Bits and Pieces to Think About

Have you ever looked in your toolbox and NOT found what you need?

That has happened to me so often it’s starting to become a metaphor for my life. But we are talking literally here. You flip open the tool box and you start digging around for the pliers and … nothin’.

That’s usually the thing that causes me to stop what I’m doing and clean the entire work space, starting with the top of the bench. By the time I’m done I have my pliers and everything else is back where it belongs.

Perhaps it is time for something like that now. I have lots of half-baked ideas that have not yet become stories or columns. For some reason or another, things get in the way and I just don’t get all of the projects I have pending up off the ground.


As I write this I am preparing to attend the annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. By the time you read this the show will be over, but all the cool stuff I saw there will still be floating around inside my head and appearing on the pages of this magazine.

For me the SHOT Show is a chance to reconnect with the energy of the whole industry. The old cliche of keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening is really true at the SHOT Show. The commerce of firearms is in full swing at the show and you get an interesting perspective from those aisles.

Watch here for regular updates after the show, and I’ll let you know about all the cool stuff I saw, from guns and ammo to gear and accessories.

Searching For The Right Mix

We’ve had some time now to settle in with the editorial changes; the addition of Always Armed by Jerry Ahern, Field Gun Review by M.D. Johnson and Precision Marksmanship by Dave Morelli are all going well. Still, I want to make sure people are getting what they want out of Gun Digest the Magazine. My hope is to create a short survey to find out some of the other subject areas readers are interested in seeing on these pages. I know gun collecting still interests most of you, but what about Africa and the rifles and ammunition used on safari? Would an occassional feature story in that area make anyone mad?

Building My First Guns

Well, I’ve stepped into it now. I bought a couple of Chilean Mausers and have started to tinker. Yes, they are Model 1895 guns, not the venerable 1898 Models, but I still think they are pretty cool. And it is amazing how much you do with these rifles. Looks like I’ll be learning to change the safety, trigger and bolt handle. There will be stock work to do. Drilling and tapping for scope bases and the addition of a ghost-ring sight on one of the guns. I have a friend who will be helping me with some of the bigger items, especially when we change out the barrel on one of the guns.

This should be a fun project and I’m hoping to get things up and running in time for the summer shooting season. Maybe this fall I will be able to kill a deer with one or both of these rifles. Time will tell. I’m certainly no gunsmith, but I like the idea of creating something useful with my own hands.

Right now, I have to start buying parts, figure out how to install them and, of course, keep the work bench clean and the tool box organized.

Good Shooting,