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Old October 29, 2020, 12:43 AM   #26
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So, I'm hoping to get a little insight here into the real life guns everyday people might have had during the 1950s and '60s. For some reason, I have always had it in my mind that, outside of the armed forces, revolvers were far more common than auto-loaders for many, many years. I don't know if there's any truth to that.
There's a lot of truth to that, especially among lower income folks. Centerfire autoloaders though the 60s were not that popular though folks with GI experience would often get a 1911A1, if they could.

Simply put, for most people centerfire semi autos were limited in designs, not well suited for hunting and aside from milsurp guns, more EXPENSIVE than a more versatile revolver.

Now, this doesn't count the .22 sport pistols just the centerfire guns.

When you say "everyday people" what do you mean? Lower income folks generally own less than wealthier folks. One of my dad's deer hunting buddies rarely owned a deer rifle until shortly before deer season, and then not for long after and some years hunted with a borrowed rifle simply because he couldn't afford to buy even a used one.
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Old October 29, 2020, 06:48 PM   #27
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I bet a lot of ppk's?
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Old October 30, 2020, 01:13 AM   #28
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I bet a lot of ppk's?
Some, but not many for the "everyday folks", because they were pretty spendy.

I don't have figures from the 60s handy but I do for the mid 70s, and in the mid 70s a new PPK/S was $199. A great pocket gun for 007 and the well heeled set but a Chief's Special was $110 and a model 19 about $150, and a Govt model was about $175, blued.

Prices in the 60s were lower but the same pattern of price difference held then as well.

used guns were all over and pre 1900 pistols (mostly revolvers) were still common "nightstand" guns in the lower economic strata.

Iver Johnson and H&R topbreaks were common and actually better quality than many imported guns also on the market.

The GCA 98 and it's arbtrary rules put an end to the importation of most of the cheap, small foriegn guns, as well as the expensive small Walther PPK, which missed being allowed by 1/8" inch.

Walther's response to that was the PPK/S a very slightly larger pistol which did meet the new US regulations.
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Old October 31, 2020, 12:57 PM   #29
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I think a lot of people did not have many handguns simply because they did not see any need for a self defense gun.... not like today. Obviously, there were still plenty of handguns, though, as there's a lot of old ones still around today!

I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and grew up with 'em. Mostly because of my grandfather, who always had pistols. He was a sheriff's deputy when I was a kid, but mostly I think it's just because that's who he was. A Colt Jr. 25 auto was always in his pocket. A 2" M&P was his service gun, which cost about $150 round about 1975 (I remember seeing the sales receipt years later). My uncle, who died about that time, had a Colt Combat Commander, which was super cool. At Christmas, or other family gatherings, the men folk would always go out and shoot pistols. It was just what you did.
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Old October 31, 2020, 01:38 PM   #30
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I think a lot of people did not have many handguns simply because they did not see any need for a self defense gun.... not like today.
I would change that slightly to say "did not see the need for a self defense HANDGUN"...or, more usually, more than one defense handgun.

where, and when I grew up, there was no concealed carry for ordinary folks. Open carry was the rule, and other than uniformed police no one open carried except during hunting season.

Home defense was the province of the shotgun, 12ga, double barrel, usually, though the pump duck gun would also serve. Riot and "defensive" shotguns were things you read about in magazines and rarely, if ever saw in people's homes, or, for that matter in the stores or gunshops.
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Old November 1, 2020, 07:50 AM   #31
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Of course,there will be exceptions

Law enforcement almost universally carried Colt or S+W revolvers.They would be 38 spl or 357. I'm not LEO,but often they were limited to 38 spl.
That was about it for law enforcement handguns, Later,the S+W 39 saw use.
Many depts were fairly restrictive about what an officer was allowed to carry.
The 1911 was accepted in a few places,but,IIRC,not so much in the 1960s
Long guns were generally a shotgun.

TV/cinema? Reflects the times. James Bond,the PPK. Man from Uncle? The P-38. The P-38 had a "cool" factor.There were some Lugers. The broomhandle Mauser landed a few exotic roles. I dont recall many Browning Hi-Powers.

Gun rags regularly wrote about Luger vs 1911.I think a lot of folks sort of wanted one or the other,but not enough to prioritize one. Grandpa lived in Chicago. I recall he carried a baby Colt 25 ACP.

Security guards,etc might carry a break top 32 revolver.

