Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday in the Gun Room Day

Pulling the lever on the Dillon. Sigh...gotta keep the babies fed!

I got a good question from a regular commenter, Kmitch200, on the previous post: You have a gun that shoots a round that would bankrupt a rich man, kicks so hard that retina damage is an issue if you could afford to really practice with it and DON'T live where there is Cape Buffalo????

I thought it was worth expanding on just a bit. If I can be excused for going back in time, when I was in high school I'd hunted bird and deer, plinked, etc., but frankly, found it all a bit boring. I loved shooting pistols — the biggest I could get my hands on at that time was the .357, my father's Flat-Top Blackhawk. Big boom = Good! My relatives couldn't understand why I was so interested in shooting big handguns and not sitting in a deer stand all day. Hmmmm. About that time my father did a trade that included a Trapdoor Springfield with the barrel cut to carbine length. The Trapdoor was thrown in to sweeten the father didn't care about it at all. I, OTOH, got the local gun store to order me a box of 45-70 .405 grainers, which I was too stupid to know wouldn't be shot in a beat-up Trapdoor.

But oh doggie, did those bad boys buck and roar out of that short barrel! Forget the thirty-thurty and those snore-nod converted military bolt guns...this was a rifle I could get behind! I shot the crap out of that Trapdoor and it never blew up in my face (luckily!). It left me with an abiding love of BIG BORE THINGIES. As a consequence, I've spent a lot of my shooting career whamming away with big blasters, handguns and rifles. In rifles, 45-70 remains my one of my favorite calibers; .458s are fun, but nothing like the classic African cartridges. The .500 Nitro Express is cool beyond words to shoot. I've been lucky enough to fire both a 4-bore rifle and an 10-bore Howdah pistol...I'd own them both if I were rich. I have a Barrett .50 BMG that is my single most favorite rifle.

And don't even get me started on handguns! My biggest regret is not having the scratch to get Hamilton Bowen to build me the "Super British Bulldog" he and I concocted one night — a 56-50 Spencer Ruger Redhawk dolled up to look like a classic turn of the 19th Century British Bulldog.

I may never get to Africa to walk in the footsteps of the heroes of my youth, but you never know. If I do get to make that trip, it will be with 2 Ruger #1s — the 450-400 3-inch and a hotted-up 45-70.

And yes, I understand that the effects of recoil are cumulative. All of us who shoot boomers understand that on an intimate level. My favorite story is when I had my right elbow MRI'ed for persistent, agonizing pain. The doctor came out and said, "So, Mr. Bane, I have a question for you...what does one have to do to get a bone spur in just that position on your elbow? It's not this..." he mimicked a golf swing "...and it's not this..." he mimicked swinging a tennis racquet. "...I'm curious."

I mimicked shooting a gun, and he said, "Hmmmmm...I'm thinking you did this more than once!"


kmitch200 said...

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. "My name is Michael and I'm a Boomaholic." ;)
I have a wrist ligament that talks to me of youthful foolery trying to launch 44 mag bullets at the speed of light.

Nice cartridge pic.
That 4 Bore looks medieval!

nj larry said...

Big boomers eh? What is it gonna take for you to team up with Cindy Garrison? Shooting 470 NE and hunting old dugga boys? Dude if you can not pitch that to OC you need to retire. Come on we are tired of old bald guys!!!

AlanR said...

You need some .950 JDJ on Shooting Gallery...

Anonymous said...

When I was kid (in the 1950's), my late Uncle Walter told me about his experience with an ancient-for-the 1930's 8-gauge, outside-hammer, muzzle-loading, double-gun when he was a youth. He said that he was "lucky" to be loaned the gun by one of his "older" hunting mentors, for use on a deer hunt in Michigan's "Thumb" near Caro. He would be shooting coarse black powder behind solid-lead balls, also known as "punkin-balls". He didn't get a shot at a deer though. He was disappointed about that, so when everyone was back at the farm-camp, someone suggested that he take a shot at some suitable target. He eagerly did just that. He doesn't remember much about the actual shot, because the gun "doubled" on him and he was knocked backlwards on his kiester. The thumb on his trigger hand obviously connected with his nose during recoil, knocking him out like a prize-figher who just met his match. He was awakened by a lot of laughter. After fully recovering consciousness, he was hooked on big guns. He never caught-on that he was a "victim" of a practical joke. He spent the rest of his life wondering whatever happened to that gun.

His stories launched me on the same quest. I could never find out from family, or friends, who had the gun, or where it went. At least I still have the story to pass-down. And I too prefer max-perfomance "anything".

Life Member

Frank W. James said...

Michael, after 5 eye surgeries for detached retinas and my wife being told after the first one "He came within seconds of going permanently BLIND" by the surgeon, I'll let you have the 'fun' of big bore long guns, but they are nice to look at.

I just value my eyesight too much to try and fire one now.

As for the bone spurs, I just had surgery for that on my left shoulder for those as well. Seems 40+ years of carrying an N-frame in a shoulder holster might of have had something to do with that as well.

At least we both are still vertical...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Rob Drummond said...

Does a 50-90 Sharps rifle count as a Big Boomer?
Rob Drummond
Hillsboro, NH

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