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October 16, 2012

How Many Guns Do You Need?

By David E. Petzal

For the past few weeks, Phil Bourjaily and I have been doing a series of talk-radio interviews extolling the virtues of "The Total Gun Manual," which is rapidly being recognized as not only the greatest firearms book ever published, but possibly the greatest book ever published, period—greater even than "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,"  "Leatherstocking Tales," or "Tess of the d’Urbervilles." 

Recently I did a crude and boorish interview, the kind I enjoy, but in the course of it I was asked how many guns I own. I was asked this because the talk-show guys were not shooters, and this is not a question one shooter asks another, at least in the circles in which I travel. You would sooner ask how much money someone makes, or if their livestock is afraid of them at night, or if everything below the belt is working OK.

But I digress.

“Pitifully few,” I answered, and that was the truth. In recent years, I’ve trimmed my already modest assembly of guns down to a startlingly low number, and I find that I have not succumbed to night sweats, weeping fits, or the leaping fantods. The following are among the rifles that I still have. There are a few others, but not many.

- A .22.  A man without a .22 is hardly a man at all.
- A .25/06 beanfield rifle. This is a collection of parts that shoots much better than it’s entitled to, and I doubt I could replace it.
- A real good .270.
- Two .30/06s. I use these for ammo testing.
- A heavy-barrel .223, which is my prairie dog gun and an ammo tester both.
- Three .338s. I’m strange for .338s, and find that I can’t part with any of them.
- A .375 H&H. Like the .270, tell me what you can’t hunt with it.
- A .416 Remington, as I am planning one last buffalo hunt.

I expect I will still have all of these when the Great Range Officer in the Sky calls me for that Last Relay, and don’t anticipate getting any more. However, if any of you would like to send me some of your better left-hand rifles, I would not refuse delivery.

Comments (133)

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

No shotguns or pistols?!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

- A.22. A man without a .22 is hardly a man at all. Check!
- A .25/06 beanfield rifle.... one of these days
- A real good .270.... make mine a real good 7mm magnum.
- Two .30/06s. ....one is enough for me.
- A heavy-barrel .223....make mine a heavy barreled AR.
- Three .338s... Make mine a couple of .358 bores.
- A .375 H&H. ...one of these days!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

How many guns do I need?

The answer is always, One more than I have.

But I expect that I could go the rest of my life with just what I've got.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Half-of-two wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I find that it's always hard to explain the word "need" to my wife...she never really understands why I "need" another gun! I'm very partial to my Remington 870. It's the first gun I ever bought, the gun I took my first pheasant with, the gun I took my first buck with and it's the gun that I'll pass on to my son.

So...how long would the list be if you changed the name of the article to "How Many Guns Do You Think You Need?!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from IND_NRA wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

There is no limit to the amount of guns one man can or should own. So my answer is yes Sir, I will have another.

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from IND_NRA wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

There is no limit to the amount of guns one man can or should own. So my answer is yes Sir, I will have another.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Funny. I didn't grow up in a hunting and shooting household so I remember when I first got involved and thought 4. It seemed to me in my ignorance that with a shotgun, a medium caliber centerfire rifle, a .22 and a handgun, one should be equipped for any of one's pursuits or needs. Owning firearms in the double digits still seemed odd to me. I grew older and perhaps not wiser but more experienced. I now think the magic number for a typical hunter and responsible citizen is more like ten. I think you can get it down to six in a pinch, and 2 if you really had to carry it all on your back. They're like tools. There are innumerable varieties of them, but there are a solid dozen that everyone should have available to them at an absolute minimum to cover any situation typically presented by man or beast short of all out warfare. I'm not quite there yet.

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from FOX wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Guns are like knives you can never have too many.

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from ALJoe wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

When someone asks me how many guns I own I always answer the same way, "Not enough." I am a sucker for guns. Nedless to say I have more than I probably actually need. I too agree with the comment about the .22. Everybody needs atleast one .22.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Your guns should equal the hunts you still dream of.

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My collection tripled the year my papaw died, and my brother was deemed unfit for medical reasons for the shooting sports.

-3 Mossberg 500's with differing barrel lengths
-3 .50 cal. M-85 Knight muzzloaders w/green mountain barrels
-5 .22 rifles

-plus a franchi, an 870, an old A-5, a model 700 7mm mag.,....not counting the ones I owned before.

Of course...I'm moving my guns around my safe to see how I can fit more in..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

"How Guns Do You Need?" What does "need" have to do with it?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I get a real chuckle out of those who think some fella with a lot of guns is a menace to society. So how many types and different cartridges do they need, how much and how can they possibly carry all of that at one time?

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

A 22 does not count in the total because of it's magical qualities appearing when given to a young nimrod it suddenly is a slayer of lion, tiger, elephant and various monsters. As the hunter grows older it becomes a tool,taken for granted, but constantly reappearing because of need.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Happy Myles your comment is well taken. I have a 22 I bought in my teens over 50 years ago. It is the only one I have ever owned or will ever own. I still use it every fall for squirrels and rabbits. In fact, I really think I bought my last rifle/shotgun a number of years ago. I am perfectly satisfied with what is in my safe.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have no idea how many rifles I own, but have managed to get rid of a few in recent years, at seventy three I need no more. Well, maybe a 6.5 something or other.. Here are a few I cannot do without. A 22-250 Remington 40X; a 257 Ackley Improved by Bolliger (my Son absquatulated with my 25-06); an 06 by Frank Pachmayr; a 300 Win Mag by Seely Masker; a 338 by Bolliger; a 375 by Ike Ellis; a 416 Rigby by Griffin & Howe; a 458 Ackley by Bolliger; and a 470 Nitro Express by LeBeau Courally.

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from Proverbs wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have let a few .30-06 rifles go, and am down to two really good ones. I want just one more - the new Melvin Forbes. It's a little light for .30-06 (5.25 lbs), but I recently handled one......and now I want one. Should have never touched it!

Down to two really good .270s. Got rid of the .270 WSMs.

Have a bunch of other calibers that I want to get rid of (mostly magnums), except for a certain 7 Rem Mag and one .338 Win.

We have it pretty good here in the USA, don't we?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Recently, in the comments under, Gunstocks: More on Wood, I noted a chapter on wood in Jim Carmichel's book. Decided it was insensitive of me not to look in one of Mr Petzals books. Sure enough in his, Encyclopedia Of Sporting Firearms, under stock wood, there are some excellent, concise comments on the subject. Many apologies.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To CL3: A real nice old S&W Model 29 .44 magnum, in which I shoot .44 Specials, and an S&W Model 41 .22. Six shotguns, I think, which I shoot whether I need to or not. All 12 gauges. Put as much shot in the air as you possibly can.

To Happy Myles: "Absquatulated"? Also, did you know Seeley Masker? Also, if you need a 6.5, may I suggest the 6.5x284?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To Happy Myles: Sir, your short list of firearms reads like a treasured collection of fine art. May their next owner appreciate, use and treat them as you have.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My state's governor, Brian Schweitzer, was once asked by a reporter how many guns he owned. His answer was a good one: More than I need but fewer than I want.

And yes, he is a Democrat. That's how we grow them out here.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
"Absquatulate", hopefully means to decamp in a hurried, undignified fashion. Great sounding word ,isn't it?

Never met Seely in person. Initially, he was a real grump, indicating he did not make rifles for hunters because they were lousy shots and would give him a bad name. Then several weell known bench rest competitors, whom I had hoodwinked, put in good words for me and he capitulated. The rifle he crafted for me is the best I have ever owned. It is so ugly I get all the credit for how well it shoots. He had Shilen send him five barrels, he kept two. . He formed hand loading dies with the same reamer used on the barrels. Am not sure exactly how many animals have taken with it, but somewhere around 150. Kindest Regards

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

TO Happy Myles: Absquatulate sounds like a word W.C. Fields would have used.

The reason I asked about Seeley is, he lived in the next town down the road from me, and was indeed a character. He was a roofer by trade, had a shop the size of a gas-station bathroom, and was so grouchy that you would have to coin a new word for his mental state. His rifles, however, were beyond reproach. He specialized in benchrest guns, and his son, although legally blind, won some championships at it. Seeley built a .220 Swift for me that was so awful looking I had to warn people before I took it out of the case. Sadly, he is gone now, a great gunsmith.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Anhinga wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My firearms collection is not T-N-T-C. And, I always would like another. I also, like DSMbirddog, have the first firearm I purchased 53 years ago, a .22. It's accounted for T-N-T-C squirrels over the years. Growing up with a duck hunting grandfather, my 12th yr. Christmas had a Browning A-5 20 ga. under the tree. That makes it over 50 years old, and, by my estimate, it has had over 15,000 rounds fired thru it, most in the first 10 years of use - grandmother had a hardware store with shelves stocked with shotshell and .22 ammo. It was a teenage shooter/hunter's dream. There have been numerous additional rifles, shotguns, & pistols purchased, traded and sold over the last 30 years - more will surely follow.

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from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I am with guns as women are with shoes, eventhough I know I have plenty someone comes out with something new and "I Vant It".

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Great thread Dave. Some have guns for practical reasons, use them as the tools they are. Some have guns for sentimental reasons: dad or grandpa gave it to me, your hunting mentor had one just like it, or it was your first. All are valid reasons. I think the best is a blend of both is such a thing is possible.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

- A.22. A man without a .22 is hardly a man at all. Check twice!
- A .25/06 beanfield rifle.... make mine a .257 Weatherby one of these days
- A real good .270.... Check.
- Two .30/06s. ....I have one, but need another to put a scope on.
- A heavy-barrel .223....make mine a heavy barreled 22-250 Win.
- Three .338s... see .375 H & H.
- A .375 H&H. ...one of these days very soon!
WAM-I stole your format to save typing:-D)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Every time I think I have enough some gun writer brings to my attention something that I gota have, and most of the time he is right!

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Bad question. No need to say need. As a consumer you buy what you want to buy. 70% of our economy is based on consumer purchasing. BUY! BUY! BUY!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Too many to maintain the proficiency I expect from myself. "Beware the man with 1 gun, he know how to use it” always echo’s in the back of my mind. I believe I should have the minimum I need to do the job and practice more,

I have a beautiful hand made Pennsylvania Long Rifle flintlock in curly maple that from a rest shoots patch and roundball with 777 powder in 3 or 4 inches at 100 yards.
1 40 year old Rem 7600 in .06,
1 40 year old Marlin .22 that I thought was shot out but a good gunsmith recovered it,
1 Rem 700 in 22-250. Amazingly accurate rifle.
1 Rem 870 in 12 gauge. What Can you say. Workhorse.
1 Marlin 1895Guide gun 45-70 (bought on Mr, Petzal’s recommendation)
1 Henry .17 HMR. Damn accurate, when there is no wind. Any wind, put it away,
1 40 year old Savage 24v .222 over 20 gauge. my first firearm. Only comes out to oil.
1 H&R .22 pistol in the gunsmith that I fear this time may not recover
1 Rugar 44Mag in 6 inch (guys here have listened to me whine about the scope)
1 Rugar .357
1 Target .45cal 1911 that can shoot the eyes off a fly at 25 yards.
1 p22 Walther for plinking.

