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The Gun Nut Survey: A highly biased, unofficial poll of 2,000 readers on all things shooting

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February 16, 2006

The Gun Nut Survey: A highly biased, unofficial poll of 2,000 readers on all things shooting

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

The survey is broken into five sections:
The Guns You Shoot
The Guns You Like Best
Your Thoughts on Today's Guns
Your Shooting Habits
Your Principles and Politics

You can click on one of these section names to visit that section, or just keep on reading to start at the beginning. And as you'll probably disagree with most of these results, voice your opinion by clicking on the "comments" link located all the way at the bottom of the page.


Section 1:Your Guns
You have plenty of good guns on your rack, but here’s what you take down most often

1. What is your primary whitetail gun?

Remington 700 15%
Ruger 77 7%
Winchester 70 7%
Remington 870 5%
Browning A-Bolt 4%
Marlin 336 4%
Winchester 94 4%
Savage 110/111/116 3%
Remington 742/7400 3%
Remington 760/7600 3%
other 45%


2. What is your primary whitetail gun’s caliber or gauge?

.30/06 20%
12 gauge 14%
.270 13%
.30/30 9%
.308 7%
.243 5%
7mm Remington Magnum 5%
other 27%


3. What is your primary big-game rifle?

Remington 700 22%
Winchester 70 11%
Ruger 77 8%
Browning A-Bolt 7%
Savage 110/111/116 6%
Weatherby Mark V 4%
Mauser, commercial or
converted military 4%
Remington 742/7400 3%
Remington 760/7600 3%
Marlin 1895 3%
other 26%


4. What is your primary big-game rifle’s caliber?

.30/06 30%
7mm Remington Magnum 10%
.270 9%
.300 Winchester Magnum 9%
.308 6%
.300 Weatherby Magnum 3%
.300 Winchester Short Magnum 3%
.45/70 3%
.338 3%
other 34%


5. What is your primary waterfowl shotgun?

Remington 870 22%
Remington 1100/11-87 14%
Mossberg 500/535/835 10%
Benelli Super Black Eagle I/II 4%
Winchester 1200/1300 4%
Browning A-5 3%
Benelli Nova 3%
other 40%


6. What is your primary upland shotgun?

Remington 1100/11-87 11%
Remington 870 11%
Browning Citori 6%
Mossberg 500 4%
Ruger Red Label 4%
Winchester 1200/1300 3%
Browning A-5 3%
Beretta 686/687 3%
other 52%


7. What is your primary turkey shotgun?

Remington 870 24%
Remington 1100/11-87 11%
Mossberg 500/535 9%
Mossberg 835 6%
Winchester 1200/1300 5%
Benelli Nova 4%
Benelli Super Black Eagle 4%
Browning BPS 7%
other 30%


Your Quotes

Diehl“Synthetic stocks add a touch of the vulgar to the last elegant activity available to the common man.”
--Mike Diehl, with a Mannlicher-Schoenauer Model 1950

Harwood“God, guns, guts, forever!”
—Bruce Harwood (right), with a browning citori and a friend

“Just that I wish I had spent a few dollars more when I was younger to get better quality.”         

“I shoot guns from a hundred years ago, and I shoot guns that are 5 years old. I love them all, and I shoot all of them.”

“If I’m going to buy a gun, it’s for use and abuse. Expensive bells and whistles don’t sell me. I buy for what works best for me, what will last, and what doesn’t cost six months’ salary.”


Dave's Thoughts:
Remington Rules: Two gun models designed just after World War II lead the pack in 2006

I would have bet anything that your choice for the world’s best gun would have been the Winchester Model 70, but it was the Remington 700, and by a landslide. And for the best upland shotgun, I was sure you’d select a tradition-dripping side-by-side like the Parker. What won? The Remington 870—by a landslide. For favorite whitetail gun, the venerated Winchester Model 94? The infallible Marlin Model 336? No, it was the Remington Model 700, by—repeat after me—a landslide.

You can get the 870 and the 700 in all sorts of variations, and at all sorts of prices, but regardless of cost, they work. And that, you have said loud and clear, is what counts most.


Section 2: The Best Guns
Your selections of the greatest rifles, shotguns, handguns, and cartridges ever made

1. What’s the best whitetail rifle ever made?

Remington 700 30%
Winchester 94 16%
Winchester 70 15%
Marlin 336 11%
Savage 99 7%
Weatherby Mark V 6%
Remington 760/7600 6%
other 9%


2. What’s the best whitetail cartridge?

.30/06 29%
.270 21%
.30/30 18%
.308 9%
.243 5%
7mm/08 5%
.35 Remington 4%
.280 2%
other 7%


3. What’s the best all-around North American big-game rifle ever made?

Remington 700 40%
Winchester 70 25%
Weatherby Mark V 13%
Ruger 77 10%
Savage 110 5%
other 7%


4. What’s the best all-around North American big-game cartridge?

.30/06 47%
.300 Winchester Magnum 19%
7mm Remington Magnum 13%
.270 7%
.308 6%
.280 1%
other 7%


5. What’s the best American handgun ever made?

Colt 1911 41%
Colt Peacemaker 18%
Ruger Single Six 18%
Smith & Wesson 29 16%.
other 7%


6. What’s the best all-around shotgun ever made?

Remington 870 33%
Remington 1100 12%
Winchester 12 11%
Benelli Super Black Eagle 9%
Mossberg 500 8%
Browning A-5 7%
Browning Citori 4%


7. What’s the best upland shotgun ever made?

Remington 870 18%
Browning Citori 13%
Remington 1100 10%
Winchester 12 9%
Ithaca 37 6%
Mossberg 500 5%
Ruger Red Label 5%
Browning A-5 5%
other 29%


8. What’s the best waterfowl shotgun ever made?

Remington 870 24%
Benelli Super Black Eagle 16%
Remington 11-87 11%
Winchester 12 9%
Browning A-5 7%
Browning 31/2-inch Gold 6%
Winchester 31/2-inch Super X2 5%
other 22%

Your Quotes:


Gangi“The only thing that bothers me is guns today really have no personality.” 
—Michael G. Gangi, with a Remington 870

Douglas“My parents let me buy my Remington 870 when I was about 11 years old with the agreement that I had to stop complaining about how much I didn’t like going to school.  Once the agreement was made, I shut my mouth for the rest of the school year.”
—Steve Douglas, with a Beretta 687

Squiers“Growing up with guns can be a positive experience. Nobody seems to believe that anymore.”
—Bruce Squiers, with a Stevens high power lever action

“I think that it is less about what the gun costs and more about how it feels in your hands. My ’06 is not the greatest gun in the world, but I have shot it until it is like part of my body.”

“How is it that our favorite guns are always the guns
we own?”


Dave's Thoughts:
The Invincible ’06: It debuted 100 years ago but is still the benchmark rifle cartridge

The favorite whitetail cartridge and the best big-game cartridge, miles ahead of everything else, are one and the same. It  was designed in 1903, the year the Wright brothers first flew, and it attained its final form three years later. Now, when we are landing probes on asteroids, this 100-year-old cartridge remains the one against which all others are measured—and fall short.

It was created by the U.S. Army, and its original designation was the .30 Government Model 1906, and it was originally chambered for the legendary Springfield Model 1903 rifle, with which we fought World War I. The doughboys who carried the Springfield were stunned at the gun’s range and accuracy of the rifle and cartridge, and when they got home, the ’06 was off and running.

The standard military loading was a 150-grain bullet at 2700 fps. Now, commercial ammo can move that same 150-grain slug at close to 3000 fps. The ’06 is loaded with bullets that range in weight from 110 grains to 220, and if you can’t find a weight that suits you, you are too fussy.


Section 3: Today's Guns
You like to own rifles and shotguns that are affordable, accurate, practical, and new.

1. American guns are:

Better than they were 50 years ago 65%
Not as good as they were 50 years ago 19%
About the same as they were 50 years ago 6%


2. The last time you bought a new gun, how did you feel about it?

Great investment; worth every cent 77%
Not bad, but not quite as good as I’d hoped 22%
Would be more useful if it were converted to a lamp 1%


3. Which of the following do you agree with?

Having so many cartridges available makes shooting more interesting 65%
There are way too many cartridges available these days 35%


4. Do you feel that gun manufacturers are turning out the same old stuff year after year, just with new unimportant features?

They’re the same basic designs, but with lots of genuine improvements over older guns 72%
You bet, and I’m getting pretty sick of it 28%


5. I will toss my cookies if I read another word about:

Guns that cost as much as a good used car 34%
Super-long-range shooting 11%
Minute-of-angle accuracy 6%
Ordinary guns that you can see any day. I want to read about the unusual stuff 3%
None of the above. I like reading practically anything about guns 46%


6. Do Europeans make better guns than we do?

There’s no big difference 51%
No 35%
Yes 15%


7. In the last decade, we’ve seen blued steel and wood being replaced by synthetic stocks and exotic metals. How do you feel about it?

Bring it on. If it results in a better gun, I’m all for it 60%
Enough already. How can you be fond of a gun that’s made out of plastic and titanium? 40%


8. The next gun you buy will be:

New 68%
Used 27%
I’ll probably never buy another gun; I have all that I need 5%


Bogle “I don’t see a place for plastic on a deer rifle. It makes my stomach turn when a man comes to deer camp with a plastic gun. Take it back to the Wal-Mart toy department.” —Adam Bogle, with a Remington 870

Hampton “You can’t get enough of them. If only my wife understood that.”
—Steve Hampton, with a Browning Citori

“Flintlocks were modern guns at one time. Change is good. Modern technology should continue in firearms as long as it brings added value to the shooter.”

“I love the traditional blued steel and wood look, but synthetics really do shoot a little better.”


Dave's Thoughts
Performance First, Looks Second: You value tradition, but it takes a backseat to accuracy and reliability

At just about every range I’ve been to, nothing draws attention like a geezer-aged gun. People gather around, clucking like poultry at the quality of the polishing, the wood-to-metal fit, and the amount of obvious care that went into its manufacture. But when the gun is shot and the groups turn up downrange, they tend to lose interest.

You have said that guns are better than ever, and that our designers know what they’re doing, and that if a space-age material will improve a gun you’ll take it and tradition be damned. And you’re correct. I routinely shoot plain-vanilla production rifles of all prices that are so accurate I’m embarrassed to write about them. Years ago, you couldn’t buy that kind of accuracy no matter what you spent.

Blue steel and aged walnut may be prettier than fiberglass and stainless, but if you want something that can take a week’s worth of freezing rain and hold its zero, kiss pretty good-bye.


Section 4: Your Shooting Habits
Centerfire, rimfire, or shotgun, it doesn’t matter. As long as it has a trigger, you want to pull it

1. Do you belong to a gun club?

No 66%
Yes 35%


2. Where do you do most of your shooting?

On private land 49%
A public gun range 20%
A private pay-to-shoot gun range 18%
On public land 13%


3. Did you shoot any of the following in the last 12 months?

Sporting clays 13%
Trap 13%
Trap and sporting clays 9%
Skeet 8%
Trap and skeet 8%
Skeet and sporting clays 7%
No, I didn’t shoot any of these 43%


4. How many centerfire rifle (or shotgun slug) rounds a year do you fire in practice?

More than 100 36%
Less than 20 18%
20–30 16%
50–100 15%
30–50 14%


5. How many shotgun rounds a year do you fire in practice?

100–500 31%
25–100 24%
Less than 25 21%
500–1,000 13%
More than 1,000 12%


6. Do you shoot a rimfire rifle at least once a year?

Yes 86%
No 14%


7. If you do shoot a rimfire rifle at least once a year, you do it mainly to:

Plink 56%
Hunt small game 28%
Practice for deer/big-game season 16%


8. Do you always sight in your deer or big-game rifle before the season? (Be honest!)

Yes 83%
No 17%


9. What’s the longest shot you’ve ever taken at an animal?

100–200 yards 36%
200–300 yards 23%
More than 300 yards 23%
Less than 100 yards 18%


10. Have you ever missed an animal because of “buck fever”?

Yes 56%
No 44%


11. Have you ever shot at a running deer?

Yes 55%
No 45%


12. Have you ever had a problem with the police, the Transportation Security Administration, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that involved guns?

No 96%
Yes 4%


Friedman “David Petzal is a joy to read. He is a crotchety old man and unashamed about his crotchetiness. Bill Heavey is also great, as his incompetence is quite believable.”
—Ed Friedman, with a sako 75

Niese“The majority of the hunting public knows very little about what their rifles are capable of doing. They buy way too much gun, have no idea what kind of bullet to use, and rely too much on gadgets and not enough
on skill.”
—Andrew Niese, with a Ruger Number One

Scroggins“Much of the ammo is too expensive to keep shooting.”
—Ron Scroggins (right), with a Mossberg 500 and friends

“I LOVE THEM! I wish I lived in a place where owning guns and going shooting was more acceptable.”

“If there was a decent range near me I think I would shoot a lot more.”

“My armpits are black-and-blue three-quarters of the year.”

“The first weekend of every October my buddies and I practice long-range, short-range, and moving targets from all shooting positions.”


Dave's Thoughts
Just Shooting: Clay birds, paper targets, tin cans: most of you have a home on the range

Many of you love to shoot, but hunting entails very little shooting, so you’re turning increasingly to targets of all sorts. If hunting-license sales are down, target-shooting figures are up. In 2003, 19.8 million people shot at targets, a 13 percent jump over the year before, and spent hundreds of millions of dollars doing it.

The advantages of shooting targets are obvious: You get to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. You can compete year-round. You don’t have to sit in a freezing gale hour after hour or spill doe pee on yourself. And you get to do it for a long time. You see very few 70-year-olds on the tennis courts, but you can grind up clay targets nearly as well in your eighth decade as you could when you were a young punk.


Section 5: Principles and Politics
Shooters disagree on a lot of issues—except when it comes to protecting their right to shoot

1. How do you feel about Cowboy Action Shooting?

It’s a great idea, a lot of fun, and a great boost to the gun industry 72%
There’s something terribly sad about grown men and women dressing up and playing cowboy 14%
What’s Cowboy Action Shooting? 14%


2. Which of the following do you believe is true?

You can’t deal in good faith with people who want tougher gun control because their ultimate goal is the elimination of private gun ownership 75%
Some of the people who favor tougher gun control might have some worthwhile ideas 25%


3. Would you spend $3,000 on a rifle or shotgun if doing so didn’t cause a financial hardship?

Yes, it’s worth it 44%
I’d never spend that much money on a gun 43%
Only on a rifle 8%
Only on a shotgun 5%


4. If you had the chance to go on the big-game hunt of a lifetime for something like elk or sheep, would you get a new rifle?

Only if my current gun wasn’t adequate for the hunt and/or the game 81%
Yes—you only live once 19%


5. Have you ever written to your elected representatives at any level about their stand on a gun-control issue?

Yes 57%
No, I just never bothered 29%
No. They’re going to do what they want, and my letter won’t make a bit of difference 13%


6. If you could buy a range-calculating riflescope that would just about guarantee hits on game, would you get one?

No 51%
Yes 49%


7. Agree or disagree: Hunters who use scoped, in-line muzzleloaders are violating the spirit of the law, and their guns are no more “primitive” than most centerfire deer rifles.

Agree. Blackpowder hunting is about the challenge of getting close enough to game to make one sure shot, not just killing an animal 54%
Disagree. Modern blackpowder guns are reliable and accurate, and make for more humane kills than do replicas of primitive guns 46%


8. What do you think of this survey?

It’s okay 66%
This is the first gun-owner survey I’ve ever seen that had any guts 32%
You guys are a bunch of knee-jerk liberal blue staters 2%


Your Quotes:

Rios “Private gun ownership should never be banned at any level. It is a security, a lifestyle, and the ultimate freedom. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” 
—Justin L. Rios, with a Beretta 391

Ek “I think that if people were more educated in safety and awareness that there would be fewer violent crimes involving firearms. I think that there should be a push for K–12 awareness. Guns exist, that’s a fact.”
—Stephen Ek, with a Remington 700

Allison “Wake up to the fact that not all liberals are anti-hunting gun haters.”   
—Alexander Allison, with a Browning A-bolt

“I am tired of hearing the in-line muzzleloader users tell us that we must support them because an attack on them is an attack on guns. My response is ‘Hey jerk, you already stole my season, so bite me!’”

“I haven’t spent $3,000 on a firearm, but never is a long time.”


Dave's Thoughts
It’s All About the Sport: Technology has its limits, ethics counts for plenty, and skill still rules

The respondents to this survey showed themselves to be a conscientious bunch. They practice, they sight in their rifles, and they have a strong sense of sporting ethics. For example, at a time when the gun industry uses the ability to shoot at long range as a major selling point, the overwhelming majority F&S surveyed do not shoot at over 200 yards. Almost half said they do not shoot at running deer. A majority felt that in-line muzzleloaders violate the spirit of the law.

But the biggest surprise was the answer to the question “If you could buy a range-calculating riflescope that would guarantee hits on game, would you get one?” More people voted no than yes. You would think that, in a society in which technology holds the answer to everything, this would be a no-brainer.

Guaranteed success? Who’d turn that down? Fifty-one percent of the hunters who answered the question, that’s who.

We take off our hats to them.

Comments (74)

Top Rated
All Comments
from andrew staub aka brown wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

HI PETZTHIS IS BROWN SPEAKING--SORRY ITS BEEN SO LONG---i NEED SOME HELP

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skip wrote 6 years 14 weeks ago

This is going back awhile in this multitopic thread, but it was asked what armed populace overthrew a tyrannical government. I was suprised that no one brought up the obvious- the United States. The War of Independence started at Lexington and Concord when the British Goverment came to confiscate the peoples' guns, powder and shot. While an armed populace did not singlehandedly beat the British, the resolve shown by the "minute men" helped convince foreign powers to help with troops. navies and "modern" arms. There were a lot of reasons for rebellion, but it was gun rights that started it all. It is therefore no accident that the Right to keep and bear arms was the second amandment of the bill of rights. Example 2: the french revolution. The Nowegian populace WWII, the French Resistance, North Vietnam, yes, Afganistan- while it may have been US support that decidedd the issue, it was Aghani with bolt action rifles initially that made the effort plausible. The Civil War- another example- maybe unsuccessful, but ti brought about economic change for the south. There are probably many more examples where an armed populace were able to effect change, even if they ulimately needed assistance.And while an armed poplulace has not always triumphed (the American indians, the South in the Civil war, the southern Iraqi's after the first gulf war, NO unarmed populace has never overturned a tryannical government that I know if.Additionally it has been confirmed by multiple court decisions that the police have no obligation to defend the INDIVIDUAL. Cases where the public safety departments have failed to protect citizens and were sued have been found in favor of the plaintiff the majority, if not the totality of the time.Examples- Watts during the riots before many here were born- it was too "dangerous" for the police to enter the riot area to protect citizens and their business. Those business owners that stood armed were virtually the only ones to save their life's work. Example 2- Katrina and New Orleans- legally owned firearms were confiscated, the police experienced mass desertions of their posts and muder, looting and crime ran wild.It is indeed sad that in less than 50 years I can cite two examples in the United States where the worst fears of the founding fathers, who had drafted the 2nd amendment as hopefully a last ditch defense, were realized.For those who eschew the Bill of rights (and to reject one is to reject all) in favor of comfort and "security" "may the chains of bandage weigh lighty upon you and your family"On a lighter note, if could only have one firearm it would be my venerable Remington 870.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jim wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

i need a ithaca model 37 left hand safty can you help?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fray wrote 6 years 30 weeks ago

i am looking for a lefthanded safety for a right handed 1187 remington can any one tell me where or how to find one thank you

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from acfkd qepmw wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

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+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from teikwrnhu mkbhe wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

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+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan wrote 7 years 4 weeks ago

It looks like all of the great military surplus rifles were forgotten in the survey. The Springfield 30-06, Enfield .303 and the Mauser rifles have all taken more than their share of deer. When it comes to firearms, I believe in function over looks. I will take a mil-surp rifle that shoots straight over an expensive rifle any day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big T wrote 7 years 4 weeks ago

I agree with the gentlemen that thinks gun safety should start at a young age in school. I think most children do not learn the proper safety of guns by the proper people, exspecially intercity children. I am 29yrs old and started collecting guns since I was 14. I have collected guns of all types. I live in Illinios, where we have a governer that can only see the wrong in guns. He is trying to pass a law to ban 50cal guns,which includes 12ga shotguns. He is also trying to pass a law to ban anything semi-automatic. With these laws I will lose half my collection. From my favorite rabbit and quail, remington 1100 410ga, my turkey gun, winchester sx2, to my deer gun, bolt-action 12ga. In Illinios we can only hunt whitetails with slugs which fall into the 50cal law. So I ask people to help educate children on gun so no one never gets a governor like ours. I hope these laws do not pass, but people need to be educated befor we can stop laws like this. I think your surveys in Field and Stream help with these education prodlems. Keep up the good work.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fahad wrote 7 years 6 weeks ago

I'm looking for a barrel length 26 for xtrema 2 camoif any one can send me any information that will make me so happythank youfahad

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from Duane Williams wrote 7 years 15 weeks ago

After reading the majority of the comments made by the predominately shotgun oriented folks that responded to the survey, I was struck by the passion that all of them had toward their various choices and the vehemence with which they expressed themselves.I noted too, that the individuals who used profanity to get their points across were obviously products of the modern day school system (the spelling and syntax was terrible).As I was reading, I decided that I hadn't inventoried my own firearms recently and updated the list and made a new list of all my serial numbers etc, just in the event that someone who is not as law abiding as myself would like them better than me.I shoot a .12 gauge slug gun, mainly for bear protection around camp. I hunt with a Ruger Super Redhawk .454Casull, which is also chambered for .45 Colt Long. An effective handgun up to 200 yards. It's quicker to bring to bear on a target and very conclusive when the smoke clears. I keep a .380 pistol for home use and a .22 cal semi-auto for varmits...one thing has dawned on me after reading all these posts is this...I need more guns..at least in big bore variables, so a shopping I will go.

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from Otis Anderson wrote 7 years 19 weeks ago

An amazing survey and collection of opinions laid to waste by the arrogance of man and there inability to accept what someone else says as there own personal opinion and not interject there own savy into the equation.It is sickening to think hunters, shooters and all around outdoorsman can't live with the fact that someone may not agree with them.Truely Disheartening

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gary mosher wrote 7 years 21 weeks ago

In the past I used a Marlin 336 30-30 for whitetail deer.A great brush gun, I switched to a Marlin 444 which I have used for years. I also hunt with a Sweedish Mauser 6.5x55,which is a sweetheart to shoot.Love that mauser action,but one of my sons bought a remington model 710 in 3006. He didn't like it. So I have been using it this deer season and I have fallen in love with it.It shoots great and handles really well! It is a low bucks rifle but it's still a remington.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Broussard wrote 7 years 24 weeks ago

Well, I've made it. I read all the way to the bottom of this thread and now can call myself well informed. Many thanks to the great folks at F&S for the site.My thoughts;The best gun for (fill in the blank) is the one you have handy. Let's hope it's always handy.The NRA is doing a good job of educating a public that really- REALLY wants to remain ignorant of it's Constitution and The Bill of Rights.The Second Amendment is about hunting the way the First is about reading the Bible. We just assume we can and that no-one would deny us.Oh but there's more.If we accept the First Amendment's protection when we read our Bibles, we must also know that it protects those who would read something we find vulgar or offensive.That's how rights work. Everyone is protected.If a right is only extended to a select group or entity, it no longer exists as a right.The Second Amendment is about hunting, but it's also about a whole lot more. Stuff we don't like to think about, but should.There are many who say that America is out of touch with the world. They say we are paranoid. They ask for specific examples of places where armed citizens have maintained their freedon through gun ownership.I can only offer one; This One. My Country, The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, The best darned place in the world. We did it two hundred and thirty years ago, and we're still doing it today.I only need that one shining example of freedom and democracy to make me a believer. I'm not an American because I'm armed. I'm armed because I'm an American. I will always have the means to defend my family and my country.Feel free to use your deer rifle to defend America anytime you need to. I'll be right beside you with mine.

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from Dan wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

35 years of shooting, collecting, & hunting:favorites so far:.22 High Standard Supermatic Citation (with comp, adj. weights& trigger) Silly accurate w good ammo..22 Remmington 552 Speedmaster ultra accurate and never failed to function..ever. I ran 2000 rounds (yes a true 2000 rounds) in a single day, never a problem. Why couldn't they put a 30 round clip with a gun like this!1960 Ruger Super Black Hawk (the real deal 3 screw) mine is worn to the bone but shoots like a dream. silky smooth trigger, action. Nothing has the same sound as one of these when u pull back the hammer. Oh yeah, I can hit 10 inch bull's at 100 yds with this cannon. Thats at a gun range.I have taken everything from rabbits to mule dear with this wonderful, fun handgun. A .44 mag has a lot of options when handloading.My brothers and I go shooting or hunting almost every other week. I have a huge selection at my finger tips (3 brothers and platoon sgt. dad) I seem to always want to take the .44 even though I have 9 other handguns to choose from.Last but not least, the all-American Rem. 700 ADL .30-06Harry Lawson (yes, he was alive and down the street from me) made me one of his custom stocks, put on a muzzle break, and put it all together for me. I was twenty something and only 145 lbs at the time. It took all the kick out from the gun and made it my favorite large caliber rifle to shoot. It still draws attention at the range and will put 1 inch groups at 200yds, not just 100 yds.

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from Big Dad wrote 7 years 28 weeks ago

If your really hunting (not from a bench)...its not going to matter all that much if your gun goes 1 inch off...the accuracy is basically in the shooter..and how he can calculate the wind and distance

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from Dave wrote 7 years 29 weeks ago

howdy, id like to makea comment on the benelli guns. While the benneli nova is a damn fine gun in its own respect, and the blackeagles are too, with alot of autoloaders you cant just put any old crap 12 gauge in their and expect it to fire. Im sure that whoever was shooting one that you saw that malfunctioned was cheap ass ammo, and since the black eagle is rated for 3 and a half mags, it would be pretty prudint to say that a underpowered load would jam er up pretty quicklike. Also you might think you know alot about ballistics, but everything short of shooting a animal is just talk.

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from Tyler Sutcliffe wrote 7 years 37 weeks ago

I dont see why folks are having a problem with 175 yards with a shotgun. Plenty of power and accuracy, and appears to have done the job. I shoot professionally, and hunt for fun. Congrats on the 175 yard shot, though I would hope you would not try anything much further with a shot gun.

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from John wrote 7 years 43 weeks ago

The new 12 guage Hornady SSt sabot round, when zereoed 3 inches high at 100 yards, will only be 6 inches low at 200 yards. It still retains 1000 ft/lbs of energy at 200 yards. Its a very effective slug round.

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from John wrote 7 years 43 weeks ago

The new 12 guage Hornady SSt sabot round, when zereoed 3 inches high at 100 yards, will only be 6 inches low at 200 yards. It still retains 1000 ft/lbs of energy at 200 yards. Its a very effective slug round.

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from Greg Russell wrote 7 years 49 weeks ago

rick must really know what hes doing ...?Posted by: joe wyrill | April 25, 2006 at 12:50 PMUmmmm, let me think.......NO!

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from joe wyrill wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

rick must really know what hes doing ...?

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

Well said, Greg. Holding a foot over a deer's back, missing high, then taking another shot is a very irresponsible act.Also, I still have my doubts as to the truth of Rick's story (shooting at any target with any gun at 175 yards with a 3X scope is a stretch, let alone a Remington 870!).

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from Greg Russell wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

There`s a reason I don`t hunt with guys like you Rick, but since this site is probably only rated pg, I won`t put it into the words I feel rising up.I`ll just say, wheter your story is true or not, I can`t say, but if so, that IS unethical, irresponsible, and very much lacking in respect for the animal.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

After posting way too much on this thread a couple of months ago, I stayed away as the acerbic tones were a turn off, and SURPRISE! I have a life outside my hobby. But on a whim, wife did a google search on my name and up popped this site with a comment by an individual basically calling me either a liar or irresponsible for a long range shot I made with an 870 on a deer. Had to answer. The point, in part was lost on my accuser. So with clear acknowledgement that one instance does not prove much, here goes. The modern sabot shotgun slug and rifled barrels IMHO is turning conventional truths about the limitations of the slug upside down. Slinging smaller caliber and lighter bullets at far higher velocities is extending the range of the slug gun and a 300 or so grain bullet with an MV of over 2000 fps makes the gun capable of a killing shot at much further distances than the traditional slug/smoothbore was ever possible of making. This is a ballistically superior load than the black powder buffalo guns of yore and I can find no reason to doubt those old Sharps and the like wouldn't kill at some distance. And I proved it to my own satisfaction by killing a deer several years ago at 175 yards. A. The shot was down hill perhaps 30 degrees, meaning the traversed distance on the horizontal was somewhat less. B. The gun was sighted in several inches high at 100 yards. C. I held the 3X scope's crosshairs about a foot above the aiming point from a steady rest at a standing deer and D. My first shot went high and I saw it impact the upslope beyond the critter, giving me info on how much to hold over for shot two while the deer looked around to try and ID where the noise came from. E. I am an experienced shooter including earning national trophies in hi-power rifle and F. afterward I used a range finder to confirm the distance. The deer was facing me at a slight angle on the upslope. I held just below the chin for shot two, and the Barnes Xpander slug entered the deer's chest, traveling almost three feet and breaking the off side rear hip, dropping the critter in its tracks. Incredibly impressive performance. So I DO take umbrage at being called a liar and irresponsible. I was capable, the conditions were right and the gun proved to be well up to the task. The End.

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from Mike Gray wrote 8 years 1 week ago

Why always whitetail this, whitetail that? (I know, it's readership.) We have very limited whitetail opportunities in Oregon. For us, it's blacktail or mule deer. From what I can see, in most parts of the country getting a whitetail is pretty easy. Heck, they even walk right out in the open during the middle of the day. No self-respecting, mature blacktail buck (especially trophy-quality) will show himself during shooting hours.Deer rifle: mine's a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Win mag, with 3 x 9 Leupold Vari-X II scope. Bought it in 1976 and have taken, deer, elk, and antelope with it. Custom load 165 gr. spitzer boattails. I have other rifles, mostly handed down to me, but I just target shoot with them occasionally. The Vanguard is my go-to rifle for big game.How about some articles on other game besides whitetails, turkeys, and largemouth bass?

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from Donny K wrote 8 years 2 weeks ago

Great survey. I dont own a Rifle yet so it has been very informative reading. I dont call my 22 a rifle..even though it has a 16 shot clip...its a piece of crap from the plillipenes!

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 3 weeks ago

What percent of those two million NRA members use their firearms for something more than home protection?I can`t say, as I don`t have those statistics.What percent went hunting/sport shooting before they became NRA members?Same answer-I can`t say, as I don`t have those statistics.I`ve fully understood the point you try to make above, and for the record, yes-I myself started out as a hunter, not a dyed-in-the-wool Second Amendment supporter. That was a much more innocent time, and the threats to our Second Amendment rights, (as well as to our hunting heritage), were not so stark and pointed as they are today.It`s wonderful if anyone comes to appreciate, and enjoy, and protect the Second Amendment through any means, but I’ll say again: the message can not be watered down, or confused as to the true meaning.There’s too much at risk, and the stakes may never be higher. Having arms to use for hunting is a byproduct of the Second Amendment-NOT the reason for it. There are people who wish to take away our right to bear arms, and the non-gun owning public is already bombarded by misinformation and propaganda by the media.Of course there are a huge number of NRA members who use arms for hunting, but they realize, and fully understand what the deeper reason to have those arms are. And as far as home protection, no, it doesn`t happen often, as percentages go, thankfully. As Thomas Jefferson said: “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”Wisconsin-It`s truly wonderful for anyone, everyone to come to love target shooting, gun collecting, hunting, all the great things that being a responsible firearms owner offers. But there is a danger in not knowing, or losing sight of what it really is all about. And what it`s all about, in it`s essence, is defending one’s self and family from ANY hostility.I hope your friend enjoys her introduction to shooting, I hope she has a safe, and pleasant experience, and here`s hoping somewhere down the line she learns what the Second Amendment is really all about, so she can be ready to defend it from all angles.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 3 weeks ago

Two questions Greg.What percent of those two million NRA members use their firearms for something more than home protection?What percent went hunting/sport shooting before they became NRA members?And let's set the record straight.I NEVER said the Second is about hunting.I DID say the Second and the NRA benefit HUGE because of the sportmen/women in this country that were first introduced to firearms as something other than a burglar shooter.I just talked to that 50 year old woman I mentioned above. Yep, she's going to be shooting this weekend. She may turn into an NRA member/gun owner/strong supporter of the Second.Who knows?I feel this is a better route than trying to convince her she needs a burglar/government shooter ala an NRA ad.Yep.. I know what the Second and the NRA are about.I'd be willing to bet most NRA members started their journey in a field or forest and not through a dresser drawer.Let me know by answering those questions above.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 3 weeks ago

Know what Wisconsin? I`ve tried to be civil with you and explain the meaning and reason for the Second Amendment, but you don`t want to listen to anyone, you already have the answers. Fine. I won`t waste any more of either of our time, but understand this if nothing else, NRA is looking out for our Second Amendment like no one else, and I AM the NRA. Think about us what you will, but we’re the one’s carrying the burden for those like you, who have all kinds of excuses why not to be a part of the defense of our Second Amendment. Always some reason that you won`t, or can`t help because nobody understands like you do.And this statement: “Sorry but come time to find true defenders of the Second I'll look to the sportsmen above vs. Sally and Sam down the street with a six shooter in the dresser drawer that the NRA convinced with a scare tactic.I`m trying to keep my composure as I write this, but you`ll never be a defender of the Second Amendment until, and unless you can understand and accept what it means. And to do that, you`ve got to be a REAL Patriot, like all 4 million members of NRA are. Not a weak minded, politically correct sheep, not willing to let go of the status quo. It`s an insult for you to even entertain the notion that you`re a defender of the Second Amendment. You keep crowing about how it`s all about hunting, and if you get your way, some Kennedy, or Feinstein or Schumer will decide that some of the firearms some of us own aren’t really needed for sporting purposes, so they’ll take them. And it will have begun; they’ll chip away at the Second Amendment, maybe slowly, but surely, until we wind up like Australia or the UK. So no Wisconsin, don`t insult the real Patriots by saying you know better, or that you`re one of us. You`re not even a good facsimile.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

As to history and countless studies showing us firearms ownership doesn`t save the oppressed from governments, or from the criminal element, do you have any facts? It`s easy to throw out some cute sound bite you`ve heard some anti-gun spokesman shout.Posted by: Greg Russell | March 23, 2006 at 11:56 AMWe can start with gun ownership by citizens in Iraq and work our way backwards through history to see if gun ownership by the people stop oppressive governments.Communist led countries, countries with dictators.. there's more than a few examples where firearms ownership by the people seemed to have no effect on those in power.The Russia-Afghanistan reference you mention is a not an example of average citizens "bearing arms".Your tax dollars paid for missle launchers and other goodies that made the Russian army go home.You also mention.."NRA has statistics that show that on average, law-abiding citizens successfully use firearms 2 million times annually to defend themselves."There's almost 300 million people in the United States from newborns to 100 year olds.The NRA claim averages out to 1 out of every 150 citizens defending themselves with a firearm each year?Mythical statitics created with flawed studies are but one reason a person such as myself views the NRA as a BS statistic spewing org.I'd like to see that study in detail. It's not the one by Mr. Kleck I hope.Sorry but come time to find true defenders of the Second I'll look to the sportsmen above vs. Sally and Sam down the street with a six shooter in the dresser drawer that the NRA convinced with a scare tactic.It's all about marketing Greg.The guys above didn't become gun lovers and supporters of the Second because someone told them they needed one for protection ala NRA.If it was an indirect result of a father that took them hunting who cares?Bottom line...It happened through the outdoors and not dresser drawers that the NRA targets.Result...Those that believe in the Second benefit with a new person in their ranks.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

Wisconsin-tell what I`ll do. If you want to e-mail me and get me some address I can mail something to you, I`ll treat you to a copy of Charlton Hestons book: "The Courage To Be Free". It`s a wonderful book and Heston can explain things in a way I only wish I could.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

so, Greg, are you saying we cant hunt? if so do we just let our guns sit there in our house and collect dust? the only time we would use them is when a burglar intrudes. we need to know how to shoot and use a gun so we must pratice with it. what about the fun times like just going out and plinking for the enjoyment?Posted by: joe wyrillNever said that Joe. Hunting is a very valid reason to own and use firearms, and you`re exactly right, it is about the fun of handling and shooting. Guys who hunt typically make better soldiers. They`ve learned to shoot and have learned the patience of the hunt and have dealt with the weather and hardships in the outdoors.Understand though-having arms to hunt is a byproduct of the Second Amendment, even though some would like to convince you that the Second Amendment is tied to hunting. How many times have you heard someone say that we don`t need assault rifles to deer hunt? That`s just one example of the dangers of not understanding what the Second Amendment is about. If the forces who want to take away your Second Amendment rights can mislead you into believing that the reason for it is hunting, they can begin to chip away at it. They can take away any weapon that they decide doesn`t have any sporting purpose.History and counless studies have shown two things.A. Firearm ownership does not stop tyrannical governments.B. Firearms ownership increases owners odds of death by firearm. Substantialy. The "criminal element" that we always hear reference to are most likely a spouse, boyfriend, co-worker....The NRA needs another angle.Posted by: In WisconsinWisconsin-I sincerely hope your woman friend enjoys herself this weekend. I hope you`ll teach her all about gun safety, and expose her to shooting is such a way that she`ll come to join our ranks as defenders of Second Amendment rights. And it`s fine for people to become part of our fraternity for whatever reason they choose-it`s fine to love to target shoot, it`s fine to enjoy a great day of hunting, I do it all that I can. But understand that the opportunity for your friend to shoot this weekend, the chance for you to take your son afield, these are byproducts of the Second Amendment, not the reason for it.As to history and countless studies showing us firearms ownership doesn`t save the oppressed from governments, or from the criminal element, do you have any facts? It`s easy to throw out some cute sound bite you`ve heard some anti-gun spokesman shout.While I don`t have specific data I can lay out for you, I`m sure you`ve read in the newspaper of the many guerrilla forces who have fought and frustrated government troops in Afghanistan, and Russia. And if you get a subscription to any of the fine NRA magazines, you`ll find data that you`ll never see in any mainstream media. They have a column called The Armed Citizen, in which they provide accounts of citizens using arms to defend themselves. Additionally, NRA has statistics that show that on average, law-abiding citizens successfully use firearms 2 million times annually to defend themselves.Sorry Wisconsin, we don`t need another angle, because the Founding Fathers were some pretty smart guys, and they knew something that would last for the ages. They knew the common man need to be armed to stay free, and human nature doesn`t change no matter how much society advances. There will always be the need to defend you and your family from some person or event. And while having a fun day shooting, or enjoying a great day hunting are perfectly good reasons to want to own firearms, and to defend firearm ownership, we still have to stay true to the real reason for the Second Amendment. Any other message would be misrepresenting what it really means.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

Whether you like the message or not, and whether you like the reason or not, the Second Amendment is to protect against a tyrannical government, and to defend family against the criminal element.Greg Russell | March 22, 2006 at 07:34 PMHistory and counless studies have shown two things.A. Firearm ownership does not stop tyrannical governments.B. Firearms ownership increases owners odds of death by firearm. Substantialy. The "criminal element" that we always hear reference to are most likely a spouse, boyfriend, co-worker....Not a guy kicking your door down for a stereo like the NRA wants the public to believe.How man studies would you like to read regarding the subject?Om a side note... Want to guess if the amounts of firearms stolen from citizens homes that have them for self protection is much higher than the ones that actually get used in home defense?The NRA needs another angle.If they focused on the fun side of gun ownership like the people that took the survey enjoy and less on the "you need one to stop the burglar and your government" they may find a larger audience and hence future supporters of the Second that reads the right to bear arms.The people in the survey are going to do more to protect the Second than those that bought a bedroom firearm due to an NRA ad.Guaranteed.I know a 50 year old woman that's going shooting this weekend for the first time in her life. Somehow the NRA never convinced her to be pro Second or a gun owner for the reasons you think she and millions of others should be told (stopping the government and burglars).Come Monday we'll what she thinks after a fun day in the outdoors.

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from joe wyrill wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

so, Greg, are you saying we cant hunt? if so do we just let our guns sit there in our house and collect dust? the only time we would use them is when a burglar intrudes. we need to know how to shoot and use a gun so we must pratice with it. what about the fun times like just going out and plinking for the enjoyment?

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

I happen to believe that sportsmen and women are the best choice to carry the message including the right to bear arms. The NRA should focus on firearms ownership for sport... not for home defense against a stereo stealer.Posted by: In WisconsinBut there you go again-you want NRA to run ads that communicate the message that the Second Amendment is tied to a hunting heritage, and it is not.. Whether you like the message or not, and whether you like the reason or not, the Second Amendment is to protect against a tyrannical government, and to defend family against the criminal element.For whatever reason, you don`t like the personal protection aspect of the reason for the right to bear arms, but that IS part of the intent of the Second Amendment.Read the following quote from Thomas Jefferson: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”Jefferson also stated:” The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”NRA is the strongest organized guardian of the Second Amendment we have in this country, and sure, we want non-gun owners to understand what the issues are, and what the Second Amendment is about, but we can`t change the message to get buy in. And NRA won`t focus on firearms ownership for sport, because that`s not the message. And sorry, but we won`t water it down to fit better in your septic world, that would be misrepresenting the meaning.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

I simply stated that the Second Amendment IS NOT about hunting, and that contrary to your post above, that IS NOT the right message.Posted by: Greg Russell | March 21, 2006 at 01:53 PMNever said the Second was about hunting Greg. I don't think the intent had much to do with convincing people to stick a handgun in the house to protect against a burglar per some NRA advertisements.A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.You and the NRA seem to think ramming the Second and firearms for personal protection down the public's throat is going convert them to defend the heritage of firearms including the Second.I happen to believe that sportsmen and women are the best choice to carry the message including the right to bear arms. The NRA should focus on firearms ownership for sport... not for home defense against a stereo stealer.When issues relating to the Second and firearms in general come to the table whose going to show up and voice their concerns? The serious gun owners that have posted above or John and Betty Suburb that bought a burglar shooter?I suggest an NRA add that shows one of the guys above with his son or daughter in the great outdoors hunting and enjoying a BETTER life courtesy of firearm ownership.People actively involved in gun ownership and use will defend both the Second and hunting.I know Greg..."that IS NOT the right message."

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from Andy wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

If nothing else, all this bickering about what gun is better is certainly entertaining. If you as me, there's no such thing as a "bad" gun. Guns are wonderful. Besides, it all comes down to the shooter. I dont think the deer cares whether you blow a hole in it with a Browning, a Winchester or whatever you happen to shoot. Everyone has their own preference and who's to say what to shoot? Take care of your gun (guns) and it will take care of you.Also, if any of you out there are tired of your "crappy" guns I'd be willing to take them off your hands free of charge.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

I’m one of those neutral people that bought the firearms for my son because time spent in the field and forest makes for a better person. That’s the right message.Posted by: In WisconsinThere it is-you stated that swaying non-gun owning people is telling them ist`s about time spent afield, after all the other previous statements you made about how NRA turns people off.I simply stated that the Second Amendment IS NOT about hunting, and that contrary to your post above, that IS NOT the right message.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

" The Second Amendment is absolutely, undeniably, about protection, self-defense, and to try to portray it as to be about hunting is dangerous, irresponsible, and just wrong."Posted by: Greg Russell | March 15, 2006 at 07:05 PMWhose trying to potray? Where did you read that?Couldn't find it in my post.If you think I said that please read again. Thanks.

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from D Neeley wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

As far as shotguns, my personal favorite was an AYA double 12 that I used for years {it just fit me well} Had it until it started shooting both barrels at once about the time steel shot became mandatory for waterfowl. Got myself an 870 Rem and have been satisfied with it. I am thinking about another double as I don't hunt birds as much as I used to. My personal choice for a handgun was based on conversations with an old friend who was stationed all over the world, fought in several "conflicts" and some Sherrif's deputies. Their experences suggested that If you have to use a pistol you should have a .45 ACP at a minimum. So I am currently shooting a Kimber 1911. I like to put at least 100 full power rounds through it every weekend. It got me one whitetail a couple of years ago in brush so thick my rifle was useless, a 230 grain Win JHP went through both sides of a mature doe and she dropped as quickly as any I have shot with an 30-06. I have owned many different rimfires and sold off my last bull barreled 10-22 Ruger ground squirrel gun. I found it too heavy to carry for long periods. As I grow older, stalking varmits; not just killing large numbers appeals more to me. I got a fun little bolt action that I have had great times with. I do use a .17 HMR single shot H&R for certain areas where ricochets could be a problem. I just wish the ammo was a little less expensive. I have noticed lately that the local gun club is empty more often than not (350 members and no more than 3 or four on any given Sunday) and most of the people I do see there are OLD! So take a kid shooting today. If we don't bring more younger people into the hunting and shooting sports we will lose our heritage.

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from Dave Neeley wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

Here is my Personal opinion based on owning and shooting 40+ different centerfire rifles and many long conversations with reputable gunsmiths. For a factory gun in the afforable price range get a Savage 10-110 series. They put the most effort into making the best barrels for the money. On average at least 80% of them will shoot in the 1"-1.5" range out of the box {if the nut behind the buttstock knows how to shoot}. Those new Accutriggers can be adjusted by anyone. From my experince try using a one piece Weaver or B-Square base (yes,it makes loading/unloading a little less convienent). Considering how short(Objective to bell housing) the current crop of scopes are from almost every manufacturer; you don't have much choice. I miss the old K-4 Weavers just on that aspect alone! It is the only base that allows the use of standard rings (on the long 110 series) and mounting the scope back where you can get a good sight picture. As far as caliber, my personal favorite is the old standard .30-06 You can get shells for it anywhere and they are reasonably priced. I have killed everything from ground squirrels to elk wtih my standard 165 grain Speer Grand Slam load. No B.S.(I have independent witnesses) it will punch through an elk broadside at 600 yards-OK I was desperate, it was wounded and the conditions were ideal (no wind,a good boulder to rest on with a person spotting my misses. The same load does not ruin much meat at resonable ranges. I have killed 5 elk (10 feet to 600 yards), 48 deer (10 yards to 400 yards), and 12 antelope (75 yards to 250 yards); so I have a fair idea of what I like. For the record I am at the Range almost every weekend and have rebarreled my 30-06 twice (after 4000+ rounds it shows a bit of wear and the accuracy falls off). PRACTICE is what seperates the PRO from the wannabe. Anyone who shows up on the range one time in the fall (just to check the sight-in) has as much business hunting as a once a year golfer has playing in the Masters.

