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  #51  
Old 04-15-2009, 02:14 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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I know it is extremely hard to do. I hope that when i am dead and gone that folks don't do it when they think about me or talk about me.

What is it?

Compare me to someone else.

I know it is human nature to do so, some of us have spent a good deal of our lifetime trying to eradicate the affects of our flawed human nature. If I live to be 100, I will have only scratched the surface, to be sure, BUT........

I don't want someone to say: "He was pretty good at such and such but so and so was better." Granted, I'm not going to make it to the "famous" state, to be sure.

I started this thread because I had just read a technical article written by Jack. I found it very easy to read and informative. It was also noted by me that he was a very intelligent individual. Anyone that can take deep truths and "put them on the bottom shelf for the kiddies" is an extremely smart individual.

You can read it too if you happen to have a Speer #6 laying around. That is what the next thread was going to be about, "How much credence would you put on what Jack O'Connor had to say about PRESSURE?" or something to that effect.

Like I said, I found it extremely informative and easy reading and to the point with a smidge of humor thrown in to sweeten the pot.

I am going to have to see if I can make digital copies of it and post it on the web for reference.


OK, The cat is out of the bag. It really has to do with what tools/information can a "back yard" hand-loader use to determine pressure.

Read the article, you'll be surprised. I wish we had common sense like that writing for the gun rags currently!
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  #52  
Old 04-15-2009, 02:59 PM
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Skip,

If you want to, you can send me a jpg of it and I'll post it on the "reloading manuals" section of my web page.

BTW, I knew what you were talking about in your email, but I forgot what I had said.
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  #53  
Old 04-16-2009, 01:12 PM
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Skip, I'm guessing that the article to which you refer is "Pressures and the Handloader". It was reprinted in Speer Number 10-my first manual. It is indeed a good article.
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  #54  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:25 PM
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As I see it, O'Connor was astute enough to realize that far more hunters would be hunting with a .270 Winchester than, say, a .333 OKH and he was articulate enough to elaborate on the theory that "lighter bullet at higher velocity is better" knowing full well that he had an immediate audience. But back before you had the premium bullets that we have today, you needed caliber and bullet weight to get the job done. Nowadays the .270 is a much better cartridge considering all the superior bullets that we have, but I'll never believe it was all that O'Connor made it out to be.

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Old 04-19-2009, 11:40 AM
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O'Connor's pressure article first appeared in the Speer #4 manual published in'59. At that time it was credited as being reprinted from the June '56 OL.

Jack was given credit in the Speer manuals from #1 in '54. I hope most of you realize that he lived "just minutes away" from the Speer facilities and was a frequent hunting partner of Vernon Speer. He often wrote that he utilized their facilities on numerous occasions.

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  #56  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:45 PM
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Its amazing how many good gun writers are out there.
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  #57  
Old 08-15-2021, 07:34 PM
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I recommend that folks just purchase a bunch of books by both men and decide for yourselves....I own most of their books collectively and enjoyed all of them. I enjoy also the fact that people refer to Jack in reference to the .270 like this is all he was known for and although it is true that he helped to make it wildly popular (still today), he admitted that the 30-06 was an all around more versatile and useful cartridge and that he also esteemed the 7 mm Rem mag in high regard as did he the same for the .375 H&H and .416 as well as the .338 and used them all effectively on African dangerous game and plains game...both he and his wife were fantastic shots on game and shot running jack rabbits for practice in the off seasons....he loved a rifle and shotgun and was a fan of the handgun and owned several but wasn't so much an enthusiast of them as he was for the long guns....
I loved reading Elmer Keith's stories about shooting caribou at a distance with the 1st two S&W 4" model 57 .41 mags which were gifted him...his stories of long shots with the .45 Colt in his early days, his use of the .280 and .285 Dubiel/OKH, his reviews on leather and Buck knives, Ruana Knives, boots and hunting/outdoors' clothes and gear....
I would 1st recommend by Elmer, "Sixguns" and "Hell I was there"...
And Jack, "The Hunting Rifle" and "The Rifle Book" and "Jack O'Conner"
All worthy and entertaining and they have great value to me as I grew up in central Montana as a 4th gen kid born and raised there...cheers...
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Old 08-15-2021, 08:46 PM
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I really enjoyed reading Jack O'Conner's musings in Outdoor life in my youth. My first hardbound books on shooting were authored by him too and are still in my library.
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Old 08-15-2021, 08:55 PM
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I’ve always been a huge fan of JOC. Two years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the JOC Center in Lewiston. It was well worth it. I also stopped by Lolo’s Gun Shop. It opened in 1954 and JOC used to hang out there. It’s a neat old school shop.
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Old 08-15-2021, 09:21 PM
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In my younger days I read every article I could find from Jack, and he is the reason that I bought a Win. M70 in .270 caliber in the 60's when I was in the Navy over seas, to bring back home to hunt with.

