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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 10-29-2020, 08:38 PM
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Default Charles Askins pre-29?

I’m re-reading Charles Askins’ autobiography “Unrepentant Sinner,” and in it he uses a pre-29 (this would’ve been around 1956) to dispatch a Viet Cong guerilla at close range. Does anyone have any idea the bbl length of Askins’ early .44?
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:25 PM
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No...but Askins really seemed to enjoy killing more than he should have.

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Old 10-29-2020, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Valmet View Post
I’m re-reading Charles Askins’ autobiography “Unrepentant Sinner,” and in it he uses a pre-29 (this would’ve been around 1956) to dispatch a Viet Cong guerilla at close range. Does anyone have any idea the bbl length of Askins’ early .44?
4” or 6 1/2” with a slim possibility of a 5”. Eight and 3/8” didn’t come until later. Those with more knowledge will be able to nail the exact dates of each barrel length.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:01 PM
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4” or 6 1/2” with a slim possibility of a 5”. Eight and 3/8” didn’t come until later. Those with more knowledge will be able to nail the exact dates of each barrel length.
I’ve seen a pic from one of his articles from the late-1950s and he’s comparing a .44 Blackhawk and a S&W and the latter looks to be a 6.5,” not saying it was the same S&W but it’s likely, wondered if anyone happens to know for sure.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:09 PM
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Interesting man. I met him once...
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:55 PM
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No...but Askins really seemed to enjoy killing more than he should have.

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Agreed.
Not saying one should always feel remorse, and in some instances it can be a cause for celebration.
He has been described by some that study those sort of people as a remorseless sociopath that worked from behind a badge in remote locations (fewer witnesses) to legitimize his actions.
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Old 10-30-2020, 12:16 AM
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Yes, It was a 6 1/2" Pre-29 Blue.............
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:33 AM
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I had a modest correspondence with Charles Atkins though I never met the man. He would likely be considered more than a tad off center in today's world. I went to school with a fellow with a similar bent. Joined the Army right out of high school, requested assignment in Vietnam, stayed for years and was mightily pissed when the U S finally hung it up and left. He enjoyed killing people and found a job where it was not only permitted but laudable. Strange guy, but highly focused.
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:09 AM
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I think I have seen a photo of him holding a 6.5" 44 Magnum. I don't think the 4" was available when he was having his adventure in Vietnam.

I don't believe Askins enjoyed killing men, I think it just didn't bother him. If he thought a man needed killing he did it without a second thought and no remorse. I think Masaad Ayoob described Askins as a "Stone cold killer." You need passion to enjoy killing. He killed with no emotion at all.
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:58 AM
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Charles Askins tested a 6 1/2-inch 44 Magnum in bright blue and an experimental Ruger Blackhawk in 44 Magnum. He published his results in an article in the 1957 Gun Digest. I don't know if he used the same 44 Magnum in Viet Nam, but he probably did. I read his account of killing a Viet Cong soldier with the 44 Magnum many years ago.

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Old 10-30-2020, 12:23 PM
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I saw him at an NRA Convention. He had his Handgunner of the Year trophy in one hand and a glass of amber liquid in the other.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:59 PM
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Most of the old gun writers enjoyed a dram or two with friends...........
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:55 PM
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I spent a brief time as an Army MP at Ft. Bliss, Tx ( El Paso) in the 50s, working with the Border Patrol & the Rurales, and Charlie Askins reputation in those parts was as Ayoob said " A stone cold killer." It was said that "If you were a smuggler trying to sneak across the Rio Grande at night and Charlie was waiting, you had better get right with Jesus as you would meet him shortly." Ed
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:57 PM
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Most of the old gun writers enjoyed a dram or two with friends...........

I sat next to Elmer Keith at a press breakfast in 1979 and he poured scotch in his tea cup.

I think Askins's victim may have been Viet Minh. Was the Cong name in use in 1956? Most of my books are in storage inc. autographed titles by Askins.

He could be indiscrete. He offered to smuggle guns into Rhodesia at a press luncheon. I don't know if he loved killing, but it didn't appear to bother him.

The only S&W .44 Magnum I saw him with in pics was a 6.5 inch example, same for all gun writers getting early ones.

I think that Viet was stalking him.
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:54 PM
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Default Winston Churchill Said ...

“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:25 PM
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“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
This...

Askins was a product of his time. He was a man that was tasked with a job that put him in line to perhaps take lives. Police and Military are still tasked with that job.

I don't fault the man for doing the thing we all hope to never have to do. I don't think he enjoyed taking lives, but I do think he became comfortable doing it.
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:44 PM
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There are two of his long guns on GB, but they’re left-handed.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:13 AM
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There are two of his long guns on GB, but they’re left-handed.
Us Lefties were fascinated by his LH Mauser Custom Rifles.
Thanks for posting!
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:18 AM
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I'm not going to judge the man. I leave that to the Man upstairs.

I will say, iffn' I was going to be in a gunfight, I'd want Charlie Askins on MY side.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:20 AM
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I'm not going to judge the man. I leave that to the Man upstairs.

