Blast From the Past Blog

The official Dan Shideler blog from the Gun Digest books editor on historic and oddity firearms.

IN MEMORIAM: Dan Shideler, Gun Digest Editor

We at F+W Media and Gun Digest are saddened to announce that our friend and colleague, Dan Shideler, a senior editor in the Firearms/Knives Group, passed away Sunday, April 3.

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?