Firearms Research For Pre-1980s guns
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default Firearms Research For Pre-1980s guns

Howdy there folks. Pardon me if this isn't the proper forum for this post. Also, I'll like to give a quick introduction: I am an independent author of men's adventure type fiction.

I am currently writing a post-apocalypse novel based in America's south that takes place during 1985. The apocalyptic event (a chimera-type biological weapon) occurred in 1979.

I would like accurate technical details on some popular, prevalent, and practical guns of that era including: assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, handguns and any other suggestions.

For the most part, however, my novel will be "gun lite" on details, but I would prefer to have the types and mechanics and how-to-operate details correct for believability.

Thank you in advance for any and all information that any of you can provide.

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Old 03-14-2014, 12:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_Redstone View Post
Howdy there folks. Pardon me if this isn't the proper forum for this post. Also, I'll like to give a quick introduction: I am an independent author of men's adventure type fiction.

I am currently writing a post-apocalypse novel based in America's south that takes place during 1985. The apocalyptic event (a chimera-type biological weapon) occurred in 1979.

I would like accurate technical details on some popular, prevalent, and practical guns of that era including: assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, handguns and any other suggestions.

For the most part, however, my novel will be "gun lite" on details, but I would prefer to have the types and mechanics and how-to-operate details correct for believability.

Thank you in advance for any and all information that any of you can provide.
welcome to the forum. if you intend on staying around please visit the Introductions Section and say hello to everyone.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:26 AM   #3
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Lucky for you, haven't been much in advancement since then (comparatively speaking to the rest of the 20th century)

Growing up in Mississippi, I noticed many of the more common guns in households were SKS's, bolt action hunting rifles, lever action hunting rifles, pump action shotguns, semi auto shotguns... some of the more popular handguns were Smith and Wesson semi autos, 1911 pattern handguns, and revolvers of many makes.

The south was/still is fairly poor compared to some other parts of the country. There were many cheap handguns (saturday night specials-throwaways, so to speak) around when I was a kid. From no-name makers who had poor reputations of being unreliable at best, and dangerous to the user at the worst.

Modern Sporting Rifles (what some people incorrectly refer to as "assault rifles"), didn't catch on nearly so relevantly back then as they have recently.

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Old 03-14-2014, 01:38 AM   #4
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Actually, the mid 80s is fairly current. The Barrett .50 came on the scene about 1982, and even the Glock pistol had been around since before the mid 80s. Some of the brand new models of the S&W revolvers, the FiveseveN pistol, the .17 caliber rimfires are a few of the guns that were NOT around in the mid 80s.

But PLEASE hang around and learn a bit about guns before you start writing about them. We used to joke about the Yankee writers with lines like "The heady aroma of the dogwood flowers wafted forth on the cool evening air...." Well, dogwood blooms HAVE no aroma, and you do not chamber a cartridge in a revolver, it is not a muzzle break but a muzzle brake, learn difference between a clip and a magazine, and you will not hit the bad guy at 300 yards with a shotgun.

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Old 03-14-2014, 01:57 AM   #5
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I beg to differ C3. Clip some dogwood blossoms and put them in a vase in your house, see if you think they have no "aroma" then! They stink so bad they'll run you out of the house!

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Old 03-14-2014, 08:44 AM   #6
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By that time most of National Guard units had transferred to the M-16, though there were M-1 Garands and the M-14 still out there.

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Old 03-14-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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Dan- by 1985, the Garand and M14 were long gone as the Standard A rifle for the Guard.

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Old 03-14-2014, 10:53 AM   #8
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By that time most of National Guard units had transferred to the M-16, though there were M-1 Garands and the M-14 still out there.
This was actually going to be one of my next questions. What would be noticeable differences between the M1, M14, and M16. I've done some quick Googling on when each of these weapons peaked popularity and was replaced.

I would also like to clarify that in my novel the weapons available would have to be manufactured prior to 1979 since this is when The World Ended As We Know It. I would assume that some left over M14s and M1s wouldn't be scoffed at by survivors looting National Guard armories and such. In fact, in one of the series I have read (William Johnstone's Out Of The Ashes) he looted a museum for a Thompson which became his trademark weapon of choice throughout the expansive series.

I believe I can find out the ranges of the different weapons and have done some reading up on clip vs. magazine.

Would it be correct to say that a "round is thumbed into the cylinder" when referring to a revolver?
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:46 AM   #9
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You could say a round was thumbed into the cylinder. But more likely 5 or 6 rounds would be thumbed into the cylinder. Keep in mind, not all revolvers are 6 shooters. I was in the Army in 1985. I trained with the M-16 and the M-60. The only M-1 or M-14 that I ever saw was in the Firearms museum at Ft Lee VA. I am not saying that no one had one. But I was in during peace time. It was not like Afghanistan.

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Old 03-14-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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Would the Colt Cobra chambered with .32 Colt New Police ammo be a nice choice?

Also, what does "straigh-walled", "centerfire" and "rimfire" mean and how does any of these properties alter the ballistics?

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