SIXGUNS.COM - A TRIBUTE

Originally published at: SIXGUNS.COM - A TRIBUTE - Full30 Blog

HELLO FULL30 READERS!

Today we have our first tribute article, and with his help we’re giving Albert Fernandez the credit he deserves for his effort to preserve Sixguns.com

But this Tribute article is not just Sixguns, or Albert, but all the People

The Crew – 2010

Albert with his wife Linda
Mexican Mahi Mahi

Thank you Albert for taking the time to do this article for our readers, before we discuss Sixguns can you please share a bit of personal background, how did you get into firearms?

Hello, All

Started out as a kid, dad taking us to the gravel pit as I’m sure most of us started that way. Handled a 22 revolver and my first gun an Ithaca 22 rifle, first shotgun a Sears 12ga, a few other small caliber weapons don’t recall what. Grandfather gave me a 30-06 US Remington and a 1897 pump, and along the way I picked up a piece here and there, but didn’t really pick up the six gun bug until around the 90’s when I started hitting the gun shows and saw the deals that could be had on used Rugers and Smiths. (Every one was trading them in for Glocks I guess)

Started shooting a steel plate league, a lot of good/ fast auto shooters kicked my ass at first, learned quite a bit about handling guns in a group setting, and pretty soon was keeping up with and sometimes beating the autoloaders with single action and double action revolvers.

I can believe it, there’s some pretty fast six shooters out there that I wouldn’t want to go up against, please continue

Around that time the web started to be a thing, and I was reading tales of Elmer Keith and articles by John Taffin, some of the other greats Bill Jordan, Skeeter, and too many others to remember without a google search. During this time I came across Sixguns.com. Lots of good articles by Mr Taffin and guest writers that seemed to have a lot of knowledge of the subject, and good stories to tell.

Sixguns website was built by someone I don’t even remember his name anymore, and Mr. Taffin always maintained it wasn’t “His” website but he would allow it. Started noticing it would be down, for months on end, and then back up. One time when it was up I made a copy of the entire site with a web tracker, and started to reach out to try to track down the owner. Maybe took a year or 2, but got a hold of the gentleman, and after some negotiation on what the value was he gave it to me no cost. I have been hosting / maintaining it ever since.

Around that time my dad introduced me to a gentleman named Will DeRuyter, who was at a few of the plate shoots, and had started the “Elmer Keith Memorial Shoot” an open sight pistol/ revolver long range challenge in eastern WA. I think I started with the 2nd or 3rd one and have made every one since, always shooting a sixgun.

Skeeter’s Last Sixgun

Elmer Keith and his S&W 44 Magnum

Elmer Keith and Roy Weatherby, probably arguing about slow and heavy vs fast and lite

Elmer and guide

Elmer Keith and a pair of 44’s

Remembering Skeeter

Shootists Anniversary Model USFA .44 Specials.

Bill Grover / Texas Longhorn Arms and his Improved 5

Dick Casull and his personal Freedom Arms 454

Ok, you do not disappoint and I can tell you likely have a lot of great history to offer our readers, I did a basic search, looks like the site was founded in 1998 which makes it an antique by some standards, do you think that’s pretty accurate to its age, and how old was it when you took over?

1998 sounds about right, I took it over in 2009. Antique is a pretty fair description.

Since you’ve had it has it been constant or have there been ups and downs, any interesting stories you can recall, any regrets or has it been worthwhile?


Well, Mr. Taffin would send me one of his books to post online, and then his publisher would send me a letter telling me to take it down, that’s kind of an up and down.


The site use to be page 1 hit when you searched “Sixguns” now can’t even find it unless you add the Dot Com. My real regret is not being able to shake the hand of everyone the site has put me in contact with.

And that modern browsers can’t seem to play the background midi file “Back in the Saddle Again”

Can you fill us in on some of the men sixguns memorializes, the guys you think mean the most to the history of the sixguns, you mentioned a Elmer Keith Memorial Shoot, please, share what that’s all about.

Well for me, the site keeps memories alive of a lot of old boys that most probably never heard of. Friends that have contributed stories and information, or just stopped by to BS, most I never knew personally but all shared a passion for the sixgun. Men like Glen Fryxell who probably knew more about the science of lead bullets then anyone I have ever read, Chris Schei who I knew towards the end of his days, struggling to master the new fangled I-Pad so he could could post his stories.

