From RIA Blog

Townsend Whelen loved the outdoors and lived guns.

An avid outdoorsman, marksman, hunter, soldier, and author, Whelen wrote for numerous sporting magazines and penned several books on topics ranging from gunsmithing to rifle scopes to big game hunting, shooting, and weapon cleaning. A career U.S. Army officer, he served as the commander of the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia before retiring as a full colonel after 34 years of active duty. He was 84 when he died in 1961.

These are his thoughts on whether or not to hire an outfitter for a hunting expedition that would provide cooks, guides, necessary equipment, and sleeping accommodations:

“The western dude, or the eastern sport, who starts under these present comparatively luxurious conditions does not long remain a tenderfoot,” Whelen wrote in `On Your Own in the Wilderness,’ published in 1958. “Either he quits the game when he has a few heads to hang on his wall, or he becomes a real hunter, fisherman, and woodsman in his own right.

“If you have red blood in your veins, a love for the beautiful, and a deep-down yearning for freedom and peace, you soon learn to do things for yourself,” he wrote. “You take a more and more justifiable pride in your increasing competence. Perhaps you start out hardly able to step over a picket rope and end by hurdling the mountains.”

An Experimental Springfield 1901 Carbine

An experimental U.S. Springfield Model 1901 bolt action carbine inscribed to Whelen when he was a lieutenant in the Army will be on auction at Rock Island Auction Company’s Feb. 16-18 Sporting and Collector Firearms Auction. It’s serial number 11. The rifle gauge is .30-03, not the .30-06 he recommended in `On Your Own in the Wilderness’ and throughout his life.

A view of an experimental Springfield Model 1901 bolt action carbine in Rock Island Auction Company’s Sporting and Collector Auction, Feb. 16-18.

The experimental 1901 wasn’t adopted by the U.S. Army but served as a precursor to the M1903 that proved to be a mainstay for doughboys and GIs through two world wars. In limited production, more tests were done to the 1901, leading to several changes. The rear gunsight was moved back and the barrel was shortened from 30 to 24 inches as it evolved toward the M1903.

The .25 Whelen, .35 Whelen, .375 Whelen, and .400 Whelen cartridges bear his name from when he commanded the Frankford Arsenal.

the rest below-


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