Beware the man with just one gun

That’s an old saying. I don’t know where it comes from, but it carries a lot of truth. I quoted it the other day to a friend who was wondering if he should buy a .22 rifle to match his new .177 rifle, and he remarked that he wasn’t sure exactly what I meant by it.

For the earliest settlers in this country, a rifle was as much as important tool as was an axe, or a plow. It provided game to suppliment what crops they could grop or forage, and might be called upon for self-defense, too. Powder and shot was expensive as well- to the point that lead was often recycled. A miss in a tree or a ball that took down a deer might be dug out, melted, and recast. Given the scarcity of ammunition and the reliance on the gun for food, owners of these guns placed a premium on accuracy in shooting. They learned their guns, and how they shot, inside and out.

Guns today are so cheap in comparison with the handmade guns of the 18th century that the average worker can easily afford a battery of guns- a deer gun, a small game gun, a turkey gun, a plinker, a goose gun, and on and on. Each will have its own peculiarities and each will shoot differently, and learning the ins and outs of each can be quite a job.

Airgunner, like shooting hobbiests in general, tend to be collectors. There’s always something new and shiny to be purchased or traded for. And we’re gadgeteers, too. With all those toys out there¬† on the market, a lot of us can’t wait to try yet another pellet or lube or sizer or optical sight¬† that promises better accuracy/impact/whatever.

While collecting is rewarding in and of itself, it’s not the way to become a really good shooter. To do that, you need to shoot a gun over and over, at different ranges, under different lighting conditions and different wind conditions, until you instinctually know where to hold to put a pellet where you want it. And that’s why the man with one gun- and one tin of pellets- is the one to watch out for.

One thought on “Beware the man with just one gun”

  1. It’s a paraphrase of “Beware the man of one book”. Lots of stuff on Google about it.

    Nice site. Bookmarked.

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