Author Archives: Editor Dan Shideler

About Editor Dan Shideler

The late Dan Shideler was a senior editor for Gun Digest Books from 2004 until 2011, best known for his entertaining prose and knowledge and insight into firearms history, trends and pricing. He served as editor of two of the industry's most respected annuals: Standard Catalog of Firearms and Gun Digest. Dan passed away in April 2011.

Honoring the 1911. . .in Utah

Courtesy of Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” (www.theblaze.com): SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are debating whether to designate a semiautomatic pistol as the official gun of Utah, despite protests from people who believe it’s inappropriate because of recent mass shootings. The bill to make the Browning M1911 the official gun breezed through a...

Shooting the Widowmaker: the Winchester Model 1911

Probably the least-collected pre-’64 Winchester shotgun is the Model 1911 Self Loader, also known affectionately (?) as the Widowmaker. For those of you who came in late, the M1911 was Winchester’s attempt to knock off the Browning Auto-5. When John Browning and Winchester couldn’t come to terms on Browning’s new autoloading shotgun — Winchester...

Check Your Closets!

A good friend of mine, Phillip Peterson, is a licensed gun dealer who sells quite regularly through Gunbroker.com. Phillip, who goes by the username “neatguns,” specializes in vintage, oddball and military guns and accessories. Last week, Phillip listed a “Vintage Sheridan Silver Streak Pellet Rifle 20cal” with a starting bid of $99. The description...

From One Snubbie Fan to Another

I’ve always been a big fan of short-barreled revolvers. In fact, I think the original S&W M36 Chief’s Special is one of the greatest guns ever designed. (I  once owned a S&W Highway Patrolman .357 N-frame that someone had given the “Fitz Special” treatment, with cutaway triggerguard, shortened barrel, rounded grip frame and custom...

Nobody Ever Called Them Pretty. . . .

Harrington & Richardson has been out of the handgun business since the company (then doing business as H&R 1871, Inc.) was acquired by Marlin in 2000. Most people probably didn’t even notice. H&R handguns weren’t ever anything you’d brag about owning, unless maybe it was one of their USRA single-shot .22 target pistols or...

Thoughts on the 1911

As we all know, 2011 is the centennial of the most popular handgun in the world, the Model 1911. Just this last weekend, though, as I was shooting my Taurus PT1911 in .38 Super, the question occurred to me: just what makes a 1911 a 1911?

Gun Collecting and Grading

Firearms collecting is a rewarding hobby. Firearms are part of our nation's history and represent an opportunity to learn more about their role in that American experience. If done skillfully, firearms collecting can be a profitable hobby as well.