Clint Smith Loses It in Jan-Feb '05 American Handgunner


P. Plainsman
November 22, 2004, 12:55 PM
If you haven't seen it, Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch flips out in his column in the current American Handgunner, repeatedly lashing out at those who expressed disappointment at the design of the new S&W 21-4 "Thunder Ranch" .44 Special as -- pardon me -- "turd suckers."

One of the more unpleasant and unprofessional things I've read in a gun mag. I wonder what the AH staff thought of it. I can imagine the editors asking Smith to tone it down, him refusing and bringing to bear his clout with the magazine, and the editors relenting.

Lots of straw-man mongering by Smith in the column -- he states that the 21-4's critics wanted "a $350 gun," when I have seen nobody, anywhere, stating that the gun ought to cost that little. Puh-lease. I myself have said I could see paying $650 for it. That's, er, a little different.

It saddened me to read Mr. Smith's column. I thought most of the critics of the TR 21-4 (which, OK, includes me) did not seem like sour-minded carpers at all. Rather, they seemed sincerely disappointed about a gun that they wanted to like, that turned out kinda funny looking and overpriced. That's how I felt.

For that matter, I also assumed that the nasty-looking gold "Thunder Ranch" logo was not Mr. Smith's idea, but was foisted on him by the fickle minds at S&W, who seem to have only a hit-and-miss grasp of what old-style revolver lovers want. So it is sad to see Mr. Smith turning everything into an ad hominem dispute between himself and the 21-4 skeptics.

I had a pretty high opinion of Clint Smith before reading this unprofessional diatribe. I liked his general approach to things, as expressed in his AH columns and elsewhere. I figured that when I finally had the money and time to invest in some serious training, I would choose Thunder Ranch as my shooting school.

Much more doubtful about that now.

BTW, I saw a TR 21-4 at the gun shop the other day. It's still kinda funny looking. The grips are wrong, and that logo is a true aesthetic faux pas. The gun was not without a certain charisma, though. The bluing is very dark; it's basically a gloss black revolver. Is it as attractive as the deep bluing on my Python? By no means. But again, not without a certain charisma. If you like it, I hope you can find one and that you enjoy it thoroughly.

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November 22, 2004, 02:16 PM
Go over to the smith and wesson forum and read the thread there. Clint posted to it several times and it makes a lot more sense.

I can respect a guy that says exactly what he thinks, even if it bothers some people. That guy is much more the type of man I want to associate with than someone that skirts the issue.

Pappy John
November 22, 2004, 02:31 PM
I guess that I'm one of Clint's "turd suckers" too. I badly wanted one of these guns since first hearing about them in June. I even like the new grip style.


The last new S&W that I bought was a 29-8 Mountain Gun that I picked up for $600, and since this M-21 was a gun with the same barrel profile and frame, less stringent heat treating requirements for the cylinder, and less machining required since it has no adjustable rear sights installed, I expected a similar price.

But a $750 gun? That makes for $150 worth of presentation box and gold leaf that I could care less about? :banghead:

No sale! :fire:

Disappointed?? You bet!

November 22, 2004, 02:52 PM
It might be worth checking out the 160-post locked thread on this subject from last week on the S&W Forum. Some humorous graphics put up at the end. :)

Here's a link:

It might be that everything to be said about the column was said over there. Clint Smith and Roy Huntington responded, too, by the way.

November 22, 2004, 02:56 PM
Is this the same magazine where an internet commando tells Mr. Smith that he doesn't know anything about fighting weapons, that if he did he would advocate the Marshall/Jordan combination of 125 gr JHPs in an M19 using point shooting, and essentially calls Mr. Smith a worthless liar?

P. Plainsman
November 22, 2004, 03:01 PM
Yeah, that letter writer guy was a tool. (I express no opinion on the underlying .357 Mag vs. .44 issue.) Mr. Smith was justifiably unimpressed with him, but I still thought that his response there, again, was too sarcastic and personal.

It's a question of tone. Mr. Smith is a respected teacher and expert. You gotta carry yourself a little better than the average Joe. Especially in print. AH ain't a chat room.

