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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For myself, and many others of my generation, the answer to this question comes instantly and easily: the late, great Charles A. "Skeeter" Skelton, who wrote about handguns in Shooting Times for over 20 years.

It seems unreal that it has been 25 years since Skeeter passed away. For pure enjoyment of reading I have never seen his equal in ST or any other firearms magazine. Instead of just giving a review of a pistol, he wove the specifics of the handgun into a narrative that informed and entertained with never a seam showing.

I bought copies of both of the hardback collections of Skeeter's writings when they came out, and like a damn fool I loaned them out and never got them back. Those books are now out of print, and go for upwards of $100 these days. A couple of years back I scoured the internet looking for any of his writing in the web, and was able to download about 250 pages of his articles and columns. It is on my kindle, and I re-read portions of it every few months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I liked reading Elmer Keith, but Jeff Cooper (even though at one time he was considered the high priest of the Church of the 1911) to me always seemed to have an undertone of assumed infallibility that sorta irriated me.
 

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The key is looking past style into the man's knowledge. He did know what he was talking about and in fact came up with a lot of cutting edge concepts, for his time. I still remember reading Cooper's Corner in Guns and Ammo. I always enjoyed his insight.
 

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Skelton and Keith were very entertaining. Askins was knowledgeable.

Cooper and O'Connor were arrogant egotistical idiots.
 

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In the 50's we had O'Connor at ODL, Pete Brown at Field & Stream and Warren Page at F&S.

I read Phil Sharpe, Askins and my favorite was Townsend Whelan.

We had Ackley, Landis, Lyman, Hagel, Ruark, Taylor, Mann, Wooters etc.

What's happened now is the internet and these forums!

While I still get the American Rifleman and American Hunter from our lifetime memberships in the NRA I no longer subscribe to other magazines.

I used to get the: Rifle, Handloader etc.

I can even trade posts with one or more gun writers on forums!

To add that I see I forgot Keith. He was entertaining ...............
 

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I for one am glad the interweb has killed off the gun rags. Back in the 80's the world of guns was boring. Everyome only had one of two or three opinions which were espoused for them by the big rags. If you didnt have a 1911 or a pre64 winchester mod 70 or didnt shoot dangerously overloaded keith loads your opinion wasnt worth anything.

Now that we have the web the world of guns has absolutely expanded infinately beyound that old dried up relic of pre-printed opinion pieces.

To answer your question, my favorite gun writers are the folks that inhabit these forums. Honest people who actually invest time and money into their sport and share their honest adventures and opinions with the rest of us.
 

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I liked Bob Milek he was handgun editor of Guns & Ammo. Bob replaced Elmer Kieth and was with Elmer when he had the stroke in Houston.
Bob was a dear friend, who died very young before his time. I was also a Big fan of "Skeeter". I really like the visits to Jug Johnsons Turkey Track Ranch. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmmmm. I'm a little surprised that most of the writers mentioned here are the older ones; nobody's mentioned people like John Taffin, Jim Wilson, Ayoob, etc.

Is todays crop of writers so boring that nobody will claim to enjoy them?
 

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txpossum said:
Hmmmm. I'm a little surprised that most of the writers mentioned here are the older ones; nobody's mentioned people like John Taffin, Jim Wilson, Ayoob, etc.

Is todays crop of writers so boring that nobody will claim to enjoy them?
I enjoy all the writers mentioned plus Sweaney. I am not so arrogant that I don't think I can learn from them. I read their books too. I have all of Cooper's books and a bunch of Sweaney's, for example. Ayoob is hard to listen to, but great to read. I particularly like his books and articles on the law and on physiology.
 

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I always liked Elmer Keith, Skeeter,etc. the current crop of writers don't do much for me. I do like Marco Verobiev(sp?) though.
 

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Skeeter Skelton was and is still my favorite. His background was far more well rounded than any of the others and his writing style was comfortable and clear. I also like Elmer Keith, Jeff Cooper and P. H. Capstick; but their backgrounds and viewpoints were all more limited than Skelton's.

Current writers are pretty fair. I like Mike Venturino and Jim Wilson. They are knowledgeable of their specialties and communicate well. However, they and most all current magazine writers are not very 'memorable' as writers. Some writers seem to have a lack of historical perspective on many matters, and I find that underwhelming.

There are a few members of various firearms forums who really have an understanding of firearms, ammunition and usage. As it happens, I can't remember all of them, but I appreciate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
His background was far more well rounded than any of the others and his writing style was comfortable and clear.

If I'm remembering correctly, he was, among other things, a border patrolman, a sheriff, a customs agent. and rancher, as well as having served in the military. He was also best buds with Bill Jordan, and their potshots at each other in the pages of the gun mags of the time are classic.

And his major in college was English.
 

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Askins
Capstick
Cooper
Ruark
Skelton
 

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Cooper was pompous and dogmatic and, yes, egotistical but he was no Idiot .

Cooper used competition shooting as a laboratory to find out what techniques would work in a gunfight . He collected AARs from former students who got into gunfights to further find out what works. He codified the Modern Technique and taught it to appreciative students. He wrote excellent articles on gun rights, crime, tactics, ballistics --You name it. Cooper served on the NRA board . I've read his The Art of The Rifle, Cooper on Handguns, To Ride Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth, Principles of Personal Defense and maybe more. Heck, as a boy I was inspired by his article on how to shoot a pistol in the Guns & Ammo Annual 1969 Edition .
 

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The "Golden" age of gun rags was the 1950-1970s. The internet has replaced them for the most part. The writers of the "Golden" age were more astute at connecting with the shooters of that time. The WWII vets and youngsters home from Asia understood the writings of Kieth,Cooper, Askins etc. :)
 
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