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Dead or Alive, Brass Knuckles Bible and USA are three of the finest--and funniest--books I've ever read in my life, but I've never been able to find anything else written by Mr. Rexer Jr. Shame--he's a real talent. (His words of wisdom on gun modifications and "improvements" influences me to this day.)

For that matter, where's Phil Engledrum been? His magazines were crude but damned if he didn't have some good truth in there if you could recognize it when you saw it. Always entertaining, unlike certain other current gun magazines I could name (coughcoughgunsandammocoughcough).
 

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As best I recall, Rexer was a writer/class 3 dealer from Houston, TX. Another of his works was a novel called BRIDGE CITY, which was rather good. He also got a writing credit on the movie EXTREME PREJUDICE, starring Nick Nolte and Powers Boothe.

Rosco
 

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Snake45 said:
For that matter, where's Phil Engledrum been? His magazines were crude but damned if he didn't have some good truth in there if you could recognize it when you saw it. Always entertaining, unlike certain other current gun magazines I could name (coughcoughgunsandammocoughcough).
Phat Phil Engeldrum is, last I knew, alive and hanging on in the San Diego area, plotting his triumphant return to the gunzine game as soon as a bedsore the size of Denver permitted.

I won't take his calls anymore… I tried limiting him to one a year, but even that was too much. He's a very bright guy, but his "social skills" (I'm being polite here!) are atrocious. "Crude?!?" His own style made that of his gunzines positively sophisticated and cosmopolitan in comparison.

I'm considering selling off some of his titles from 20-25 years ago…
 

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Hi folks.

I'm new to these boards, but not to firearms. Or firearms magazines, for that matter.

Never thought I'd see the words "selling off" or "Collector lust" connected to anything from ol' Phil Engeldrum.

Anyway, I have this one laying around in a stack of old Guns & Ammo and the like. Anybody remember seeing it?


J.C.
 

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In my younger days I was sort of a hot rod guy. Sometime around 1975 or so a car magazine I'd never heard of caught my eye with a nice picture of a candy gold Willys gasser on the cover. The magazine was called Hot Cars, I think, and the logo sort of ripped off Hot Rod magazine, but you could easily see that it was a low-budget publication. I bought it, read it, and tossed it in the stack.

Many years later, I ran across that old rag and started looking through it again. Now something about the layout and the writing and the general editorial style seemed oddly familiar. I check the masthead and you'll never guess whose name was on the thing as editor and publisher.

I never saw another issue of this magazine. (I still have the one, but couldn't tell you where it is at this moment.)

I just heard a rumor that Phil Engledrum is now running the comic book store on The Simpsons. Apparently he's the guy who sells Moe those odd pump-action double-barrel shotguns. (I want one but have never been able to find one.)
 

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Jamie said:
Anybody remember seeing it?
JAY-sus! That's the book that almost buried Phil… he maintained that he had a deal with Ruger to produce a "magalogue" kinda thing similar to what Harris Publications does for Glock and Petersen's/Primedia does, or used to do, for Smith & Wesson.

He insists that Papa Bill reneged on the arrangement… my position was, "Hey!, you've been posing as this iconoclastic gunzine publisher all these years, so when you hike up your skirts and start whistling at sailors, don't bitch when the check bounces!"

Hang on to that… it is probably Cardinale Phillippe's gunzine finale.

Snake45 reminisces:
In my younger days I was sort of a hot rod guy. … you'll never guess whose name was on the thing as editor and publisher.
That's how we got started… racing my '57 Chevy at the Westhampton Drag Strip back in '58. He was still living in the Bronx at the time, and was a regular there.

It was nearly 25 years before we cut one another's trail again… he was in his heyday in Ventura, praising the Raven, castigating the VZ70 VP70Z, selling as much of the Geco Action Safety Slugs as he could hawk, stalking the little seen species of "Little Stevie Wonder" groundhog, and generally being as obnoxious as he could manage… and he could manage a lot. (I always thought that his biography should be entitled "A Dreadful Man," but the actor Brian Aherne has already used that for his friend George Sanders.) Then, soon after the notorious "Homer, the Hog" Mexican swine-shooting issue of Pistolero, a small dark cloud appeared over Ventura, and shortly thereafter Phat Phil left under it, one step ahead of the sheriff who'd just figured out that Phil hadn't been south of Santa Monica in his life, and the humane society was howling for Dutch blood!