November 22, 2004, 03:16 PM
It's a question of tone. The guy's a teacher and a respected expert. You gotta carry yourself a little better than that. Especially in print. AH ain't a chat room.

You're right. It's not a chat room. But the article is the natural result of the mingling of the two media. It is impossible to please everyone, and the anonymous nature of the 'net allows those who haven't been there and done that to judge those who have. There's more than a bit of frustration in that, and that naturally carries over to articles. Right or wrong, it is natural.

Mr. Smith is "a teacher and a respected expert" for a very simple reason: he has vast experience and an ability to convey that experience. His services are requested by individuals, groups, and magazines for that reason. And if his comments undermined that basis, there would be justification for denying him business. But to deny him the respect he has earned or the business that he has built because someone doesn't like the tone of an article that dealt with a product and the reaction thereto, rather than the focus of his business, is not deserved. He didn't show a character flaw except frustration (which I believe we all suffer from) and that does nothing more than make him human. As for his editors and the magazines, perhaps they felt that the comment was worth making.

As for the response to the letter, I thought it was quite appropriate. Don't call a man a liar and except him to be polite in return. Mr. Smith destroyed the writer's arguments and basically called him out. He did so in far more polite terms than I've seen elsewhere.

November 22, 2004, 03:17 PM
Interesting thread they had going over there. <shrug>

I was going to say something about various folks taking things too seriously, but you know, it really doesn't matter. And so it goes.


November 22, 2004, 03:28 PM
I have never heard of a turd sucker before, but whatever one is, any turd sucker has more taste than the buffoons involved in making this aesthetic disaster.

P. Plainsman
November 22, 2004, 03:35 PM
Right, it's obviously not a huge deal. However, I like reading AH, and it was unpleasant to have it marred by a page of angry, scatological language.

I agree that Mr. Smith's response to the Bill Jordan devotee in the letters page was much less objectionable than his column.

Some men are blunt and there is value in it, but there is a difference between bluntness and avoidable ugliness in one's manner. By analogy, guns are functional tools, but we are under no obligation to tolerate ugly guns.

"Speech most shows a man. Speak, that I may see thee." -- Ben Jonson

Enough from me on this.

November 22, 2004, 03:38 PM
We now have the people who designed that logo on that weapon (described as ugly) being referred to as buffoons (a term I would actually find more insulting than turdsucker if used towards me). Yet, that logo is, to this viewer at least, less objectionable than the epic warnings on Rugers and other pistols. And it can be remedied far more easily than the warning labels.

Pappy John
November 22, 2004, 03:44 PM

November 22, 2004, 04:10 PM


November 22, 2004, 04:26 PM
I just read that thread on the S&W forum.

Oh freaking brother, give me a break.

I've got to agree with Clint Smith on this one. Whiners.

"But its got a big gold thingy on it! WHAAAAAA." Jeez, then don't buy the darn thing. Sorry it doesn't fit your personal tastes. Nobody is forcing you to buy it.

Sorry, but that thread left a bad taste in my mouth.

November 22, 2004, 04:45 PM
I do love that Clint Smith is praised for being "blunt." God forbid someone bluntly says, "Clint, your Mod. 21-4 baby hit every branch of the fugly tree," as those folks are clearly turd sucking whiners.

Curious indeed.

November 22, 2004, 04:46 PM
My point in starting that thread was that I didn't care for that kind of language being directed at folks who were merely debating the merits of purchasing a product offered for sale.

No whining at all. (And as far as the original discussions on the 21-4, my only comment was that the freight seemed a little high.)

November 22, 2004, 04:48 PM
Didnt plan on buying one anyways never really cared for mister ego trip anyways

November 22, 2004, 04:51 PM
We now have the people who designed that logo on that weapon (described as ugly) being referred to as buffoons (a term I would actually find more insulting than turdsucker if used towards me). Yet, that logo is, to this viewer at least, less objectionable than the epic warnings on Rugers and other pistols. And it can be remedied far more easily than the warning labels.

