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Gun Digest – 63rd Edition 2009


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A sizeable American squareback compendium to drool over.

HERE IN AUSTRALIA, we are fairly well served with shooting products and services but it must be said that they really know how to look after their shooters in the good ol’ US of A. This year’s Gun Digest certainly lives up to that expectation by providing 20 feature articles, five firearms’ tests, two in-depth gun reviews, ten field reports and a very comprehensive catalog (sic) of arms and accessories.

History arms buffs are well-catered for with articles on the the origin of the .220 Swift cartridge, General Pershing’s Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa, a fascinating feature on dueling and dueling pistols and my favourite about fairground trick shooting by the likes of A.H. Hardy and Adolph Topperwein around the turn of the last century. Their feats of concentration, marksmanship and endurance are the stuff of legend and worth a book themselves.

In this article appears a sepia photo of Topperwein’s wife taking aim at five shotshells on the fingers of a male “assistant” (potential victim more readily comes to mind). The caption reads, “…Mrs Topperwein plinks shotshells from her husband’s fingers. Please don’t duplicate this stunt with anyone but your current spouse.”

Another quote that speaks of the quality, humour and evocative nature of the writing throughout follows:

“In the 1890s, Hyannis was a remote wideopen cow town rife with the usual vices. Two hundred souls, most with a hand in the cattle business, called it home. There was gambling to be had and fleshy favors to be bargained for. A cowboy celebrating payday by riding his horse into a saloon was not a fairy tale dreamed up by the B-Western writer: it happened regularly in Hyannis. The last time the stunt was pulled, I am informed, was a short fifteen years ago.”


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