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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

JJ: Quest for Perfection

I hate to think how many guns have passed through my hands over the years. I started out with the little Winchester model 68 single-shot .22 for a rimfire, and over the next few years added a Stevens .410 single shot for bird hunting, a Winchester model 94 in .30-30 for a hunting rifle, a Ruger Bearcat .22 revolver for plinking, and a Ruger Blackhawk revolver in .41 magnum for hunting and defense. The model 68 was replaced by a fancy Remington Nylon model 12 bolt action .22, the model 94 by the Winchester .30-06 mentioned a few days ago, and the .410 was replaced by a Winchester model 12 magnum Duck Gun. The Winchester shotgun, in a modified form, still sits in my closet. The barrel now measures an overall 28" and has a vented Polychoke (think hose nozzle that reduces recoil and controls the shot pattern,) swivel studs so I can attach a sling for hiking, and a longer stock that fits me better. I've had a few affairs with other shotty guns, but I've always come back to this one. The other guns were traded for other guns that were traded for other guns that were traded for other guns in a quest for one that looked pretty or compensated for my being a lousy shot. I spent years in a cycle of seeing a desirable gun, trading for it, shooting it, finding fault with it, and swapping it off. Kinda like Hollywood stars do wives, but with less expense and no alimony. The Winchester .30-06 went out the door, to be replaced by a Ruger model 77 in the same .30-06 caliber. It was trimmer, prettier, and more accurate, but since I am a horsepower addict it was replaced by a Ruger .338 magnum, which was supplemented by a Ruger .300 magnum. Eventually both were replaced by a Winchester in the classic elephant cartridge of .375 H&H, which packs the highest practical power level for hunting outside Africa. The Bearcat .22 was replaced by a Ruger .22 auto, which was replaced by a High Standard Target .22, which was replaced by a Colt Woodsman .22, which was replaced by a Smith & Wesson K-22. I've lost track since then, but I owned dozens of .22 handguns over the years before I went back to an old Ruger .22 auto, just like the one I first owned. The .41 Blackhawk was replaced by a .41 S&W -- faster and fancier and nicer. It was replaced by a S&W model 29 in .44 magnum -- think Dirty Harry! That was replaced by a Colt 1911 in .45 ACP, cause semi-auto had to be better than a revolver! The memories of handguns since then have all jumbled together, but I've owned at least a few dozen centerfire pistols and none of them made me into a good shot. Then there is my first love, .22 rimfire rifles. I'm not going to admit how many of those I have cherished over the years, but it is a pretty safe bet that if you name a brand or even a certain model I've probably looked at one, and there is a good chance I had one, and kept it long enough to shoot it at least once. And didn't hit anything with it. TBC (Me)