American History is full of great guns. Some of them still spark the memory of some of the older shooters. They are from the middle of the last century and are unbeaten until today. Timeless classics in the way they are made and what they stand for, they are sometimes also pioneers in their areas, like the first production revolver in .44 Magnum in its time the strongest production handgun.

If you have not lived through these times, watch movies made then. They show many of these beauties at their best. More interested in their specs and history, get some of the old books about guns showing them off.

Then there are the guns themselves. You might have owned some of them yourself or you dad has them. Maybe you inherited them already. So or so, if you have them, keep them and shoot them. Keep the history alive.

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5. Colt Python

These guns will not be produced again, at least not in their original form. For example, you can get the new Colt Python, and it is a fine revolver in .357 Magnum. It is, however, not the original one anymore. That does not make it bad, it just makes it different. Being a new gun it its own right, it is the original Colt Python that represents history. Made by hand and sporting the Colt Royal Blue, they are extraordinary with their polish coming in true blue instead of black blue.

The whole revolver is as slick as glass. You can shoot it accurately at quite some distances. This is a proof of the extraordinary craftsmanship that went into it. Not only is the gun itself accurate, its trigger is a big help as well making it much easier to hit a target even at longer distance. Add to this the balance and the form of the grip that made managing the recoil that much easier. This is especially important as you shoot .357 Magnum in it, a round that was once considered the most powerful in the world. In its days, in the 1950s, it would set you back $125. Nowadays, you can get $3000 for it. It is a jewel in the history of American guns.


4. Smith & Wesson Model 29

Looking at the handguns of today, you see the 9 mm being more and more seen as the standard against which all cartridges are measured. There are in fact those who try to tell you that they are even as powerful as a .357 Magnum. OK, this claim is just ridiculous as a comparison for its raw power, as a 9 mm out of a full size pistol brings around 360-400 energy foot pounds while a .357 out of a full size revolver manages on average 500-800 energy foot pounds. But compared to it in its world, you might be right. The 9 mm is the standard for the world of autoloaders and the .357 is the standard for revolvers, but this is how we look at it today.

There was a time that the .357 Magnum was regarded as the hottest of the hottest. In fact, it was seen as a round only a deranged person would shoot. Its recoil was insane, and its power was so much through the roof that there was simply no useful application for it. For a long time, the .357 had been the lonely number 1 most powerful round for handguns, but these days were numbered.

It was Remington that brought out a new champion. It was the birth of the .44 Magnum that should outdo its rival, and so it did. This round was ferocious, what made it a big surprise how fast it would be very popular. This came with the Smith & Wesson Model 29 that was the star of the movie “Dirty Harry” being branded as the most powerful handgun in the world.

At the beginning not known by many, overnight, this gun was in such a high demand that it was almost impossible to find one. Everybody and his friend simply had to have one. Even the real experience of shooting a full cylinder did not diminish its popularity. Most shooters decided very fast that they made a mistake buying it for shooting purposes as the recoil was just too much to endure. Instead, they kept it just for the satisfaction to own the most powerful handgun in the world while carefully avoiding shooting it another time.


For its power, that sits on average between 750 and 1500 foot pounds of energy, this recoil should come as no surprise. It does rival the power level of rifles as the 5.56×45 mm NATO brings on average between 1200 and 1400 foot pounds of energy and this out of a barrel length of 20 inches. With the Model 29, you had a hand cannon, that on average matches or even outdoes today`s standard rifle of the military, and you shoot it holding it with your hands only, no buttstock against your shoulder. Keep that in mind when contemplating buying one of these.

That does not mean that this round is not good for you to shoot. It just means that you have to be up for it, and the Model 29 is one fine revolver that is absolutely worth every penny you pay for it.

3. Ruger Blackhawk

Colt had produced the Single Action Army since 1873. In 1941, this run ended. In the mid-1950s, Colt declared it unsalable. However, this was not to be. A seemingly endless string of western movies on television brought it back into the mind of the people, but it was Ruger who beat Colt to it. First, the Single Six in .22 made its appearance. It was a raging success. Soon, the Blackhawk followed in .357 Magnum, another terrific revolver. It came with adjustable sights instead of the crude sights Colt`s SAA had to offer. The coil springs were in one word unbreakable, and the frame just massive. This was a tank of a gun that could take use and abuse, and just shoot and shoot and shoot.

What made the Blackhawk even more attractive was its price of just $87.50. This was an offer many shooters could not refuse, a gun out of a western movie at an affordable price. It was a plain working gun, a gun you could count on to go bang whenever you need it to do so. The original models can be identified by the original 3 screws in the frame. If you have one of those, keep it and honor it. Today, you can easily get $800 or more for it, or just be a proud owner and shoot it regularly. Do not worry about the stress you put on it when shooting as this frame can take it.

Ruger Blackhawk

2. Savage 340

Another magic beauty is the Savage 340 in .222. In its days, this was a cheap gun. Many students used it for woodchuck hunting thanks to its affordable pricing. You could have it for $60 then. Making their first experiences, they would learn to use the right ammo with the right point of impact, and not to mix up the ammo of different manufacturers because of the shift of point of impact.

Being so popular, it is not surprising that many shooters started with the 340 in these days. In fact, many of them can still be found in the hands of their original owners or handed down to their children, and that for a good reason. This rifle was very reliable and accurate.

Savage 340

Of course, there are also a lot of shooters who replaced this gun over time. Some switched to the Remington Model 721 or its deluxe version, the Remington Model 725, but there are still a bunch of 340 in the hands of their original owner or at least their family.

1. Weatherby Rifles

Then there are the Weatherby rifles, the ones that came out before the Mark V in 1958. They were based on the commercial FN Mauser action and came with loads of wood and ivory inlay. They sport an elaborate checkering and engraving and have cost you $275 or a little bit more. Looking for a fancy one, you could have found one for $500. Try to get them today, and you have to cash out $3500 easily. Using a .257 Weatherby, accurate shots at 400 yards were not unheard of. That was quite an achievement in those days. Today, of course, there are shooters who see that as rather close, but do not forget the developments in weapon technology that have made this possible.

Weatherby Rifles

There you have it, some really magical American guns. They represent history, they all were special in their time for one reason or the other, and they all grew to a great popularity. Some are in production again today, but these are updated models that are different. They are not worse and not better, just new guns in their own right.

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