"Red Nichols? Never heard of him"
Updated: 5 days ago
Those words were first written by a young woman who asked around the Lawman Leather shop, assuming that my missive to her father's company was from some no-account 'captive' gun writer for the industry press; an enthusiast who din't kno 'nothin'. I had mentioned I was the producer of "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century. Not good enough! It seemed. Never heard of you :-)
Which puts me in mind of this terrific scene from "Some Like It Hot", a film I saw as a child when it was released but not knowing it was a comedy! A shock when Toothpick Charlie and his mates were machine-gunned by Spats' men as in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Afterwards, Chicago's police chief is seen 'conversing' with rum runner Spats about Charlie:
"Toothpick Charlie? Never heard of 'im".
I've not ever thought of myself as a gun writer, or indeed any kind of writer, until I compiled all my gun press appearances. Sixty* pages is not too shabby, and doesn't count all the book chapters (I wrote several of the "Blue Steel & Gunleather" chapters, and all of the "Holstory" chapters, too) or my educational posts in forums such as smith-wessonforum.com as 'rednichols' and ditto coltforum.com , same name. Nor a hundred blog posts.
Above, I have located the missing issues from my collection and they're on their way to me from USA sellers. *Copies of them are expected to increase the total pages below to 100.
Below, in date order from the early 1980s, in mags like Shooting Times, Handgun Quarterly, Combat Handguns, and Handguns:
Below, the editors were NOT HAPPY with the first draft of my article about the several pistols being pitted against each other for the Army's new 9mm tes. I had used evidence including photos provided on background by the Army showing cracks in the S&W frames and I was told the mag would lose all of Smith's advertising if they ran the true story. Turned out they were right: years later, when the same editors for the same mag wrote about common sense gun regulations and Smith demanded they be fired or else the company would pull its advertising!
Gun mag articles are not reporting, they are 'puff pieces' to attract and satisfy advertisers; you don't think your palty subscriptions pay all the bills, do you? Instead, all magazines are founded to sell advertising and the editorial is secondary to that financial reward.
All my articles aren't listed qbove, perhaps because I've scattered some into the hard copy files for the various designer/makers. One that comes to mind is about the clamshell, with images of the internal frames that were supplied direct from the Safety Speed factory. I'll look around.
Ah, here it is:
And the column from the same issue:
Lawman Leather? Never heard of 'em. But below, from the company's 'good friend' Jerry Ahern (because he wrote a puff piece about their only holster design) shows he had at least a faint recollection of who Red Nichols is:
Read more in my book titled "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century -- the Second Edition" that is available at www.holstory.com and printed for you/shipped to you in USA.