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Thread: Musings on the writing of Elmer Keith...

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    So why did Mr. Keith use 16:1 alloy? Question of the day.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank505 View Post
    So why did Mr. Keith use 16:1 alloy? Question of the day.
    While I am far from an expert on anything I would say it worked for him in what he did with his handguns.
    That would seem logical to me. Since in his years after the coming of the 44 Magnum he rarely if ever experimented with loads unless he was testing a new gun that had come out and he would fire maybe a handful of some factory loads. Much preferring his own "heavy" load.

    Again what i have written is not meant in any way to hurt, injure, insult, bait or to be mean spirited to anyone. It is only my opinion based on the very little I know so please take it that way.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank505 View Post
    So why did Mr. Keith use 16:1 alloy? Question of the day.
    Dave Scovill has commented that Elmer melted down .45-70 bullets cast of that alloy for his lead supply. I never read Elmer saying that but I started in this hobby in the 1970s so haven't read every single thing Keith ever wrote. Also, Scovill met the man and has talked to him, maybe about this subject.
    Rule 303

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    How did Keith get .45-70 bullets.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  5. #25
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    The correct answer is, he pulled and melted 45/70 bullets. The West was full of that ammunition and nobody wanted military surplus 45/70.
    You must realize those days were tough. Elmer Keith persevered through very lean times as a young man trying to make his way.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank505 View Post
    The correct answer is, he pulled and melted 45/70 bullets. The West was full of that ammunition and nobody wanted military surplus 45/70.
    You must realize those days were tough. Elmer Keith persevered through very lean times as a young man trying to make his way.
    Was he still pulling 45/70 bullets when he worked up the 44 Magnum Keith load?

    Again what i have written is not meant in any way to hurt, injure, insult, bait or to be mean spirited to anyone. It is only my opinion based on the very little I know so please take it that way.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I have heard or read that Elmer had access to 16:1 .45/70 boolits through the National Guard in Montana. He was in the Guard. Dunno if this is true or not.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  8. #28
    Boolit Man JoeJames's Avatar
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    BTW, "Hell, I was there!" is also very good, very informative, and quite enjoyable. But in my opinion Sixguns is his best work. I will admit I was not inclined to read him; as I was a bit bitter that his 44 Magnum eclipsed the 44 Special to a point that 44 Specials are somewhat rare other than the new Rugers. But I read Sixguns and it changed my opinion drastically.

  9. #29
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    I guess one of my favorite Keith later stories (thing it was published only in a magazine as I recall) tells of a gun writer's convention in California. One of the perks was a sport fishing trip off the CA coast. The fish must not have been biting so Elmer broke out his .44 Mag and some heavy 429421s and they started chumming sharks in close to the boat so he could pop them. Said the 429421 did well on sharks near the surface and he had a ball.
    Then, he wrote it up in his article.
    Then the "bunny huggers" got hold of it and Elmer had to lay low for a while. Sounded like good clean fun to me./beagle
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  10. #30
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    Think those were Golden Eagles instead of the Bald Eagle and not protected at the time./beagle

    Quote Originally Posted by 44MAG#1 View Post
    Keith lived in a era where being PC was not an issue. He also shot eagles too. Something frowned on by the conservatives.
    Elmer Keith "The Man".

    Again nothing I wrote was meant to harm, injure or to be mean to anyone. It was not to entice or to bait anyone into anything. It was just me making a statement without any intentions to be mean spirited.
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    Think those were Golden Eagles instead of the Bald Eagle and not protected at the time./beagle
    While you are correct they are still Eagles.

    Again what i have written is not meant in any way to hurt, injure, insult, bait or to be mean spirited to anyone. It is only my opinion based on the very little I know so please take it that way.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  12. #32
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    Elmer also used the 16-1 alloy in his Sharps rifles. He made a quick mention of using lead from lead mines in northern Idaho that he said it worked well as it was. I'm no geologist but I don't know if there was possibly any naturally occurring hardening agent in the lead that was mined to make it work to his satisfaction. A lot of times with Elmer's writings you had to already have some backround into what he was saying or read between the lines. My autographed copy of "Sixguns" is very well used with a few loose pages but is cherished.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    I recall on his loading and shooting the .45 Colt. He stated that his dad bought plumber's lead in pigs to turn into .45 Colt bullets. I wondered at the time where in the world in Idaho in the sticks did he find anything to alloy that plumber's lead with. Maybe some "tired" lino from the newspaper office. I'm betting most was shot almost pure out of the .45 Colts.
    Besides printers lead, there was "block tin", surplus refrigerator radiators made almost entirely of tin, wiping solder for auto body & fender shops, toothpaste tubes made of pure tin... tin was plenty available back then, most anywhere.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
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    A few musings.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    I guess one of my favorite Keith later stories (thing it was published only in a magazine as I recall) tells of a gun writer's convention in California. One of the perks was a sport fishing trip off the CA coast. The fish must not have been biting so Elmer broke out his .44 Mag and some heavy 429421s and they started chumming sharks in close to the boat so he could pop them. Said the 429421 did well on sharks near the surface and he had a ball.
    Then, he wrote it up in his article.
    Then the "bunny huggers" got hold of it and Elmer had to lay low for a while. Sounded like good clean fun to me./beagle
    I read that one, too. He was Albacore fishing at the time.
    44 Mag- stop apologizing; you are not bothering anyone.

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  15. #35
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    A #429421 into a shark head is fine by me. Sharks and rattlesnakes are two classes of creature that make you wonder what God was thinking about when He cranked them out.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Elmer would have had a ball with powder coating. He might have blown up a gun trying to get it to lead! He is still one of the great reads for us boolit junkies.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    With his loads using lots of tin he would get good expansion without much bullet fragmenting, the only negative these days is the cost and avail. of tin.
    I'm in a weird position... I have a good friend who gets nearly pure tin as industrial scrap, but my supply of pure lead has dried up. Now that I'm shooting front stuffers in North-South Skirmish events, I go through a lot of lead!

    When I was shooting schuetzen events in the American Single Shot Rifle Association, it was spoken as gospel that one should avoid antimony at all costs, so linotype wasn't even considered there... I still haven't used up all the lino- and monotype I somehow acquired, but it should go OK in my pistols and maybe revolvers needing relatively hard bullets. I too wonder why Elmer never talked in his later writings about any of the tertiary mixes. I've never seen anyone (including Elmer) who said antimony was bad in pistol bullets, just didn't hear them/him recommending it except of course the old industry standard Lyman #2 that seems to have been developed when linotype was abundant and cheap.


    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    I guess one of my favorite Keith later stories (thing it was published only in a magazine as I recall) tells of a gun writer's convention in California. One of the perks was a sport fishing trip off the CA coast. The fish must not have been biting so Elmer broke out his .44 Mag and some heavy 429421s and they started chumming sharks in close to the boat so he could pop them. Said the 429421 did well on sharks near the surface and he had a ball.
    Then, he wrote it up in his article.
    Then the "bunny huggers" got hold of it and Elmer had to lay low for a while. Sounded like good clean fun to me./beagle
    I had the opportunity to visit "The Compleat Angler" in Bimini a few years before it burned. When Papa Hemingway was hanging out there "back in the day" he was having problems with the sharks eating his bill fish. His solution was to swap a rum runner out of a Thompson sub gun and chum up sharks into range to use that on them. I don't recall hearing the bunny huggers giving him any grief about that... but then again, maybe he didn't tell that many folks about it in print!

    One has to wonder whether the World would have ever progressed to its current level if PC had been "invented" a century or two earlier... but then again, the World couldn't have advanced to the level to support the pointy headed intellectuals who subscribe to it if they had started trying to retard advancement any earlier!

    Froggie
    Last edited by Green Frog; 07-04-2018 at 05:07 PM.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    Think those were Golden Eagles instead of the Bald Eagle and not protected at the time./beagle
    Back in 62-63 when I was a student at Sul Ross State College in Alpine Texas, eagles were wrecking havoc with the lamb crop of some ranchers to the point they put a bounty on eagles. There was a local fly guy who had a Piper J3 Cub. He flew from the back seat, while I shot flying eagles from the front seat. Yes, care was taken not to shoot the wings struts or other vital parts of the air plane. There was radio contact with a guy on the ground who would retrieve the dead birds for the bounty. He had the hard job as it was rugged country.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  19. #39
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    Last year I was lucky enough to go to the estate sale at the Hensley and Gibbs shop in Murphy, Or.
    I live about 30 miles from there.
    I was fortunate to be the first to go through their library.
    Among the books I bought was a copy of Elmer Keiths book " Six Guns" by Keith.
    I already had a copy but could not pass up another .
    When I got home I looked inside the cover and found this inscription:

    To Hensley & Gibbs
    With all best wishes
    Elmer Keith
    Salmon, Idaho
    Oct 25, 1981

    Signed in Elmers handwriting.


    I also got several of the early Ideal loading books.

    Some days you just get lucky....dale

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    Thanks for that link & content.
    OH Yeah...you THE MAN!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check