The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bad guns

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In the spirit of this season, Yes, Virginia, there are bad guns. There are good guns.

Here's a pretty good start on the bad ones. I don't agree with all his choices. My list would not include 6, 7 and 9. Here's a good starting point for the best ones.

I have owned a lot of the guns on the best list. Depending on your source for bad ones, I've owned a few there as well.

Dave Petzal is considered by many to be a world authority on firearms. For my money, he's got a LONG way to go to reach the status of Col. Jeff Cooper. But, Petzal lists as Remington 16 gauge as one of his worst guns of all time. This particular Remmy was a converted 12 gauge receiver. Petzal hates it. I had one for a while, traded it for a 16g double barrel and I was (am) happy with both.

Petzal also included a 36-inch barrel bolt-action 12g shotgun as one of the worst of all time. I've seen one, watched someone hunt dove with one and I absolutely agree. Fortunately I have never owned one of those.

As Joe Saxon says, "You pull the trigger and it goes bang. What more do you want?"

Joe will agree with me when I add: "A gun that won't blow up in your hands, works properly and doesn't take a 2x4 and a vise to reload." The last could be negotiable depending on the circumstances.

So with that in mind, lemme tell you my worst and best gun of all time.

WORST

RG10s. I've had 2, both given to me and I overpaid for both. This wheelgun shoots .22 shorts ONLY and the cylinder will line up properly with the barrel sometimes. The back blast is truly impressive when someone else is shooting one. If you are shooting it, the back blast is beyond impressive. Wear safety glasses, ear plugs, gloves, an asbestos shirt and still try to talk to someone else into shooting it while you watch from a safe distance a few counties away.

It shoots shorts but the noise is incredible. What it lacks in accuracy it makes up for in trigger pull. When your trigger finger needs a workout, get an RG10s and dry fire it. That 35-pound trigger pull will even work your abdomen.

Some people say the "Saturday Night Special" is the Raven .25 acp. Not so. The Raven is a dependable little autoloader. Do not blame the gun for the puniness of the round.

If any gun ever deserved the moniker "Saturday Night Special" it is the RG10s.

Bizarrely enough, this gun was made in Germany, a country known for the quality of it's engineering. I think it's Germany's revenge for what we did to 'em in WWI and WWII.

BEST

Mossberg 500. Someone will argue this place should be occupied by the Remington 870. Go write your own column after you read this.

I've also had 2 Mossbergs, one of which I traded. I traded because the recipient in this trade needed a 500 in his gun safe.

The 500 straight from the factory can sport a barrel of 18 to 36 inches with removable chokes. The receiver can be mounted for a scope or you can get a cantilevered barrel for the scope (get this the cantilever). You can get wood or synthetic furniture. Customizing is only limited by your imagination.

You can load everything from mouse-hunting to ammo that I'd hunt Dangerous Game with.

It's a pump, the most reliable repeating shotgun you can buy. For my money Ithaca perfected the pump with the older model 37s. But the Ithaca is not as customizable.

The 500 and the 870 are the most customizable guns on the planet. The reason I put the 500 above the 870 is black powder. Yes, the 500 now has a .50 black powder barrel which means the 500 is now a truly all-season, all use firearm.

You may have a gun which you say is the best. But unless you've actually hefted and tried to a shoot the RG10s, I suggest you don't have a worse one.

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