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Sixguns Hardcover – November 1, 2011


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Sixguns + Letters from Elmer Keith: A Half Century of Advice on Guns, Ammo, Handloading, Hunting, and Other Pursuits
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Wolfe Pub Co (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879356090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879356092
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Taken from the Preface....

Over half a century has passed since I cut my teeth on an old .36 Navy Colt. For 40 years I have almost never been out of easy reach of a good sixgun. Thirty years I spent in the saddle, packing, Punching cows and breaking saddle broncs. The sixgun was worn just as regularly as my pants and many times was much more important to my existence. It pulled me out of several tight scrapes with wild horses, wilder cattle and some big game. Though I have witnessed several gun fights, have had guns pulled on me and have been shot at several times, I have never had to use my gun on a man. Several times it was touch-and-go and perhaps only the current knowledge that I was both fast and accurate with a sixgun that saved me from being embroiled.
Though I do not recommend a sixgun for big game, nineteen head of big game have fallen to mine, including elk, bear, deer, cougar, mountain goat and javalina. I have also trailed up a great many big game animals of various species that were wounded by sportsmen and then I finished them off. No record was kept of these or the many coyotes, bobcats and lesser game, or the livestock I have had to kill.
Thirty years have passed since J. H. Fitzgerald and I demonstrated quick-draw work in the W.M.C.A. tent at Camp Perry. My first pistol articles were published then and through the years many thousands of letters on pistols and revolvers have been received and answered. They came from all over the world except Russia. In the aggregate they covered the field-everything from target and game shooting to gun fighting. They taught me a great deal, not only of the guns and loads, but of the psychology of the men who use guns. They wrote and still write in utter frankness, giving one a first hand knowledge, from the classroom of Old Professor Experience. For twenty years I custom-loaded pistol ammunition and shipped it all over the world and had many reports on its use on both man and game.
In addition to these unnumbered correspondents, all of whom taught me something, I am deeply indebted to and can never repay the following good friends - members of the sixgun fraternity, many of whom have since passed on. They were my coaches and instructors: Chauncey Thomas, John Newman, J. D. O'Meara, Pink Simms, Ashley A. Haines, Harold Croft, J. E. Berns, Ed McGivern, Col. D. B. Wesson, Maj. Gen. J. S. Hatcher, Carl Hellstrom, Frank Kahrs, Lt. Col. and Maj. Charles Askins, Finn Garrett, Judge Don Martin, J. Bushnell Smith, J. R. Mattern, Jesse Thompson, Col. Bill Tewes, Gus Peret, Capt. A. H. Hardy, Sam Russell, J. H. Fitzgerald, Maj. R. E. Stratton, Bill O'Connell, Capt. W. R. Strong, Waldo P. Abbott, Samuel H. Fletcher, Dick Tinker, James E. Serven and a great many others.
All were, or are strong characters, experts in some phase of the game, and as interested in clear thinking as in accurate shooting. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank my many friends in the arms and ammunition companies and loading tool companies for their great help and contributions to the game. I wish to thank Jack Martin, the S. D. Myres and the Geo. Lawrence Companies for their fine gun rigs. Whether this book is good or bad, only the reader can judge, certainly if bad it is not from lack of experience.
Elmer Keith, Salmon, Idaho.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 48 customer reviews
Mr. Keith was a national treasure.
Jeffrey Fink
His laconic & direct style is easy and a pleasure to read.
L.A. Biker
I Have the original earlier copy of this book.
J. Delgado

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David A. Sinko (dasinko@enter.net) on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Elmer Keith's knowledge of every facet of handguns in general and sixshooters in particular is truly remarkable. He covers it all, from history to game shooting to gunfighting and much more. Although this book was written before the advent of the .44 Magnum, Mr. Keith's knowledge and experience are invaluable, with his game shooting and long range abilities most impressive of all. Elmer also covers slip shooting with the Colt SAA, a fascinating and surprisingly effective technique generally ignored by modern writers. But most important, Elmer's honesty and integrity were his greatest attributes to those who knew him. If you love good old sixshooters, you must have this book.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr TOM W. SHEPHERD on October 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Kieth writes in a clear and concise style which will help anyone with thier abilities to fire revolvers. I love to shoot revolvers. I don't know why, maybe it's aethetics ( I just like the way they look) or the history (Wyatt Earp had one y'know). It is a subject,however, that is rarely delt with in contemporary gun litrature while semi-automatic pistols and fully automatic weapons are written about to death.
The main thing that I enjoyed so much about this book is the perspective that it's written from. Kieth is from a time and place where shooting was as important as being able to read. Maybe more so. He's got a chapter on "Gunfighting" for God's sake. And while He says that He himself has never had to shoot someone he say's that he has been shot at, and he discusses the subject as if it were the most natural thing in the world.... He also adds in the competition section of the book that if you are very nervous about the match "take a drink of whiskey to calm your nerves". ... ...
The techniques of shooting, sighting in the gun, drawing and fireing, and accurate long range shooting are as useful today as they were when this was written. Needless to say I recommend this book to not only those interested in shooting but those interested in the social climate of the rural United States before WW2.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Fink on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you enjoy owning and shooting sixguns, this book should be part of your library, period.

It's the distillation of a lifetime of gun writing, shooting, hunting, guiding, cowboying, and gun and bullet design.

Simply put, Mr. Keith did it all. From basic shooting to interviews with old gunfighters and Civil War veterans, Elmer documents what he believes needs documenting.

The book is over 50 years old now, and most of it is still true today; I refer to it constantly, and have read it through several times.

Mr. Keith was a national treasure. If you enjoy guns, use that as an excuse to get this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ritchie Hernandez on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a most enjoyable read when it comest to all things Sixguns. Mr. Keith shares lots of personal experiences including very valuable lessons and observations. Especially enjoy his accounts of shooting long range targets...this information is as valuable now as it was when he first wrote about it. The supplement at the end is really insightful and much of his observations came indeed did come to pass. I consider this man to have been a national treasure. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in sixgun history.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L.A. Biker on May 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book deals with much more than the title suggests; this is truly Elmer Keith's masterwork, and after reading it you will understand why he was part of the pantheon of America's great gun writers. His laconic & direct style is easy and a pleasure to read. While this book *is* largely about the sixguns the title suggests, there is much more breadth and depth contained within than just that seemingly narrow topic might suggest. To be blunt: I'm an unusually cheap b@st@rd, but consider this book a classic work that belongs in the library of any true firearms aficionado.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey L. Cordell on February 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A terrific book. It is still very informative (despite the fact that it is fifty-five years old) and contains useful information on everything from shooting techniques to care and maintanence. Some of it is dated and some of his ideas are not politically correct in 2010, but the book is very readable. In addition it is now a great historical book. It gives you a look at a different time. Highly recommended. Finding it will take some effort and it won't be cheap, but you won't regret buying it. An excellent edition for any shooting library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nick on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one of my two favorite gun books. (The other is No Second Place Winner by Bill Jordan). Elmer Keith starts out with a detailed and interesting history of revolvers and automatic handguns. He continues to talk about shooting techniques, and pistol hunting strategies. The pages of this book are filled with information about the guns themselves and revealing stories about how the author has used them on game. In addition to all the practical knowledge, Keith includes a great section on trick shooting. This is an absolute must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bruce L Dunn on January 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is another winner by Elmer Keith. I thought at first it was a little too much into the history of guns, but anybody that learns to shoot should read the history of a man that lived it. The book was written so that anybody could understand it, shooter or not. Highly recommended.
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