Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Here's the Rest of the Western Magazine Digest Story

Howdy, partner!

You already know the weekly publication side of Western Magazine Digest (WMD), but as Paul Harvey use to say, "here's the rest of the story." Besides publishing feature stories weekly, we also feature news and comment via our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). If you're not tuning in to these two social media channels, then you're only getting part of our story.

For example, yesterday we sent out several news items, two of which I thought should be of great interest to our WMD readers. The one in Argus Courier, entitled "Petaluma’s Past: Northern California’s ‘Indian War,'" discusses the one and only Indian war that occurred in the State of California.

When we send our social media notices over our channels, we use a simple formula. We usually carry one or two sentences, we add three or four hashtags (to draw the attention of other social media networks), as well as a link. Photos are either natively provided by way of migration through the respective social media channel, or we add them where it seems appropriate.

Here's an example of our California Indian social media notice, along with a screen shot (above):

Petaluma’s Past: Northern California’s ‘Indian War’ | #TpromoCom #WMD #Indian #War | It was the only actual “Indian War” in California history. And the only Native American uprising in which a U.S. Major General was killed. One-hundred-forty-six years ago, Sonoma County and Petaluma were terrified.
A second news item carried yesterday was that of a special ranch that provides help with the care of horses for local Tallahassee residents, which is carried by WTXL, channel 27, an abc affiliate:
Triple R Horse Rescue giving horses second chances at life | #TpromoCom #WMD #Horse #Rescue | Rescue and rehabilitation ranch, that's what the Rs stands for in Triple R Horse Ranch. After 10 years, the group has grown, but their mission remains the same. (see the blurb below)

According to the author, Jennifer Meyers of WTXL, "Triple R Horse Rescue doesn't just bring in abused horses to make them healthy. They truly give these animals a second chance at life, just like Choco, who has been here for two and a half years."

Headlines from other recent news postings include:

  • Gunslingers bring Old West to Central Virginia
  • Arizona's 'Superstitions' mountain range home to myth and legend
  • Editors’ Picks 2019: Standard Manufacturing Single-Action Revolver
  • Last rodeo: Cowboy calls it a career after 28 years
  • A Cowboy’s Faith: Cold night healthcare rewarded

To read these and other items on our social media channels, click on the icons below:

Where the Inspiration Comes From

Currently there are two authors at work on the WMD, Gary Miller and myself.

I believe I speak for both Gary and myself when I tell you that the inspiration for our stories comes from a variety of places, but the foremost spot is that of the heart.

Both Gary and myself have extensive histories in being a childhood cowboy or an Indian (you have to take turns you know). The countless hours that we, as young boys, played "cowboys and Indians" helps fuel the fire of interest in all things of the Old West.

Gary also has the benefit of caring for and riding horses on a regular basis a time or two during his lifetime. I have relatives in Martinsville, Indiana who have a horse ranch where I also got my feet wet riding a horse or two. And then there are the hundreds of hours spent watching westerns on television and in the movie houses of our youth.

Now that we're older, we draw from those wonderful memories every time we sit down to write a feature story.

Another source of inspiration for myself is that of old western magazines, like the Old West magazine shown on the right. This is the Winter 1982 issue of Old West. From it the trail has led me to two or three feature stories. For example, on page 12 is a story entitled, "Old West Gunfighters: The Men Who Fired in Anger" (see the table of contents below center). This story led to the writing of "Gunfighters of Renown," which we featured in WMD on November 23rd of last year.

A more recent story, entitled "The Historical Photography of Dr. Edward H. Latham," was inspired by another story in the same publication entitled, "A Girlhood Spend With Chief Joseph," on page 18. Through this article I began to research the photographer of that era who's work was featured in that story, Dr. Edward H. Latham. I scanned the pages of this old magazine and featured the photos so you could view it as well. What a treasure.

Last December we featured four stories that culminated from a WMD article entitled "The Story of Bloody Bill Anderson," taken from an action story in Old West magazine, Winter 1978 edition, entitled "Cord of Death." Note that there are links at the bottom of part 1, 2, and 3, as well as a fourth story that culminated from this Old West article.

