Gun Writers

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  • Last Post 14 April 2018
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Bud Hyett posted this 01 April 2018

I want to start a new thread on gun writers because the Handgun Cartridge in a Carbine mentioned gun writers and that is getting off-topic. I once thought of doing that. Looking into becoming a gun writer was enlightening. There are factors that are not discussed in polite conversation. Several people had suggested that I become a gun writer when I lived in Illinois. 

Attending a match near Peoria, where Shooting Times magazine was published, I happened to catch some of their staff at the range. Talking to them between relays, I showed them an article where the writer had named every piece of equipment that he used by brand and model. One guy said that you got stuff very cheaply that way.

I then asked about how one could write for them. It is basically a closed society where you must first join this writers group and then submit articles. The problem is the editors will edit any less than positive statements to avoid irritating advertisers. After that conversation between relays at the State Match, I decided it was a game. 

I've never read these magazines after that. Especially when one writer stated a Savage Model 12 Varminter in .22-.250 shot to the right in a ten-shot group. they were spread over four inches with each shot advancing on the horizontal. Because each shot was within a half-inch of the previous shot, this writer opined the rifle was capable of half-inch accuracy. I had just had a Savage Striker that did the same thing reworked for Long Range Handgun and the gunsmith cut .015 off the reciever to true it. The left side was forward and as the gun warmed after each shot, the barrel shifted right. Obviously, the milling cut for the receiver front was off and Quality Control did not catch it. 

Gun writers, I question the term. When Elmer Keith and Jack O'Connor passed, there was no reason to ever believe any gun writer again. Both of them railed against their editors changing their articles.  

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Pepe Ray posted this 14 April 2018

Thanks, Hoppy, for the reminder. There's only one publication that can be trusted as The Truth. All of the rest is opinion. And we know about those, EH?

Pepe Ray

Only in His name.

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Hoppy posted this 14 April 2018

I think that Old Coot voiced one of the best thoughts here: "Be Selective." While there is no doubt that the truthfulness of the shooting press has changed somewhat since the years of Jack O'Connor and others like him, there is also no doubt that there has always been some BS in shooting and hunting publications. What is now called "fake news" isn't new--it's just got a new name. To think that there was a perfect time when all gunwriters spoke the truth and nothing but the truth is to live in Lala Land. But we all have built-in BS detectors and filters--and we've gotta use them. Just because some writer shades the truth when describing the virtues of a particular piece of equipment is not a good reason to discard everything he says as trash. That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Good Shooting, Guys. . . .

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beagle6 posted this 13 April 2018

I remember reading somewhere that Jack O'Connor said he wrote everything he knew about shooting in his first 10 or 12 articles and then had to find a way to say the same thing in different ways. I can also reading my father's American Rifleman Magazine back in the middle 1950's. How far it has gone down hill since then.

In a previous post I spoke about my admiration for Finn Aagaard. A thoroughly practical man, he spoke of growing up in Kenya and saying that a farm kid there would not think anymore of shooting a Rhino out of the cabbage patch than an American kid would think of shooting a woodchuck out of the lettuce He also called the Winchester Model 70 for the crappy production rifle it was, at least in 375 H&H..

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Ken T posted this 12 April 2018

I like Julian Hatcher,E.H.Harris,Ludwig Olson,B.R.Lewis,Skeeter Skelton,and C.E.Harris.I only get the American Rifleman now and seldom read it.A firearms manufacturer can bring out a truly impressive firearm and it will never be mentioned in gun magazines especially the American Rifleman unless you advertise in their publication.After 32 years working for a firearms manufacturer as a machinist I saw that frequently.

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Pepe Ray posted this 12 April 2018

Having been around for four score, I was exposed to many of those authors. Mr Aagaard was one of my favorites, to the point that I'd clip his G&A articles AND his column when he wrote one. The one writer/collector/shooter/teacher that I admired most was Ross Seyfried. His association with Kieth and Linebaugh brought about some education and entertainment for this poor boy. I've never been poor but often without adequate play money so  had to live vicariously through the gun rags. I hungrily harvested anything I could find in print by Seyfried. I understand that he occasionally writes something for the Double Gun & Single Shot Journal. Too rich for my blood!  Anyway---my file drawer is crammed with good reading for as long as I'm able to read.    Pepe Ray

Only in His name.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 12 April 2018

mr. Aagaard is the story teller who got me deciding i had to have a M54 winchester ....  i think of it as a PRE-PRE 64 winchester  ....  i like the new technology also, but those just radiate " real gun " ...

... i should mention that i think Tom Gresham is pretty straight ..... check out his stuff if you get a chance ....

ken

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beagle6 posted this 12 April 2018

One of my favorites is Finn Aagaard who is no longer with us. He grew up in Kenya and was a professional hunter.

 

 

 

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BigMan54 posted this 04 April 2018

I agree with David on John Barsness, I also like Mike Venterino, having meet him once at my 1st EOT. He took the time (about 20min) to give me much info on reloading the .44WCF & .38WCF. He's a bit of a snob toward RUGER, but he has a new article about the Mini-30. Haven't read it yet, so we'll see. Boddington, met him once too. Don't read his stories, or watch his tv show.

I miss Skeeter, O'Connor, Jim Carmichael & Major George C. Nonte Jr. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Pepe Ray posted this 03 April 2018

You pay your money and you make your choice.

"Long live free enterprise."

Pepe Ray

Only in His name.

