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Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981530 08/29/06
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 23,089
GunGeek Offline
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Well gents, Iím not a full time writer, nor is that something to which I aspire (resisting the urge to end a sentence with a preposition).

I grew up in Sacramento, California and I lived there my whole life save the last 3 years. At an early age, I took to guns like a Lab to water. My first was a very well worn (ok, it was pretty much worn out) Winchester 1890 in .22 Short. Armed with said rifle, I proceeded to turn it into a weapon of mass destruction for the local cotton tail population. Grandma would cook Ďem up for me and make rabbit and dumplins (oh yeah!!).

I got serious about my shooting at around age 15 and started shooting competitively. Actually, over the years Iíve shot all sorts of competition, but I seem to loose interest when I start winning the majority of local matches. Iíve shot:
Smallbore rifle (Mossberg 144)
Military rifle (Garand)
Benchrest (Shilen DGA)
Bullseye (S&W K-22, 1911)
IPSC (M1911)
Handgun Silhouette (Contender .30-30, .357 Bain & Davis)
Basically, if it involves a gun, Iíve either done it, or Iím conspiring. My goal is to do it all.

As for big game, my grandfather was a bear hunter, which means, I was a bear hunter. Iíve done my fair share of hunting just about everything else, but of late, Iím more of a shotgunner and bird hunter.

At age 17 I joined the Army but my tenure was cut short when I tackled a car head on with my motorcycle, which has left me a bit disabled. After 2 years and 3 surgeries, I was up and walking again. After some personal study, I got my first gunsmithing job working on machine guns. (not much of an MG fan, but it paid the bills). At that job, I had access to literally tens of thousands of old Mauserís and I ended up building custom sporters on the side (still have a great love for the military Mauser).

I then started studying to become a Paramedic, and I worked the meaner streets of Sacramento for 16 years. During that time, I taught PHTLS (Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support) and regular classes on terminal ballistics to ER doctors and surgeons at UC Davis Medical Center. (mostly to dispel the BS and rumors about gun shot wounds). My two 24 hour shifts a week also allowed me to work as a bodyguard to some of the famous people we love to lothe.

I started writing about 3 years ago and Iíve written for Handguns, American Handgunner, Primedia, Guns Magazine etc. Iíve felt a bit pigeon holed into writing only about handguns, so Iíve taken a break from that.

My first love is sporting arms of all kinds. Of late, Iím spending a lot of time with some of the finer guns from England and Europe, while attempting to build a double rifle on a Parker action.

Recently Iíve been given access to the first known cartridge gun which was made in 1813 and Iím doing research on the gun, cartridge and its inventor (Iíll bet SDH knows). Not sure where Iím going with it yet, but I may put something together for the Double Gun Journal or Shooting SportsmanÖItís a fascinating gun and story.

Writing is a hobby for me, as is my shooting sport. The real writers are the ones who do it for a livingÖI love their work and Iím glad they do it every dayÖDonít know that I could.

Thanks to all the writers for hanging out at the campfire

300 BP

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981531 08/29/06
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,218
Outcast Offline
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Had no idea so many professionals hung out here. Thanks to you all for sharing.


Too old to suffer fools
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981532 08/29/06
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 3,052
allenday Offline
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My handle is "allenday" because my name is Allen Day......

I just turned 49, and I'm a fourth-generation Oregonian who grew up on a family-owned farm, and I farmed there for some years myself, then gradually began a career in real estate development that has led to business in a number of venues, and in a variety of states. I'll never retire because I like what I'm doing, and because I have a lot of energy and I don't like to sit still.

I started my hunting career as a 12 year-old boy going after varmints on the farm, then I bought my first real big game rifle, which was a Remington 700 ADL 30-06, in 1972 and I still have it in my collection to this day. Using that same rifle as a base for learning, I began to handload at age sixteen, and I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds in the years since. I've owned close to 300 rifles (not counting handguns and shotguns) in the days since I bought that first '06. At one point I owned a large collection of pre-64 Model 70s, and I also contributed to Roger Rule's book, "The Rifleman's Rifle", and I'm listed in the credits.

