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Thread: Keith’s moulds and gear

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Keith’s moulds and gear

    Does anyone have any of Elmer Keith’s personal moulds or reloading gear? I’d love to see pics.

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    Boolit Grand Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what became of his personal gear?

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    Boolit Master
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    I seem to recall his family sold off most of his estate.

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    Link to a story on his estate auction. Lots of pictures.
    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editoria...auction/249494
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

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    ^^^^Great link and pictures. Thanks imashooter2

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    I used to tell people my retirement plan was to scratch EK on the bottom of my old bullet molds.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the link.

    I noticed one gun, the Ruger bearcat. It said it had been given to his son Ted. Wonder why Ted let it go?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Thanks for sharing the link.

    I noticed one gun, the Ruger bearcat. It said it had been given to his son Ted. Wonder why Ted let it go?
    Think I remember some comments that Ted didn't possess the same level of enthusiasm as Elmer had for everything gun related. I think he was into other types of hobbies.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWooldridge View Post
    Think I remember some comments that Ted didn't possess the same level of enthusiasm as Elmer had for everything gun related. I think he was into other types of hobbies.
    I can see not having 100 guns but man, dad gives you a 22 revolver, I think I’d keep that one. Course maybe he kept others.

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    Boolit Buddy gc45's Avatar
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    I feel proud of having my gun collection, western memorabilia, old Molds etc... none of my Sons though share my interest. I don't know what will happen to it all.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I can see not having 100 guns but man, dad gives you a 22 revolver, I think I’d keep that one. Course maybe he kept others.
    I agree with you.

    My four sons all like guns but they are not drawn to the same models as me - so they will be happy getting some from my estate, but I doubt they will keep them over the long haul. I will likely thin the herd over the next few years and leave less for them to sift through. Another issue is that none of my boys ever showed an interest in casting or reloading so that will limit interest in things like my 32-20 rifles...the only hope I have is whether one of the grand kids takes an interest in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Thanks for sharing the link.

    I noticed one gun, the Ruger bearcat. It said it had been given to his son Ted. Wonder why Ted let it go?
    My daughter will inherit a fair pile of nice guns she has absolutely no interest in. In particular, there is a 1917 vintage Colt 1911 that was my Grampa’s, my Father’s and now mine. I have such memories every time I pick that gun up. My daughter has none. I tried hard to get her interested in shooting. It didn’t take. Such is life.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

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    Funny story about Elmer's molds. I was in Winnemucca awaiting NCBS (Nevada Cast Boolit Shoot) a dozen years ago and stopped off at the Forest Service Office looking for info on potential campsites with trout streams (lots all over Nevada). A handsome lady volunteer (no wedding ring) there answered my questions and was interested in my visit for NCBS since I was camped in the nearby National Forest. She announced that she had some of Elmer Keiths molds at her house and invited me up for a showing. Hmmmm! When I demurred she offered to trailer her ATV and give me a ride over the mountain near my camp. Hmmm! It turned out she was doing volunteer work representing on of the local bordello's in town. Knowing my wife wouldn't be entirely understanding (she didn't make that trip to NCBS), I resisted seeing Elmer's molds and the ride over the mountain. It was quite the "come-on" though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilbilly View Post
    Funny story about Elmer's molds. I was in Winnemucca awaiting NCBS (Nevada Cast Boolit Shoot) a dozen years ago and stopped off at the Forest Service Office looking for info on potential campsites with trout streams (lots all over Nevada). A handsome lady volunteer (no wedding ring) there answered my questions and was interested in my visit for NCBS since I was camped in the nearby National Forest. She announced that she had some of Elmer Keiths molds at her house and invited me up for a showing. Hmmmm! When I demurred she offered to trailer her ATV and give me a ride over the mountain near my camp. Hmmm! It turned out she was doing volunteer work representing on of the local bordello's in town. Knowing my wife wouldn't be entirely understanding (she didn't make that trip to NCBS), I resisted seeing Elmer's molds and the ride over the mountain. It was quite the "come-on" though.
    She probably had Elmer’s round ball molds…

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    From what I've been able to piece together about Ted Keith's later years, he ended up in a nursing home with alzheimers, so that may have been part of the reason.

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    Boolit Master

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    What did Elmer do in life to be able to afford a collection like that? Had to do something other than write articles.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I know to start with he was a cowboy and was generally poor. He did a little of everything. Ranched, raised crops and cows, traded. Then he worked at the aresenal at Ogden. I would guess they had meager possessions other than his gun collection as well. I would.

  18. #18
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    I would imagine that a fair number of them were given or presented as honorarium. Also, those sale prices are probably well over the actual worth because they were attached to the man's name.
    ”We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, yet they are still lying.” –Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

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  19. #19
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    Keith started collecting back when the “rare, vintage antiques” of our time were just obsolete, used guns, of no particular general interest or value. He remarked in one of his later books that money back then was just as hard to get hold of as currently, but it bought a lot more. Check the Classifieds in the back of a 1920’s American Rifleman, and you’ll see what he was talking about.

    He had a huge correspondence and traded and bought guns with people all over the world. The son of a man he’d traded a Sharps rifle, an extra barrel, and some cash for a (back then) hard-to-get “New Springfield” .30-06 wrote him asking for particulars on the Sharps, which he’d inherited. Keith answered all his questions, and remarked that he’d gladly trade back, if the son was willing. (Little gun-trading humor there.)

    He worked with gunsmiths who were as interested in his developments as he was, and didn’t charge an arm and a leg. He also got promotional guns from arms companies that used his ideas and wanted his name associated with the product, as he was by then a famous author as well as a firearms expert.

    I don’t know what happened to his loading stuff. Or, for that matter, the correspondence he kept. Some collector probably glommed onto it, and it’ll be listed by Sotheby’s in another 50 years.

    Some years back, somebody inquired on another forum about a 429421 Ideal mould he had. It wasn’t Keith’s own mould, but it had been made using the original cherry that Keith had specified. He wanted to know how rare&valuable it was. Rather hard to give an authoritative answer to that one.

  20. #20
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    Elmer was not one to let grass grow under his feet. Reading his autobiography shows this. He tells of once buying a herd of cattle from someone in a quick deal, then herding them some distance letting them feed to fatten them up and made a good enough sale that he paid off his parent's place.

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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"
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GC Gas Check