Scandinavian Keith Aficionado

No replies
admin's picture
Joined: 05/25/2010

A fellow from Oslo ordered the Kieth Safari CD set. I had to quiz him on how he came to be a keith fan.
Excerpts from the emails:
Hello Al,

Happy New Year! 

I discovered Elmer and his books/writings back in 1990, searching the Scandinavian gun literature for reloading data for my new .444 Marlin. While searching for .444 reloading data I accidentally discovered and read "Hell, I Was There", and I was hooked. I was 18 years old in 1990. My gun interest started when I was about 12 years old, and my dad gave me a powerful Webley air rifle. I hunted a lot of rock ptarmigans and arctic hares with that airgun, in the arctic mountainous around my familys cabin far north in Norway. 

As soon as I turned eighteen I bought a .22 Marlin Papoose rifle for small game hunting and mountain backpacking, and a .444 Marlin for medium to big game hunting. In Norway we have very strict gun laws. You have to be 18 years of age and a registered and coursed hunter to own a rifle, and over 21 years of age to own a handgun. To own handguns you also have to be a registered competition shooter, and you must follow 6 month of obligated training/courses before you can buy your own handgun. 

When I grew up I spent every summer at our family cabin up north, mountain backpacking alone for weeks, fishing and hunting my own food. Reading Elmers books I very much could feel the "free way of living-feeling" that I myself experience being in the outdoors, fishing and hunting. Elmers writings got my mind into handguns, and soon I was a true .44 enthusiast. In Norway handgun hunting is not allowed, but as soon as I turned 21 years of age and could buy my own handgun, my 9,5" Ruger SRH in .44 Magnum (and some heavy bullet hardcast handloads) always stayed on my hip when mountain hiking, in case of meeting an angry brown bear.

I recently sold the .44 Magnum 9,5" SRH, and bought a 7,5" SRH in .454 Casull as my main bear defense handgun. My sister and her family live in the city of Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen, and I visit her as often as possible. In Spitsbergen the arctic nature is untouched, wild and beautiful, but also dangerous because of the low temperatures, the glaciers and the polar bears. Because of the polar bear threat you are not allowed to go outside of the city unarmed in Spitsbergen, so open carry is in a way required:-) I feel pretty bear-safe with the .454 in my Diamond D Guide Choice holster, loaded with heavy hard cast bullets for maximum penetration. 

Selling the .44 Magnum does not mean I am no longer a 44 enthusiast. I am going to buy a 4" model 29 as soon as I can find one for sale in my part of the world, and I just got my hands on a never fired model 24-3 (from 1983) in its original box. Classic guns like that are extremely hard to find in Scandinavia, and to find a never fired classic S&W is more or less impossible. So I am now a very happy guy!

In my moderate Keith-book collection I today have the original first edition of "Hell I Was There" (new but missing dustcover), Gun Notes I and II (used first editions) and a used first edition and signed copy of "Keith: An autobiography". I also have all the other Keith books, but in newer editions, hardcovers and paperbacks. Of course I also have all of Taffin's books, including one first edition of his excellent book "Big Bore Sixguns". 

My handgun collection of today:

- Ruger SRH .454 Casull 7,5"

- Smith&Wesson model 24-3 (never fired specimen when I got it!)

- Smith&Wesson TRR8

- S&W 686 2,5"

- Glock 21

- Glock 19 

- Les Baer 6" Ultimate Master .38 Super with the 1,5" guarantee (my Nr.1 competition gun)

- Hämmerli Trailside with Larry's Guns trigger kit and different grips from Rink and Nill-Griffe

- H&K USP .45 (yes, I really like the .45 ACP round and the history around it)

- My next handgun: Smith&Wesson 4" model 29 

I hope you can excuse my not so good English writing. The only reason I'm not very active participating at the forum is my lack of English writing skills. Because of this I do not write much on american forums myself, but I read absolutely everything I have time to read on the internet regarding handguns in general, and especially everything about sixguns. Thank you very much for keeping the sixgun spirit alive! 

A picture of my model 24-3:


Kindly regards,



Hello Al,

Happy to hear you could read an understand my bad English! You are of course free to post my email/photos on the forums. That would be very fun for me. The 24 has been sitting in a gun collectors safe for the last 30 years, and was sold by his family when he passed away a few month ago. Until then the revolver was never fired. It was not even dry fired. But now she lives with me, and from now on she will be no safe queen!

I found that 6,5 grains of N320 behind a 429421 gives around 850 f/s out of the four inch 24. That is a very pleasant combination to shoot, and the accuracy is great. I think the .44 Special will be my new favorite cartridge! Just ordered 2500 Lyman 429421 from a Norwegian handgunner who cast and sell good bullets in a lot of different calibers. So I am now looking forward to some hours in front of my RL550B, and after that some quality time at the shooting range! A few more photos of my 24-3: