Category Archive 'The Lower Forty'

02 Apr 2014

Every Man Should Own a Gun

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Raywolf, at Return of Kings (a blog dispensing cynical un-PC advice to male millenials), offers an opinion I agree with.

At the end of the day if you’re not prepared to kill someone and you don’t have at least some basic skills in using firearms, there may come a time when someone might kill you or someone you care for. Owning a gun and being able to use one ought to be like owning a car.

The failure of gun control is laughably highlighted in both the UK and Australia. In the UK all handguns are illegal with hefty mandatory sentences, so now most criminals are not only armed, seeking the strategic advantage of weapons everyone else are forbidden to own, but are also happy to use their guns, when the sentences for killing are not much worse than the sentences for just having a gun. If I am about to get caught but I can kill you and get away with it, I might as well.

Read the whole thing.

I do not personally agree with his choices of guns. Glocks are ugly and have no real safety. Raywolf contends that the Glock 34’s 17-round magazine makes it “more interesting.” But, speaking frankly, I expect that, if it ever comes down to it, you will only very rarely need to shoot anybody more than once. I like S&W revolvers and 1911-style automatics better than I like Glocks.

Myself, I don’t really see why anyone wants one of those ugly military-style semi-autos. They are expensive, stylistically inappropriate for hunting, and are really just toys useful only for blasting off huge quantities of ammo plinking. If the social order ever breaks down to the point that one needs a gun chambered for the standard military round with lots of firepower, I’d expect to get one off the ground for free after I shot the first few bad guys.

For the beginner, a pump shotgun is a good choice, I agree. But, I’d say go out there and buy an Ithaca Model 37, or some kind of Winchester or Remington, with a wooden stock. Then, if you go out in the field to shoot pheasants, you won’t look like a fantasist who thinks he is Rambo.

For a hunting rifle, you do not want a great big enormous muzzle-brake hanging on the end of your barrel. If you are too delicate & sensitive to accept a little recoil, buy a rifle chambered in low-recoil cartridges like .270, 7×57, .257 Roberts, or even .243. Most connoisseurs prefer Mauser-style controlled-feed bolt actions to the Remington 700 (which is a push feed action). Older rifles are commonly both less expensive and cooler than brand new ones. Possible choices are enormous. If you are young, have good eyes, and are likely to be hunting at Eastern sorts of ranges, I’d recommend getting a light rifle with iron sights.

Roughly 60 years ago, the humorist Corey Ford used to publish a monthly feature in Field & Stream magazine called The Lower Forty, a chronicle of the adventures of a fictional informal club of small-town New England sportsmen formally titled “The Lower Forty Hunting, Shooting and Inside Straight Club.” The club’s leader and role model was Judge Parker (a fictional version of a friend of Ford’s named Parker Merrow).

Around 1960 or 1961, Judge Parker received by telegram the news that his son, at the time serving as an Air Force officer in Japan, had fathered a baby boy. Judge Parker sat right down and wrote a “Letter to a Grandson,” which episode constituted one of the most memorable of the Lower Forty stories. The letter portion of the story is quoted here.

Judge Parker proceeds to identify and set aside for his infant grandson all the favorite items from his own battery of sporting equipment, including some guns. Note the final line.

I am leaving you a few things.First I leave you your Great Grandfather’s weapons. He taught me how to shoot a pistol with his .38 Colt Army. I have not fired it since the day he died. I will give it a real good cleaning, and put the neatsfoot oil to the holster, an leave it with the same loads that he put in the cylinder himself the last time he dropped the hammer. Also you will receive his .30-30 carbine and his 12 gauge Greener. No buck ever went very far that caught one of my Dad’s .30-30’s behind the fore shoulder. No goose kept flying very long that he centered with a load of 4’s.Next I leave you my old Browning five shot 12 bore. I have used that gun so much that it has been reblued and rebuilt twice. Also my house gun, a .357 Magnum Smith and Wesson snub nose. A man who is not ready and able to defend his home does not belong in our family.

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