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When I was growing up, almost no one had carry permits. This had odd effects on the pistols that people bought.

Generally speaking, a guy might buy a .22 pistol, and some big Dirty Harry thing that was impressive, and probably well made, but neither guns suited for CC. So when CC became available to most of us, gun makers had to play catch up with their gun selection.

Pocket pistols really seem to have taken off in terms of popularity. I know I often pocket carry, and have several pocket pistols.

One I have is a .25 Automatic Pistol, "Baby" Browning. It was my grandfathers. And its in mint condition. I dont often carry that gun, but it shoots great.

It reminds me, though, that our grandparents and great grandparents, knew all about pocket pistols. It was just "bred out of" intervening generations. And now we are learning what our forefathers already knew.
 

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The Missouri History Museum at Forest Park used to be called the Jefferson Memorial, and on the mezzanine level ther was nothing but pistols and rifles. I could spend hours and hours looking at them. They basically had one of every American made and many foreign made firearms up into the 20th century, but mostly antiques. They hade several cases with hundreds of different Derringers, pepper boxes, pocket pistols, "hideout guns", in all sorts of strange callibers,breaks, and actions. The variety was almost limitless. You looked at all of them and couldn't help but imagine the rogues gallery that carried them. I have no idea where they all went, and they do have interesting exhibits ther now, but it's nothing like it used to be for an adolescent gun nut. The WWI Memorial downtown has a wonderful collection of early 20th century military weapons, including German, Japanese, British, and a Swiss Solothurn 20mm recoiless rifle, which is pretty darn kewl.
 

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It strikes me that we are returning to the way things used to be, in terms of going armed. And that we are right to do so.

I, too, was fascinated by displays such as you described:)
 

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Wow...Henry Bowman had a Swiss Solothurn 20mm rifle. He reloaded his 20mm cases and made his own projectiles on a lathe.
One of the most absolutely super duper cool/kewl guns I ever had was a WWII Albion made Webley in 38S&W. I traded a Stihl saw straight across for it. Never ever take your favorite guns with you when you go to a Barter Faire.

Whenever I'm traveling I always checkout the local museum and hit it before I head out. Lots of communities and small towns will have a pioneer museum. VFW and American Legion halls often have a few war souvenirs in a case somewhere.

Checkout a Civil War Reenactment or Mountain Man Rendezvous the first chance you get. Walk down into the Primitive Area and feast your eyes on the guns and camp gear. Ask questions. Reenactors welcome questions and many will bend over backwards to help out Pilgrims. I know cuz I usedta be a Reenactor. HUA
 

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Fortunately technology has caught up with the concept; they can now make light .380 and 9mm pocket pistols that put out three to five times the muzzle energy of the old .25's, with greater durability, in the same size or smaller.
 

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Henry Bowman! John Ross taught my CCW class, and for the practical we went and shot at his abandoned quarry. He brought all sorts of toys! That was the first and only time I fired a Thompson. Heavy and easy to control. The flying, open bolt was a little disconcerting at first, but once you shoot one you're hooked. I recently heard that the ATF agents in the book sued him (he used their real names). He's quite a charecter. My father was good friends with his sister (they were drinking buddies).
:eek:fftop1:
 
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Wow...Henry Bowman had a Swiss Solothurn 20mm rifle. He reloaded his 20mm cases and made his own projectiles on a lathe.
One of the most absolutely super duper cool/kewl guns I ever had was a WWII Albion made Webley in 38S&W. I traded a Stihl saw straight across for it. Never ever take your favorite guns with you when you go to a Barter Faire.

Whenever I'm traveling I always checkout the local museum and hit it before I head out. Lots of communities and small towns will have a pioneer museum. VFW and American Legion halls often have a few war souvenirs in a case somewhere.

Checkout a Civil War Reenactment or Mountain Man Rendezvous the first chance you get. Walk down into the Primitive Area and feast your eyes on the guns and camp gear. Ask questions. Reenactors welcome questions and many will bend over backwards to help out Pilgrims. I know cuz I usedta be a Reenactor. HUA
I belonged to a Mountain Man era black powder club for years when I was in Oklahoma. Rendezvous was our favorite shoot of the year. Most of the clubs from OK and TX showed up as well as people from MO, MI, OH and other scattered places. Great times, great shooting and at night GREAT stories and fire water!
 