I will say, iffn' I was going to be in a gunfight, I'd want Charlie Askins on MY side.
Me too!
And if Doc Holloway is on my side with a Shotgun, I don’t want him behind me!
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:17 AM
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I think the Col. was a product of his times. He joined the USBP in the 1930's and was assigned to the El Paso sector and battled smugglers and bandits. Gunfights were nearly a nightly event and he survived on the principal of " when in doubt, put 'em down". He had no problem taking lives when necessary and he survived to be an old man. He lived in tumultuous times and I will not judge his actions, that job belongs to a higher authority.
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:03 PM
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When I was stationed at Ft Sam Houston (75 to 80), in San Antonio, I called Col. Askins, at his home, one day out of the blue. Had a nice long talk with him and invited him to come out and shoot some skeet at the Ft Sam range. He did come and shoot with us 5 or 6 times.
I had some conversations with him about the border and mostly about our experiences in Viet Nam. He seemed very at ease with us in a military surrounding and we would talk more than we shot.
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:16 PM
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I've read in long past articles on the man, that he didn't care if he shot them in the back, either. Like one writer said, I think the man was a psycho.
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Old 11-02-2020, 03:07 PM
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Though Askins had his faults his bravery and marksmanship saved the lives of several law enforcement officers. He once was with some other border patrol agents and came across a large group of smugglers and all of them were carrying long guns. He took out the first two men in the lead with two shots, and there were a few other shoot outs on the border and I think every peace officer that survived was darn glad they had Askins on their side.
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Old 11-02-2020, 03:51 PM
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I have never heard any snipers, whether SWAT or military, derided as psychos. With Charlie, he was a lawman, the enemies he dispatched were up close and wouldn't have hesitated to kill him or any other lawman.
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:39 PM
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[QUOTE=Valmet;140946838]I’m re-reading Charles Askins’ autobiography “Unrepentant Sinner,” and in it he uses a pre-29 (this would’ve been around 1956) to dispatch a Viet Cong guerilla at close range. Does anyone have any idea the bbl length of Askins’ early .44?[/QUOTE

Probably reading that book, instead of one article, would be a good idea before passing judgement and a lot of misinformation on the good Colonel!
I enjoyed several conversations with him at various NRA functions and didn't get shot at once!
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
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“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
No he did not.
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:11 PM
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[quote=Homie;140951701]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmet View Post
I’m re-reading Charles Askins’ autobiography “Unrepentant Sinner,” and in it he uses a pre-29 (this would’ve been around 1956) to dispatch a Viet Cong guerilla at close range. Does anyone have any idea the bbl length of Askins’ early .44?[/QUOTE

Probably reading that book, instead of one article, would be a good idea before passing judgement and a lot of misinformation on the good Colonel!
I enjoyed several conversations with him at various NRA functions and didn't get shot at once!
I’m confused? I am re-reading the book. Not passing any judgement whatsoever, simply inquiring as to bbl length.
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:49 PM
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[quote=Valmet;140951736]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homie View Post

I’m confused? I am re-reading the book. Not passing any judgement whatsoever, simply inquiring as to bbl length.
I’m going 6 1/2 inch barrel.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
Unless somebody has credible evidence to the contrary!
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:54 PM
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[quote=THE PILGRIM;140951775]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmet View Post

I’m going 6 1/2 inch barrel.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
Unless somebody has credible evidence to the contrary!
6.5” seems like the definitive answer
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:58 PM
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In 1956, the only barrel lengths available for the 44 Magnum were 6 1/2 inch and 4-inch, with the latter not generally available until November of that year. I am sure it was a 6 1/2-inch barrel.

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Old 11-03-2020, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
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No he did not.

What little research I have done indicates that Churchill paraphrased George Orwell's quote.
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Old 11-04-2020, 02:43 AM
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Valmet, I was directing my previous posts toward those who had only read the pulp paper gun mags of the '50s and '60s stories of the Colonel and not intending any slight toward you.

In my copy of the book it's chapter 23, p.244.
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Old 11-04-2020, 05:41 AM
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As a gun writer, Col. Charles Askins had very strong opinions, but had the shooting ability and experience to back it up. He also was not without a sense of humor.
Consider the attached pages from a couple of his articles:

The one entitled "Is the American Shooter a Pantywaist?", there are two pictures featuring his S&W 44 Magnum, clearly with a 6.5" barrel.

In the article entitled "What's Wrong With Our Targets?", Askins draws on his extensive competitive shooting experience to point out the problem of American shooters falling behind on the International level. Quite prophetic, considering that in a nation of handgun owners, U.S. pistol competitors today often can't even make it to International level finals, let alone actually win anything.
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Old 11-04-2020, 09:33 AM
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I seem to vaguely remember an article where Elmer Keith said he shot a animal at 400 yards with his 4" 44 Magnum and Col. Askins replied he had good sights on his typewriter.
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Old 11-04-2020, 12:12 PM
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I seem to vaguely remember an article where Elmer Keith said he shot a animal at 400 yards with his 4" 44 Magnum and Col. Askins replied he had good sights on his typewriter.
At 600 Yards, but he began firing at about 250 yards, and a man had wounded the deer with a .300 H&H rifle, I think it dropped as Elmer shot and he believed he killed it.

I saw Elmer shoot a .44 Magnum at 200 yards, well into his 70's and he was a fine marksman who frequently practiced at extreme ranges.

BTW, Askins told me that he wrote provocative articles because readers complained, so his editors knew he was being read. Happy readers are less likely to write.
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Old 11-06-2020, 04:05 PM
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Askins wrote an article called, Elmer's Little Mortar about that incident. I think in, Guns.
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