Advertisements from Guns Magazine in 1959

These advertisements appeared in issues of Guns Magazine in 1959.

At that price I would haven taken ‘em all.
The Blue Book of Gun Values has increase in price as much as the guns inside it.

The following advertisement for Norma ammunition surprised me because it is so modern looking in contrast the above ads. Compare it with the cover of Hornady’s Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (below).

Cover of Hornady’s Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (7th Edition)

[ Many thanks to Tarkan for emailing me the pics. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • You should check out the old Guns magazine PDF files they put up to download on their website for free- they release one each month to correspond to where we are now.

    Currently available is February 1960-

    http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1960issue.html

    Great ads and some interesting articles too.

    • Jay-Mac, thanks for the tip.

  • Lance

    Prices makes me wanna cry. A luger now is $600-2500 dollars. I have a 1979 shooters bible and they have Colt SP-1s for $270 dollars. Where the time mechine when you need one.

  • me

    The first add seems so surreal compared this day and age. If not only for the casualness of the add regarding the type and functioning of the hardware, but the price also.

    If only for a time machine and a wallet full of green.

  • Tom

    I’m surprised no one has pointed out how the old ads say “clips” instead of magazines. One of my favorite nitpicks!

    Man, I’ve got some old stuff like this around here somewhere, they’re really fascinating. Nothing like Sears or Ward’s catalogs with mail order guns.

  • El Duderino

    “Own your very own Chauchat machinegun and experience the same frustration our beloved Doughboys did — without the German snipers and flying shell fragments.”

  • Clint

    Just remember, back then $8 was a full day’s pay. That makes a Used P-38 as expensive as a new glock, XD or M&P.

  • Red

    Here is a good question does the luger use clips? Becuase the ad saids Extra clips.. As far as my knowledge goes only clips would be what is used in the m1 garand ectra?

  • Martin

    Oh, of only we could still get used hardware like the good ol’ days. Just imagine, 1919s, M60s, M-14s, and all the surplus ammunition you can carry. Prices notwithstanding, if only it were just available. Oh, what has our world come to.

    First I was like, COOL!

    Then I got dizzy.

    Now I’m bummed.

  • Greetings from Falls County,
    I have a love, hate thing with ads like this. Clint is correct that for the day these weapons were as expensive as new weapons are today. Then again, I can’t throw rocks at folkes that torment me with these Ads. I love to torcher my son and his friends with the fact that I bought Garands for $250.00 and Carbines for half that in the 70’s.

  • Flashman

    A beautiful ray of ancient sunlight!

    Now tell me gun grabbers, how many M2 Grease Guns and British 2″ mortars have been used by perps in felony crimes since 1959?

  • iMick

    Thanks for the 1960s Guns mag link! Its refreshing reading a firearms magazine without being deluged with AR, AR parts or Tacticool advertisements!! On the other hand, No5 Mk1 Jungle Carbines for $24.95! WANT

  • And remember, until the enactment of GCA68, you could buy this stuff through the US Mail. You sent your order and payment to the dealer or manufacturer, and the postman would deliver it all to your doorstep. Of course, the full-auto weapons in these ads were actually disabled. These were known as DEWAT – Deactivated War Trophies.

    • Daniel, deactivated! Really? That sucks.

    • SamAdams1776

      I remember those great days of freedom. Probably will take a restoration of the Constitution (armed of course) deposing the usurpers before that freedom returns.

  • The plus side of the DEWAT program back then was that instead of confiscating an unregistered full-auto war trophy, the Feds could let you keep it if you proceeded to have it deactivated. There was none of the current “Once a machinegun, always a machinegun” nonsense.

    Deactivation often involved welding a plug in the barrel. Later, there was a market in reactivating DEWATs.

  • I REMEMBER LOOKING AT ADVERTISEMENTS FOR RIFLES VERY CHEAP TEN TO TWENTY DOLLARS A DOUBLE PAGE IN RED CONTAINIING 30 OR 40 WEAPONS . I SPENT HOURS LOOKING AT THESE SORRY TO SAY LOST IN TIME..IF ANYONE CAN REMEMBER THE DATE AND THE ISSUE NAME MAYBE CALLED GUN PLEASE CONTACT ME CHRIS

  • I HAVE JUST FOUND IT GUNS JANUARY 1961 GREAT ADVERTISEMENTS THANK YOU CHRIS