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Sitting in my safe is my Grandmother's old "Hopkins and Allen" 32 Short revolver that she carried with her for many a moon. Until this year when it was handed down to me it was thought to be broken, but as it turned out the cylinder pin was just placed in improperly. This oversight actually saved the life of a horse my grandmother tried to shoot when the horse, and its unwelcome owner, showed up on her door step. The rider took off at the sight of the gun, and since that day everyone thought the little bulldog of a gun to be unserviceable. It's an interesting story from a time long past when these little pocket guns were common place amongst the folks that went before us.
 

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Sitting in my safe is my Grandmother's old "Hopkins and Allen" 32 Short revolver that she carried with her for many a moon. Until this year when it was handed down to me it was thought to be broken, but as it turned out the cylinder pin was just placed in improperly. This oversight actually saved the life of a horse my grandmother tried to shoot when the horse, and its unwelcome owner, showed up on her door step. The rider took off at the sight of the gun, and since that day everyone thought the little bulldog of a gun to be unserviceable. It's an interesting story from a time long past when these little pocket guns were common place amongst the folks that went before us.
Let's see it.
 

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My grandmothers. Probably someone before her too.

Italian .22 4 barrel pepperbox. If you ever wondered whether it's possible to keyhole a bullet at 5 yards, the answer is yes. Yes it is. :blink:




Iver Johnson .38 made for Harley Davidson. Someone did some back room gunsmithing on the barrel though.

 

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Let's see it.
Will do....after posting this yesterday I went to my local gun shop on a whim. While there I picked up a near perfect Winchester Model 67 rifle that is almost identical to the one my dad has. The Lady of the House has the digital camera at work. As soon as it comes back to the ranch I will post some pics of them both.
 
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I have Grandpa's 32 Savage Pistol. As the story was told to me, there was a peeping Tom in the Neiborhood and Grandma was feeding the Kids while Grandpa was at work. There was a knock at the door but, know one would answer her. After she asked who is there several times, she shot at the Door. Know one was found but, they had no more reports of peeping Toms.
 

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"Generally speaking, a guy might buy a .22 pistol, and some big Dirty Harry thing that was impressive, and probably well made, but neither guns suited for CC. So when CC became available to most of us, gun makers had to play catch up with their gun selection.

Pocket pistols really seem to have taken off in terms of popularity."


I'm going to have to disagree on this one. Savvy gun guys of previous generations weren't so neanderthal. When I was a kid in the 1960s the concealed carry pistols I personally knew of included a Remington Model 51 .380, Walther PP .380, cut-down 2-inch Smith & Wesson Victory Model .38 Special snub, Smith & Wesson Model 15 4-inch, and a Colt Model 1911 .45. It was my uncle who carried the Colt 1911, an acquisition obtained through the NRA in the 1950s/early 1960s in some sort of homemade wallet rig, sticking out of his hip pocket, sometimes with a handkerchief tucked over it. The whole rig, with the handkerchief or a red shop towel thrown over it, rode up on the dash of the vehicle he was driving. He also had a Remington .41 rim fire double derringer though I don't know that he carried it seriously. He brought it out of a pocket when we were plinking on one occasion.

In the mid 1970s, when I was working at a bank, an old constable who did some outside debt collection work for me carried a High Standard .22 Magnum derringer in a pocket. The chief deputy for the county who was a friend and a customer of mine had a then-hard-to-find and premium priced 2 1/2-inch Smith & Wesson Model 66.

