I have mentioned previously that part of documenting the rise of Gun Culture 2.0 is an analysis of changes in the themes present in gun advertising over time. To that end, I have been collecting one randomly selected issue of The American Rifleman per year for the past 100 years. A bunch arrived recently.
The oldest of the bunch was from July 1927. Major articles in the issue covered a hunting expedition “Beyond the Arctic Circle,” “My First Elephant,” “The Scope Sight You Can Afford,” “Remodeling the Has-Beens” (Krag carbine and Russian Nagant), “Expert Fancy Shooting,” “The Modern Shotgun,” “Our United States Rifles, Caliber .30,” and “Overfeeding the .32-20 Revolver.”
Lots about hunting, target shooting, collecting, and geeky ballistics stuff.
My attention, however, is always drawn to “The Dope Bag” — The American Rifleman’s question and answer column. In this issue, H.M.B. wrote in to ask for advice:
“I would appreciate your help in deciding on a revolver for my wife to use against prowlers, etc., in my absence. She has a small hand and is apt to flinch at a heavy recoil; therefore I had in mind a fairly heavy frame, with the smallest caliber having the necessary striking energy.”
The response was brief and to the point:
“I think that your wife would probably find the .38-caliber Police Positive a most suitable weapon for her use.”