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Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981510 08/27/06
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kdub Offline
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As a new/old member that doesn't post much, but lurks a lot, it would be of great interest to be able to identify which scribe was posting. I've figured out who Mule Deer and of course, Ken Howell are. The others I have suspicions, but not clarity. Please help us folks out and step from behind the curtains!

Thanks.

300 BP

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981511 08/28/06
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Mule Deer Offline OP
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Mule Deer is really named John Barsness. I only came up with the Internet name because I lurked here for six months or so before finally deciding to post something.

Like Tom Turpin, I started hunting as soon as possible in my native Montana. I also decided to be a writer very early in life, but didn't figure out I could combine the two until about age 20, when I sold an article on flyfishing in the winter to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. During my 20's and early 30's I held some other jobs from time to time, including several years on a summer wheat-harvest crew, two full years for an archeaological and historical research firm, and a few seasons as a hunting guide. I also went to the University of Montana, majoring in biology. (This took a while. The school was on the quarter system, and I took fall quarter off to hunt, and only went half-time in spring in order to fish.)

I spent the first 20 years of my writing career mostly publishing articles and books about fishing, hunting and Western history, but started writing a lot more about sporting firearms at about age 40. I'm now 53 and write about firearms, handloading, optics, etc. about 2/3 of the time, and hunting about 1/3 of the time. Unfortunately, I just don't have time to write about fishing anymore, but still do it when I can.

This lucky choice of a career has allowed me to shoot and hunt a lot. For about 20 years now I've been hunting several states and one or two foreign countries each year. While I write more about big game than anything, I love upland bird hunting just as much, so still write about that and shotguns some as well.

I've written for every major hunting and shooting magazine in the business, several as a staffer, and also edited GRAY'S SPORTRING JOURNAL for a while--the magazine where I published my first hunting article, back in 1977. These days I write exclusively for Wolfe Publishing's RIFLE, HANDLOADER and SUCCESSFUL HUNTER magazines.

"Mule Deer"

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981512 08/28/06
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Posts: 187
SDH Offline
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Thanks Tom, for the kind words! I am mainly a lurker here but will take this opportunity to introduce my ?gunwriter? bonifieds. It has only been a part-time vocation for me with my mainstay of custom gunmaking. My byline is Steven Dodd Hughes, but most call me Steve.
My first magazine article was published in Muzzle Blasts in 1986 along with my first cover photo of a flintlock fowler I built. Since that time SDH articles about, and photographs of custom guns and gunmaking have appeared in many American firearms periodicals, and several abroad. Did many stories for GUNS and American Rifleman in the late 1980?s early 90?s along with features and the Custom Corner column in Rifle Magazine at that time.
Have been a staff writer for Shooting Sportsman Magazine penning the Fine Gunmaking column since 1993. In the past few years my cover photography appeared in the (now defunct) Accurate Rifle Magazine along with feature articles. Have scores of magazine articles and a couple of dozen book and magazine cover photos. (You will see my photo credits in TT?s fine Modern Custom Guns.) The latest cover photo was Sports Afield June/July 2006 along with a couple of features. Will start a column on custom hunting rifles for SA shortly.
My first book, Fine Gunmaking: Double Shotguns was published by Krause Publications in 1998. The second book, Custom Rifles in Black & White was self- published in 1999. Am currently working on another book titled of Double Guns and Gunsmithing scheduled for publication in 2007.
In June 2002, at Senator Max Baucus? request, I testified before the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C. on a proposed excise tax exemption (now law) for custom gunmakers.
My custom guns have been shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Houston Museum of Fine Art. I normally display at one commercial show (ACGG) per year. I have been a member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild for 20 years, edited its magazine Gunmaker for two years and have served two terms on its Board of Directors.
I dropped out of High School at age sixteen.
I think Ken was editor at Rifle when I made my first submissions. Worked with JB when he edited Game Country (anyone remember that great magazine?) and have worked in association with Tom Turpin for a couple of decades.
BTW, if you get the chance read JB?s, Montana Time, my favorite of his books. It?s about fly fishing, and I don?t even fish.
Got to get back to the sidelock shotgun I?m checkering.
Best to all, Steve

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981513 08/28/06
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Posts: 187
SDH Offline
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(Damn, changed all my quotations to question marks!)
As for my gunmaking in process, a pic is worth....
[Linked Image]

...and lest you think this a safe queen, I've promiced it to the client for the duck season opener. It will be at a duck club in a blind, God willin'.

