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Rolly Offline OP
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Ken, I for one would certainly appreciate more first-hand stories about your contacts with Elmer and Jack. I really enjoyed your recent article about the bombing on Elmer's flight. I met Elmer's son Ted, and he said that Elmer and Jack never had much to do with each other. One was a cowboy turned gun writer and one was an English professor turned gun writer. They just didn't communicate or strike up a friendship. I'd like your opinion on that. I enjoyed both authors immensely and miss their writting. Any tid-bits you can add would certainly be appreciated. It would be especially fun if you could "ghost" write a debate between the two regarding the light and fast bullet effect vs. the big and slow bullet effect. I think this was an article that all of us were anxious to read that never was written. You're the man Ken. I can hardly wait for more.


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Ken-
<br>
<br>Just in case you have a spare moment and have the urge to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) I sure would enjoy reading a war battle story, whether it be fact or fiction matters not. Maybe a recollection of something you participated in your days abroad? Your stories grab me from start to finish, not necessarily a good thing while I'm reading them at work, but I truly do enjoy them.

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I really enjoyed the story about Elmer Kieth and the Unabomber, Thanks.
<br>
<br>erich


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I missed it...where is the story?

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"Good enough" isn't.

Always take your responsibilities seriously but never yourself.



















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Thanks Ken. Talked to Elmer once quite a few years back at one of the NRA Conventions and unlike many people in the public eye, Elmer was not a disappointment in person.......an American icon of a time that's past.

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If you read Elmer as a young shooter with little knowledge or experience, you come away thinking "Here's a man with unmatched experience, knowledge, and skill with all kinds of hunting guns."
<br>
<br>If you read Elmer after you've learned enough to be a dangerous smart-ass, you sneer at his claims and opinions (and dismiss his knowledge as "just his opinion").
<br>
<br>If you got to know Elmer in person, and learned the background and details of his claims, knowledge, and opinions, you came away knowing "Here's a man with unmatched experience, knowledge, and skill with all kinds of hunting guns."
<br>
<br>I was lucky -- I both read and came to know Elmer as a friend when I was a young shooter with little knowledge or experience, and as I grew in experience, knowledge, and skill with guns, I always came away knowing "Here's a man with unmatched experience, knowledge, and skill with all kinds of hunting guns."
<br>
<br>Oh, yes -- I've heard and read just about every cheap put-down that little minds have thrown at Elmer, and I know them all to be without merit or foundation.
<br>


"Good enough" isn't.

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Ken,
<br>
<br>In my younger days [much smarter then], I read Elmer's story of shooting caribou at some fantastic distance with a handgun and considered it as BS. This tale appears again in his book, Hell I Was There!.
<br>
<br>My neighbor and friend is an old Alaskan Bush Pilot and he recently was telling me of his experiences flying Elmer Keith around and how he had been with Elmer during the caribou shooting. The facts were verified.
<br>
<br>

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Someone, on some board, posted about Elmer's passing and what had become his way of keeping the old guy's exploits alive in his mind. It seems like whenever this person was out handgunnin' he'd always send at least one round wayyyy down range "for Elmer" as he was finishing up his day.
<br>
<br>I've kind of adopted the same habit myself and find it entertaining and somewhat educational. Granted, most of my shots out at 100 plus with a handgun and iron sights are pretty humorous in themselves. However, on occasion, I have actually hit something I was aiming at.
<br>
<br>2D

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At our first meeting several years ago, one of our newer gun writers -- not particularly skilled with handguns -- loudly scorned Elmer's long-range handgunnery as so much BS. His position was that such shooting with a handgun was "impossible." He especially scoffed at Elmer's hit on a mule deer at 600 yards or so with his four-inch Model 29.
<br>
<br>I answered with three basic testimonies --
<br>(a) citing examples of my own and a close friend's long-range handgun shooting, using techniques we'd learned from Ed McGivern and Elmer Keith,
<br>(b) telling him the details of that particular shot, as Elmer had related the incident to me,
<br>and
<br>(c) explaining (with sketches) the special sight picture used for such long-range shooting with a square-notch rear and a Patridge front sight.
<br>
<br>"Why, that makes perfect good sense!" my new writer friend exclaimed.


"Good enough" isn't.

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I remember reading and seeing pictures that showed I believe a gold bar going across the front sight for the longer shots.


"The 375HH is the greatest level of power you can get for the investment in recoil." (JJHack)
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Elmer had those silver or gold wires peened into fine transverse slits in the backs of some of his early handguns' front sights -- handy but not necessary. I haven't gotten around to putting 'em into any of my front sights, and probably won't. Elmer didn't have 'em put into all his front sights.
<br>
<br>It's easy enough to put about 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or all the height of the front blade -- or even the top or bottom of the front-sight ramp, when there's a ramp under the blade -- above the top of the rear notch, and perch the target as usual atop the front blade. I've also used the width of the Patridge blade as a "windage gauge" or to eyeball the lead on a running target.
<br>
<br>Hit a running wild cat in the head that way at a longer range than I'd expect you to believe (probably no more than 50% skill, no less than 50% sheer good luck. I'm not good enough to claim all the credit!). Cat was hauling britches, quartering away to the right. I led it so many blade widths and let fly (High Standard HDM .22 Long Rifle, with six-inch barrel and hollow-points). Best I expected to do was to scare 'im into running faster -- but he rolled and flopped around like the chickens that my folks used to grab by the head and whirl around like a ring of keys on a chain then dropped to let 'em fling blood all around the yard. That kind of flopping around -- by cats that I'd shot at shorter ranges -- had always indicated head hits. I didn't bother going 'way out there to confirm the hit with extraneous details -- cat was obviously DEAD, which was all I cared to know.


