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Fed up with new writers
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O.K. as the title implies,I am fed up with what the sporting industry is giving us in the way of writers.Those of us from another era know what a good writer can be.Just because I knew Bill Jordan + was serving drinks to Charlie Askins does not give me the authority to pass judgment. However,I know good writing from bad. Don't get me wrong,I'm not by any means Hemingway's proofreader,but I know good literature when I read it. It just seems that the current crop of gun writers are left wanting.I have cancelled many subscriptions due to this alone although I like to support the industry.So let us get personal as to who + why.We all know the good ones (Keith,Jordan,French,Askins,Nonte,Cooper,ad infinitum. You get the point. Now what we have is.never mind,you know who they are. I will say that I cancelled my subscription to Handloader magazine because they got rid of Ross Seyfried (the only one who knew how to write a grand article)+ I have heard rumors but all I know of the truth is that he is not there anymore.I would give much more credence to what he said over Brian Pierce;just my opinion.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with you in general...

However, I don't think its because the writers are incapable, rather it is the way the industry is now...the articles are infomercials and god forbid they either don't mention the advertisers or worse yet, dare to state something is junk.
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by crbutler:
I agree with you in general...

However, I don't think its because the writers are incapable, rather it is the way the industry is now...the articles are infomercials and god forbid they either don't mention the advertisers or worse yet, dare to state something is junk.


CR:

There is more to it than that; many writers are journalism majors hired right out of college. They may love to hunt, but they don't have the resume that writers in the past have had. Jim Zumbo, who was blackballed by the industry for his black gun comments, is an example. IIRC, he started out as a wildlife biologist working at West Point (USMA). He then moved out west and did a bunch of DIY stories.

Another example: Norman Strung. He grew up in NYC, moved out west, and started writing about his adventures.

And of course, there is O'Connor. He was an English prof at the Univ of Arizona when he started writing. Back in his day, Outdoor Life paid for his hunts (not my opinion, Jack wrote that in one of his books).

Today, most stories are PR hunts, arranged by companies that have contracts with manufacturers to publicize their wares. These stories are often authored by guys who don't really have that much experience.


Don't Ever Book a Hunt with Jeff Blair
http://forums.accuratereloadin...821061151#2821061151

 
Posts: 7350 | Location: Arizona and off grid in CO | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mentioning Jack O'conner,it reminds me of a story he wrote back in the day. Seems like during the Great Depression no one had any money (duh). Jack had his whole family + all their possessions in a station wagon going who knows where.He sees a sign that says 'Turkey Shoot'. He pulls in + sees folks lining up to shoot targets at 100 yds. for a turkey at $1.00 a ticket. Well money was tight but he felt he could hold his own so he bought a ticket + stepped up to the firing line. He noticed that all of them were firing standing offhand but this kid was firing prone. He says "Whoa,why is he firing prone?" They said,well you can fire prone too if you want to. He says "I'll take 10 tickets."He said we got so sick of the taste of turkey but it beat starving.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The best of both worlds is when you have a writer with a passion for firearms, hunting and load development who is also a natural wordsmith, but such men are rare -- and women virtually unrepresented.
My favorites who were or are both include O'Connor, Ned Roberts, Ross Seyfried (the passion!) and Gary Sitton among others.
For the sheer quantity and quality of load data, I am grateful for the great Ken Waters, Layne Simpson, Brian Pearce, Barseness, Haviland et al.


I won't take a sermon longer than 10 minutes.
 
Posts: 13782 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am happy with the writings of Ex-Mils or retired military folks I have seen.

It is a damn sight better than the crap written by college grads with no experience.

Kyle Lamb seems to be shifting things, hopefully others will follow suit.
 
Posts: 6908 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think it's a combination of the lack of "on my own dime" experience, and the fact that revenue generated articles (more like infomercials) are what keeps print media alive.
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not to mention that the articles are required to be shorter as well......gotta save room for advertisers......


.
 