But my real passion is big game hunting, and I started out on blacktails, mule deer, and elk here in Oregon, then I gradually started to branch out to other states. To date I've hunted in twenty states and eight foreign countries, and I've taken hundreds of big game animals from Alaska to Tanzania and back.

I've been in three of Mark Sullivan's African hunting videos, as well as his book, "Death and Double Rifles", at least one of Bart Lancaster's Canadian hunting videos, and it's been my privilage to be on "Outdoor Life" magazine's 'Gear Test Team' (rifles and shotguns) twice.

Today, my real gun interest is custom-built hunting rifles (HUNTING -- not "safe queens") and custom 1911 pistols. I've gotten rid of the bulk of my gun collection and use a pretty basic battery of custom rifles for most of my hunting. I have found that most of the arguments for or against various cartridges are generally a waste of time. I put my time and energy into big game hunting, and into time at the range, shooting. That's where my real passion lies, and that's just about all I have time for these days.

I usually hunt between six and eight weeks a year, although family and business obligations have pared that back over the last couple of years............

AD


"The placing of the bullet is everything. The most powerful weapon made will not make up for lack of skill in marksmanship."

Colonel Townsend Whelen
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981533 08/29/06
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 29,348
Ken Howell Offline
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I haven't earned, don't qualify for, and don't deserve the highly respected reputation that others have given me. There are many better writers and many who know far more about guns, shooting, hunting, and handloading than I do ó in present company especially, but also among those who're so often and so roundly denounced here.

So I have to keep trying, don't I?

So I shall. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/help.gif" alt="" />


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981534 08/29/06
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 18,859
toltecgriz Offline
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Rule of thumb applying to no one here

As soon as someone refers to themself as a "scribe" or "gun scribe" I quit reading. Same thing with "wordsmith."

Pardon the digression.

t


"Be sure you're right. Then go ahead." Fess Parker as Davy Crockett
Alpha

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981535 08/29/06
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 187
SDH Offline
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Kevin, I wrote a story about a Pauly gun I restored that was published in Shooting Sportsman (Jan/Feb 1996) that you may want to reference for your story. Without a doubt one of the coolest guns I've had the pleasure of working on. (see attachment)
A quote, "The Pauly was the first gun to shoot fixed ammunition, the first to use reloadable centerfire ammunition and the first breechloader to use percussion ignition. The patent - or brevet, in French - for the design was issued September 29, 1812, in Paris. At the time, Napolean was walking over Europe, we were fighting the English and everyone was shooting flintlocks."
As a side note, JB refered the client (Tim) to me at my shop in Oregon, we became good friends, I moved to Montana at his suggestion and it was at Tim's ranch that John saw me mostly missing clays with my Fox a couple weeks ago!
I'm greatly intrigued with the notion of another Pauly, I heard there was one for sale in Vegas last year(?) PM me if I can help. SSM would be a good place to seek publication, contact Ed Carroll. I look forward to hearing about the gun and reading your piece!

Attached Files
984403-Pauly.jpg (0 Bytes, 1271 downloads)
Last edited by SDH; 08/29/06.
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981536 08/29/06
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 29,348
Ken Howell Offline
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Somewhere in his delightful Modern English Usage, H W Fowler wrote most aptly "The obvious is preferable to the obvious avoidance of it."


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981537 08/29/06
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 41
waha Offline
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Posts: 41
I just joined this forum a few days ago and I'm in total awe with the folks that are here and the knowledge base. FYI, the Jack O'Connor Hunting Heritage & Education Center was recently opend here in Lewiston and it was thrilling to see some of the old timer writers and friends of Jack at the open house. Ken, John and you others, thanks for giving us a small amount of your time and talents.

Steve Alder, Lewiston, ID


http://www.jack-oconnor.org/

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981538 08/29/06
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 22,098
RockyRaab Offline
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I'd argue the other side of that, my friend. How many other guys here know what borborygm means? Heckfire, I've never known a doctor who does! (I wouldn't either if not for my addiction to the sea novels of Patrick O'Brian and his sesquipedalian character Dr Maturin.)


Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981539 08/29/06
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 29,348
Ken Howell Offline
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The nearest thing to a "Ken Howell Heritage Center" will be a highway sign pointing toward wherever I am:

HYSTERICAL SIGHT AHEAD


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















Bravo

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981540 08/29/06
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 23,089
GunGeek Offline
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SDH,

Honestly, Iíve never been more excited about a gun in my life. The Pauly I have access to is from the personal effects of a certain Napoleon Bonaparte, and itís simply magnificent. Iím currently trying to make the time to pile through data on Samual Johannes Pauly and reviewing his patents. Pauly and Eggís work was decades ahead of the rest of the world. I even have access to a couple of cartridges in 28ga.

Thanks for the tips and Iíll be sending you a PM just as soon as I get my head above water.

Edited - While writing this reply, I was showing a friend a photo on this web site and I'll be darned if I didn't repeat the same typo they did. Sorry.

Last edited by GunGeek; 08/29/06.
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981541 08/29/06
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 29,348
Ken Howell Offline
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Quote
How many other guys here know what borborygm means? Heckfire, I've never known a doctor who does!

OK, Rocky, m'friend, let's see to it that all at this yere campfar kin know what [/i]borborygmus[/i] is ó
Quote
bor∑bo∑ryg∑mus (bŰrĒbÖ-rĻgďmÖs) n., pl. bor∑bo∑ryg∑mi (-mļĒ). A rumbling noise produced by the movement of gas through the intestines. [New Latin, from Greek borborugmos, of imitative origin.] (The American Heritage Dictionary)


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981542 08/29/06
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 18,859
toltecgriz Offline
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Ken
I never got past Strunk and White
t

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981543 08/29/06
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 883
TM45 Offline
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Not sure who it was that said/wrote something similar, but I know good writing when I see it. Some entertain with flecks of technical savvy. Some are heavy on the tech side, but highly competent and informative. Some are good story tellers with limited tech and comic relief and some just flat make you laugh your arse off. Some manage to mix all these quite well.

With all the reading I've done over the years, I don't think I once asked myself what's this guy's background or education level. I have often wondered how some can seem to go to Africa as often as they seem - and that writing must be a pretty good way to make a living.

I stopped subscribing to gun mags (as well as most other mags) and prefer to just skim the cover, the story tiitles and the authors at the bookstore. It seems I can tell in a couple minutes whether I think a magazine is worth buying. It's not a slam dunk, even with Wolfe these days. Even less so with other mags.

Maybe I'm getting too picky with age, but I avoid writers that bore me with irrelevent minutia, annoy me with just plain poor or cheezy writing, are self-promoting or just aren't entertaining or informative.

What I like, combined with what I consider good writing is a writer who tells us a bit about themself along the way. Not long ago I read a good book entitled The Right Words at the Right Time by Marlo Thomas. There were several enlightening parts, but one that stood out was what one mentor said to Billy Crystal. This was when he was struggling, but still bringing the house down with his comedy - the mentor said you didn't leave part of yourself on the stage.

Your writing is very entertaining and informative MD. Never cared a lick about what your education level is, but it doesn't hurt that we have learned a bit over the years. I think you may have written about sniping grasshoppers with a BB gun as a kid - not sure. But it's things like that or how Capstick describes catching birds by hand that tell volumes... as in - this dude's a hunter... that you've developed a lot of technical expertise over time is icing on the cake.

But... what I and hopefully a few other readers may want to know is... if you even OWN a handgun! Ha, ha! But really, if you do, which and how do you use them?

Sadly, I think the shooting and hunting rags are too quick to pigeon hole a writer. I mean, does Brian own a shotgun? Does Venturino own a gun made after WWII? Does Phil ever shoot anything smaller than a brown bear? I exaggerate, but you get my drift.

TM

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981544 08/29/06
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 29,348
Ken Howell Offline
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All right, guys! Several of you make some good points, so I'm rethinking my position. May give-in, may not ó but I'm reconsidering. Have a few days on the road ahead of me, without much hard cogitation necessary to do what I gotta do, so I'll have plenty of uncluttered cranium time to spend on this.

No promise!

But I warn you ó you probably won't find even a brief, informal version of my curriculum vitae either encouraging or impressive. If plain, unvarnished candor is enough for you, I may be able to cough-up a few lines that may interest you.

