Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hog Hunting Rifles: Pt II

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

Well, Otto had time to mull his decision over. I wasn't in any hurry to leave, and Mike was working, if you can call it that.

"I've decided." He finally said.

Mike and I waited for the verdict. I figured he would go for the H&R in .308, or maybe even the 45/70.

"The Mossberg in 30/30!" Was his definitive answer.

Oops, my bad.

"Good choice!" Exclaimed Mike in his usual over exuberant way. Did I note a hint of self congratulatory smugness in his voice?

Glancing at Mike with some suspicion, I turned to Otto and asked, "That's a great choice! Now tell me, why did you pick the Mossberg?" I wanted to hear his logic for choosing it, I wanted to know if he was listening.

And why he didn't go for a .45 bore.

Otto ticked off three facts on his fingers. "One: It's a handy rifle for Florida habitat. Two: I can use the 30/30 on anything I might decide to hunt for. Three: It's affordable, and so is the ammo, so that means I can practice more."

"Good sound reasoning!" I said as a slapped him on his back; he was listening. "Mike, hand the man his rifle will you?" Mike was already reaching for it, but I thought a little motivating from me might make it happen quicker.

“So Otto, those are good reasons for picking the Mossberg leveraction, but now I want to know why you didn't decide to get the Weatherby, the H&R, or either of the Marlins."

"Well sir," he started, "I'm not sure I want to risk it all on one shot, so that pretty much ruled out the single shots for me. The price is right on the H&Rs but I'm not really liking them that much."

I can’t disagree with him too much one the aesthetics. I have a sixties vintage 10 gauge slug gun whose bluing rivals that of any other gun I have, and the stock is as pretty as any. She’s plain, but pretty.

"Now, I like the Weatherby, and if I had more money, I probably would have chosen it. But I really want to be able to practice so I'll need the money for the ammo. That and I'll need other stuff too."

"I really liked the Marlins, don't get me wrong, but I don't think I'm ready for the 45/70. What you said about respecting the game, I understand what you mean and I don’t want to be a bad shot and make a mistake while I’m out there. I don't reload my own ammo; so I can't make the 45 Colt ammunition. If I understood you correctly the stock factory ammo isn’t best for hunting hogs, and that Corbon is pretty expensive stuff. And the truth is, I like the way the Mossberg feels in my hand. That pretty much did it for me."

"That is pretty good reasoning." I responded. "Mike, what do you think? Has he got the smarts to outwit a big boar hog?"

"I think so." He replied and then added, "If he practices, stays honest to himself and the game, he'll do fine. You think you can do it kid?"

"Yes sir I sure can!" Came Otto's sincere reply.

"Alright, there's only one thing left for you to do, and that's to schedule some range time with Mike here." I turned to Mike, "Can you get Mr. Broward to help Otto out?" Mr Broward is an older gentleman who runs the range. He's real old school, and enjoys helping out younger folk getting started. He's half deaf so it's always a lot of fun when he's presiding over the range.

"I'll make sure he's here when Otto comes in." Mike’s as good as gold when it comes to getting someone started right.

"That'll be great." I added, "Otto, Mr Broward is an old cuss who will teach you more in an hour of range time, than most people can learn in a year of shooting, so mind your manners and pay attention."

"Yes sir I will."

Well I felt pretty good on this one. I’ve had them when they wouldn’t listen to reason, and get something completely ill suited for their skill level and the quarry they where after. Mike has to tread a thin line between pleasing the customer and advising.

If only more kids were as amenable as Otto was!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

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