His favorite 130 gr bullet load was pushed with 49 grs of IMR 4064 and it turned out to be my most accurate load in my rifle, even though 4350 & 4831 did get higher fps in my testings.

He also liked the heavy 150 gr for Elk hunting with a full load of 4831 but my rifle did not do well with this bullet but it did very well with the 140 gr Nosler Accubond at 2940 fps with IMR4831.

Back then they also had a large 170 gr JRN lead tip for Moose but I don't think this bullet is still around today but it did have major ft/lbs that did the job at close range.

He was a great writer & hunter that put a smile on my face.

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  #61  
Old 08-15-2021, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Centenniel View Post
Jack O'Connor was an excellent writer and an accomplished hunter. We see his caliber very infrequently in gun writing circles.
He was a college English professor, or teacher in high school. I donít remember which. Was reportedly difficult to deal with at times. I read many of his stories growing up.

It is true he really put the .270 on the map.
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  #62  
Old 08-15-2021, 10:40 PM
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He was an advocate of a 7x57 Mauser. The stores were full of 8 mm Mausers in wooden barrels with the butt stocks sticking out. 50 bucks, I think. No 7 mm to be found. He brought about the universality of the 270 as Elmer did the .44, and Warren Page did the .243. They and Ted Trueblood, Robert Ruark, and Corey Ford gave me the first tastes of classy writing and the longest lasting opinions of ethical hunting and proper equipment.
Loved Corey Ford's "Back Forty" articles. Walter Winnan was famous pistol shooter and writer back in the day.
In the 1964 Outdoor Life issue Jack wrote and article titled "The Big Change In Guns". It was a whole separate center section in the magazine and contained about 15 pages. That issue had a charging Lion on the front.........I kept that issue and still have it.
When JC retired Jim Carmichael filled his spot.
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  #63  
Old 08-15-2021, 10:54 PM
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In years past I read a lot of Keith and O'Connor and while both seemed very knowledgeable the main differences I noted were their choices of rifles for big game. O'Connor felt that if you had a 270 and 375 you were ready for anything the world had to offer; Keith vehemently disagreed and felt that you needed bigger bores for any of the 'big 5' and bigger than the 270 for medium game. I do recall one article by O'Connor where he stated that a 270 or 30-36 was perfectly adequate for lion or leopard. Having read a lot of safari articles, I doubt that he could have gotten too many PWH's in Africa to agree with that. Also having received personal answers from both these gents the ones from O'Connor were grammatically perfect and these from Keith needed a lot of polishing up. Both , however were very excellent and I treasure their books, especially those from Keith.
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Old 08-16-2021, 12:16 AM
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The first hunting book I read was by O'Connor and was given to me by my muse, guru, first gunsmith and reloading teacher.
I got a couple more and then started reading all I could about shooting and reloading.
Hunting came in 3rd as internal ballistics soon captured my imagination and quite frankly I turned out to be a mediocre hunter of land animals.
I am not patient enough and get cold easily.
Later came the 12ga and I found out I liked and was OK at bird hunting.
My first handgun was a 44 magnum 7.5" Redhawk and I was smitten to the point of becoming a 44 specialist.
This, as with many, led to me reading most all of Elmer's words as I finally acquired both Gun Notes volumes which are his magazine columns.
Vol. 2 also contains several letters between Jack and Elmer.
The acrimony between the two definitely helped sell magazines and I have always suspected that at least some of it was manufactured or at least egged on by the publishers.
The letters between them are certainly civil in tone if not in complete agreement.
Both authors are well worth reading to this day and that's a testament to their expertise.
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  #65  
Old 08-16-2021, 06:15 AM
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The feud had little or nothing to do with a difference of opinion about light and fast vs heavy and slow.It had to do with honesty.Keith was very flawed in that area,regardless of who regarded him as a heroe.