Rock solid guns all. But I think I may need to pair down.

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from RPeterson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr Petzal, I am actually looking for a .270 and a .375 H&H right now. Would you be kind enough to share the brands of yours? Could use some suggestions.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

The ones that matter:

A 10-22 that still shoots and handles beautifully decades after I bought it.

A .257 Ackley I saved my pennies (for a long time) to have custom-made.

A 7x57 Ackley I saved my pennies (for a long time) to have custom-made.

A 30-06 made by P.O. Ackley.

A rotary magazine Savage Model 99 I'm rebarreling to .257 Roberts or 7mm-08--I'm torn on the caliber. Is there a sweeter rifle than the 99?

A 1911 in .38 Super that shoots and handles better than any pistol I've owned, as if it cost ten times more than it did.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Tom-Tom,

Thank you. I know I am a very lucky man. Have a beauty by Monty Kennedy, another 300 with which have taken several sheep and elk. Kindest Regards

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I know this is heresy, but after acquiring my first three firearms, I've had all the guns I need.
Of course, I've added a few since then, and done some trading, and I presently own a respectable collection. But actually, when I head out to the range, or go hunting, I almost always take my favorites.

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from Mark Orlicky wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Well... just as you have several 338s and several 30-06s, I think its vital that any gun user (not just collector) have multiple 22 rimfires. I cannot overemphasize the sheer pleasure of plinking! First, its cheap to shoot, compared to some of the centerfires. I love my old Remington Nylon 66, its so light and easy handling... My Colt Huntsman pistol is a joy to use. And, my Kimber for those "a little longer" varmint shots...
Oh, I love my center fires, but the 22 rimfire will always hold a special place in my heart!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bullock wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

I keep most of my back issues of this fine publication, and in one of those is an article entitled, "The Guns You Keep." On your current list there are two rifles that missing from that previous list. One is the first Weatherby in .300 Weatherby that you bought, and the other is the EBC. I dearly hope that you still have the EBC, it was a beautiful rifle. And the name, priceless.

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from bullock wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

I keep most of my back issues of this fine publication, and in one of those is an article entitled, "The Guns You Keep." On your current list there are two rifles that missing from that previous list. One is the first Weatherby in .300 Weatherby that you bought, and the other is the EBC. I dearly hope that you still have the EBC, it was a beautiful rifle. And the name, priceless.

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from damo450 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal, This story reminds me of your wonderful article years ago about Norman Strung. If I remember correctly he had a .270 BAR, a .358 winchester, an awful looking wood stove that was a scrappers find, and a blue fly fishing vest his wife lovingly cared for.

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from fishead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

my philosophy is more the merrier

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I am still trying to decide if Dave is lying or not. My gut instinct tells me no, Dave has no guns. My next instinct is to fall to my knees and weep uncontrollably.
A man with less than three .22's is hardly a man at all.

I have no left hand rifles nor do I ever plan to, but if I find one in the road I will send it your way.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Happy,

Works of art indeed. Just reading the gunmakers' names makes my eyes water.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Dave, I like your collection of calibers; 3-.338s is a little off the map to me, but I do respect your gun needs.
Me, I have 3-.22s, 2-.45/70s, 2-.06s, a trusty .270, both a .44 and .45 carbine, a .35 whelen, a .243, a 30-30,and a WWII vintage 8MM...then we have the REST of my collection ..shotguns and handguns.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Uncle Dave;
I have more than I need, but far less than want.
I'm reminded, daily, to not get my needs and wants mixed up.
I really liked this article but was amazed at how quick we put our guns "out there".
Would you see if you can talk ol Bourjaily into doing one with the Browning Ciotori.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

And maybe one lever action rifle in the bunch. Don't any of you guys hunt deer? Pigs?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

42
but a man might only need two.. a 270win/3006 sprg. and a 12 gauge.. IF he also has an airrifle he utilises often ;)

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from Richard G. wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

None of your damn business!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My dear brother has an OCD for .22's and .410's. I think he might have a 16 ga. for rabbit hunting and dove shooting. I'll bet he has a hundred .22 rimfires and even a couple of .22 Winchester Rimfire Automatics, for which they have not made ammo for years. He occasionally gives me one like a Remington Scoremaster like new built in the year I was born or a refurbished .410 that he deems worthy of whacking some muskrats, opossums, or other such vermin.

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I probably ought to clarify my post earlier...in that I would give all of them up to have Papaw back, and my brother out of the hosptial.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I probably ought to clarify my post earlier...in that I would give all of them up to have Papaw back, and my brother out of the hosptial.

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from kudukid wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

"You would sooner ask how much money someone makes, or if their livestock is afraid of them at night, or if everything below the belt is working OK."

It's great ideas that make great writers - much more than fancy sentence structure.

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from firedog11 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I enjoy shooting so, reason 1 for owning whatever I need or want. The other side of the coin is utility. Some are better for one purpose as another for a different purpose. That said, it is the same as owning any other tool variety enables your options to do more of whatever chore you want accomplish whether self defense or hunting. This is so aptly pointed out with the difference to hunting groundhogs or buffalo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from keithjoyner wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

No shotguns or handguns? How strange. Maybe you were asked how many rifles you own?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To R Peterson: Both the .270 and the .375 H&H are Montana Rifles. They're not cheap, but if you're looking for a working gun, I don't think you can do better, and will be hard pressed to do as well. As an alternative to the Montana .375, you might consider one of the new Winchester Model 70s, although I'm told they're hard to come by.

To Bullock: I still have both.

To damo450: Correct on all counts. John Barsness has Norm's .358, and it could not be in better hands.

To Kudukid: Thanks.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To keith joyner: See my addition above in the posts.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

First, will all due respect to H. Myles. Some of those calibers are "artillery" pieces, not rifles!

Next. I married late (nearly 30) but finally found a female that loves me, wild game and guns! I've never had a purchase request stamped "NO"! I have had a few marked "Next Month", but never NO!

I also find it amusing (as does the wife!) that firearms purchased for specific tasks, are seldom used specifically for "said" task, but take on roles never dreamed of for which means... "I've got to replace my ______ gun, I'm using this one for _____shooting only now!"
Also, a "specific" gun is seldom at hand when said "specific" tasks arise?

Oh well, back to the drawing board! There's GOT to be some specific creature in this area that needs a "specific" gun/caliber I don't currently possess!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Don't see my post? But the question is a bogus question, and need not be asked. As a consumer, buy what you want to buy. No one needs to question what you buy. 70% our our jobs, economy depend on consumer spending. It is rude to even as a guy, "do you really need that expensive gun?...or anything else.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

How many guns do I *need*? This is a loaded question leading to a corner I always, but unsuccessfully try to avoid. It’s sorta like going to the Chinese Buffet featuring 20-ft of food and answering, “What do I need”.

For the record I don’t *need* more than my presently owned 22 auto, Remington 1100 12-ga, Springfield 30-06, and Winchester 458.

This present inventory represents a retirement..of sorts..from running around the wilds and clay target fields.

Sob!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I don't know how any guns I need but when I figure it all out someday, I'll be sure and let you know.

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

As many guns as there are clubs in an experienced golfers bag, one for every shot.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I really don't need any more but I want more!! I currently have a .22, Model 94 30.30,Savage .270 and a 20 gauge single shot....would like to have a model 70 in 30.06 for moose hunting, a .300 Savage, a Browning .308 and a 22.250 for coyotes (I am in New Brunswick Canada and that is the highest caliber we can carry by law all year round). In reality, if I could I would have dozens of guns, don't need that many but I am a certified gun nut just like DP taught me to be.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tootall75 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To domo450, that was from the 110th anniversary issue (I was reading it last night for the umpteenth time) it is filled with tons of tips, bios on editors past and present (Ted Trueblood, Gene Hill, Norman Strung, Jerome Robinson, William Tapley, Keith McCafferty and of course David Petzal)and tons of other great stuff....I have have thought of having that issue laminated..one of my favorite editions of the magazine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

As many as I can buy without my wife finding out about.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

i have enough long guns in my collection to handle any task north america could ask for (.22, 22-250, .270 wsm, .300 roy, .50 cal T/C Omega, deer slayer slug gun), and one 12 gauge auto (beretta a400 unico) that will cater to any target or bird hunting occasion...but that is not enough. im only 20 though, so i have plenty of time to build that collection to where it needs to be.

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from ajvigs wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr.Petzal,

Is the 25-06 yous speak of the the Savage you built up and wrote about some time ago?

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To ajvigs: Yes it is. I don't remember when I wrote about it, but it now has a new barrel, and is a sub half MOA rifle. No way that's going down the road.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

FirstBubba,
I have been a lucky hunter, all of those "artillery" pieces have seen their share of battle. That is why I would not part with them. Interestingly, my fanciest, most beautiful rifle did not make the short list. It is a 416 Rigby by a very famous smith, and is the rifle that was between me and a very angry leopard while we wrestled around in the dirt. I finally, and unfairly, broke the tie by shooting the cat again and beating it with the barrel. Afterwards, my clothes were in shreds,I had been mauled, and was covered with my blood. The beautiful rifle did not have a scratch on it. Go figure.

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from ajvigs wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Thank you Mr. Petzal, I am having an old Savage 110 re-barreled in 280 and im sure it will be a tack driver

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

DEP's response to the intrusive question was pretty much on the mark; actual numbers be damned.
For me, the only possible answer to the question is, "Not nearly enough." I don't know how many times I've had to patiently explain to my wife that as much as she thinks I may have enough guns, I would be positively embarrassed to be invited on an elephant hunt and have to admit I'm not well-armed enough to go. All I know is that until I can go through the back of a Gun Digest and not see at least two dozen firearms I'd give my eye-teeth to own, my personal collection remains sadly deficient.

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from Alex Grimaudo wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

For all the guns I have, I don't have a single rifle over a .22 caliber...that needs to change soon.

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from Alex Grimaudo wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

For all the guns I have, I don't have a single rifle over a .22 caliber...that needs to change soon.

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from CTCrow wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

In my opinion you only need 2 and thats it. You should not have more than 2.

2 of each that is.

