Crossfire June 2020 Issue


Lipstick Love

Mr. Taffin, after reading your article “Lipstick Bullets” in the most recent issue of GUNS Magazine, I was intrigued and ended up ordering 1,000 bullets of various “flavors” and styles. With shipping $116, I thought this was a good deal. You were spot-on regarding the wooden boxes they come packed in. I could not believe it, nor the craftsmanship. Anxious to see how they run through several different pistols and revolvers.
Ron Bruce

Like A What?

I got a kick out of your article in GUNS about the 71/84 Mauser.

I was 14 years old back in 1956 when I bought mine. At the time there was a surplus firearms store called Golden State Arms in Pasadena, CA. I would ride the bus from my house in LA out there and “shop” until they closed. They had enough firearms in crates and racks to keep central America at war for a century.

I was walking up and down the aisles when I came upon a stack of crates marked “Spandau” and sitting on top was this beautiful Mauser. It was love at first sight. These rifles were absolutely primo, unissued and wrapped in oiled brown paper.

When I got home I went to work. The rifle had been stored in heavy grease which had hardened until the bolt would not open. I separated the stock from the rifle and soaked the action in a bucket of kerosene for several days. I
completely disassembled the rifle, cleaned and lightly oiled it. It shone like a diamond in a goat’s butt!

The 71/84 is a work of art! Mauser engraved a serial number on every part including screws that had the last two numbers cut into the heads.

I enjoyed shooting that rifle more than any other rifle I have owned, but I don’t think I could replace it new for the $35.94 I paid for it.

Kind Words

I know you are busy, but I just had to comment. The GUNS of April was the best. Every author wrote something grabbing: Ayoob on mating a Colt barrel to a Smith and Wesson frame! Who knew? Denny Hansen on turning .22LR casings into bullets. Miraculous! Taffin on lever actions. I finally succumbed to buying one. And the dreams of some promising young man with a backyard, a BB gun and a mission. There is little that I read twice. I read April GUNS more than I have read the book of Matthew!

I try to write the humorous pieces for my local men’s club monthly newsletter so I appreciate the author’s dilemma. It must be an amazing experience to be surrounded by all of the giants of the writing industry. 
Bill Rogers

You’re right — it’s an amazing experience, blessing and honor to (attempt to) fill the shoes of giants. My family and friends get tired of me wondering aloud, “Just how in the world did I end up with the greatest job in the shooting business?” —BW

Hello Bill! Thank you for taking the time to let us know you enjoyed the 71/84 article in GUNS Magazine. I enjoyed your handwritten letter even more. I wish we could have walked down those isles at Golden State Arms and bought those guns together. Your description was spot on, making me feel like I was with you. —Jeff Hoover

Taffin Kudos

Mr. Taffin, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your articles in both American Handgunner and GUNS Magazine.
As I am almost 62 years old, I have read most of the old-time gun writers. I believe you are every bit their equal! You have Elmer’s knowledge without the ego. You are the dean of gun writers!
Dean Hudepohl

Thank you for the kind words!! I am 81 so I met most of the old-time writers (Applegate, Askins, Lachuk, Cooper, Skelton, Keith) and many were personal friends. —JT


I’m a little behind in reading. But I just had to write, being a cheese-head and a former SCCA course marshal, about an error from the December 2019 issue of GUNS, page 81, “A Not-Nice Surprise.” Henry Repeating Arms is in Rice Lake, Wisconsin while Road America is in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Tom Abel
The only Waunakee in the World!!

Tom, that was my fault. I mentally transposed Rice Lake and Elkhart Lake. Having spent a lot of time fishing, drinking Old Style and gnawing on summer sausage in Wisconsin, I should have known better! —BW

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