A Blast From The Past – International Combat Arms

I remember purchasing issue of Vol 1, Issue 4 of Guns & Ammo Action Series during my 9th Grade year from a local HyVee grocer. It was the premier issue of International Combat Arms (The Journal of Firepower) and included articles on knives, pistols, shotguns, sub machine guns and assault rifles as well as missiles, the Border Patrol and the 82nd Abn Div.  Basically everything a kid could want in those pre-Internet days.


Recently, a friend in Canada sent me a pristine copy.  I opened it and a wave of memories washed over me.  But, what really struck me were the advertisements.

H&K definitely got in on the act with several full-page, color ads. Oh, to have a few of those offerings now.

Thanks Lav!


19 Responses to “A Blast From The Past – International Combat Arms”

  1. Matt says:

    I remember that issue clearly. Quite possibly my first magazine purchase. May have kicked this whole thing off for me.

    What’s the date on that magazine?

  2. Amish says:

    Oh man, that Spas-12 price.

  3. Greg says:

    I’ll take an HK91 with accessory package for $766.

  4. Mick says:

    Wow that does bring back some memories. A SPAS-12……

  5. tirod says:

    I owned an HK91, had a collection of early Gerber MKII’s, and had already mounted a 1st Gen Aimpoint on an interesting square tube mount for lack of money to afford the German claw mount.

    Those were the days.

    Surplus .308 was 17 to 25c a round bulk. Still have Pakistani 25 round white paste board boxes bound in cotton tape.

    The “guys” were buying M1 carbines at gun shows and there was some talk about them having extra cuts in the receiver. And the vets were carrying 20″ AR15’s broken down in M60 barrel bags.

    I carry my 10.5″ pistol in one now.

    We paid good money during a horrible real estate year when prime was so high no houses were trading – and attended the 1st SOF Invitational 3Gun shoot and convention in Columbia, MO at Chapman Range. Some poor chap came up and accosted us about the unfair way the judges had eliminated him from competition – and his AR – because he was using a .30×5.56 wildcat to beat the rules. Well, the rules were Real Men didn’t use poodle shooters and the wildcatters weren’t welcome. That eventually changed for 3Gun and some guy developed the round into the .300 Whisper.

    Some new publication about soldiers of fortune – mercenaries to the press – was relating stories about the Communists and their attempt to overthrow governments in Africa being challenged by experienced vets from Britain and America.

    And you could, too, if you had the skills and credentials. We talked with some at the convention and the stories were frank and completely unromantic.

    Watch the uncut version of The Wild Geese and you get the drift.

    Don’t forget all the black t-shirts at gun shows and the stainless Mini 14’s with flash hiders and hi cap magazine adapters. You could buy Ingram flats and bend up a Machine Gun – which could be legally registered when done.

    There were no tactical watches, cell phones were still a TV space fantasy prop, and you saved up to buy a Silva Ranger which was a half the weight of the issue compass. And you didn’t have to sign for it.

    Some researchers were trying to laminate Teflon stretched so thin they claimed it would pass vapor but not water. Turned out it was a lot like the M16 – did a better job but you still had to clean it! Too bad they upsized the gun when it became the A2.

  6. Matt says:

    Was this before or after the uncovering of penicillin?

  7. Balazs B. J. de Berzsenyi says:

    I have a number of issues, I believe the set. Also Soldier of Fortune from issue #1 till the early 80’s, Gung Ho, New Breed, Eagle and other magazines. If anyone is interested they are for sale.

  8. Bradkaf308 says:

    Wow I so remember that! I was in for about a yr at that point. Good memories.

  9. Preston O'Connor says:

    My favorite was SWAT with chuck Taylor articles. I still think a 7.62 galil would be nice and I would love a BAR

  10. Bill says:

    I think the OEG is part of the reason that my eyes sometimes involuntarily cross and I get double vision.

  11. SC says:

    I used to love Fighting Firearms in the 1990’s. Ken Hackathorn’s article on the “CAR-15: Colt’s do it all carbine” inspired my dive into, surprise, Colt CAR-15s with Redi-mags, Aimpoints, and 2 point slings before it was cool. I’d love to have a copy of that magazine back.

  12. JS says:

    I remember that exact issue! I had it at school. I would draw the guns and soldiers. If that happened today, there would be hippies circling me like vultures.

  13. Matthew Kime says:

    I’m really interested in finding late 80’s Brigade Quartermaster Catalogs, and early US Calvary / Kaufmans catalogs as well, if anyone has a stash.

  14. Mike says:

    I loved that magazine! I had some copies from 1987-88

  15. Disco says:

    And see how much more free we are now….

  16. JS says:

    should have never got rid of my SPAS-12……