Shucks Buzz, I am just being blunt and plainspoken. :D

Thunder Ranch? Do they eat a lot of beans there or something? :evil:

November 22, 2004, 06:19 PM
So, can I safely conclude that weirdo Clint Smith and his influence on the current version of American Handgunner is the reason why another wierdo--Ignatius Piazza--and HIS shooting/tactics school--Front Sight--has apparently never been mentioned in those hallowed pages of GunRagDom?

If Front Sight has ever been covered in AH, it was not in the issues I periodically peruse and sometimes buy at the local foodmart. Just noticed a few years ago that a big article on schools mentioned some real bit-players back east, plus the 5 or six big Kahunas, and even an instructor or two who just roam the country using rented facilities. But no Front Sight. And their facility had covered firing points by that time...

November 22, 2004, 07:51 PM
I think SWAT and SOF both reviewed Front Sight before.

The grips look fine to me, the logo looks funky and totally Un-Clint-Smith like (see some of the other Thunder Ranch guns from Les Baer), so it was probably foisted on him.

As to his reply, everyone has a bad day.

Double Naught Spy
November 22, 2004, 08:16 PM
Well, at least I was not the only one that thought Smith somehow dropped the professionalism ball. For a while there, he was on a roll with trying to squelch various forms of training madness, like going down and standing next to a target while others shoot or becoming super ninjas during if a 3-5 visit to a self defense or gun school could make you a super ninja. I liked it. Stick to the basics and get good at the basics and you will be ahead of the vast majority of the crowd in gun handling seemed to be the repeated and sometimes unspoken mantra. He seemed passionate and maybe even emotional about doing the right thing when it comes to life or death gun training. This article had nothing to do with training but with marketing and the fact that his pet gun apparently isn't getting the praise he obviously thinks it deserves.

Then came this article on the TR special from S&W. First came the name calling. The name calling seemed to come as a result of people not taking a shine to 'his' gun. So much for professionalism and maturity. There was not a single useful thing on that whole page. It was just Smith acting out because his ego was hurt because of the gun bearing his brand has been criticized.

Clint Smith's Thunder Ranch in Texas was a fine school and he did a lot of good, but this sort of mental breakdown in print scares me. You have to wonder if he is still in control mentally or not. Then again, you have to wonder why AH would have printed such crap. Granted, S&W and Smith pay big $ for advertising in the rag, but you would think they would have standards about calling their customers turd suckers. That crap don't float.

In the words of Ken Hackathorn, "God Bless Clint Smith." If you have had a class from Ken Hackathorn, then you will fully understand the statement.

November 22, 2004, 08:18 PM
Personally I'm happy that he got them to make it.
I'm getting tired of chopping up 58's.

When mine comes in with the logo, I'll grind the @$^& thing off if it is that offensive.
Way too much play for an insignificant thing like a logo.


Standing Wolf
November 22, 2004, 08:55 PM
Too little gun for too much money.

November 22, 2004, 09:07 PM
I have no doubt that this is a fine weapon, but why should we pay extra to advertise Mr. Smith's also outstanding facility?

November 22, 2004, 10:00 PM
The above link for the Smith-Wesson forum doesn't seem to work - anybody have a better one?

Oh yeah - I was kinda surprised at that exchange in AH. I thought the guy extolling the virtues of the .357 was kinda off the wall. Even me with my limited experience (READ - no combat experience) thought he was stretching it.

I was surprised when I read Smith's rebuttal (I wouldn't have been surprised if I had read it online - the pages of a national magazine though caused me to sit up). I thought it was pretty hardline, but I think Smith deserves the benefit of the doubt, given his experience. I'm, he's a firearms instructor, not a priest or a UN Diplomat.

As for the gun, I'm kinda wavering. I'd like a nicely blued revolver in .44, but it just seems to be a bit outside my tastes. Why not something modeled along a K frame size ( if possible), with fixed sights, Hogue Coco-Bolo's partial underlug - somthing that doesn't look too...umm...retro.

