Gun photos in the Life magazine Google archive

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Google is hosting a huge archive of millions of Life magazine images since 1750. I thought I would see what interesting gun photos I could find.

Winchester 1890 pump action rifle. © Time Inc.

Actress Donna Drake taking aim with a rifle on the balcony of her home, dressed in a two-piece swimsuit, her dog lying on a cushion nearby.

Location: CA, US
Date taken: 1942
Photographer: Peter Stackpole

Hollywood is just not the same anymore. Imagine the media frenzy if Scarlett Johansson was spotted with a rifle on her roof!

Full sized photo here.

Guy waterskiing with revolver. WTF?

Swiss farmer’s rifle with bandolier. Taken 1941. Presumably on hand in case of a German invasion.

Ordnance shop at Skoda Munitions factory. Too little too late. Less than a year later the factory would be producing arms for the German war machine.

What not to do with a gun.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Sisyphos Sisyphos on Mar 21, 2009

    Still today, Swiss citizens are issued a rifle by the government, i.e. if the are doing their military duty. The only difference is that nowadays, we do not necessarily have an old K31 leaning against a wall (though I do), but a SIG 550 assault rifle. After leaving the military sometime between the age of 35 and 50, we may keep the rifle.

  • Windy Wilson Windy Wilson on Nov 18, 2011

    That Swiss Rifle with the cartridge belt is not a K-31, The view is of the underside of the rifle, and there is a gap between the magazine and the trigger guard on the pictured rifle. It is either the K-11, though it seems a bit long for a K-11, or more likely, the G1911 or G1896/11. They look almost the same. It also isn't the G1889, that had a much longer magazine protruding from the underside.