From the editor
Keefe, Mark A IV
“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war, let it begin here.” Those defiant words are attributed to Captain John Parker of the Lexington Militia Company on April 19, 1775, and they preceded the “shot heard ’round the world.” Though no one knows who fired that fateful first shot, when the smoke cleared from the ensuing battle between Parker’s 70 or so farmers and townsmen and 700 of Britain’s regular Redcoats, the War of Independence was on, and the world would be forever reshaped. From 1775 to 1783, our great nation was hewn from the sacrifice of free men often bearing their own arms in defense of liberty. But what sort of arms did Parker, his men and the other militiamen who fought the opening (and later) battles of the Revolutionary War possess? To answer that question, we asked distinguished Revolutionary War arms historian George Neumann to write an overview of “American-Made Muskets In The Revolutionary War” (p. 70). Despite the rantings of discredited college professor Michael Bellesiles, there were distinctly American arms assembled by thousands of gunsmiths all over the Colonies. And, just as Neumann did with Brown Bess and Charleville muskets used in the conflict, he has laid out examples of American arms in common use by our forefathers in winning our freedom.
It seems that, regardless of what it is, we want more for less these days. Two interesting, but complementary, products emerged this year that demonstrate attempts by today’s manufacturers to give shooters and hunters more value for the money. Those products are the Tikka T3 rifle and the Leupold Rifleman riflescope. Both deliver solid value by taking advantage of modern manufacturing technology while eliminating frills or features that most of us will likely never miss. For more on the Tikka T3 and the Leupold Rifleman, turn to p. 56.
It was his innovative .22 pistol that established William B. Ruger, Sr., as one of America’s great gun designers, and it was the success of that gun that allowed Ruger to grow into America’s largest gunmaker. It is only fitting that the Ruger .22 pistol, in its current Mark II configuration, is the basis of a special arm intended to endow the future of the shooting sports through NRA’s Basic Marksmanship Training Program. Ruger has teamed with Davidson’s and The NRA Foundation to offer this affordable, fitting tribute to the legacy of NRA Honorary Life Member Bill Ruger and to demonstrate the commitment of both Ruger and the firm he founded to the future of shooting. The gun and the people behind its creation are described in the article beginning on p. 62.
Mark A. Keefe, IV
Copyright National Rifle Association of America Oct 2003
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