In Memoriam: Frank W. James, gunwriter

The firearms world has lost one of its more interesting denizens.  Frank W. James was a writer, raconteur, farmer, hunter and shooter of wide renown.  He wrote for Shooting Times (where he was appointed Editor just before his untimely stroke in early 2014) and other sources such as the GunHub forum, the US Concealed Carry Association and others.  He hosted two TV shows, “Gallery of Guns” and “Gun Stories”.  He blogged prolifically, first at “Corn, Beans, Spent Brass, An Empty Page And A Deadline” (now defunct) and later at “Shootin’ The Breeze“.  His book, “Effective Handgun Defense:  A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry” is still available.

I met Frank twice, and enjoyed our conversation each time.  He was a gentleman, in an age when the attributes of a gentleman are honored more in the breach than in the observance.

Frank suffered a stroke early last year which left him in bad shape, but he retained his optimism.  His friend and fellow gunwriter Massad Ayoob reported in April last year that he was determined to ‘beat this’.

Happily, I can report that Brother Frank is still very much with us, still with a strong gun hand and working on getting the other hand back up and running.  The stroke damn near killed him, but he’s walking better than expected and exceeding the requirements of physical therapy every day. He wants to express his thanks for the volunteer emergency rescue team that saved his life, and for the rehab nurses he calls “angels with bedpans.”

Frank wants to remind all y’all to closely monitor high blood pressure if you have it, take your meds religiously, and dial 9-1-1 at the first hint of stroke symptoms. He doesn’t want others to go through what he did.  He’ll soon be transferring to a rehab center closer to home, so his lovely wife of 37 years won’t have to travel three hours each way to visit him.

There’s more at the link.

Sadly, Frank lost his fight with the after-effects of his stroke at the age of 69.  His wife and a son survive him.  Please remember them in your prayers, and pray for his eternal rest as well.  Also, please take his warning to heart.  Strokes can sneak up on any of us unless we’re on our guard.



  1. I remember his writings in the gun magazines I used to read, he was a good one. Sorry to hear of his crossing to the Great Divide. Thank you for letting us know.

  2. I had some wonderful times hunting on Frank's farm and getting to know he and his wife. In addition to his son and wife, he was preceded in death by the beautiful young woman that was his daughter, lost in a vehicular accident. May she be the first smile he see in heaven, he missed her so much.

    Frank was the best of men, and will be sorely missed.

  3. His warning about watching out for hypertension is well founded and should be heeded by all. Seven years ago I had a BP spike that nearly put me under. While I didn't actually stroke out, with a reading of 240/120(I believe I went somewhat higher) I was very close to it. Now I take my meds religiously and see the doctor every six months to make sure I remain within specs. They don't call it the silent killer for nothing. I felt fine until things went very wrong.

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