Monday, September 13, 2010


Winchester rifle 1886 45-90 half mag

Steve with rifle in golf bag
Stephen Bly

As a writer of western novels, I have a deep interest in the guns of the old West. 

Like all inventions, there’s been progress and improvement in firearm construction. I work hard to make sure I have the right gun for the right era for my fiction. Nothing troubles me more than to read a story or see a movie, where the hero totes a weapon that had not yet been invented. Makes it hard for my wife or family to watch westerns with me.

John Wayne, of course
That means my characters don’t pack a repeating cartridge rifle before the Civil War.  Nor do they use smokeless powder before the mid 1890s. And they never carry a Winchester 1892 before...well, before 1892. Sorry, John Wayne (who insisted on carrying his own rifle, no matter the time of his movie).

Winchester 1873 saddle ring carbine
I own and have shot all the weapons I mention in my books. I find it tough to communicate a scene if I haven’t felt the kick of the gun, the explosion in my ear, the heat of the barrel, the acrid smell of black powder in my nostrils and the cloud of smoke that hangs between me and my target. For me, the scene has to be authentic.

My faith’s that way too. 

My walk with God has got to be genuine, first-hand, and include daily contact with Jesus, God’s Son. I’ve felt the kick of his discipline, the explosion of his truth, the heat of walking with him through trials. I know about the acrid smell of failure, the cloud of doubts. That way I can communicate my living, active, tested faith to others. 

My goal, my aim is to be able to say, like St. Paul, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice” (Philippians 4:9)

Quite a challenge to be that authentic.


Check out my Antique Winchester Collector's site: 


What do you collect or create that relates to your faith or philosophy of life?


csthankful said...

I love how you gave such a great picture-gram of your faith....without "putting into practice" what He has shown us to do, we have nothing. Thanks, Connie Sue

Stephen Bly said...

Connie Sue: Appreciate the comment. Thanks for stopping by.