Few remember that before the 1917 revolution weapon sold freely in hunting stores.
Mauzers, Nagans, Browings, Smith-Wessons, and here are the Parabellums. Ladies' models that fit in the women's handbag. "Velodogi" - revolvers for cyclists, for effective protection against dogs.
Without special troubles, it was possible to buy even the Maxim machine gun of Tula production ...
Let's open, for example, the Easter issue of Spark magazine, 1914 year. Peaceful pre-war spring. We read advertising.
Along with the advertisement of the “wonderful eau de cologne of Drallet”, the “Ferrotypia” photographic cameras and the “Anuzol” hemorrhoids - an advertisement for revolvers, pistols, and hunting rifles. And here is our old friend!
Browning sample 1906 g.
The magazine is especially advertised EXACTLY Browning. In the classic book of A. Zhuk "Small arms" the number of this model is 31-6. Production: Belgium, model 1906, caliber 6.35 mm. The weight is only 350 grams, but has 6 cartridges.
And what ammo! Cartridges were created specifically for this model. Bullet shell, smokeless powder (3 times more powerful than smoke). Such a cartridge was more powerful than a revolver cartridge of the same caliber.
The 1906 Browning Model was very successful. The size of the gun was only 11.4 x 5.3 cm and it easily fit in the palm of your hand. What else was needed for a safe trip to the market? Market traders before the revolution were armed.
It is not surprising that the concept of "racketeering" was absent in those days ...
Browning could be carried covertly - it was even placed in a vest pocket and a ladies' travel bag. Due to the low weight and low recoil, it was readily bought by women, and the name “ladies pistol” was firmly attached to it.
Browning has been a popular model among wide sections of Russian society for many years. Students, gymnasium students, female students, businessmen, diplomats, officers - even gardeners! - had it at hand.
Due to the low price, it was available even to schoolchildren, and teachers noted the “shoot because of unhappy love” among high-school students and students. Small caliber pistols were also called “suicide weapons”.
Large-caliber pistols carried the head like a pumpkin, and after a shot at Browning’s head, the deceased looked good in a coffin, which was supposed to lead to tears of repentance from an unfaithful traitor.
But Browning was not only dangerous for its owner.
It was an effective weapon of self-defense. A small-caliber shell bullet pierced a layer of muscles and stuck inside the body, completely giving it its energy. The level of medicine at the beginning of the twentieth century often prevented the rescue of a person affected in the internal organs.
Due to its compact size and its fighting qualities, the Browning 1906 model of the year was the most popular model. In total, more than 4 MILLION pieces were manufactured!
But how in tsarist times did they look at "exceeding the limits of necessary defense"? The term “necessary defense” itself first appeared in the decree of Paul I (which our citizens often represent almost half-crazy), and it meant not at all what we all got used to.
In the 18 century in Russia there was such a robbery - river piracy.
Gangs of vagrants attacked the river vessels sailing on the main rivers, and robbed them. Emperor Paul I adopted a decree on the rigorous deprivation of the nobility of all nobles, who were attacked on the rivers and did not offer armed resistance.
The nobles then, of course, were with swords and if they did not carry out the NECESSARY DEFENSE, they were deprived of this sword, as well as the manor and titles ...
Thanks to this formulation of the question, in a very short time the robbers were killed or fled and the robbery on the rivers stopped. That is, the necessary defense - it was the NECESSITY for the armed man to DEFEND.
No "limits" existed. In Soviet times, this useful concept was distorted, and if it occurs, it is only in the combination “EXCEEDING THE LIMITS of necessary defense”.
A criminal article was introduced for armed resistance to the robbers, and the weapon itself was taken from the population.
The Bolsheviks seized weapons from the population. For the complete "disarmament of the bourgeoisie", the Red Guard and Soviet militia teams worked a lot, conducting mass searches.
However, individual irresponsible "fists", as we see, were in no hurry to part with browning until the middle of the 30-s. And I understand them, beautiful and necessary thing ...
