American Rifleman - July 2014 - 8

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KEEFE REPORT

M

y only Pulitzer Prizewinning friend is Stephen
Hunter, and he is also the
only New York Times best-selling
fiction author who regularly takes
my calls. Brad Thor, who will have an
article in these pages next month,
will likely soon be on the latter list.
Hunter has penned 19 novels, and
I discovered his work in the 1990s
when American Rifleman Editor
Bill Parkerson handed me a copy
of Point of Impact; the first of his
books to feature the character Bob
Lee Swagger. Remember the movie
"Shooter"? It is based on that novel.
Single-handedly, Hunter created
the sniper genre in contemporary fiction. He retired several years ago as
the chief film critic for the Washington
Post (he was at the Baltimore Sun
before that) and spends his time
these days writing novels. And
despite his employment at liberal
icons, Steve is a true gun guy. He
loves guns, and his descriptions of
them and their performance-
especially when it comes to
ballistics-are second to none.
Hunter also loves gun magazines,
and is a fan of all of them, but especially American Rifleman. He and I
have become friends, and
of all the guys I know who
know guns and can really,
really write, he tops the
list. And Steve is a class
act; in memory of former
NRA staffer and gunwriter
J. Guthrie, who died unexpectedly last year, Steve
named a character in his
latest book for him. It is a
special tribute that most
readers will not even recognize, but
for those of us who knew and miss
Guthrie, it was no small thing.
In preparing his latest work,
Sniper's Honor, I let my friend down.
Steve asked me if I knew anyone
with a Fallschirmjägergewehr 42,
the extremely rare-and nearly
uncontrollable in full automatic-
lightweight, selective-fire machine
gun created for German paratroopers during World War II. I reached
out and managed to locate a couple
of the legally owned guns (there

are not that many, and the last one
I saw at auction went for around
$150,000). But I was unable to get
back to Steve in time and go to the
range with him and the gun.
Thankfully, Steve went to Dan
Shea and Long Mountain Outfitters
in Nevada and spent some time
examining both major variants of
the gun. And the description of it
in Sniper's Honor is excellent and
true to the way the gun feels in the
hands. I do not want to give away
what other guns are built into Steve's
story line, but he makes one of my
favorite rifles as real as the characters he creates.
Combine Bob Lee Swagger with
a beautiful Russian sniper, some of
World War II's coolest hardware,
a mystery, a government cover
up and a couple of villains, and
you have a superlative novel. It
cost me some sleep, but
I don't regret it one iota.
Sniper's Honor went on
sale from Simon & Schuster
(simonandschuster.com)
on May 20 and is highly
recommended. In this issue
on p. 50 is an article by
Hunter, "Transcendent: The
Fallschirmjägergewehr 42,"
that covers the iconic gun.
It is my hope Steve and
I will head to the range with SMG
Guns' semi-automatic-only version
of the FG-42 made in Texas. The gun
pictured on p. 50 is on its way back
to me, and it is magnificent. More
so because of the unopened case of
8x57 mm JS Mauser from the good
folks at Hornady at my feet. I don't
think it will last very long.
Sincerely,


http://www.simonandschuster.com http://www.Mauser.net http://www.Mauser.net

American Rifleman - July 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2014

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 8
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American Rifleman - July 2014 - 11
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