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from John Jones wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Mr. Kubik, I apologize for taking your words out of context. Sometimes when reading something it's hard to find the emotion behind the words.To anonymous, I'm glad that you bought the firearms for your son. Have you considered purchasing a gun for yourself and enjoying the outdoors with your boy? I recently had the opportunity to sit through a hunter's education class with my son and was shocked at one certain statistic that was given. In the class they said that 5% of people are pro-hunting, 5% are anti-hunting, and 90% are undecided. I can see why people such as Ted Nugent can turn some of those 90% into anti's. Although I enjoy Mr. Nugent's enthusiasm for the sport, I don't agree with some of his tactics. I am NOT saying he is doing anything wrong, just that I personally disagree with some of the things he does. Although I did like one thing he said on one of his television shows. I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he didn't need to shoot an automatic weapon any more than he needed a corvette to go get groceries...but they're both just plain fun.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

I find it extremely interesting that you choose to be anonymous with your post, but that`s fair enough.On the ted nugent comment, I do agree. I personally don`t care for his crazed tirades, and he does not speak for me.As to NRA turning people off, I am an NRA life member, and I think any member of NRA would be open to suggestions for anyone in the non-gun public about public relations and perceptions. I can assure you, the intent has never been to alienate the non-gun owning, non-shooting/hunting public.That having been said, there are some things NRA won`t compromise on. I would love to hear more and have more detail as to what your concerns are.One thing I can tell you, based on your statement that; “I’m one of those neutral people that bought the firearms for my son because time spent in the field and forest makes for a better person. That’s the right message.”NRA won`t push that point, because the Second Amendment is not about hunting. It is in no way, shape, or form about hunting, collecting, or target shooting. It is about the right of law abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms to defend themselves and their families from the criminal element. If there is some way that the message can be presented more favorably to the non-gun owning public, that is something we’re interested in hearing, but the message won`t be charged, because it can`t be. The Second Amendment is absolutely, undeniably, about protection, self-defense, and to try to portray it as to be about hunting is dangerous, irresponsible, and just wrong.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

First let me say I’m not a hunter or even a gun owner. My son is and he and I spent the holidays and his recent birthday shopping for firearms. I spent more time at gun counters in the past few months that my entire forty plus years. And I learned a lot. It’s easy to understand the addiction to firearms and hunting once you spend some time learning about it.A quick note to those here that are worried about the future of gun laws. Some that represent you are doing no favors. Mr. Nugent’s mouth and your own NRA are two examples of forces that can cause a neutral person to sway to the anti gun side.Someone that dodged the draft, whose young daughter caused a firearm go off in his own house and thinks with a whack and stack them mentality would do firearms owners a courtesy by shutting up. Wrong person.The NRA ads try to make people believe that criminals are some unknown person to the victim when statistics show the opposite is true. They should promote members and their families in their ads. Instead they try to convince Bob and Betty Suburb that their world would be safer with a 12 gauge. Wrong angle.I’m one of those neutral people that bought the firearms for my son because time spent in the field and forest makes for a better person. That’s the right message.

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Mr. Jones, it was never my intention to cast aspersions on the way you or anyone else makes his living. I believe in full employment a job of their choosing for every citizen of our great nation. I only meant to take issue with those who mistakenly asserted in response to the survey that the Remington 870 is "the BEST upland shotgun ever made" which it clearly is not to anyone who has thought about the subject with an ounce of objectivity. If the Ithaca 37 is your gun of choice for deer, who am I to argue with you? Enjoy it in good health.

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from John Jones wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Well, although I loved the survey I can't say that I loved all the comments. But, such is life. We all have our different opinions about which gun to shoot, which season we hunt and how many deer there are or aren't. What did actually upset me though was all the arguing and outright name-calling. We are brothers-in-arms after all. I personally choose to hunt with an Ithaca model 37 here in northern Indiana where you can't hunt whitetails with a rifle. The gun was my grandfather's, then my father's, and now mine. Three generations have been shooting that gun and as long as I take care of it as well as my predecessors did, it will surely see a fourth generation. And to Mr. Kubik a personal note: I am a blue collar type(factory worker), and there is nothing wrong with actually having to get your hands dirty for a living. And, although I could afford a new gun, I choose to shoot the "old reliable". If it's not broke, don't fix it.

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from Cal Sibley wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Read and enjoyed the information presented. My personal problems center around the unwillingness of most writers to be truthful about todays firearms. The uncompromising quest for the bottom line has resulted in cost cutting measures that leave us with inferior products. How else can one explain my Remington 700 rifles from the 1980's being far more accurate than todays Remington models. Yet, todays writers remain prostitutes to the firearms manufacturers. It's turned me sour because of the absence of honesty. All the coimpanies that preached "Buy American" while constantly waving the flag are selling foreign imports now. So. even our loyalties have shifted, not by the consumer but by the producer. In any event I never read a word of this in our firearms publications. It's simply a non-event. I'm not so much angered by this as sadened and disillusioned.I don't know where we're headed, but I don't like it. Sorry to rant. Thanks for the opportunity.Best wishes.Cal SibleyMontrealcalsibley@hotmail.com

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from Chip Cousins wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

Enjoyed your story on Favorite Guns March 2006. Thought you may have left off the best caliber for whitetail. Weatherby Mark V 257. Great for deer and shoots flat for 300 yards or more. It is more expensive to shoot, but worth ever penny on long shots, over cut- overs and power lines. Also great on coyote and prerrie dogs. My personal Favorite. Not to many people have heared of this caliber but it is popular in the south.

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from steve wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

it was a great article. 30-30 is my favorite calibre whether it be a model 94 or a marlin.

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from Stanton Schmidt wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

The survey was very interesting. It is not suprising that many feel the gone they own is good and swear by it. Personally I swear by my Marlin 30-30 for a deer rifle I've had it for over 25 years and it still gets the job done. The one question I would like to have seen asked is: If you had to survive in the wilderness with just one gun, which one would it be. Personally I would take a 20 gauge double barrel. I've taken many squirrels, rabbits, grouse, and deer with mine. When small game hunting I keep a cheap shot shell in one chamber for most easy shots and a 3 inch magnum in the other chamber for the tougher shots, similar thing when deer hunting in shotgun only area a 2 3/4 inch slug in one chamber and a 3 inch magnum in the other. Another survey I would like to see would be on favorite hunting knives. I had a buck knife for a good 15 years before it got stolen and I bought another then and still use a buck 121 that is easy to sharpen and when sharp goes right through the ribs of a deer. I hope everyone enjoys their hunting and fishing experiences and shares them with others. Stanton Schmidt, Wisconsin.

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from Dug wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

Best guns ever, personally the best guns are based on what one can afford and how one is shouldered and handles. I started out early with a mossberg 20 ga. and moved up to a 870 12ga. remington and I knew there were better ones out there, I made due, now I depend on my benelli in the field and love my 1100 remington bicentinnal trap for the range, both very dependable well shooting guns, both on the list of best guns. My .22 started out as an old bolt steel sight and made a shooter out of me, I moved onward and upward with a ruger 10-22 purchase scoped, one of everyones favorites and have bought several other .22 rifle and pistols. My favorites are the new Ruger mkIII hunter and the Thompson .22 Classic. My little .17 is a piece of work or crap!!!!I am not real impressed by it remington semi auto, need another option any opionions?? Rifles are every where I own several, rugers are great if you get trigger reworked Own a m77 .7mm mag magnaported kickeze pad and triggerby timney shoots nice with leupold on it, my .22-250 browning a-bolt w/leoupold 6-18 is excellent for varmints, my win 30-30 serves no practiacal purpose, my benelli with slugs is a better gun. My 7mm ultra mag is just way to big for Kansas game. my best rifles overall .243 browning lever gun handles and shoots great, If you own a blr you already know. My bushmaster .223 ar-15 is a all purpose all around shooter. beats the piss out of any mini 14 or 30 and ak47 and sks crap. That is my opionion and I know my guns and I know what I like so what you think and print is your opinion and you are entitled to it but it don't mean shit to me. I still will try to out shoot you at the range or in the field with what I consider the best guns ever mine!!

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from Fran wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

To all who took the time to take the survey, Thank You.I must add, STOP all the arguing about which gun is the best, which calibur is best, which model is best. Be thankful we have such a vast selection to choose from. To the area of gun control; there are approximately 85 million gun owners in America. If 85 million gun owners voted NO to all forms of gun control their would be no gun control but we gun people do not unite! Please, every gun owner, consider joining a pro gun organization and support it.

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from Chris Benamati wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

36% of the people shoot more than 100 centerfire rounds per year in practice??? What a load of crap! This might be true for the reloading guys but they sure don't make up the greatest percent shooters. I would say the average working class guy does. And being one them I sure don't have the time to shoot that many rounds because of work, not to mention the cost of doing so. I think I shoot alot given my time and budget and I don't come close to that.

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from Paul H wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Owning a gun and shooting is like wooing a woman, I cannot do without.I love my Ruger 77 30.06, Encore 270, (2) Encore Muzzle Loaders

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from Mike Kerley wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Hey Slowpoke,Talk about uneducated you need to learn how to spell. You are either an idiot or Michael Moore.Some Questions for the so-called traditionalist: How do you get to your traditional hunts? Do you walk or ride your horse? How far back do your traditions go? If we go to war with England are you going to stand in line in your blue uniforms and shoot your muzzleloader? I have lots of other questions but it is probably going to take months or years for you to respond back. The horses, birds and boats you are going to use to send me back your response traditionally will take at least that long. Come to think of it how are you reading this? I use a modern computer. Are there traditional ones?

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from Mike Kerley wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Even coming from the People's Republic of Kalifornia I cannot believe that 25% of the people who answered the survey buy into the lie of gun control. There can be no compromise on the right to keep and bear arms. Kalifornia is the prime example. Our steroid-enhanced foreign-born governor has signed a law that outlawed single-shot, bolt-action, and semi-auto rifle's chambered in .50 BMG. What is next, maybe 30-06, .308 or .300 Winchester Mag? To the 25% that voted they would entertain gun control laws I say there is NO GOOD GUN CONTROL. Criminals do not care about the law, period. So who do you think it is ok to control?Also to the "traditionalist" PULL YOUR HEADS OUT. I enjoy traditional hunting methods but I also enjoy modern equipment and methods. There is room for everybody. If you want to hunt with a flintlock or longbow go ahead. There is no way an in-line or compound is going to affect your hunt unless you are some city boy that hunts in a big group with a bunch of other city boys. Give me a break!!!

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from calvin wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I grew up shooting a Remington model 700 .243 as kid. I have shot it so much over the years that if all else fails, I pick it up and have no problems. But, people are forgetting the ruger firearms.They have proven to be very good firearms.If you want a gun with very few frills and gadgets then go the Ruger.They are enexpensive to buy, and are accurate right out of the box.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

This is to JW Cullen, Cheyenne, OK. You say that: "My service pistol that I would stake my life on is a Desert Eagle 9mm. It looks like a real pistol and has no plastic." Hope you`re knocking my Glock. I’ll test my Glock, Model 21 against your pistol any day. My Glock will function in any extreme condition you can dream up. And if I wanted to be petty, I’d point out that the .45 ACP also way outdoes the 9mm as a stopping round. Lucky I`m not that shallow.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Posted by Slowpoke-I love paranoid gun people, they so uneducated and reactionary. "You can trust any gun control" Bahahaha This advice must come from the same people that believe, when the State lowers the speed limit in a school zone, they're going to take away their cars. My new bumper sticker... "You can't trust the DMV"Hey slowpoke-what planet are you from? First of all, and not of any significance, it`s extremely funny that you`re supposedly bashing paranoid gun people for not being very bright, but you write, “I love paranoid gun people, they so uneducated……” What a hoot, they so uneducated. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.Anyway, back to the business at hand, if you really believe that there isn`t a very well organized group of folks out there plotting to take ALL of our guns away, well, I have some real estate I want to talk with you about.The folks in the UK, and Australia didn`t believe their governments wanted their guns either. And if you really want a wake up call, pay attention to what the United Nations is pushing for. The wonderful group who brought you the food-for-oil program wants to enact a global wide ban on civilian small arms ownership. Since you were reading Field and Stream, you apparently are an outdoorsman, but not a hunter? And the tone of your note seemed to be complete disdain for gun owners. Sorry you feel that way. Our Founding Fathers were gun owners, and they understood full well why the common man needed to be armed. Would you be a proponent of gun confiscation? Adolph Hitler was a huge proponent of gun control and confiscation. Like to keep that kind of company? Eh?It`s funny too that you want to compare gun ownership to driving a vehicle. Some others have tried that, but it doesn`t work, because driving a motor vehicle isn`t a constitutionally protected right like keeping and bearing arms is. And that`s where the flaw lies in governmental testing of would-be gun owners. When a government can subject a citizen to an arbitrary test then it really isn`t a right anymore, is it? And did you notice I said citizen? Not subject, as in a subject of the queen. We are American citizens my friend. And as law-abiding, American citizens, we are unique in all the world, as a citizenry that keeps and bears arms. You should read, or perhaps in your case, get the book on tape, The Courage to Be Free, by Charlton Heston. It`s a very powerful book, and it might just get you thinking.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Rick Rappe- I can`t believe that no one called you out about you`re saying you killed a deer at 175 yards with an 870. Paleeeez! I have a very hard time believing that-and true, I don`t need to believe it, but I feel insulted that you would expect me to believe such a story. Lastly, to even attempt a shot at that distance with a standard shotgun is thoughtless and uncaring towards making a clean ethical kill. Are you also one of the real brainiacks who buys his new rifle and scope the evening before the hunt and goes out with the whole rig only bore-sighted? What a whopper of a tale.

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from Dan Shine wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

The survey asked legitimate questions...however, I have a problem with Section 1, Your Guns, with the Other (%) being as large as it is. This is not a critism, I am simply curious at what is in this Other catagory. Can you provide any insite in a future issue?Thanks

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from Dakota Wilson wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

i dont care what gun you shoot, if you hit what you aim at and you like it then use it. dont tell people your gun is better than theirs cause that could go both ways, you like yours they like theirs so leave it at that. im 15 and i get that, grow up a little. i shoot with a group of muzzloader hunters and both types of guns are used everybody has respect for each other, and thats the way it should be, nobody has the right to say that their season was stolen, its not just for you. i bow hunt mostly, if you want a real challenge try it

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from Bill Dean wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I enjoyed your survey and most of the comments. It seems obvious that the age of the respondents, the size of their wallets, and their corresponding hunting experience are where most of the disagreements lie. I have been shooting and hunting for 50 years. I've owned and shot most of the weapons that were discussed. One other factor that influences what I choose to shoot is the weather. I have a Sako Finbear 25-06 which is about 25 years old and still extremely accurate and is a piece of art as far as it's manufacture.I treat it like a new corvette. It doesn't go out when its raining. I have an old Rem 700 restocked with a synthetic stock that gets the nod when it's raining.As shotguns go, there have been some real advances in recent years. I still have a Rem 1100 skeet grade, and an old Beretta AL-2 auto and OU, but when I'm shooting a lot I now shoot a Benelli Super Sport. It's recoil doesn't beat me up and the recycle time is much faster than the older guns. The new Beretta autoloader also has a blazing recycle time.I still love the older guns and don't think I'll ever get rid of them. Some of the newer features on today's modern firearms are hard not to love.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Jeez, I've been bloviating a lot here...sorry all, but it is kinda fun. About the only unanimous consensus of those that have them is over the beretta 391 being a "best pick" in an autoloader. Before I move on, a quick update on my current Benelli experience. Shot mine again today after thinking I'd solved the sluggish action problem. By the end of the first round of skeet, it was beginning to slow down again, and while I managed to get in a second round of 25, it was beginning to get pretty sluggish, and I wasn't shooting up to my normal level. (Shot a third round with the Beretta 20 just to be sure it wasn't the pilot and not the airplane. Pretty windy and cold and I missed low 5 for a 24/25.) Came home and tore the Benelli down, and started a more thorough exam, one item at a time as when you make multiple tweaks you can't be sure which one was the culprit. Cleaned the grit out of the recoil spring plunger more thoroughly because I thought that had been the problem and re-assembled. Nope. Tore it down again and looked for drag marks and began gentle stoning wherever I found them after ruling out a couple of possibilities, I was able to get a stone on the bolt guide rails inside the receiver. Aha! Oiled up before, the bolt was sliding along just fine, but as the action cycled away the oil, the gun began to get sluggish. Tho I bought the gun used, it was clear it had been shot very little and I recalled reading in some Benelli data that before the gun would be reliable with light target loads, it might need some breaking in and the manual for the gun also said the lightest reliable loads were 1 1/8th target ones and I was shooting 1 oz. So I mixed a slurry of rottenstone pumice and oil and laid it in the receiver rails with a Q-tip and began hand cycling the bolt. After just a minute or so, the bolt was flying home slick and smooth with zero drag. Next, I went to my loader and weighed some powder charges. Another Aha! Despite what the chart said that particular MEC bushing was supposed to be dropping, it turns out I was underloading the powder! So while I can argue needing to break in a Benelli is a negative point about the gun, the problem was in large part the idiot behind the gun feeding it a load that wasn't supposed to work the action at all, but mostly did anyway. No wonder my scores were down. I can't wait till next weekend.

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from Ken Peters wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

How come you and your sister magizine Outdoor Life don,t let Canadians change our address and such online. The only way I can change it is to write a letter and mail it.We buy a lot of hunting gear made in the States and from Americain companys so we should have the same privliges as you guys do. Even the 1-800 number dosn,t work for us.I hope somebody actually reads this.

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from Slowpoke wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I love paranoid gun people, they so uneducated and reactionary. "You can trust any gun control" Bahahaha This advice must come from the same people that believe, when the State lowers the speed limit in a school zone, they're going to take away their cars. My new bumper sticker... "You can't trust the DMV"

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

From:JW Cullen, Cheyenne, OKI am a hunter not a shooter. I do not like the gun crowd that drives up and down the roads looking for game to shoot across the fence or in the road ditch. A gun has to be functional. The deer rifle quick to the shoulder and easy to find the recticle for allignment. My shotgun is highly modified to hunt turkies from a blind. My service pistol that I would stake my life on is a Desert Eagle 9mm. It looks like a real pistol and has no plastic. My High Standard Military D and my H&R Sportsman 999 are the best 22 pistols I have ever owned and shot. Ever lived in a foreign country where you can't own a firearm? That's when you know what helplessness feels like. No questions were embeded in this survey concerning guns for security and self defense?

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Rick, I also happen to own a Beretta AL391 Urika and completely agree with you that it is the best autoloader out there. I've used it for birds and sporting clays and it is both quick handling and sweet shooting without malfunctions of any kind. Happy hunting!

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from Barry Bright wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I enjoy a little hunting and I've owned guns all my life and probably knew more about ballistics as a teenager than I do now. So it's heartening to see the results of these polls. But one thing needs to be stressed, especially to 'hunters' I've noticed: The Second Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting deer, turkey, squirrel, birds or any other non-human creature. It's about hunting men. When you get into the schools make sure you teach this or it's a pointless endeavor. The sheeple are stupid enough without our help.

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from Rick Evans wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

It was interesting reading all the diferent gun survey results in this article. In my opinion its all relative to your age,you location,and what you hunt. I've been huting since I could carry a bb gun quail hunting with my Dad. Over years it went from the single shot Winchester 410,to Savage-Fox Double 3" 20,A-5 Light 12 Browning,270 700 ADL and then a A-5 3" 20 for years. I shot the 3" A-5 12 after I could afford one and loved it. My Dad shot a Sweet 16 quail and duck hunting for years. I loved the A-5 and shot it pretty well and still can. Personally I own and have shot 870's,1100's ,Beretta's 391-OU gold pigeon 20 & 12-new extrema 3.5, M-1 Benelli camo 20, and more. I feel you should have had a price range for guns under a certain amount and over a certain price. I love my 1100 20 but I've been in goose pits and duck blinds when it was low teens and they (1100's) failed. Based on my experience in the field there is no way a 1100 Remington is more reliable than a A-5 Browning. More were sold because of price. I know on a hot summer day its better for your shoulder but I don't like hunting waterfowl on warm days.Last 2 years I've seen the SuperX-2 3.5 of my buddy's hang up often and its cleaned after every hunt. My Browning gold has hung up twice in past couple of years. Lets face this survey isn't totally accurate because it would need different age hunters to take part in the survey. I agreed that the 870 is a great gun and very dependable. Model 12 Winchester was a pretty good pump too and very dependable. Basically its what you grew with and usually what your Dad or friends shot. I wanted the new 3.5 so started with the Browning Gold and had to upgrade to Beretta Xtrema. I feel the Xtrema is more dependable than the Browning from my experience with hevi-shot and steel. Basically its what works for you and what you can have results with in the field. I just got back from Mexico duck hunting and shot 391 with no hang-ups. Owner saids Beretta or Benelli from his 29 years owning a hunting club. On Argentina hunts he has seen 1100 Remington's just left in a pile for junk. Don't get me wrong I said I own one 1100 20 and I love it but the A-5 was the top auto for 50 some years after introduction in 1903.Guns are like ice cream with so many flavors shooters have a lot of different taste. Many thanks for your time and good hunting!

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Jim Kubrick, We aren't all that far apart really. When I say readily available O/U, I'm being too vague. I was thinking along the lines of a Ruger or perhaps Citori. In a local shop the other day, the owner was remarking how Beretta (and I didn't get all the details) dealt only with the larger chains (which I interpreted to mean entities such as Cabella's etc.) and that he couldn't get Beretta's from the normal jobber channels. The Beretta mono-block design of the O/U results in a more shallow receiver which when coupled with a low profie forend and good stock dimensions results in a darn nice gun. But the prices for the better grades and that they are hard to find on the shelves of most small market shops makes them hard to come by or afford for many. Personally, I do lean to the autos for softer shooting and think the Beretta 391 is the best auto out there, but sure do wish for past better days when I had and could afford fine guns like several of the Parkers, Fox and other guns I usta have or the SxS Griffin & Howe that weighed under 6lbs. in 12 bore and which Cabella's gave me good money for and re-sold for $5500.00 But when I was at my low point, and had but one remaining gun to use for everything from ducks to grouse to deer, it was an 870. No doubt any auto shoots faster. That's why I said "well pointed" follow up shots. I think a better appletation for the 870 might be "most popular" and/or when speaking just of pump guns, and considering the possible configurations, maybe it is "best of the pumps"...and that's as far as I'd be willing to go in defense of the gun. But in any fixed breech design, not an auto, by the time you bring the gun back down from recoil and find the sight picture again in the field, the pump works just fine. I wouldn't pick a pump as anywhere near best when the second shot is standard like in many spotring clays situations, but if going on a pheasant hunt and if all I had was a pump gun, I wouldn't feel handicapped. Speed without hits is pointless. Rick

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from spider loc wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

good survey, some people really feel strongly about their guns and what they think is best, all i know is that my Savage will outshoot guns that cost three times that much

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from Jmes Kubik wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Doubters of the SX2 five shots in .51 seconds claim should go to the Winchester website and click on Product News and Information. Article No. 5 "Speed Shotgun" reprinted from Front Sight magazine gives all of the details of the test. See also p. 30 of the 2006 Winchester product catalog.