The pistol from the subject of everyday use since then turned into the USSR into a symbol of belonging to the security forces or the highest party elite. Caliber pistol was inversely proportional to the position in society. (The higher the official - the smaller the caliber of his gun.) ...
This Browning model was so popular that it gradually got out of circulation only with the creation of the Korovin pistol in 1926 year. Compared to Browning, his cartridge was strengthened and the barrel was slightly elongated, and the capacity of the magazine increased to 8 cartridges.
Interestingly, despite the small caliber, he enjoyed great success among the commanders of the Red Army.
And all that is left to the ordinary Russian man in the street, exhausted from street crime is looking at the pages of pre-revolutionary magazines with anguish.
«REVOLVER WITH 50 CARTRIDGES. ONLY 2 RUBLE. A safe and trustworthy weapon for self-defense, intimidation and alarm raising. It replaces expensive and dangerous revolvers. Strikingly hard beats. Needed by everyone. Permissions for this revolver are not required. 50 additional cartridges cost 75 kopecks, 100 pieces - 1 p. 40 cop., For sending by mail cash on delivery is calculated 35 cop., To Siberia - 55 cop. When ordering, the 3 pieces come with ONE REVOLVER for FREE. Address: Lodz, Slava O. Association "
In fairness, it must be said that there were some restrictions on the circulation of firearms:
1. Highest approved by Nicholas II, the Opinion of the State Council of 10 June 1900, "On the prohibition of the manufacture and import from abroad of firearms of samples used in the troops"
2. The highest resolution of the emperor "On the sale and storage of firearms, as well as explosives and the device of shooting ranges." Accordingly, customs restrictions on the import and export of firearms of military samples were tightened.
There were also secret circulars of the tsarist government, ordering local authorities to withdraw weapons from disloyal subjects at their discretion and taking into account the current situation.
Here is what Professor I.I. Tarasov, Professor of the Imperial Moscow University, wrote about the right of ordinary citizens to acquire, store and use civilian weapons in the Sketch of the Science of Police Law:
“Despite the undoubted danger of careless, inept and malicious use of weapons, the prohibition to have weapons in no way can be the general rule, but only the exception that occurs when:
1. unrest, indignation or rebellion give a good reason to fear that the weapon will be used for dangerous criminal purposes;
2. the special situation or condition of those persons, for example, minors and minors, crazy, hostile or warring tribes, etc., which give rise to such fear;
3. the past facts of careless or malicious use of weapons, ascertained by a court or otherwise, indicated the expediency of taking away weapons from these persons. ”
It is safe to say that in the Russian state, the right to a weapon was the inalienable right of every law-abiding and mentally healthy citizen; naturally, it was subject to some time and local restrictions.
Over time, this right has changed, responding to the needs of the era.
In the XIX - early XX centuries. giving citizens the right to weapons, their acquisition, possession and use can be considered as a progressive phenomenon, since at that time such a right did not exist in all countries.
Legislation in the process of evolution has developed a fairly rigid procedure for storing, carrying and acquiring firearms by citizens. From the 17th century, the right to bear arms was granted only to certain categories of persons.
At the beginning of the 20th century, they were persons whose weapons were part of their uniform (for example, police or gendarmes), who needed them in self-defense. To some, the carrying of weapons was necessarily by virtue of custom, not prohibited by law; in order to hunt or play sports.
With the development of firearms legislation began to divide it into types: military - non-military samples; rifled - smooth-bore; guns - revolvers, etc.
Thus, from 1649 to 1914, the year in the Russian state formed a harmonious legislative system, avoiding the extremes of permissiveness, on the one hand, and the universal ban, on the other.
Freedom as a state of society exists as long as possession of a weapon is recognized in it as a natural right. Society ceases to be free when the natural right to own weapons is replaced by the privilege granted by the state.
Since the time of the Roman Empire, the main difference between a slave and a free citizen, along with political rights, was the right to bear and use weapons - from a dagger under a tunic to a rifle in a barn or a pistol in a holster.
Incredible, but the fact is - for almost all of its stories the inhabitants of Russia were almost all armed (as, incidentally, the inhabitants of neighboring Europe), up to the middle of the 20 century.
People without weapons easily became prey for brigands on major roads or nomads at the borders, as well as wild animals. All had weapons, right down to the serfs.
As long as liberal journalism proceeded with bile about “wild Asian” and “serf slaves,” the “slaves” owned hunting rifles and edged weapons. No licenses and permits were required.
They freely carried weapons where it was dictated by local customs not prohibited by law - for example, in the Caucasus or in the places where the Cossacks lived, but this mainly concerned cold bladed weapons.
By the way, not only the local "mountain eagles" wore weapons freely in the Caucasus - the Russians, who came to the Caucasus, were carrying weapons almost without fail, not only daggers, but also pistols.
Weapon culture in Russia was very peculiar. She had very significant differences in the regions, there were also differences between town and country.
In the European part of Russia, revolvers and pistols were considered “master weapons” and for rural farming absolutely useless. Long-barreled rifled weapons were armed with “risky people” - hunters, Siberian explorers and Cossacks, these passionaries of that time had a rifle or a carbine in each house.
Another thing gun - a thing useful in all respects. Without a rifle, the driver, especially in the postal service, did not go on the road. Kabatchik kept him under the counter, with cartridges loaded with coarse salt. The watchman, keeping the master's good, used it. Pistols armed traveling doctors.
The right to acquire, possess and bear weapons was practically unlimited.
In the 17-18 centuries, the first acts began to appear, establishing the categories of subjects that could wield a weapon, and the further, the more these categories became.
Somewhere from the 19 century, in some regions of the Empire, the acquisition system formally became permissive - the governor-general or the mayor issued mentally healthy and law-abiding residents permission to purchase "non-combat" types of firearms (except for hunting, his possession was free).
They, in the presence of "extraordinary circumstances" (unrest, riots, as well as the specific facts of careless or malicious use of weapons), could deprive a person of weapons or introduce a special procedure for selling them, but only for the time being of these circumstances.
But in practice, weapons permits were received by all who applied, since at that time, the state did not yet suspect in every student a Marxist and a People's Folk, and in every officer - a Decembrist.
For violation of the regime of carrying a weapon, the Code of Law of the Russian Empire established responsibility, but the same Code minimized the cases of its use.
In addition, in the villages and rural settlements, where most of the population then lived, there were no gendarmes and officials at all, and every peasant considered it his duty to keep the gun from the burglars behind the stove.
Such liberalism, by the way, spawned a very ambiguous practice of duels. For hot students, young poets, proud officers and other nobles, it was never a problem to solve the men's dispute with the power of arms.
The government did not like this practice, which led to the prohibition of duels and strict punishment for participating in them, but never to the restriction of the right to arms.
Well-known pre-revolutionary Russian lawyers (Koni, Andreevsky, Urusov, Plevako, Aleksandrov) drew attention to the fact that the citizens of the Russian Empire very often used handguns for self-defense, defending the right to life, health, family and property.
Needless to say, most of the lawyers educated in the spirit of European freedoms directly supported the right of Russian people to freedom of arms.
In the cities up to 1906, “Nagan” or “Browning” could be purchased completely freely at an affordable price in 16 - 20 rubles (minimum monthly salary).
More advanced "Parabellum" and "Mauser" have already cost more than 40 rubles. There were cheap samples, for 2-5 rubles, however, they did not differ in special quality.
After the first Russian revolution began the removal of firearms. Now only the person who submitted for this purpose the nominal certificate (similar to the modern license), given out by the chief of local police had the right to buy the gun.
During the 1906 year alone, tens of thousands of revolvers and pistols acquired by the public before the adoption of the new rules were seized (in one Rostov 1137 “barrels” were seized).
But this campaign also affected only powerful pistols (over 150 J of muzzle energy) and military samples. Military-style rifles and carbines, in indigenous Russia, were also seized, including from "masters", except for prize and prize copies.