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Currently have:
2 - 22LR bolt actions
2 - 12 Ga Pump shotguns
An M1 Carbine
A Moisin-Nagant being sporterized
A 30-30 lever-action
A 6.5 Swede Mauser, sporterized
An SKS
An AK clone
And 6 handguns from 22 to 45ACP

And YES, I Need MORE!
;-)

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

@ CTCrow, that's 2 of each make and model ever made, right? ;-)

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Respectfully, I ordered my copy of,The Total Gun Manual, some time ago and have seen neither hide nor hair of it. Is that because it is being leather bound, or will it come with the next shipment of free products to test? All in jest....Kindest Regards

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from srlarson wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

WOW, not much shotgun love here.....just an old softy for pump scatter guns i guess.

Love my old Winchesters 1897's and Model 12's.....along win my 870, BPS, sxs, over/unders

Not Nearly enough i believe is the correct answer!!

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

thats like asking how many wrenches you'd need to take apart a car, my uncle the mechanic has snap on tool chest worth about ten grand not including the tools. So i would venture to say that a gun safe about the same size and price should hold all you'd need but its also handy to have a few torque wrenches, torches and vice grips handy for those really tough jobs. The point is there really shouldn't be a limit if the (legal)l have to put that cause there are some just not practical applications) job calls for it.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Petzal,

You may have been asked this in the past..but what was/is your favorite rifle?

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To Happy Myles: I believe I know 5 PHs personally who have been chewed by leopards. When did you order the book, and from whom?

To Tootall75: Tough question. In terms of superior and unfailing performance over 17 years, and with something like 5,000-plus rounds through it, a Kenny Jarrett-modified Remington 700 in .30/06. A plain-vanilla rifle that you wouldn't look at twice, but it has never lied to me.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave , glad to hear your a lefty, me too. Makes it twice as hard to find the gun your looking for. I've had to order most of mine! Deer and Elk - 7mm mag rem , varmits 22-250 savage short actiion. also a couple of left handed shotguns!

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave Petzal,
Please, I was attempting to pull your leg, and not complaining. A couple of weeks ago, I asked my secretary to order all your books and had no idea where she placed the order. Your other books , with the exception of this new one had previously arrived. I just called her and the new one arrived at my office this morning . Apparently she went through Amazon. Kindest Regards

I too know several PH's who are members of the CBC (Chewed By Chui) club including Jeff Rann his incident occurred the same year as mine, and John Greff lost an eye the year after we hunted together for thirty five days in Tanzania. As you know, the vast majority of Big Five injuries are caused by leopard.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Thank you for responding David....I am not surprised your favorite (in terms of performance) wasn't the belle of the ball, our favorites seldom are. I guess the moral is if they always go bang then looks are secondary. Also, on a separate note, my little guy is a budding gun nut and is a lefty like you and although he is a few years away from hunting we are seeing some fine left handed used rifles at our local gun shop.....another excuse to buy guns is fine by me.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

.22LR, 22Hornet, 223, 220Swift, 250Sav, 25-06, 7x57, 270Weatherby, 30-06, 9x3.74, 44magnum, and a 45-70 is on the way.........I won't even get into handguns and shotguns,particularly sxs's.
"There is no such thing as having too many guns."

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from James Gerondakis wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave,
Do you think I have enough guns?
1) Mossberg 500 12 ga. pump w/slug barrel
2) Remington 1187 12 ga.Semi-Auto w/slug barrel
3) Lanber Hunter 12 ga. O/U
4) CVA Hunter 50 cal. Muzzleloader
5) WWII-Era .303 Mark IV Lee-Enfield
6) Customized 8mm Mauser
7) Winchester Model 94 lever action .30-30 WCF
8) Remington Model 502 Single Shot .22LR
9) Marlin Model 25 Bolt Action .22LR
10) Marlin Model 70 Semi-Auto .22LR
11) Beretta Model 92FS 9mm pistol w/.22LR Conversion Kit
12) Colt Double Eagle 45 cal. pistol
13) Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Mag. revolver
14) Colt Police Positive .38 Spec. revolver
Just curious what you thought?

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from wingshooter54 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave,
What load do you use in your 25-06 Beanfield rifle? I remember reading a column you wrote on using this gun for shooting whitetails at long range.

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from Tranquility wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

A great post. I hope I don't have enough yet as they all seem to have a story.
22 Bruno model 1 my Grandpa to learn on that caused some groundhogs trouble
222 sako with stock made by my honorary Grandapa who was a cabinetmaker. Beautiful!
30 06 bolt as wedding present from my Father in Law that he got many moons ago. Doesn't get any better than that I think.
7600 '06 for moose just like my Grandpa's. I remember the good old days every time I handle it.
For the shotgun fans
12 gauge Citori sporting lightening that has busted a pile of clays
Sportsman 58 which was my Dad's. Great memories.
11-87 trap that was my dear friend and shooting partner's
Set of Old Winchester 101's in 410,28,20, and 12. Got the 28 when I graduated from business school. Just imagine the looks I got:)
Used to shoot some pistols too. Hard to beat a mark II bull barrel and a 686 for fun.
Now just need more time to put them to use.

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from Michigan Gunner wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

You don't have close to enough until you get over 50. Which is a good start.

MG

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

When it comes to buying firearms, what does "need" have to do with it. A good "want" is just as good a reason as a legitimate "need" any day.

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Need and want are two very different things. Practically speaking you could do just about all you need to do with a 3. a 223 for varmit, 30/06 for everything from antelope - moose, a 12 gauge that will handle 2 3/4 and 3" high brass .

But practical is sooo boring!!! My current collection is humble and needs to grow! the only problem is money and time. I don't have enough money to get what I want and Barely enough time to shoot what I do have. My current collection looks like this

243 win model 70

7mm rem mag model 700 bdl

marlin 336 30/30

7mm STW rem model 700 bdl (technically its my brothers but he would rather eat quinoa and tofu that elk steaks so I feel its just right he gives it to a carnivore like myself)

model 1100 12 gauge

Rem model 58 20

As far as a wish list, how much time do you have???

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I also had a Ruger 300 win mag, a marlin 22 and a marlin 22 mag but those got stolen along with a bunch of scopes. It happened 3 years ago and I am still really mad about it.

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from duckdog07 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Placing a number on firearms is lunacy.In ones lifetime you can not put a number on women,bottles of bourbon,porterhouse steaks,cold beer or hunting trips. You enjoy them as they come,some are better then others.Some you keep, some you trade but you always come back to the ones that serve you the best.

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from sarg wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Change NEED to WANT and you found me... I read your list several times and still cannot find .308Win listed....

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from sarg wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

DP, the great Range Officer will not call you if you are LACKING... A good .308 Win. that is.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To Wingshooter 54: I use two. One is the 100-grain Swift Scirocco at 3,100 fps plus, and the other the 120-grain Nosler Partition at 2,950. The first is for coyotes and little ratty deer, the second is for big deer. If you sight them both in at 3 inches high at 100 yards, they both hit in the same place all the way out to dead on at 300. I think that if the distance were longer, the 120 grain would drop less than the 100-grain.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I don't have a .22 but I have traditionally used my father-in-law's which he left here back in 1994. If he doesn't come pick it up soon I'll wrap it around a tree. Or his skinny useless neck if I can catch him! He's trying to help his daughter who ran the red light resulting in my wife's death to steal my daughter's inheritance! Useless piece of crap! The man, not the gun. It's a fine old Marlin clip feed with a very old Weaver scope. Great for plinking grouse.

My guns include two 30-06s both from my dad. He built the Springfield for me and the 760 Remington was given to him by my mom's dad shortly after I was born. I have three shotguns: 16 gauge Model 12 (my first gun given to me by the same two guys above on my 12th birthday), 870 3" mag 12 gauge (bought in 1968), and Browning Light 12 auto (bought in Korea in 1973). And last but definitely least, I have a Model 1881 Marlin in 40-60 that I bought in the gunshop where I worked as a kid before going in the army. Paid $75 for it and Dad thought I was nuts. Worth several thousand today I expect. It's the only collectable I own ... and ever will own. My brother in Montana still has my 357 S&W Highway Patrolman. Can't use it here so I left it with him. That's it for me. Haven't bought a gun in almost forty years and you'd be hard pressed to find someone else who uses them more.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To mddeerhunter: Where's the .30/06? What's the matter with you, man? How do you sleep at night?

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

I was reading an old copy of Field and Stream last night (from 2005, reading and re-reading them never gets old) and I read an article in which you were looking to improve your wing shooting.

A small blurb about you in the lower corner of the page stated you were 63 at the time and I thought hmm...that was 7 years ago which would make you 70. I was rather perturbed at realizing this because I unfortunately only started subscribing in 2005 and like many others who comment here, I enjoy your articles a lot and although I am sure you have many years ahead of you, the day will come when you will hang up the keyboard. This makes me a) envious of those who have been subscribers for longer than I and b)angry with myself for not subscribing earlier; and I have the nerve to call myself a hunter, fisher and outdoorsman.

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

My little collection never seems to get bigger but we do try to up-grade from time to time. Recently traded for a Beretta Model 687 Diamond Pigeon EELL in 12 ga. We are a sucker for beautiful guns and this one is a winner. Had to put a lamp shade on and add an electric cord to smuggle it into the house past the boss. Always keep 1 empty spot in the safe and she won't notice a thing. BTW got these gun running tips from Pat McManus years ago and they work.

Happy, we really enjoyed our talk with you a while back and look forward to a repeat soon. Would love to examine your guns and promise not to drool on anything if the chance ever arises.

Here we have one good quality .22 rifle for small game, a 357 revolver for 2 legged snakes, a .17 cal pellet rifle for sniping tree rats, and sufficient rifles and shotguns to shoot anything up to and including the great bears.

All, we have a very important election soon. Suggest you join or upgrade in the NRA and make sure you vote.

One other suggestion. If you are an old geezer with grown children suggest you find a kid and take him hunting. They are out there I am about to start on my fourth little hunting buddy. The other 3 are now adults and 2 of them are still hunting. Right now thinking about a first gun for no 4. Maybe a pellet gun or a youth .22 for Christmas. This is the future of our sport and it is more fun to give a first to a kid than to add another to your own safe. Trust me on that one.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Thanks for the kind words. Like before, keep me in mind for number four. Kindest Regards

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

H. Myles
The closest I'll come to having my moniker emblazoned in the honored tomes of the CBC (and survived!) will be in the pages of a Pete H. Capstick book!
As far as the "artillery" pieces? I had the distinct pleasure of having an acquaintance with African experience show me his "trio" of arms, one of which would equate in value o my entire estate! (one had H&H in the caliber AND maker names!)
All my limited vocabulary could offer was a muffled "wow." and a deep heart felt, "Thank you for showing them to me."
Happy trails my friend!