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from Joe Person wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

One words says it allREMINGTONFor the price it can't be beat. I own a model 1100 and two model 700's

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Great survey. And as for the bias towards certain guns and manufacturers, I wouldn`t own a new Remington if you gave it to me. The quality of the new Remington`s is awful. I`ll take my Browning gold for upland game every day. And as for the inline argument, the inlines are much more reliable and help make cleaner kills, so how can you not be for them? And as to lever actions, PLEASE, If you`ll take a Marlin over the Winchester 94, you ain`t right. And it is the end of an era, and a sad day that Winchester is no longer making the guns they once did.Keep the great surveys comin`, and keep them fair and balanced.

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from Dan Kahle wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Beware the man with one gun, he probably knows how to use it.My one gun used to be a rebarrled Springfield, and now is a All Weather.

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from shg wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

i agree wit dat guy

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

i would like to see that gun shoot 5 rounds in .51 seconds, or even a websight to prove that to me. i dont think you could you can even control that enough to aim. thats a little slow for the m16, but a shotgun?

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Rick, Rick, Rick: So much to reply to. First, I was relieved to see that you did not try to defend the indefensible position taken by those who voted the 870 "the BEST upland shotgun ever made." Second, I defy you to name any pump gunner who can get off "well pointed shots" as quickly "as any other gun style shooter" especially when the Winchester SX2 autoloader has been conclusively proven to fire five shots in .51 seconds. Third, I really take exception to your statement that "the O/U is nothing special." I hunt pheasants with a 12 ga. Beretta Silver Pigeon "S" O/U that is indeed very special not only because it is lightweight (6.8 lbs.), but because it is well-balanced and points beautifully, not to mention very pleasing to the eye. When comparing it to the 870, you would do well to remember the old saying: "Life is too short to hunt with a heavy gun or an ugly gun." Light weight is especially important in the field since field guns are carried much more than they are shot. The Beretta's "Gel-Tek" recoil pad practically eliminates felt recoil. Furthermore, the bore axis of both barrels sits very low in the receiver thereby placing the bottom barrel (which is usually fired first) directly above the palm of the hand. Don't even get me started about the advantages of the luxury of having two barrels with different chokes. There are simply too many to discuss here. Finally, I do agree that the best place for an 870 is the bottom of a waterfowl canoe, not carried for 5 or 6 hours in the field.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Ouch! The slam against the pump in general has a tint of elitism to it that I don't think Mr. Kubic meant. My experience is that a good pump gun man can indeed get well pointed shots off just as quickly in the game fields as any other gun style shooter. And while they indeed have faded away in competition, I've seen plenty of deadly skeet shots and winning scores in times past delivered with the pump. While I can make some stong positive points about the SxS as a game gun, when one takes the oneupmanship factor out of the O/U equation and looks objectively at handling dynamics, the O/U is nothing special. There are darn few readily available variations of the O/U that handle and point as naturally as a good SxS, but then a good SxS game gun can easily cost even more than many O/Us. First of all, most readily available models aren't all that light to carry, and if they are, will pound the shooter more than an auto. While much is made of "between the hands balance" that's a bit misleading. If too much of the weight is around the receiver, the gun lacks momentum and doesn't swing smoothly, and many O/U guns have this problem (thats a big reason why the trend back to longer barrels is happening in Sporting Clays. One problem with natural pointing is that any magazine gun and most O/U designs have the barrels high above the palm of the forend hand. ( A greater barrier to natural pointing and a contributor to canting the gun than the low sitting SxS.) Lastly, some hunting such as duck and geese time is in some darn nasty weather and I'd much rather have an 870 as my "bottom of the canoe" gun than a gun too spendy to not worry over.

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Survey respondents who named the Remington 870 as "the best upland shotgun ever made" must be blue-collar types or rednecks who never tried anything else because they couldn't afford a better gun. Upland hunters with wider experience and fatter wallets would choose, hands down, a lightweight over and under or side by side with an autoloader a close second pick. Furthermore, most hunters don't have the skill to get off a quick and accurate second (or third) shot at an upland bird with any pump shotgun.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I was called away before I could edit myself on my last comments, but to sum up, there are good specimens and sometimes poor ones regardless of which "ol Betsy" trips your trigger, and truely bad designs seldom survive long in the market. Dave's survey and the resulting article represents more accurately what is popular, and while there is overlap, that is a different thing than what is "best". I think the Beretta 391 is a great gun and I simply love mine, but I'm also not willing to proclaim that those who disagree don't have their points. For example, as a grouse hunter I dislike the safety location on the 391 because it can't be reached when holding the gun in one hand when parting branches in thick cover. (To Beretta and Benelli's credit however, their reversable safety is a boon to us left handers and I have had an issue with Remington after they lawyerized their position on left hand aftermarket safeties and refused to honor any warranty unless the conversion was done by an authorized smith...I hoard a couple of left hand Remington safeties that have been in and out of guns as they pass through my possession.) My personal limited experience with the Benelli hasn't been great so far, but if my "fix" for sluggish operation proves itself, I'm willing to bet it too will be a favorite. While I agree with the majority that overall the 870 is reliable and versatile; to the fellow that asked, the first buck I ever shot in 1969 was with the Sears version of the Winchester 1300 (1200), and as he ran past me at about 30 ft. I pumped off 5 shots so fast that my companion said it sounded like a machine gun (The first shot killed the deer, but in my excitement because it was the first buck I ever saw, I hit him four more times before he had the chance to fall down). It was my sole gun for several seasons while in college and because it came with a polychoke, I used it for everything and never a problem, but as a lefty, I had some slowness getting to the safety and eventually traded it off for an ancient Fox double, which despite a bajillion guns to follow, I still own. (I mention this to mollify the SxS lovers) Back to Remington, it sounds like they too have realized it is time to move past the 1100/1187, and I'll reserve final opinion until the new gun gets into the hands of shooters, but my initial sense is that while the new gun might come close to catching up with Beretta and Benelli, Remington didn't do enough. For example, the new gun will cost MORE than the B guns. While they shaved about 3/4 of a pound off the old models and correctly did so in the middle of the gun to make it more lively in the hand, it will still weigh about the same as my Montefeltro at 7lbs.; lacks the very desireable adjustable stock spacers that are near standard on the B guns, despite the hype about bottom feed/eject being left hander friendly I've seen no mention of the safety issue, and lastly, Benelli is already on the market with a gun that weighs a full pound less than the new Remington and has the stock spacer, and reversible safety. (Aside, the old belief about the need for a heavy gun to soak recoil will take some re-thinking with these newer and oh so soft shooting autos.) Although I have owned all the various popular "deer" rifles and action types and been a competition hi-power shooter, as a once a year deer hunter and sometimes taking 5 per season, I do not count myself qualified to comment on any "mine is better than yours" regarding rifles. Having used old time Winchesters (40-82, 38-55) more modern lever guns 30-30- ,32 spcl .444, .308, hot stuff .264WM, 7mm, 300Win, and the standards 30-06, ,270, .280. plus taken deer with single shots B-78, No.-1 etc., I have never quite got the logic over the passion some have for spendy rifles. In fact, today I don't even own one (sorta, as I have a "Pocket rifle" folding stock Contender carbine in 7-30 Waters that goes in my back pack for those days when I plan to hike and stalk all day, but have a good magnum handgun as the main shooter on my belt. And frankly, I'm so impressed with the capabilities and range of a rifled bore shotgun and sabot ammo, there is little need for a rifle (in the places I hunt, the furthest shot I've ever taken a deer was 175 yards, and that deer dropped with one shot from a scoped 870). So my experiences with shotguns and handguns, simply because there is so much more opportunity to use them in the field and in competition, is greater. As I believe I wrote earlier, I had to sell off a lifetime accumulation of keepers a few years back, and in replacing them I drew on experience; my own needs, and without any "gotta have" bias, ending with 4 shotguns (the fourth is a Citori Superlight), one pocket rifle, a Smith pocket revolver, a mdl 29 deer gun, an Uberti SA .45 (better built and more accurate than a Colt original) for woods loafing, and that just aquired Colt OM-Target .22 for plinking and small game. Were I to compete again in IPSC, I think the fellow I sold my 1911 to will let me buy it back, and for bullseye, I'd try for a Victor or other Hi-Standard. Should I ever get the opportunity to hunt where longer shots were more probable, any old left hand bolt gun will suit me just fine. So, those are my picks based on a LOT of years and a fair amount of objective (I hope) thinking. Of course as the saying goes, "Your mileage may vary." Rick

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from josh salazar wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

mr. young know it all, is right about benellis and berettas. and doule guns are more reliable. (duh jeezes, i would hope a double gun would be more reliable.) i have both, autoloader, and a s/s. my autoloader is the best automatic shotgun ive ever owned. although i used to own a benelli super black eagle. i used it on goose hunting. i lost many birds due to the malfunctioning of this gun. i traded it and got a beretta instead. that beretta will be buried with me. it hasnt failed me yet and as long as its clean, it always will perform. mr. wyrill was not saying that nobody should buy benellis, he was stating experience, from the sound of it. mr. old school should know a 2,000 gun is a little to expensive for a college aged person. maybe when he retires, he might have enough money for something that expensive. why not go out and buy a remington spartan model 210 for only 375 dollars? buy over a couple thousand dollar gun is stupid. mr. galen's INCOMPETENCE IS PERPETUAL. reguarding the subject, your commentary is superfulous, mr. fancy englishman (aka galen).

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from Jackson Landers wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

[Accidentally cut off from the end of the above comment.]...Without marksmanship, your rifle, your traditions and your willingness to defend your country become effectively meaningless. Talking or reading about shooting doesn't make you a better shot. Mikhail Kalashnikov is right - only shooting, shooting and more shooting will produce results. So all of you, please practice shooting more.

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from Jackson Landers wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I find it alarming that only around 36% of hunters fire more than 100 centerfire rounds per year. After ethics and safety, the single most important element of hunting with a rifle is marksmanship. Without marksmanship you have nothing. Find the best spot, invest in gadgets and time and everything else and it is all totally meaningless if you can't shoot the deer in the boiler room when the pivotal moment arrives.I am relatively new to hunting as a past time. Often I have regretted that hunting skipped a generation in my family and that I have had to come to hunting on my own as an adult without any connection to other hunters. Everything I've learned has come from books and personal experience. I know very little about mainstream 'hunting culture.' So in my ignorance I have gotten into the habit of shooting, bare minimum, 60 centerfire rounds and 100 .22 rounds every, weekend rain or shine or snow. I use a surplus Mosin Nagant and a K-98 Mauser for practice allowing me to shoot milsurp ammo for about $.09 per round. I figured that this must be what everybody does.After doing this for months I still have plenty of room for improvement. So I am postively shocked at the notion that most hunters and so-called gun enthusiasts take marksmanship so casually. Don't you guys *like* shooting? What else are the guns for?I implore the readers of Field and Stream to start taking your responsibilities as marksmen seriously. When you wound a deer because you're too lazy or cheap to practice for pie-plate accuracy at 100 yards, you give hunting a bad name. When shots go wild and break a window half a mile away, you give hunting a bad name. A man who would carry a rifle has a duty to learn how to hit what he aims at.We all fancy ourselves to be carrying on a sacred tradition as hunters and gun-owners. We like to think that we are all potential citizen-soldiers; a last-ditch measure of national security in the tradition of the minutemen so long ago. Apparantly only 36% of us are even in the running for such a claim. Without marksmanship, your rifle, your traditions and your willingness to defend your country become effectively meaningless. Talking or reading about shooting doesn't make you a better shot. Mikhail Kalashnikov is right - only shooting, shooting and more shooting will produce results. So all of you, please practice shooting more.

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from Steve Farrell wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Enough already! Which gun anyone slects is just that; the gun THEY select. If what you shoot makes you happy;Great! My hope is that whatever you shoot makes you hit your target and kills clean.I know the survey is centered on firearms and personal choces so where did it get off track whinning about seasons? Talk about special interests!The deer in PA are now hunted from late September through mid-January. Special "green tags" are used year round! There are a few breaks spaced in there but I find it amusing that we have such a debate going on about how many/few deer we have running around yet we whine about having our own special seasons for our own personal choice of weapon.I for one think that there just might be a connection in a reduced sighting of deer since they are now being sought out and shot at for such an extended period of time.Fact: animals being pressured (hunted) for nearly four months straight will, as a species, become much more wary and difficult to encounter. Perhaps that is a factor in declining success rates? I think it is one of the most significant.No favors to any group just a 30 day deer season for all, be better than the others and you will have success. Tough if it's not what we want! The deer should be what matters!

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from Galen Gann wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hey it seems all the argument on shotguns revolves around weapons with a lot of moving parts. I am 65 and have shot double guns (sxs Or ou) 99% of my life starting at age 12 with a LC Smith 12. They are lighter, faster, shorter and a lot more reliable than all of the rest. I shoot league Competion. I find that the auto and pump shooters always drool over the fit, finish and feel of the doubles with never any argument over function.The young Mr know it all should know that PROFANITY IS THE LINGUISTIC CRUTCH OF THE INARTICULATE and keep his dirty little mouth shut about the weapons that someone chooses to shoot.I also shoot a battered Weatherby 270 that has been a death ray for me since the 50s when I put the old 30-30 on the wall, a Ruger #3 in 45-120, (45-70 with the barrel reamed out to the for case) And have been looking for a double rifle or drilling that I could afford for most of my years.The .45 colt round is still a great choice for a hunting pistol.and but the new .357 SIG cartridge is now the best choice for a carry gun. So I am not completly old school.Now get on with the shooting, hunting and keep the F&S magazine handy.

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

ok. everybody knows automatic shotguns need cleaning, and will not perform if it isnt free of powder and all that sticky mess. i have close to 1 million rounds through my beretta 391. when it is clean, by god it works! but if not clean it will not perform as it should. this is typical with any autoloader. a guy should clean his gun after any outing, even if it is a o/u or a pump. that way with proper care like so, it will last a lifetime, and maybe even your childern lives as well.

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

why is it everybody thinks im lying about benelli's? ive been around enough of them to know their limitations. i am from kansas, and i hunt waterfowl in extreme condidions. whether its -10 below zero or raining sleet with 40 mph winds, my beretta performs out in the field, and i stand by that. anyone who thinks that this is "untrue" is perfectly fine. but come hell or high water my xtrema2 automatic shotgun will outperform the rest. my gun cycles with any load, even the lightest trap load. it is the softest shooting gun ive ever shot. (not that recoil affects me much anyways when i shoot.) although Mr. Matt Ousborn is right when he states "no gun is perfect". all guns can and will have their limitaions.

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I agree with Mr. Rappe's statement that jumping to conclusions is a bad idea. However, in my defense, I never made a single negative comment about any gun. Mr. Wyrill calling Benellis a "piece of shit" rather angered me. I have never had any bad experiences with Benellis (though I'll admit my experience is somewhat limited) and I felt I should defend Benellis shotguns. No gun is perfect. I ride for the brand, as the saying goes, and if you want to criticize me for my loyalty, go ahead.

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from Drew Thomas wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

i love the .270win. it is the best caliber ever, and is even better in the awesome Winchester model 70 (the riflemans rifle) it freakin rocks and if you dont like it, you suck freakin butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

there is no where to argu there. u seem to know what you are talking about very well(rick). what is your opinion on the win. 1300? have you owned one before?

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Our young friend is falling into the same trap as do most shooters, and that is forming opinions with insufficient experience. I have seen Benelli's have problems, in fact I just got my first one, and I too have to say it has been less reliable than my Beretta 391 (more in a minute), but I have also owned somewhere around 200 shotguns over a number of decades, and at one time or another, have seen the best of them have occasional problems. But were I to condemn all model 12's because I once had one hang fire on me during a tournament due to a broken spring. I had an 1100 stop working once shooting clays with the now deceased writer and shotgun authority Don Zutz, and just over the last few months of weekend skeet, have seen a new Mossberg drop shells from the magazine onto the ground, had a shooter tell me about his new Beretta 391 failing to feed, and seen several high end O/U guns fail to extract from sub gauge tubes so often that one fellow carried a stick during the round in order to get shells out of his Briley tubes. Shall I keep going? Of 1/2 dozen Colt .22 revolvers of differing vintages, five would group as well as any target automatic, but one was a accuracy dog. Had I based my experience on having just owned the poor one, it would be easy to damn Colts. But I knew better, and last Saturday, needing a .22 revolver for hunting, bought a 1930's vintage Colt Officer's Model target. Shooting it the next day, the first 5 shots with match ammo put 10 shots in a group at 50' that I was able to completely cover with a dime, and the next 10 shots with Remington Thunderbolts had one miss fire and the remaining 9 spread into a 2" cluster. Had I based my opinion of the old Colt on the second group, I would have said the revolver wasn't accurate. I could keep going, but my point is NOT to jump to conclusions based on isolated experience with just a gun or two. As this young man matures, odds are he will come to better understand this. OTOH, my new (used) Benelli worked flawlessly for the first skeet outing. On the second, the action seemed sluggish, and at round 100, it took three times before the bolt would close completely and the gun fire. I stripped the gun and cleaned it well, but week 3 and the problem continued to get worse. I then made a discovery. The gun only began to have sluggish cycling after I'd changed the stock drop spacers. Thinking that might be the problem, I discovered than where the bolt plunger enters the stock was gummed up with fouling. This is deep inside the receiver and hard to get to, and in combination with the gunk, and the new stock angle, the recoil spring cap was dragging. I cleaned it with a Q tip, and backed off on the stock bolt about 1/2 turn. Problem gone. the new stock angle was changing the angle of the tube holding the recoil spring an almost immeasurable amount and in combination with crud in a place few would think to clean, and the gun was binding. I'll make a point of cleaning this area, and expect to never again have an issue

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from Bill Wiley wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Great job on the survey. My Marlin 336 30/30 shoots fantastic. The best lever gun there is.

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from Scott Griffin wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I really enjoyed the survey. It seemed to ask some very pertinent Q's. as for my own gun favorites : hands down the Savage 99 in .308. my wife and I both have and use them. I was beating my own up to much so I switched to a compact Ruger M77 MII in .308. My son uses that one a lot so mostly now I carry my M77 MII in .300 Win Mag. I know that will stop just about anything and in Alaska that is important. I am currently customizing a Ruger model 77 in .280 for my new deer gun. As for handguns I love my Super Blackhawk hunter special in .41 magnum. I call that my super compact deer gun. Shotguns.. no contest- my Mossbergs. We hunt in some really extreme conditions up here and I have never had a Mossberg fail me, period. I do have a Baikal and am impressed with it though. Muszzleloaders? shoot what you want, but if'n you expect a special season then expect to shoot traditional AND take a blackpowder course so that you understand the principles of primitive style hunting and the responsibilty that goes along with it. Thanx S.G.

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from Brian Thair wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Congratulations to Petzal for the best consumer guide ever for rifles & shotguns. I hope to see one on the best intro gun on the planet: the venerable .22 cal. rimfire.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hmm. Well, if you want a real "primitive" hunt I understand Pennsylvania has instituted an atlatl season (a spear thrown by a wooden lever that increases the energy of the throw).I know enough about MLs from history to know that during the American Civil War there were muzzleloading rifles with scopes.I know enough from listening to guys at the range that the in-line guys spend *lots* of time talking about powder types and amounts, and bullets.And I know enough about hunting to know that stalking skill is integral to any hunter's success, even for those of us using brass cartridge repeaters.If it's just about 'keeping the playground to yourself,' (which is what it seems to be about behind all the window dressing about greater skill in using 'primitive' muzzleloading firearms), then I can't say that I'm all that convinced by the nobility of your cause.

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from JB wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Well Mike, It's really not that simple. Speaking as a traditionalist I would say that the inlines are a dumbed down version of what muzzle loading is all about. Learning to shoot a traditonal muzzleloader requires that you learn what Ned Roberts used to call "the thousand and one things" that an expert rifleman needs to know to get consistent accuracy out of your rifle. The inline guys probably don't do much experimentation with powder type& granulation; bullet casting; patch cutting, material& lubrication; percussion cap size and brand; nipple type; bullet starting and ramming technique; etc., etc., etc.,. Then there's the difference in gun sites. The traditional rifle has sites that require the etheical hunter to get realatively close to the game. This requires learning the stalking skills that will get you a close shot. In- lines are set up with scope sights, flater trajectories, and other features that make them much closer to hunting with a modern bolt gun or breechloading single shot than a traditonal muzzleloader.I think the real issue here with us tradionalists is that muzzleloading big game seasons were started as a primitive weapons hunt where we could go out and try our hand at hunting the same way the old boys did it without being in competion with hunters using modern firearms. Personally I've got nothing against anybody choosing to hunt with an inline, but they shouldn't be doing it during what is supposed to be a primative weapons hunt.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I guess the rancor around here shows that everyone is passionate about something. I wonder why the "traditional muzzleloader" guys imagine themselves a higher life form than the in-line guys? From one who only shoots brass cartridge nitro rounds you all seem to be working under the same basic constraint -- one shot followed by a reload -- so you all have to use the same skills.

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from Tyrel wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I have to say, this survey opened my eyes. I had no idea so many people agree with me. We have long since known that our shooting sports are under attack and I urge everyone who reads this to go recruit 10 new people to the sport. We have to reach out and educate our neighbors and our young children before PETA and Hillary do. Get active! Long Live Field and Stream!

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from John wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Wow, turkey hunters arguing about the best way to kill a turkey, there's something new (please not the sarcasm in my writing). Why don't you both calm down and go pattern in your shotguns for this spring. PS. A cold, wet, and dirty Rem 870 shoots just fine.

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from Dennis wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I hate to disagree with David Petzal but in this case i have to. Having recently aquired a winchester 95 in 30-40 which was made in 1899 and in about 95% This rifle will still shoot under an inch groups at 100 yards with iron site from prone. This isnt the only gun in our collection that can do this since most of them are older marlins, winchesters, 1898 krags. All these guns have iron site all factory and will still outshoot most modern rifles made. We also have modern plastic stocked rifle s that can accomplish the same feat. It all depends on the fellow squeezing the trigger and if the gun has been taken care of. Thanks for such a great magazine

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from RON BILSTEIN wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I REALLY ENJOYED THE GUN SURVEY ! I LIKE PETZAL'S STYLE - HE IS NOT AFRAID TO GIVE HIS OPINION.

