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For Book: Mobster Pistol in 1979
Old 02-19-2018, 09:29 AM   #1
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For Book: Mobster Pistol in 1979

It's not too hard to research present-day things, but to know about the state of things in 1979 is more difficult.

For my current book, I need a make and model for a pistol that was available in 1979. Specifically,
  1. Something that a mobster in San Francisco might have
  2. Has a safety
  3. Semi-automatic with a magazine that holds a lot of bullets
  4. Could have a suppressor
Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:36 AM   #2
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One possibility: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC-10

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...D_AQ_B0IowEwEQ
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:38 AM   #3
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I'd suggest a hipower. Available in 79, higher mag capacity and has a safety.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browning_Hi-Power
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:40 AM   #4
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Here's another author doing similar research on a firearms forum. Maybe he learned something you can use:

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=343191
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For Book: Mobster Pistol in 1979
Old 02-19-2018, 10:10 AM   #5
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For Book: Mobster Pistol in 1979

Smith & Wesson model 29 44 magnum. Long barrel. The Dirty Harry revolver. Only holds 6 bullets though.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:13 AM   #6
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Browning Hi-Power or Colt 1911A1, though I think revolvers were still pretty popular back then.

There is an optional Hi-Power stock that attaches to the grip. Probably there is an extended magazine for it too, I am just guessing though. A stocked Hi-Power is a short-barrelled rifle and subject to NFA regulations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-barreled_rifle More: https://www.gun-tests.com/gow/handgu...m_13064-1.html
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:14 AM   #7
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Al, when I was a kid we has a book " Encyclopedia of Firearms" there was a page on all modern firearms. You can download a pdf of the current version. You might find a hardcopy at your local library or firearm dealer.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:15 AM   #8
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Browning Hi-Power would be good. An alternative 9mm semiautomatic pistol is the Smith & Wesson Model 59, introduced in 1971, with a 14 round magazine. The Colt 1911A1 magazine only carries 7 rounds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_59
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:15 AM   #9
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I saw that. But I thought that the 44 magnum could get a pass on that little detail. It would provide more impact in the book.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Browning Hi-Power would be good. An alternative 9mm semiautomatic pistol is the Smith & Wesson Model 59, introduced in 1971, with a 14 round magazine. The Colt 1911A1 magazine only carries 7 rounds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_59
I was looking at double stack 1911A1 but looks like they didn't come around until the 80s.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:40 AM   #11
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I was looking at double stack 1911A1 but looks like they didn't come around until the 80s.
A double stack might be a 1911 style, but it wouldn't be a Colt.

Plus, if I'm correctly reading between the lines of Al's post, the additional grip safety might not fit the story properly.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:38 AM   #12
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Smith & Wesson Model 59
This would get my vote. I bought one of those in the late 70s, and I wish I still had it. Fits Al's criteria perfectly.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
It's not too hard to research present-day things, but to know about the state of things in 1979 is more difficult.

For my current book, I need a make and model for a pistol that was available in 1979. Specifically,
  1. Something that a mobster in San Francisco might have
  2. Has a safety
  3. Semi-automatic with a magazine that holds a lot of bullets
  4. Could have a suppressor
Thanks.
How about a Colt 1911? Can't go wrong with that.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:02 PM   #14
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Thanks. I think I'll go with the Smith & Wesson Model 59.

Any reason why it wouldn't be able to have a suppressor?

Were suppressors illegal in California in 1979?
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post

Were suppressors illegal in California in 1979?
Yes, I believe the have never been legal in CA.

Make sure you understand the difference between suppressor and silencer. One is much more effective, the other is currently legal, with some paperwork, in 42 states.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:22 PM   #16
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Also, I might need the gun to jam. Would that be reasonable with the 59?

Some research says yes: http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-w...9-jamming.html

Is there something that would make the gun prone to jam? Drop it? Get it wet?
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:36 PM   #17
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Also, I might need the gun to jam. Would that be reasonable with the 59?

Some research says yes: http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-w...9-jamming.html

Is there something that would make the gun prone to jam? Drop it? Get it wet?
I'm not familiar with the 59 but any semi- auto pistol can jam.

Looking at some firearm forums suggest the 59 is no exception.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-w...9-jamming.html

ETA: Jams occur at the worst possible time. I'd look at older ammunition. The link I sent suggested springs were a common failure point. Sometimes particular magazines might be more likely to jam, at least there's a reference to that in the above link.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:40 PM   #18
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Yes, the Model 59 could have a suppressor. Being illegal in California shouldn't make any difference to a mobster.

As for jamming, it will definitely jam.

One relatively common reason would be "limp wristing" the gun when firing. That means not holding it firmly and absorbing some of the recoil with your wrist. That can cause the action to not fully eject the spent casing, jamming the slide open.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:10 AM   #19
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Jamming could be caused by lack of cleaning the build up from repeated firing (the inside). Also if it was wet and not properly cleaned could lead to rust in the barrel/chamber which could cause spent shell casing to not eject properly.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:33 AM   #20
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A large-caliber firearm would make a lot of noise and be hard to conceal. Here's a story about a botched mob hit -- one of the guns found with the attackers is a .380.
https://www.upi.com/Archives/1982/08...6836397022400/

Google "mob hit" and .380.
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