"STORIES" of Keith's are famous for being pure B.S. and O'Conner called him on it repeatedly,describing the story,the ficticious events and the out and out lies.To say that they simply didn't agree on rifle ballistics is sheer nonsense.O'Conner called Keith a liar on several occasions.
I enjoy reading a lot of Keithís writings, but I think OíConner hit the nail on the head with his opinion on Keithís tall tales.
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  #66  
Old 08-16-2021, 10:08 AM
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Very old thread from 2009 that Mike brought back from the dead!

Jack and Elmer were two very different people for sure. IMO both of them stretched the truth a bit. One was a story teller and the other a writer.

The OP "Skip" only made it 3 years before he got Banned!
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  #67  
Old 08-16-2021, 10:30 AM
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OíConnor, Kieth, Jordan and several other gun writers who are no longer with us, actually lived what they wrote about. We are seeing the end of an era. Now it seems any buddy with a cowboy hat and a pair of aviator sun glasses can be a gun writer. A plus is a beard.
Iíve most of OíConnorís books and still use his 270 & 30/06 loads. I never had the 7x57 fever, and hate goats & sheep.
My favorite OíConnor quote is in one of his books. The chapter on Scopes, he allows their are two kinds of people who take apart scopes. Professionals and fools. I set out immediately to prove him correct.
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Old 08-16-2021, 12:30 PM
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This all makes me want to spend more time with books but hopefully it will wait since this is the season for shooting.
I wish we had more than just the one book from one of the other greats from the golden age of revolvers and hunting, Ed McGivern.
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  #69  
Old 08-16-2021, 01:07 PM
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The "conflict" between O'Connor and Keith was really nothing more than a device used to increase magazine sales. They weren't the only two who engaged is such shenanigans back in the print era.

O'Connor was like many of the gun writers of that sadly past era: knowledgable, experienced and if you were smart you shut up and listened. In other words, diametrically opposed to todays crop.
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Old 08-16-2021, 02:46 PM
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Don't forget Col. Townsend Whelen who is supposed to be the father of the comment" only accurate rifles are interesting".
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  #71  
Old 08-16-2021, 04:06 PM
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I read all the people mentioned so far in this thread when I began reading gun material about 1962. I didn't start handloading until about late 1964 and the Speer #6 was my first handloading manual. I still have it, but there are at least forty or more other manuals to go along with it. I probably read the O'Connor pressure article at least once.

Another writer of the same era who probably wrote more articles and may have written for more years than O'Connor and most of the rest was Bob Hagel - tied with Ken Waters (also of the same era) as my favorite gun writers. Hagel hunted extensively, but only on this continent, I think. Many of his handloading and hunting articles remain timely today.

We have a few good writers today, just like we did years ago, despite what some may think about today's gun journalists. The mediocre ones have always been around.
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Old 08-16-2021, 04:18 PM
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I started my subscription to Outdoor Life in 1963 and it's hard to fully communicate how I looked forward to receiving a new issue every month. The first article I'd read was whatever Jack O'Connor was spouting. Sometimes more interesting than other times but always informative; the only sheep hunting I ever did was vicariously through Jack's exploits. He had a way of transporting you to the hunt be it with the Shah of Iran or a Mexican guide in South Sonora. I lapped it all up with a big spoon and never owned a .270 or a 7mm as a result and never shot an African antelope "from behind so clean it didn't leave a hole." That story still makes me laugh today.