Posts: 38568 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kinda related but as an aside. 2 months ago in Dillon's "Blue Press" there was an article concerning carrying the 1911 in the 'cocked + locked' position.Then went on to tell a few tales of folks who were caught with nothing in the chamber,unable to rack the slide + died.This brought back a memory from a article over 40 years ago in one of the gun mags that did a parody of those "mens" magazines of the 50's,you remember. Anyway the title of the article was "How I escaped from a Nazi sex camp with one arm tied behind me + only armed with my 1911."The crux of the article was how to chamber that 1st round using only one hand.The one I particularly liked was to hold the pistol backwards. Grip safety in the web of your thumb with the magazine well facing you.Your 4 fingers wrap around the slide + pull it back until engaging the round,then just let go,the pistol leaves your hand with a chambered round + you grab it out of the air. Ha! Not at all a safe practice but I played with it for a while until I could do it on a regular basis (unloaded gun of course).Silly really,because in the time of need the stress factor leaves all these theorys moot.Fun article though.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13699 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Speaking of the Great Bill Jordan,

I went on a Prairie Dog Shoot Precision Shooting Magazine was involved with in Zortman, MT.

Great shoot. I burnt the barrel out on a brand new 220 Swift in two days.

Anyway, my wife and I had the room across from Mr & Mrs Jordan. I had met him a couple times at Elmer Keith's home over the years.

He actually remembered me. We came back from the Rez about 5pm, to clean up for a banquet dinner at the hotel. We are chatting in the hall, and I ask him about stories I had heard of him balancing a silver dollar on the back of his hand, palm on the butt of that famous S&W in a belt holster. He was so fast on the draw that the dollar would fall into the holster when he drew. He tells me yes, he did quick draw and fancy revolver trick shooting with wax bullets on stage. This was long enough ago, that some casino still used silver dollars in their dollar blackjack games. He told me he would show me the trick. I had hit a streak earlier, and had about ten silver dollars left,(Mamma got the rest) in my pocket. He goes in his room, puts his gunbelt on, and comes back out in the hall. He asks for one, balances it on the back of his hand, facing me, and says "Draw!". I fake a draw and, wow! he draws, the silver dollar falls into the holster and he snap fires the unloaded revolver. Pointed right at my midsection. He takes the dollar out of the holster and puts it in his pocket. I asked him if I could see it again. He says sure, got another dollar? I hand it to him, and he does it again. I keep trying to see the hand movements and figure out how he does it. He is not flipping the silver dollar up in the air any, just that smooth fast draw. He gets my entire ten silver dollars. I am flabbergasted. We get ready for the dinner, and as we are walking back down the hall it occurs to me that he has all my money. I finally ask him about it, and he laughs and tells me, in that thick Louisiana drawl of his; "Richard, most people would be very happy to have gotten a private fast draw lesson from Bill Jordan for ten dollars...".

And then, he laughed, and offered me my money back. I had to tell him "nossir, but I would like a copy of his book when he got back to Shreveport."
The next day we shot together in the morning, and when we went back to the hotel for lunch, he handed me an autographed copy.

They were giants in those days. They had done the things they wrote about, and done them well. And not as a business.
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's a great memory Rich.


I won't take a sermon longer than 10 minutes.
 
Posts: 13782 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A lot of creative talent has moved to YouTube.
I'll take a good novel over a movie any day but I like the videos much better than magazine articles.

Granted, you have to wade through a lot of not-so-good stuff but I find some real-deal people with interesting first hand information presented with visuals that print press can't match.


"Experience" is the only class you take where the exam comes before the lesson.
 
Posts: 11058 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: 22 September 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wonderful story ISS
 
Posts: 693 | Registered: 08 December 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For a professional writer, Askins was sloppy and semi-literate. I wish I had saved copies of the two query letters and a manuscript he sent me after he was fired from one post or another.

There were so many misspellings and errors of fact, grammar, syntax and punctuation that I sent everything back to him without comment.

Whatever it was that made readers believe he was a "good writer" obviously came from editors willing to invest the time needed to clean up his stuff.

Bill Quimby
 
Posts: 2633 | Location: tucson and greer arizona | Registered: 02 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bill, did you ever chance to see an unedited manuscript from Elmer Keith? I have always wondered.


I won't take a sermon longer than 10 minutes.
 
Posts: 13782 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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