Noted Border Patrolman and Gunfighter Charles Askins

A Rifle Makes More Sense

Q: I enjoyed reading your reminiscences about hunting with Col. Charles Askins in a Bits and Pieces column a few months ago. I was a long time fan of the good Colonel’s down-to-earth articles in Guns and the American Rifleman magazines. But one thing I’ve noticed about him, seeing that he was a famous handgunner, is that he never ever wrote anything about hunting with a handgun. Have you ever noticed this? Did he ever mention hunting with a handgun to you?
Peter Lockwood

A: Funny you should ask me that. Years ago I was having breakfast with Bill Jordan and Charlie Askins, both of whom had been members of the U.S Border Patrol in the Texas-Mexico region. Naturally, the talk turned to gun fights they’d been involved in, both men being noted practitioners of that lethal art. I mentioned that they’d been lucky to come through unscathed. After giving the matter brief consideration, Charlie made the profound statement: ” Waal, there’s old pistoleros and there’s bold pistoleros, but there ain’t no old, bold pistoleros.” Later I asked Bill and Charlie why they’d never written any articles on hunting with a handgun. They both scoffed at that question and Bill replied: “Why in hell would anyone use a handgun for hunting big game when they can use a rifle.” Charlie, always the pragmatist added that he considered hunting dangerous game with a handgun more of a stunt than anything else, and Bill nodded his agreement. “Gents,” I said, “I agree with you perzackly.”




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.