1930s FBI Firearms - In A Nutshell...

 Photo courtesy author, collector Tim Mullin

Photo courtesy author, collector Tim Mullin

The questions received from researchers, movie producers, students, collectors and others about early FBI firearms runs from the simple to sometimes the complex. On most occasions readers want an "overall picture" - and nothing more - of what firearms the Bureau issued and what were special agents training with during those pioneering years of the early 1930s.  And of course, there's always those who like to offer opinions about everything from barrel lengths to grains in the powder. We welcome it all...

Three documents from files will paint the picture for those looking for simple answers as to what exactly was being utilized in 1934, after the passage of the May/June Crime Bills months earler.  Two documents shown below, one to the Attorney General, and one to police officials will answer the questions of training and issued weapons.  Note the mention of the Colt Super .38 and the military .45.

(Before one goes any further here, remember that this site also contains information about weapons usage in the Bureau long before the May/June Crime Bill.  Anyone who believes that bill was the "go ahead" for special agents to carry weapons is misinformed. Make sure you read about "The Myth Of The 1934 Crime Bill" which is shown in the upper navigation area. )

But in addition to our reference to the simple explanations shown in the two documents below, readers are referred to one document of June, 1934 revealing what "heavy" weapons were on hand, and the distribution of them by field office. 

Suffice it to say that for those who want just the overall picture of where the Bureau was, weapons wise in 1934, these documents will provide that. But for the curious, they might want to delve deeper into what was going on the year before, 1933, and even prior to that....

A memo to the Attorney General regarding which weapons were being used at training.