It was obvious from Jack's writing that he did not suffer fools easily, didn't come across as Mr. Warmth, and could be quite opinionated. I liked that about him as he seemed to call them like he saw them. When Jim Carmichael took over for Jack I was disappointed and missed him. Jim is a very fine writer and authority in his own right but he just wasn't Jack and I didn't "grow-up" with him. I've collected Jack's books and reread portions of them from time to time - still find them very enjoyable.
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Old 08-16-2021, 04:28 PM
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About the time of Jack O'Connor's retirement, he wrote an article for GUN DIGEST about being a gunwriter. I have that GUN DIGEST along with many others but don't remember which one it's in. Having not read the article in years, I only remember one major point O'Connor mentioned: as to writing about guns and anything gun related (hunting, handloading, etc., I think!), there were only about twelve different topics. Everything else was a takeoff on the "twelve". I suppose that remains true today.
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Old 08-16-2021, 06:39 PM
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I have read "Hell, I was there" and "Sixguns" by Keith, and tons of both Keith's and O'connor's magazine articles, although none of Keith's books. His lifetime of contributions to the hunting and shooting sports notwithstanding, I can't help but have the impression Elmer was a bit over the top in his story telling. It's just too much. Colonel Charles Askins was another of that type, and to some degree Jeff Cooper. God bless them, but both of them managed to enlarge themselves in their latter years beyond what they were in youth. O'Connor never left me with that impression.
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Old 08-16-2021, 06:51 PM
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I think I have every book he published. I hunted in AZ in the 70's so naturally I read his stuff. He was by far a better outdoor writer than most of his contemporaries at the time.
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:46 PM
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This is a very interesting thread to be sure. One thing that I get out of this and the many readings I have done is that Keith and Askins both,while a bit on the wild side, have had a much broader horizon of experience than O'Connor. The latter was the real refined gentleman and former were the rough riders. All of them as well as the others mentioned are most definitely worth reading.
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Old 08-16-2021, 08:26 PM
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I have read "Hell, I was there" and "Sixguns" by Keith, and tons of both Keith's and O'connor's magazine articles, although none of Keith's books. His lifetime of contributions to the hunting and shooting sports notwithstanding, I can't help but have the impression Elmer was a bit over the top in his story telling. It's just too much. Colonel Charles Askins was another of that type, and to some degree Jeff Cooper. God bless them, but both of them managed to enlarge themselves in their latter years beyond what they were in youth. O'Connor never left me with that impression.
I would agree, Jack a more modest individual
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Old 08-16-2021, 11:11 PM
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writing about guns and anything gun related (hunting, handloading, etc., I think!), there were only about twelve different topics. Everything else was a takeoff on the "twelve". I suppose that remains true today.
I think that is mostly true for any specialty magazine.
I quit subscribing to gun and motorcycle mags after a few decades when I realized I was reading the same things over and over.
The only one I currently get is "Handloader" which has gotten thinner but still has some things of interest.

One of the better story tellers was Skeeter Skelton.
But with him you knew which were serious and which were strictly for fun.
If you don't have his books, you are missing some great gun lore and some hilarious yarns.
I think there are only 2 hard-cover books by Skeeter.
His stories of just walking across the border into Mexico in search of Colts to rebuild are from an era long gone
as is the state of border patrol in general.
He was the one who convinced me to get revolvers chambered in 44 special instead of shooting them in magnums.
Definitely a good move.
A gun writer I truly do miss.
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Old 08-16-2021, 11:44 PM
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Elmer wrote one time of killing 13 rabbits with one pistol shot. Then he admitted it was a pregnant female. Elmer keith was man from the frontier who went to work doing a mans work at an age when it would have done him good to still be in school. His wife was a school teacher and I often wondered if he would have been able to write some of his early books without her. I got a letter from him in answer to one I wrote him when I was a young Sea Bee overseas and the typing had many errors including .45 Folt. It meant a lot to me that he cared enough to reply and there are a lot of others who got them too. I have read many times that folks went to his house and were invited in and treated as instant friends.
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Old 08-17-2021, 12:53 AM
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I think that is mostly true for any specialty magazine.
I quit subscribing to gun and motorcycle mags after a few decades when I realized I was reading the same things over and over.
The only one I currently get is "Handloader" which has gotten thinner but still has some things of interest.