November 22, 2004, 10:23 PM
The fact it's retro is The Point. Kind of like their Triple Lock or was it an M1917 remake?

I'd like to see a 3" half or full underlug .44 Special with a .44 Special size cylinder (length) and fixed sights (not the rounded front half moon sight), in stainless.

The same in .357 wouldn't be shunned by me either.

But the funky gold logo just has to go. Look at Les Baer's Thunder Ranch guns for the PROPER way.

November 22, 2004, 10:24 PM
If you're big enought to step onto the public dance floor, you have to be able dance even if you don't like the song. I think he made himself like an idiot.

Want to know what I really think? :neener:

November 22, 2004, 10:38 PM
some have egos so big that they are easily stepped on.

Lone Star
November 23, 2004, 12:21 AM
That thread on the S&W forum got too long and I quit reading before the guy posted about an M19 and .357 loads. But I think that's a very effective fighting gun that will deck someone quicker than the .45 autos that some favor!

I would prefer that 125 grain round in a L-frame or Ruger GP-100, as it's too stressful for frequent use in the M19/66. But it is strongly reported by knowledgeable people to be the single deadliest handgun round on humans.

I prefer heavier .357 bullets, but I think they will achieve attitude adjustment on a human foe very quickly.

Of course, this particular M19 fan may have said something else to make himself look like a fool... maybe I'll go over there and check his post. But the M19/66 with reasonable loads is a fine gun.

Lone Star

November 23, 2004, 07:03 AM
I am a confirmed .44 Special shooter... I wanted the 21 as soon as I heard about it late last spring. I assumed that it would be to my 24's what the 28's are to the 27's, the 10's are to the 15's, etc - a 'user's' revolver. I had no idea it would be more dear in cost than my beautiful Heritage 24. To be blunt, the logo does not 'help' one bit - nor does the 'pedestrian' finish, obviously more like the 10/28's in design. I elected to vote my displeasure by not buying one. I will probably follow suit with my wallet and not renew my AH subscription if this issue's CS column's temper is the norm. I do believe he was within his 'range' by responding to the letter, however, although I wouldn't have been quite so sarcastic.

I do not know CS, nor, sadly to say, am I very well versed in his Thunder Ranch's history. I do know that Les Baer has produced his commemoratives as well. S&W took a chance with this production - as they did with the entire Heritage line just two-three years back. Because I am an S&W fan, I have to hope they do well... because of the great deal I got from a closeout dealer on my H24, I may just get a TR 21-4 if they don't do well... I just hope that blank sideplates are available!


November 23, 2004, 11:47 AM
A 158 grain .357 is a better choice for the old Model 19s, but the new 66s can take the 125 gr. just fine. Deadly stuff.


November 23, 2004, 11:52 AM
Okay, I went out and bought the magazine and read Mr. Smith's article. I thought it was funny. I didn't take any offense.

I've never met or talked with the gentleman or attended any of his courses. However, I've found his writings interesting.

Yes, I would like to see a 4 inch blue steel quality revolver going for $350 - $400. I think that would be a fair price. I bet Taurus could do it.

I would like to see SAW and others make more blue steel guns. We've enough of the stainless stuff.

November 23, 2004, 02:31 PM
Boy, that sure sounded arrogant and know-it-all for it to be my first post. Sorry bout that. :D

Jim March
November 23, 2004, 05:42 PM
You know, this KIND of discussion doesn't just happen with guns.

In a current thread on the next generation of BMW motorcycles, we got gems like:


OK, that one's a bit crude but b'Gawd there's a similarity to the "faces", no?! Another similar "face":


All from one thread:

Leaky Waders
November 24, 2004, 01:33 AM
Sorry to be different, but I liked the looks of the gun. I had been tossing around the idea of a getting a new handgun and I liked the looks of the Thunder Ranch Special. I don't think that it looks campy...but that's just me.

I mean winchester makes lots of special edition rifles and there hasn't been a lot of grief over their sideplates has there?

I wish that S&W would lose the lock on special edition or retro models though...just would be nice.