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from CCMJS wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave left off his Marlin 45-70 that he's always toting around on the TV show.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I guess I can stop weeping now that it appears Dave really has a lot more guns than previously disclosed. According to Jack O'Connor all you "need" (what a nasty little word) is a .22, a 30-06, and a 12 gauge. You can hunt anything in the world with three guns, but who wants to? I have five .22's and that's just the tip of the iceberg...

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

dave,
no 308 win? what are ya nuts!

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from buckstopper wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Hey Guys don't give out your gun inventory until you know what we got after the elections! Uncle BHO is taking notes.

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from kcarp1024 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

A few hundred seems to be enough..... He's right about the .22 If you've got a .22 and a shotgun, you're set for life. Although a few more wouldn't hurt.

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from Operator127 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Better to have a gun sittling around waiting to be used than you sitting around waitng on a gun.

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from Operator127 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

sitting*

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from jbird wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Happy Miles- I would love to buy you a beer and just sit and listen.

I have many guns that surpass the definition of "need". My wish list grows much faster than my income:)

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Yes Del, The best gun writer smugglers were Gene Hill and Pat McManus.

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from ishawooa wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Off topic but worth mentioning, I received my 1st edition Berger reloading manual yesterday. I allocated a few hours examining the content last night and was left with mixed feelings. The information is excellent but some narratives leaves something to be desired. Probably 25% of the book is nothing but stories, 25% introduction to reloading which is obviously necessary for beginners, with the remainder dedicated to those wonderful VLDs. At least I now have information directly from Berger rather than using other data or creating my own. I would suggest you consider the book if you shoot Bergers but if you don't maybe it will not serve you any better than the books presently on your reloading bench. I was disappointed that they chose to exclude data for the new .338 bullets and did not place much importance on reloading the Hybrids. Oddly enough there were even some printing errors plus the pictures of the cartirdges look like they are made of plastic. Maybe I am being too critical so I want to again point out that the data exhibited is well worth the cost of the book if you like Bergers. Mine is even autographed by Walt and other writers. Look at their website if interested.

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from Jim Amber wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

The number is debatable unless it does not include a Ruger super black hawk 44 mag and at least a plan to acquire a pre 1970 Colt Python. Now if you have to ask why as to the selection of those two you may be spending too much time at yoga classes.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I don't like listing what I've got, just in case the insurance company sees it. These days, the police, government and insurance company would agree that I was asking to be robbed and would probably arrest me over the home invader. :0
NEED ????? I probably only shoot a half dozen of them on a regular basis, but I also collect them as well. I WANT more, but only own what I can AFFORD, without causing the family any harm. The whole HOW MANY GUNS DO YOU NEED? IMHO is the new buzz brought to us by the Anti Gun crowd (I obviously understand it's not your motive).That said,in the past year I've been asked the same question numerous times, not by a gun editors, but by soccer moms, my doctor,co-workers, teachers, etc.....I believe this new interest falls in line with the government's recent attempt to limit our purchases to no one than one gun a month. Paranoid? Maybe....but I never trust anyone who doesn't understand the 2nd.
No one ever asks me How many fly rods do you need? Nor do they ever question my neighbor the golfer. I love fine shotguns, nice rifles and wheel guns. Do I need them...Hell, we could all probably get by with a shotgun with several barrels...but we could also eat chicken everyday. IMHO, neither would be "living". ;)

P.S. The book is great and I plan on bringing it to be signed if we both ever end up at the same event.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

*no MORE than one gun a month.

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from micko77 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

As others have mentioned, it may be either impolite or impolitic to ask such a question. I'm a nurse; many co-workers over the years have recoiled at the idea of a nurse, even a male one, would have a gun at all. over the past 30 years, thankfully, that has changed both in the number of male nurses (oooh my aching back!) and the number of either sex owning or at least having a decent response to the idea of gun ownership. In Illinois their isn't much point in having a rifle more powerful than a .223 for coyotes; I have a single-shot H&R 30-30 that I handload for that. I think back on what I've bought for myself over the past 20 years and it all lands on one hand; those for my wife and kids are another story. As well, they and my in-laws have kept their ears perked up when I mention certain handguns, my preference. But the basic premise of need is covered; .22 rifle, suitable centerfire rifle, 12 ga. Mossberg 500 minimums. My handguns I'd not be without are easily-found chamberings as well; .22 Mark 2 Ruger, .38/.357, and 9mm. The rest I'll have to check on....

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have quite a few but a heavy barreled 25-06 was my only rifle for nearly 30 years. It now wears its fourth barrel. Since the 90's I have aquired a nice collection from .223 to .375 H&H but would have to say that when I really need to really hit something and plant it on the spot, that 25-06 keeps coming out over all the others. When it comes to long range accuracy, my custom .300 Dakota is hard to beat and I'd have to say I have more fun experimenting with my .375 than with any other rifle I have ever owned. I enjoy all my pistols but still need another very accurate target pistol... it will be a High Standard. You can never have enough, that is for sure.

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from strong_arm wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

to keep ammo common among platforms, pistol and cqb riifle can be same caliber, 9mm, then a scatter gun and a good bolt gun in 308 with optics

i'm working on making a collection like that, just to keep things simple

would probably be "the minimum"

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To tootall75: Thank you for the kind words. I don't feel like 70; I feel like I'm 28 and there is something terribly wrong. Also, I'm mildly amazed that I haven't run out of b.s. yet.

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from Fruguy101 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Being only 31, married w/ 3 children, and still going to school while working full time, my gun purchases have been zero in the past few years. But that does not mean I do not have any rifles. I have three to be exact.
1.Remington 597 .22 -- I love this .22 rifle. Have 30 round clip for it, which makes for fun shooting.
2. Marlin .30-.30 Wal-mart special -- good gun, killed a couple of deer with it after my hunting hiatus was over.
3. Savage .270 w/scope -- given to me by my father-in-law since he can't shoot it anymore. Haven't hunted with it very much.

That's all I have. I do have a few guns I would like to get. that list includes an SKS, .223 AR style rifle, a shotgun of some type, and a couple of pistols, one being a .22 pistol.

I don't want a whole lot of guns, but the ones I do want will be used to the fullest extent.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

David,

Thank you once again for responding (this is the 3rd or 4th time and I can imagine you're a busy guy so I appreciate it); I am also glad to hear you are feeling spry at 70, that said, I hope I am not coming across as a suck up as I have complimented your work a couple of times (well deserved however).

I suppose I am like many others who follow you or who were fortunate enough to follow the likes Gene Hill, Ted Trueblood, Warren Page etc....we read and re-read your words and after a while we feel like we know you and when we hear from you we think, hey that's pretty cool...

It certainly helps that we have a medium such as this to reach out to folks like you, a luxury not afforded to those many years ago.

In any case, thanks again.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr. Myles--

These beautiful rifles you write of, made by famous gunsmiths or gunmakers from the last century or more . . . I don't know if it is inappropriate (or not) to ask, but would you mind posting photos of your works of art? I'm sure many of us here would like to dream and drool as we look at your collector's collection.

TWD

NB: You mention the .257 Ackley. I hope you've found that cartridge (and its rifle) to be the joy I've found in my two in that caliber.

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from James Lahti wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Being a hunter in Wisconsin I will have to say that the only gun I will ever need for hunting is a Remington 870 12 gauge with a slug and field barrel. I can kill everything from a squirrel to a bear with an 870.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

T.W.,
Thank you for the kind words regarding my rifles. I love my 257 Ackley. I acquired the stock blank decades ago from two Iranians (as I recall). The deal was consummated at the back of their van in a vast parking lot prior to an SCI convention. They mentioned it in saloon the night before the show opened, I knew it would be sold instantly when the doors opened the next day.
So crossed my fingers and money changed hands. When we finally cut into it, not a single flaw.
I will see what I can so about photos, am not much of a photographer. Boone and Crockett Club's 124th Edition, Records Of North American Big Game, has a chapter on Special Firearms. Pages 116 and 117 feature my fanciest rifle , it is quite a photograph and a beautiy. Kindest Regards

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have no idea were 124th Edition came from. Should read 12th Edition.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

All anyone needs is a Ruger 10/22, a Remington 870, and a Winchester Model 70 30-06. I know a lot of hunters that would be better off with only this combination, especially if they went out and bought the items today.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

You can still get a deluxe sporter 10/22 in walnut and an 870 Wingmaster in walnut and a Model 70 made by F/N that is better than your daddy's Winchester....

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from hogpredators wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Well, I would say that you at least need one gun per room in the house and then a good all purpose rifle such as thirty odd six and a shotgun. The wife needs a couple and each child too so maybe you could get by with about 10 or 15 of them. hogpredators.com

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from Kyle Horton wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have my .22, which has shot at least 4k rounds in the past 14 years, a .270, a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge have beem working well for me. A .308 would be my final addition.

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from dasmith wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I guess if times are slim and money scarce, (like now) you could "live with" a .22 rifle, .22 pistol, a shotgun .20ga or .12ga depending on what game you are hunting, and a deer rifle (again depends on type of area hunted). A service size pistol or revolver (9mm, .38spl, 357 magnum, .45auto). A concealled carry handgun, (snubnose or small auto). And a Magnum hunting revolver .44mag or 10mm auto.

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from annamarie wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I just recently learned how to shoot a pistol. I joined the woman's gun club here in Wisconsin and attained by basic pistol class badge. I also have my Wisconsin Concealed weapon carry permit. This fall I started shooting a rifle (10/22 Ruger) but moved on to a Savage 20 gauge shot gun (over/under). Also tried a Browning A-bolt 243 Medallion with a scope. Prefer the Savage. Problem is, the owner doesn't want to part with his Savage, it's over 40 years old and I can't find one like his. Any suggestions? I'm 5'2", weigh 128 lbs and looking for a gun that isn't too heavy, too loud that I can handle.

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from New Age Bubba wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Long ago, say half a century or so, you needed a "bird gun" and a "deer rifle" to be even considered for membership in the southern male club.

But to cinch the deal, you needed a fishing rod or two, and a boat. To really put a lock on it: a jeep or truck, and of course a dog.

Throw in a pipe, an old pork pie hat and a canvas coat to really look the part.

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from K.C. Hanson wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Dave!

Were is the 6.5 Swedish Ruger #1?

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from nc30-06 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Dave, I agree and love your description on age. I am 5 shy of your 70, but yeah I feel like I am younger and something is wrong. Borrowing your description. Keep the bs coming.

