I'm a gun-nut! I have been since my 5th birthday, when I received my first .22 rifle. It was given to me by my father. I was the proud owner of a Mossberg 44 U.S. ... but according to the markings on the barrel, the previous owner was the United States Government!

Since 1948 I have owned hundreds of firearms. Some have been real works of art, while others have been real pieces of, well, you get the idea.

I have owned at least two of everything that Ruger has ever manufactured, several old Winchester Model 70's (both pre-64 and pre-war), several new Winchesters, AMCs, Berettas, Brownings, Colts, Dalys, High Standards, Marlins, Oates & Waters, Remingtons, Rossis, Sakos, Smiths, Stars, and the list goes on and on.

It's difficult to say which was the best ... since each had it's own niche.

I enjoy shooting old single-action pistols at tin cans, but would never rely on one for defense.

I do hunt with two single-action revolvers. For deer and antelope from around 50 yards to 100 yards I use a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 7-1/2 inch barrel, in .44 Remington Magnum. For the same animals at 50 yards or less, I use a Ruger Blackhawk with a 6-1/2 inch barrel in .357 Magnum. I don't believe in scopes on pistols (call me "old-fashioned"!), so I use it with what Bill thought proper at the time of its manufacture.

For a defensive pistol, I have had many, but found that there were three that I really enjoyed carrying, and felt confident in their ability to do the job, should they be called upon.

Thirty years ago I carried either a Smith 36 or 60. Small, light, and powerless! Then I switched to a Colt Government, nickel finish, white stag grips, in .38 Super. One hell of a looking gun, and the .38 Super is not a cartridge to sneeze at. But it was bulky, and drew a lot of smirks from my friends ... more than George Patton got over his ivory handled Colt SAA! (But then, I never had 4 stars on my shoulder!)

When Ruger began making double-action revolvers I switched to one of his Security Six models, in stainless and with a 2-3/8 inch barrel. Caliber? .357 Magnum, of course! This was a good pistol. Rugged, reliable, and accurate. But it was still heavy, and having accepted the general idea that more is better, I switched to a different pistol.

This one was a Smith Model 659, 9mm, 15-rounds! WOW! And I even carried a spare magazine! I was ready for anything ... however, everything never happened, and lugging all that weight and bulk became more of a problem than my original Colt.

Then I found Firestar! Small, compact, medium weight, Starvel finish, 7-round capacity, and best of all ... it was in .45 ACP! I could carry it all day, keep an extra magazine hidden away, and had the confidence to know that should the need ever arrive, the Firestar would work flawlessly.

Since then I have added the Firestar Plus in 9mm (both in blue and Starvel) and a S&W 645 in .45ACP to my carry gun list. I have also added the Taurus 85 and 605 (both in stainless) and a pair of Ruger SP101's (one in .38 Special and the other in .357 Magnum). Those four keep my old S&W 36's and 60's company on long and cold Montana winter nights ... but when the weather is warm and the clothing light, they do get "fresh air".

I still like the Firestar M-45, but find that I am carrying the Firestar Plus, with three 13-round magazines, more than the rest.

My first shotgun? Hell, that came really late in life! I never had any respect or love for shotguns. They were only used by those that couldn't hit a target with one bullet ... but eventually I bought a Savage O/U combination rifle/shotgun. it had a .22 Long Rifle top barrel, and a .410 shotgun bottom barrel. I killed a small critter with it once.

My first 'real' hunting rifle was a Winchester Model 70, purchased around 1961, in .243 Winchester. Blonde wood, dark blue finish, and a Weaver scope. I learned to hate light wood! But I used that rifle for years, hunting in Pennsylvania, California, and Wyoming.

After that things went either "up-hill" or "down-hill" rapidly! It depends on how you feel about guns! It seems that every month or two I would be buying another gun.

From around 1967, or so, the only guns I bought had to have "Ruger" stamped on them! I had every variety of his 10/22 semi-auto rifle. And I had every variety of his .44 semi-auto carbine. And I had Number 1 rifles in everything from .220 Swift to .45-70. But my favorites were the original model 77's.

First .22-250, then .220 Swift, then .243 Winchester, then 6mm Remington, then .25-06 Remington, then .264 Winchester Magnum, then 7mm Remington Magnum ... and the list goes on!

Some of the more different firearms I have owned were several Ruger Hawkeyes in .256 Winchester Magnum, a Marlin Model 62 in .256 Winchester Magnum, a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine, a Marlin Model 62 in .30 Carbine, a Thompson in .45 ACP, a Colt in 5.56mm, and a .22-50 (something I was working on while I was in California during my military days). It was a 50 cal. BMG casing necked-down to .22 caliber. We were trying to get a 29-grain sintered bullet to break the 5,000 fps mark. We never did...

Around 1970 I became more familiar with shotgunning. I had been in Pennsylvania for a few years and the guys that hung out at the gun shop were all into something called 'Trap Shooting'. They talked me into trying it one Sunday, and I finally found a use for a shotgun! My first was a Remington 1100-TC. And it worked just fine, until winter came around, and then it just gummed-up all the time.

I just had to have a shotgun that wouldn't get sluggish when the temperatures dropped, so I bought a Daly Superior Grade Single Barrel trap gun. I loved it so much that I shot the rib off of it! While it was away, I needed a gun, so it was a Browning BT-99, Single Barrel trap gun. Then I was introduced to 'doubles'. They are extremely difficult to shoot with a single barrel shotgun, so I had to have a Browning O/U. Diana Grade. (Soon to be accompanied by Midas and Pigeon grades.)

My last shotguns were Rugers in 20-gauge and 12-gauge. And, a Browning Grade VI.

About optics ... I have tried them all ... Weaver, Simmons, B&L, Redfield, Tasco, Swift, Nikon, and others. But I have found that the only 'scope that I couldn't break, the only 'scope that wouldn't fog-up, the only 'scope that held it's center when changing power, was Leupold! So all my optics, since 1968, have been Leupold. I don't even think about putting any other glass on one of my rifles! Sure, it's dumb to put a $500 scope on a $135 rifle! But I do it.

Illustrated Parts Breakdown Page

Owners' Manuals (PDF Files, Adobe Required)

U.S. Army Field Manuals

Archival Books (Firearms and Reloading)

Magazines & Articles

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All Kinds Of Other Interesting Stuff

I am including several links to manufacturers and shooting organizations here.

Ammoclip.com ASPI Tactical Big Five HeadQuarters BijouCreek Bulk Ammo CHRONY Chronographs Dan's Firearms Page Gamaliel Shooting Supply Graybeard's Outdoors Gun Owners Of America GunHoo Gun Page Guns N Stuff Gwinnett Practrical Shooting League Huntington's Indiana Holsters KHolster Little River Pheasant Hunts Internet Shooting Directory Law Enforcement Targets Montana Shooting Sports Association Noah's Ark Rifle Accuracy Reports Snake River Hunting Club SEF Sports Sierra Bullets South Texas Shooting Center Sports Arena Z-Hat Custom Gunsmith

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