Gun History

Vintage gun history articles columns blogs advice from Gun Digest book and gun history columnists including Dan Shideler.

Image courtesy of Don Findley

Robert Hillberg, 1917-2012

The editors at Gun Digest regret to hear the sad news of the death of Robert Hillberg. He passed away on August 12, 2012. Over his many years of designing firearms, everything from machineguns to sporting pistols, shotguns and rifles, when asked of all his accomplishments, what he is most proud of; Bob replied...

ar ammunition

A History of AR Cartridges

The original caliber for the AR-15 wasn’t the.223/5.56, it was a slightly smaller cartridge. The .222 Special delivered the kind of performance that the designers wanted, which was basically a 50-grain bullet at under 3,000 feet per second.

Jack O'Connor's Custom Ruger M77 in .280 Remington

Classic Guns: Jack O’Connor’s Last Rifle, the Ruger M77

I love to find old hook-and-bullet magazines, the older the better, and read the old-school gun writers. I like the grainy black-and-white photos shot in the field. I like the horn-rimmed glasses, canvas shooting jackets and the Jones hats they wear. Some of these writers have penned stories for Gun Digest over the years....

girandoni air rifle

The Most Important Gun in American History

  If you were to try to determine which guns truly influenced the history of the world, you could draw a few conclusions. Paging through The Greatest Guns of Gun Digest edited by Dan Shideler, you see the Colt Single Action and the Winchester 94, both guns that won the West and aided exploration...

Tippman 98

Gun Collecting: Vintage Paintball Guns

  There is an interesting development happening in the gun world and it resembles what has occurred in other shooting sports: a move back to the retro.  In the sport of paintball,  there is a movement that is shying away from the newly developed rapid-fire, high-tech paintball guns.  These weapons throw out an enormous...

Mauser C96 Broomhandle Pistol

Mauser C96: The First Field-Ready Military Autoloader?

The Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" pistol is the first military semiautomatic pistol to prove itself both rugged enough and reliable enough for field use, argues Massad Ayoob in his newly-released Greatest Handguns of the World, Vol. II.

Bren Ten Handgun

What Killed the Bren Ten?

  The Bren Ten was the handgun story of the early- to mid-1980s. The pundits drooled and salivated. It was predicted that the new cartridge that came out with it, the 10mm Auto, would take over the law enforcement market. It was not to be. Today, the 10mm is popular only among handgun cognoscenti....

Ayoob’s first Contender, a 1970s model with T/C scope and elegant octagonal barrel.

Classic Guns: Thompson-Center Contender

  Editor’s Note: Click here for instant firearms values and gun prices. In his just-released book, “Greatest Handguns of the World, Volume 2,” author Massad Ayoob includes the Thompson-Center Contender as one of the great firearms that made a difference in the handgunning world. At the end of the chapter, he makes a strong...