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

my family owns land in all different places. mostly in green, christian, counties. i also hunt alot around my house in dallas, hickory, and polk counties. i went to school at skyline.

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Turkey hunting is the art of calling, but as you know, toms often "hang up" at about 75 yards or so and refuse to come closer. I am no Apache, but I have crawled toward turkeys that stop out of range. It is difficult and often ends in failure, but it is possible and I have used this tactic as a last resort. To answer your question, I hunt mostly in southern Camden county and northern Laclede county. How about you?

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

do you think you are some sort of apache indian. that is the sport of hunting turkeys.....to call them in. more like 30 min. before daylight, listen to where they are at, set up in a good spot, and call throughout the morning. no sleeping might i add. an where to hunt is a matter of opinion, cause all them seem to be sucessful, i just have more around the edge of fields. so,, you never told me where you are from, or even where you hunt in the ozarks

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I should have guessed that you are the type of turkey hunter that sits beneath the same tree all morning (which for you probably begins around 9 am) and dozes off frequently as your oppurtunities bypass you. However, I hunt turkeys a bit more actively. You are right in saying that mud and rocks should never touch a gun. But, regrettably, guns are sometimes put through these conditions when belly-crawling through a cedar thicket attempting to get a shot at a tom wandering over a ridge. But I suppose your gun never leaves the cradle of your knees as you sit half-concious beneath your tree. Also, though turkeys are not very vocal or far ranging on rainy days, they do like to find a clearing in which to stand to avoid ruffling their feathers and getting wet whil walking through the woods. Ask anyone who has driven country roads on a rainy day and most will tell you of seeing turkeys standing in pastures. And, the best place to hunt turkeys is where the turkeys are, which could take you to ridge tops, wooded hillsides, hollows, and virtually anywhere else, as well as field edges.

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

age is an issue here. and when you turkey hunt, you dont walk around all that crap. you find a good spot to set in for a clean kill. and, since u seem to think that you are an expert turkey hunter, you should know that they are not very active in the rain, mud should never touch any gun for any reason, and if you hit a rock with your gun, well then your just stupid. turkey guns are not that abused. and where do you come from? cause the best place to turkey hunt is on the edge's of fields and tree lines. oh, and i think you might be alot more biased than mr. wyrill

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from Matt wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I don't think age is an issue here, Mr. Hughes. Anyone who can read can see Mr. Wyrill's lack of respect. Also, the amount of shooting was not the point of my reference to turkey hunting in the Ozarks. My point, as you should well know (being from southwest Missouri), was that turkey hunting around here is very hard on a gun, given the rain, mud, brush, and rocks turkey guns are put through. My Benelli has functioned flawlessly every time I've shot it, even in the worst of conditions. And something I forgot to mention in my earlier post - I don't know where you are from Mr. Wyrill, but around here, if you told a Benelli shooter his gun was a "piece of shit" or that he was a "damn liar," he would put the butt of that Benelli right between your eyes.-Matt

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from William J. Saupe wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Last time I was in deer camp, the arguement was in-line vs. traditional muzzleloaders, so just to "stoke the fire" I showed up with my own home built/modified muzzleloader. When the traditonal guys got on the in-line guys, I jumped aboard. When they got out their guns to show off what a "real" muzzleloader was, I gave them grief because theirs were percussion and mine was flintlock. When a flintlock guy jumped on board with me, I gave him grief because his newfangled peice was "rifled", not a smoothbore like mine. Everybody had a good laugh and settled down, and I went hunting with my "real" T/C white mountain carbine the next morning.

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

first off, i dont think a 16 year old should be telling an 18 year old about respect. second, im gonna agree with mr. joe on this because ive got a few friends with benelli's and they always seem to jam up on them at the worst times. also, spring turkey hunting isn't all that much shooting, cause im from southwest missouri, and i turkey hunt with a single shot H&R. for other birds, i shoot a simple win. mod. 1300, which has NEVER jammed on me. so, im my opinion, i would rather flush the money down a poopy toilet, than i would spend on a benelli. what am i getting at, either way, its going to be useless to me.

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from Cole S. wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I have a Winchester 94, and it is a great gun. The only problem is it doesn't have the same long range performance as other rifles like the Winchester model 70. I am buying a Savage because of the new Accu-trigger and they are good guns.

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Mr. Joe Wyrill-Your opinion on Benelli shotguns is not only extremly biased, but also likely untrue. My brother and I both own Benelli Novas and my father owns a Super Black Eagle II. All three of these guns have been put through hell and back during target shooting, upland bird hunting, duck hunting, and most of all, spring turkey hunting in the Ozarks. I have never seen any of these guns malfunction even once. You may know a lot about ballistics for your age, but I am only 16 and I can see that you still have a lot to learn about respect.-Matt Oursbourn

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

another thing about shotguns, how come theres nothing about the Baikal shotguns? (which is now spartan gunworks) these guns are damn good guns at a very cheap price! you get more gun for the money with a gun like this! i own 2 spartan's. a old model of the 1st o/u, and a s/s model 210. those are amazing guns right there. now for hanguns. my all time favorite handgun is the ruger hunter model with a 71/2 inch barrel, in a .41 mag. thats a tack driver up to 200 yds. with a good rest. for an automatic pistol i would take a 1911 colt, government issue. nothing else, especially a damn glock, in a 9 mm. those are stupid. now for my all time favorite rifle is the ruger m77 mkII. its a great gun because of the mauser based action. and we all know how good the '98 mauser action is! i have two m77s. one in a .204 ( which is a tack driver) and the other is a .260. another good gun. well those are my opinions, hope you all enjoy!

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

im only 18 years old, but i know alot about hunting and shooting for my age. i know more about balistics and types of guns than many older men. (thanks to my dad)but why does everybody think Benelli automatics, (and the nova) are such great reliable guns? i know for a fact benellis are a piece of shit. i shoot a beretta 391. i have not had any problems with it. i have shot it for 3 intense years at sporting clays, and birds. it never fails. most people i know that shoot an automatic, and are berettas. maybe even a browning auto 5 in there somewhere. but the benelli's ive seen a few times and every time i see someone shoot it it jams on them, then they slow up shooting contest and take the gun apart and try and fix it. and it was the middle of the summer!! during the wintertime and jamming i can see that, because everybody knows a pump is better than an automatic in reallly cold weather. sometimes an automatic wont cycle in cold weather. but in the summer, i just have to wonder. a guy tried telling me that benelli shotguns are more reliable than a beretta automatic. i said to his face hes a damn liar. all the berettas ive seen and have always perform. in the poll in the latest issue, i didnt see a single category in the shotguns section the name beretta. whats the deal? at least put it as a choice in the poll! i know what im talking about.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

The mag. just arrived today and this is my first visit here. Not bad Dave. The only criticism is sample bias. In the main these are good choices, but the bias is that so few of the partipants have wide enough experience for their picks to be objective. Rifles? Yes the 700 is a top pick but no better than others in the same price zone. And the Marlin is indeed a better gun than the Winchester. In Shotguns, Yes to the 870 as a widely distributed favorite, but no to the 1100/1187. This statement is partly based on a bunch of personal experience, but for evidence read of those Argentine dove shoots where the only guns to stand the pounding were the Benelli's. I heard tell of one with 2,000,000 rounds through it, and for the last season or two the Beretta 391s are meeting the Benelli challenge. The 1100 is too center of mass heavy. A longer barrel helps some, but the Beretta especially proves a gun doesn't have to be heavy to shoot softly or swing well so long as the weight is well distributed. The 1100/1187 is dated in that it lacks the adjustable stock shim feature of several newer guns too. To be fair, this same too "center heavy" problem afflicts the Over/Under and is exactly why longer barrels are back in popularity. As for the Citori, I have a Superlight 12 with the English stock and in I/C-M is a keeper. But Browning stock dimensions are typically too low, (Ruger too) and if you want to shoot light loads or sub-gauge tubes in a Citori the gun needs an $85 trigger job to adjust the inertia mechanism. There are better O/Us. You were a bit light on handgun questions IMHO, but about the only thing I'd add is that here, there is some old stuff and not just the SAA and 1911 Colts or DA Smiths that were fine tools.Changing subject sort of, as Beretta appears to fast becoming the dominant gun company conglomerate, with arguably great if not the best guns in just about every category, I've not seen anything in print laying out the interrelationships of its various affiliates. How about it?

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from James A Splidsboel wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I have used a remington 700 adl since the early 70's in a 7mm mag and it's the best gun I've ever shot I had the barrel replaced in the late seventy's for a longer barrel.As far as shotguns goes the two I have are both Winchester Super X one trap grade and one in field grade which I also love I have never had any problems with either of them I tend to be a traditionalist

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from JB wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Jezz, that was fun. Hope F&S does this survey on a frequent basis. As a dyed in the wool gunnut of course my choices have to fall in the "other" catagory.My choices would break out as follows:RifleWell this is America, I'm not going to be stuck with just one action type!, so:Bolt Gun...the'98 Mauser hands down. There may be newer, flossier or more accurate guns, but there isn't a tougher, more reliable or safer action out there. I've put many thousands of rounds down range from many a '98 and they all shot and worked great. They've never failed me in the field. The one time I had a case head rupture (surplus ammo), the gas vents worked fine and I wasn't injured. enuff said.Lever guns..Based on the number I own, my vote is for the Marlin. If I had to choose a particular model, I'd go for my old Model '94 rifle in .38-40Single Shot..No contest here...The '74 SharpsShotguns I'd vote for a good sxs that fits its owner. I think that given equal fit and finish what counts is gun fit. I've been shooting a Beretta boxlock for the last 20 years or so, but I can see the day coming when my kid is going to take it over. Then it will be back to either the old Parker or L.C. Smith for the old man.Pistols...Depends on day of the week it is, but overall I'd give the nod to the SAA as made by Col. Colt. However I don't want to be limited to one kind of gun, so it's definitely S&W for double action shooting, and based on amount of shooting I due with various autos, the Luger would come in first for me..it's not completely reliable, but sure shoots where I point.These are simply my own highly prejudiced choices. I'm not knocking anyone else's picks. Afterall there is hardly anything more personal than the guns we shoot and prize.What surprised me about this survey is that fellow gunnuts don't do more shooting. I've made choices in life that have allowed me to live where I can shoot whenever I care to. Right now I've got a 200 yard range on my own property. I might have made more money or driven nicer cars if I lived my life in the city, but it wouldn't have bought me the kind of range and hunting time I've enjoyed. If you're young and serious about shooting it's something to think about.

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from Ed Stang wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

One wife at a time. That's what is socially acceptable. No such rules on guns!

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from Ed Stang wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

One wife at a time. That's what is socially acceptable. No such rules on guns!

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from Jack Bohm wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I think the Ruger M-77 deserved its place in the list. I have one myself- an allweather model in .270Win. I love it. Its accurate, and it does't beat the daylights out of me.

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from Jack Bohm wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Remember this: You CAN NOT trust ANY Gun Control Advocate. According to one I talked with recently, we hunters have no need to own a Semi-Auto of any type. According to this er, individual, We shouldn't be allowed to own such a gun. Banning one type of gun is just the first step in banning all guns.

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from Jack Bohm wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I use a Ruger 77 All Weather in .270 for whatever I can.

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from Tishomongo wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

OK, Woodmanship and hunting and nut gathering, use Semi-Auto, M1, 7400 as in Rifles. Sweat lodge and Camp/out for 3 weeks or more and use a good rifle like the winchester 1886 in 40-82 or a Fox or parker on fowl and squirrels. Most of the newer rifles are set up for cheap and fast machining. Bolt actions like Bodding likes to claim is not the best. Calibers of 6.5 mm and .338 have good sectional densiy with the .308 a compromise in the middle. I use 6.5 Ariska on every thing up to big fat bears and the .338 on large game like brown bears and large Pigs. I think large wild Pigs are more dangerious than Grizzle. Hunt everything from Bow to Muzzle loader to modern, here the season goes from Oct 1 to January 7. Use camo and Rit dye the body green and put on Oak ash and Mud with sticks and go naked with nothing more than leaves, with the Red hat you pass for a wood pecker!

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from Kris Wittlieff wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Every gun owner needs to realize that what ever gun you choose to shoot matters. It does not matter who you are, a "shooter" is a shooter. Do not criticize another for thier choice of gun!

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from Dan Herd wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

The Remington 700 won not just because it works but because it is superbly accurate out of the box. Ask around at any range, it has that reputation and lives up to it.I wish you would have surveyed 22's, they are widely used hunting guns too.

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from Tom Brackett wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

There is nothing like walking through the woods on a crisp, Fall morning with my flint lock squirrel rifle doing what I enjoy best. I hope I never reach a time when I can't do this anymore. I am a traditionalist.

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from 3030forlife wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

The 30-30, 30-06 and 12 gauge have probably killed more game than many other cartridges combined.

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from 3030forlife wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

The 30-30, 30-06 and 12 gauge have probably killed more game than many other cartridges combined.

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from andrew staub aka brown wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

HI PETZTHIS IS BROWN SPEAKING--SORRY ITS BEEN SO LONG---i NEED SOME HELP

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from Skip wrote 6 years 14 weeks ago

This is going back awhile in this multitopic thread, but it was asked what armed populace overthrew a tyrannical government. I was suprised that no one brought up the obvious- the United States. The War of Independence started at Lexington and Concord when the British Goverment came to confiscate the peoples' guns, powder and shot. While an armed populace did not singlehandedly beat the British, the resolve shown by the "minute men" helped convince foreign powers to help with troops. navies and "modern" arms. There were a lot of reasons for rebellion, but it was gun rights that started it all. It is therefore no accident that the Right to keep and bear arms was the second amandment of the bill of rights. Example 2: the french revolution. The Nowegian populace WWII, the French Resistance, North Vietnam, yes, Afganistan- while it may have been US support that decidedd the issue, it was Aghani with bolt action rifles initially that made the effort plausible. The Civil War- another example- maybe unsuccessful, but ti brought about economic change for the south. There are probably many more examples where an armed populace were able to effect change, even if they ulimately needed assistance.And while an armed poplulace has not always triumphed (the American indians, the South in the Civil war, the southern Iraqi's after the first gulf war, NO unarmed populace has never overturned a tryannical government that I know if.Additionally it has been confirmed by multiple court decisions that the police have no obligation to defend the INDIVIDUAL. Cases where the public safety departments have failed to protect citizens and were sued have been found in favor of the plaintiff the majority, if not the totality of the time.Examples- Watts during the riots before many here were born- it was too "dangerous" for the police to enter the riot area to protect citizens and their business. Those business owners that stood armed were virtually the only ones to save their life's work. Example 2- Katrina and New Orleans- legally owned firearms were confiscated, the police experienced mass desertions of their posts and muder, looting and crime ran wild.It is indeed sad that in less than 50 years I can cite two examples in the United States where the worst fears of the founding fathers, who had drafted the 2nd amendment as hopefully a last ditch defense, were realized.For those who eschew the Bill of rights (and to reject one is to reject all) in favor of comfort and "security" "may the chains of bandage weigh lighty upon you and your family"On a lighter note, if could only have one firearm it would be my venerable Remington 870.

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from jim wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

i need a ithaca model 37 left hand safty can you help?

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from fray wrote 6 years 30 weeks ago

i am looking for a lefthanded safety for a right handed 1187 remington can any one tell me where or how to find one thank you

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from acfkd qepmw wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

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from teikwrnhu mkbhe wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

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from Bryan wrote 7 years 4 weeks ago

It looks like all of the great military surplus rifles were forgotten in the survey. The Springfield 30-06, Enfield .303 and the Mauser rifles have all taken more than their share of deer. When it comes to firearms, I believe in function over looks. I will take a mil-surp rifle that shoots straight over an expensive rifle any day.

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from Big T wrote 7 years 4 weeks ago

I agree with the gentlemen that thinks gun safety should start at a young age in school. I think most children do not learn the proper safety of guns by the proper people, exspecially intercity children. I am 29yrs old and started collecting guns since I was 14. I have collected guns of all types. I live in Illinios, where we have a governer that can only see the wrong in guns. He is trying to pass a law to ban 50cal guns,which includes 12ga shotguns. He is also trying to pass a law to ban anything semi-automatic. With these laws I will lose half my collection. From my favorite rabbit and quail, remington 1100 410ga, my turkey gun, winchester sx2, to my deer gun, bolt-action 12ga. In Illinios we can only hunt whitetails with slugs which fall into the 50cal law. So I ask people to help educate children on gun so no one never gets a governor like ours. I hope these laws do not pass, but people need to be educated befor we can stop laws like this. I think your surveys in Field and Stream help with these education prodlems. Keep up the good work.

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from fahad wrote 7 years 6 weeks ago

I'm looking for a barrel length 26 for xtrema 2 camoif any one can send me any information that will make me so happythank youfahad

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from Duane Williams wrote 7 years 15 weeks ago

After reading the majority of the comments made by the predominately shotgun oriented folks that responded to the survey, I was struck by the passion that all of them had toward their various choices and the vehemence with which they expressed themselves.I noted too, that the individuals who used profanity to get their points across were obviously products of the modern day school system (the spelling and syntax was terrible).As I was reading, I decided that I hadn't inventoried my own firearms recently and updated the list and made a new list of all my serial numbers etc, just in the event that someone who is not as law abiding as myself would like them better than me.I shoot a .12 gauge slug gun, mainly for bear protection around camp. I hunt with a Ruger Super Redhawk .454Casull, which is also chambered for .45 Colt Long. An effective handgun up to 200 yards. It's quicker to bring to bear on a target and very conclusive when the smoke clears. I keep a .380 pistol for home use and a .22 cal semi-auto for varmits...one thing has dawned on me after reading all these posts is this...I need more guns..at least in big bore variables, so a shopping I will go.

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from Otis Anderson wrote 7 years 19 weeks ago

An amazing survey and collection of opinions laid to waste by the arrogance of man and there inability to accept what someone else says as there own personal opinion and not interject there own savy into the equation.It is sickening to think hunters, shooters and all around outdoorsman can't live with the fact that someone may not agree with them.Truely Disheartening

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from gary mosher wrote 7 years 21 weeks ago

In the past I used a Marlin 336 30-30 for whitetail deer.A great brush gun, I switched to a Marlin 444 which I have used for years. I also hunt with a Sweedish Mauser 6.5x55,which is a sweetheart to shoot.Love that mauser action,but one of my sons bought a remington model 710 in 3006. He didn't like it. So I have been using it this deer season and I have fallen in love with it.It shoots great and handles really well! It is a low bucks rifle but it's still a remington.

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from Bob Broussard wrote 7 years 24 weeks ago

Well, I've made it. I read all the way to the bottom of this thread and now can call myself well informed. Many thanks to the great folks at F&S for the site.My thoughts;The best gun for (fill in the blank) is the one you have handy. Let's hope it's always handy.The NRA is doing a good job of educating a public that really- REALLY wants to remain ignorant of it's Constitution and The Bill of Rights.The Second Amendment is about hunting the way the First is about reading the Bible. We just assume we can and that no-one would deny us.Oh but there's more.If we accept the First Amendment's protection when we read our Bibles, we must also know that it protects those who would read something we find vulgar or offensive.That's how rights work. Everyone is protected.If a right is only extended to a select group or entity, it no longer exists as a right.The Second Amendment is about hunting, but it's also about a whole lot more. Stuff we don't like to think about, but should.There are many who say that America is out of touch with the world. They say we are paranoid. They ask for specific examples of places where armed citizens have maintained their freedon through gun ownership.I can only offer one; This One. My Country, The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, The best darned place in the world. We did it two hundred and thirty years ago, and we're still doing it today.I only need that one shining example of freedom and democracy to make me a believer. I'm not an American because I'm armed. I'm armed because I'm an American. I will always have the means to defend my family and my country.Feel free to use your deer rifle to defend America anytime you need to. I'll be right beside you with mine.

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from Dan wrote 7 years 26 weeks ago

35 years of shooting, collecting, & hunting:favorites so far:.22 High Standard Supermatic Citation (with comp, adj. weights& trigger) Silly accurate w good ammo..22 Remmington 552 Speedmaster ultra accurate and never failed to function..ever. I ran 2000 rounds (yes a true 2000 rounds) in a single day, never a problem. Why couldn't they put a 30 round clip with a gun like this!1960 Ruger Super Black Hawk (the real deal 3 screw) mine is worn to the bone but shoots like a dream. silky smooth trigger, action. Nothing has the same sound as one of these when u pull back the hammer. Oh yeah, I can hit 10 inch bull's at 100 yds with this cannon. Thats at a gun range.I have taken everything from rabbits to mule dear with this wonderful, fun handgun. A .44 mag has a lot of options when handloading.My brothers and I go shooting or hunting almost every other week. I have a huge selection at my finger tips (3 brothers and platoon sgt. dad) I seem to always want to take the .44 even though I have 9 other handguns to choose from.Last but not least, the all-American Rem. 700 ADL .30-06Harry Lawson (yes, he was alive and down the street from me) made me one of his custom stocks, put on a muzzle break, and put it all together for me. I was twenty something and only 145 lbs at the time. It took all the kick out from the gun and made it my favorite large caliber rifle to shoot. It still draws attention at the range and will put 1 inch groups at 200yds, not just 100 yds.

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from Big Dad wrote 7 years 28 weeks ago

If your really hunting (not from a bench)...its not going to matter all that much if your gun goes 1 inch off...the accuracy is basically in the shooter..and how he can calculate the wind and distance

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from Dave wrote 7 years 29 weeks ago

howdy, id like to makea comment on the benelli guns. While the benneli nova is a damn fine gun in its own respect, and the blackeagles are too, with alot of autoloaders you cant just put any old crap 12 gauge in their and expect it to fire. Im sure that whoever was shooting one that you saw that malfunctioned was cheap ass ammo, and since the black eagle is rated for 3 and a half mags, it would be pretty prudint to say that a underpowered load would jam er up pretty quicklike. Also you might think you know alot about ballistics, but everything short of shooting a animal is just talk.

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from Tyler Sutcliffe wrote 7 years 37 weeks ago

I dont see why folks are having a problem with 175 yards with a shotgun. Plenty of power and accuracy, and appears to have done the job. I shoot professionally, and hunt for fun. Congrats on the 175 yard shot, though I would hope you would not try anything much further with a shot gun.

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from John wrote 7 years 43 weeks ago

The new 12 guage Hornady SSt sabot round, when zereoed 3 inches high at 100 yards, will only be 6 inches low at 200 yards. It still retains 1000 ft/lbs of energy at 200 yards. Its a very effective slug round.

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from John wrote 7 years 43 weeks ago

The new 12 guage Hornady SSt sabot round, when zereoed 3 inches high at 100 yards, will only be 6 inches low at 200 yards. It still retains 1000 ft/lbs of energy at 200 yards. Its a very effective slug round.

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from Greg Russell wrote 7 years 49 weeks ago

rick must really know what hes doing ...?Posted by: joe wyrill | April 25, 2006 at 12:50 PMUmmmm, let me think.......NO!

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from joe wyrill wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

rick must really know what hes doing ...?