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981514 08/28/06
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model70man Offline
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Gentlemen,

I am thoroughy enjoying this thread. I have read most all of you folks works for years but I did not know Tom T. was in the military for a career. I thought MD was younger! I never cease to learn something new about Dr. Howell!

I think this is a great idea because I ENJOY reading articles from all of you. It is a pleasureable hobby for me and a great stress reliever.

Not that it matters here but I am 58 and have been reading gun magazines since my pre teen years. JOC was also a hero, along with John Jobson, Pete Brown, Carlos Vinson, Maj. George Nonte and a host of others.

Thanks to all. Bill.


NRA Benefactor Member.

At my age I'm trying to hang on now.
Alpha

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981515 08/28/06
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,844
Huntr Offline
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Many thanks gentlemen!! Truly a great thread!!

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981516 08/28/06
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Scott E Mayer Offline
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I'm on the road, and like Ken, I don't like the sound of my own horn, so I'll keep it short.
1993 was hired by Pete Dickey as "Firearms Specialist" on NRA Technical Staff. They taught me the ropes and what were good references and what were not. Made Assistant Technical Editor in 1994 after Dickey retired, and Associate a few years after that when Bob Hunnicutt left. Was named NRA's first "Shooting Editor" in 2001.
Left NRA in 2003 to work for SCI (not as a writer). Kept my pen in the well as a field editor for Shooting Times until asked to be the publisher of same this past Feb.
You can Google my name with "Shooting Times," "American Rifleman," or "Shooting Illustrated" to see some past articles. More details are in the archives here somewhere.

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981517 08/28/06
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HunterJim Offline
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I am like Tom T. in that I did a military career first, then a defense contractor gig, then a consultant for state and local government, and finally got into writing about something I enjoyed: rifles and hunting. I like handguns and shotguns too, but riflery is definitely my favorite. Using rifles in Africa is my top interest. I have made five safari hunts to Africa in the last 10 years, and I sell hunts and write about it to get the gold to do it again.

I did two tours in Viet Nam, shot on the PacFLT rifle team at Camp Perry, and spent some time in the Horm of Africa and Eastern Africa doing intel-related things.

I have been to Gunsite for several courses (three rifle), and am a member of that "family": molon labe, y'all. I am also active in SCI (and met Scott there).

I write for African Hunter, and I have written chapters for books on the African hunting experience, but most of my writing since '95 has been for on-line "publications". For example I was providing content to the company who had the outdoors exclusive for AOL in the early days. I got into that from rec.hunting. I like the 'Net because of the interactivity and the warp factor nine speed of the discourse.

I am doing some North American hunting while we get some experience for some grandkids coming up. I turned 64 this month, and we have 7 of those rascals "coming up".

jim


LCDR Jim Dodd, USN (Ret.)
"If you're too busy to hunt, you're too busy."
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981518 08/28/06
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Posts: 58
gperry Offline
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Guys:

This is great stuff! Many of us follow your work faithfully for years and never really know much about you, or how you got started. I've yet to see anything close to bragging, and we're getting a rare opportunity for a glimpse your personal side that shows you're really not that much different from us.

Mule Deer: I've said it before and it bears repeating: You're the most talented writer of your generation. You could write about anything, and it would be interesting, enlightening and entertaining--whether it's the stock market, the solar system, or the annual rainfall in Alder, Montana. That you're a gunwriter is a bonus for all of us rifle loonies. I've been reading everything of yours I can get my hands on since a 1992 article in Peterson's Hunting where you wrote about hunting loads for the 3 classics: .257, 7x57, and .30-06. I also have most of your books, including your older ones. One question I've always had: how do you pronounce your last name?