The thing about these old magazines (I have a huge collection of these collectible treasures), most every story involves real historical data either researched or told to someone who lived it. If you're interested in acquiring one or two of them, contact me at 614-585-2091 or email me. You also can review the few I've managed to add to our eCommerce store.

Be sure to leave a comment or question below. If you do not see the comment box, click on the "no comments:" and you will be on the actual article page. Scroll down and you will find the comment box. Thank you for reading WMD!

--Al Colombo

Looking for Writers

I wish we could dig deeper and provide even more information by way of additional stories on these subjects, but that would not be practical for us at this stage in our publication. In fact, we're looking for additional writers, so if you're a writer, or if you would like to try your hand at writing, I'd be happy to work with you (email me, or call 614-585-2091). If you do not get a response in 48 hours, please try again.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Frontier Times, September 1980

September 1980 issue
Frontier Times, September 1980
Partner in True West

Was: $15 USD
Now: $11.00 (includes shipping)
"The files of True West and Frontier Times are going to be of great historical value and should be preserved in all the libraries of the country." --the late Walter  Prescott Webb, former President, American Historical Association.

August - September, 1980
Vol. 54, No. 5
New Series 127

True Stories of the West
In this Issue--

Table of Contents
Hosstail's "Small Talk"
Frontier Post
Temple Houston In Mobeetie and Tascosa
Paiute Murder
The Rise and Fall of a Cattle Baron
The Rockie's Gadgeteer
Nat Straw - Squawman
Who Wants to Die?
Six Months Behind an Ox Team
Eliza Juzan -- Beauty at Arm's Length
Uinta Outpost
Rip Ford's River Warriors
Western Book Roundup
Trails Grown Dim

Close-up of Table of Contents

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Friday, March 22, 2019

True West Binder 1960 - 1961

Buy this Binder-Filled Collection & Save $39 (25%)!

True West magazines are filled with true accounts of the old west. The True West magazines contained in this single binder dates between Nov / Dec 1959 and Nov / Dec 1961. All of these magazines are in excellent condition, as new, in fact.

Note that I'm now working out the composite price of the binder with magazines at this time. There is one issue missing, but there are still 12 issues, which includes the Nov / Dec 1959 issue, which is a good find in and of itself. Stated prices includes shipping:

Issue DatePrice
November December 1959$13.49
January February 1960$12.44
March April 1960$19.99
May June 1960$8.99
July August 1960$8.99
September October 1960$22.98
November December 1960$14.95
January February 1961Missing
March April 1961$10.99
May June 1961$12.16
July August 1961$11.95
September October 1961$8.98
November December 1961$10.14
Sub Total (USD):$156.05
The Magazine BinderIncluded
25% discount!-$39.01
Total Price:$117.04
Price: $117.04

Here's how to purchase this binder collection:

  1. Open up a new email in your email client.
  2. Place "True West Binder 1960 - 1961" in the subject line.
  3. In the body of the message, place the following info:
    • Your name
    • City / State
    • Phone number
  4. Send it to

You will receive a total price with shipping as well as a PayPal invoice.

Or, if you're interested in purchasing one of the magazine issues from within this binder, contact Al Colombo at 330-956-9003, or send an email to

Happy Trails!

Nov / Dec 1959

Jan / Feb 1960

Mar / Apr 1960

May / Jun 1960

Jul / Aug 1960

Sep / Oct 1960

Nov / Dec 1960
Jan / Feb 1961

Mar / Apr 1961

May / Jun 1961

Jul / Aug 1961

Sep / Oct 1961

Nov / Dec 1961

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Shotguns: Gauge Versus Caliber

Something that might be confusing to someone just beginning to get acquainted with shotgunning for sports or home defense is... why are most shotgun shells measured in 'gauge' rather than in caliber like most American pistol and rifle cartridges?

Well... it all goes back to the way they measured lead balls in England a long time ago, and then continued with the settlers and colonists in the early days of America. And it just never changed. The concept was, that with the English system for measurement of the bore diameter of their guns, they decided that they would count how many lead balls of a specific bore diameter could be drawn from one pound of lead. Or as some folks describe it, how many lead balls from a specific bore size would it take to equal one pound of lead.

