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Gunwriter, handgun hunter, lover of big bullets, Elmer Keith needs no introduction to Gun Nuts. However, to sum up for those who don’t know who he was: Keith was all hat and all cattle, a little Idaho rancher in a huge Stetson who wrote about handguns and rifles from vast personal experience from the 1920s to the late 70s. He qualifies as genuinely legendary. He helped wildcat the .357, .41 and .44 magnums into existence; he hit a wounded mule deer at 600 yards with a .44 magnum revolver and opened fire at a car full of fleeing thieves in the streets of Washington D.C. while he was attending the annual Remington new products seminar.

Now you can bid on one of his guns. For some years the Cabela’s in Boise has featured an Elmer Keith museum, which displayed several of his guns. That museum is now closed, because the guns are going on the auction block at James D. Julia in Maine, March 15-17, 2015.


Keith was most famous as a handgunner, and the collection features many handguns, including “Number 5” his famous customized Colt Single Action Army in .44 Special that should sell for $30,000-$50,000. Keith also owned a number of big bore rifles, including man-eater hunter Jim Corbett’s .450-.400 Jeffery double, which is expected to bring somewhere between $75,000 to $125,000.


There’s even something for me in the collection, an Ithaca double shotgun. Given Keith’s preference for big bores, it’s not surprising that it’s a 10 gauge. In fact, it’s the first NID (serial number 500,000) made. It belonged to gunwriter Charles Askins before Keith had it restocked to his own dimensions, so you can own a gun owned by two famous gunwriters for the price of one. Click here for a preview of the Keith collection.