Phil had cut his teeth in the publishing game in NYC, doing carzines for Stanley Harris and Myron Fass. The one thing I will never gainsay is that the man is a fascinating raconteur, has lore to spare about cars and guns and the people involved with them… there was one hilarious and not necessarily apocryphal story about a well-known publisher who used to stop each morning on a freeway overpass in August 1965, unlimber his .300 WinMag from the trunk, and fire a round or two into Watts just to keep the rioters on their toes.

A funny man… tactless, tasteless and in all things unabashedly atrocious….

Welcome to the Forum, Jamie!
 

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DeanSpeir said:
... castigating the VZ70, selling as much of the Geco Action Safety Slugs as he could hawk... Then, soon after the notorious "Homer, the Hog" Mexican swine-shooting issue of Pistolero
Confession time: I loved those magazines in all their grainy-photo, poorly edited, and politically incorrect glory. It was the VP70Z he castigated, calling it the "Wunder Turd" IIRC. I still have some of those "BAT" rounds in my ammo collection. And I think I still have that issue of Pistolero saved somewhere. I can still remember the "reaction shot" when poor ol' Homer was shot.

Phil was also responsible for starting me on a quest for a pistol that we would today call "vaporware" -- the Arminex Trifire. Anybody else remember that one?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I remember the Arminex Trifire. Never saw one, but I remember the pictures and writeups. It was a sort-of 1911 clone, with a squared-off trigger guard, except it didn’t have a normal 1911 safety, it had a Walther-type firing pin block in the slide. Why, I have NO idea. The Arminex logo was similar to the WWII-style US military star-and-bar aircraft emblem. I remember a writeup by J. B. Wood and as I recall, he liked the thing.

I have something that might be almost as rare: an ODI Viking. This was an all-stainless production version of the Seecamp DA conversion for 1911. I’ve never seen a “real” one of those, either, but back in the late ‘80s, when Randall went under, an outfit called Randco liquidated their stock and while they were at it, blew out the last of the ODI Vikings in unassembled kit form. I bought one.

What a mess. The cast extractor and firing pin went right in the parts box, replaced with good GI parts, and I hope I’ll never be hard up enough to have to use them. Some of the basic machining on the frame had to be completed by me with a hand-held Dremel. (Luckily, I’m pretty good, or was in those days.) The slides of these things were awful. I had to send the first one back because the firing pin hole was drilled so far off center it just barely hit the edge of a .45 primer. I had other problems with two other slides that I won’t bore you with here (I got stuff to do, y’know), but I did eventually get one full gun up and running.

Sort of. It worked okay single action but DA was a mess. The DA hammer fall was only about ½ to maybe 2/3 the SA fall, so ignition was trouble. If you put in a strong enough mainspring for reliable ignition, you could hardly pull the trigger (think untuned, WWII-production Walther PPK, or worse), and if you put in a spring you could pull through DA, it would fail to light off at least one round in every mag.

Also odd about this gun is that the frame is internally a Commander in the dust cover area, but externally a 1911. Meaning that the dust cover is ¼” longer than a Commander’s, and the ODI slides were made to match, giving them the look of a chopped gun, not a “real” Commander. Ick.

Last year I bought a Ciener Commander .22 conversion and found that it would not fit on any of the Essex or Fed Ord frames that I had planned to use it on. Oh, it could be MADE to fit with minor tweaking of the frames, but I’m getting lazy in my old age. But I found out that the thing popped right on the ODI Viking frame, which was laying around unused and unloved. My ODI instantly became a dedicated .22 gun. Now here’s the serendipitous part: All the Ciener 1911 slides, regardless of length, are made to match the full-length dust cover of a 1911 (not a Commander). So the Ciener Commander slide looks right at home on the ODI frame.

After a few months of shooting it, I took out all the ODI double action parts and stored them away in a baggie. It now has a regular long 1911 trigger from my parts box, which I took off some other project (I hate 3-hole 1911 triggers as a styling cliché and will replace this one as soon as I run across a plain one for $10 or under). In the meantime, the kid and I have put somewhere between 3k and 5K troublefree rounds of cheap Walmart bulk ammo through the lashed-up mess. The morale of the story is: Never throw anything away; you never know when it’ll be the perfect thing for SOMETHING. :D
 

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Snake... this is a tiny little world.

I've been looking for an ODI to complete my collection of Seecamp Conversions.

I think everything you said about them is true and back when they were around- and I did want a DA .45- I would not buy one. Now that I could care less about shooting it- I can't find one. I may be the only guy in the known universe who does though.
 

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About 10 years ago, I was into collecting Seecamp conversions, and bought an original ODI Viking, complete with hammer block safety. The pistol was virtually unfired when I got it, and it exhibited some strange behavior in double action (like you found). So off to the gunsmith it went. It wasn't much better when I got it back, so off it went to another gunsmith, who finally got the pistol to behave. The pistol never quite gave me warm and fuzzies, and I ended up trading it. Small wonder that ODI left the scene quickly.

Harvey
 

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Phat Phil has surfaced to demand "equal time" and set the record straight. Apparently the mysteries of registering for the Forum is beyond his digital skills, so herewith the Gospel According to Cardinale Phillippe da Bronx:
I have not worked for a pay check since I was 23 yars{sic} old. I do some free lance work for Harris, but I am not and have not been an employee.

I was publishing gun magazines for over 12 years. About 5 per year and was selling about 100,000 copies per issue. With the pass on readership of about 5 per copy ( a low figure) there are many people that liked my books.

I never had an agreement with ruger to doa
{sic} book for them. Since they were the biggest gun maker in America, it made sense to do an independent magazine on their guns and it was not an "in love with Glock" mag as the Glock mag he refers to.

Bill Ruger saw it at an airport and bought it. He had his sales people contact me for 4000 copies. I only had a hair more than 3,000 copies, that were overprinted by the printer and could not fill the order. I never got any money from Ruger nor did I get any guns from Ruger.

Thank you,

Phil Engeldrum AKA Phat Phil Engeldrum
It is not my custom to box the ears of the recently bereaved, so I'll let it go at this.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
Snake... this is a tiny little world.

I've been looking for an ODI to complete my collection of Seecamp Conversions.

I think everything you said about them is true and back when they were around- and I did want a DA .45- I would not buy one. Now that I could care less about shooting it- I can't find one. I may be the only guy in the known universe who does though.
Chuck, Do you have a lightweight Commander conversion? Leander did one for me. He sent me a letter wherein I had to swear that I saved his life from a burning building or something so as to obligate him to do the conversion on aluminum. (And, of course I had done so.) He said he would never do another one.
 

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Nope Walt...

I have a Combat Commander Satin Nickel Series 70 that was sold originally to Sile, and marked LWS. A GI 1945 Remington Rand frame and Colt slide with S&W sights. Marked LWS. One built on an Essex frame with an enlarged but not squared off trigger guard and no other markings and a Springfield 1911 that was done in an effort to get Springfield to market them (factory confirms) by TSW (right now I can't dredge up the initials it will come to me in the middle of the night).

They're all different.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Having half-built a steel one myself, I can see where an aluminum framed one might be a REAL PITA. I'd have concerns about how long it would hold up, too.

The Seecamp DA was a clever evolutionary idea, but if mine is any indication, I'd have to say I'm less than impressed with how it works out in the real world.
 

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Jamie,

You've got me busting at the seams... I honestly never thought I'd see that magazine cover agian. Much of that mostly tasteless magazine has been burned into my memory forever.

There was the story about a Security Six besting a Python. Do an acton job and glue on a vent rib and you have a "Python Beater" for about half the money...What a load...

Then there was the piece about the custom Super Blackhawk with the cut down barrel (about 3 inches if my memory is correct). No one could hit the broad side of a barn with it even if they were standing inside the barn, but I do remember him saying it was good for killing Eldos in pimpland...or something to that effect.

Thanks for sharing (I think)...I'll never forget that one...But I'll keep trying.

GunGeek
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The only thing I remember about that movie was Jerry Reed saying something along the lines of "There's not a dog alive that can catch an American car built before the catalytic converter."
 
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