I think that it would've been neat to buy the gun and then attend the Thunder Ranch with it...but I can probably never afford that, still it's nice to have a dream and some sort of budget. I do want one though. I think that it will be a fun gun to have. I sent an email to S&W explaining that I was in Iraq and wanted to reserve one before they were all gone. I got a polite email back saying that I'd have to go through a dealer.

In all reality, I won't get the TR special anytime soon anyways. I've decided on a 3913 as my present to myself when I get home. Before they start putting locks on their autos too. Pretty soon you'll need the serial number tattooed on your right hand or forehead to purchase a firearm... I'm also getting a little 28 gauge for me and my sons to shoot. So, that's probably my gun buying budget for the next year. But, maybe I can get one in the near future.

Anyways, that's my two pesos worth. Don't be so hard on the dude for designing a firearm...afterall, he's one of the good guys.



November 24, 2004, 12:10 PM
I think the gun is ok. EXCEPT, the thunder ranch logo should have been subdued. If that makes me a turd sucker, then so be it. Engrave it by all means, but don't do anything to make it stand out.

November 24, 2004, 01:34 PM
In the mid80s S&W used that treatment for an Elmer Keith Commemorative. People are still asking a premium for those. I don't really care for the gold-wash icon treatment myself but the TR logo isn't really bad looking and might be a bonus for real TR fans.

I like the profile of the 21-4 and don't mind the liberal democrat lock on the side-it doesn't look a bit worse than the hammer pin that went all the way through the frame on the old M&P 1905 4th change. If I had the gun, I would work around a load that would hit to the sights for me -hoping that I could get one in the 7-800 fps range with standard weight Kt or lead round nose instead of the 1,000 fps load they set it up for- and then find a nice strong side outside the belt holster to carry it around in.

Old Dog
November 24, 2004, 02:47 PM
I like the gun. I plan on ordering one. Is it overpriced? Sure, but it's worth it to me to get a new Smith -- especially in a great caliber -- that isn't stainless! I read Clint's remarks, and frankly, I agree with him. If you read the original AH article, the intent was to produce a concept piece, and some compromises were made. For Mr. Smith to be attacked for introducing a new revolver, simply because some folks don't care for some of the gun's features ... wow -- I don't blame him for firing back. And sheesh, after reading the thread from the S & W Forum, it's apparent that some of that forum's members really take themselves waaayy too seriously and are far less civil (amazingly) than the 1911 fanatics (myself included) on the 1911 Forum.

Pappy John
November 24, 2004, 04:50 PM
I don't really remember anyone attacking Clint....prior to having been given that scatological label. Myself and others merely expressed disappointment with S&W's execution of his, originally fine, idea. I like the gun itself, and would buy one in a minute for around 6 bills or so, even with that logo. I think $750- 800 is rape though.....won't do it.

rock jock
November 24, 2004, 06:02 PM
The TR revo is beautiful IMO, with one exception. S&W should have had the TR logo only. Adding the text is unnecessary and gaudy. The logo alone is universally known.

November 24, 2004, 06:57 PM
I am spot -on with Clint Smith. A lot of folks like 44spec and would like a S&W. He gets them to bring one out and people bitch. If you don't like it don't buy it. If you want a cheaper one buy a Taurus or find a used gun.

Double Naught Spy
November 24, 2004, 08:44 PM
Yep, people complained and poor Clinty could take it and went crazy and called people Turd Suckers in print because they didn't like the offering. Clinty has gone a long way to destroy goodwill on his behalf, on behalf of TR, and on behalf of S&W. S&W has had enough bad publicity of late to then have the key representative/spokesman for a new offering come out and call potential customers names.

Oh sure, that makes me want to buy one of those turd sucking guns!

November 24, 2004, 10:06 PM
I already voice my disdain for Clint's actions but , one thing he did indeed accomplish was, he got us talking about his baby and gun.

Any publicity is good publicity, someone once said. Whether that proves to be true here, time will tell.

November 24, 2004, 10:31 PM
Hate to admit it, but does anyone else find the "Turd Sucker-Chatroom Whiner" logo on the photoshopped pic to be more subdued and classy than the real Thunder Ranch model.

