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Example Articles

Click below to see example articles, together with links to downloadable pdf copies, listed by the magazines under which they were originally published:Click on picture or links to download the articles.

 Available as PDF files.  Download Adobe Reader® here

Aerial GunneryThe Range is HOT, Firearms News, February 2020, Issue #3

A safe place to shoot is essential for anyone who owns or uses firearms.  For military, law enforcement and security professionals their livelihood, if not their life, depends on live fire training.  Hunters must sight in their guns and where better to do this than at a local 100 yard outdoor range. 

In the not-too-distant past, outdoor places to shoot were abundant with few constraints.  Today with urban sprawl and encroachment, restrictive local laws, and shamefully, the few target shooters who trash good sites, informal ranges are becoming an endangered species and permits for sanctioned ranges are more and more tightly controlled.  A place to shoot is becoming a hot commodity, more so than most readers of Firearms News may realize.

Historically the gun press has been focused on protecting Second Amendment rights, specifically gun bans, self-defense and concealed carry methods and laws, and ammunition and magazine restrictions.  And so it should.  This article, however, focuses on a dimension to our gun rights seldom considered, namely long-term access to shooting ranges.  Shooters may grumble over range fees, but once you know the facts, you will realize the advantages they offer at bargain prices.  It is very expensive to build, own and operate indoor and outdoor ranges.  We must all do our part to take care of and support local ranges and informal shooting sites, lest they too become as threatened as our Second Amendment rights.

Higher Resolution download available here






Aerial GunneryGUN TOWN USA, Shotgun News, January, 2014 (Currently Firearms News)

Prescott, Ariz., is like no other city when it comes to a gun-friendly environment. Scores of cities can rightfully claim to be (now or in the past) prominent centers of America’s gun industry. One of the earliest hubs was Springfield, Mass., and the towns along the Connecticut River Valley. But it takes much more than the presence of a major gun manufacturer for a city to land the title of Gun Town, USA.As this article explores, the clear winner is Prescott, Ariz.

Figures Don’t Lie Prescott’s claim to being Gun Town, USA is based on a number of elements, some of which are subjective and difficult to quantify, such as local culture and history. For those readers living elsewhere, you might consider placing Prescott on your vacation list. It’s a great relocation destination for gun-minded individuals in places like California. And finally, for those who live in gun-restrictive areas, this article may provide some inspiration that it really does not have to be that way. It is proof positive that a “gun-crazed” city can be safer than a “gun-free” city and at the same time be a magnet for new business and talented individuals.








Ultrasonic Firearm
Cleaning, A Two Part Series,
  American Gunsmith, January, February 2014

Ultrasonic cleaners are another variety of tool that is gaining in popularity among gunsmiths, now that these devices have become more affordable. But just as the wrong screwdriver can ruin a firearm, so too can an ultrasonic cleaner if used improperly. There is surprisingly little detailed, credible information on this subject and the classic gunsmithing books were written long before the invention of ultrasonic cleaning. In this series, we’ll explore all of the relevant dimensions of ultrasonic cleaning in the context of gunsmithing. Because this is a subject area that has not been adequately covered in the past and much of it may be unfamiliar to even expert gunsmiths, we chose to fully explore ultrasonics in a two-part series.

Part One: Covers the background on ultrasonic cleaning, its evolution in firearm cleaning and the current state of the technology
(0.6 MB file download)
Part Two: Cleaning techniques, what the experts say about ultrasonic cleaning, essential tipsand list of dos and don’ts and what to look for in a unit.
(0.6 MB file download)





Aerial Gunnery


Ultrasonic Cleanersrial,Small Arms Review, SAR Vol. 18, No. 1, Jam.-Feb., 2014

Ultrasonic cleaning units can be a tremendous time-saver and can perform certain operations that are all but impossible using solvents and manual brushing. But they also come with potential issues. Not surprisingly, there are hundreds of opinions about ultrasonic cleaning on the firearm forums. They cover the spectrum from favorable to very negative and from sensible precautions to absurd recommendations. Why all the disagreement? This article covers the background on ultrasonic cleaning, its evolution in firearm cleaning, and the current state of the technology. It summarizes proper cleaning techniques and essential tips provided by national experts working in the firearm industry.






Aerial GunneryBob Faris – The Passing of a Legend, 1930-2012, Small Arms Review, April, 2012 (Authored as "Small Arms Review Staff Writer)

“Uncle Bob,” as he was known to so many, had a profound influence on the NFA world as marked by the two-part interview published in the October and December 2009 issues of Small Arms Review and in a follow-up article celebrating Bob’s 80th birthday in the November 2010 issue. Much of what has been written or videotaped in the past consisted of interviews recording Bob’s reflections back on his life. He conveyed his views of the weapons he analyzed and repaired while working for the government as well as those that he collected and shot as a private citizen. Contained here is a perspective of Bob from people who knew him well.





Woodin Laboratory, Small Arms Review, December, 2010

This article is about Woodin Laboratory, described by Pepper Burruss, president of the International Ammunition Association (IAA), as “the international center for the study of post-1880 military and police ammunition under 35mm. It traces the entire evolution of modern small arms ammunition. No other collection, government or private, comes close. It contains many  thousands of specimens, scores of which are the only known examples in existence.”

