Bob Giel Blog

gielrj14 by gielrj14 @
I've had to do a ton of research for the book I'm working on right now which is why I've been silent of late.  I decided to tell Cason Macara's back story which was mentioned briefly in the first Macarastor novel.  It covers his early life in Ireland in the late 1850's and relates his journey at sea which ultimately brought him to the United States.  This was virgin territory for me, involving research regarding the conditions in Ireland at the time, as well as having to learn all about sailing ships and life at sea.  One of the things that I wanted to get particularly correct was the firearms that were used in that period in that part of the world.  So, I decided on a road trip to Fairfax, VA to the National Firearms Museum that is maintained there by the National Rifle Association.  I corresponded with them indicating my intention and my need.  They couldn't have been nicer.  I was met by a senior curator who gave me a personal tour of the facility and answered all my questions, even making suggestions for the use of several particular guns to fit scenarios I related to him.  Then, after lunch in the executive dining room and a peek inside the prep room where new additions to the museum come to be examined and verified before taking their places in the exhibits, I was able to use the NRA Range and fire Doug's vintage Browning Hi-Power 9 mm, which is an absolute joy to shoot.  I can't say enough about the facility and the fine, dedicated people who run it.  What I will say is that if you have even a passing interest in firearms, make the trip to Fairfax and go through the exhibits.  You can feel the history reaching out to you as you view some of the most iconic guns the world has ever known.  I'm glad I went and, honestly, I can't wait to go back.  What with concentrating on my research, I'm sure I missed a lot.  
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