Monday, January 7, 2008

Life Improvement

Some time back, two or three years ago, I copy and pasted an essay from the web. I don't remember whom I copied it from, but if it was you, let me know and I will give credit where credit is due. This essay is about becoming a shooter. However, if you don't shoot, use the same thoughts for golfing, fishing, sewing or cooking 'shine.

my Grand Unified Theory of Shooting Competency and General Crankiness

Most of us are not shooters.

Most of us are not really shooters or gun men. We are collectors, traders, estheticians, and gun lovers. But….we are not shooters.

This is OK. Yes we are busy making a living etc. etc. Look at the world you have created around yourself. It reflects your true self. If you don’t like some aspect of it change it. If not, embrace it. But stop with the whining. There is never enough time in the day or money in the wallet for everything we want to do. If you really want to master that big bore revolver something else will have to be let go of. That is OK too. Nothing is permanent. SIU (suck it up) and move on. There will be pain. So what?

If you want to be a shooter you will have to stop collecting, or trading, or masturbating to gun mags filled with black clad Ninjas. You may have to stop eating out so much. You will have to train as an athlete does, with focus and determination.

If this isn’t you that is OK. Find out and BE who you are. Be happy with it. Excel at it. Then give what you are back to the folks and world around you.

Buckets of Bullets

Surplus is your friend. You want to be a shooter? You must shoot a lot. Thousands and thousands of rounds per year. Aimed rounds, not just hosing. You aren’t independently wealthy, have a wife who will wear rags, or you don’t work for Uncle? That is OK. Buy a gun in a caliber you can buy surplus ammo for. That gun and ammo will out shoot almost all of us. Snap in and hold hard. If you shoot it enough to get better than the gun and ammo combo. Then handload the special rounds you need for the hunt or match.

Let’s look at the numbers…. I will use .223 for this thought experiment. (Yes shooters can indulge in gedanken experimenten, not just Einstein.) Let’s say you are a typical middle aged, middle class gun nut. You buy say 3-4 revolvers or rifles you just can’t live without per year. Let’s say you drop a couple of grand on them, by hook or by crook and got by your wife with it. So you got these lust objects sitting all pretty in their boxes and maybe 20 rounds for each. You get on the net at night and extol their virtues to all and sundry and bitch about not being able to shoot as well as you’d like. SIU. Like I said, let’s look at the numbers….

Year one. Put the money in the bank or sell the lust objects and take your lumps (guns are commodities these days guys) and get your cash in hand. Go buy a good AR-15. An A2 or if your eyes are going a flat top. Why this rifle? You can get one for a grand. The barrel will last longer than most you have the patience to shoot it. They are more accurate than you can believe. The sights are good. Most importantly… They shoot good, accurate surplus ammo. OK, you got the rifle. Put a real shooting sling on it. Don’t buy all the tactical crap. How much money do you have left? $900 say? Good .223 ball runs $150 a thousand or so. That is 4,000 rounds guys. Go find your local 100 yd range. Even the big cities usually have one reasonably near by. SIU. Shoot that 4,000 rounds a year with focus and in position (don’t shoot from the bench) and you will be shooting under 2 inches at 100 yds from the prone, if not the sitting.

Year two. You got two grand again. Buy your wife a nice dinner, some pretty baubles, and another 4,000 rounds. You still got a grand in your pocket. Keep going to the range. Spend that other grand on a good shooting school. Keep going to the range.

You are now a shooter. Keep it up. If you don’t have a couple of grand a year for this, buy a mauser for $160. Ammo is under $100 per thousand. Hold hard. Remember what the Boers did to the Brits with these guns. Head shots any one? You are now a shooter.

When there is a will there is a way. Shoot if you want to be a shooter. Collect if you want to be a collector. Remember, buckets of bullets.

Dillons, not guns.

So you are not a rifle shooter. You want to be a handgun shooter. Don’t buy that next handgun. Buy a Dillon and some dies. The rest of the numbers work out the same. You graduated from grade school didn’t you? Do your own math. Go shoot a lot. Buckets of bullets.


Shooters have to have will. When there is will there is a way. SIU. We are weak compared to our grandfathers. But… we don’t need to be. If you have the strength and will to stay married to your wife you have the strength and will to do anything you want in life. SIU and focus on what you really want. You can be a shooter if you have the will.


You want to chase elephants across the savanna, climb high mountains or just be ornery at a professional level? Get fit. Just walking 30 minutes a day is more than most of us ever do and you will be amazed.

Tools not guns

We all have too many guns. Buy the tools you need to support your guns. That means proper cleaning gear, reloading tools, good screwdrivers, the right holster for your pistol. Skip a gun and buy tools. You will be happy.

Be a better shot, not a better gun buyer.

We all agonize over the next gun we want to buy. We read all the sales pitches in the gun mags. Yes sales pitches. That is all the articles are. Do we want the extra extra extra short magnum or the ultra ultra ultra magnum? After all no elk will fall to any of those old cartridges…. But why is it that the guys I know who *regularly* shoot an elk just happen to be good shooters who can place their bullet? Guys who seem quite content with their measly .270s or .308s or 7 mm Mausers? Fit guys who go to where the elk are…


You don’t need a glass on every rifle, but if you need a glass get a really good one and move it from gun to gun. Pay for the good mounts. You will be better off with an Aimpoint than a 20 something x unless you really DO shoot at a thousand yards.

Scopes do not belong on hand guns (to quote some one dear to me…)

Synopsis of our story is, whatever you want to do in life, do it. Do whatever it takes, but do it. Suck it up and do it!

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