Crossfire February 2020 Issue

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Dabbs Does It Again

All your writers are great and GUNS is and always has been a well written, easy-to-read magazine, but Doc Dabbs is such a hoot to read. You know he writes for the love of it and not because he needs the work. He could review a septic tank and make it a kick to read. I spent most of my adult life writing for television, but when I came across the line about the NAK9X running like “beets through a toddler” in “Century Arms Draco NAK9X” (GUNS December 2019), I laughed so hard I almost fouled my own Huggies! Tell Will if I ever steal one of his lines I’ll try to give him credit. Absent that, he could sue me but I’m told you can’t get “blood from a turnip” to continue the vegetable analogy.
Lee Schell

So far, the “beets and toddler” is my favorite analogy of the year. Someday, when or if I grow up, I hope to turn a phrase as well as Doc. —BW

Accolades for GUNS/Handgunner publications are a given. Starting with the total staff, including photography and layout, I really appreciate your reduced articles. You guys have it all in ACES! Your December issue was very enlightening and entertaining, especially when I got to Will Dabbs’ comedy corner. His article blew the fuse on my laugh meter. His reference of Century’s NAK9X as the love child of the union of an AK and a GLOCK was icing on the cake. Century Arms must be grinning ear-to-ear. Will Dabbs, M.D. is in the office.
Jim Warner

I know Will saw your email at the clinic and in-between dealing with runny noses and incontinent toddlers, he was appreciative. I, on behalf of our little thundering herd, also appreciate the kind words. —BW

No Mo’ Bow

Why did a magazine with the title “GUNS” have an article in the November 2019 issue about a crossbow? The space would have better served us nostalgic shooters who stubbornly continue to prefer wood stocks and blued steel, not Tupperware autoloaders on polymer stock which can’t be sawed off to accommodate us short length-of-pull guys and certainly not archery gear?
Joseph Schramm

Joseph — So far, you’re the only correspondent who wrote to say he didn’t like the crossbow article. We decided, after some discussion, many of our readers are interested in crossbows as an adjunct to “regular” guns. Moreover, as some “archery guys” will loudly note, the crossbow is almost more gun than bow. I share your love for blued steel and wood stocks but it’s a big world out there and I’d say most of our readers revel in seeing a little bit of everything the “shooting’ world” has to offer even if a particular story isn’t their personal cup of tea. —BW

Kudos

I must sing the praises of two companies. I had shipped a Kimber rifle barreled action out to Mag-na-port in Michigan to be ported. Unfortunately, the company with brown trucks said it was “lost”/stolen in Detroit. Donna at Mag-na-port helped me file the proper form with the ATF as well as chasing down the brown truck to make sure it was missing. Alex at Kimber and Kimber also did me a huge favor. Since I had the stock, trigger assembly, bolt, and magazine well, Kimber allowed me to send in the parts and built a new rifle for me at substantial savings. A++++ customer service!

Lessons learned — 1) Always pay the extra fee for Second Day Air; 2) expect the brown truck company to be painful getting your insurance paid.
Jens Jensen

Craftsmanship In Leather

In the December 2019 issue on page 22 (“Reloading the .357 Magnum Levergun” by John Taffin), the buttstock wrap with the shell holder on the Marlin 1894 is beautiful. Who made that? Please respond by email — I start chemo next week and may not be able to wait for an answer.
Dave Schmidt

Yes it is very nicely done and I also got a left-handed one for my grandson. Unfortunately these came from a local business, The Leather Arsenal, and I believe the owner is now retired. May God be with you through your chemo. —JT

All Is Well!

As I was walking away from my post office box after having received my December issue of GUNS Magazine, I opened to the back page looking for Campfire Tales, usually my first read. Oh My Gosh! Not to be found! I think I started hyperventilating! At first I feared the worst — John Taffin had retired! I hastily looked through the index and was relieved to find the desired read. Please don’t do that again without large-print warning! (Smile emoji included in the email.) Love your mag!
Richard Wilkinson

We were worried there might be a few unintended heart palpitations. Fortunately, John is fine and Campfire Tales isn’t going anyplace — aside from moving to a different page in the magazine. Without getting into the publishing strategies and decision-making processes, we decided putting John “first” makes sense. —BW

Moving Target?

Just read “Backyard Battlefields” (GUNS March 2019) and it reminded me of “back when.” I received a lever-action toy gun that had metal cases and spring-backed plastic bullets. I loved that gun … my sister, not so much.
Don Abrahamson

We’re afraid to ask for more information from Don, even though we were probably guilty of similar atrocities as a child. —BW

Service Update

Editor’s note: this letter appeared in December Crossfire but we have updated information other readers might find useful.

I found Mike “Duke” Venturino’s article in the September issue very interesting (“WWII Snipers — Myths, realities, tools of the trade”). I lost a brother to a sniper according to my father. I don’t know how it may have been verified, but the inscription on his tombstone reads “Killed by German sniper while manning machine gun in Northern Italy, Oct 20, 1944.”
Robert Reef

Our writer Barrett Tillman added the following — You might let Mr. Reef know that perhaps he could obtain some details of his brother’s death via the National Military Records Center in St. Louis. That’s the good news. The bad news: The archive had a catastrophic fire in the ’70s that destroyed a huge percentage of WWII and later personnel files. It depended on where the individual files rested in the alphabet. But some files have been partially reconstructed so perhaps it’s worth a try.

Noting that the brother was killed in Italy in 1944, I’m reminded of a longtime flying friend whose father was sniped in Italy as a regimental commander. The German sniper saw enough of “Colonel Puresome” to put an 8mm through his boot, prompting the colonel to exclaim, “That sumbitch could shoot!”

Model 31

I enjoyed Mr. Marable’s article on the on the Remington Model 31 (GUNS September 2019). I have a few M10s (predecessor to the Model 31) and must be a masochist to work on them! As with most Pedersen designs, lots of camming and timing parts wear and get out of whack. His Model 12 being one of the worst offenders as it was designed for standard velocity ammo and high-velocity just tears them up. Besides the M870, the Model 17 was on of the best pump shotguns Remington ever made — but of course it’s a Browning design! What killed it was the gun writers of the day called it another one of them Remington bottom-feeders.” Sad!
Chris Jarvis

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