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Old August 19, 2008, 07:16 AM   #1
rogertc1
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What is a "Saturday Night Special"

Are "Saturday Night Special or Junk Guns" still made or is this just the term gun contol groups use to get rid of all hansdguns?

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Old August 19, 2008, 07:27 AM   #2
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I always thought of it as a cheap handgun.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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What is a "Saturday Night Special"
My definition has always been an unreliable pistol...not just cheap, but cheaply made. aka, pos And yes, there are still some being produced.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:38 AM   #4
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Depending upon your political leanings and/or social standing, . . . a Saturday night special can be anything from a cheap, poorly made handgun, . . . to almost any handgun at all.

There was a company in the 70's (?) that made a product under the RG label, . . . and it in my opinion, . . . qualified as being just plain junk. They(and others like them) were the target of the SNS legislation.

Today, the nearest I know of would be the High Point series of handguns, . . . and I believe the Jennings line also. But as it was once put to me, . . . even a SNS is better than a sharp stick if it comes to a confrontation.

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Old August 19, 2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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Sn Sp

It depends on one's understanding of what the term means. I take it to mean any relatively inexpensive (what does that mean?), small sized, small caliber handgun. Raven Arms, Jennings, Cobra, High Point, Phoenix and others are names that I associate with "SNSP". But I also think of the little Berettas as SNSPs, along with the NAA Guardian, Taurus PT-22.
These are all .22s and .25s. Larger calibers in inexpensive firearms also "click" for me - the Armsport 4540, a .38, is one.
Yeah, they are still made.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:45 AM   #6
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Interesting read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_night_special
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Old August 19, 2008, 08:46 AM   #7
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What is a Saturday Night Special?

A Saturday Night Special is any gun the Anti-Gun people do not want us to have.
I reality a saturday night special is any short handgun/REVOLVER that is easily concealable and can be used to protect one's self.
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Old August 19, 2008, 08:48 AM   #8
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...a few of which I would very much like to have.
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Old August 19, 2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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A Saturday night special is a gun that is just as dangerous to the shooter as
it is to the person at whom the gun is pointed due to poor quality of material
and workmanship. An example is the Nambu which had an exposed sear. It
could be easily fired without pulling the trigger.
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Old August 19, 2008, 09:21 AM   #10
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to almost any handgun at all.
I think everyone has already defined what a Saturday Night Special is to shooters (cheaply made guns), but I really think that the Brady Campaign has adopted "Saturday Night Special" to mean "any handgun" in their wide ranging defination. They push "junk guns" like they push assault style weapons (any semi auto) and sniper style (deer rifles) bans. Any term that they can use to attempt to build public support behind they'll use. Saturday Night Special is something that demonizes guns and gun owners.
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Old August 19, 2008, 10:04 AM   #11
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but I really think that the Brady Campaign has adopted "Saturday Night Special" to mean "any handgun" in their wide ranging defination. They push "junk guns" like they push assault style weapons (any semi auto) and sniper style (deer rifles) bans. Any term that they can use to attempt to build public support behind they'll use. Saturday Night Special is something that demonizes guns and gun owners.
Kind of like how all those "children per day" (Up to 25 year olds) are "accidentally killed with guns" (including suicides, which make up the majority of their statistics)?
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Old August 19, 2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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The term "Saturday Night Special" derives it's name from the later half of the 19th century when many companies made small, cheap firearms. These firearms were affordable by many freed negro slaves and were often used in disputes over card games and gambling losses. The oft-used phrase was "Saturday night in ******town" - meaning lots of fights, violence and killing.

The guns themselves were small caliber, low pressure BP guns that often self-disassembled upon firing or when they reached the limit of the shooting they could withstand (which wasn't too many rounds in some cases).

In the 20th century, there were many makers of inexpensive .22 and .32 caliber revolvers. Most of these, like the Clerke revolvers, were made from die-cast zinc frames with steel-sleeved barrels and cylinders. Other companies, like Rohm of Germany, made similar (if somewhat better finished) guns. Ads like this were fairly common in the back of magazines prior to 1968.


The Clerke gun was US made but that was its only recommendation other than it could be had in .32 S&W caliber, like the one below. Many of these guns simply "wore out" or became unreliable due to various problems from poor metals to poor machining to bad designs. Most worked well enough for you to get off several shots, sometimes with the accuracy of a thrown billiard ball.


