The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 23, 2002, 03:03 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: June 14, 2000
Location: The Last Homely House
Posts: 1,677
Question for the old timers...

So I look over at the AR in the corner, and remember the kinda "what the heck ya doin' with a gul-derned space gun" look ya get sometimes with such things on a rifle line. And it makes me wonder..

When exactly did having something akin to the standard infantry arm of the day become a BAD thing, even among some shooters? I mean heck, Civil War vets were allowed to take their muskets home as I recall, and WWI vets and thier sporterized Mausers and Springfields did much to popularize bolt actions for hunting once they got home, or so I'm told.

What was it like, say 1950 or so? Could I walk into a store and buy a civilian knock off of the M1 Carbine yet? Was the DCM up and running, and could I have acquired an M1 Garand somehow, as a civilian? And if I did somehow.. how would it have been perceived? (well.. leaving out the whole pre-women's lib thing for a sec. humor me, eh?)

I suppose I'm trying to find out when things changed.. was it when they got all black pistol gripped with long magazines? When semi or full auto rate of fire began to take precedence, hence being less applicable to hunting or target shooting?


PS.. I do remember in my high school history class, when we finally got up to modern history, seeing a photo of a protester carrying an AR with a flower down the barrel. I presume then that the semi-only AR was released to civilan sales sometime soon after its military adoption? When, and how was it received?
Kaylee is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 08:12 AM   #2
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Masquito infested flatlands of Mid-FL
Posts: 1,857

I'm not Old I'm experienced!

This question can not be answered any more then "when did owning a firearm become a bad thing?" You can't set a specific date as the perception of firearms has changed gradually during the last century.

John Ross probably captured this best in his book "Unintended Consequences". If you haven't read it I suggest you (and every other person who cares about their firearms) do.
GySgt, USMC(Ret)

"Notoriety is fleeting,
Anonymity is forever!"

Last edited by Schmit; March 23, 2002 at 10:30 AM.
Schmit is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 09:39 AM   #3
Art Eatman
Staff in Memoriam
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,798
Second what Schmit said.

After WW II, GIs could legally bring back infantry-type weaponry except selective fire. This changed during the Korean War era. Dunno why; I was still sorta young and iggerant during my occupation duty tour, '54-'55.

The DCM began way, way back. WW I era? Seems like it was "always there".

Probably the main mouth music against guns began in the era of the JFK/RFK/MLK murders.

As far as funny looks at ARs--which came out in semi-auto for civilians soon after its introduction--I'd think it's a generic distaste for plastic among the shooting fraternity of the older times.

Remington brought out the "Nylon .22"--the 660?--which was admittedly a good shooter. But, because of the plastic, it was panned in the gun rags and by shooters in general. Heck, same sort of thing for cars and other stuff.

Folks growing up where plastic is a normal part of their world aren't as bothered by the idea. Hey, when I was a kid, cap pistols and many other toys were cast iron. Today, a 50-cent cast-iron cap-pistol in like-new condition is worth a few hundred bucks!

Today, a machine can put a smooth finish on plastic. The equivalent finish on steel takes hand work and craftsmanship.

Pick up a 100-year old Krag and work the bolt. Then take any off-the-shelf $1,000 something from your gunstore and compare...

, Art
Art Eatman is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 11:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: June 7, 1999
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,100
I think you answered your own question. The AR15/M16 is not considered by many to be a hunting rifle. A lot of people look at them solely as assault weapons and don't understand why anyone "needs" one (cringe). It has not achieved the classic status of other semi-autos such as Tommy guns or BAR's either.
And as I stated in another thread- that pistol grip is just more than some people can handle (ha ha). If you put one on a muzzle loader folks would want to ban it.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Mark Twain
ATTICUS is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 01:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: August 11, 2001
Location: Fargo North Dakota
Posts: 543
Mel Tappan and the survivalist movement of the late 70's and early 80's provided grist for the mill. Not that those who wish to practice preparedness are evil mind you. Unfortunately the media found the ''kill you for a can of tuna'' crowd and the situation went down hill from there. Also lets not forget our buddy Josh Sugarman, a man who never let truth hinder a lie.
Scarborough is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 04:19 PM   #6
JB in SC
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2000
Location: Upstate
Posts: 375
Even better than that, you could write Smith & Wesson or Ruger and order a handgun. It was usually delivered by Railway Express.

Of course Garands are still available through the DCM as are (if they haven't sold out) Springfield '03's.

The first AR-15 I remember seeing in a gun shop was not well received. Mattel was the term used.

Not the same craftmanship as almost any rifle of that time. Stamped metal has never been fully accepted by a lot of shooters that knew how a late 50's rifle bolt felt.

I'm not that old, but I do remember

"We have seen the enemy and he is us", Pogo
JB in SC is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 04:22 PM   #7
Art Eatman
Staff in Memoriam
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,798

In the late '60s, a DCM Carbine was $35. You could buy Garands and such most anywhere for under $200.

Some of the anti-black derives from the protesters of the Vietnam War era; the AK 47 is best known as the weapon of the PLO.

A lot of the hoo-hah comes from the war on drugs and the inner-city drug gang warfare. They couldn't shoot for sour apples, and the continual killing and wounding of bystanders and folks asleep in their homes created the "assault weapon" uproar, assisted by a few idiots.

The late '70s and '80s have seen more fears on the part of the Elite and in Government as to being able to control the populace. Those folks are afraid of a public at large which can say, "No, I won't."

No one thing, anywhere along the line--just a lot of miscellaneous stuff. Waco, Columbine...

Art Eatman is offline  
Old March 23, 2002, 05:58 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2000
Posts: 708
I think the functioning problems the M16 had in the early going in Viet Nam turned a lot of gun people against the rifle. That has lessened, but is still going on. "Poodle shooter," is a frequent epithet for the M16/AR15. The success of the AR and its clones on target ranges, including Camp Perry, has changed that quite a bit.

What has made it worse is the unrelenting smear campaign orchestrated by unprincipaled, lying, liberal politicians and their snide, prevaricating socialist friends in the press. There has been a campaign against semiautomatic rifles in general and military look alikes in particular since the 1980s. The lies have been spread enough to take hold.
"To disarm the people (is) the best & most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason.
ACP230 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Page generated in 0.04153 seconds with 10 queries