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Old August 31, 2008, 07:46 PM   #6
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,131
That Blue Jacket falls into the category known as "suicide specials" (not to be confused with the later cheap imports known as "Saturday night specials"). It is not clear whether the term meant that the gun was good for only one shot, or if using it against a better armed man was equivalent to suicide.

The guns were usually cast iron, though they are reasonably safe to fire with modern ammunition (standard or low speed in .22 short).

They generally sold in the price range from $.50 to $3, depending on make and caliber as well as on the general economy. They were so common that major makers like H&A, as well as Colt and others, jumped on the band wagon. Engraving generally cost $.25 or $.50 more. What the guns lacked in power, they made up for in advertising hype and fanciful names. Other colorful names in the same category were: Bull Dozer, Avenger, Aristocrat, Bismark [sic], Blood Hound, Blue Whistler, Bonanza, Clipper, Chieftain, Conqueror, Czar, Defiance, Dreadnought, Governor, Monarch, and so on.

Who could possibly want something called a "Colt Single Action Army" when one could have a Tramp's Terror, a Swamp Angel, or a True Blue. Besides the Colt was $17. (Multiply by about 40 for an equivalent price today.)

H&A went out of business during WWI when they made thousands of Model 1891 Mausers for Belgium then never got paid as the country was conquered by Germany and German submarines sank at least one ship carrying those rifles.

Jim
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