If I had to choose....

November 24, 2004, 10:42 PM
Couldn't one just replace the sideplate, or does it have to be fitted?

November 24, 2004, 10:45 PM
Also, S&W no longer has it listed. Perhaps they've sold out!

November 25, 2004, 12:00 AM
I still don't own a S&W. :neener:
I did talk to Clint Smith on the phone once. He returned MY phone call. Nice guy. :)

ted murphy
November 25, 2004, 12:27 AM
I don't like the front sight, but it's pinned in so it can be replaced.

Stocks fit my hand pretty well though.

Logo doesn't do anything for me, but it doesn't bother me either. The newer guns seem to have sideplates that are not fitted. Guess you could get another . If I attended TR I'd consider it pretty cool ..If I bought one it would end up being a working revolver that was carried most every day so all the glitz would end up getting honest wear all over it. To that end I'm not so worried about the emblem.

Don't like the price but that's the joys of capitalism. Folks set prices and folks can choose to buy or not. I probably won't ever be able to afford one but some folks will spend the money to be sure.

Bout what Clint Smith said, guess you cannot accuse him of not saying what's on his mind.


Texian Pistolero
November 25, 2004, 04:47 AM
The use of that language in a publication causes disrespect for both the writer and the editors. It’s the same thing as Janet Jackson’s boob reveal. If we want smut, we can produce our own, or buy it elsewhere. We don’t want it put in our face where it is inappropriate.

Across the board, Americans are starting to demand the restoration of some common civility in public media. I’m not up in arms about any “boycott” of AH or CS. It just shapes my opinion. If the next issue carries an apology, case closed.

As to the gun, I currently have no time or budget for collector items. I’d like to see this in stainless, bobbed hammer, and street price for about $425. I’d probably get over the fact that Rosie O’Donnell has better lines.

I can't avoid the suspicion that all the hoopla is deliberate to get free publicity. There is a good chance that this will be a successful, sought after piece, affectionally to be know forever as "The Turd Sucker".

November 25, 2004, 01:09 PM
One of the things that prompted Clint Smith to call people "turd suckers" was an expressed dislike for the integral lock on the side.

Guess what . . . I looked up the original article from the Nov/Dec 2004 issue of American Handgunner, and the gun pictured - apparently Clint's own - doesn't have that %$#! lock!

Clint writes that the production guns would have the lock, and says "get used to it and quit whining." Easy to say when YOUR gun doesn't have it. (Good for thee, but not for ME!)

And in the latest American Handgunner, Ayoob writes of S&W lock failures, with the locks either locking unexpectedly or simply falling out. The reported cases involved light guns firing heavy loads, but even so, seeing it in print served to reinforce my opinion that something that adds nothing to the value of the gun ought not be there, especially when it might adversely affect reliability.

November 25, 2004, 01:34 PM
red loctite

November 25, 2004, 01:56 PM
Five years from now if we're able to buy .45 Colt, .45 ACP, .44 Spl/Mag, .41 Mag, or .357 Mag in a large frame fixed sight revolver we'll all be thanking Clint for his efforts.

I find the logo gaudy (not Clint's idea BTW, but rather S&W's). However, recognizing the gun for what it is (ie. the first step in the right direction to getting some really neat revolvers back on the shelves) does not put me in the TS category, so no offense to the article.

Some might say that Clint should have refused to allow his logo to be used in that way. Let's see, allow the logo to be used and hopefully it'll be the first of a whole slew of large bore large frame fixed sight revolvers or refuse and potentially see the whole thing shut down? I glad he went ahead.

Thanks, Clint!!


November 25, 2004, 04:03 PM
So, does any one remember when he mocked fat Computer Science majors who wanted to be 'commandos' and showed up at TR with full commando gear on? Fat CS majors are the mainstay of some training outfits. I won't comment about other majors who like to train - ahem. :rolleyes:

However, I did meet him once and he was pleasant. BTW, the logo on the fence at TR is gone. I wonder if he took it or it is in a garage in TX?

