Vintage Gun Ads Archives -
October 28th, 2019 by AmSJ Staff

Gun ads have changed with the times. Political correctness is certainly not the name of the game in these classic pieces of gun marketing. It was just plain old fashion wild wild west advertising back in the day.

10. Hammer the hammer? Lawyers wouldn’t come within a football field of this one.

Of course, hammering on a vintage revolver probably is a bad idea anyway…

9. Oh no, that guy is teaching his son how to hunt, you say?

Where are their iphones, video games and couch? Well, buddy, this is how a father is supposed to raise his son to be a man, not a bump on the couch of life.

8. A .22 rifle as a Christmas present? Well, that certainly is becoming quite a thing of the past, sadly.

7. The iconic Red Ryder BB Gun is the first “gun” for many of us. I still have mine!

6. A woman defending her family, life and property with a handgun is a politically incorrect thing.

5. Oh no, that kid has a toy fully automatic M-16 rifle!

4. A kid’s first BB Gun was the first step of many to becoming an adult. The responsibility taught will last a lifetime.

3. Oh no, this family is out shooting a gun. Better get that boy to his “safe space” ASAP.

2. This armed Santa Claus has a sleighload of Stevens firearms.

1. Boys armed with realistic toy guns? Yes, we had them, and never did we ever think to point one at a police officer.

There you have it, some classic non-political gun ads that would never have made it in 2019. Wondered if the future generation will have a chance to enjoy like what we had. (for us older folks)

Sources: Iver Johsnson & Arms, Ad Strategy, Pinterest, Modern Mechanix, Magazine Advertisements

Posted in History Tagged with:

November 21st, 2016 by jhines

These vintage gun ads will have you Rolling on the Floor

and show you just how much the world has changed in the past few decades.
A lot has changed in the last century. Looking back at these vintage gun ads is a great way to highlight just how different our society is these days.

Vintage gun ads of the past reminds us of a simpler time, that era is not as complicated as it is now. However, there are some very entertaining ads when you think about the reaction some of these gun ads would get if they were published today.

Read on to see some of the funniest vintage gun ads ever made.

1. Not a Dull Vacation

It’s nothing like having a .22 rifle and a pocketful of shells while on vacation.

2. Fun for the Whole Family

Before there was “Toys R Us” there was “Guns For Us” for Christmas: everybody gets a gun! Look at all those smiling faces!

3. He Knows if You’ve Been Naughty or Nice, The orginal “Bad Santa”

This vintage gun ad showing Santa driving a car full of rifles and shotguns really shows how much attitudes towards guns have changed since the first half of the 20th Century. That being said, I’d be pretty darn happy if he showed up at my house on Christmas like that.

A plate of cookies and a glass of milk in exchange for a rifle or a shotgun? Where do I sign up?

4. Hammer the Hammer?

This is a vintage gun ad that highlights an ara where I think things have changed for the better: gun safety. The Iver Johnson “Safety Automatic” featured a revolutionary “bar safety” prevented the gun from discharging if force was exerted on the hammer while it rested on a loaded cylinder (which is why cowboys always left the cylinder under the hammer empty).

5. So Safe Your Kid Can Play With It?

Continuing the theme from the previous vintage gun ad, this one is sort of funny if you’ve got a dark sense of humor. Other people will find this one cringe worthy.

While it may have incorporated revolutionary gun safety features at the time, the claim that “accidental discharge impossible” with an Iver Johnson revolver is absolutely false.

No, I do not recommend letting your child play with guns.

6. Handguns for Women


This is another example of a vintage gun ad that shows an era in which things have changed for the better, for women and guns. Women are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the sporting community and there are lots of highly skilled female shooters out there.

There are many great self-defense handguns for women today, many of which are specifically built and marketed for women. Can you imagine the reaction women shooters would have if a gun company made an advertisement for a gun marketed for them that referred to women as helpless, dangerous, or hysterical?

7. Will it Be You? Or Him?

Apparently, this ad was influenced by William E. Fairbarn if you don’t carry a .41 Smith & Wesson revolver, you’re basically as good as dead.