  • Chris Schei, Chris’ Tales
  • Mike Barranti, Barranti Leather
  • Michael and Julie Knott, Elm Outfitters and Guide School
  • Lynn Halstead, Dry Creek Bullet
  • John Duncan “Gunsmith”
  • Edward and Christie Janis, Peacmaker Specialists
  • Tom Sitaos, Guns and Ammo and Hunting publisher
  • Steve Collins
  • Vern Wimmer
  • David LaPell
  • Jeff Meyers
  • Kevin Gonzales
  • Glen Barnes
  • Gorden Marts
  • Jack Fowler
  • Tom Moore
  • Paul Moreland
  • Doc Hudson
  • Charles Graf

All folks I would never have known of if they hadn’t left their mark on sixguns.
And some the better known smiths,

http://www.sixguns.com/crew/index.html 1

  • Bill Grover,
  • Gary Reeder
  • Alan Harton
  • Al Goerg
  • Jim Riggs
  • Hamilton Bowen

And Of course names everyone should know:

  • John Taffin
  • Elmer Keith
  • Skeeter Skelton
  • Bill Jordan
  • Ed McGivern

too many to list.

Along the way Mr. Taffin has sent me hundreds of photos to post in various slide shows across the site. And of course his articles.

http://www.sixguns.com/range/index.html

So moving on to Elmer Keith, I had been shooting the Elmer Keith Memorial Shoot for several years before I became the caretaker for Sixguns, anyone who hasn’t read “Hell, I was There” by Keith should read it!

Also take a look at Elmers eulogy Mr Taffin wrote:
Elmer Keith: 1899-1984

Ok Albert you got me, I almost did not click that link and read that eulogy, but wow, am I glad I did, it truly helps me understand more of what you’ve been up to preserving Sixguns and why Mr Taffin created it in the first place, this is great history to maintain.

Elmer Keith was a writer for American Rifleman, Guns and Ammo, several books on the subject, big game hunter, and the father of the magnum sixgun.

Every year we get together and eat, shoot, raffle, BS, and generally have a bang up time raising money (Over 100K so far) for an acorn fund with the NRA in Elmer’s name, and recently for SAF, and Foundation for Wildlife Management. Will got the idea after reading of Elmer Keith taking a whitetail at 600 yards with a handgun, and the group is getting proficient at hitting targets between 100 and 600 yards with open sight handguns (The 600 yard target can sometimes make it a a match or two without needing to be scored!).

Wow, Albert, I understood Sixguns was important, but I’m finding it more exciting to do this article than I originally guessed.

Now I gather from some of our conversations you are out of steam, is that fair to print?

The site needs some modernization while keeping the original theme and content. I am really slow at that kind of stuff, need some help possibly someone to hand off the reigns. I have had several $$ offers but my guess they were/ are just looking for top tier domain names, probably to flip for more money. Couldn’t care less about the content.

Given that’s the case, and the obvious fact this site needs to carry on, do you have any idea who may carry the torch for you once you hand it off?

No idea. Someone that prefers prestige over cash would be my hope.

You had said you regretted:

And that modern browsers can’t seem to play the background midi file “Back in the Saddle Again”

I believe it could be done, in a different format, and the site could be brought into the future, to preserve the past…

Not the Aerosmith version (Although that one isn’t bad).
I wasn’t sure about this blog when you first proposed it, but glad I did.
Thanks–
Al

And thank you Al, both for your time and assistance with the article but also for all your years of selfless effort to maintain Sixguns.

Epilogue

This article sat incomplete for a few weeks, as my discussion with Albert progressed I felt we here at FULL30 might need to seriously consider a discussion about assuming the responsibility for Sixguns future.

Its history needs to be preserved and also kept alive. If you got the impression from this article Al is a selfless person then let me build on that by sharing that Al graciously turned over its care to us with two simple requests.

  1. We support The Second Amendment Foundation.
  2. Al can still contribute if he decides to.

I hope all you readers are as touched by this as I am, and I conclude this with a plug for donation to the Second Amendment Foundation.

There’s a lot more to add but each step takes time and I wish to get this article published, in the meantime if you’re a web guru, blogger, activist etc, and think you’d like to contribute to the future of Sixguns, please make yourself known and we’ll work towards it.

Until then please please consider joining or donating to the SAF.

Join or Renew Membership


https://www.saf.org/donation-page/

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Are you Serious !!! THIS IS AWESOME !!!
I am so glad to see this .
I love sixguns and do be lieve I had an acct. There at one time.
That is the site I was looking for when I stumbled into Full30…
I love this .
I want to say to Al thank you from all of us and for my self personally. Sixguns have always been a part of my life and will be till the day I’m let down to start pushing up daisies.

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Don’t know what to say. Been an honor. And the coolest email address ever.

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Well now there’s a crazy occurrence and I’m grateful for it, Al is the one who’s responsible for it still being there and I believe having it with us will be good for it as there’s some crazy good opportunities going on behind the scenes here right now, we do need to find more people with talent to help out, seems though that people willing to work are overworked already, surely requires patience finding the right people.

You don’t need to say a thing you’ve done enough :salute:

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Great job Al, well done. :clap: :clap:

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Nice of you to say , I likes it here . I think I found me a new talk forum home.

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