One of the better story tellers was Skeeter Skelton.
But with him you knew which were serious and which were strictly for fun.
If you don't have his books, you are missing some great gun lore and some hilarious yarns.
I think there are only 2 hard-cover books by Skeeter.
His stories of just walking across the border into Mexico in search of Colts to rebuild are from an era long gone
as is the state of border patrol in general.
He was the one who convinced me to get revolvers chambered in 44 special instead of shooting them in magnums.
Definitely a good move.
A gun writer I truly do miss.
I read Skelton articles from the time he began writing in the '60s, but was never much of a fan. While he would occasionally do a pure "gun" article, many weren't. I never found the "tales" to be worth much and I realize I'm in a minority position with such an opinion.

You mention .44 Special revolvers...there are exceptions to every rule. The article Skelton did for SHOOTING TIMES ( a once great publication that suffered an equally great deterioration) in the early '80s when Smith & Wesson introduced the 24-3s was truly a memorable article regardless of who wrote it. This was certainly among Skelton's better works; pure "gun" as I recall, but it's been a long time.

Had to have a 24-3 after reading the article but these were hard to come by when they were introduced. I finally found a new 4" from a distributor in Alabama in the fall of '83. Still have it along with a couple of other 24-3s. This has been one of the best cast bullet revolvers S&W ever built. Had it not been for Skelton's urging, we would likely have never seen S&Ws re-introduction of this revolver.
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Old 08-19-2021, 06:31 AM
twodog max twodog max is offline
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I grew up reading Outdoor Life and reading Jack O'Connor. I guess I read my Dads issues starting in the late 50's when I could read. I have a lot of his books and still read them from time to time. I really liked O'Connor but same as anyone he had his preferences and stuck with them. Elmer had his too. I enjoyed Skeeter Skelton and Bill Jordan as well.
These days I only take three magazines. Handloader, Rifle and Fur, Fish and Game. Of the three Rifle is the least interest to me but can never seem to let it go. Fur Fish and Game is like the outdoor magazines of the past. No mountain bike stories or any of that pseudo outdoor stuff. Mostly ordinary folks sharing their experiences with a mix of regulars and their monthly pieces. It will be the one I keep. They will be delivering it after I go to the happy hunting grounds.
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:32 PM
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Was reportedly difficult to deal with at times.
Been told that more than once.
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:27 AM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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Read Jack's articles religiously as a Kid. Had the requisite 270 and shot my fist antelope and ony Dall sheep with it. Used a pre War M-70 375 H&H on my 1st moose(41 mag on my 2nd) . I met both O'Connor and Keith at a Remington Seminar introducing new guns. They didn't seem to have any animosity between them and talked in a friendly manner. O'Connor was a fairly sour individual towards me(the guide) and kind of talked down to me a bit. Seemed to have a fixation on how much money I made(not much in those days...Oh hell, not much ever). Keith was a pretty good story teller and an easy friendly person. Both however were very good
shotgun shooters and didn't waste ammo. But we were shooting Canada geese at pretty much spitting range. The other writer in the group was either Pete Brown or an outdoor writer for Argosy? don't really remember. All seemed to get along. O'Connor couldn't seem to wait getting through the shooting of Remington's new products(lunch and a drink?). Keith and the other writer seemed to have a good time shooting all the new stuff. O'Connor's attitude towards the small folk kind of turned me off him as he had always been my favorite writer along with Corey Ford and Robt Ruark. All many years ago...in a Galaxy far far away

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Old 08-28-2021, 10:37 AM
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Mr. Keith told me Jack was a very good writer. In fact he related to this on two different occasions.

It's my understanding Jack didn't like to gut or skin. BTW this didn't come from Mr. Keith.
Not sure anyone truly likes to gut & skin
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Old 08-28-2021, 08:07 PM
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Jack O'Connor Hunting Heritage & Education Center
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Old 08-30-2021, 12:37 PM
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I liked all those guys but every now and then I would need a change of thought...........

and would pick up a rag with Curt or Lee Wulff in it, that could also spin a tale and keep you interrested, for a while.

I remember one show where Mr. Wulff was up north and placed a hook into a branch, tied a fly and used that thread on a light rod to land a Salmon !!
Had it on film.................... no BS, just fact.

However, shooting is also a fun thing to do, just that I have slowed down lately.
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Old 08-31-2021, 07:27 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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As many have alluded to here, I don't recall a Jack O'Connor article when he wasn't guided. I recall several of Elmer Keiths when he guided others. Just from that, I know I would prefer to hunt with EK.
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