8. From Wing Shooting to Shooting a Machine Gun

It’s not a completely ridiculous comparison: similar skills are necessary to hit a flushing bird with a shotgun and shoot a moving target with a machine Gun. That’s still not something you see very day though.

9. Cowboy Shooting a Tommy Gun

When the old meets the new: it doesn’t get much better than a cowboy mowing down a bunch of attackers from his front porch with a Thompson sub-machine gun!

10. Symbol of Freedom?

This vintage gun ad advertising Egyptian AKMs came out of a Soldier of Fortune magazine in 1982 and was one of the very first opportunities for American civilians to own a genuine Kalashnikov rifle. The language in the advertisement is interesting because the average American wouldn’t consider a Kalashnikov to be a “symbol of freedom” since they were used so extensively by our communist Cold War opponents.

However, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Additionally, these AKMs were the ones used in the 1984 movie Red Dawn, so they really were a “symbol of freedom”.

11. Yep, That’s a 20mm Anti-Tank Rifle for Sale
For the low, low price of $189.50 you could buy a genuine 20mm Solothurn Anti-Tank rifle and for an additional $37.50, you could buy 50 20mm armor piercing rounds in 1957. Ah, the things you could buy via mail order in the 1950s…, the good old days!

12. Look at Those Prices!
$750 for an MP-43 and $950 for an MG-42!?!? I’ll take three each!

13. Anti-Tank Rifles, Cannons, and Mortars for Sale
If the Solothurn Anti-Tank rifle for sale in that previous vintage gun ad was a little too rich for your blood (are you crazy?), you can buy a 20mm Lahti Anti-Tank rifle or a 14.5mm PTRS Anti-Tank rifle for just $99.95 each from these guys.

Check out the descriptions of the other items to get a really good laugh:

Apparently the M1938 50mm mortar has “many practical uses”, like landscaping.

The M1934 25mm Hotchkiss cannon is guaranteed 5,000 miles of tire tread.

The Chinese 60mm mortar is a perfect “for landscaping your farm field”.

14. Winchester vs. Grizzly Bear
This vintage gun ad is just all around awesome. That man looks pretty confident with his Winchester Model 54 in the face of that Grizzly Bear, which I guess is the whole point of the ad. The thing that really makes it funny is when you contrast it with the ad below.

15. It Usually Works
Even though it’s fake, this is probably my favorite one out of all the vintage gun ads in this article. This ad for the fictional Lester’s ammo lampooning the famous Winchester advertisements and offers a good lesson: no matter how great that firearm is that you’re carrying, it’s basically worthless if you don’t use good ammo.

Here’s a Bonus
I’ll bet you’ve never knew Jockey was into guns? But this advertisement featuring a boy trying to stuff a revolver in his underwear is a little weird and funny.

by John McAdams revised by AmsjStaff

Posted in History Tagged with:

November 20th, 2016 by AmSJ Staff

[su_heading size=”30″]Yes, back in the day for us older Generation[/su_heading]

It’s a blast from the past, who doesn’t enjoy looking at vintage gun ads? It’s funny to see how they marketed firearms back in the early to mid 20th century, not to mention the prices!

Here are 20 beautiful vintage gun ads from a bygone era. While some of these ads are from long ago, some are fairly recent. They speak to not only much cheaper pricing, but also to the changing cultural mores of the day. Here’s our time machine, sit down and enjoy.


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 196o you could buy a .55 caliber anti-tank gun for under $100, really?


In 1996 you could get any of these Remington guns for under $100, as this ad 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.


Santa has an arsenal to deliver!


The whole family should get guns for Christmas!, make it a family event.


And heck, why not get yourself a present too?


Personal and home defense was also a popular selling point from early on:


And some old advertisements are probably culturally taboo nowadays:


Such as this one that promoted hunting tigers, which would raise a lot of hackles in social media today.

This one seems to put firearm handling together with alcohol consumption.


Ok, this one is just weird and dangerous!


Finally, I don’t know what the heck is going on in this one. A 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.

Source: David Smith

Posted in History Tagged with: