Man at Arms

Man At Arms is a term that you don’t hear very often these days. Back in the old days it denoted a Master Swordsman. However, during modern times it has come to refer to a man who is proficient with firearms. Alvin York, Audie Murphy, James Butler Hickok, and Capt. Frank Hamer, were Men At Arms.

A Man At Arms will do well with just about any firearm that he picks up. He shoots smoothly, accurately, and without wasted motion or drama. He may not always win, but he will be closer to the top than the bottom of anybody’s shooting game. His guns generally aren’t gaudy and seldom have all the latest gadgets hanging off of them. They are, however, well made and well cared for. The Man At Arms respects his craft.

Interestingly enough, the Men At Arms that I know have an almost old-time sense of honor, dignity, and good manners. And they hold to those values, year in and year out, despite what condition current society might be in.

Am I a Man At Arms? That’s not for me to say. But I assure you that is what I strive for each and every time I pick up a firearm; and I handle firearms virtually every day.

Sadly, many of the current crop of gun writers don’t have a prayer of ever being recognized as Men At Arms. They can’t shoot for sour grapes; I know because I have watched them. I don’t know why they don’t get into a field for which they would be better suited.

Among the current crop of gun writers, my nominees for Man At Arms are Bart Skelton, Richard Mann, Rich Grassi, Bryce Towsley, Dick Williams, Terry Wieland, Dave Scovill, Joe Coogan, and a few others that I could name. They know what they are doing and they do it with a goodly amount of class. I am proud to call them my friends.

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9 Responses to Man at Arms

  1. Jim Wilson says:

    OOPS! That’s another Man At Arms in the photo, Mr. Brian Sheetz of the National Rifle Association.

  2. Richard Mann says:

    Honored to be on a list compiled by a man that is at the top of it!

  3. William Bouley says:

    For someone who is regarded so highly, by so many, to not list himself as a “Man of Arms” speaks to the “sense of honor, dignity, and good manners”. This sense of Honor and Dignity is lacking today in a world of self proclaimed Experts and Masters of weapons craft. Thank you Jim for what you do, and who you are.

  4. John Wydra says:

    For sure the truth. Grew up reading, Keith, Skelton, Cooper, Hatcher, Askins, Johnston, Marshal, Sanow, Ayoob and many more that I cannot remember that brought me my knowledge in their books and articles in many gun magazines. Now we have some youngsters that are using social and electronic media to spread the word. Maybe if they live long enough their words will carry the weight and knowledge of the writers I grew up reading. Hitting 60, and feel very fortunate to have lived at a time where I could really relate and enjoy my generation of writers, including Sheriff Wilson.

  5. Sam Summey says:

    Well said Jim, I like “Man at Arms” better than “Shootist”. I guess that’s the reason you’re a writer and I’m not (too much cerebral activity for me). From the previous comments YOU are considered a MAA too by many, I concur.
    See you at the SHOT Show.

  6. Anthony says:

    Great honorable men and woman using their talent and skill here. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office in my local neighborhood has a similar Man at Arms competition. Congratulations to all the nominees.

  7. dan says:

    You sir, are an inspiration!

  8. W.D. Willis says:

    I reckon The High “Shurf” has it in spades. It’s better to be confident and have others honestly laud your qualifications than “toot your own horn” and betray that dignity and effort that our parents went to such great lengths to inculcate in us during out youth. “Shurf” Jim is one to ride the river with… or I don’t know the qualifications and never did.

  9. John Guthrie says:

    I would like to posthumously nominate my brother James Guthrie to that fine list of gun writers! Thank you for your consideration! John Guthrie.

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