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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Skeeter Skelton was mentioned on another thread, and it got me to thinking if I had been influenced by any of the old timey gun writers.

I believe I was. Skeeter had pretty good taste gun-wise, and I tried a lot of the stuff he liked. Like the K22 and model 19 S&W. And the 44 special in general. I've had a few of those which were converted into Marlins at different times. A rancher friend had one he offered me as a straight-up trade for an M1 Garand, and it did not take me long to find him one! It's a 1927 44 S&W Special w/ 5 1/2" bbl. Very accurate with Skeeter's pet load of Unique & the Keith bullet. I always wanted to try a Walther PPK in 22, but I have never actually seen one.

Skeeter had a lot to say about buying used guns, trading and gunshow tactics. I read and re-read those articles until the pages fell apart. He wrote a little fiction for Shooting times, too. The "Me and Jody" series was very entertaining, and the way I got it, it was also true. There were also stories about him and some crusty old Texas rancher that were very worth the time to read. I'm not sure if Dobie Grant was a real person, though.

Another old writer I really liked was Charlie Askins and the different articles he wrote in the 50s & early 60s. I always enjoyed his articles of gun fights along the border & took his advice on 'exchanging compliments' to heart. He had some articles in the Gun Digest of shooting drills for 'social occasions'.

I always enjoyed Elmer Keith's articles, but living in Nebr with a limited income, I never had the opportunity to try any of his big game hunting secrets or loads. I think the idea I got from him that has lasted is that bigger bullets are better. - Generally speaking.

In the old American Rifleman magazines, I became intrigued by Phil Sharp's article on reloading, and his writing got me interested enough to look further into the matter.

John Amber wrote some good stuff about collecting, but it was always high-dollar guns. Gatlings, Billinghurst buggy rifles & other guns WAY beyond my modest means. The concepts remain sound, though.

I've given it some thought, and I really don't recall any of the early writers having much to say about Marlins. They had plenty to say about Colts, Wins & S&Ws, though.

The more recent writers just don't seem as interesting to me. Maybe it's because they spend a little too much time on facts & figures and trying to sell you whatever the factory at hand wants you to buy.... It's been quite a while since I've bought a gun magazine. SW
 

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There weren't a lot of the old time gun writers that hit home with me, but Skeeter sure did! I too saved my pennies to buy many of the guns he had reported as great shooters!
Another writer who influenced me a great deal was Maj. Ned Roberts. I was pretty young when I first read anything he wrote, but I enjoyed his real life experience, and still enjoy going back and re-reading his old stuff. He had a lot of experience with old single shots, and was around at a time when gun interests were evolving from single shots to bolt actions. I sure enjoyed his stories of hunting and competitive shooting as a kid, and a young man.
These days, I find less interest in even reading, or subscribing to most of the gun rags. Seems the writers today can't find a gun they don't like, and most articles seem to be just free advertisements, instead of articles.
 

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Bob Milek was a good writer, too. He did a lot of work with rifles and handloading. Don Zutz and Layne Simpson are good sources for shotgun info. I believe Mr. Zutz has passed on, though. Skeeter was always a good source for no-nonsense handgun material. And we cannot forget Mike Venturino. I think he has provided a LOT of fodder for enthusiasts of all sorts, specifically: single shot rifles and lever action rifles. Clair Rees has been around for awhile, too. I only wish that writers could get away with being completely open and honest. Some manufacturers have troweled out garbage to the public and still come away with a fairly decent review in some publications. I bought my daughter a new Savage/Stevens Favorite, sight unseen, based on reviews in magazines. Fit and finish on the little rifle are horrible. I don't recall any writers mentioning that in their articles. 25 years ago I bought a Remington XP-100, again, sight unseen. Needless to say, I dumped it real quick! Yes, I do read magazines, but with an open mind. I am still willing to take a chance on a purchase based on a review or two. It seems that if a firearm is relatively easy to afford (for me, that is), I end up doing some fine tuning. I have to quit looking at my pre-1912 Heym drilling and thinking that the same quality can be had today for a "reasonable" price!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Roundsworth,

Wish ya still had the XP - I LIKE those, and I would be ez on a trade!! :wink: The one I have now has been rechambered from 221 to 7-08 & it is a tack driver!

I think the old gun mags were a lot more entertaining. I recall a tongue-in-cheek article - with pics - where a couple staffers tried to cast some silver bullets & shoot them in a SAA. Funny article, but they did not use enough heat on the silver & their boolets looked pretty sorry.

Something like that would just not be 'politically correct' these days.

MM93,

I also read Ned Roberts & bought a 257 after reading his articles. Wish I still had it! :? SW
 

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Roundsworth,
I had one of those XP's too! Mine was the original .221, but I never felt it was all that great a caliber, and I could never get mine to shoot as accurately as I wanted. Still I wish I had kept it, just for what it is.
I completely forgot about Bob Milek! I did enjoy reading his handgun articles. Mike Venturino writes about guns that interest me, but so much of what he writes has a familiar ring to it. I'd guess he's well read, as at times his info can almost be verbatum from another book or magazine.
Hogger,
I could write a book on guns I wish I never sold! Some were sold to gather funds for another more desired gun, but some were just sold because I thought I was tired of them. Later I realised I wasn't! :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
marlinman,

Yep! I was just telling someone today that I was between jobs in the early 80s & had to sell a few shooters to make a couple house payments. A nickel 6" Colt Python factory tuned w/ Elliason sights, A 6" Swiss American Eagle Luger and a rare variation of Type 14 Nambu. OUCH!! :cry: I soon got another job, but it was too late to save the guns.

