Ray Ordorica is probably best known as being a professional editor, writer, photographer, and tester of firearms with prolific contributions to Gun Tests and American Gunsmith among many other magazines and books throughout the United States and Australia. iiSixty Years of Testing Guns is Ordorica’s autobiography. It certainly covers plenty of gunny lore but there are also a plethora of other interesting topcis. L’uomo universale, Ordorica’s expertise includes woodworking, engraving, machining, flying, auto and motorcycle racing, hunting, tracking, trapping, hiking, law enforcement, and a performing multi-instrumentalist. Now residing in remote Idaho, he was a Senior Editor for DBI Books in the Chicago area. Prior to that, Ordorica spent three winters in an uninsulated 12- by 16-foot one-room log cabin in Alaska, the basis for his Alaskan Retreater’s Notebook. His autobiography also hints to the origins of Rico Morgan and that trilogy of novels: Border Caper, Caracas Caper, and Casablanca Caper.
With over eighty photographs, Sixty Years of Testing Guns goes in-depth about Ordorica’s journey as a professional editor, gun writer, novelist, photographer, wood-worker, pilot, machinist, engraver, and musician. There are plenty of stories of meeting and working with big-name personalities in the gun world, as well as motorcycle racing, flying, rock bands, a Mission to Mars, and some interesting vehicles. He tells the tale of meeting Ross Seyfried and taking that infamous photo of Seyfried vaulting a wall during an IPSC assault course, meeting Elmer Keith and Jeff Cooper, the unique Bower-Hansen Magnum Match and other competitions, why he gave up shooting his Linebaugh revolver, great friends like Cookie and Birdie, where to get the worst coffee ever, and a host of other tales spanning decades of experiences. His essay, Becoming A Writer, is quite insightful.
If you’ve read Jeff Cooper’s Fireworks, you’ll enjoy Sixty Years of Testing Guns as it is more than a “gun book” in that it showcases the wit and charm of an adventurous, varied life tapestry.
Read more in the December 2020 issue.
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