Saturday, March 01, 2008


About fifteen years ago, my friend, the late journalist and mystery novelist, Vince Kohler, did a slide show presentation for the Mystery Writers of America's annual convention. Seems a lot of mystery writers get the gun stuff wrong -- they put safeties on revolvers, or shove clips into the butts of same, and have folks using calibers that don't exist in the configurations they make up.

Kohler did a nuts-and-bolts presentation, and part of it was a piece on carrying concealed and how to get a handgun out and on-line. I got to be the model. We had just taken an NRA class in how to teach pistol shooting, and were feeling as if we knew stuff.

Vince's widow, who is moving to Australia, came by with some books and pictures from that session, and I thought it would be fun to put them up.

I've gotten a little fitter since, dropped a few pounds, as well as a little grayer and more wrinkled, shorter hair and all, and I went to paddle holsters over IWB carry, they are much more comfortable. Plus the Smith Chief .38 Special snubby is not a really serious gun, I prefer a K-frame; still, I thought the picture sequence got the point across. What it looks like under a shirt, the draw, and four shooting stances -- hip-point, extended-point, Weaver, and Isosceles.


Ed said...

I saw a show once on shooting and the host was with Steven Segal at his home - where he had a shooting range. Boy don't mess with that guy - (probably for a variety of reasons) - he is an excellent pistol shot and he does know his firearm. I happened to read your book the 97th Step after I saw the show and the affinity Pen had for firearms/weapons made me think of Segal and the way he knew his pistol. Another thing on the wish list - my own shooting range - minus neighbors.

Carissa said...

Thank you for posting these pictures. I know very little about guns and using them, but I keep coming up with characters who should know about them. My limited knowledge (coming as it does through watching TV and movies) is quite incorrect, as I found out during a writers workshop. You've got me thinking about taking shooting lessons and trying to find some books on the history of firearms (I do a lot of period stories). Thanks!

Steve Perry said...

among them, issue concealed-carry licenses for handguns. To get one in Oregon, you have to demonstrate evidence of ability. For most folks, this involves taking a class and getting a certificate.

Check with your local sheriff's department -- they'll be able to steer you to a class where you can learn the basics. Doesn't take long and isn't too costly for the basic how-to, which will also address the laws on using a gun for self-defense.

Check out Robert Brown's primer online for writers:

Hands-on experience is better. How does the thing feel in your hand? How heavy? How hard to operate? What does the lube smell like? How much does it recoil when fired? What does burned gunpowder smell like? (Not cordite," which doesn't power handguns.) Those are all important for veracity in writing.

Ximena said...

That was only 15 years ago?? Man, I hope I age better than you did.

Steve Perry said...

Gosh, I hope so, Ximena. Of course, you are about to get married, and that will have an effect.

Send me a picture in, oh, twenty-five years or so, and we'll see ...

Silatyogi said...

a little coin or weight sown into shirt to get it out of the way would make the getting to the gun even easier. EP trick I learned from Guru Cliff & friends.
Yes a private shooting range would be really cool for next kwanza.