FWIW, it may be a good idea to leave you with a not-so-great image of Ol' Useless as either a writer or a gun X-spurt.


"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981545 08/29/06
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,934
fish30ought6 Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,934
no erudition here.
smells like the experiential kind.
sweet.


abiding in Him,

><>fish30ought6<><
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981546 08/29/06
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,836
41Keith Offline
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I get a kick out of all you fellows. Whether you've written here or not is secondary. I could do a mighty list of the writers I've enjoyed and learned from, but maybe I ought to spare you that.

My only concern is that anyone who's tempted to try this forum out will in fact do so with the knowledge that he won't get his arse shot off by the belligerents -- some of us can deal with them, for sure. The only gunwriter I'd like to meet up with to tangle with is the fellow who spoke so highly of the .44 Mag's "raw, stump busting power." After 20 or maybe 30 years, I'm still annoyed...

You fellows just ought to go ahead and do what you want to do. I'm not alone in wanting to read your stuff.


Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. -- Daniel Webster
Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981547 08/29/06
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 23,089
GunGeek Offline
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Quote
...I don't think I once asked myself what's this guy's background or education level.
Which is why I don't generally go flaunting my resume...It doesn't impress me that much and it's probably even less impressive to others.

At the end of the day, who wrote the story and the author's story is of much less significance than the story itself. Each article must stand on the merits of the article, not the person who wrote it. It's either a good article or its not. Either the writer is right or he's wrong.

I've read outstanding articles from some shady writers. There are writers who I have a lot of respect for and those whom I hold in complete contempt. Regardless, I'll read what they have to say and if it's a good article, it doesn't matter who's name is attached to it.

Writers like the ones on this forum (myself excluded), have built a good reputation for themselves over the years by consistently producing quality work. They get that good name by never leaning on their good reputation to back something up that should be backed up with facts.

Me, I have a looong way to go...But I hope to have fun in the process.

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981548 08/30/06
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 47,773
Mule Deer Offline OP
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Posts: 47,773
TM45--

Yeah, that was me, a little kid sneaking around in the sagberush trying to kill big hoppers with his Red Ryder. Can't remember ever getting much more excited than when I actually killed my first one. Also used to stuff wads of Kleenex down the barrel, then a little sand, to try to wingshoot flies. That worked OK too at close range.

I do own several handguns, including my dad's Colt Frontier Scout (the scaled-down .22 rimfire version of the Peacemaker), a super-accurate, heavy-barreled Ruger Mark II, a T/C Contender with several barrels from .32/20 up to .373 JDJ and .41 Magnum, an S&W Model 66 with Crimson Trace's neat laser-grips, and a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk Bisley in .45 Colt. Probably have forgotten a few in there but you get the idea.

I can even shoot them pretty well. Have killed much small game, both birds and bunnies, with the .22's, coyotes with the 66, and (aside from deer) killed a prairie dog at 94 yards with the Bisley a couple of years ago.

But have written very little about all that because editors tend to put their writers into specialty niches. Wolfe has Brian Pearce and Mike Venturino to write about handguns, so I don't even bother proposing an article anymore.

And yes, Brian does own a shotgun, actually a bunch of very nice ones. One of our more enjoyable conversations took place at the very shoot where I .45'd that unlucky prairie dog. Brian and I and my wife had a nice, long conversation about fine side-by-sides. He owns a Westley Richards, among others, if I remember correctly. But he does not get to write about scatterguns much because others are assigned that job, including me.

Back in the 1970's, when I broke into this business, most hunting and gun writers were expected to be much more versatile. I wrote not only about big game and upland birds for FIELD & STREAM, but many kinds of fishing as well. But by the time I resigned as a staffer from that magazine a few years ago (to write full-time for Wolfe) I was pretty well pigeon-holed as "the deer guy."

MD

Re: "Gun Writer" Backgrounds #981549 08/30/06
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 18,859
toltecgriz Offline
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And that's why editors who pigeonhole multifaceted writers aren't too smart.

JMO

t


"Be sure you're right. Then go ahead." Fess Parker as Davy Crockett
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