My old friend Cres Lawson who was born in 1907 had a selection of quality handguns of all sizes, including Colt Models 1909 .45 Colt revolver, Single Action Army .45 Colt, Model 1908 .380, surplus 1911 .45 ACP, Woodsman .22, along with a Luger in 9mm, and Smith & Wessons: Military & Police .38 Special, and Models 14, 19, 34 and 36. These were only the ones I was aware that he owned. He began acquiring handguns at 13 when his dad gave him an extra Colt New Service Model 1909, one of five similar that had been acquired as surplus from out of the San Antonio Arsenal to arm the night watchmen of the plant that Cres' dad supervised. The Woodsman came along when Cres was 21 and he acquired and traded a number of handguns of all kinds right up until he was in his 80s. The last handgun he purchased was after I knew him and it was a Charter Arms Undercover .38 that he gave to his son. He knew what an appropriate concealed carry handgun was.

The Colt D-Frame snubs were popular in the day as were the Smith & Wesson J-Frames though I never saw them outside the Railway Express office where my grandmother worked (those were Colt snubs).

Large piles of .25, .32, and .380 automatics were both produced here and imported in the first six decades of the 20th century and sold in huge quantities to the buying public. Colt and Smith & Wesson, in addition to marketing their own small automatics, sold small revolvers in great quantities. The Colt D-Frame and the Smith & Wesson I-Frame predecessor to the J-Frame were popular in .22, .32, and .38 S&W chamberings. Smith & Wesson among others, still cataloged its small top-break revolvers in .32 and .38 right up until the eve of World War II. Colt only dropped production of many of its small revolvers and automatics to make room for producing 1911A1s, Commando revolvers, and .30 machine guns for the War effort.

Also, the Gun Control Act of 1968 materially squashed the market for small imported concealable pistols that our parents and grandparents were buying. GCA '68 had a huge impact on availability of the very popular imported pocket pistols, and it's repercussions echo to present times. Detestable government meddling is what it was. Pocket pistols weren't "bred out" of a generation of people but they were pretty effectively legislated out.

It could also be said that people wised up and determined that they'd prefer to bring something more substantial to a potential gunfight.

It's just again become faddish and popular to strive to acquire the ever-smaller, ever-lighter handgun in the last few years. It's the current generation who has gone all out for shrunken guns, dragging some of us old fogies along in their wake. Personally, I don't think such handguns are a very thoughtful choice in most instances. They represent a desire for a talisman to ward off evil and bespeak of someone who isn't a disciplined or enthused shooter. I realize there are exceptions to this rule and that there are those of you out there who shoot the hooey out of whatever "mighty-might" handgun you've selected and shoot it well (for what it is) but y'all are the exception to the general run of concealed carry owner having one of these runt pistols that are so popular with "the crowd."

Not everyone agrees that "ever-smaller, ever-lighter" are positive attributes for handguns. Some folks are even of the opinion that miniscule size and less weight are undesirable characteristics in a handgun. I'm just grateful that I'm not required to carry small guns with poor sights, poorer triggers, and poorest ergonomics.


"...they can now make light .380 and 9mm pocket pistols that put out three to five times the muzzle energy of the old .25's, with greater durability, in the same size or smaller."


Nope. Not yet. Not in either size nor durability. This Colt Model 1908 is not quite as tiny as a Browning Baby but represents a pretty small .25 pistol. Haven't seen any .380s, and certainly no 9mms the same size or smaller being introduced. As far as durability, the all-forged-steel and stubbornly reliable Colt Model 1908 .25, if it hasn't been monkeyed-with by various owners over the years, will "show it's heels" to flimsy aluminum alloy, plastic, and stamped steel guns in any durability contest. And this despite the fact that no Colt Model 1908s have been produced since the early 1940s. Same goes for the Browning Baby or any of several other quality .25s that were previously produced or imported. Shown with a Kel Tec P3AT .380 ACP.

 

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I have Grandpa's 32 Savage Pistol. As the story was told to me, there was a peeping Tom in the Neiborhood and Grandma was feeding the Kids while Grandpa was at work. There was a knock at the door but, know one would answer her. After she asked who is there several times, she shot at the Door. Know one was found but, they had no more reports of peeping Toms.
The Savage line of small, concealable, pocket pistols were very well made and had some innovative features. It was the Savage that introduced the staggered magazine.

Sure would be nice to see a photo of your Grandma's Savage.
 
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