Recommended Reading: Rifles and Handguns, An American Freedom by Paco Kelly


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

June 1st, 2007




Editor's Note: As of June 18th, 2007, all the Collector's Editions have been sold. Paco estimates all the Standard Editions will sell out within a week. You'd better hurry if you want to get your copy!

Boge Quinn

I first met Frank "Paco" Kelly a few years ago in person, but he was one of whom I had read his writings for several years prior to that.  Mr. Kelly, as I called him back then, is one of those characters who, while not being an especially large person, is bigger than life. He has squeezed more into his life up to this point than most of us could experience in several lifetimes. Among other things, he has been a game control officer in Africa, an agent for the DEA back in its early years, a Virginia State police officer, and served on the famous New York Stakeout Squad; he is a gun writer, a bullet caster, an avid handloader, a machinist, toolmaker, security guard, family man, preacher, inventor, and has an insatiable appetite for experimenting. He is a hunter, a Shootist, a patriot, and a friend. I now call him Paco.

Readers of Gunblast will know him as one of our guest writers, who contributes a wealth of knowledge into any project which he undertakes. This latest book of his is sure to be popular with anyone who has even a little interest in shooting and hunting. It is filled with first hand practical experience from the many years that Paco has been shooting  rifles and handguns.

As mentioned earlier, Paco is an experimenter. He doesn’t accept the "rules" that state that a levergun is inaccurate, or that the .30-30 should be limited to 100 yards, or that a handgun is good for close-range only, or that a .22 magnum is a pipsqueak cartridge. Tell Paco that something can’t be done, and he will do it. Most likely, he already has, and has written the results down somewhere.

In much of what I do with guns, I turn to Paco’s work for tips and ideas to make the results better for me and my readers. When working up loads for the .25-35 WCF cartridge a few years ago, I researched every loading manual available, with little information to be found. Then, I remembered Paco. I dug out an old book of his, and found most everything that I needed on the subject. Paco has worked with just about every levergun and handgun cartridge known, and this new book of his is a compilation of his wealth of knowledge and experience using handguns and rifles over several decades and in many countries around the world.

Without giving away too much of the contents, he covers topics such as handloading, bullet casting, bullet lubes, shooting, hunting, trapping, stalking, and a wealth of his inventiveness in solving common shooting and accuracy problems.

The book contains many charts and pictures to illustrate his thoughts. Many pictures are current, but many are also old pictures from Paco’s youth. I apologize for the lack of detail of the pictures in this review, but I was taking pictures of pictures, and quality is lost when doing so. While much valuable technical data is within the pages of the book, it reads more like a story, with anecdotes and hunt details spattered with his favorite handloads and recommendations of factory ammunition. There is much practical information about wildlife, hunting, shooting, and life in general. The book is 284 pages chock full of useful information. It is a very entertaining book, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

To order Paco’s "Rifles and Handguns, an American Freedom", send cash, check, or money order to:

P.O.BOX 1170

The first 100 books are a hard bound Collector’s Edition, numbered and signed. It sells for $52.50 including postage in the US. After these are gone, the standard edition will sell for $43.50 shipped to anywhere in the US.

Jeff Quinn

Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.

Click pictures for a larger version.




Okay Paco, what's up with the pants?!?!