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from REDLEGFDC wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Hey folks. Im new to the sign in part of the F&S. Im am a Ga guy that is here via retirement from the US Army. I was raised in and hunted all me prior years in S/W Michigan. That part of the state did'nt allow for center fire rifles so we used a shotgun for everthing. My fav was my 870 12 ga. It had a 30 full barrel and I bought a slug barrel for it. That covered the white tails and all the critters that fly. I had a .22 and a single barrel 410 for the squrles rabbits. That was all I needed. Take care guys and keep it up and down range Oh ya .. now that im a ga guy, lots of hogs, small deer and doves. Im guessing another 870 12 ga. is just about right.

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from Nagant_Jo wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

As many as can fit alongside you in your king size bed. After picking up my first shotgun today I'm having to get a little more organized... Not sure what the rule of thumb is for those of you that are not bachelors. Maybe buy a new bed for your guns (or wife... your choice) haha.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

A 22 does not count in the total because of it's magical qualities appearing when given to a young nimrod it suddenly is a slayer of lion, tiger, elephant and various monsters. As the hunter grows older it becomes a tool,taken for granted, but constantly reappearing because of need.

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

How many guns do I need?

The answer is always, One more than I have.

But I expect that I could go the rest of my life with just what I've got.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

FirstBubba,
I have been a lucky hunter, all of those "artillery" pieces have seen their share of battle. That is why I would not part with them. Interestingly, my fanciest, most beautiful rifle did not make the short list. It is a 416 Rigby by a very famous smith, and is the rifle that was between me and a very angry leopard while we wrestled around in the dirt. I finally, and unfairly, broke the tie by shooting the cat again and beating it with the barrel. Afterwards, my clothes were in shreds,I had been mauled, and was covered with my blood. The beautiful rifle did not have a scratch on it. Go figure.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

"How Guns Do You Need?" What does "need" have to do with it?

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have no idea how many rifles I own, but have managed to get rid of a few in recent years, at seventy three I need no more. Well, maybe a 6.5 something or other.. Here are a few I cannot do without. A 22-250 Remington 40X; a 257 Ackley Improved by Bolliger (my Son absquatulated with my 25-06); an 06 by Frank Pachmayr; a 300 Win Mag by Seely Masker; a 338 by Bolliger; a 375 by Ike Ellis; a 416 Rigby by Griffin & Howe; a 458 Ackley by Bolliger; and a 470 Nitro Express by LeBeau Courally.

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from FOX wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Guns are like knives you can never have too many.

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

As many guns as there are clubs in an experienced golfers bag, one for every shot.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

T.W.,
Thank you for the kind words regarding my rifles. I love my 257 Ackley. I acquired the stock blank decades ago from two Iranians (as I recall). The deal was consummated at the back of their van in a vast parking lot prior to an SCI convention. They mentioned it in saloon the night before the show opened, I knew it would be sold instantly when the doors opened the next day.
So crossed my fingers and money changed hands. When we finally cut into it, not a single flaw.
I will see what I can so about photos, am not much of a photographer. Boone and Crockett Club's 124th Edition, Records Of North American Big Game, has a chapter on Special Firearms. Pages 116 and 117 feature my fanciest rifle , it is quite a photograph and a beautiy. Kindest Regards

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from IND_NRA wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

There is no limit to the amount of guns one man can or should own. So my answer is yes Sir, I will have another.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Funny. I didn't grow up in a hunting and shooting household so I remember when I first got involved and thought 4. It seemed to me in my ignorance that with a shotgun, a medium caliber centerfire rifle, a .22 and a handgun, one should be equipped for any of one's pursuits or needs. Owning firearms in the double digits still seemed odd to me. I grew older and perhaps not wiser but more experienced. I now think the magic number for a typical hunter and responsible citizen is more like ten. I think you can get it down to six in a pinch, and 2 if you really had to carry it all on your back. They're like tools. There are innumerable varieties of them, but there are a solid dozen that everyone should have available to them at an absolute minimum to cover any situation typically presented by man or beast short of all out warfare. I'm not quite there yet.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To CL3: A real nice old S&W Model 29 .44 magnum, in which I shoot .44 Specials, and an S&W Model 41 .22. Six shotguns, I think, which I shoot whether I need to or not. All 12 gauges. Put as much shot in the air as you possibly can.

To Happy Myles: "Absquatulated"? Also, did you know Seeley Masker? Also, if you need a 6.5, may I suggest the 6.5x284?

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from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To Happy Myles: Sir, your short list of firearms reads like a treasured collection of fine art. May their next owner appreciate, use and treat them as you have.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My state's governor, Brian Schweitzer, was once asked by a reporter how many guns he owned. His answer was a good one: More than I need but fewer than I want.

And yes, he is a Democrat. That's how we grow them out here.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
"Absquatulate", hopefully means to decamp in a hurried, undignified fashion. Great sounding word ,isn't it?

Never met Seely in person. Initially, he was a real grump, indicating he did not make rifles for hunters because they were lousy shots and would give him a bad name. Then several weell known bench rest competitors, whom I had hoodwinked, put in good words for me and he capitulated. The rifle he crafted for me is the best I have ever owned. It is so ugly I get all the credit for how well it shoots. He had Shilen send him five barrels, he kept two. . He formed hand loading dies with the same reamer used on the barrels. Am not sure exactly how many animals have taken with it, but somewhere around 150. Kindest Regards

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have no idea were 124th Edition came from. Should read 12th Edition.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

- A.22. A man without a .22 is hardly a man at all. Check!
- A .25/06 beanfield rifle.... one of these days
- A real good .270.... make mine a real good 7mm magnum.
- Two .30/06s. ....one is enough for me.
- A heavy-barrel .223....make mine a heavy barreled AR.
- Three .338s... Make mine a couple of .358 bores.
- A .375 H&H. ...one of these days!

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from ALJoe wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

When someone asks me how many guns I own I always answer the same way, "Not enough." I am a sucker for guns. Nedless to say I have more than I probably actually need. I too agree with the comment about the .22. Everybody needs atleast one .22.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Recently, in the comments under, Gunstocks: More on Wood, I noted a chapter on wood in Jim Carmichel's book. Decided it was insensitive of me not to look in one of Mr Petzals books. Sure enough in his, Encyclopedia Of Sporting Firearms, under stock wood, there are some excellent, concise comments on the subject. Many apologies.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

TO Happy Myles: Absquatulate sounds like a word W.C. Fields would have used.

The reason I asked about Seeley is, he lived in the next town down the road from me, and was indeed a character. He was a roofer by trade, had a shop the size of a gas-station bathroom, and was so grouchy that you would have to coin a new word for his mental state. His rifles, however, were beyond reproach. He specialized in benchrest guns, and his son, although legally blind, won some championships at it. Seeley built a .220 Swift for me that was so awful looking I had to warn people before I took it out of the case. Sadly, he is gone now, a great gunsmith.

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from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I am with guns as women are with shoes, eventhough I know I have plenty someone comes out with something new and "I Vant It".

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Great thread Dave. Some have guns for practical reasons, use them as the tools they are. Some have guns for sentimental reasons: dad or grandpa gave it to me, your hunting mentor had one just like it, or it was your first. All are valid reasons. I think the best is a blend of both is such a thing is possible.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Tom-Tom,

Thank you. I know I am a very lucky man. Have a beauty by Monty Kennedy, another 300 with which have taken several sheep and elk. Kindest Regards

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I know this is heresy, but after acquiring my first three firearms, I've had all the guns I need.
Of course, I've added a few since then, and done some trading, and I presently own a respectable collection. But actually, when I head out to the range, or go hunting, I almost always take my favorites.

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from Mark Orlicky wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Well... just as you have several 338s and several 30-06s, I think its vital that any gun user (not just collector) have multiple 22 rimfires. I cannot overemphasize the sheer pleasure of plinking! First, its cheap to shoot, compared to some of the centerfires. I love my old Remington Nylon 66, its so light and easy handling... My Colt Huntsman pistol is a joy to use. And, my Kimber for those "a little longer" varmint shots...
Oh, I love my center fires, but the 22 rimfire will always hold a special place in my heart!

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I probably ought to clarify my post earlier...in that I would give all of them up to have Papaw back, and my brother out of the hosptial.

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from kudukid wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

"You would sooner ask how much money someone makes, or if their livestock is afraid of them at night, or if everything below the belt is working OK."

It's great ideas that make great writers - much more than fancy sentence structure.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I really don't need any more but I want more!! I currently have a .22, Model 94 30.30,Savage .270 and a 20 gauge single shot....would like to have a model 70 in 30.06 for moose hunting, a .300 Savage, a Browning .308 and a 22.250 for coyotes (I am in New Brunswick Canada and that is the highest caliber we can carry by law all year round). In reality, if I could I would have dozens of guns, don't need that many but I am a certified gun nut just like DP taught me to be.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

DEP's response to the intrusive question was pretty much on the mark; actual numbers be damned.
For me, the only possible answer to the question is, "Not nearly enough." I don't know how many times I've had to patiently explain to my wife that as much as she thinks I may have enough guns, I would be positively embarrassed to be invited on an elephant hunt and have to admit I'm not well-armed enough to go. All I know is that until I can go through the back of a Gun Digest and not see at least two dozen firearms I'd give my eye-teeth to own, my personal collection remains sadly deficient.

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from CTCrow wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

In my opinion you only need 2 and thats it. You should not have more than 2.

2 of each that is.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Thanks for the kind words. Like before, keep me in mind for number four. Kindest Regards

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

H. Myles
The closest I'll come to having my moniker emblazoned in the honored tomes of the CBC (and survived!) will be in the pages of a Pete H. Capstick book!
As far as the "artillery" pieces? I had the distinct pleasure of having an acquaintance with African experience show me his "trio" of arms, one of which would equate in value o my entire estate! (one had H&H in the caliber AND maker names!)
All my limited vocabulary could offer was a muffled "wow." and a deep heart felt, "Thank you for showing them to me."
Happy trails my friend!

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from CCMJS wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave left off his Marlin 45-70 that he's always toting around on the TV show.

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from buckstopper wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Hey Guys don't give out your gun inventory until you know what we got after the elections! Uncle BHO is taking notes.

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from jbird wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Happy Miles- I would love to buy you a beer and just sit and listen.