So lets take what is likely our most popular shotgun gauge today as a generalization (and pending the exact grade of lead), the good old 12 gauge. It would take roughly 12 lead balls from that specific bore diameter to equal one pound of lead. And so on for the 10 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, and 28 gauge guns, respectively. But then, you may ask... what about the .410 shotgun shell?

The .410 is actually a 'caliber' based on inches (.410” diameter) from our English-based system of measurement, rather than a gauge. The exact origin of the .410 is still disputed. While the Harrington & Richards company claimed to have manufactured the first .410 shotgun in 1915, another company that went by the name of Cave, laid claim as the maker of the first .410 gun in 1907.

VIDEO: Home Defense Shotguns

The little .410 is great for getting youth acquainted with the use of shotguns because of its mild recoil. The .410 is also popular in rural areas for pest control. And since the .410 shell has the same base diameter of a .45 Long Colt pistol cartridge, there are 'some' handguns being produced now that can fire both the .410 and the .45.

On the other end of the scale, the largest bore shotgun I have ever fired was a 10 gauge that an old timer used to bring out to the small grass-strip airport where I rented a hanger for my old Piper PA-12. Needless to say, it was a BLAST to shoot as we picked off empty oil cans across the runway. The largest bore shotgun I remember seeing up close was a 4 gauge that someone brought to a gun show one time.

But If you want to go really BIG, you might try getting your hands on a 2 (yep, that's TWO) gauge Punt Gun, as you will see in the following video:

While the Punt Guns had a shoulder stock, I would guess that these canons were mostly fired from some form of solid mount, such as from a boat, as shown in the video. I'd hate to go one-on-one with the Goliath who could fire that weapon from his shoulder!

And before you exit Western Digest Magazine, I heartily recommend that you check out the following how-to article that provides some very good tips on shotgun safety and the application of specific gauges: click here.

Shoot Safe and Shoot Straight!

Gary Miller

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Frontier Times (1958, 1959, & 1960) Binder Collection

Buy this Collection & Save $44.25 (25%)!

The Frontier Times magazine is one of the most profoundly interesting document of a historical nature for those who are genuinely interested in the old west. Every issue is packed with untold stories about the old west, stories that came directly from those who lived it as well as those to whom these stories were told.

All 12 issues (three years worth) of magazines contained in this collection represent the foundation upon which this nation was formed. The authors bring to life within their tails of the old west the heart of what makes America great.

There are 12 issues included in this binder, which is included at no additional cost. The appraised prices are included below for each edition and we're applying a 25% discount. Included in this binder are the January 1958 issue through the Spring 1961 issue. Please note that the Winter 1960 issue is missing, so to make up the difference we've added the Spring 1961 issue).

Issue DatePrice (USD)
Spring 1958$15.00
Summer 1958$15.00
Fall 1958$10.00
Winter 1958$10.00
Spring 1959$20.00
Summer 1959$18.00
Fall 1959$9.00
Winter 1959$10.00
Spring 1960$18.00
Summer 1960$18.00
Fall 1960$18.00
Winter 1960MISSING
Spring 1961$16.00
25% DISCOUNT-$44.25

Price: $132.75

Here's how to purchase this binder collection:

  1. Open up a new email in your email client.
  2. Place "Frontier Times (1958, 1959, & 1960) Binder Collection" in the subject line.
  3. In the body of the message, place the following info:
    • Your name
    • City and State
    • Phone number
  4. Send it to
  5. You will receive an estimate that will include the $132.75 plus shipping charges.

  6. If you approve the purchase, you will receive a PayPal invoice via email.

PayPal will accept almost any credit or debit card you may have.

Spring 1958
Summer 1958
Fall 1958

Winter 1958

Spring 1959
Summer 1959

Fall 1959

Winter 1959
Spring 1960

Summer 1960

Fall 1960
Winter 1960

Spring 1961

   Please post a comment below!