Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Arizona's legislature is unpatriotic

They have now selected an official state handgun: The Colt 1873 .45 caliber single-action revolver. Which is an utter disgrace, because the 1873 Colt was not a significant weapon in the history of America -- unlike the M1911 ACP which celebrated its 100th birthday this year and served in more of America's wars than any other handgun ever made.

Here is an 1873 Colt revolver, official Army issue:

But the last hurrah of the 1873 Colt in military service was the Moro War in 1899-1904, when they were hurriedly retrieved from storage when the .38 caliber revolvers that were then standard issue, the the Colt M1892 in .38 Long Colt caliber, did not have enough stopping power to take down Moro rebels in the southern Philippines.

The M1911 ACP was standard service issue for the U.S. military until the DoD decided in the mid 1980's as women made up an increasing part of the military that women were too wimpy to shoot big .45 caliber handguns and bought a bunch of wimpy 9mm Italian designer handguns instead. Like, really. Italian designer handguns. Fuck, might as well send'em into battle wearing a pair of fine Eye-talian pumps, for cryin' out loud. In case you're counting, that's over 70 years that the M1911 was standard military issue, as vs. less than 20 years for the M1873 Colt.

So it's clear that by choosing the 1873 Colt over the M1911ACP, Arizona's legislature has proven themselves both ignorant, and profoundly unpatriotic. But hey, we already suspected that, right?

-- Badtux the Gun Penguin


  1. Amen. If I trusted myself with a weapon, it would have to be the M1911a1.

  2. But, but, the Single-Action Army was the favorite gun of western movies!

    (Never mind that many serious gunfighters preferred Schofields in .44 Russian because the Schofields were a hell of a lot faster to reload.)

  3. But it LOOKS big! It looks like a pistol that John Wayne or some other imaginary movie cowboy would have carried when he acted all bad-ass to bring "peace" to a town that only exists in the adolescent minds of these Arizona state legislators. Facts don't matter to these fuckwits. Looks do.

  4. Moderate, I'd probably go for a .357 revolver as my primary self-defense weapon myself, probably a Ruger, because of reliability and ease of operation issues (no chance of a jam due to limp-wristing, no chance of forgetting to take off the safety). My second weapon would definitely be the M1911A1 though.

    Comrade, not to mention the Schofields were much cheaper and much more available. The Single Action Army was expensive and in short supply until after Colt finished their Army contract, while the Schofields flooded the civilian market fairly quickly after the Army decided they didn't like them for whatever reason the Army decides such things.

    But the reality of course is that the typical rancher in Arizona in the late 18th century would not have possessed a revolver of *any* make. He would have had a Winchester lever gun, and that's it. Handguns were *expensive*, and the budget for luxuries for a typical rancher then was just as constrained as now -- any spare funds went into necessities, not luxuries. And a handgun is very much a luxury to a rancher -- a rifle is useful for hunting and defense against wildlife both two and four legged. A handgun anywhere outside an urban area is pretty much useless for anything other than plinking (because 2 legged varmints will pick you off with their rifle at distances where a handgun won't reach, while 4 legged varmints are better taken down at a distance with a rifle), and ranchers have more important priorities than plinking with an expensive playtoy.

    Bukko: Yeppers. It *looks* impressive. Nevermind that it isn't particularly significant to the history of Arizona, as EBM points out the Schofields were cheaper and better and were far more popular during the late 19th century, but facts don't matter to the GOP, just perception.

    - Badtux the Gun Penguin

  5. Tux you forgot to mention the ubiquitous shotgun. At a time when most people really couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, a double barreled scattergun gave many a fighting chance. I saw a picture the other day of the Wells Fargo gold wagon with a driver and five guards holding shotguns. Any pistols they had were safely holstered.

  6. Shotguns were primarily used by stagecoach guards because shooting from a bouncing stagecoach (the shock absorber was not invented until the 20th century) was not really possible. They were also beloved of bartenders and others who worked in enclosed areas where the short range of a shotgun is not an issue and the stopping power of a shotgun is much appreciated. But ranchers mostly used lever guns, because they could stop their horses and shoot while stationary, and needed the range both to kill varmints before varmints could kill them, and for hunting meat for their stew pot.

    Revolvers were fairly rare, and were used mostly by people for whom concealment of the weapon was important or who had to have a weapon available in enclosed areas not their own for whom carrying a shotgun around was too cumbersome -- i.e., by outlaws and lawmen. Even there, lawmen would often carry a shotgun as their primary weapon if they knew they were walking into trouble at close range, like Doc Holliday in Tombstone when they had that famous shootout. It's interesting to know that Doc Holliday was wearing a duster primarily to hide the shotgun from bystanders -- that is, carrying a gun openly through the streets of town was so unusual that it would have raised alarm amongst the citizens of Tombstone and possibly attracted civilians into the line of fire, so he had to conceal it with the duster (long jacket). Hardly the image of the "Wild West" that you get from the movies -- or from the Arizona legislature :).

    - Badtux the History Penguin

  7. well, seems like the legislators up in Utah read your comment... they chose the 1911 as their logo. after all, one of theirs invented it.

    who loves his Norinco-made-bowels-replaced-by Wilson-custom-parts 1911

  8. Yeah, see my latest posting on the Utah situation. Most of the critics haven't a clue about anything to do with guns and come off looking like ignorant loons.

    - Badtux the Gun Penguin


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