Author Archives: Elmer Keith

Elmer Keith

About Elmer Keith

Elmer Keith (March 8, 1899 – February 12, 1984) was an Idaho rancher, firearms enthusiast, and author. Keith was instrumental in the development of the first magnum revolver cartridge, the .357 Magnum, as well as the later .44 Magnum and .41 Magnum cartridges. He was a regular contributor to Gun Digest.

The first S & W 44 Magnum with 4-inch barrel, engraved and stocked by the Gun Reblu Co., Biltmore, N. C.

The .44 Magnum … One Year Later

The world's most potent handgun cartridge in the year 1958, its history and development, plus notes on handloading and shooting it, by the man whose dream came true!

Elmer Keith shot a single action Colt like this one.


FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS I wore a sixgun as regularly as I did my trousers. Without it I did not feel fully dressed. It was a tool, and a mighty useful one at that. I still like to have a good gun in easy reach at all times.

Shown is a Colt Bisley model with horn grips

Sixguns – Part 2

The Keith 235-grain 44 Special hollow point, backed by 18.5 grains of 2400, is even worse in its destruction of living tissue. It's certain death on either elk or deer if placed in the lungs broadside at close range, but it will not penetrate quite as well as the 250-grain solid in bone or...

Elmer Keith shot a single action Colt like this one.

Sixguns – Part 3

One fall, when in need of his winter's meat, Charley ran onto a bull moose standing broadside. Holding his gun with both hands, he aimed for the heart and shot once. The bull lurched away but went only one hundred yards and lay down and was soon ready for the knife. The flat-point Keith...