Monday, November 24, 2008

A Fire Is Lit

by Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

I had originally planned a column on another topic for today but something happened last week that is a little more telling of our times and might be of more interest to some of the regular readers of this blog so I'll postpone that first one for another time and tell y'all what happened instead.

Because of my professional and personal experience with firearms I am often approached by family and friends, and their family and friends, for advice on what type of gun they might want to purchase. I usually go through a verbal questionnaire with the inquiring party over what that person has experience with, if any, and what he or she intends to use the weapon for, if at all. I'm getting a lot of queries these days for self- and home-defense weapons and I wasn't surprised when I was asked by an older family member what type of long gun she should purchase to protect herself and her ranch. What did surprise me was that it was Mom.

My mother has never been one of those people real keen on shooting for sport and though she owns a small .38 snubnose for defensive purposes she hardly practices with it (the last time I cleaned it for her I had to remove some cobwebs). Now she wanted something bigger like a rifle or shotgun but not anything too heavy or expensive. I asked her why she had a sudden interest as she had never expressed any desire for anything "bigger" in the past and she said it was because of the new President. Mom is not a big proponent of the Second Amendment and has never been a member of the NRA or other gun lobby group but she isn't going to allow "a President to take away her guns!" She had heard totally independent of any news from me that there might be some new gun control laws coming and she wanted to get something before "they" had a chance to pass them. You better believe I was going to make sure Annie Oakley got her gun.

Mom has a few health problems and is of a small frame so most firearms designed for full-grown men were not going to work. She has a few varmints of the rodent family around her homestead as well as a busy highway passing by her house that brings quite a few two-legged varmints within a short distance and occasionally they have stopped for a visit and worn out their welcome PDQ so she needed something of a reduced size but still packed a wallop when discharged. I recommended the Remington 870 Express Youth Model 20 gauge with a 21 inch vent rib barrel and interchangeable Rem-Chokes.

With standard Game Load shells using size 6 shot this shotgun will take care of the little critters that bother Mom and with 00 Buckshot she should be able to take care of the bigger critters if the need should ever arise. Its reduced size fits Mom to a "T" and she can loan it to her youngest grandson when he's of a size to use it for hunting. With it being a pump-action shotgun Mom also has that audible deterrent that should give a rationally minded person a reason for pause and introspective reflection on the plans they had developed for that particular foray unto my mother's property and decide to turn around and leave.

Mom is now the proud owner of a new shotgun and she's waiting on me to clean it and then take her out to my farm property where my oldest son and I have set up an informal range so I can teach her how to use it. Sometime after the coming holidays we should be able to get out there. Now my mother's husband is asking me for advice on what would be a good defense rifle for him to purchase. He says he wants an Uzi submachine gun (I hope he's joking) but I'm trying to talk him into a Ruger Ranch Rifle. So many people, so many guns, and I'm only one person. I need some help 'cause I think this fire is just beginning to grow...

1 comment:

Lewis Burwell said...

Ahhhhhh; the good old 870 Express Magnum. The finish on it is darn near indestructible too. I own the 12 gauge version, and love it.