At some point, someone suggested that cheap guns bought by blacks and the poor-whites for protection in the slums, ghettos and poor areas were "Saturday night specials". Because most workers were paid in cash on Fridays, speculation is there would often be someone hawking their cheap guns as a "special deal" on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoon. Customers were predominately blacks and the working poor whites.

If we had to define a "Saturday Night Special" today, we might say that it is an inexpensive handgun, made of materials inferior to most firearms, with a lifetime of safe use of under 5 years of light to moderate shooting.

The truth is that SNS guns were targeted because they were an easy target. Those of us who cherish and prize our guns found no objection to prohibiting the "trashy" guns as few of us owned them. And those people who might have objected were too poor and disorganized to have much of a voice in the debate.

The politicians saw it as a "good thing" that the proletarians could be deprived of arms through economic means. This allowed them to be disarmed without them feeling as if legislation directly targeted them (which it did). These kinds of laws (in the '68 GCA and later laws) were very similar to the laws some states passed prohibiting the sale of anything except more expensive Army & Navy revolvers. (The truth was that all manner of guns could be sold -- to whites. But negros were told the law required them to buy an Army or Navy pistol.)
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Old August 19, 2008, 06:52 PM   #13
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I remember ads like that for the .22's. In fact I remember one advertised on a post card delevered to every mail box around. But you had to sign it verifying that you were 18 or 21, can't remember which. Seems like it was $12.95 rather than $14.95 but I do remember that it came with bullets and a holster. The problem with the SNS is that no one could come up with a definition for them. In SC they finally decided on a melting point of the frame below a certain temp and is still on the books. I have always wondered if anyone has tried to apply it to the new tupperware guns.

The definition I always heard was a small concealable gun that a man dropped in his pocket to go out on Saturday Night. I think a lot of people have tried to come up with many other origins in an attempt to make it a racist issue but I never heard anyone use that point while it was being debated around the state.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:47 PM   #14
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As I remember the GCA-68 to read, "Saturday Night Specials" were a class of cheap hand guns from Europe and the USA. Most were pot metal frame guns of questionable reliability. The GCA-68 had a size reference for small imported hand guns. Unfortunately, such excellent hand guns as the CZ 1945, Walther PPK, Beretta 950 and several other fine mouse guns from Europe fell under the GCA-68 size requirement and therefore were banned from import into the USA.

The GCA-68 did very little to stem street crime in the USA. It did, however, open up a line of American made pot metal or plastic "Saturday Night Specials", while driving up prices of quality hand guns.
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Old August 20, 2008, 06:44 AM   #15
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"Mr. Saturday Night Special", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3Gh21s3sLo
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Old August 20, 2008, 06:56 AM   #16
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Lynyrd Skynyrd is anti-gun.

as stated: The oft-used phrase was "Saturday night in ******town" - meaning lots of fights, violence and killing.

Most state gun control laws, not just in the South, were blatantly designed to keep guns out of the hands of blacks and other minorities.
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Old August 20, 2008, 03:54 PM   #17
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Ditto to mods. There's no reason to censor the thread of the n-word in regards to Saturday Night Specials. There are strong historical links to the term SNS in regards to disarmament and gun control among the poor and predominantly black inner cities back east/south.
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Old August 20, 2008, 09:01 PM   #18
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Also applied to knives

In the late 50s and early 60s, in south texas towns. Especially the kind of knife that was commonly used in fights and murders in poor/ghetto areas often on weekends. A long thin narrow blade was common, but today those same knives are called "fillet knives" or "fisherman's knives"

The important thing to remember is the origin of the term is considered racist. And remind anyone biringin up the term that it is a racist term, and ought not to be used.

There are two basic benefits to allowing the sale of cheap (and cheaply made) handguns. First, and foremost, is that while the guns will not stand up to a lot of shooting, they are the only affordable protection for a great many poor people. Even though they often fail to work properly, simply having a gun that might not work is better than not having a gun at all.

And the second reason is also because they fail regularly. Yes, they are favored by criminals, who discard or sell their guns (to other criminals) after a single use. And for that reason, the cheap handgun is what we want them to have, just for the reason that they often malfunction. Many crimes have been thwarted or aborted when the criminals cheap SNS failed to fire. I, for one, do not want criminals to obtain and use quality weapons any more than they already do, and if one bans the cheap crap guns, then criminals will be forced to use better weaponry, which is not a good thing for us.

