Firearms / Media

Concerning Pocket Guns, May 1928 American Rifleman Dope Bag

Plugging along with my project of analyzing the changing content of advertising in gun magazines over the past century as a measure of change in American gun culture. Every old issue I examine is remarkable in one way or another.

I have mentioned “The Dope Bag” previously (an issue from 1927 in which a husband was seeking advice on a revolver for his wife to use in defense against prowlers, etc. in his absence). The May 1928 issue has an interesting series of 6 questions posed by reader R.A.B. “concerning pocket guns.”

Some of the questions concern .380 autos, which is interesting given the resurgence of the .380 pocket pistol today. In particular, R.A.B. asks about the availability of the Remington .380 and the reliability of the .380 automatic relative to the pocket revolver.

Major J.S. Hatcher observes in response:

“Of the pocket pistols that you mentioned, I prefer above all the .380 Remington automatic.”

Apparently the RM380 has good genes. Further,

“I do believe that a .380 automatic, such as the Remington, is fully as reliable as the pocket revolver. I should choose either Colt or Remington in regard to reliability over all others I know.”


“The Remington company discontinued the manufacture of the .380 because they want to get out of the pistol business entirely, mainly on account of the difficulty caused pistol manufacturers by the constant menace of anti-pistol legislation.”

Today, Remington is still plugging away in the pistol business (remember the R51?) and the threat of anti-gun legislation (and lawsuits) meant to put gun makers out of business remains. In so many ways, nihil sub sole novum – there’s nothing new under the sun.



3 thoughts on “Concerning Pocket Guns, May 1928 American Rifleman Dope Bag

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