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

Well said, Greg. Holding a foot over a deer's back, missing high, then taking another shot is a very irresponsible act.Also, I still have my doubts as to the truth of Rick's story (shooting at any target with any gun at 175 yards with a 3X scope is a stretch, let alone a Remington 870!).

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from Greg Russell wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

There`s a reason I don`t hunt with guys like you Rick, but since this site is probably only rated pg, I won`t put it into the words I feel rising up.I`ll just say, wheter your story is true or not, I can`t say, but if so, that IS unethical, irresponsible, and very much lacking in respect for the animal.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 7 years 51 weeks ago

After posting way too much on this thread a couple of months ago, I stayed away as the acerbic tones were a turn off, and SURPRISE! I have a life outside my hobby. But on a whim, wife did a google search on my name and up popped this site with a comment by an individual basically calling me either a liar or irresponsible for a long range shot I made with an 870 on a deer. Had to answer. The point, in part was lost on my accuser. So with clear acknowledgement that one instance does not prove much, here goes. The modern sabot shotgun slug and rifled barrels IMHO is turning conventional truths about the limitations of the slug upside down. Slinging smaller caliber and lighter bullets at far higher velocities is extending the range of the slug gun and a 300 or so grain bullet with an MV of over 2000 fps makes the gun capable of a killing shot at much further distances than the traditional slug/smoothbore was ever possible of making. This is a ballistically superior load than the black powder buffalo guns of yore and I can find no reason to doubt those old Sharps and the like wouldn't kill at some distance. And I proved it to my own satisfaction by killing a deer several years ago at 175 yards. A. The shot was down hill perhaps 30 degrees, meaning the traversed distance on the horizontal was somewhat less. B. The gun was sighted in several inches high at 100 yards. C. I held the 3X scope's crosshairs about a foot above the aiming point from a steady rest at a standing deer and D. My first shot went high and I saw it impact the upslope beyond the critter, giving me info on how much to hold over for shot two while the deer looked around to try and ID where the noise came from. E. I am an experienced shooter including earning national trophies in hi-power rifle and F. afterward I used a range finder to confirm the distance. The deer was facing me at a slight angle on the upslope. I held just below the chin for shot two, and the Barnes Xpander slug entered the deer's chest, traveling almost three feet and breaking the off side rear hip, dropping the critter in its tracks. Incredibly impressive performance. So I DO take umbrage at being called a liar and irresponsible. I was capable, the conditions were right and the gun proved to be well up to the task. The End.

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from Mike Gray wrote 8 years 1 week ago

Why always whitetail this, whitetail that? (I know, it's readership.) We have very limited whitetail opportunities in Oregon. For us, it's blacktail or mule deer. From what I can see, in most parts of the country getting a whitetail is pretty easy. Heck, they even walk right out in the open during the middle of the day. No self-respecting, mature blacktail buck (especially trophy-quality) will show himself during shooting hours.Deer rifle: mine's a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Win mag, with 3 x 9 Leupold Vari-X II scope. Bought it in 1976 and have taken, deer, elk, and antelope with it. Custom load 165 gr. spitzer boattails. I have other rifles, mostly handed down to me, but I just target shoot with them occasionally. The Vanguard is my go-to rifle for big game.How about some articles on other game besides whitetails, turkeys, and largemouth bass?

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from Donny K wrote 8 years 2 weeks ago

Great survey. I dont own a Rifle yet so it has been very informative reading. I dont call my 22 a rifle..even though it has a 16 shot clip...its a piece of crap from the plillipenes!

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 3 weeks ago

What percent of those two million NRA members use their firearms for something more than home protection?I can`t say, as I don`t have those statistics.What percent went hunting/sport shooting before they became NRA members?Same answer-I can`t say, as I don`t have those statistics.I`ve fully understood the point you try to make above, and for the record, yes-I myself started out as a hunter, not a dyed-in-the-wool Second Amendment supporter. That was a much more innocent time, and the threats to our Second Amendment rights, (as well as to our hunting heritage), were not so stark and pointed as they are today.It`s wonderful if anyone comes to appreciate, and enjoy, and protect the Second Amendment through any means, but I’ll say again: the message can not be watered down, or confused as to the true meaning.There’s too much at risk, and the stakes may never be higher. Having arms to use for hunting is a byproduct of the Second Amendment-NOT the reason for it. There are people who wish to take away our right to bear arms, and the non-gun owning public is already bombarded by misinformation and propaganda by the media.Of course there are a huge number of NRA members who use arms for hunting, but they realize, and fully understand what the deeper reason to have those arms are. And as far as home protection, no, it doesn`t happen often, as percentages go, thankfully. As Thomas Jefferson said: “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”Wisconsin-It`s truly wonderful for anyone, everyone to come to love target shooting, gun collecting, hunting, all the great things that being a responsible firearms owner offers. But there is a danger in not knowing, or losing sight of what it really is all about. And what it`s all about, in it`s essence, is defending one’s self and family from ANY hostility.I hope your friend enjoys her introduction to shooting, I hope she has a safe, and pleasant experience, and here`s hoping somewhere down the line she learns what the Second Amendment is really all about, so she can be ready to defend it from all angles.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 3 weeks ago

Two questions Greg.What percent of those two million NRA members use their firearms for something more than home protection?What percent went hunting/sport shooting before they became NRA members?And let's set the record straight.I NEVER said the Second is about hunting.I DID say the Second and the NRA benefit HUGE because of the sportmen/women in this country that were first introduced to firearms as something other than a burglar shooter.I just talked to that 50 year old woman I mentioned above. Yep, she's going to be shooting this weekend. She may turn into an NRA member/gun owner/strong supporter of the Second.Who knows?I feel this is a better route than trying to convince her she needs a burglar/government shooter ala an NRA ad.Yep.. I know what the Second and the NRA are about.I'd be willing to bet most NRA members started their journey in a field or forest and not through a dresser drawer.Let me know by answering those questions above.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 3 weeks ago

Know what Wisconsin? I`ve tried to be civil with you and explain the meaning and reason for the Second Amendment, but you don`t want to listen to anyone, you already have the answers. Fine. I won`t waste any more of either of our time, but understand this if nothing else, NRA is looking out for our Second Amendment like no one else, and I AM the NRA. Think about us what you will, but we’re the one’s carrying the burden for those like you, who have all kinds of excuses why not to be a part of the defense of our Second Amendment. Always some reason that you won`t, or can`t help because nobody understands like you do.And this statement: “Sorry but come time to find true defenders of the Second I'll look to the sportsmen above vs. Sally and Sam down the street with a six shooter in the dresser drawer that the NRA convinced with a scare tactic.I`m trying to keep my composure as I write this, but you`ll never be a defender of the Second Amendment until, and unless you can understand and accept what it means. And to do that, you`ve got to be a REAL Patriot, like all 4 million members of NRA are. Not a weak minded, politically correct sheep, not willing to let go of the status quo. It`s an insult for you to even entertain the notion that you`re a defender of the Second Amendment. You keep crowing about how it`s all about hunting, and if you get your way, some Kennedy, or Feinstein or Schumer will decide that some of the firearms some of us own aren’t really needed for sporting purposes, so they’ll take them. And it will have begun; they’ll chip away at the Second Amendment, maybe slowly, but surely, until we wind up like Australia or the UK. So no Wisconsin, don`t insult the real Patriots by saying you know better, or that you`re one of us. You`re not even a good facsimile.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

As to history and countless studies showing us firearms ownership doesn`t save the oppressed from governments, or from the criminal element, do you have any facts? It`s easy to throw out some cute sound bite you`ve heard some anti-gun spokesman shout.Posted by: Greg Russell | March 23, 2006 at 11:56 AMWe can start with gun ownership by citizens in Iraq and work our way backwards through history to see if gun ownership by the people stop oppressive governments.Communist led countries, countries with dictators.. there's more than a few examples where firearms ownership by the people seemed to have no effect on those in power.The Russia-Afghanistan reference you mention is a not an example of average citizens "bearing arms".Your tax dollars paid for missle launchers and other goodies that made the Russian army go home.You also mention.."NRA has statistics that show that on average, law-abiding citizens successfully use firearms 2 million times annually to defend themselves."There's almost 300 million people in the United States from newborns to 100 year olds.The NRA claim averages out to 1 out of every 150 citizens defending themselves with a firearm each year?Mythical statitics created with flawed studies are but one reason a person such as myself views the NRA as a BS statistic spewing org.I'd like to see that study in detail. It's not the one by Mr. Kleck I hope.Sorry but come time to find true defenders of the Second I'll look to the sportsmen above vs. Sally and Sam down the street with a six shooter in the dresser drawer that the NRA convinced with a scare tactic.It's all about marketing Greg.The guys above didn't become gun lovers and supporters of the Second because someone told them they needed one for protection ala NRA.If it was an indirect result of a father that took them hunting who cares?Bottom line...It happened through the outdoors and not dresser drawers that the NRA targets.Result...Those that believe in the Second benefit with a new person in their ranks.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

Wisconsin-tell what I`ll do. If you want to e-mail me and get me some address I can mail something to you, I`ll treat you to a copy of Charlton Hestons book: "The Courage To Be Free". It`s a wonderful book and Heston can explain things in a way I only wish I could.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

so, Greg, are you saying we cant hunt? if so do we just let our guns sit there in our house and collect dust? the only time we would use them is when a burglar intrudes. we need to know how to shoot and use a gun so we must pratice with it. what about the fun times like just going out and plinking for the enjoyment?Posted by: joe wyrillNever said that Joe. Hunting is a very valid reason to own and use firearms, and you`re exactly right, it is about the fun of handling and shooting. Guys who hunt typically make better soldiers. They`ve learned to shoot and have learned the patience of the hunt and have dealt with the weather and hardships in the outdoors.Understand though-having arms to hunt is a byproduct of the Second Amendment, even though some would like to convince you that the Second Amendment is tied to hunting. How many times have you heard someone say that we don`t need assault rifles to deer hunt? That`s just one example of the dangers of not understanding what the Second Amendment is about. If the forces who want to take away your Second Amendment rights can mislead you into believing that the reason for it is hunting, they can begin to chip away at it. They can take away any weapon that they decide doesn`t have any sporting purpose.History and counless studies have shown two things.A. Firearm ownership does not stop tyrannical governments.B. Firearms ownership increases owners odds of death by firearm. Substantialy. The "criminal element" that we always hear reference to are most likely a spouse, boyfriend, co-worker....The NRA needs another angle.Posted by: In WisconsinWisconsin-I sincerely hope your woman friend enjoys herself this weekend. I hope you`ll teach her all about gun safety, and expose her to shooting is such a way that she`ll come to join our ranks as defenders of Second Amendment rights. And it`s fine for people to become part of our fraternity for whatever reason they choose-it`s fine to love to target shoot, it`s fine to enjoy a great day of hunting, I do it all that I can. But understand that the opportunity for your friend to shoot this weekend, the chance for you to take your son afield, these are byproducts of the Second Amendment, not the reason for it.As to history and countless studies showing us firearms ownership doesn`t save the oppressed from governments, or from the criminal element, do you have any facts? It`s easy to throw out some cute sound bite you`ve heard some anti-gun spokesman shout.While I don`t have specific data I can lay out for you, I`m sure you`ve read in the newspaper of the many guerrilla forces who have fought and frustrated government troops in Afghanistan, and Russia. And if you get a subscription to any of the fine NRA magazines, you`ll find data that you`ll never see in any mainstream media. They have a column called The Armed Citizen, in which they provide accounts of citizens using arms to defend themselves. Additionally, NRA has statistics that show that on average, law-abiding citizens successfully use firearms 2 million times annually to defend themselves.Sorry Wisconsin, we don`t need another angle, because the Founding Fathers were some pretty smart guys, and they knew something that would last for the ages. They knew the common man need to be armed to stay free, and human nature doesn`t change no matter how much society advances. There will always be the need to defend you and your family from some person or event. And while having a fun day shooting, or enjoying a great day hunting are perfectly good reasons to want to own firearms, and to defend firearm ownership, we still have to stay true to the real reason for the Second Amendment. Any other message would be misrepresenting what it really means.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

Whether you like the message or not, and whether you like the reason or not, the Second Amendment is to protect against a tyrannical government, and to defend family against the criminal element.Greg Russell | March 22, 2006 at 07:34 PMHistory and counless studies have shown two things.A. Firearm ownership does not stop tyrannical governments.B. Firearms ownership increases owners odds of death by firearm. Substantialy. The "criminal element" that we always hear reference to are most likely a spouse, boyfriend, co-worker....Not a guy kicking your door down for a stereo like the NRA wants the public to believe.How man studies would you like to read regarding the subject?Om a side note... Want to guess if the amounts of firearms stolen from citizens homes that have them for self protection is much higher than the ones that actually get used in home defense?The NRA needs another angle.If they focused on the fun side of gun ownership like the people that took the survey enjoy and less on the "you need one to stop the burglar and your government" they may find a larger audience and hence future supporters of the Second that reads the right to bear arms.The people in the survey are going to do more to protect the Second than those that bought a bedroom firearm due to an NRA ad.Guaranteed.I know a 50 year old woman that's going shooting this weekend for the first time in her life. Somehow the NRA never convinced her to be pro Second or a gun owner for the reasons you think she and millions of others should be told (stopping the government and burglars).Come Monday we'll what she thinks after a fun day in the outdoors.

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from joe wyrill wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

so, Greg, are you saying we cant hunt? if so do we just let our guns sit there in our house and collect dust? the only time we would use them is when a burglar intrudes. we need to know how to shoot and use a gun so we must pratice with it. what about the fun times like just going out and plinking for the enjoyment?

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

I happen to believe that sportsmen and women are the best choice to carry the message including the right to bear arms. The NRA should focus on firearms ownership for sport... not for home defense against a stereo stealer.Posted by: In WisconsinBut there you go again-you want NRA to run ads that communicate the message that the Second Amendment is tied to a hunting heritage, and it is not.. Whether you like the message or not, and whether you like the reason or not, the Second Amendment is to protect against a tyrannical government, and to defend family against the criminal element.For whatever reason, you don`t like the personal protection aspect of the reason for the right to bear arms, but that IS part of the intent of the Second Amendment.Read the following quote from Thomas Jefferson: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”Jefferson also stated:” The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”NRA is the strongest organized guardian of the Second Amendment we have in this country, and sure, we want non-gun owners to understand what the issues are, and what the Second Amendment is about, but we can`t change the message to get buy in. And NRA won`t focus on firearms ownership for sport, because that`s not the message. And sorry, but we won`t water it down to fit better in your septic world, that would be misrepresenting the meaning.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

I simply stated that the Second Amendment IS NOT about hunting, and that contrary to your post above, that IS NOT the right message.Posted by: Greg Russell | March 21, 2006 at 01:53 PMNever said the Second was about hunting Greg. I don't think the intent had much to do with convincing people to stick a handgun in the house to protect against a burglar per some NRA advertisements.A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.You and the NRA seem to think ramming the Second and firearms for personal protection down the public's throat is going convert them to defend the heritage of firearms including the Second.I happen to believe that sportsmen and women are the best choice to carry the message including the right to bear arms. The NRA should focus on firearms ownership for sport... not for home defense against a stereo stealer.When issues relating to the Second and firearms in general come to the table whose going to show up and voice their concerns? The serious gun owners that have posted above or John and Betty Suburb that bought a burglar shooter?I suggest an NRA add that shows one of the guys above with his son or daughter in the great outdoors hunting and enjoying a BETTER life courtesy of firearm ownership.People actively involved in gun ownership and use will defend both the Second and hunting.I know Greg..."that IS NOT the right message."

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from Andy wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

If nothing else, all this bickering about what gun is better is certainly entertaining. If you as me, there's no such thing as a "bad" gun. Guns are wonderful. Besides, it all comes down to the shooter. I dont think the deer cares whether you blow a hole in it with a Browning, a Winchester or whatever you happen to shoot. Everyone has their own preference and who's to say what to shoot? Take care of your gun (guns) and it will take care of you.Also, if any of you out there are tired of your "crappy" guns I'd be willing to take them off your hands free of charge.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

I’m one of those neutral people that bought the firearms for my son because time spent in the field and forest makes for a better person. That’s the right message.Posted by: In WisconsinThere it is-you stated that swaying non-gun owning people is telling them ist`s about time spent afield, after all the other previous statements you made about how NRA turns people off.I simply stated that the Second Amendment IS NOT about hunting, and that contrary to your post above, that IS NOT the right message.

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

" The Second Amendment is absolutely, undeniably, about protection, self-defense, and to try to portray it as to be about hunting is dangerous, irresponsible, and just wrong."Posted by: Greg Russell | March 15, 2006 at 07:05 PMWhose trying to potray? Where did you read that?Couldn't find it in my post.If you think I said that please read again. Thanks.

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from D Neeley wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

As far as shotguns, my personal favorite was an AYA double 12 that I used for years {it just fit me well} Had it until it started shooting both barrels at once about the time steel shot became mandatory for waterfowl. Got myself an 870 Rem and have been satisfied with it. I am thinking about another double as I don't hunt birds as much as I used to. My personal choice for a handgun was based on conversations with an old friend who was stationed all over the world, fought in several "conflicts" and some Sherrif's deputies. Their experences suggested that If you have to use a pistol you should have a .45 ACP at a minimum. So I am currently shooting a Kimber 1911. I like to put at least 100 full power rounds through it every weekend. It got me one whitetail a couple of years ago in brush so thick my rifle was useless, a 230 grain Win JHP went through both sides of a mature doe and she dropped as quickly as any I have shot with an 30-06. I have owned many different rimfires and sold off my last bull barreled 10-22 Ruger ground squirrel gun. I found it too heavy to carry for long periods. As I grow older, stalking varmits; not just killing large numbers appeals more to me. I got a fun little bolt action that I have had great times with. I do use a .17 HMR single shot H&R for certain areas where ricochets could be a problem. I just wish the ammo was a little less expensive. I have noticed lately that the local gun club is empty more often than not (350 members and no more than 3 or four on any given Sunday) and most of the people I do see there are OLD! So take a kid shooting today. If we don't bring more younger people into the hunting and shooting sports we will lose our heritage.

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from Dave Neeley wrote 8 years 4 weeks ago

Here is my Personal opinion based on owning and shooting 40+ different centerfire rifles and many long conversations with reputable gunsmiths. For a factory gun in the afforable price range get a Savage 10-110 series. They put the most effort into making the best barrels for the money. On average at least 80% of them will shoot in the 1"-1.5" range out of the box {if the nut behind the buttstock knows how to shoot}. Those new Accutriggers can be adjusted by anyone. From my experince try using a one piece Weaver or B-Square base (yes,it makes loading/unloading a little less convienent). Considering how short(Objective to bell housing) the current crop of scopes are from almost every manufacturer; you don't have much choice. I miss the old K-4 Weavers just on that aspect alone! It is the only base that allows the use of standard rings (on the long 110 series) and mounting the scope back where you can get a good sight picture. As far as caliber, my personal favorite is the old standard .30-06 You can get shells for it anywhere and they are reasonably priced. I have killed everything from ground squirrels to elk wtih my standard 165 grain Speer Grand Slam load. No B.S.(I have independent witnesses) it will punch through an elk broadside at 600 yards-OK I was desperate, it was wounded and the conditions were ideal (no wind,a good boulder to rest on with a person spotting my misses. The same load does not ruin much meat at resonable ranges. I have killed 5 elk (10 feet to 600 yards), 48 deer (10 yards to 400 yards), and 12 antelope (75 yards to 250 yards); so I have a fair idea of what I like. For the record I am at the Range almost every weekend and have rebarreled my 30-06 twice (after 4000+ rounds it shows a bit of wear and the accuracy falls off). PRACTICE is what seperates the PRO from the wannabe. Anyone who shows up on the range one time in the fall (just to check the sight-in) has as much business hunting as a once a year golfer has playing in the Masters.

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from John Jones wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Mr. Kubik, I apologize for taking your words out of context. Sometimes when reading something it's hard to find the emotion behind the words.To anonymous, I'm glad that you bought the firearms for your son. Have you considered purchasing a gun for yourself and enjoying the outdoors with your boy? I recently had the opportunity to sit through a hunter's education class with my son and was shocked at one certain statistic that was given. In the class they said that 5% of people are pro-hunting, 5% are anti-hunting, and 90% are undecided. I can see why people such as Ted Nugent can turn some of those 90% into anti's. Although I enjoy Mr. Nugent's enthusiasm for the sport, I don't agree with some of his tactics. I am NOT saying he is doing anything wrong, just that I personally disagree with some of the things he does. Although I did like one thing he said on one of his television shows. I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that he didn't need to shoot an automatic weapon any more than he needed a corvette to go get groceries...but they're both just plain fun.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

I find it extremely interesting that you choose to be anonymous with your post, but that`s fair enough.On the ted nugent comment, I do agree. I personally don`t care for his crazed tirades, and he does not speak for me.As to NRA turning people off, I am an NRA life member, and I think any member of NRA would be open to suggestions for anyone in the non-gun public about public relations and perceptions. I can assure you, the intent has never been to alienate the non-gun owning, non-shooting/hunting public.That having been said, there are some things NRA won`t compromise on. I would love to hear more and have more detail as to what your concerns are.One thing I can tell you, based on your statement that; “I’m one of those neutral people that bought the firearms for my son because time spent in the field and forest makes for a better person. That’s the right message.”NRA won`t push that point, because the Second Amendment is not about hunting. It is in no way, shape, or form about hunting, collecting, or target shooting. It is about the right of law abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms to defend themselves and their families from the criminal element. If there is some way that the message can be presented more favorably to the non-gun owning public, that is something we’re interested in hearing, but the message won`t be charged, because it can`t be. The Second Amendment is absolutely, undeniably, about protection, self-defense, and to try to portray it as to be about hunting is dangerous, irresponsible, and just wrong.

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from In Wisconsin wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

First let me say I’m not a hunter or even a gun owner. My son is and he and I spent the holidays and his recent birthday shopping for firearms. I spent more time at gun counters in the past few months that my entire forty plus years. And I learned a lot. It’s easy to understand the addiction to firearms and hunting once you spend some time learning about it.A quick note to those here that are worried about the future of gun laws. Some that represent you are doing no favors. Mr. Nugent’s mouth and your own NRA are two examples of forces that can cause a neutral person to sway to the anti gun side.Someone that dodged the draft, whose young daughter caused a firearm go off in his own house and thinks with a whack and stack them mentality would do firearms owners a courtesy by shutting up. Wrong person.The NRA ads try to make people believe that criminals are some unknown person to the victim when statistics show the opposite is true. They should promote members and their families in their ads. Instead they try to convince Bob and Betty Suburb that their world would be safer with a 12 gauge. Wrong angle.I’m one of those neutral people that bought the firearms for my son because time spent in the field and forest makes for a better person. That’s the right message.

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Mr. Jones, it was never my intention to cast aspersions on the way you or anyone else makes his living. I believe in full employment a job of their choosing for every citizen of our great nation. I only meant to take issue with those who mistakenly asserted in response to the survey that the Remington 870 is "the BEST upland shotgun ever made" which it clearly is not to anyone who has thought about the subject with an ounce of objectivity. If the Ithaca 37 is your gun of choice for deer, who am I to argue with you? Enjoy it in good health.

