Guns Magazine, August 1966

My off again/on again study of the changing themes in gun advertising from 1917 to today is back on again. Thanks to two Wake Forest students, I have finalized the coding scheme and we are currently working on one randomly selected issue of The American Rifleman each year going back to 1917 and one of Guns magazine each year going back to its inception in 1955. I am hoping to present the research findings at a Gun Studies Symposium at the University of Arizona this coming October.

As we were doing our practice coding, one issue we looked at was the August 1966 issue of Guns.


Although I was looking primarily at the advertisements, I couldn’t help but notice one of the cover stories: British Gun Laws Don’t Stop Crime!

It’s often said that resistance to gun control is a relatively new phenomenon, a product of the hardened stance taken by the NRA-ILA after the Revolt at Cincinnati in 1977. But many of the old magazines I have looked at have stories or editorials in them resisting the idea of criminalizing the behavior of law-abiding gun owners, which is a common consequence of gun control efforts. The NRA’s history is more complex than is commonly portrayed.


Of course, I spent most off my time looking at ads, which are an amazing way to step back in time. One that caught my eye was for an original German G3 ASSAULT RIFLE!


Except that if you read the text, the rifle is actually a semi-auto. I thought assault rifles were full-auto? Surely Josh Sugarmann is too young to be writing ad copy in the 1960s.


  1. As I recall from curling up with piles of my stepdad’s American Rifleman magazines, gun control articles were common back in the late sixties as this was also when LBJ and others were initiating gun control, i.e., 1968 Gun Control Act. The Armed Citizen was also ever-present. This is nothing new but I think the stridency of the arguments on both sides keeps getting worse. NRA and its opponents feed on each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a You Tube video from 2013 about gun control and government sanctioned massacres in the 20th century worth seeing. Does anybody want me to link it here?

    Keep your powder dry, keep your eye on the left trying to strip the 2A from us and your faith in God.


  3. Interesting that the price of G3 magazines was actually more expensive then than now. Cheaper Than Dirt has them for $4.97 and I bought about 100 a few years ago for 99 cents each. Don’t have a G3 or even a PTR-91 but I have the mags!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] I am having so much fun with my project systematically analyzing the content of gun advertising in The American Rifleman from 1917 to 2017 . Although my students and I are only supposed to be looking at the ads, it’s hard not to pay some attention to the magazine content, too. (See also these brief posts if you’re interested: The American Rifleman from July 1927, January 1937, December 1967, and Guns magazine August 1966.) […]


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