"Good enough" isn't.

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Well it is one of those things I regret, that I never seem to be in a position to ever get to meet some of these writers.
<br>I would have liked to have met Elmer, Skeeter skelton, Bill Jordan, Bob Milek, just to name a few. Oh and Jack O'Conner.
<br>But tis too late.


"The 375HH is the greatest level of power you can get for the investment in recoil." (JJHack)
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Ken Howell's comments on Elmer are very well written. I was reading these guy's live also and Elmer was pushing the big calibers "pumkin rollers" as he called them. But it was O'Connor's and Weatherby's high velocity that has won the market place. Sales of "pumkin rollers" are not nearly as high.
<br>
<br>Elmer is right on revolvers however and the .44 Magnum should be named after him.
<br>
<br>I admire Elmer Keith, a great American Rifleman.

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I have two of those gold crossbars in a high front blade on my .45 auto, put there by Pachmayr after reading Keith on the subject, done forty years ago. Click adjustable rear sight, don't remember the make.
<br>
<br> As Ken Howell says, it is really not necessary, but it looks very elegant, and when you hit the five gallon can at 100 yards using the gold bar you feel very satisfied with yourself and the universe.
<br>
<br>Never mind the misses.

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It never once entered my mind,that Elmer fabricated yarns. He struck me as a most honest gent,who simply laid the cards on the table. That he penned material,which he certainly HAD to know,many would meet with disfavor,only added to the feeling that the exploits were genuine.
<br>
<br>I miss his meat and taters delivery and the confidence in himself and his experiences,to relate things how the were. That is sadly missing today,in my opinion.
<br>
<br>His,was a great loss..................


Brad says: "Can't fault Rick for his pity letting you back on the fire... but pity it was and remains. Nothing more, nothing less. A sad little man in a sad little dream."
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While I don�t have a dog in the Keith/O�Connor fight, I thought I would share a few quotes from the end of a letter that Jack wrote back to my Father, in response to several questions he asked about the advantages of a .300 Mag vs the .30-06 and bullet weight choices (172gr vs 180gr) for them when hunting Elk.
<br>
<br>The letter is dated February 2, 1952, signed by Jack and typed on Outdoor Life letterhead, from the "Arms and Ammunition department".
<br>
<br>(begin quote)
<br>.
<br>.
<br>I doubt if one in 20 can stand the recoil of a .300 Magnum. Believe me, the placement of the shot is so much more important than the bullet with which the animal is hit that there is no comparison. I speak from a hunting experience that extends almost 40 years and from Central Mexico to Alaska. On a trip once I killed nine head of big game including a moose and a grizzly and I fired exactly 11 shots from a poor little, broken-down .270 with the 130-gr. bullet.
<br>
<br>Darned if I know which would hold together best, the 172gr. Western Tool & Copper cavity point or the 180gr. Silvertip for the .30/06 but I am inclined to believe that the Western Tool & Cooper Works bullet would do it.
<br>
<br>I have recently been chronographing some loads for the standard .300 Magnum. I believe the best one I have found is 71grs. of this powder known as "No. 4350 data Powder" and which is actually No. 4831. With the 180-gr. bullet 71grs. of No. 4831 gives a velocity of about 3125.
<br>
<br>My best wishes,
<br>Jack O�Connor
<br>
<br>(end quote)
<br>
<br>Looks like the advocator of small/light, was secretly into testing Big-n-Fast also !!
<br>
<br>...... Silver Bullet
<br>
<br>By the way, QuickLoad predicts 3,107 fps with 71grs of IMR-4350 (at max pressures), pushing a 180 gr Winchester Silvertip in a 26" barrelled .300 Win mag. Not bad for 50+ years ago .....
<br>
<br>

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A friend of mine who knew O'Connor pretty well asked him what his favorite cartridges were.
<br>
<br>"The .30-06, the .270, the .375, and the .416. Now you're going to ask me 'In what order?' In that order."
<br>
<br>When O'Connor hunted the biggest American game, he preferred the .375 H&H. For the big African critters, he preferred the .416 Rigby. The .270 was his sheep rifle, and he used it also on other game that he encountered while hunting sheep.
<br>
<br>Elmer also used rifles chambered for small-caliber cartridges with light, fast bullets, for smaller game and varmints. And he wanted any big animal that he shot to drop at the hit or very shortly thereafter. He didn't maintain that the lighter cartridges wouldn't kill -- just that they didn't kill as promptly as he demanded. He deplored the tendency of so many hunters to be satisfied with any cartridge that killed animals marginally enough to let 'em suffer lingering deaths.


"Good enough" isn't.

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I think I recall reading something by Elmer where he said he preferred hunting his animals "before" he shot them, not "after". Sounds reasonable to me.

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Rolly Offline OP
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Ken, what were Elmer and Jack like, personally. I heard that Jack was quite a drinker and kind of kept to himself around gun nuts because so many people wanted to turn a civil discussion into an argument. Also, that Jack wouldn't let an outfitter tell him how they were going to hunt or where etc. A very demanding sort of hunter because his experience was often as extensive as the outfitters. I have heard that Elmer, on the other hand, liked to sit around and visit and argue with the best of them. A ,physically, small man who may have worn the big hat to make up for his physical stature but one that knew his guns like few others. What is your take on the two personalities, Ken? Is there any truth to what I have heard ?


Rolly
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