I have many guns that surpass the definition of "need". My wish list grows much faster than my income:)

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from ishawooa wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Off topic but worth mentioning, I received my 1st edition Berger reloading manual yesterday. I allocated a few hours examining the content last night and was left with mixed feelings. The information is excellent but some narratives leaves something to be desired. Probably 25% of the book is nothing but stories, 25% introduction to reloading which is obviously necessary for beginners, with the remainder dedicated to those wonderful VLDs. At least I now have information directly from Berger rather than using other data or creating my own. I would suggest you consider the book if you shoot Bergers but if you don't maybe it will not serve you any better than the books presently on your reloading bench. I was disappointed that they chose to exclude data for the new .338 bullets and did not place much importance on reloading the Hybrids. Oddly enough there were even some printing errors plus the pictures of the cartirdges look like they are made of plastic. Maybe I am being too critical so I want to again point out that the data exhibited is well worth the cost of the book if you like Bergers. Mine is even autographed by Walt and other writers. Look at their website if interested.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I don't like listing what I've got, just in case the insurance company sees it. These days, the police, government and insurance company would agree that I was asking to be robbed and would probably arrest me over the home invader. :0
NEED ????? I probably only shoot a half dozen of them on a regular basis, but I also collect them as well. I WANT more, but only own what I can AFFORD, without causing the family any harm. The whole HOW MANY GUNS DO YOU NEED? IMHO is the new buzz brought to us by the Anti Gun crowd (I obviously understand it's not your motive).That said,in the past year I've been asked the same question numerous times, not by a gun editors, but by soccer moms, my doctor,co-workers, teachers, etc.....I believe this new interest falls in line with the government's recent attempt to limit our purchases to no one than one gun a month. Paranoid? Maybe....but I never trust anyone who doesn't understand the 2nd.
No one ever asks me How many fly rods do you need? Nor do they ever question my neighbor the golfer. I love fine shotguns, nice rifles and wheel guns. Do I need them...Hell, we could all probably get by with a shotgun with several barrels...but we could also eat chicken everyday. IMHO, neither would be "living". ;)

P.S. The book is great and I plan on bringing it to be signed if we both ever end up at the same event.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To tootall75: Thank you for the kind words. I don't feel like 70; I feel like I'm 28 and there is something terribly wrong. Also, I'm mildly amazed that I haven't run out of b.s. yet.

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from James Lahti wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Being a hunter in Wisconsin I will have to say that the only gun I will ever need for hunting is a Remington 870 12 gauge with a slug and field barrel. I can kill everything from a squirrel to a bear with an 870.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

All anyone needs is a Ruger 10/22, a Remington 870, and a Winchester Model 70 30-06. I know a lot of hunters that would be better off with only this combination, especially if they went out and bought the items today.

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from hogpredators wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Well, I would say that you at least need one gun per room in the house and then a good all purpose rifle such as thirty odd six and a shotgun. The wife needs a couple and each child too so maybe you could get by with about 10 or 15 of them. hogpredators.com

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

No shotguns or pistols?!

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from Half-of-two wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I find that it's always hard to explain the word "need" to my wife...she never really understands why I "need" another gun! I'm very partial to my Remington 870. It's the first gun I ever bought, the gun I took my first pheasant with, the gun I took my first buck with and it's the gun that I'll pass on to my son.

So...how long would the list be if you changed the name of the article to "How Many Guns Do You Think You Need?!"

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from IND_NRA wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

There is no limit to the amount of guns one man can or should own. So my answer is yes Sir, I will have another.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Your guns should equal the hunts you still dream of.

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My collection tripled the year my papaw died, and my brother was deemed unfit for medical reasons for the shooting sports.

-3 Mossberg 500's with differing barrel lengths
-3 .50 cal. M-85 Knight muzzloaders w/green mountain barrels
-5 .22 rifles

-plus a franchi, an 870, an old A-5, a model 700 7mm mag.,....not counting the ones I owned before.

Of course...I'm moving my guns around my safe to see how I can fit more in..

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I get a real chuckle out of those who think some fella with a lot of guns is a menace to society. So how many types and different cartridges do they need, how much and how can they possibly carry all of that at one time?

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Happy Myles your comment is well taken. I have a 22 I bought in my teens over 50 years ago. It is the only one I have ever owned or will ever own. I still use it every fall for squirrels and rabbits. In fact, I really think I bought my last rifle/shotgun a number of years ago. I am perfectly satisfied with what is in my safe.

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from Proverbs wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have let a few .30-06 rifles go, and am down to two really good ones. I want just one more - the new Melvin Forbes. It's a little light for .30-06 (5.25 lbs), but I recently handled one......and now I want one. Should have never touched it!

Down to two really good .270s. Got rid of the .270 WSMs.

Have a bunch of other calibers that I want to get rid of (mostly magnums), except for a certain 7 Rem Mag and one .338 Win.

We have it pretty good here in the USA, don't we?

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from Anhinga wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My firearms collection is not T-N-T-C. And, I always would like another. I also, like DSMbirddog, have the first firearm I purchased 53 years ago, a .22. It's accounted for T-N-T-C squirrels over the years. Growing up with a duck hunting grandfather, my 12th yr. Christmas had a Browning A-5 20 ga. under the tree. That makes it over 50 years old, and, by my estimate, it has had over 15,000 rounds fired thru it, most in the first 10 years of use - grandmother had a hardware store with shelves stocked with shotshell and .22 ammo. It was a teenage shooter/hunter's dream. There have been numerous additional rifles, shotguns, & pistols purchased, traded and sold over the last 30 years - more will surely follow.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

- A.22. A man without a .22 is hardly a man at all. Check twice!
- A .25/06 beanfield rifle.... make mine a .257 Weatherby one of these days
- A real good .270.... Check.
- Two .30/06s. ....I have one, but need another to put a scope on.
- A heavy-barrel .223....make mine a heavy barreled 22-250 Win.
- Three .338s... see .375 H & H.
- A .375 H&H. ...one of these days very soon!
WAM-I stole your format to save typing:-D)

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from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Every time I think I have enough some gun writer brings to my attention something that I gota have, and most of the time he is right!

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Bad question. No need to say need. As a consumer you buy what you want to buy. 70% of our economy is based on consumer purchasing. BUY! BUY! BUY!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Too many to maintain the proficiency I expect from myself. "Beware the man with 1 gun, he know how to use it” always echo’s in the back of my mind. I believe I should have the minimum I need to do the job and practice more,

I have a beautiful hand made Pennsylvania Long Rifle flintlock in curly maple that from a rest shoots patch and roundball with 777 powder in 3 or 4 inches at 100 yards.
1 40 year old Rem 7600 in .06,
1 40 year old Marlin .22 that I thought was shot out but a good gunsmith recovered it,
1 Rem 700 in 22-250. Amazingly accurate rifle.
1 Rem 870 in 12 gauge. What Can you say. Workhorse.
1 Marlin 1895Guide gun 45-70 (bought on Mr, Petzal’s recommendation)
1 Henry .17 HMR. Damn accurate, when there is no wind. Any wind, put it away,
1 40 year old Savage 24v .222 over 20 gauge. my first firearm. Only comes out to oil.
1 H&R .22 pistol in the gunsmith that I fear this time may not recover
1 Rugar 44Mag in 6 inch (guys here have listened to me whine about the scope)
1 Rugar .357
1 Target .45cal 1911 that can shoot the eyes off a fly at 25 yards.
1 p22 Walther for plinking.

Rock solid guns all. But I think I may need to pair down.

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from RPeterson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr Petzal, I am actually looking for a .270 and a .375 H&H right now. Would you be kind enough to share the brands of yours? Could use some suggestions.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

The ones that matter:

A 10-22 that still shoots and handles beautifully decades after I bought it.

A .257 Ackley I saved my pennies (for a long time) to have custom-made.

A 7x57 Ackley I saved my pennies (for a long time) to have custom-made.

A 30-06 made by P.O. Ackley.

A rotary magazine Savage Model 99 I'm rebarreling to .257 Roberts or 7mm-08--I'm torn on the caliber. Is there a sweeter rifle than the 99?

A 1911 in .38 Super that shoots and handles better than any pistol I've owned, as if it cost ten times more than it did.

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from bullock wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

I keep most of my back issues of this fine publication, and in one of those is an article entitled, "The Guns You Keep." On your current list there are two rifles that missing from that previous list. One is the first Weatherby in .300 Weatherby that you bought, and the other is the EBC. I dearly hope that you still have the EBC, it was a beautiful rifle. And the name, priceless.

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from bullock wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

I keep most of my back issues of this fine publication, and in one of those is an article entitled, "The Guns You Keep." On your current list there are two rifles that missing from that previous list. One is the first Weatherby in .300 Weatherby that you bought, and the other is the EBC. I dearly hope that you still have the EBC, it was a beautiful rifle. And the name, priceless.

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from damo450 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal, This story reminds me of your wonderful article years ago about Norman Strung. If I remember correctly he had a .270 BAR, a .358 winchester, an awful looking wood stove that was a scrappers find, and a blue fly fishing vest his wife lovingly cared for.

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from fishead wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

my philosophy is more the merrier

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I am still trying to decide if Dave is lying or not. My gut instinct tells me no, Dave has no guns. My next instinct is to fall to my knees and weep uncontrollably.
A man with less than three .22's is hardly a man at all.

I have no left hand rifles nor do I ever plan to, but if I find one in the road I will send it your way.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Happy,

Works of art indeed. Just reading the gunmakers' names makes my eyes water.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Dave, I like your collection of calibers; 3-.338s is a little off the map to me, but I do respect your gun needs.
Me, I have 3-.22s, 2-.45/70s, 2-.06s, a trusty .270, both a .44 and .45 carbine, a .35 whelen, a .243, a 30-30,and a WWII vintage 8MM...then we have the REST of my collection ..shotguns and handguns.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Uncle Dave;
I have more than I need, but far less than want.
I'm reminded, daily, to not get my needs and wants mixed up.
I really liked this article but was amazed at how quick we put our guns "out there".
Would you see if you can talk ol Bourjaily into doing one with the Browning Ciotori.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

And maybe one lever action rifle in the bunch. Don't any of you guys hunt deer? Pigs?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

42
but a man might only need two.. a 270win/3006 sprg. and a 12 gauge.. IF he also has an airrifle he utilises often ;)

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from Richard G. wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

None of your damn business!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My dear brother has an OCD for .22's and .410's. I think he might have a 16 ga. for rabbit hunting and dove shooting. I'll bet he has a hundred .22 rimfires and even a couple of .22 Winchester Rimfire Automatics, for which they have not made ammo for years. He occasionally gives me one like a Remington Scoremaster like new built in the year I was born or a refurbished .410 that he deems worthy of whacking some muskrats, opossums, or other such vermin.

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I probably ought to clarify my post earlier...in that I would give all of them up to have Papaw back, and my brother out of the hosptial.