In my world,the Ruger Bearcat 22 Single action,The Ruger Standard 22 Semi Auto,The Colt Woodsman,and High Standard 22 semi autos ,K-frame S+W's,The Ruger Blackhawk,Colt SAA,and a few Colt DA's,mostly 32 Police Positives and the 1911 covered maybe 95% of what you;d see.

In my world,in the 60's.smaller and mid sized semi-autos were for "Getting in trouble" . There were good ones,Berettas,Mauser HSC,etc...but generally we thought "What do I need that for?"

A 22 hand gun was good for plinking cans. Or Bullseye.

I could be wrong,but in the 60's a handgun was more of a tin can/target gun for the general civilian population.(In my world) It may have been different for other folks.
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Old November 1, 2020, 12:50 PM   #32
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I collect old Gun Digests that I get on eBay.

The 1950's ones (especially the LATE 50's) almost make me cry.
Revolvers ruled. And they were GOOD ones. Smiths, Colts, Rugers.
Ruger was just coming on scene and getting terrific reviews.

38 Special was still a "deadly caliber." Although most articles were swaying toward the .357.
The 44 MAGNUM was a relative newcomer.

Fun reading the opposite sides on the 44.
"Kicks like a mule!"
and "Not a problem." (that opinion always by Elmer Keith and Chas. Askins )

Prices were still what WE would call "cheap" but at the time it was costly.

Guns were still being used for targets and hunting. VERY few "combat" articles.

I was around then. Gunsmiths knew their art.

They were good days.
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Old November 2, 2020, 07:11 PM   #33
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You can go here and see what you can see...

https://www.gundigeststore.com/produ...n-pdf-digital/
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Old November 10, 2020, 08:08 AM   #34
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I don't think I knew anyone who owned a handgun, except an uncle who had some type of 22 single action he carried when running his trapline. No idea what kind it was, and I don't recall seeing it more than once, maybe twice. I certainly never handled it. If anyone else had one, and I'm sure they did, I just never saw/heard of it.

Rifles (centerfire) were also pretty much unknown around "home." That same uncle had a Remington 30/06 autoloader, that I remember seeing on his gun rack, but I never saw it come down. The only other one I remember was a friends father had a "German Mauser" that he kept in a closet. We boys would sneak in and look at it once in a while, but NEVER touched it. Funny, at the time it never occurred to me that might be a war bring-back. It was just a "German Mauser."

Now...shotguns were a different story. Shotguns were as common as a gun rack in the back of a pickup truck. And they rode in that gun rack all year. Browning A5's, Savage, Remington, Winchester, Sears-Roebuck and Montgomery-Ward shotguns, various and sundry double guns, Parkers, L.C. Smiths, A.H. Fox, plain old Stevens 311's, and who knew what kind of "single-barrel" shotguns. 22 Rimfire rifles were pretty common too.
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Old November 10, 2020, 02:06 PM   #35
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Here's a few gun ads from the 1960's:

http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/guns-ads-1960s

And about 100 pics!

https://www.google.com/search?q=guns...I-gyA4ao6jF8cM
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Old November 11, 2020, 11:14 AM   #36
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50's & 60's - it was easy to tell the serious carriers / shooters. - They liked their 1911's, and their 'standard' uniform seemed to be a fishing vest, - for 'concealment'. That guy in the supermarket, with his fishing vest on? - Yup! - In upstate NY anyways.
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Old November 11, 2020, 02:38 PM   #37
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SOMEONE was buying lots of pistols in the 1960s.
In addition to US-made guns,there were:
Browning .25, .32, .380, 9mm
Star and Llama .22, .25, .32, .380, 9mm, .38 Super & .45.
Bernardelli .22 short & long, .25, .32, and .380
Galesi .22 short/long/LR, .25, .32
Astra .22 short, .25, .32, .380, .38 Spl
Beretta .22 short, .22 lr, .25, .32, .380, 9mm
SIG/Sauer western revolvers in .22, .38, .357, .45
Imported O/U derringers
Various S&W revolver copies
Surplus pistols in .32/.380/9mm/.45
Plus all the very cheap guns like RG and other zinc-framed guns.

So- there were LOTS of pistols out there-but since there was little LEGAL carry of guns-they just weren't in the forefront. Many people had a gun in their pocket or their car. It just wasn't talked about very much.
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