Who doesn't enjoy looking at vintage gun ads? It's a blast to see how they marketed firearms years ago, not to mention the prices! If only we had a time machine.
Here are 20 beautiful vintage gun ads from a bygone era.
While some of these gun company ads ads are from long ago, some are fairly recent. They speak to not only surprisingly low prices, but also to the changing American cultural mores as we moved through the 20th century.
Good grief, check out these prices back in 1961!
A Colt Python for only $125!
In 1902 you could purchase a Marlin model 1892, 1893 or 1894 for $10 to $13.25 apiece from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue.
Back in 1960 you could buy a .55 caliber anti-tank gun for under $100. Plus, mail order ammo! A great buy for American civilians!
In 1996 you could get any of these Remington guns for under $100, as this magazine advertisement that ran in Boy's Life attests.
Christmas was - and in many families still is - the perfect time to give the gift of a rifle or shotgun to a youngster. I can still remember with such joy and excitement my very first .22 single shot rifle I got at Christmas time as a child. No doubt many adults cherish that memory as one of their transitional from-boy-to-man moments in their lives.
Santa has a Stevens arsenal to deliver!
A good lesson to learn: The whole family should get guns for Christmas! Who's ready for some cowboy shooting?!
And heck, why not get yourself a present too?
Personal protection was also a popular selling point from early on, highlighting some of the great self-defense handguns of the day:
This Savage ad targeted female shooters.
The ads for the Iver Johnson revolver were rather grim...
And some old advertisements are probably culturally taboo nowadays:
Such as this one that promoted hunting tigers, which would raise a lot of hackles today.
Here's an example of a vintage gun ad that seems to put firearm handling together with alcohol consumption.
Given our current climate, it probably would not go over too well to show a youngster with a so-called "assault weapon", even a toy one. That's a shame.
Ok, this one is just weird and dangerous, I don't care if the ad says "accidental discharge impossible," it's still crazy!
Finally, I don't know what the heck is going on in this one. A machine gun turret in place of your refrigerator? I guess this one was trying to play off of WWII imagery, but boy, is this a stretch.
There you have it, and we didn't even include any of those famous Winchester advertisements from way back when, or anything from Ruger or Smith & Wesson. My, how far gun ad advertising schemes has come...
Which is your favorite? Do you remember seeing any of these?
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.