November 25, 2004, 07:21 PM
I hope it DOES cause a resurgence of S&W big bore, deep-blued fighting revolvers with classic stocks.

But I hope it is by Taurus and I hope they undercut S&W by their usual 15-20%.

Smith, Colt et al. have been trading on their "American-made" name cachet with little to back it up but memories of the golden years before foreign competition for far too long. To ask the consumer to suck it up because "we're S&W" doesn't fly in the modern marketplace.

P. Plainsman
November 26, 2004, 12:28 AM
I think we're having a little topic drift here, so I'll jump back in. The subject wasn't whether one likes or dislikes the 21-4. I think it's got some definite, avoidable aesthetic glitches, but I like some things about it, and others can think it's the bee's knees without offending me or impinging on my views in the slightest. And it's doubly true that no one would be criticizing Mr. Smith for simply defending the design of his revolver. That's all fine, and none of it was the point.

The point was that Mr. Smith's tirade in defense of his design was surprisingly unprofessional, scatological, and ad hominem (even though the bulk of the criticism of the 21-4 was not directed at him personally). It was unpleasant to read and, honestly, it had no place in a widely circulated national magazine. In a word, tacky.

Not "blunt", not "straightforward" -- tacky. A distinction worth keeping.

That was the topic. If folks want to talk about a new topic, obviously, who am I to object? However, it seems to me, to say you're "with Clint", in the only sense relevant to the topic of this thread, does not mean you like the TR 21-4. Rather, it means you do think it's generally appropriate behavior for a grown man and professional teacher to throw a potty-language tantrum in print because some customers were disappointed by something he helped design.

November 26, 2004, 01:18 AM
I have been following this thread with a great deal of interest, as for some time I have thought that the editors of both Guns and AH (specially AH) have fallen victim to believing that rudeness and foul language somehow is indicative of maturity and wisdom. Perhaps, in some way, they feel being "cool" is more convincing than being polite. Sitting in those clouds is a heady experience it would seem.

If we witness their responses to correspondents in virtually any issue's letter section, apparently sarcasm and outright putdowns are thought to convey weight and learnedness. If you disagree with them, no matter what the reason or subject, you will experience scorn and ridicule. Obviously, we lesser mortals have no right to voice even a civil opinion.

I realize in this somehow "new" found era of free speech and personal liberties that the right of the common man to call a spade a spade has never been more pronounced, however managing to do so with a modicum of dignity affords us the ability to reach a higher ground, one of benefit to more than a select few of the in crowd of "famous gun writers". It is apparent from what I have read that Guns/AH has decided that pandering to a lower, more common, reader somehow has benefits.

Whether or not children witness objectional words or pictures in their magazines, as has been oft complained about in letters to the editor, is neither here nor there. We, as adults, do have the ability, nay, the obligation to censor to some extent, our childrens reading material. We also have the ability to do so for ourselves.

This being the case, if we find the language included therein crude, debasing, or raw (and frankly, Mr. Smith's "turd suckers" is beyond the pale in my less than humble opinion), then we owe it to ourselves to simply vote with our wallets. I, for one, have no need to experience this type of journalism. Others may find it amusing, shocking, or just plain silly, as the case may be. You don't have to read it if you don't want to, and whats more, you can demonstrate this in a way calculated to have a far reaching effect. Perhaps the editors would then consider toning down the articles, but I sadly think that what is included finds more favor than dissapproval.

I used to think that Mr. Smith was a fairly intelligent individual, perhaps gifted as a teacher and shooter, which somehow conveyed more gravitas to what he had to say. I have now heard mention of his less than happy involvement with Jeff Copper. I have now read his columns. I can see now, that he unfortunately is as so many of us are, simply a man with feet of clay and a dirty mouth.

I won't be wasting my time with him, or any of the other writers there, in the future.

November 26, 2004, 06:00 AM
Clint Smith says a whole bunch of things that need to be said, and as such gets to have a rant occasionally. I find the logo a little bit overbearing, but the M21 is overall a really good idea.

