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Beware of the Man With one Gun: by Bill McLeod

13/06/2022 9:13 AM | Bob McMillan (Administrator)

Beware of the man with one gun, he may know how to use it.

I was sitting in the maimai on duckshooting day when this old aphorism sprang to mind. I thought I would look pretty silly sitting there with my old 222 trying to hit ducks. So in the maimai I really needed a shotgun and the skill to use it. What shotgun? As a youngster I was shooting a lot of clay targets with some degree of success using a Miroku 800W trap gun. Took it into the maimai and had a dismal result. Too long, too heavy and too heavily choked. The next year used a skeet gun with great results. Where I was sitting on this duckshooting morning a skeet gun would have been of limited value as the shots were full range and the full choke was more appropriate. Clearly one gun would not cut it. 

The same applies to rifles. The most versatile rifle I have, my 222 would be totally inappropriate when I was shooting rabbits and possums in the paddocks adjacent the Auckland International Airport or when I was shooting wild bulls in the Puketi. So where does the advice Beware of the man with one gun fit in. I think the second part of the advice is where the gold lies. He may know how to use it. It’s pretty simple. The more shooting you do, the better you will become. Shooting is a learned activity. Shooting skills are transferable. Skeet shooting is great practice for duckshooting, trap shooting is great practice for pheasant hunting. Air rifles, 22s and competitive shooting are all valid practice for hunting marksmanship. The concept that a person can be familiar with only one gun is wrong. The other problem with the advice is that some of us would be bored spitless with only one gun. 

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