American Rifleman 125th Anniversary Special

posted on June 10, 2011

Below are five online-exclusive articles from the archives of American Rifleman that exemplify its early coverage of firearms and the shooting industry.

"The M1 Garand: Recent Developments in Auto Loaders" by Major Julian S. Hatcher, December 15, 1921 - "Besides the modified Bang, the Ordnance Department submitted to last year's test a second type of rifle which was built by Mr. John C. Garand, a mechanical engineer employed by Springfield Armory."

"Behind the Scenes at N.R.A. National Headquarters" by NRA Staff, February 1931 - "The stencil room, equipped in the most up-to-date manner with steel file cabinets, stencil cutter and addressograph."

"The M14: Uncle Sam's New Automatic Rifle" by Clay Blair, Jr., February 1952 - "Army Ordnance, traditionally tight-lipped about developmental projects, demonstrated its own automatic lightweight rifles and a new shortened .30 caliber cartridge, the T-65."

"The Rifleman in the Atomic Age" by Lloyd Norman, March 1952 - "In this day of giant tanks, supersonic airplanes, devastating atomic explosions, does the Army value the man with a rifle?"

"American Rifleman Staff Musings" by Ron Keysor and Harry Lloyd Jaecks, August 2011 - "The Rifleman, always called TAR by staffers, is a shooting world print institution very much about people, whether it was colorful writers like 'Hell I Was There' Elmer Keith or the more professorial Col. Townsend Whelen, or master crow hunter Bert Popowski, writers old timers will remember well."

Below are expanded excerpts and bonus material from articles included in the 125th Anniversary issue of American Rifleman, August, 2011.

"Trial of the Krag-Jorgensen Rifle" by NRA Staff, July 18 1894 - "It was the pleasure of your correspondent to be present at a partial trial of one of the Krag-Jorgensen military rifles at the range of the Denver Rifle Club last Saturday."

"Marlin Model 1894 Introduced" by NRA Staff, September 6 1894 - "The Marline Fire Arms Co. announce its readiness to supply a new repeating rifle which will be known as the model 1894."

"Camp Perry 1921" by NRA Staff, September 15, 1921 - "Aside from the thrill which accompanied the making of such marksmanship history was witnessed at Camp Perry, there were several outstanding features of the N.R.A. Individual Matches which will long live in the memories of riflemen."

"Snap Shooting at Moving Objects with a Rifle" by A.D. Topperwein, April 1, 1923 - "Don’t be discouraged if you don’t seem to make rapid headway, for some of the shots you have seen some expert make and which look easy is, perhaps the fruit of many weeks hard work."

"An Analysis of Game Bullets" by Townsend Whelen, February 15, 1924 - "Rifles and their ammunition have gone through a series of developments and improvements in the last twenty years along with all other mechanical devices. The vintages of 1886 to 1899 have passed along with the buggy and the horse car."

"The Last Word: The Colt Single Action Army" by Elmer Keith, April 1929 - "The S.A.A. is one of the best-balanced and easiest handled of 6-guns."

"Guns vs. Bandits" by NRA Staff, January, 1932 - "In St. Louis, Gregory Dowling, 29, vice-president of the Midland Savings Bank, frustrated a robbery of the bank by killing two bandits and wounding a third."

"The Lyman 2 1/2X Alaskan Scope" by F.C. Ness, March 1938 - "The final design is a small, light, neat instrument with long eye-relief and internal adjustments. It joins that group of American-made hunting scopes of which the Noske and new Weaver have been the only examples."

"The Colt Service Model Ace" by Lt. Col. Julian S. Hatcher, June 1938 - "The service .45 automatic pistol is an extremely accurate gun, but for good shooting to be had with this or any other pistol the user must have a certain degree of training with his weapon and its proficiency and its use."

"M1 Garand: Our New Service Rifle" by Maj. G.H. Drewry, August 1938 - "The new rifle, with which our troops are to be equipped, is officially known as the 'U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1,' and popularly as the 'Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle.'"