I especially like the fact that the it seems to be incapable of mounting all of the picatinny rail compatible ninja accessories that everybody else seems to think are so necessary on a pistol these days.

November 26, 2004, 10:34 AM
I'm with Clint.

Maybe he uses the particular language to address the lowest common denominator. As a trainer he has to speak to his varied audience in a language most understand.

The Rabbi
November 26, 2004, 01:24 PM
I'd like to read the article and also the letters.
That said, I have had the feeling for a while that the gun magazines were just sales tools by the companies making this stuff. Just once I'd like to see someone put out a new caliber or something and have the gun mags can it as unnecessary and duplicative.

Texian Pistolero
November 26, 2004, 01:37 PM
I read the article. It is offensive. But apparently, the editors of AH went for scatological content BEFORE CM's article. In the letters to the editor, some writer applauded their use of the word "fart" in a previous issue.

This is just too weird to process. I'm not wasting any more time on it.

I'd rather run with the big boys.

Jim K
November 26, 2004, 03:55 PM
I didn't read the article (my opinion of AH is about on a level with my opinion of UFO stories on The History Channel and tabloid reports of six-headed babies), but if the quotes are accurate, there is no reason for that kind of language in any publication. One can certainly express an opinion or disagree with critics without resorting to what amounts to profanity.

As to people who are unhappy with big heads on ego trips, I can only advise cancelling subscriptions to most gun magazines. I can name several writers who have a .600 Nitro ego and a .17 caliber brain. And also a few whose "vast experience" exists only in their own imaginations.

As for the logo on the revolver, S&W puts on whatever is given them, and work with the customer to provide exactly what the customer wants. They use a laser cutter that can inscribe any picture or text that can be scanned into a computer.


November 26, 2004, 08:58 PM
Mine came today so I could finally see what all the fuss was about. I thought it was funny. I watched the threads on his gun on various forums and there were a lot of the remarks he mentioned so I understand his reaction to it all. My overall reaction was, he probably isn't familiar with message boards and how they get sometimes. And I like the way he writes. It's spot-on and real. Like you're listening to your grandad who's been everywhere and seen everything twice.

November 28, 2004, 10:01 AM
1. Smith & S&W would have done a lot better in the practical big-bore revolver department had they re-introduced the 696 w/ fixed sights, a $500 price tag, & the TR logo laser-etched on the side than trying to re-invent Elmer Keith's wheel... :rolleyes:

2. Calling the potential customer base for your revolver AND your training academy "turd-suckers" will eventually hurt your feelings (& pocketbook) more than it will hurt theirs .... :neener:

3. Moving his operation from Texas (w/ its right-thinking gun laws & good climate) to Oregon (liberal & wet) was the first indicator of just where his mindset is trending... :banghead:

Clint...I'm worried about you, son... :scrutiny:

Peter M. Eick
November 28, 2004, 07:00 PM
I got into it over at the S&W forum with Mr. Smith about the logo/cost/lock stuff, so I tried to stay out of it here.


Since I have had some time to think about it, I think it the "T. S." comments is what galls me the most. I would have thought that a professional writer who makes his living by trying to teach us, the end user or his knowledge and skills would have more respect for his audience.

Ok, Did I like the Logo, no, but I could get it buffed out.

Did I like the lock, no, but I could remove it or bypass it some why.

Did I like the grips or all of the extra letters on the barrel, no, but I could live with it.

Did I get on the web and complain call Mr. Smith and S&W "T. S." and "Idiots" or worse? NO, because although I did not like what they did I had at least a mild bit of respect for them. Thats the big difference. Mr. Smith used his pulpit of the magazine to complain about us, meaning the all of us who read and discuss things on the web. That is what really galls me about the whole deal.

Now having had time to think about it, look at it, consider the gun and everything, I feel that it will not have a place in my safe. Suffice it to say the gun and those things associated with it are "tainted".

So, I again wish Mr. Smith well in his endevors, and hope that S&W keeps up the idea, and maybe instead of a "bunt" in my mind they can go for a "homerun".

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