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Remembering Elmer Keith, an American Shooting Legend

Sporting Classics Daily

Great gun writer Elmer Keith was, and still is, a fixture in the shooting community.

This well-known gun writer is famous for hot loading pistol cartridges and helped develop the magnum pistol cartridges we all know today; the .357 magnum, the .41 magnum and the great one, the .44 magnum. Elmer was instrumental in wrestling contemporary gun-makers and ammunition-makers to go bigger.

He is well-known for his love of the .44 magnum cartridge and is reported to have dispatched a mule deer that another hunter had wounded at an astonishing 600 yards away.


Elmer was king of the big bore calibers, and was always wildcatting pistol and rifle ammunition into a bigger variety when possible. He was not a fan of the smaller calibers, and is notorious for making that known, even to other writers like Jack O’Connor who preferred his pet load, the .270 Winchester.

Guns and Ammo

Elmer Kieth died in 1984, but his impacts still reverberate through the shooting sports and his writing style still can be found in gun literature.

The shooting world will fondly remember Elmer Kieth, his big bore wildcatted rifles, and his .44 magnum pistols. Rest in peace our gun-writing mentor, rest in peace.

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Remembering Elmer Keith, an American Shooting Legend