This article is also about the man behind the Lab, Bill Woodin. Few know of him outside the ammunition and forensic communities because he is an extremely private and modest individual. Indeed, Small Arms Review is privileged to publish the first ever in-depth interview and description of the Lab.








Lathes, Mills, Drills, A Two Part Series, American Gunsmith, August 2010

There are gunsmiths in the far-off Land of Oz who have access to unlimited floor space, three-phase power, high bay entrances, and money to buy new Bridgeport vertical mills, South Bend lathes, and Dayton floor drill presses.  But for the rest of us who live in the real world, the pitfalls of buying metal working machinery are as numerous as the options.

This two part article was written primarily for the home or hobby gunsmith or the professional with a small shop with limited space and funds.  Indeed, for the first-time buyer who might be tempted to grab a "great bargain" advertised on the Internet and located halfway across the country, this article is a must-read.  But some aspects covered also may apply to larger shops since many of the points covered are independent of shop size.

Part One: Key Considerations and Used Equipment.  Here are some points to consider when making these big purchases.
(1.6 MB file download)

Part Two: Picking the right size and the import machinery market.
(1.6 MB file download)






Who Was J Curtis Earl?  A Three Part Series, Small Arms Review, May, July, August 2010

Some claim he was one of the most important figures in the Class 3 firearms world, a courageous individual who was willing to take on the ATF, a major benefactor of the NRA, the founder of a world-class arms museum and a mentor to many.  Others viewed him as an abrasive, tightfisted, petty man, ready to challenge family, friends and customers alike at the slightest perceived wrongdoing.  Indeed, he was all these things and much more.  This three part series sheds light on the life of this complex individual through whose hands thousands of machine guns passed…maybe even one of yours.

Part One: Curtis war stories and the formative years
(1.4 MB file download)

Part Two: Evolution of a gun business and a collection of dreams
(1.1 MB file download)

Part Three: The problems take their toll and the quest for a legacy
(2.2 MB file download)







Aerial Gunnery - The Ultimate Challenge,Shotgun News, April 5, 2010

It is extremely difficult to shoot down a fast-moving aircraft the old-fashioned way - with a gun. The ultimate challenge, of course, is shooting down a plane that’s shooting at you.  But machine gunners at several western shoots can try their hands at the nearest thing - shooting at fast-darting radio-controlled planes.  It is tremendously challenging and fun. This article opens by covering the evolution of aerial gunnery from WWI to the present and describes the rigorous training that WWII aerial gunners underwent.  Interviews of two WWII veterans, including a Silver Star recipient, provide first hand accounts of the rigors of aerial combat.







An Interview with Robbie Barrkman, Robar Companies, Inc. - A story of business success based on talent, fate, timing, luck, and skill in asking the right questions, Small Arms Review, December 2009

Many readers may know Robbie Barrkman through his business, Robar Companies, Inc., a manufacturer of custom defensive and competitive shooting handguns and sniper rifles. Some may be familiar with its proprietary weapons coating systems such as NP3, Polymax and Rogard. Others may know him through his training classes in defensive handgun, shotgun and tactical rifle extending all the way back to his early association with the Gunsite
training center in Arizona.








The Model A Ford Runs (Away) Again,The Restorer, November/December 2009
The buzz surrounding the July 2009 release of the movie Public Enemies has rekindled interest in gangster stories and the beautiful cars of the 1930s. Starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, the action thriller portrays one of the country’s wildest periods in outlaw bank robberies, escapes, and car chases. What few will realize is that the actual escape car Dillinger drove in making one of his getaways from the FBI is in the movie. This article depicts the story behind that legendary getaway car.












Firearm Finishing Methods: A to Z, American Gunsmith, August 2009

Today’s gunsmith can offer his customer choices in metal-finishing methods that range from traditional and “down-to-earth” to Space Age and literally “out of this world.” 









Gangster Tommy Guns - These notorious guns sometimes had all their serial numbers removed – or did they?,Small Arms Review, June 2009

The Colt Thompson submachine gun has become the icon of organized crime and the gangsters of the 1920s and 30s. Indeed, its use by criminals who made the 20s roar was a leading cause of the National Firearms Act of 1934.











Model 1927 - Rarest of the Colt Thompsons- A story about Colt Thompson Numbers 4943 & 5238, Small Arms Review, May 2009

Rare is a relative term and it does not always translate directly into either the most desirable or valuable gun in a collection. Unique prototypes, serial numbers, or other distinctive production characteristics are as important to collectors as is condition. Some guns have visual appeal, history, and quality - a mystique - about them. Considering all these factors, it is no wonder that Model 1921 Colt Thompsons are both desirable and very valuable.










Goof-Proof Removal of the Thompson Barrel -American Gunsmith, November 2008

If you’re ever lucky enough to work on a valuable original, you’ll need some special tools and techniques that might not be necessary for working on the semiautomatic replica.