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from firedog11 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I enjoy shooting so, reason 1 for owning whatever I need or want. The other side of the coin is utility. Some are better for one purpose as another for a different purpose. That said, it is the same as owning any other tool variety enables your options to do more of whatever chore you want accomplish whether self defense or hunting. This is so aptly pointed out with the difference to hunting groundhogs or buffalo.

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from keithjoyner wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

No shotguns or handguns? How strange. Maybe you were asked how many rifles you own?

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To R Peterson: Both the .270 and the .375 H&H are Montana Rifles. They're not cheap, but if you're looking for a working gun, I don't think you can do better, and will be hard pressed to do as well. As an alternative to the Montana .375, you might consider one of the new Winchester Model 70s, although I'm told they're hard to come by.

To Bullock: I still have both.

To damo450: Correct on all counts. John Barsness has Norm's .358, and it could not be in better hands.

To Kudukid: Thanks.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To keith joyner: See my addition above in the posts.

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

First, will all due respect to H. Myles. Some of those calibers are "artillery" pieces, not rifles!

Next. I married late (nearly 30) but finally found a female that loves me, wild game and guns! I've never had a purchase request stamped "NO"! I have had a few marked "Next Month", but never NO!

I also find it amusing (as does the wife!) that firearms purchased for specific tasks, are seldom used specifically for "said" task, but take on roles never dreamed of for which means... "I've got to replace my ______ gun, I'm using this one for _____shooting only now!"
Also, a "specific" gun is seldom at hand when said "specific" tasks arise?

Oh well, back to the drawing board! There's GOT to be some specific creature in this area that needs a "specific" gun/caliber I don't currently possess!!

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Don't see my post? But the question is a bogus question, and need not be asked. As a consumer, buy what you want to buy. No one needs to question what you buy. 70% our our jobs, economy depend on consumer spending. It is rude to even as a guy, "do you really need that expensive gun?...or anything else.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

How many guns do I *need*? This is a loaded question leading to a corner I always, but unsuccessfully try to avoid. It’s sorta like going to the Chinese Buffet featuring 20-ft of food and answering, “What do I need”.

For the record I don’t *need* more than my presently owned 22 auto, Remington 1100 12-ga, Springfield 30-06, and Winchester 458.

This present inventory represents a retirement..of sorts..from running around the wilds and clay target fields.

Sob!

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I don't know how any guns I need but when I figure it all out someday, I'll be sure and let you know.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

To domo450, that was from the 110th anniversary issue (I was reading it last night for the umpteenth time) it is filled with tons of tips, bios on editors past and present (Ted Trueblood, Gene Hill, Norman Strung, Jerome Robinson, William Tapley, Keith McCafferty and of course David Petzal)and tons of other great stuff....I have have thought of having that issue laminated..one of my favorite editions of the magazine.

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from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

As many as I can buy without my wife finding out about.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

i have enough long guns in my collection to handle any task north america could ask for (.22, 22-250, .270 wsm, .300 roy, .50 cal T/C Omega, deer slayer slug gun), and one 12 gauge auto (beretta a400 unico) that will cater to any target or bird hunting occasion...but that is not enough. im only 20 though, so i have plenty of time to build that collection to where it needs to be.

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from ajvigs wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr.Petzal,

Is the 25-06 yous speak of the the Savage you built up and wrote about some time ago?

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To ajvigs: Yes it is. I don't remember when I wrote about it, but it now has a new barrel, and is a sub half MOA rifle. No way that's going down the road.

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from ajvigs wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Thank you Mr. Petzal, I am having an old Savage 110 re-barreled in 280 and im sure it will be a tack driver

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from Alex Grimaudo wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

For all the guns I have, I don't have a single rifle over a .22 caliber...that needs to change soon.

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from Alex Grimaudo wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

For all the guns I have, I don't have a single rifle over a .22 caliber...that needs to change soon.

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Currently have:
2 - 22LR bolt actions
2 - 12 Ga Pump shotguns
An M1 Carbine
A Moisin-Nagant being sporterized
A 30-30 lever-action
A 6.5 Swede Mauser, sporterized
An SKS
An AK clone
And 6 handguns from 22 to 45ACP

And YES, I Need MORE!
;-)

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

@ CTCrow, that's 2 of each make and model ever made, right? ;-)

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Respectfully, I ordered my copy of,The Total Gun Manual, some time ago and have seen neither hide nor hair of it. Is that because it is being leather bound, or will it come with the next shipment of free products to test? All in jest....Kindest Regards

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from srlarson wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

WOW, not much shotgun love here.....just an old softy for pump scatter guns i guess.

Love my old Winchesters 1897's and Model 12's.....along win my 870, BPS, sxs, over/unders

Not Nearly enough i believe is the correct answer!!

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

thats like asking how many wrenches you'd need to take apart a car, my uncle the mechanic has snap on tool chest worth about ten grand not including the tools. So i would venture to say that a gun safe about the same size and price should hold all you'd need but its also handy to have a few torque wrenches, torches and vice grips handy for those really tough jobs. The point is there really shouldn't be a limit if the (legal)l have to put that cause there are some just not practical applications) job calls for it.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Petzal,

You may have been asked this in the past..but what was/is your favorite rifle?

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To Happy Myles: I believe I know 5 PHs personally who have been chewed by leopards. When did you order the book, and from whom?

To Tootall75: Tough question. In terms of superior and unfailing performance over 17 years, and with something like 5,000-plus rounds through it, a Kenny Jarrett-modified Remington 700 in .30/06. A plain-vanilla rifle that you wouldn't look at twice, but it has never lied to me.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave , glad to hear your a lefty, me too. Makes it twice as hard to find the gun your looking for. I've had to order most of mine! Deer and Elk - 7mm mag rem , varmits 22-250 savage short actiion. also a couple of left handed shotguns!

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave Petzal,
Please, I was attempting to pull your leg, and not complaining. A couple of weeks ago, I asked my secretary to order all your books and had no idea where she placed the order. Your other books , with the exception of this new one had previously arrived. I just called her and the new one arrived at my office this morning . Apparently she went through Amazon. Kindest Regards

I too know several PH's who are members of the CBC (Chewed By Chui) club including Jeff Rann his incident occurred the same year as mine, and John Greff lost an eye the year after we hunted together for thirty five days in Tanzania. As you know, the vast majority of Big Five injuries are caused by leopard.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Thank you for responding David....I am not surprised your favorite (in terms of performance) wasn't the belle of the ball, our favorites seldom are. I guess the moral is if they always go bang then looks are secondary. Also, on a separate note, my little guy is a budding gun nut and is a lefty like you and although he is a few years away from hunting we are seeing some fine left handed used rifles at our local gun shop.....another excuse to buy guns is fine by me.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

.22LR, 22Hornet, 223, 220Swift, 250Sav, 25-06, 7x57, 270Weatherby, 30-06, 9x3.74, 44magnum, and a 45-70 is on the way.........I won't even get into handguns and shotguns,particularly sxs's.
"There is no such thing as having too many guns."

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from James Gerondakis wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave,
Do you think I have enough guns?
1) Mossberg 500 12 ga. pump w/slug barrel
2) Remington 1187 12 ga.Semi-Auto w/slug barrel
3) Lanber Hunter 12 ga. O/U
4) CVA Hunter 50 cal. Muzzleloader
5) WWII-Era .303 Mark IV Lee-Enfield
6) Customized 8mm Mauser
7) Winchester Model 94 lever action .30-30 WCF
8) Remington Model 502 Single Shot .22LR
9) Marlin Model 25 Bolt Action .22LR
10) Marlin Model 70 Semi-Auto .22LR
11) Beretta Model 92FS 9mm pistol w/.22LR Conversion Kit
12) Colt Double Eagle 45 cal. pistol
13) Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Mag. revolver
14) Colt Police Positive .38 Spec. revolver
Just curious what you thought?

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from wingshooter54 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Dave,
What load do you use in your 25-06 Beanfield rifle? I remember reading a column you wrote on using this gun for shooting whitetails at long range.

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from Tranquility wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

A great post. I hope I don't have enough yet as they all seem to have a story.
22 Bruno model 1 my Grandpa to learn on that caused some groundhogs trouble
222 sako with stock made by my honorary Grandapa who was a cabinetmaker. Beautiful!
30 06 bolt as wedding present from my Father in Law that he got many moons ago. Doesn't get any better than that I think.
7600 '06 for moose just like my Grandpa's. I remember the good old days every time I handle it.
For the shotgun fans
12 gauge Citori sporting lightening that has busted a pile of clays
Sportsman 58 which was my Dad's. Great memories.
11-87 trap that was my dear friend and shooting partner's
Set of Old Winchester 101's in 410,28,20, and 12. Got the 28 when I graduated from business school. Just imagine the looks I got:)
Used to shoot some pistols too. Hard to beat a mark II bull barrel and a 686 for fun.
Now just need more time to put them to use.

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from Michigan Gunner wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

You don't have close to enough until you get over 50. Which is a good start.

MG

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

When it comes to buying firearms, what does "need" have to do with it. A good "want" is just as good a reason as a legitimate "need" any day.

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Need and want are two very different things. Practically speaking you could do just about all you need to do with a 3. a 223 for varmit, 30/06 for everything from antelope - moose, a 12 gauge that will handle 2 3/4 and 3" high brass .

But practical is sooo boring!!! My current collection is humble and needs to grow! the only problem is money and time. I don't have enough money to get what I want and Barely enough time to shoot what I do have. My current collection looks like this

243 win model 70

7mm rem mag model 700 bdl

marlin 336 30/30

7mm STW rem model 700 bdl (technically its my brothers but he would rather eat quinoa and tofu that elk steaks so I feel its just right he gives it to a carnivore like myself)

model 1100 12 gauge

Rem model 58 20

As far as a wish list, how much time do you have???

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I also had a Ruger 300 win mag, a marlin 22 and a marlin 22 mag but those got stolen along with a bunch of scopes. It happened 3 years ago and I am still really mad about it.

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from duckdog07 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Placing a number on firearms is lunacy.In ones lifetime you can not put a number on women,bottles of bourbon,porterhouse steaks,cold beer or hunting trips. You enjoy them as they come,some are better then others.Some you keep, some you trade but you always come back to the ones that serve you the best.

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from sarg wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Change NEED to WANT and you found me... I read your list several times and still cannot find .308Win listed....

