2 Revolvers, 1 Rifle: Best Guns for Writing a Western Novel

guns used in western fiction

Court Merrigan is a writer I’ve known for a good while, having served as a beta reader for him on some of his work. We connect over Facebook about firearms and all things writing, so I was thrilled to hear his western novel was picked up by Beat to a Pulp for publication. Merrigan’s novel may go down as having the most loquacious title of 2017, pulling double duty as the preface to the rest of the work:

THE BROKEN COUNTRY: Being the Scabrous Exploits of Cyrus & Galina Van, Hellbent West During the Eighth Year of the Harrows, 1876; With an Account of Mappers, Bounty Hunters, a Tatar, and the Science of Phrenology.

How can you not love that? Here’s the gist:

Set in post-apocalyptic 1876, THE BROKEN COUNTRY tracks the scabrous exploits of the outlaws Cyrus and Galina Van. The pair kidnaps a naïve, young scion and head west in pursuit of gold, glory, and respect. Along the trail they met Atlante Ames, a mapper who euthanized her own father and now seeks her twin brother, himself gone outlaw in the ravaged West. In cold pursuit rides the implacable bounty hunter Hal, who takes scalps in the name of Jesus Christ and the science of phrenology, and the contemplative Buddhist assassin Qa’un, paying off the bloodprice he owes Hal … bounty by bloody bounty. Cyrus and Galina’s hard road west comes to a head in a dynamite-tossing, six-gun-blazing shootout at the old train depot in Laramie.

And here’s his piece about the firearms he’s deemed best fit for a post-apocalyptic western novel. Enjoy!

~Ben


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Compound Bows vs. Crossbows: Which is Better for Fiction Writing?

Crossbows in fiction experienced a bit of a renaissance with the popularity of The Walking Dead and Daryl Dixon. But are they really any better than compound bows? This guest blog from Tomaz Rodica, of ArcherStop, compares the two. Be sure to let me know your opinion in the comments. Enjoy!

~Ben


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Symbolism and Weapons in YA/Children’s Stories

young adult fiction writing tips weapons

This guest post comes from Megan Robin, someone I first met at the 2016 Writer’s Digest Conference. I’m glad I did, because not only is she a terrifically talented writer, she pitches blog posts about weapons in children’s stories. What’s not to like about that? Enjoy!

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In Defense of Small Pistols in Fiction

Kel Tec P32

Mouse guns are small handguns that are easy to conceal, but hard to use accurately. While exact definitions can vary, they are generally considered to be the smallest handguns that still retain practical value. This .32 caliber Kel Tec would qualify as a mouse gun.
By James Case from Philadelphia, Mississippi, U.S.A. (Kel Tec P32 .32) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve defended the use of small pistols, aka “mouse guns,” in fiction before, and it appears I’m not the only one with the belief that getting shot sucks no matter the caliber. Michael Connick, who recently contributed a great piece about everyday carry setups, is here to back me up. Enjoy!

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Give Characters a Full Ensemble of Weapons to Handle Any Situation

Michael Connick returns for another terrific post, this time focusing on real-world inspirations for his characters’ weapons. Enjoy!

~Ben


Writing weapons fiction

Fiction writing tips firearms tactics shooting raids

Connick’s books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other fine book retailers. His website is MichaelConnick.com. (Image provided by the author)

Above is a picture of what I typically carry with me each day. My decision to carry these items is based on over 35 years experience with firearms and self-defense, so it’s no surprise that my fiction reflects this practice. I think it’s important to give characters a full ensemble of weapons to handle any situation. Continue reading