Monday, December 04, 2006

The Brush Hunter by Lewis Ballard

The brush hunter:

1. does all his hunting before he shoots

2. won’t buy a $2,400 Steyr Scout rifle

3. will buy a $240 .30-30 that does the same job

4. knows that size really does matter

5. knows that velocity really doesn’t

6. thinks a softball trajectory is just fine

7. wishes Winchester had called the Model 95 chambered in .405 Winchester the Theodore Roosevelt "Big Stick" Commemorative

8. reminds everyone that the .45-70 was heralded as a flat-shooting, long range cartridge in 1873

9. reminds everyone that the .30 Winchester Center Fire was heralded as a flat-shooting, long range cartridge in 1895

10. reminds everyone that the .30-06 was heralded as a flat-shooting, long range cartridge in 1906

11. doesn’t think the last hundred years or so have changed the .45-70, the .30 WCF and the .30-06 into weak sisters

12. thinks shooting at 300 meters is just fine on the Marine Corps KD range

13. would rather spend an hour stalking before the shot then twenty minutes walking after it

14. knows that "out where the ranges are long" you need to get closer

15. thinks most cartridges introduced since 1920 have been a step backwards, if not pointless

16. is willing to make an exception for the .444 Marlin and .44 Magnum

17. doesn’t "get" the magnum craze

18. thinks he gets the .350 Remington

19. definitely gets the .375 Holland and Holland

20. wants to get into Cowboy Action Shooting

21. reloads his own ammunition because it’s fun

22. knows Peter Paul Mauser designed a couple of pretty good rifles

23. also knows that John Moses Browning was a freakin’ genius

24. understands that Uncle Elmer banged away at that elk with his revolver, way out past Fort Mudge, only because the elk was wounded and his rifle was dry.

25. fantasizes about Cape buffalo and lion

26. would love to hunt boar with a spear

27. pretends his 12 gauge side by side is a double rifle, when no one’s looking

28. doesn’t much like variable scopes, or any scope much above 9x

29. doesn’t understand why you’d collect a gun you wouldn’t take to the field

30. likes having the choice between a Marlin Guide Gun and a Winchester Timber Rifle in .444 Marlin

31. wishes Winchester would introduce a .338-06, call it the .338 Keith, and start a .270/.280-style war with Remington’s .35 Whelen

32. thinks the single shot rifle is, like Obi-Wan’s light saber, a more elegant weapon, from a more civilized age

33. knows the .45-70 hits harder at 100 yards than any .270

34. knows how to use a shooting sling

35. likes tang sights

36. thinks the 270 grain .375 Holland and Holland is a good "light weight, high velocity" load

37. doesn’t feel especially "handicapped" or "primitive" with a muzzle loader

38. hunts with a muzzle loader during regular seasons

39. would really love an eight bore double rifle

40. thinks a hot-loaded 1886 .45-70 is a superb rifle for African game

41. is tired of gun magazine articles on shooting at game at (or past) 500 yards

42. is also tired of gun magazine articles on custom .45 ACPs that aren’t single-action revolving pistols

43. wishes there were gun magazine articles on custom .45 ACPs that are single-action revolving pistols

44. has a spare .45 ACP cylinder for his .45 Colt Blackhawk

45. is glad Bill Ruger came out with the Blackhawk, the Redhawk, and super Black- and Redhawks, the Number 1, the Red Label and the 77 International

46. wishes Bill Ruger would come out with a good $500 double rifle

47. believes in complete penetration

48. trusts sectional density more than energy figures

49. wishes the standard bullet weight for each caliber was about twenty grains heavier

50. wants a power formula that includes caliber, bullet weight, bullet shape and (what the hey) velocity

51. is proud of himself when he passes up a shot he doesn’t feel good about

52. sights his rifle in at the bench, and then mostly shoots from the kneeling, sitting and other field positions

53. knows its called hunting, not shooting, the same way it’s called fishing, not catching

54. is pretty sure that, 100 years ago, using Krags and Winchesters, hunters lost less wounded game than hunters do today