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from sarg wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

DP, the great Range Officer will not call you if you are LACKING... A good .308 Win. that is.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To Wingshooter 54: I use two. One is the 100-grain Swift Scirocco at 3,100 fps plus, and the other the 120-grain Nosler Partition at 2,950. The first is for coyotes and little ratty deer, the second is for big deer. If you sight them both in at 3 inches high at 100 yards, they both hit in the same place all the way out to dead on at 300. I think that if the distance were longer, the 120 grain would drop less than the 100-grain.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I don't have a .22 but I have traditionally used my father-in-law's which he left here back in 1994. If he doesn't come pick it up soon I'll wrap it around a tree. Or his skinny useless neck if I can catch him! He's trying to help his daughter who ran the red light resulting in my wife's death to steal my daughter's inheritance! Useless piece of crap! The man, not the gun. It's a fine old Marlin clip feed with a very old Weaver scope. Great for plinking grouse.

My guns include two 30-06s both from my dad. He built the Springfield for me and the 760 Remington was given to him by my mom's dad shortly after I was born. I have three shotguns: 16 gauge Model 12 (my first gun given to me by the same two guys above on my 12th birthday), 870 3" mag 12 gauge (bought in 1968), and Browning Light 12 auto (bought in Korea in 1973). And last but definitely least, I have a Model 1881 Marlin in 40-60 that I bought in the gunshop where I worked as a kid before going in the army. Paid $75 for it and Dad thought I was nuts. Worth several thousand today I expect. It's the only collectable I own ... and ever will own. My brother in Montana still has my 357 S&W Highway Patrolman. Can't use it here so I left it with him. That's it for me. Haven't bought a gun in almost forty years and you'd be hard pressed to find someone else who uses them more.

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

To mddeerhunter: Where's the .30/06? What's the matter with you, man? How do you sleep at night?

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

I was reading an old copy of Field and Stream last night (from 2005, reading and re-reading them never gets old) and I read an article in which you were looking to improve your wing shooting.

A small blurb about you in the lower corner of the page stated you were 63 at the time and I thought hmm...that was 7 years ago which would make you 70. I was rather perturbed at realizing this because I unfortunately only started subscribing in 2005 and like many others who comment here, I enjoy your articles a lot and although I am sure you have many years ahead of you, the day will come when you will hang up the keyboard. This makes me a) envious of those who have been subscribers for longer than I and b)angry with myself for not subscribing earlier; and I have the nerve to call myself a hunter, fisher and outdoorsman.

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

My little collection never seems to get bigger but we do try to up-grade from time to time. Recently traded for a Beretta Model 687 Diamond Pigeon EELL in 12 ga. We are a sucker for beautiful guns and this one is a winner. Had to put a lamp shade on and add an electric cord to smuggle it into the house past the boss. Always keep 1 empty spot in the safe and she won't notice a thing. BTW got these gun running tips from Pat McManus years ago and they work.

Happy, we really enjoyed our talk with you a while back and look forward to a repeat soon. Would love to examine your guns and promise not to drool on anything if the chance ever arises.

Here we have one good quality .22 rifle for small game, a 357 revolver for 2 legged snakes, a .17 cal pellet rifle for sniping tree rats, and sufficient rifles and shotguns to shoot anything up to and including the great bears.

All, we have a very important election soon. Suggest you join or upgrade in the NRA and make sure you vote.

One other suggestion. If you are an old geezer with grown children suggest you find a kid and take him hunting. They are out there I am about to start on my fourth little hunting buddy. The other 3 are now adults and 2 of them are still hunting. Right now thinking about a first gun for no 4. Maybe a pellet gun or a youth .22 for Christmas. This is the future of our sport and it is more fun to give a first to a kid than to add another to your own safe. Trust me on that one.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I guess I can stop weeping now that it appears Dave really has a lot more guns than previously disclosed. According to Jack O'Connor all you "need" (what a nasty little word) is a .22, a 30-06, and a 12 gauge. You can hunt anything in the world with three guns, but who wants to? I have five .22's and that's just the tip of the iceberg...

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

dave,
no 308 win? what are ya nuts!

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from kcarp1024 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

A few hundred seems to be enough..... He's right about the .22 If you've got a .22 and a shotgun, you're set for life. Although a few more wouldn't hurt.

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from Operator127 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Better to have a gun sittling around waiting to be used than you sitting around waitng on a gun.

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from Operator127 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

sitting*

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Yes Del, The best gun writer smugglers were Gene Hill and Pat McManus.

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from Jim Amber wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

The number is debatable unless it does not include a Ruger super black hawk 44 mag and at least a plan to acquire a pre 1970 Colt Python. Now if you have to ask why as to the selection of those two you may be spending too much time at yoga classes.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

*no MORE than one gun a month.

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from micko77 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

As others have mentioned, it may be either impolite or impolitic to ask such a question. I'm a nurse; many co-workers over the years have recoiled at the idea of a nurse, even a male one, would have a gun at all. over the past 30 years, thankfully, that has changed both in the number of male nurses (oooh my aching back!) and the number of either sex owning or at least having a decent response to the idea of gun ownership. In Illinois their isn't much point in having a rifle more powerful than a .223 for coyotes; I have a single-shot H&R 30-30 that I handload for that. I think back on what I've bought for myself over the past 20 years and it all lands on one hand; those for my wife and kids are another story. As well, they and my in-laws have kept their ears perked up when I mention certain handguns, my preference. But the basic premise of need is covered; .22 rifle, suitable centerfire rifle, 12 ga. Mossberg 500 minimums. My handguns I'd not be without are easily-found chamberings as well; .22 Mark 2 Ruger, .38/.357, and 9mm. The rest I'll have to check on....

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have quite a few but a heavy barreled 25-06 was my only rifle for nearly 30 years. It now wears its fourth barrel. Since the 90's I have aquired a nice collection from .223 to .375 H&H but would have to say that when I really need to really hit something and plant it on the spot, that 25-06 keeps coming out over all the others. When it comes to long range accuracy, my custom .300 Dakota is hard to beat and I'd have to say I have more fun experimenting with my .375 than with any other rifle I have ever owned. I enjoy all my pistols but still need another very accurate target pistol... it will be a High Standard. You can never have enough, that is for sure.

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from strong_arm wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

to keep ammo common among platforms, pistol and cqb riifle can be same caliber, 9mm, then a scatter gun and a good bolt gun in 308 with optics

i'm working on making a collection like that, just to keep things simple

would probably be "the minimum"

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from Fruguy101 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Being only 31, married w/ 3 children, and still going to school while working full time, my gun purchases have been zero in the past few years. But that does not mean I do not have any rifles. I have three to be exact.
1.Remington 597 .22 -- I love this .22 rifle. Have 30 round clip for it, which makes for fun shooting.
2. Marlin .30-.30 Wal-mart special -- good gun, killed a couple of deer with it after my hunting hiatus was over.
3. Savage .270 w/scope -- given to me by my father-in-law since he can't shoot it anymore. Haven't hunted with it very much.

That's all I have. I do have a few guns I would like to get. that list includes an SKS, .223 AR style rifle, a shotgun of some type, and a couple of pistols, one being a .22 pistol.

I don't want a whole lot of guns, but the ones I do want will be used to the fullest extent.

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from tootall75 wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

David,

Thank you once again for responding (this is the 3rd or 4th time and I can imagine you're a busy guy so I appreciate it); I am also glad to hear you are feeling spry at 70, that said, I hope I am not coming across as a suck up as I have complimented your work a couple of times (well deserved however).

I suppose I am like many others who follow you or who were fortunate enough to follow the likes Gene Hill, Ted Trueblood, Warren Page etc....we read and re-read your words and after a while we feel like we know you and when we hear from you we think, hey that's pretty cool...

It certainly helps that we have a medium such as this to reach out to folks like you, a luxury not afforded to those many years ago.

In any case, thanks again.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Mr. Myles--

These beautiful rifles you write of, made by famous gunsmiths or gunmakers from the last century or more . . . I don't know if it is inappropriate (or not) to ask, but would you mind posting photos of your works of art? I'm sure many of us here would like to dream and drool as we look at your collector's collection.

TWD

NB: You mention the .257 Ackley. I hope you've found that cartridge (and its rifle) to be the joy I've found in my two in that caliber.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

You can still get a deluxe sporter 10/22 in walnut and an 870 Wingmaster in walnut and a Model 70 made by F/N that is better than your daddy's Winchester....

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from Kyle Horton wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have my .22, which has shot at least 4k rounds in the past 14 years, a .270, a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge have beem working well for me. A .308 would be my final addition.

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from dasmith wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I guess if times are slim and money scarce, (like now) you could "live with" a .22 rifle, .22 pistol, a shotgun .20ga or .12ga depending on what game you are hunting, and a deer rifle (again depends on type of area hunted). A service size pistol or revolver (9mm, .38spl, 357 magnum, .45auto). A concealled carry handgun, (snubnose or small auto). And a Magnum hunting revolver .44mag or 10mm auto.

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from annamarie wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I just recently learned how to shoot a pistol. I joined the woman's gun club here in Wisconsin and attained by basic pistol class badge. I also have my Wisconsin Concealed weapon carry permit. This fall I started shooting a rifle (10/22 Ruger) but moved on to a Savage 20 gauge shot gun (over/under). Also tried a Browning A-bolt 243 Medallion with a scope. Prefer the Savage. Problem is, the owner doesn't want to part with his Savage, it's over 40 years old and I can't find one like his. Any suggestions? I'm 5'2", weigh 128 lbs and looking for a gun that isn't too heavy, too loud that I can handle.

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from New Age Bubba wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Long ago, say half a century or so, you needed a "bird gun" and a "deer rifle" to be even considered for membership in the southern male club.

But to cinch the deal, you needed a fishing rod or two, and a boat. To really put a lock on it: a jeep or truck, and of course a dog.

Throw in a pipe, an old pork pie hat and a canvas coat to really look the part.

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from K.C. Hanson wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Dave!

Were is the 6.5 Swedish Ruger #1?

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from nc30-06 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Dave, I agree and love your description on age. I am 5 shy of your 70, but yeah I feel like I am younger and something is wrong. Borrowing your description. Keep the bs coming.

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from REDLEGFDC wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Hey folks. Im new to the sign in part of the F&S. Im am a Ga guy that is here via retirement from the US Army. I was raised in and hunted all me prior years in S/W Michigan. That part of the state did'nt allow for center fire rifles so we used a shotgun for everthing. My fav was my 870 12 ga. It had a 30 full barrel and I bought a slug barrel for it. That covered the white tails and all the critters that fly. I had a .22 and a single barrel 410 for the squrles rabbits. That was all I needed. Take care guys and keep it up and down range Oh ya .. now that im a ga guy, lots of hogs, small deer and doves. Im guessing another 870 12 ga. is just about right.

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from Nagant_Jo wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

As many as can fit alongside you in your king size bed. After picking up my first shotgun today I'm having to get a little more organized... Not sure what the rule of thumb is for those of you that are not bachelors. Maybe buy a new bed for your guns (or wife... your choice) haha.

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