Remembering Mr. Bill

Remembering Bill Jordan Lawman, Sheriff Jim WilsonI’m working on a story about Bill Jordan for my column in Shooting Illustrated. And, thinking back on our time together, I remembered a hunting yarn about Bill that I thought I would share with you.

We were hunting turkey on the Penn Baggett Ranch, just north of Ozona. That particular morning, I had walked Bill out to a turkey blind that was just over the hill behind the bunk house. Not being entirely stupid, I went back to the bunk house and drank coffee until it was time to help Bill bring his guajalote back to camp.

I heard Bill shoot not long after the sun was up, so I wandered out to give him a hand. You can imagine my surprise when I found the blind, found Bill, but did not find a turkey. Bill had missed him clean.

As we walked back to the bunk house, I got to thinking that Bill was darned near 80 years old and he could afford to miss now and then. Almost as if he read my mind, Bill said, “I know what you’re thinking. But if I can’t shoot, I can’t do anything!”

So I told him to give me his gun and let me have a look at it. Bill’s gun was a pre-war drilling (Austrian, I think) with two 16-gauge barrels on top and a rifle barrel on the bottom. Some time in the past, Bill had the rifle barrel converted to .357 Magnum. As I looked down the bore, I realized that the bore was so leaded up that I could barely see light through it. When I asked him what ammo he was using, Bill searched around in his pants pocket and came out with some of that old Winchester lead SWC magnum ammo that he must have stolen from the Border Patrol before World War II.

Back at the bunk house, I wrapped a piece of Chore Boy pad around a brass bore brush and went to work on the barrel. I don’t know how much lead came out of that barrel, but I’ll bet it was enough to cast a couple of .44 Magnum bullets from. After that, I gave Bill a box of jacketed soft-point ammo and suggested that he throw that old lead ammo away.

Once the gun was clean, we repaired to the shooting range and Bill sat down at a picnic table, some 60 yards from a bullseye target. With his elbows resting on the table, Bill fired three shots through his drilling in a leisurely fashion. Those three shots clover-leafed! It’s one of the only times I’ve ever known of a miss that could actually be blamed on the gun.

Bill Jordan could shoot. Make no mistake about that.

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103 Responses to Remembering Mr. Bill

  1. Steve Wice says:

    And poor Bill would probably roll over in his grave if he knew what our country’s leadership has done to it’s citizens!

  2. Steve Wice says:

    Kyle, +1 my friend!

    • Clint says:

      George Reese shot exhibition in East Texas. He shot at Canton High School in 1964, my freshman year. Not sure about your area Jim. Later in the 90’s I was priviledged to do the demonstration for region one for DPS in East Texas. George may have shot some in the 50’s, he was a fine pistol shot and gentleman. I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Jordan in Jackson, Miss. in the 1990’s at the Nationals. Looking forward to your article.

  3. Jordan came visiting initially when I was working out of our Tupelo office; that in the early 70s when our 2nd and 3rd child were born; he the NRA Field Rep, Mississippi not having an NRA affiliate at that time and The Mississippi Sportsman Association was though to have potential. He gave his shooting exhibition which was great as always. When I transferred to the Jackson, TN office, he again visited and gave his shooting exhibition to the audience there with the usual skill, awing everyone again as usual with his speed and accuracy with the handgun. He was quite nice to Alan, our 1967 born first born and he, while I was still in Tupelo arranged for me, a NRA Life Member since 1965, ‘represent’ Mississippi at that years NRA Convention in Portland, Oregon. While there i had hoped to ‘kill two birds with one stone, so to speak and visit while there with Francis Sell but he advise that he was tied up with jury duty and thus I missed visiting him and his wife at his home in Riverton, Oregon. That was second NRA Convention and I was forever indebted to Bill Jordan for his kindness is arranging for me to attend. He was attentive to Alan and that was especially appreciated as is the case with all parents regarding their children. I understood that he and his wife, she a school teacher who at the time was planning a trip overseas, had no children and that was regrettable as he would have made a great Dad. (Elmer and Lorraine Keith had one child that survived, they loosing their daughter, and i never met Ted; I just talked with him on the phone after Elmer’s death, checking on his Mom who I believe was in a nursing home at that time. Missed also is Charles ‘Skeeter’ Skelton and much appreciated is his son Bart who carries on his legacy) Great gun savvy folks; sorely missed by we who cherished both
    firearms and those who used them so well. James A Wyatt, Jr., Cleveland, TN Nov. 2013

  4. Pingback: Real-World Defensive Shooting Stances | Sheriff Jim Wilson

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