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GUNS Magazine May 2010 - Page 12
MONTANA MUSINGS • MIKE “DUKE” VENTURINO • PHOTOS: YVONNE VENTURINO dUkE’S dEFINING MoMENT Where a hobby began. littledidDukerealizebackin 1962thatinabout48yearshe wouldactuallyhavehisown modestcollectionof“burpguns” suchasthisrussianPPsh41. or many years now I’ve been searching for something. It F wasn’t a gun or a rare bullet mould. It was a simple magazine; precisely a Gun World magazine. I couldn’t remember its exact date but figured it had to be from late 1962 or early 1963. All I could really remember about it was that its cover was red and there was a blurb on it reading “Burp Guns Of Modern Armies.” I now have that particular issue. It was from December 1962. A short while back a young fellow e-mailed me with a question. It seems his girlfriend had found a stack of old gun magazines at a yard sale and bought them for him. They dated from 1958 to 1962. His question was about a writer published in many of them. I couldn’t help him with that, but as a long shot asked him if one of those old gun magazines happened to have a red cover with a blurb about “burp guns.” The next day he e-mailed me a photo of its cover and said, “You mean this one?” Indeed I did and sent him enough bucks to take his girlfriend out for a nice dinner. such it was a defining moment in my life. For anyone interested in World War II history, the fall of 1962 was a pretty good time. One TV network had Combat! showing on Tuesday nights while another had a program called The Gallant Men on Friday nights. (Combat! stayed for many seasons but The Gallant Men lasted only that one season.) I watched both every week. With that frame of mind, while browsing a newsstand my eye happened to catch that “Burp Guns of Modern Armies” blurb and somehow or the other I actually had the 50¢ purchase price. That magazine started a passion and thereafter I bought every gun magazine that hit the stands in our little West Virginia coal-mining town. Little did I realize then in 1962 that 10 years later I would have my first article published in a gun magazine and that by 2010 I would have authored over 1,500 articles for gun magazines. Even more, I never dreamed back in 1962 I would eventually even have my own modest collection of “burp guns.” Good Read? Was that first gun magazine of mine as good as I remembered? No way! Actually it was pretty bad, especially when compared to today’s magazines. That “Burp Guns Of Modern Armies” article actually had little in it about burp guns. Mostly it covered every personal weapon used by modern armies from pistols to infantry rifles. Some editor gave it a catchy title to cover for its staid contents. There was also an article touting a .358 Belted Magnum, which amounted to nothing in the firearms community. And the cover story was about Ruger’s .256 Hawkeye singleshot pistol, which amounted to little more than that .358 Magnum. There was an interesting article intended for law enforcement types titled “Don’t Die Trying.” It was mostly an indictment of the .38 Special as a police cartridge. This was about the beginning of the move for an intermediate magnum New Passion Why was that magazine so important to me? Because it was the very first gun magazine I ever bought and as 12 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MAY 2010