Turp: I haven't read your stuff as much as I'd like, but I remember one of the first articles of yours I've read was about hunting deer with your custom David Miller Mauser '98 in .270. It made me want a custom .270, too. I finally got one, and I have you to thank for giving me the itch. Thanks for taking the time to visit and post here.

SDH: Dude, you've got to have the coolest job in the world. If I had your talent, that's what I'd do, and I'd get up every morning with a smile on my face. I have your book on double guns, and you are truly an artist. I also think it's great that you hunt and shoot sporting clays with your Fox Hughes. Awesome!

To all of the gunwriters (past, present and future) who post here, thanks for taking the time to share a little piece of your lives with us.

G. Perry

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981519 08/28/06
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 47,566
Mule Deer Offline OP
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I can personally testify that SDH has no safe queens. He brought his Hughes/Fox when it was very new on a chukar hunt in Idaho that involved going up and down some pretty jagged-edged canyons, when we were both younger. I also watched him shoot it well at an informal clays shoot a couple of weeks ago.

My name is pronounced BARS-ness, though some people claim it started out as, "By golly, this BAR'S nice."

MD

Bravo

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981520 08/28/06
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KenOehler Offline
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As the newest of the "gun writers", my post should be the shortest. Born and grew up on a hardscrabble ranch in central Texas, went to a rural high school where opening day of whitetail season was a holiday. All my teachers told me that I couldn't write. Spent eleven years combined in college, grad school, and the military. My time in the Army was spent stateside as an engineer/statistician/test director at a proving ground. Spent a couple of years working at a small electronics company, then got a wild hair and started Oehler Research because I wanted a chronograph and didn't want to pay Herter's $120 for something I could build myself.

The next forty years were at Oehler Research where I actually enjoyed solving the technical problems related to ballistic measurements at least as much a shooting, reloading, or hunting. By virtue of my position I got to know the old names such a Colonel Harrison, H.P.White, Roy Weatherby, Bill Ruger, John Amber, Bob Hagel, Les Bowman, and most of the younger fellows writing today. Compentence by association doesn't work!

The only writing I recall, save ad copy and instruction books, were a couple of articles sent to Neal Knox at Handloader. A few months ago Scott Mayer and Joel Huchcroft offered to let me write a monthly ballistics column for Shooting Times. They made the rash assumption that by my long association with all the true experts, I had managed to learn a few things and might tell a few stories. They promised to clean up my writing.

Because of my diverse background, I can usually see both sides of many arguments. I've been the dude on paid hunts, and I've been the Jaegermeister and land owner on other hunts. I've tried to wring the last bit of velocity out of a case, and I've worried much about exceeding pressure limits. Although trained in the mathematical and engineering arts, I tend to just get a bigger hammer and make sure it works. I can relate easier to an old John Deere than to any hotrod.

It is my nature and intention to lurk in the shadows and enjoy reading and learning. I'll jump in if it seems that I might have something to add, or if someone has a specific question of me. Scott Mayer suggested the Campfire, and it was a pleasure to read dear friend Ken Howell's writer's guide on the home page. He must cringe at my posts, but he has always been most tolerant.

Ken


As it was explained to me many years ago, "I feel sorry for those who believe that ballistics is an exact science. They just don't understand the problems."
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981521 08/28/06
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Partsman Offline
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Thanks for the replies, I am enjoying this a lot.
The only thing that could make it better is if you were Canadians. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


"The 375HH is the greatest level of power you can get for the investment in recoil." (JJHack)
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981522 08/28/06
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,823
shootinurse Offline
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The writers that post here are an awesome crowd. They bring varied experiences and backgrounds and, as such, we are better for it. The beauty of it is that if someone has a question, one or more of you guys will be able to give an honest answer, regardless of the topic. My thanks to you all for the biographies. Makes the reading here and in the magazines that much richer.



Gun control...schemed by tyrants and supported by fools.
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981523 08/28/06
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Posts: 4,879
Steve Redgwell Offline
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Well Partsman, I'll be the token Canadian. I spent 21 years in the military as a weapons technician, retiring in 1999. The first fifteen years were spent bouncing around Europe, Canada and the US. The last six years of my career I taught weapons and explosives at a technical school in Borden, Ontario. I returned in 2005 as a civilian, teaching the same stuff.

