About the Author
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.