The “civilized public”, for hunting in the European part of Russia, was considered allowed as rifled single and double-barreled chokes or “tees”. Yes, and in the "outskirts of the Empire," people were still quite armed.
The exception was army officers and fleet, the ranks of the police and gendarmerie, border guards, as well as government bodies that had the right to acquire in personal ownership, for official needs, any small arms.
These "sovereigns" people could and were even obliged to use weapons for personal self-defense or the maintenance of public order and during off-duty hours. Upon retirement, these categories of civil servants retained the right to own weapons.
At the beginning of the century, when scientific and technological progress was gaining momentum, apartment buildings and hotels appeared in Russia in all respects modern, where there was hot water, elevators, telephones and refrigeration units.
Electricity covered not only apartments, rooms and entrances, but also the areas adjacent to new houses, where city trams briskly ran on electric power.
One type of personal self-defense weapon was a revolver with a hidden (half-hidden) trigger and a self-cocking trigger mechanism. The presence of the latter, as well as the compactness of such revolvers, made it possible to handle them with one hand. "
Armless pistols allowed a potential victim to use such weapons without long preparations. The fragile frightened and confused lady could hit the attacker without even damaging her manicure. However, there were various kinds of hybrids, quite successful and in demand.
Anatoly Koni, Ober-Prosecutor of the Criminal Cassation Department of the Governing Senate (highest prosecutor’s office), member of the State Council of the Russian Empire "On the right of necessary defense":
"A man has a sense of self-preservation. It is inherent in him both as being essentially moral and rational, and as the highest creature of the animal kingdom. This feeling is embedded in human nature so deeply that it almost never leaves; man strives for self-preservation on the one hand, instinctively, and on the other hand, conscious of their right to exist.
By virtue of the desire for self-preservation, the person tries to avoid danger and takes all measures to repel it; - he has a right to this and, moreover, a right that must be considered as inborn. Conscious of his right to exist, a person protects this right from any foreign encroachment, from any wrong. "
The most reliable weapon nevertheless was a revolver, a misfire of one cartridge, did not lead to the withdrawal of a revolver from a combat state, because the next time the trigger was pressed, another cartridge was fed. And the drums of small-caliber revolvers of the Velodog type could hold up to 20 cartridges:
In addition to hunting rifles, for the purchase of which in Russia, before 1917, no one and no one ever needed permits, there were also pistols, which in essence were edgings of one and double-barreled hunting rifles, both the most simple and stylized as vintage or combat pistols.
This is a very formidable weapon (some samples are able to completely smash the attacker head), along with hunting rifles, was in demand from those who did not want to burden themselves with a hike to the police station or because of the specifics of the work passed it to, for example, The seller who handed over to another:
Almost all the coachmen and car owners under the seat lay such a gun or a cheaper, but no less effective domestic counterpart, an abundance of which provided all sorts of artels and partnerships that did not need advertising because of their cheapness.
And in addition to low prices, the State Imperial Tula Arms Plant (ITOZ) also provided high quality thanks to constant research and testing.
But guns camouflaged as a cane and pistols (some models also required no permits at all) could always be in hand and ready for use. To catch a host of such weapons unawares is very difficult even for an experienced robber:
In the pragmatic Russian peasantry, as a rule, domestic hunting rifles enjoyed the greatest demand, and besides the always-needed practical benefits, they also provided an excellent guarantee against any encroachment from the uninvited guests.
The price-quality ratio put the famous State Imperial Tula Arms Plant out of competition, on the free Russian market of civilian weapons. These are the "economy class", but of excellent quality and reliability of the gun, offered even expensive capital gun salons:
(ITOZ) The Imperial Tula Arms Plant offered more expensive, but not less reliable and affordable rifles. What man or teenager would not like to receive as a gift such an excellent and beautiful domestic gun ?:
And so began the state control over the quality of products, in particular weapons, which was kept at the highest level until the 1917 year:
It can be said with confidence that the traditionally high quality of Russian weapons and the strictest responsibility for the state stigma were laid by the Russian tsars.