"Bill Shadel Dons Uniform as War Correspondent" by NRA Staff, January 1944 - "Acting on travel orders just received, Bill Shadel vacates, as of this issue, the editorial sanctum he has occupied since May, 1941, to embark on almost immediately for the European theater of war where he will act as correspondent for The Rifleman and The Infantry Journal."

"A Lot of Guys Named Joe" by Bill Shadel, June 1944 - "But now, just as in World War I, we’re learning that riflemen count, and that too much emphasis cannot be placed on their training. For battle riflemen aren’t made in a day, nor even in a few weeks on the range."

"Training Combat Pistolmen" by Rex Applegate, July 1944 - "In street and house-to-house fighting, in the jungles, in the mountains, on night patrols, wherever men come face to face in battle, the handgun can be a decisive offensive weapon."

"The Armed Citizen" by Walter J. Howe, September 1958 - "Law Enforcement officers cannot at all times be where they are needed to protect life or property in danger of serious violation. In many such instances the citizen has no choice but to defend himself with a gun."

"The Armalite AR-15 Rifle" by NRA Technical Staff, July 1959 - "Firing trial by several members of The Rifleman staff showed the AR-15 to be easy, pleasant, and accurate to shoot."

"So Gun Laws Work It Says There" by Ashley Halsey, Jr., March 1969 - "We feel that school children are entitled to know how marvelously gun laws work when they are enforced by a police state or an army."

"About This Issue: January, 1971" by Ashley Halsey, Jr., January 1971 - "The American Rifleman and its predecessors under previous names have been published since 1885. While the magazine has been modernized repeatedly in keeping with the times, it has never changed from its unswerving stand in support of the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and use firearms."

"Identifying Mauser Markings" by Ludwig Olson, January 1971 - "The first successful Mauser rifle was the Model 1871 made principally for Germany...These early Mausers were produced by the Mauser factory at Oberndorf a./N., Germany, Austria, and German government arsenals. Blackpowder Mausers were also produced for China, Serbia, and Turkey."

"The M1911 & The M9" by Pete Dickey, August 1985 - "Our latest approved, but as yet unissued, service pistol, Beretta's 92SB-F, has had much written about it of late, as has the M1911A1 that has seen its share of publicity for a longer period."

"The Swan Song: Col. Charles Askins' Biography" by Col. Charles Askins, August 1987 - "But I must admit that after 30 safaris, which have included all the major species and most of the fauna, I’ve finally gotten pretty much a belly full."

"A Return to Africa" by Finn Aagaard, January 1991 - "I had some misgivings when, 12 years after I had left Africa for good, Jack Carter of Trophy Bonded Bullets inquired whether I would be interested in accompanying him on a hunt to Tanzania and Botswana to test some of his latest bullets."

In the comments section below, please tell us which of these American Rifleman articles is your favorite and why.


TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight
TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight

Preview: TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight

Due to their location on the gun, most front iron sights preclude the placement of a tactical light forward on a defensive carbine’s 12-o’clock rail, as they typically obstruct the light’s beam.

Holiday Gift Guide: Specialty Knives, Hand Axes & Multi-Tools

While smaller blades can be plenty helpful for everyday carry, sometimes bigger blades and tools are necessary. Here are a few larger specialty knives, hand axes, and multi-tools worth keeping in mind as the holiday season approaches.

NRA Gun Of The Week: KelTec P15

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range this week with the KelTec P15, the company’s first striker-fired handgun and also one of the thinnest 9 mm Luger concealed-carry pistols to ever hit the market.

The Armed Citizen® Nov. 25, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Hodgdon Powder Celebrates 75 Years

This year, Hodgdon Powder celebrates its 75th year in business, having grown from humble origins in 1947.

Handloads: Hunting With The .375 Winchester

Although it is often difficult to find components for reloading the .375 Winchester cartridge, this lever-action round is deserving of customization for hunting in today's game fields.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.