, 16, and 12, Model 10 12 ga., Model 31 Riot 12 ga., 17 Special Police 20 ga
Winchester 97 Riot, 12 16 ga sawed off, 1887 10 gauge Riot lever gun
(I forget make/model/gauge) sawed off (front & back, what me and the boys used to call a 'crackhead cannon') single shot
There were a limited amount of others, but suffice to say any sporting gun of the period had a riot or trench version of same
Ithaca Auto & Burglar (20, and I'm told 28 and 12 ga as well)

TSMG (duh)
BAR and Monitor
now, the oddities-
FA Artillery Lugers with stock and snail drum
Mauser Schnellfeuer .30
Select fire 1911 conversions in .45 and .38
1907 Winchester conversions
Hyde SMG
Marlin 1895 tank guns (belt fed .30-06)

Maxim silencers
Steel plate body aror by Dunrite and Elliot T. Weisbrod co.

Top outlaw armorers- Hyman Lebman of San Antonio, (can't recall the man's name at this time, but a German fellow in Chicago)
the 'Cheaper than Dirt"- Police Supply Co.
all I can think of for now
this post brought to you by large amounts of 5 O' Clock

September 11, 2011, 10:09 AM
I think the easiest way to research this is to find an old Stoeger's Shooters Bible reprint. My "collection" starts around 1950. Lots of pictures and descriptions. Things didn't change much in the 1930's overall. Revolvers were mainstream at that time.

September 11, 2011, 11:11 PM
It's interesting but this is indeed a 'zombie' thread.

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