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from John Jones wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Well, although I loved the survey I can't say that I loved all the comments. But, such is life. We all have our different opinions about which gun to shoot, which season we hunt and how many deer there are or aren't. What did actually upset me though was all the arguing and outright name-calling. We are brothers-in-arms after all. I personally choose to hunt with an Ithaca model 37 here in northern Indiana where you can't hunt whitetails with a rifle. The gun was my grandfather's, then my father's, and now mine. Three generations have been shooting that gun and as long as I take care of it as well as my predecessors did, it will surely see a fourth generation. And to Mr. Kubik a personal note: I am a blue collar type(factory worker), and there is nothing wrong with actually having to get your hands dirty for a living. And, although I could afford a new gun, I choose to shoot the "old reliable". If it's not broke, don't fix it.

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from Cal Sibley wrote 8 years 5 weeks ago

Read and enjoyed the information presented. My personal problems center around the unwillingness of most writers to be truthful about todays firearms. The uncompromising quest for the bottom line has resulted in cost cutting measures that leave us with inferior products. How else can one explain my Remington 700 rifles from the 1980's being far more accurate than todays Remington models. Yet, todays writers remain prostitutes to the firearms manufacturers. It's turned me sour because of the absence of honesty. All the coimpanies that preached "Buy American" while constantly waving the flag are selling foreign imports now. So. even our loyalties have shifted, not by the consumer but by the producer. In any event I never read a word of this in our firearms publications. It's simply a non-event. I'm not so much angered by this as sadened and disillusioned.I don't know where we're headed, but I don't like it. Sorry to rant. Thanks for the opportunity.Best wishes.Cal SibleyMontrealcalsibley@hotmail.com

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from Chip Cousins wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

Enjoyed your story on Favorite Guns March 2006. Thought you may have left off the best caliber for whitetail. Weatherby Mark V 257. Great for deer and shoots flat for 300 yards or more. It is more expensive to shoot, but worth ever penny on long shots, over cut- overs and power lines. Also great on coyote and prerrie dogs. My personal Favorite. Not to many people have heared of this caliber but it is popular in the south.

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from steve wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

it was a great article. 30-30 is my favorite calibre whether it be a model 94 or a marlin.

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from Stanton Schmidt wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

The survey was very interesting. It is not suprising that many feel the gone they own is good and swear by it. Personally I swear by my Marlin 30-30 for a deer rifle I've had it for over 25 years and it still gets the job done. The one question I would like to have seen asked is: If you had to survive in the wilderness with just one gun, which one would it be. Personally I would take a 20 gauge double barrel. I've taken many squirrels, rabbits, grouse, and deer with mine. When small game hunting I keep a cheap shot shell in one chamber for most easy shots and a 3 inch magnum in the other chamber for the tougher shots, similar thing when deer hunting in shotgun only area a 2 3/4 inch slug in one chamber and a 3 inch magnum in the other. Another survey I would like to see would be on favorite hunting knives. I had a buck knife for a good 15 years before it got stolen and I bought another then and still use a buck 121 that is easy to sharpen and when sharp goes right through the ribs of a deer. I hope everyone enjoys their hunting and fishing experiences and shares them with others. Stanton Schmidt, Wisconsin.

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from Dug wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

Best guns ever, personally the best guns are based on what one can afford and how one is shouldered and handles. I started out early with a mossberg 20 ga. and moved up to a 870 12ga. remington and I knew there were better ones out there, I made due, now I depend on my benelli in the field and love my 1100 remington bicentinnal trap for the range, both very dependable well shooting guns, both on the list of best guns. My .22 started out as an old bolt steel sight and made a shooter out of me, I moved onward and upward with a ruger 10-22 purchase scoped, one of everyones favorites and have bought several other .22 rifle and pistols. My favorites are the new Ruger mkIII hunter and the Thompson .22 Classic. My little .17 is a piece of work or crap!!!!I am not real impressed by it remington semi auto, need another option any opionions?? Rifles are every where I own several, rugers are great if you get trigger reworked Own a m77 .7mm mag magnaported kickeze pad and triggerby timney shoots nice with leupold on it, my .22-250 browning a-bolt w/leoupold 6-18 is excellent for varmints, my win 30-30 serves no practiacal purpose, my benelli with slugs is a better gun. My 7mm ultra mag is just way to big for Kansas game. my best rifles overall .243 browning lever gun handles and shoots great, If you own a blr you already know. My bushmaster .223 ar-15 is a all purpose all around shooter. beats the piss out of any mini 14 or 30 and ak47 and sks crap. That is my opionion and I know my guns and I know what I like so what you think and print is your opinion and you are entitled to it but it don't mean shit to me. I still will try to out shoot you at the range or in the field with what I consider the best guns ever mine!!

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from Fran wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

To all who took the time to take the survey, Thank You.I must add, STOP all the arguing about which gun is the best, which calibur is best, which model is best. Be thankful we have such a vast selection to choose from. To the area of gun control; there are approximately 85 million gun owners in America. If 85 million gun owners voted NO to all forms of gun control their would be no gun control but we gun people do not unite! Please, every gun owner, consider joining a pro gun organization and support it.

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from Chris Benamati wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

36% of the people shoot more than 100 centerfire rounds per year in practice??? What a load of crap! This might be true for the reloading guys but they sure don't make up the greatest percent shooters. I would say the average working class guy does. And being one them I sure don't have the time to shoot that many rounds because of work, not to mention the cost of doing so. I think I shoot alot given my time and budget and I don't come close to that.

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from Paul H wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Owning a gun and shooting is like wooing a woman, I cannot do without.I love my Ruger 77 30.06, Encore 270, (2) Encore Muzzle Loaders

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from Mike Kerley wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Hey Slowpoke,Talk about uneducated you need to learn how to spell. You are either an idiot or Michael Moore.Some Questions for the so-called traditionalist: How do you get to your traditional hunts? Do you walk or ride your horse? How far back do your traditions go? If we go to war with England are you going to stand in line in your blue uniforms and shoot your muzzleloader? I have lots of other questions but it is probably going to take months or years for you to respond back. The horses, birds and boats you are going to use to send me back your response traditionally will take at least that long. Come to think of it how are you reading this? I use a modern computer. Are there traditional ones?

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from Mike Kerley wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Even coming from the People's Republic of Kalifornia I cannot believe that 25% of the people who answered the survey buy into the lie of gun control. There can be no compromise on the right to keep and bear arms. Kalifornia is the prime example. Our steroid-enhanced foreign-born governor has signed a law that outlawed single-shot, bolt-action, and semi-auto rifle's chambered in .50 BMG. What is next, maybe 30-06, .308 or .300 Winchester Mag? To the 25% that voted they would entertain gun control laws I say there is NO GOOD GUN CONTROL. Criminals do not care about the law, period. So who do you think it is ok to control?Also to the "traditionalist" PULL YOUR HEADS OUT. I enjoy traditional hunting methods but I also enjoy modern equipment and methods. There is room for everybody. If you want to hunt with a flintlock or longbow go ahead. There is no way an in-line or compound is going to affect your hunt unless you are some city boy that hunts in a big group with a bunch of other city boys. Give me a break!!!

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from calvin wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I grew up shooting a Remington model 700 .243 as kid. I have shot it so much over the years that if all else fails, I pick it up and have no problems. But, people are forgetting the ruger firearms.They have proven to be very good firearms.If you want a gun with very few frills and gadgets then go the Ruger.They are enexpensive to buy, and are accurate right out of the box.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

This is to JW Cullen, Cheyenne, OK. You say that: "My service pistol that I would stake my life on is a Desert Eagle 9mm. It looks like a real pistol and has no plastic." Hope you`re knocking my Glock. I’ll test my Glock, Model 21 against your pistol any day. My Glock will function in any extreme condition you can dream up. And if I wanted to be petty, I’d point out that the .45 ACP also way outdoes the 9mm as a stopping round. Lucky I`m not that shallow.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Posted by Slowpoke-I love paranoid gun people, they so uneducated and reactionary. "You can trust any gun control" Bahahaha This advice must come from the same people that believe, when the State lowers the speed limit in a school zone, they're going to take away their cars. My new bumper sticker... "You can't trust the DMV"Hey slowpoke-what planet are you from? First of all, and not of any significance, it`s extremely funny that you`re supposedly bashing paranoid gun people for not being very bright, but you write, “I love paranoid gun people, they so uneducated……” What a hoot, they so uneducated. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.Anyway, back to the business at hand, if you really believe that there isn`t a very well organized group of folks out there plotting to take ALL of our guns away, well, I have some real estate I want to talk with you about.The folks in the UK, and Australia didn`t believe their governments wanted their guns either. And if you really want a wake up call, pay attention to what the United Nations is pushing for. The wonderful group who brought you the food-for-oil program wants to enact a global wide ban on civilian small arms ownership. Since you were reading Field and Stream, you apparently are an outdoorsman, but not a hunter? And the tone of your note seemed to be complete disdain for gun owners. Sorry you feel that way. Our Founding Fathers were gun owners, and they understood full well why the common man needed to be armed. Would you be a proponent of gun confiscation? Adolph Hitler was a huge proponent of gun control and confiscation. Like to keep that kind of company? Eh?It`s funny too that you want to compare gun ownership to driving a vehicle. Some others have tried that, but it doesn`t work, because driving a motor vehicle isn`t a constitutionally protected right like keeping and bearing arms is. And that`s where the flaw lies in governmental testing of would-be gun owners. When a government can subject a citizen to an arbitrary test then it really isn`t a right anymore, is it? And did you notice I said citizen? Not subject, as in a subject of the queen. We are American citizens my friend. And as law-abiding, American citizens, we are unique in all the world, as a citizenry that keeps and bears arms. You should read, or perhaps in your case, get the book on tape, The Courage to Be Free, by Charlton Heston. It`s a very powerful book, and it might just get you thinking.

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Rick Rappe- I can`t believe that no one called you out about you`re saying you killed a deer at 175 yards with an 870. Paleeeez! I have a very hard time believing that-and true, I don`t need to believe it, but I feel insulted that you would expect me to believe such a story. Lastly, to even attempt a shot at that distance with a standard shotgun is thoughtless and uncaring towards making a clean ethical kill. Are you also one of the real brainiacks who buys his new rifle and scope the evening before the hunt and goes out with the whole rig only bore-sighted? What a whopper of a tale.

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from Dan Shine wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

The survey asked legitimate questions...however, I have a problem with Section 1, Your Guns, with the Other (%) being as large as it is. This is not a critism, I am simply curious at what is in this Other catagory. Can you provide any insite in a future issue?Thanks

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from Dakota Wilson wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

i dont care what gun you shoot, if you hit what you aim at and you like it then use it. dont tell people your gun is better than theirs cause that could go both ways, you like yours they like theirs so leave it at that. im 15 and i get that, grow up a little. i shoot with a group of muzzloader hunters and both types of guns are used everybody has respect for each other, and thats the way it should be, nobody has the right to say that their season was stolen, its not just for you. i bow hunt mostly, if you want a real challenge try it

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from Bill Dean wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I enjoyed your survey and most of the comments. It seems obvious that the age of the respondents, the size of their wallets, and their corresponding hunting experience are where most of the disagreements lie. I have been shooting and hunting for 50 years. I've owned and shot most of the weapons that were discussed. One other factor that influences what I choose to shoot is the weather. I have a Sako Finbear 25-06 which is about 25 years old and still extremely accurate and is a piece of art as far as it's manufacture.I treat it like a new corvette. It doesn't go out when its raining. I have an old Rem 700 restocked with a synthetic stock that gets the nod when it's raining.As shotguns go, there have been some real advances in recent years. I still have a Rem 1100 skeet grade, and an old Beretta AL-2 auto and OU, but when I'm shooting a lot I now shoot a Benelli Super Sport. It's recoil doesn't beat me up and the recycle time is much faster than the older guns. The new Beretta autoloader also has a blazing recycle time.I still love the older guns and don't think I'll ever get rid of them. Some of the newer features on today's modern firearms are hard not to love.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Jeez, I've been bloviating a lot here...sorry all, but it is kinda fun. About the only unanimous consensus of those that have them is over the beretta 391 being a "best pick" in an autoloader. Before I move on, a quick update on my current Benelli experience. Shot mine again today after thinking I'd solved the sluggish action problem. By the end of the first round of skeet, it was beginning to slow down again, and while I managed to get in a second round of 25, it was beginning to get pretty sluggish, and I wasn't shooting up to my normal level. (Shot a third round with the Beretta 20 just to be sure it wasn't the pilot and not the airplane. Pretty windy and cold and I missed low 5 for a 24/25.) Came home and tore the Benelli down, and started a more thorough exam, one item at a time as when you make multiple tweaks you can't be sure which one was the culprit. Cleaned the grit out of the recoil spring plunger more thoroughly because I thought that had been the problem and re-assembled. Nope. Tore it down again and looked for drag marks and began gentle stoning wherever I found them after ruling out a couple of possibilities, I was able to get a stone on the bolt guide rails inside the receiver. Aha! Oiled up before, the bolt was sliding along just fine, but as the action cycled away the oil, the gun began to get sluggish. Tho I bought the gun used, it was clear it had been shot very little and I recalled reading in some Benelli data that before the gun would be reliable with light target loads, it might need some breaking in and the manual for the gun also said the lightest reliable loads were 1 1/8th target ones and I was shooting 1 oz. So I mixed a slurry of rottenstone pumice and oil and laid it in the receiver rails with a Q-tip and began hand cycling the bolt. After just a minute or so, the bolt was flying home slick and smooth with zero drag. Next, I went to my loader and weighed some powder charges. Another Aha! Despite what the chart said that particular MEC bushing was supposed to be dropping, it turns out I was underloading the powder! So while I can argue needing to break in a Benelli is a negative point about the gun, the problem was in large part the idiot behind the gun feeding it a load that wasn't supposed to work the action at all, but mostly did anyway. No wonder my scores were down. I can't wait till next weekend.

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from Ken Peters wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

How come you and your sister magizine Outdoor Life don,t let Canadians change our address and such online. The only way I can change it is to write a letter and mail it.We buy a lot of hunting gear made in the States and from Americain companys so we should have the same privliges as you guys do. Even the 1-800 number dosn,t work for us.I hope somebody actually reads this.

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from Slowpoke wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I love paranoid gun people, they so uneducated and reactionary. "You can trust any gun control" Bahahaha This advice must come from the same people that believe, when the State lowers the speed limit in a school zone, they're going to take away their cars. My new bumper sticker... "You can't trust the DMV"

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from Visitor wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

From:JW Cullen, Cheyenne, OKI am a hunter not a shooter. I do not like the gun crowd that drives up and down the roads looking for game to shoot across the fence or in the road ditch. A gun has to be functional. The deer rifle quick to the shoulder and easy to find the recticle for allignment. My shotgun is highly modified to hunt turkies from a blind. My service pistol that I would stake my life on is a Desert Eagle 9mm. It looks like a real pistol and has no plastic. My High Standard Military D and my H&R Sportsman 999 are the best 22 pistols I have ever owned and shot. Ever lived in a foreign country where you can't own a firearm? That's when you know what helplessness feels like. No questions were embeded in this survey concerning guns for security and self defense?

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Rick, I also happen to own a Beretta AL391 Urika and completely agree with you that it is the best autoloader out there. I've used it for birds and sporting clays and it is both quick handling and sweet shooting without malfunctions of any kind. Happy hunting!

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from Barry Bright wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

I enjoy a little hunting and I've owned guns all my life and probably knew more about ballistics as a teenager than I do now. So it's heartening to see the results of these polls. But one thing needs to be stressed, especially to 'hunters' I've noticed: The Second Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting deer, turkey, squirrel, birds or any other non-human creature. It's about hunting men. When you get into the schools make sure you teach this or it's a pointless endeavor. The sheeple are stupid enough without our help.

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from Rick Evans wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

It was interesting reading all the diferent gun survey results in this article. In my opinion its all relative to your age,you location,and what you hunt. I've been huting since I could carry a bb gun quail hunting with my Dad. Over years it went from the single shot Winchester 410,to Savage-Fox Double 3" 20,A-5 Light 12 Browning,270 700 ADL and then a A-5 3" 20 for years. I shot the 3" A-5 12 after I could afford one and loved it. My Dad shot a Sweet 16 quail and duck hunting for years. I loved the A-5 and shot it pretty well and still can. Personally I own and have shot 870's,1100's ,Beretta's 391-OU gold pigeon 20 & 12-new extrema 3.5, M-1 Benelli camo 20, and more. I feel you should have had a price range for guns under a certain amount and over a certain price. I love my 1100 20 but I've been in goose pits and duck blinds when it was low teens and they (1100's) failed. Based on my experience in the field there is no way a 1100 Remington is more reliable than a A-5 Browning. More were sold because of price. I know on a hot summer day its better for your shoulder but I don't like hunting waterfowl on warm days.Last 2 years I've seen the SuperX-2 3.5 of my buddy's hang up often and its cleaned after every hunt. My Browning gold has hung up twice in past couple of years. Lets face this survey isn't totally accurate because it would need different age hunters to take part in the survey. I agreed that the 870 is a great gun and very dependable. Model 12 Winchester was a pretty good pump too and very dependable. Basically its what you grew with and usually what your Dad or friends shot. I wanted the new 3.5 so started with the Browning Gold and had to upgrade to Beretta Xtrema. I feel the Xtrema is more dependable than the Browning from my experience with hevi-shot and steel. Basically its what works for you and what you can have results with in the field. I just got back from Mexico duck hunting and shot 391 with no hang-ups. Owner saids Beretta or Benelli from his 29 years owning a hunting club. On Argentina hunts he has seen 1100 Remington's just left in a pile for junk. Don't get me wrong I said I own one 1100 20 and I love it but the A-5 was the top auto for 50 some years after introduction in 1903.Guns are like ice cream with so many flavors shooters have a lot of different taste. Many thanks for your time and good hunting!

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Jim Kubrick, We aren't all that far apart really. When I say readily available O/U, I'm being too vague. I was thinking along the lines of a Ruger or perhaps Citori. In a local shop the other day, the owner was remarking how Beretta (and I didn't get all the details) dealt only with the larger chains (which I interpreted to mean entities such as Cabella's etc.) and that he couldn't get Beretta's from the normal jobber channels. The Beretta mono-block design of the O/U results in a more shallow receiver which when coupled with a low profie forend and good stock dimensions results in a darn nice gun. But the prices for the better grades and that they are hard to find on the shelves of most small market shops makes them hard to come by or afford for many. Personally, I do lean to the autos for softer shooting and think the Beretta 391 is the best auto out there, but sure do wish for past better days when I had and could afford fine guns like several of the Parkers, Fox and other guns I usta have or the SxS Griffin & Howe that weighed under 6lbs. in 12 bore and which Cabella's gave me good money for and re-sold for $5500.00 But when I was at my low point, and had but one remaining gun to use for everything from ducks to grouse to deer, it was an 870. No doubt any auto shoots faster. That's why I said "well pointed" follow up shots. I think a better appletation for the 870 might be "most popular" and/or when speaking just of pump guns, and considering the possible configurations, maybe it is "best of the pumps"...and that's as far as I'd be willing to go in defense of the gun. But in any fixed breech design, not an auto, by the time you bring the gun back down from recoil and find the sight picture again in the field, the pump works just fine. I wouldn't pick a pump as anywhere near best when the second shot is standard like in many spotring clays situations, but if going on a pheasant hunt and if all I had was a pump gun, I wouldn't feel handicapped. Speed without hits is pointless. Rick

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from spider loc wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

good survey, some people really feel strongly about their guns and what they think is best, all i know is that my Savage will outshoot guns that cost three times that much

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from Jmes Kubik wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

Doubters of the SX2 five shots in .51 seconds claim should go to the Winchester website and click on Product News and Information. Article No. 5 "Speed Shotgun" reprinted from Front Sight magazine gives all of the details of the test. See also p. 30 of the 2006 Winchester product catalog.

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from Joe Person wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

One words says it allREMINGTONFor the price it can't be beat. I own a model 1100 and two model 700's

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from Greg Russell wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Great survey. And as for the bias towards certain guns and manufacturers, I wouldn`t own a new Remington if you gave it to me. The quality of the new Remington`s is awful. I`ll take my Browning gold for upland game every day. And as for the inline argument, the inlines are much more reliable and help make cleaner kills, so how can you not be for them? And as to lever actions, PLEASE, If you`ll take a Marlin over the Winchester 94, you ain`t right. And it is the end of an era, and a sad day that Winchester is no longer making the guns they once did.Keep the great surveys comin`, and keep them fair and balanced.

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from Dan Kahle wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Beware the man with one gun, he probably knows how to use it.My one gun used to be a rebarrled Springfield, and now is a All Weather.

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from shg wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

i agree wit dat guy

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

i would like to see that gun shoot 5 rounds in .51 seconds, or even a websight to prove that to me. i dont think you could you can even control that enough to aim. thats a little slow for the m16, but a shotgun?

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Rick, Rick, Rick: So much to reply to. First, I was relieved to see that you did not try to defend the indefensible position taken by those who voted the 870 "the BEST upland shotgun ever made." Second, I defy you to name any pump gunner who can get off "well pointed shots" as quickly "as any other gun style shooter" especially when the Winchester SX2 autoloader has been conclusively proven to fire five shots in .51 seconds. Third, I really take exception to your statement that "the O/U is nothing special." I hunt pheasants with a 12 ga. Beretta Silver Pigeon "S" O/U that is indeed very special not only because it is lightweight (6.8 lbs.), but because it is well-balanced and points beautifully, not to mention very pleasing to the eye. When comparing it to the 870, you would do well to remember the old saying: "Life is too short to hunt with a heavy gun or an ugly gun." Light weight is especially important in the field since field guns are carried much more than they are shot. The Beretta's "Gel-Tek" recoil pad practically eliminates felt recoil. Furthermore, the bore axis of both barrels sits very low in the receiver thereby placing the bottom barrel (which is usually fired first) directly above the palm of the hand. Don't even get me started about the advantages of the luxury of having two barrels with different chokes. There are simply too many to discuss here. Finally, I do agree that the best place for an 870 is the bottom of a waterfowl canoe, not carried for 5 or 6 hours in the field.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Ouch! The slam against the pump in general has a tint of elitism to it that I don't think Mr. Kubic meant. My experience is that a good pump gun man can indeed get well pointed shots off just as quickly in the game fields as any other gun style shooter. And while they indeed have faded away in competition, I've seen plenty of deadly skeet shots and winning scores in times past delivered with the pump. While I can make some stong positive points about the SxS as a game gun, when one takes the oneupmanship factor out of the O/U equation and looks objectively at handling dynamics, the O/U is nothing special. There are darn few readily available variations of the O/U that handle and point as naturally as a good SxS, but then a good SxS game gun can easily cost even more than many O/Us. First of all, most readily available models aren't all that light to carry, and if they are, will pound the shooter more than an auto. While much is made of "between the hands balance" that's a bit misleading. If too much of the weight is around the receiver, the gun lacks momentum and doesn't swing smoothly, and many O/U guns have this problem (thats a big reason why the trend back to longer barrels is happening in Sporting Clays. One problem with natural pointing is that any magazine gun and most O/U designs have the barrels high above the palm of the forend hand. ( A greater barrier to natural pointing and a contributor to canting the gun than the low sitting SxS.) Lastly, some hunting such as duck and geese time is in some darn nasty weather and I'd much rather have an 870 as my "bottom of the canoe" gun than a gun too spendy to not worry over.

