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Remembering R. L. Wilson

The late R.L. "Larry" Wilson (left) and the Blue Book of Gun Values author/publisher, S.P. Fjestad (right), shown holding one of Larry's biggest literary projects – the two volume set of Magnificent Colts which he co-authored with the late Robert M. Lee.
  Recapping/recounting the swashbuckling life and times of R.L. Wilson is a daunting/near-impossible task for those of us fortunate enough to have known Larry well. There were so many chapters in his Book of Life, and this is not intended to be a medium to explore or explain them. The following posts reflect what The Professor meant to his friends, colleagues, and family, and how much he impacted our lives. To find out a comprehensive listing of Larry's achievements throughout the decades, please visit and click on "Author".

In September of 1997, R.L. Wilson, photo journalist Dennis Adler, Luigi Chinetti Jr. (Luigi Sr. won Le Mans during 1949 in a Ferrari), and myself departed on a landmark trip to Italy. Our first stop was Maranello, and we were given access to the entire Ferrari factory, plus allowed to take a few laps on the famous Fiorano race track in a new Ferrari with paddle-shifting.

After that, we went to Brescia for an extensive tour of the sprawling Beretta complex, whose history dates back to 1526. Being the official group photographer, I sent everyone a large scrapbook with all the images after we got back. On December 29th, 1997, Larry sent me a very nice thank you letter. His last sentence was "That's what life's all about, in the long term – enjoying what is a relatively brief moment on this fabulous earth!" No one understood this better than Larry.

Publisher's note: If you would like to contribute a post for the late R.L. Wilson, please email it to Images would also be very much appreciated.
A Select Bibliography of R. L. Wilson   
R.L. Wilson & Defeat of Jesse James Days   
An Appreciation   
R. L. “Larry” Wilson, Mentor and Friend   
Memories of a Literary Legend Part I   

A Select Bibliography of R. L. Wilson

Compiled for the R.L. Wilson Celebration of Life, June 24, 2017

Carleton College, Northfield, MN


Charles F. Priore, Jr. Science Librarian, Carleton College

Jenny Nguyen, Carleton Class of 2017



Robert Lawrence “Larry” Wilson (1939-2016) was unquestionably the most prolific author/historian of firearms in our time. His publishing output was nothing short of staggering and his interests were varied and many.

This “Select” bibliography was first compiled in 2002 (and was ongoing until his death) at the request of Larry Wilson to Charles F. Priore, Jr. Science Librarian at Carleton College as a means of tracking his publication history. It became obvious from the very start of this endeavor that Larry’s publications were so multitudinous, and in magazines and periodicals that still to this day are not professionally indexed, that they cannot be retrieved by conventional library databases. In short, a huge swath of his scholarship is simply impossible to track down. Indeed, a full year sabbatical may be the only means of compiling the hundreds of publications and catalogs he authored that are now lost to all of us.

I would like to personally acknowledge Jenny Nguyen, Carleton Class of 2017 for fine tuning, double-checking and adding to this bibliography. Her assistance was immeasurable.

Charles F. Priore, Jr.

Science Librarian

Carleton College

June 24, 2017







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