Letters to a Gunwriter - Humour article from 1971 Gun Digest


Bullet Bob
August 12, 2006, 08:38 AM
The following are taken from a humorous article in the 1971 issue of Gun Digest. Written anonomously by the fictitious “Jack Hack” editor of “Shooting & Blasting”, it is a collection of letters allegedly written to Mr Hack by readers. Although everything is tongue in cheek, you know there’s a lot of truth contained therein. What strikes me is that in this information age where we can search for answers very easily, some version of these questions still show up on the internet every day.

I’ve always wondered if one person wrote the article, or it was a result of a bull session by some gun writers. A WAG on my part would be that it was written by Jim Carmichel or George Nonte Jr.

Anyway, here are just a couple of the letters submitted:

Dear Jim: I am 16 years old and I am interested in guns. I have a 22 and a single-shot 410. Last fall I killed two pheasants and two cottontails. I have been thinking about My Work in Life. I think I would like to be a Gun Editor. I read where you do a lot of Hunting. Do your pay your way, or does Shooting & Blasting pay your way? Or do these “Outfitters” and Aeroplane Companies give you free trips. How much do you make? How many hours a day do you work? What courses should I take in College so I could be a Gun Editor? How long are your vacations? How did you get your Job? You do not look very smart in your pictures, but maybe you are.
Cletus Todd, Age 16
Mary Lou Idaho

Dear Mr. Hack: I am taking advantage as a subscriber of Shooting & Blasting, of your Free Information Service. Please answer the following questions at your earliest convenience:

1 – What is the diameter of the following bullets, 280 Ross, 416 Rigby, 404 Jeffrey, 8x46R, 470, 505 Gibbs, 450-400 Jeffrey, 500-465 H&H.

2 – Describe in detail the alloy used in the Winchester 21 frame and describe the heat treatment.

3 – I have a model 93 Marlin 30/30 cal., serial number 61145. Please tell me what year, month, and day it was shipped from the factory, to what retailer, and what jobber. Give list price and wholesale price, also original owner if possible and oblige.

Marvin T. Smith
Yankton S.D.

Dear Mr. Hack:
Please tell me where I can get parts for a World War II Germany pistol, where I can get it fixed, and how much it will cost.
Paul Krammer
Glasgow PA.

Dear Sir: I have a gun. It was in a closet behind some old boots where my late father died. In the same room, I mean. It has a number on it. It says 83561. Please tell me all about it. Where was it made. How much did it cost? I hear antique guns are very valuable. Is this an antique gun?

Hyman K Perkins
Rough & Ready Ariz.
Gen. Del.

Well this has already gone on too long, so I’m not going to post some of the funnier, longer ones asking for full details on hunting trips and load data, and one case free guns. It does seem to be true that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

If you enjoyed reading about "Letters to a Gunwriter - Humour article from 1971 Gun Digest" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
August 12, 2006, 09:16 AM
I really do have customers like that come up to me at gun shows and at my gun shop that are EXACTLY like those letters, save the gun editor gets changed to gunsmith/gun shop owner.

:eek: :what: :rolleyes: :cuss: :barf: :uhoh:

Sometimes truth begets fiction, and the truth is much, much stranger and twisted.

August 12, 2006, 09:49 AM
Reminds me of the adds I see in the "Trading Post" papers that go something like this.

"Old single shot shotgun. I think it's a 12 ga.
Very valuable.

August 12, 2006, 04:19 PM
You know, some of the questions posed on this very board,,,,,,,,,,,,

August 12, 2006, 06:25 PM
Very humorous because it does so closely parallel reality.

I think it was written by Jack Lewis, who edited one of the magazines of the '60s and later, (Gun World, I think) and wrote articles both serious and humorous. F'rinstance, it was Jack Lewis who tried to duplicate the Shadow, by shooting two Government Model 45 ACP pistols simultaneously while wearing a large slouch hat and a cape. Then Lewis re-created the Long Ranger's setup, complete with honest to Tonto silver bullets.

Both scenarios work better in literature, by the way.

But the letters to the editor were priceless.

August 12, 2006, 09:11 PM
Put me in the "there are no dumb questions" column. I still prefer it to the "know it all" side of the ledger.

Bullet Bob
August 12, 2006, 09:20 PM
Archie, I think you're right, it does sound like Jack Lewis.

If you enjoyed reading about "Letters to a Gunwriter - Humour article from 1971 Gun Digest" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!