Massad Ayoob quote“There were facets to Charlie that I wouldn’t want in a cop. There was racism. There was a killer instinct, too strong, strong enough to sometimes slip its leash. Some of his shootings, had they been adjudicated, could have earned him ‘life without parole.’”

—Massad Ayoob, on Col. Charles Askins, Jr., Combat Shooting with Massad Ayoob

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Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.


  1. I have to admit, I have been a fan of Col. Askins for a good many years back to Gun Digest 1953. And I have spoken to a good many of the old time writers who confirmed Askins was a mean tempered man,I believe he was a throwback to the old time gunfighters, quick to temper and deadly in reaction. I also do not believe he would make it as a law officer today, but as to capability,I would rank him above Jeff Cooper, Mas Ayoob,and Clint Smith. These boys did most of their killing in print, Askins did it for real.

    • Askins was a good read, but he lived in a different world. Askins’ world is pretty much gone. The new world is better in many ways and not so good in others. Let him be judged in his context, emulate his good points and ignore the bad.

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