55. thinks a Ruger 20-guage Number 1 with a rifled barrel for shooting slugs would be just keen

56. always wanted to rechamber a 16-gauge double shotgun to .45-70

57. likes putting rifled choke tubes into his side by side and shooting slugs

58. knows you can’t miss fast enough to bring down game

59. will admit that, if we were just being practical, we would all shoot Remington or Winchester .30-06s

60. is glad he’s not entirely practical

61. thinks that a .358 Savage 99 with a 1.5-5x scope is a pretty hot rock setup

62. wishes that you could still buy a factory .358 rifle

63. wishes you could still buy a new Savage 99 with a rotary magazine, or even a Savage 99

64. wonders if Elmer Keith would pack a .44 Magnum, a .45 Colt, or a .475 Linebaugh today

65. would secretly like to have a Westley and Richards takedown .303 single shot

66. would rather buy three Rugers than pay $1400 for a new Colt

67. still finds himself thinking about the Colt

68. is proud of the fact that nostalgia plays a role in his firearms taste

69. wishes he shot a little better

70. is a member of the NRA, even if he thinks they’re a bit wishy-washy

71. is secretly in awe of people who pick fights with Cape buffalo, even with a .475 Linebaugh

72. would like to have a Freedom Arms .45 Colt and a Dakota Arms .338-06, but gets along pretty good with his Super Blackhawk and .308 Ruger International

73. likes shooting guns that have been "obsolete" for about a hundred years

74. secretly thought the "Win-Tuff" laminated stocks looked pretty cool

75. would much rather finance a hundred year old H&H than a new BMW SUV (ten percent down, 0.9% financing for four years)

76. thinks that Hummers should be available all stripped down, with a winch and snorkel, without carpet or stereo, for about fifteen grand

77. knows that time has not stood still, and that today’s powders, primers and brass, not to mention bullets, are the best that have ever been available

78. is enough of a sissy to wish Ruger would come out with a Number One .45-70 "Tropical" rifle

79. can justify having otherwise identical Ruger Bisleys in .45 Colt and .44 Magnum

80. really likes the Ashley Outdoors peep sights

81. is selfishly sad that Finn Aagard was called home

82. thinks that the .270 is a good long range cartridge

83. would still like to stoke up his .45-70 with black powder and thump a big pig

84. believes that, objectively speaking, a .30 WCF Winchester or Marlin is a much more dangerous weapon than an AK-47

85. knows that it is the man, not the tool, that is the operative and determining factor in almost all shooting

86. doesn’t mind at all that Marlin copied Jim West’s Co-Pilot when they brought out the Guide Gun

87. doesn’t see any real advantage to the new .450 Marlin over the .45-70 loaded stout

88. thinks the demonization of guns in modern society is a sad, sad thing

89. has a crazy mad love jones for single shot rifles

90. doesn’t have any real need for a 12" barreled Winchester 92 .44-40, but is intensely annoyed that he can’t buy one

91. resents being called a "slob hunter" just because he shoots a .30-30

92. for the life of him can’t figure out why people didn’t flock to the .358, .307 and .356 Winchesters

93. thinks the world really needs wildcats in .33-08 and 9.3x52mm (9.3-08)

94. has a good time hunting, even if he doesn’t see any game

95. doesn’t think much of synthetic stocks, while admitting their advantages

96. would rather put a laminated stock on his rifles than a plastic one

97. thinks the cartridge case heads inserted into the stocks on the Remington 14 and 14 ½ pump rifles were pretty neat-o

98. got funny looks that time at the range when he put up a silhouette target at 100 yards and whanged away with his .45-70, pulling eight out of ten head shots from kneeling or thinks hunting the Big Five back in the days, with a single shot muzzle loading rifle, when you were a month’s journey on foot away from "civilization", took an awful lot of intestinal fortitude

99. is a little bit puzzled that no one makes a modern hunting rifle as slick as a Krag

100. Knows that the best shooting accessory is practice.

Thanks to Jim Taylor for multiple reposts of this.

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