It is one of those unintended consequences things. Ban hi-cap magazines, and small concealable "low-cap" guns become much more popular. Ban pistol grips on rifles, and they get made with "thumbhole" stocks. Ban cheap poorly made guns, and criminals will get and use better quality guns.

All the gun banners want to do is get rid of guns, they care nothing for the unintended consequences of the laws that they get passed. We are the ones who have to live with them.
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Old August 20, 2008, 09:21 PM   #19
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Most worked well enough for you to get off several shots, sometimes with the accuracy of a thrown billiard ball.
And almost as deadly.

I've always heard the term was from folks doing the wildly popular bar scene on Saturday night, and using these cheap guns for protection in case of trouble. (In a bar? HEAVEN FORBID!) If somebody was shot, the gun could be easily dumped without much financial damage.
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Old August 20, 2008, 09:25 PM   #20
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The word is offensive, no matter what the intent.
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Old August 20, 2008, 10:56 PM   #21
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In the context of an accurate quote and when not used gratuitously the word (while offensive) is allowed. It's important for people to understand that many of the roots of gun control in the U.S. were racially motivated.
Quote:
There's no reason to censor the thread of the n-word in regards to Saturday Night Specials.
You'll notice that the thread still contains posts with the word in question--suggesting the truth of the situation which is that the deletions have nothing to do with the use of the n-word.
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Old August 21, 2008, 03:03 PM   #22
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As I remember the GCA-68 to read, "Saturday Night Specials" were a class of cheap hand guns from Europe and the USA. Most were pot metal frame guns of questionable reliability. The GCA-68 had a size reference for small imported hand guns. Unfortunately, such excellent hand guns as the CZ 1945, Walther PPK, Beretta 950 and several other fine mouse guns from Europe fell under the GCA-68 size requirement and therefore were banned from import into the USA.

The GCA-68 did very little to stem street crime in the USA. It did, however, open up a line of American made pot metal or plastic "Saturday Night Specials", while driving up prices of quality hand guns.
All true. When California tried to ban "SNS" guns they started with the melting temperature of the frames but found that Glocks (polymer) would not pass the test. Because the guns reportedly jammed and misfired frequently, they implmented a series of tests (drop-test, firing-sequence test, et al). Surprisingly, guns like the Raven, Lorcin, Davis and Jennings passed the tests. So much for the ban-by-testing method. (We're still stuck with it though).

The benefit of the cheap handgun was, as some pointed out, it was affordable by the poor. This meant both the poor working class and the criminal class. The thug who sees a victim with a gun generally flees, so these guns do help protect the innocents. The thugs buying cheap guns were limited to .22 caliber and .32 caliber junk guns. The lower power of most of these guns undoubtedly saved a number of lives.
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Old August 21, 2008, 03:22 PM   #23
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Allot of paranoia :O, SNS was a poor quality gun often purchased by people who lived in the slums due to its cheapness.

Gun laws were designed to reduce crime, they figured people who live in bad conditions are more likely to commit a violent act - they are correct in believing that as the poorest areas still have the highest crime.

Last edited by JohnKSa; August 21, 2008 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Language
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Old August 21, 2008, 03:28 PM   #24
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Saturday Night Special...

Isn't that when the wife (or girlfriend - or in some cases both the wife and girlfriend) oops this is a gun forum isn't it!

Cheap, small caliber, poor quality as dangerous to the shooter as well as the intended target!
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkgael
It depends on one's understanding of what the term means. I take it to mean any relatively inexpensive (what does that mean?), small sized, small caliber handgun. Raven Arms, Jennings, Cobra, High Point, Phoenix and others are names that I associate with "SNSP". But I also think of the little Berettas as SNSPs, along with the NAA Guardian, Taurus PT-22.
These are all .22s and .25s. Larger calibers in inexpensive firearms also "click" for me - the Armsport 4540, a .38, is one.
Yeah, they are still made.
Pete
Hi-Point does not make a .22 or a .25. Nor are any of their guns small sized. In fact, they even make a carbine. Please bash accurately.
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