I write books. The first was completed a couple of months after I retired. I've published three to date, with two more coming out this fall. The first is called Shooting and Reloading the 303 British and the 303 Epps. The second, an outdoorsy fictional work called Memories of Mouche Noir, based on people and events of my youth in northern Ontario. It's a collection of short stories. Bits of it have been seen here over the past few years.

The only magazines in which I've been published were history and trade publications. Almost always about ammunition/wpns systems. A few articles about Lee Enfields. None of which anyone is likely to have read. Generally, I'm the one that everyone ignores at parties. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by Steve Redgwell; 08/28/06.
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981524 08/28/06
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Posts: 153
westerner Offline
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Dear Mr. Redgwell,
I haven't read any of your articles, but I would like to. I just purchased my first Enfield, it is supposedly an American model made by Savage. What a great rifle, it is a joy to hold and think about what it has seen and who held it and where. Thanks.



Willcox, Arizona USA
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981525 08/28/06
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 665
NevadaDan Offline
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Gentlemen all,
I'm coming away even more impressed than... well I can't think of when!

With the exception of a few, I never realized, by your campfire names, how many leaders in the hunting/shooting field we have here. What a knowledge base!
Thank's for posting the bio's!!!

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981526 08/29/06
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,879
Steve Redgwell Offline
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Congratulations on the acquisition westerner. I hope that it brings you many years of enjoyment.

Yes, it would be wonderful if some of these old firearms could talk. Even the ones that never made it overseas would probably have a story or two to tell.


Safe Shooting!
Steve Redgwell
www.303british.com

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." - anon
If we were meant to know the secret of life, we would have been told. That's why it's called a secret. - Steve
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981527 08/29/06
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model70man Offline
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I used to look at SMLEs as junk and then one day it dawned on me what a fine battle rifle it it. I now have three. Thanks...Bill.


NRA Benefactor Member.

At my age I'm trying to hang on now.
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981528 08/29/06
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 18,845
hatari Online Content
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Quote
... but not as good a tan!


Ken - I knew that you never pitched for Oakland, that was Jay Howell.

(Jay was actually in for an office visit yesterday, seriously. A nice guy.)

Ken Howell pitched for Philly!


"The Democrat Party looks like Titanic survivors. Partying and celebrating one moment, and huddled in lifeboats freezing the next". Hatari 2017

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Han Solo
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981529 08/29/06
Joined: May 2003
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RockyRaab Offline
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Dr Ken, you may be the newest one here, but I am most assuredly the smallest footnote of gun writers. I've only published half a hundred full-length articles in major magazines over the past 20 years, although I have written regular columns for newspapers and magazines. I use my usual sobriquet for everything. I majored in English Lit because it was easy and didn't interfere with my real but disallowed major: ROTC.

I've had three overlapping careers, with writing about to become my fourth. In rough order, I spent 23 years in the Air Force as a combat pilot and instructor pilot, then as a non-flying public affairs officer both active and Reserve. I parlayed that public affairs experience into 15 years total, with paychecks from the Air Force, NASA and Thiokol (the rocket maker.)

When the gret "Peace Dividend" hit, my aerospace job was gone and so I started a custom earplug business for shooters and industry. I've been doing that now for 15 years and am about to sell that business as I turn 60 in a few months and the travel is beginning to get to me.

I recently was urged to enter a little writing contest, and part of the prize for finishing a novel was to have it published. I'm now working on the sequel to that little hors d'oeuvre of a story, and hope to have it out next month.

I write almost exlusively about reloading, something I've done since I shot competitive trap in the 50s and 60s. I don't hunt much, have killed only a handful of big game animals and a slew of varmints, nor have I ever competed in shooting since my trap days. I'm math challenged, but my pilot and NASA years gave me a middlin' grasp of science and technology (which I had to explain to reporters, the dumbest critters this side of slime mold).

That's the fingernail clipping version of my resume.


Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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