Saturday, June 14, 2003

I've been asked a lot of questions in my life. Everything from "How's it hanging?" to "Does this safety work?" (that was on a loaded M202 Flash!). Life can be pretty interesting. I thought I'd better record some of my answers to some of the questions I've answered on the net, so here goes...

What do you tell people when they find out you hunt?
I'm now married for the second time. My first wife did not like that I hunted, not so much because I was hunting but because I wasn't doing whatever she might have "needed" me to do. My second wife comes from a hunting and farming family. HOWEVER, the women (with one exception) don't hunt or even shoot. At least she's tried shooting and doesn't give me too much grief over the time spent. She will not knowingly eat anything but venison ("deer meat" where she comes from).

In between wives and before the first I did date and had some interesting experiences. Also, I used to get the same sort of response to revealing that I was a career infantryman as I did when I revealed I was a hunter. Sort of a "war for oil" type of response. In every situation I now respond with a BIG smile, the facts and just a hint of "try arguing with me, I know the answers" in my tone. Always keep the smile going!

To be frank, the only reason I give a crap what some of these mental midget, butter brained, swimmers of the shallow end of the gene pool think is that some actually get up on election day and go vote. Hence the big smile and ready facts to refute any misconceptions they might have.

Actually, I apply this approach to just about everything.

How did you get started with black powder?
Whoah, that's a question with a loooong answer. My interest in black powder (BP) shooting was initiated by the confluence of several factors. Those were my interest in history, particularly in the period 1700-1890, my interest in shooting, my interest in hunting, my parent's friends who shot BP (when BP wasn't cool) and my lack of interest in being cool. However, the availability of money kept me from participating with my own firearms until after I joined the US Army and had an income which could do a bit more than handle the few women in my life.

Soon after entering service I bought a Lyman .44 caliber Model 1858 Remington New Model Army revolver reproduction. I now know that it is mis-named and not all that accurate but it is well made, shoots accurately and has been a fun piece to have. That Christmas Dad gave me a Thompson Center Seneca, caliber .36. However, assignment to Korea and my subsequent marriage and assignments to California and back to Korea (for 3 years 9 months!) kinda put the lid on that interest. I did hunt and shoot some in California, but not nearly enough. After returning from Korea, transferring to the National Guard (after 8 years active duty) and moving "home" to the Shenandoah valley, eating was more a priority than more guns. Those guns I had were quickly turned to supplementing our protein supply. Shooting, hunting, and anything not directly in support of her interests was abhored by that first wife who quickly found somebody else, left me and the kids and discovered that her new husband (and father of the next 2 children) also hunted, fished and, well she's not married to him either, now!

My children and I moved on as well. We went fishing, I took them squirrel hunting with me and eventually I remarried. Now this lady at least supports me in my interests. So I soon had a .45 barrel for the Seneca so that I could deer hunt with the gun in Virginia. Then, I got a .54 New Englander. The Seneca and New Englander have both been very good to me and brought home a lot of good eats.

When my dad died he left me a bit of money. Before passing he told me that he wanted me to enjoy the money and not just put it in the family account (I will always put my family first). So, I took a portion of it and bought a Dixie Gun Works "Indian Gun" which is really just a Pedersoli 2nd Model (Short Land) Brown Bess Carbine. Sure fire, this gun is a lot of fun and a certain education.

Along the way, I've been tasked by many friends to help them with their BP guns due to my "extensive" knowledge. That has helped me to truly have a knowledge of the various BP (or should we now say "muzzleloading") firearms, how they work and their effectiveness.

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