Kent, originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, moved to Salmon, Idaho in the 1990s to be where he and his father had spent summer vacations and visited with Elmer Keith starting in 1960.
In recent years, Kent was recognized as this country's most knowledgeable hands-on authority on machine guns and cannons, with more experience at rebuilding and making functional every type of full auto weapon ever made than any other living person. At machine gun shoots such as Knob Creek, Kentucky, it was a common sight to see Kent behind a Browning .30 or .50 cal., a Belgian MAG-58, or an FN Type D BAR, the barrel glowing cherry red as the gun poured round after round downrange without a stoppage.
Prior to his involvement with full auto arms, Kent was instrumental in providing development work for the late Harry Sanford, inventor of the original Auto Mag handgun, and Kent won the Townsend Whelen award for writing by the Gun Digest for an article he penned for that publication, describing his efforts in this area.
Before that, Kent held the distinction of sending more guns back to the Smith & Wesson factory for rebuild than any other customer in the company's history, and was the Indiana distributor for Lakeville Arms (Jim Harvey) products at the age of twelve while he was in the eighth grade.
Kent is survived by his sister Cindy, his four children, Lane, Jill, Chris, and Molly, stepdaughters Candy and Sherry, and ex-wives Kathy, Shirley, and Mary Lou.
We are diminished.
JR--the .500 specialist