By the way, lovers of pony and moan about constantly offended unarmed and defenseless peasants and lie to the landowners, capitalists, other "evil exploiters" and officials about the patronage of the Russian tsars, I advise you to pay attention to the punishment of these groups of people, and how the punishment was reduced according to with lowering the rank of a responsible person and vice versa ...
I also want to draw attention to the fact that almost all serious trading establishments provided buyers with installment payments, if they had a guarantee (letter of guarantee, income certificate) of military commanders for military personnel or an employer for civilians.
Naturally, with the advent of 1917, the beginning of mass desertion from the front, the weakening of the government, control over the arming of citizens decreased significantly. In addition, the soldiers leaving the hateful war often returned home with rifles and pistols, and even with some heavy things.
Thus, the total armament of Russians during the Civil War contributed not only to the bloodshed, but also to the self-defense of the people of Russia from numerous gangs, as well as, for example, the expulsion of the invaders and the wider partisan war against Kolchak in Siberia without any Red Army.
An interesting moment - after the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks were able to immediately gain a foothold only in the central provinces of Russia, whose population was armed less than in the Caucasian and Cossack margins.
The harsh actions of the conscripts did not encounter any resistance only in central Russia, but of them people were most willing to go into the Red Army — the weapon returned a sense of freedom.
Having seized power, the Bolsheviks tried to limit the right to own weapons by imposing a corresponding ban in the Criminal Code. However, the RSFSR Criminal Code 1926 of the year contained a completely ridiculous sanction at the time - half a year of correctional labor or a fine of up to one thousand rubles with confiscation of weapons.
In 1935, imprisonment was established until 5 years, when the situation in the world became more complicated, and in the country various terrorists were operating, the “organs” actually turned a blind eye to the violation of this article.
Plus, this did not apply to hunting weapons. Smooth-bore guns, berdank, "melkashki" were sold and kept completely free, like fishing rods or garden tools. To purchase them, you had to present a hunting ticket.
Here it is important to understand that the Bolsheviks did not ban, but simply transferred possession of weapons to another plane. And the “tightening of the screws” was compensated by the free circulation of hunting weapons and the general militarization of civilian life.
In addition, the majority of civilian passionaries of that time — factory managers, party commissioners, and all politically important people, all the way to the collective farm foremen, had a gun in their hands and could open fire on those who seemed to be a gangster or a terrorist.
During the period of constant tension on the borders, weapons in general were an inalienable attribute of tens of millions of people living in threatened territories.
And, for example, “excesses on the ground” during collectivization immediately met with adequate armed resistance, which was one of the reasons for the course adjustment and the recognition of “dizziness with success.”
The operational reports of the NKVD departments of that time are full of reports about how the peasants met with ruthless shooting especially zealous “collectivisers”.
After the 1953 year, there was a legislative easing of the procedure for the circulation of weapons among the population. So the citizens were granted the right to freely acquire in the trading organizations a hunting smooth-bore weapon without "problems" with hunting tickets.
At the same time, a group of lawyers of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR prepared the first bill on weapons. According to him, "trustworthy citizens" (as in tsarist time, loyal to the regime) were supposed to be allowed to acquire firearms, including short-barreled, on personal property rights.
It was supposed to sell weapons withdrawn from armaments to citizens (except for automatic ones), as well as trophy and lend-lease ones (no limitations on the power of the ammunition used were planned).
The law was approved by almost all instances, except for one, the most important one. By the end of the 50's, the “nuts” came to the starting position.
That all changed at the end of the 1960s. The free possession of even hunting weapons was banned and the requirements of hunting tickets were restored. Since then, no one except the police and military could not freely own a weapon.
The weapon has become a privilege of the police and security officers. For an ordinary citizen, even a hunting rifle meant a humiliating "circulation of information." A campaign for the delivery of the “Okhotinimum” began, which resulted in a police licensing system.
And the number of policemen increased five times.