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Tom Acheson posted this 03 April 2018

Wolf Publishing now owns Black Powder Rifle Cartridge News. While somewhat of a narrow focus (BCR) unlike Handloader, jacketed bullets bullets are not discussed, strictly cast bullets. Lots of ads for bullet molds, quite a few custom mold makers, and many shooting accessories, etc. Articles are often intermixed with some interesting history, etc.  

It is always easy to put ourselves up on a pedestal and castigate the efforts of others, but we'd be hard pressed to lump in the BPCR writers with all the other "know nothing" writers we experience.

 

Tom

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R. Dupraz posted this 03 April 2018

Good post Scearcy.

The problem is that us old farts are just locked in the past.

At least these young folks are exercising their second amendment right to own and obviously enjoy shooting by buying more firearms..

I agree with everything that has been posted but am not bothered so much by it. I just don't buy or have any subscriptions. Haven't for 30 years. Ever since Skeeter left us I'd guess. Or thereabouts. 

If it takes the modern writer's drither to keep our game going, I say more better. 

R.   

R. 

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Scearcy posted this 03 April 2018

Yup I still like most of Craig Boddington's writing. 

Pay attention to the age of the folks buying guns at you LGS. It certainly seems to me that most of the black rifles and handguns are selling to people the age of my children. Conversely the market for blued and walnut firearms is decided skewed to our generation. As it is for almost everything else, the market for new firearms is comprised the next couple of generations. They are working - they have the money. Simple economics for a gun rag I suppose.

I still don't like the fact that these younger shooters are drinking the cool aid but I would guess most of them don't shoot enough to have a well developed BS sniffer yet. The good news is that most of these gun owners do show up in November and vote.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 03 April 2018

I agree with most of the posts written about this subject. However there are still a few good writers out there. I enjoy articles by John Barsness, Terry Wieland, & Craig Boddington. Sports Afield is really interesting to me, even though most of the hunts are beyond my means. 

What really irritates me is the continual articles over and over about this new 1911, or that new poly pistol and the knives that match you must have. At least 95% of the items reviewed are beyond most of our means, or beyond any sensible thought of purchasing them. Who needs a $3500 1911, a $900 knife or a $1700 watch, all in matching colors and finish. 

There are some exceptions. Just look at Handloader and you will see many ads for molds and cast bullets. They would not be there if there were not buyers. Most of the articles reflect real world purchases. I grant you it is not as good as the product from the 70s & 80s, but it is certainly better than the jokes like "Handguns" and others.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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longhunter posted this 03 April 2018

Boy we are in trouble.  We have gone from Guns to Wives......

 

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret. 608 797 0056

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OU812 posted this 03 April 2018

You know your in trouble when your wife calls you by your whole name. sealed

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jchiggins posted this 03 April 2018

Ken- I didn't want to use the name my wife calls me .....

Acquired a JC Higgins model 50 in 30-06 about 8 years ago; it's been my primary hunting rifle until this year.  Very accurate.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 02 April 2018

 jchiggins, eh ?? ... now THAT is interesting !! ...   maybe i need a handle ... maybe use what my wife calls me .... 

temporarily ken .....

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jchiggins posted this 02 April 2018

Yeah, we're just getting old I'm afraid.  I acquired a new DPMS AR10 a few years ago because I wanted something accurate for 600 yard target shooting.  It was very accurate.  It was boring.  I would rather spend my time and aggravation trying to get an old military rifle to shoot decently.  There's no science in the new stuff; for the most part it's good out of the box; just like cars, which have lost my interest as well.  Sold off the DPMS and acquired a S&W Model 27 long barrel, which is a lot more fun.

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loophole posted this 02 April 2018

I have been reading Black Powder Cartridge News for several years.  It is the only mag I subscribe to since Precision Shooting started appealing to wannabe cop snipers several years ago and then folded. I picked up a copy of Rifle Times (I believe that is it) in a doctor's office a few days ago and was shocked to see that there is a whole magazine about nothing but new  plastic rifles (including a bolt action Remington which looks just like an AR15) and pistols.

Part of our problem, boys, is that some of us have no interest in new calibres and modern firearms.  There still are dozens of 80-150 year old rifles and pistols I haven't owned.  I have a number of Japanese Brownings and Winchesters, but only because made in America mostly became junk 30 or 40 years ago.  I bought a 1939 Winchester -06 last year and was so glad  I finally own a Rifleman's rifle before the collectors locked them all in gun safes.  I came across a  "sporterized" Polish mauser and was able to make a nice 50's style sporter to shoot cast bullets for about $300 with a stock from Brownell's. Bbl looks new and the action is a smooth as a Belgium Browning.

I think most modern gun writers simply reflect the city bred, computerized society we have created.  I remember when most high ranking military officers were products of the military and naval academies with very strict honor codes.  How many have been court marshaled lately  for improprieties with female subordinates and lying under oath?  How do you expect truth out of a mere gun writer?

Steve K

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Ed Harris posted this 02 April 2018

I would agree that The Fouling Shot has the greatest mix of interesting and well written, practical info, the great majority of it coming from ordinary members sharing what works and what doesn't.  I would encourage anyone posting regularly on this forum to try writing short articles summarizing your lessons learned, unexpected happenings, memories of past hunts, gun show finds and just plain fun stuff.  Glenn is a talented editor who will work with you, and I'm always willing to help anybody here who has never tried it before to take a stab at it. GPIdaho, Steve Balthrop and Giorgio are all new writers who stepped up to the plate.  I particularly enjoy contributions from our Canadian, European and ANZAC members, as they usually have a different perspective which can teach us something.

YOU can do it too!

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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