Jim Corbett’s Rifle

Powalgarh

The Jeffery .450-400 Nitro double rifle with which Jim Corbett put out the lights of something like 33 man-eating tiger or leopard in India early in the 20th Century sold at auction last month for a whopping $264,500. The rifle had been in the collection of another legendary gun-man, the late Elmer Keith. The Jeffery, made in 1909, was … [Read more...]

The Storm That Swept Mexico

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Hierro Vaquero commented on The Guns of Pancho Villa post and recommended the Mexican Revolution documentary "The Storm That Swept Mexico". I second the motion and thought I'd post it here just in case folks miss it in the comments. It's a the best visual overview of the Revolution currently available — at least in English — with some … [Read more...]

Texas Will Rise

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Yeah, I know, the Don’t Mess With Texas bit gets old quick. That Texas Pride can curdle into rank, boneheaded chauvinism in a hurry. Just add Shiner Bock or Lone Star. But you gotta admit, Texas has one hell of an epic history. Every Frontier Myth you’ve ever heard of was played out for real in Texas. Fifty years of raid, rape and revenge at the … [Read more...]

May 18, 1565

The Defence of Malta by the Knights of St. John against the Turks in 1565

Today, dog brothers, is the 450th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Siege of Malta, the great epic of the clash between Islam and the West and one of the most savage battles in human history. My friend Deuce Richardson wrote an impressive post on the subject over at the Robert E. Howard forums. I can’t match it, so I refer you … [Read more...]

The Guns of Pancho Villa

General Francisco Villa carrying his favorite sidearm — a Colt Bisley manufactured in 1912, with mother-of-pearl grips.

“(Francisco) Villa had the reputation of being one of Mexico’s greatest gunfighters. ‘For Villa, the gun was more important than eating or sleeping,’ a subordinate wrote about him. ‘It was a part of his person indispensable to him wherever he was, even at social occasions, and one can say that it was only very rarely that he did not have a gun … [Read more...]

‘Dances With Wolves’ author dies

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UPDATE: John Densmore (yes, the drummer from The Doors) wrote a very nice piece in Rolling Stone about his friend Michael Blake. Read it here. Michael Blake, who wrote the novel and the screenplay "Dances With Wolves" has died. He also wrote a Custer novel, "Marching to Valhalla" and a "Wolves" sequel, "The Holy Road." His story is a real … [Read more...]

Sweet Sixteen

Ceili with Erebor (aka Mt. Jefferson in the bacground.

Daughter Ceili turned 16 on May 2. She wanted to go for a hike and go out for Mexican food. I'm mighty gratified that my teenage daughter wants to spend time outdoors with her family. We brought along her buddy Carolyn and hiked above the Jack Creek drainage about 15 miles west of home. A gorgeous spring day, about 75 degrees and clear skies … [Read more...]

Natural Born Heroes

British SOE operatives and Cretan resistance fighters pulled off a daring kidnapping of a German general.

How’s this for something cool: A book that recounts a little-known episode from the annals of partisan warfare in World War II while also delving into the “lost secrets” of extreme physical ruggedness and endurance. I'm listening to a library copy of the audiobook of “Natural Born Heroes — How A Daring Band Of Misfits Mastered The Lost Secrets … [Read more...]

Grim Centennial

Bravery and pluck could not carry the day for the ANZACs on April 25, 2015.

April 1915 was an exceptionally ugly month in the horrific four-year death-ride of Western Civilization known as The Great War. The next two days mark a pair of grim centennials. April 24 is traditionally marked as the beginning of the Armenian genocide. No matter how my nation’s government tries to elide the issue — fearing alienating a NATO … [Read more...]