Ah, well. Thus bendeth the learning curve!

I always found Bob Milek to be a little dry, but once in a while, he would slip in a story that showed he wrote from considerable experience. I forgot Jeff Cooper - I read everything he writes. SW
 

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I read Ned Roberts book on Muzzleloading rifles several times, Walter Cline, and Elmer Keith. My Dad like SKeeter, Ayoob, and Keith. I find the modern rags dry and hard to read. This will sound a little childish, but, the photography is better! I like looking at the pictures. moodyholler
 

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Never did read the gun mags much when I was younger and now if I'm looking for some info on a gun I usually come here or the MFCA forum as most of my interests are in Marlins for some silly reason.

Willy
 

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I grew up around guns. My dad hunted and collected "that other lever action". But I grew up with only 5 things on my mind until my early twenties. Girls, sports, girls, cars and girls.

When I finally started to grow up, the book that influenced me the most I never read nor will I read.

Back in the early 90's some yahoo wrote a book called "It takes a village".

Since that yahoo was awfully close to the oval office, I decided that if I didn't act to protect my rights and bring my boys up to feel the same way than there was a good chance those yahoos were gonna take em away.

Once I started dabbling Brophy's Marlin Book had the biggest impact on the direction I would go.
 

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Brophy- before he became the Marlin Historian- was one of the early proponents of the .50 BMG cartridge as a sniper's tool. He did a fair amount of gun building and testing in this regard, and wrote about it. I found his history on Springfield rifles highly entertaining as well.

Amber was an opinionated old curmudgeon, but was not in the hip pocket of the gunmakers. His writings on black powder, and air-rifles, of all things, influenced my thinking deeply. He was brass enough to call junk guns what they were during his tenure as Gun Digest Editor...

Dr. Sam Fadala's treatise on rimfire guns opened my eyes to an unexplored, affordable, down right fun world- The Book of The .22- The All American Caliber should be required reading for anyone with an interest in shooting....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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NebrHogger said:
Roundsworth,

Wish ya still had the XP - I LIKE those, and I would be ez on a trade!! :wink: The one I have now has been rechambered from 221 to 7-08 & it is a tack driver!

I think the old gun mags were a lot more entertaining. I recall a tongue-in-cheek article - with pics - where a couple staffers tried to cast some silver bullets & shoot them in a SAA. Funny article, but they did not use enough heat on the silver & their boolets looked pretty sorry.

Something like that would just not be 'politically correct' these days.

MM93,

I also read Ned Roberts & bought a 257 after reading his articles. Wish I still had it! :? SW
Everyone knows the best silver base metal for silver bullets is old Susan B. Anthony silver dollars :? Silver bullets politically incorrect? Hmmm- maybe gotta change my tag-line? :wink:

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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and me?

Doc Sharptail said:
Brophy- before he became the Marlin Historian- was one of the early proponents of the .50 BMG cartridge as a sniper's tool. He did a fair amount of gun building and testing in this regard, and wrote about it. I found his history on Springfield rifles highly entertaining as well.


Dr. Sam Fadala's treatise on rimfire guns opened my eyes to an unexplored, affordable, down right fun world- The Book of The .22- The All American Caliber should be required reading for anyone with an interest in shooting....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
i agree with the 50 as a sniper..i have visited THE Barette rifle shop.....it's impressive! and his daughter is the blond bombshell that works all his advertising, web page etc...VERY smart young lady~and keeps a pink m16 in her office~

i have the 22 book and it's neat to have 2 of the three rifles on the cover!

as far as Mike Venturino..........i have serious doubts that someone his size can get up those mountain sides to do the shooting he claims....me thinks he 'streches the longbow!"

but ol elmer had the biggest impact on me.....i even wrote to him once and he wrote back......(the letter is long misplaced in moves i have made)
he was very blunt to the point....and his spellcheck NEVER worked :shock:
but he was a bit of americana the cannot be replaced! i let the book get away from me.."Hell I was there".....someday i need to get another....

guess i like sitting around any fireplace and talking about the stories i've done, and the ones that i have read! :wink:
 

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I read everything I could find by Keith and Skeeter. Skeeter was more entertaining and seemed to take you right into the situation he was describing, but Keith wasn't too bad either. I was a teenager in the late 1980's and the gun rags were really pushing the "Wondernines" and other marvels like the Bren Ten and Randalls and Detonics and such, and super modern rifles like Calicos and heavy barrel varmint rifles ect. I read them, but already I was developing an interest in older guns. When I was about 18 I bought a 44-40 1892 Rossi and an 1873 Uberti trapper in the same caliber. I learned to love that old caliber and soon it led me to old Marlins. First I bought the 1970's and 60's ones, and then after I got out of College and had some more fundage, I turned toward the pre-war stuff and sold off the more modern guns. My Dad kinda followed me down the same collecting path and we both ended up with only a handful of modern guns and most everything else from before WWII. Mostly Marlins and Smiths, with a few Colts here and there too. I don't know that writers really influenced my Dad or me, I think it was just the fun of shooting some of those old guns and observing the workmanship they display that did it. I think like a lot of collectors, it is hard to put into words what exactly draws one toward antique firearms. I have heard some guys say that modern guns just feel "cold" to them, or have no soul, so to speak, which isn't logical but is the way I feel too.
 
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