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from James Kubik wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Survey respondents who named the Remington 870 as "the best upland shotgun ever made" must be blue-collar types or rednecks who never tried anything else because they couldn't afford a better gun. Upland hunters with wider experience and fatter wallets would choose, hands down, a lightweight over and under or side by side with an autoloader a close second pick. Furthermore, most hunters don't have the skill to get off a quick and accurate second (or third) shot at an upland bird with any pump shotgun.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I was called away before I could edit myself on my last comments, but to sum up, there are good specimens and sometimes poor ones regardless of which "ol Betsy" trips your trigger, and truely bad designs seldom survive long in the market. Dave's survey and the resulting article represents more accurately what is popular, and while there is overlap, that is a different thing than what is "best". I think the Beretta 391 is a great gun and I simply love mine, but I'm also not willing to proclaim that those who disagree don't have their points. For example, as a grouse hunter I dislike the safety location on the 391 because it can't be reached when holding the gun in one hand when parting branches in thick cover. (To Beretta and Benelli's credit however, their reversable safety is a boon to us left handers and I have had an issue with Remington after they lawyerized their position on left hand aftermarket safeties and refused to honor any warranty unless the conversion was done by an authorized smith...I hoard a couple of left hand Remington safeties that have been in and out of guns as they pass through my possession.) My personal limited experience with the Benelli hasn't been great so far, but if my "fix" for sluggish operation proves itself, I'm willing to bet it too will be a favorite. While I agree with the majority that overall the 870 is reliable and versatile; to the fellow that asked, the first buck I ever shot in 1969 was with the Sears version of the Winchester 1300 (1200), and as he ran past me at about 30 ft. I pumped off 5 shots so fast that my companion said it sounded like a machine gun (The first shot killed the deer, but in my excitement because it was the first buck I ever saw, I hit him four more times before he had the chance to fall down). It was my sole gun for several seasons while in college and because it came with a polychoke, I used it for everything and never a problem, but as a lefty, I had some slowness getting to the safety and eventually traded it off for an ancient Fox double, which despite a bajillion guns to follow, I still own. (I mention this to mollify the SxS lovers) Back to Remington, it sounds like they too have realized it is time to move past the 1100/1187, and I'll reserve final opinion until the new gun gets into the hands of shooters, but my initial sense is that while the new gun might come close to catching up with Beretta and Benelli, Remington didn't do enough. For example, the new gun will cost MORE than the B guns. While they shaved about 3/4 of a pound off the old models and correctly did so in the middle of the gun to make it more lively in the hand, it will still weigh about the same as my Montefeltro at 7lbs.; lacks the very desireable adjustable stock spacers that are near standard on the B guns, despite the hype about bottom feed/eject being left hander friendly I've seen no mention of the safety issue, and lastly, Benelli is already on the market with a gun that weighs a full pound less than the new Remington and has the stock spacer, and reversible safety. (Aside, the old belief about the need for a heavy gun to soak recoil will take some re-thinking with these newer and oh so soft shooting autos.) Although I have owned all the various popular "deer" rifles and action types and been a competition hi-power shooter, as a once a year deer hunter and sometimes taking 5 per season, I do not count myself qualified to comment on any "mine is better than yours" regarding rifles. Having used old time Winchesters (40-82, 38-55) more modern lever guns 30-30- ,32 spcl .444, .308, hot stuff .264WM, 7mm, 300Win, and the standards 30-06, ,270, .280. plus taken deer with single shots B-78, No.-1 etc., I have never quite got the logic over the passion some have for spendy rifles. In fact, today I don't even own one (sorta, as I have a "Pocket rifle" folding stock Contender carbine in 7-30 Waters that goes in my back pack for those days when I plan to hike and stalk all day, but have a good magnum handgun as the main shooter on my belt. And frankly, I'm so impressed with the capabilities and range of a rifled bore shotgun and sabot ammo, there is little need for a rifle (in the places I hunt, the furthest shot I've ever taken a deer was 175 yards, and that deer dropped with one shot from a scoped 870). So my experiences with shotguns and handguns, simply because there is so much more opportunity to use them in the field and in competition, is greater. As I believe I wrote earlier, I had to sell off a lifetime accumulation of keepers a few years back, and in replacing them I drew on experience; my own needs, and without any "gotta have" bias, ending with 4 shotguns (the fourth is a Citori Superlight), one pocket rifle, a Smith pocket revolver, a mdl 29 deer gun, an Uberti SA .45 (better built and more accurate than a Colt original) for woods loafing, and that just aquired Colt OM-Target .22 for plinking and small game. Were I to compete again in IPSC, I think the fellow I sold my 1911 to will let me buy it back, and for bullseye, I'd try for a Victor or other Hi-Standard. Should I ever get the opportunity to hunt where longer shots were more probable, any old left hand bolt gun will suit me just fine. So, those are my picks based on a LOT of years and a fair amount of objective (I hope) thinking. Of course as the saying goes, "Your mileage may vary." Rick

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from josh salazar wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

mr. young know it all, is right about benellis and berettas. and doule guns are more reliable. (duh jeezes, i would hope a double gun would be more reliable.) i have both, autoloader, and a s/s. my autoloader is the best automatic shotgun ive ever owned. although i used to own a benelli super black eagle. i used it on goose hunting. i lost many birds due to the malfunctioning of this gun. i traded it and got a beretta instead. that beretta will be buried with me. it hasnt failed me yet and as long as its clean, it always will perform. mr. wyrill was not saying that nobody should buy benellis, he was stating experience, from the sound of it. mr. old school should know a 2,000 gun is a little to expensive for a college aged person. maybe when he retires, he might have enough money for something that expensive. why not go out and buy a remington spartan model 210 for only 375 dollars? buy over a couple thousand dollar gun is stupid. mr. galen's INCOMPETENCE IS PERPETUAL. reguarding the subject, your commentary is superfulous, mr. fancy englishman (aka galen).

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from Jackson Landers wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

[Accidentally cut off from the end of the above comment.]...Without marksmanship, your rifle, your traditions and your willingness to defend your country become effectively meaningless. Talking or reading about shooting doesn't make you a better shot. Mikhail Kalashnikov is right - only shooting, shooting and more shooting will produce results. So all of you, please practice shooting more.

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from Jackson Landers wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I find it alarming that only around 36% of hunters fire more than 100 centerfire rounds per year. After ethics and safety, the single most important element of hunting with a rifle is marksmanship. Without marksmanship you have nothing. Find the best spot, invest in gadgets and time and everything else and it is all totally meaningless if you can't shoot the deer in the boiler room when the pivotal moment arrives.I am relatively new to hunting as a past time. Often I have regretted that hunting skipped a generation in my family and that I have had to come to hunting on my own as an adult without any connection to other hunters. Everything I've learned has come from books and personal experience. I know very little about mainstream 'hunting culture.' So in my ignorance I have gotten into the habit of shooting, bare minimum, 60 centerfire rounds and 100 .22 rounds every, weekend rain or shine or snow. I use a surplus Mosin Nagant and a K-98 Mauser for practice allowing me to shoot milsurp ammo for about $.09 per round. I figured that this must be what everybody does.After doing this for months I still have plenty of room for improvement. So I am postively shocked at the notion that most hunters and so-called gun enthusiasts take marksmanship so casually. Don't you guys *like* shooting? What else are the guns for?I implore the readers of Field and Stream to start taking your responsibilities as marksmen seriously. When you wound a deer because you're too lazy or cheap to practice for pie-plate accuracy at 100 yards, you give hunting a bad name. When shots go wild and break a window half a mile away, you give hunting a bad name. A man who would carry a rifle has a duty to learn how to hit what he aims at.We all fancy ourselves to be carrying on a sacred tradition as hunters and gun-owners. We like to think that we are all potential citizen-soldiers; a last-ditch measure of national security in the tradition of the minutemen so long ago. Apparantly only 36% of us are even in the running for such a claim. Without marksmanship, your rifle, your traditions and your willingness to defend your country become effectively meaningless. Talking or reading about shooting doesn't make you a better shot. Mikhail Kalashnikov is right - only shooting, shooting and more shooting will produce results. So all of you, please practice shooting more.

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from Steve Farrell wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Enough already! Which gun anyone slects is just that; the gun THEY select. If what you shoot makes you happy;Great! My hope is that whatever you shoot makes you hit your target and kills clean.I know the survey is centered on firearms and personal choces so where did it get off track whinning about seasons? Talk about special interests!The deer in PA are now hunted from late September through mid-January. Special "green tags" are used year round! There are a few breaks spaced in there but I find it amusing that we have such a debate going on about how many/few deer we have running around yet we whine about having our own special seasons for our own personal choice of weapon.I for one think that there just might be a connection in a reduced sighting of deer since they are now being sought out and shot at for such an extended period of time.Fact: animals being pressured (hunted) for nearly four months straight will, as a species, become much more wary and difficult to encounter. Perhaps that is a factor in declining success rates? I think it is one of the most significant.No favors to any group just a 30 day deer season for all, be better than the others and you will have success. Tough if it's not what we want! The deer should be what matters!

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from Galen Gann wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hey it seems all the argument on shotguns revolves around weapons with a lot of moving parts. I am 65 and have shot double guns (sxs Or ou) 99% of my life starting at age 12 with a LC Smith 12. They are lighter, faster, shorter and a lot more reliable than all of the rest. I shoot league Competion. I find that the auto and pump shooters always drool over the fit, finish and feel of the doubles with never any argument over function.The young Mr know it all should know that PROFANITY IS THE LINGUISTIC CRUTCH OF THE INARTICULATE and keep his dirty little mouth shut about the weapons that someone chooses to shoot.I also shoot a battered Weatherby 270 that has been a death ray for me since the 50s when I put the old 30-30 on the wall, a Ruger #3 in 45-120, (45-70 with the barrel reamed out to the for case) And have been looking for a double rifle or drilling that I could afford for most of my years.The .45 colt round is still a great choice for a hunting pistol.and but the new .357 SIG cartridge is now the best choice for a carry gun. So I am not completly old school.Now get on with the shooting, hunting and keep the F&S magazine handy.

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

ok. everybody knows automatic shotguns need cleaning, and will not perform if it isnt free of powder and all that sticky mess. i have close to 1 million rounds through my beretta 391. when it is clean, by god it works! but if not clean it will not perform as it should. this is typical with any autoloader. a guy should clean his gun after any outing, even if it is a o/u or a pump. that way with proper care like so, it will last a lifetime, and maybe even your childern lives as well.

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

why is it everybody thinks im lying about benelli's? ive been around enough of them to know their limitations. i am from kansas, and i hunt waterfowl in extreme condidions. whether its -10 below zero or raining sleet with 40 mph winds, my beretta performs out in the field, and i stand by that. anyone who thinks that this is "untrue" is perfectly fine. but come hell or high water my xtrema2 automatic shotgun will outperform the rest. my gun cycles with any load, even the lightest trap load. it is the softest shooting gun ive ever shot. (not that recoil affects me much anyways when i shoot.) although Mr. Matt Ousborn is right when he states "no gun is perfect". all guns can and will have their limitaions.

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I agree with Mr. Rappe's statement that jumping to conclusions is a bad idea. However, in my defense, I never made a single negative comment about any gun. Mr. Wyrill calling Benellis a "piece of shit" rather angered me. I have never had any bad experiences with Benellis (though I'll admit my experience is somewhat limited) and I felt I should defend Benellis shotguns. No gun is perfect. I ride for the brand, as the saying goes, and if you want to criticize me for my loyalty, go ahead.

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from Drew Thomas wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

i love the .270win. it is the best caliber ever, and is even better in the awesome Winchester model 70 (the riflemans rifle) it freakin rocks and if you dont like it, you suck freakin butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

there is no where to argu there. u seem to know what you are talking about very well(rick). what is your opinion on the win. 1300? have you owned one before?

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Our young friend is falling into the same trap as do most shooters, and that is forming opinions with insufficient experience. I have seen Benelli's have problems, in fact I just got my first one, and I too have to say it has been less reliable than my Beretta 391 (more in a minute), but I have also owned somewhere around 200 shotguns over a number of decades, and at one time or another, have seen the best of them have occasional problems. But were I to condemn all model 12's because I once had one hang fire on me during a tournament due to a broken spring. I had an 1100 stop working once shooting clays with the now deceased writer and shotgun authority Don Zutz, and just over the last few months of weekend skeet, have seen a new Mossberg drop shells from the magazine onto the ground, had a shooter tell me about his new Beretta 391 failing to feed, and seen several high end O/U guns fail to extract from sub gauge tubes so often that one fellow carried a stick during the round in order to get shells out of his Briley tubes. Shall I keep going? Of 1/2 dozen Colt .22 revolvers of differing vintages, five would group as well as any target automatic, but one was a accuracy dog. Had I based my experience on having just owned the poor one, it would be easy to damn Colts. But I knew better, and last Saturday, needing a .22 revolver for hunting, bought a 1930's vintage Colt Officer's Model target. Shooting it the next day, the first 5 shots with match ammo put 10 shots in a group at 50' that I was able to completely cover with a dime, and the next 10 shots with Remington Thunderbolts had one miss fire and the remaining 9 spread into a 2" cluster. Had I based my opinion of the old Colt on the second group, I would have said the revolver wasn't accurate. I could keep going, but my point is NOT to jump to conclusions based on isolated experience with just a gun or two. As this young man matures, odds are he will come to better understand this. OTOH, my new (used) Benelli worked flawlessly for the first skeet outing. On the second, the action seemed sluggish, and at round 100, it took three times before the bolt would close completely and the gun fire. I stripped the gun and cleaned it well, but week 3 and the problem continued to get worse. I then made a discovery. The gun only began to have sluggish cycling after I'd changed the stock drop spacers. Thinking that might be the problem, I discovered than where the bolt plunger enters the stock was gummed up with fouling. This is deep inside the receiver and hard to get to, and in combination with the gunk, and the new stock angle, the recoil spring cap was dragging. I cleaned it with a Q tip, and backed off on the stock bolt about 1/2 turn. Problem gone. the new stock angle was changing the angle of the tube holding the recoil spring an almost immeasurable amount and in combination with crud in a place few would think to clean, and the gun was binding. I'll make a point of cleaning this area, and expect to never again have an issue

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from Bill Wiley wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Great job on the survey. My Marlin 336 30/30 shoots fantastic. The best lever gun there is.

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from Scott Griffin wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I really enjoyed the survey. It seemed to ask some very pertinent Q's. as for my own gun favorites : hands down the Savage 99 in .308. my wife and I both have and use them. I was beating my own up to much so I switched to a compact Ruger M77 MII in .308. My son uses that one a lot so mostly now I carry my M77 MII in .300 Win Mag. I know that will stop just about anything and in Alaska that is important. I am currently customizing a Ruger model 77 in .280 for my new deer gun. As for handguns I love my Super Blackhawk hunter special in .41 magnum. I call that my super compact deer gun. Shotguns.. no contest- my Mossbergs. We hunt in some really extreme conditions up here and I have never had a Mossberg fail me, period. I do have a Baikal and am impressed with it though. Muszzleloaders? shoot what you want, but if'n you expect a special season then expect to shoot traditional AND take a blackpowder course so that you understand the principles of primitive style hunting and the responsibilty that goes along with it. Thanx S.G.

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from Brian Thair wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Congratulations to Petzal for the best consumer guide ever for rifles & shotguns. I hope to see one on the best intro gun on the planet: the venerable .22 cal. rimfire.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Hmm. Well, if you want a real "primitive" hunt I understand Pennsylvania has instituted an atlatl season (a spear thrown by a wooden lever that increases the energy of the throw).I know enough about MLs from history to know that during the American Civil War there were muzzleloading rifles with scopes.I know enough from listening to guys at the range that the in-line guys spend *lots* of time talking about powder types and amounts, and bullets.And I know enough about hunting to know that stalking skill is integral to any hunter's success, even for those of us using brass cartridge repeaters.If it's just about 'keeping the playground to yourself,' (which is what it seems to be about behind all the window dressing about greater skill in using 'primitive' muzzleloading firearms), then I can't say that I'm all that convinced by the nobility of your cause.

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from JB wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Well Mike, It's really not that simple. Speaking as a traditionalist I would say that the inlines are a dumbed down version of what muzzle loading is all about. Learning to shoot a traditonal muzzleloader requires that you learn what Ned Roberts used to call "the thousand and one things" that an expert rifleman needs to know to get consistent accuracy out of your rifle. The inline guys probably don't do much experimentation with powder type& granulation; bullet casting; patch cutting, material& lubrication; percussion cap size and brand; nipple type; bullet starting and ramming technique; etc., etc., etc.,. Then there's the difference in gun sites. The traditional rifle has sites that require the etheical hunter to get realatively close to the game. This requires learning the stalking skills that will get you a close shot. In- lines are set up with scope sights, flater trajectories, and other features that make them much closer to hunting with a modern bolt gun or breechloading single shot than a traditonal muzzleloader.I think the real issue here with us tradionalists is that muzzleloading big game seasons were started as a primitive weapons hunt where we could go out and try our hand at hunting the same way the old boys did it without being in competion with hunters using modern firearms. Personally I've got nothing against anybody choosing to hunt with an inline, but they shouldn't be doing it during what is supposed to be a primative weapons hunt.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I guess the rancor around here shows that everyone is passionate about something. I wonder why the "traditional muzzleloader" guys imagine themselves a higher life form than the in-line guys? From one who only shoots brass cartridge nitro rounds you all seem to be working under the same basic constraint -- one shot followed by a reload -- so you all have to use the same skills.

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from Tyrel wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I have to say, this survey opened my eyes. I had no idea so many people agree with me. We have long since known that our shooting sports are under attack and I urge everyone who reads this to go recruit 10 new people to the sport. We have to reach out and educate our neighbors and our young children before PETA and Hillary do. Get active! Long Live Field and Stream!

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from John wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Wow, turkey hunters arguing about the best way to kill a turkey, there's something new (please not the sarcasm in my writing). Why don't you both calm down and go pattern in your shotguns for this spring. PS. A cold, wet, and dirty Rem 870 shoots just fine.

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from Dennis wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I hate to disagree with David Petzal but in this case i have to. Having recently aquired a winchester 95 in 30-40 which was made in 1899 and in about 95% This rifle will still shoot under an inch groups at 100 yards with iron site from prone. This isnt the only gun in our collection that can do this since most of them are older marlins, winchesters, 1898 krags. All these guns have iron site all factory and will still outshoot most modern rifles made. We also have modern plastic stocked rifle s that can accomplish the same feat. It all depends on the fellow squeezing the trigger and if the gun has been taken care of. Thanks for such a great magazine

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from RON BILSTEIN wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I REALLY ENJOYED THE GUN SURVEY ! I LIKE PETZAL'S STYLE - HE IS NOT AFRAID TO GIVE HIS OPINION.

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

my family owns land in all different places. mostly in green, christian, counties. i also hunt alot around my house in dallas, hickory, and polk counties. i went to school at skyline.

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Turkey hunting is the art of calling, but as you know, toms often "hang up" at about 75 yards or so and refuse to come closer. I am no Apache, but I have crawled toward turkeys that stop out of range. It is difficult and often ends in failure, but it is possible and I have used this tactic as a last resort. To answer your question, I hunt mostly in southern Camden county and northern Laclede county. How about you?

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

do you think you are some sort of apache indian. that is the sport of hunting turkeys.....to call them in. more like 30 min. before daylight, listen to where they are at, set up in a good spot, and call throughout the morning. no sleeping might i add. an where to hunt is a matter of opinion, cause all them seem to be sucessful, i just have more around the edge of fields. so,, you never told me where you are from, or even where you hunt in the ozarks

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I should have guessed that you are the type of turkey hunter that sits beneath the same tree all morning (which for you probably begins around 9 am) and dozes off frequently as your oppurtunities bypass you. However, I hunt turkeys a bit more actively. You are right in saying that mud and rocks should never touch a gun. But, regrettably, guns are sometimes put through these conditions when belly-crawling through a cedar thicket attempting to get a shot at a tom wandering over a ridge. But I suppose your gun never leaves the cradle of your knees as you sit half-concious beneath your tree. Also, though turkeys are not very vocal or far ranging on rainy days, they do like to find a clearing in which to stand to avoid ruffling their feathers and getting wet whil walking through the woods. Ask anyone who has driven country roads on a rainy day and most will tell you of seeing turkeys standing in pastures. And, the best place to hunt turkeys is where the turkeys are, which could take you to ridge tops, wooded hillsides, hollows, and virtually anywhere else, as well as field edges.

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

age is an issue here. and when you turkey hunt, you dont walk around all that crap. you find a good spot to set in for a clean kill. and, since u seem to think that you are an expert turkey hunter, you should know that they are not very active in the rain, mud should never touch any gun for any reason, and if you hit a rock with your gun, well then your just stupid. turkey guns are not that abused. and where do you come from? cause the best place to turkey hunt is on the edge's of fields and tree lines. oh, and i think you might be alot more biased than mr. wyrill

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from Matt wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I don't think age is an issue here, Mr. Hughes. Anyone who can read can see Mr. Wyrill's lack of respect. Also, the amount of shooting was not the point of my reference to turkey hunting in the Ozarks. My point, as you should well know (being from southwest Missouri), was that turkey hunting around here is very hard on a gun, given the rain, mud, brush, and rocks turkey guns are put through. My Benelli has functioned flawlessly every time I've shot it, even in the worst of conditions. And something I forgot to mention in my earlier post - I don't know where you are from Mr. Wyrill, but around here, if you told a Benelli shooter his gun was a "piece of shit" or that he was a "damn liar," he would put the butt of that Benelli right between your eyes.-Matt

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from William J. Saupe wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Last time I was in deer camp, the arguement was in-line vs. traditional muzzleloaders, so just to "stoke the fire" I showed up with my own home built/modified muzzleloader. When the traditonal guys got on the in-line guys, I jumped aboard. When they got out their guns to show off what a "real" muzzleloader was, I gave them grief because theirs were percussion and mine was flintlock. When a flintlock guy jumped on board with me, I gave him grief because his newfangled peice was "rifled", not a smoothbore like mine. Everybody had a good laugh and settled down, and I went hunting with my "real" T/C white mountain carbine the next morning.

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from layne hughes wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

first off, i dont think a 16 year old should be telling an 18 year old about respect. second, im gonna agree with mr. joe on this because ive got a few friends with benelli's and they always seem to jam up on them at the worst times. also, spring turkey hunting isn't all that much shooting, cause im from southwest missouri, and i turkey hunt with a single shot H&R. for other birds, i shoot a simple win. mod. 1300, which has NEVER jammed on me. so, im my opinion, i would rather flush the money down a poopy toilet, than i would spend on a benelli. what am i getting at, either way, its going to be useless to me.

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from Cole S. wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I have a Winchester 94, and it is a great gun. The only problem is it doesn't have the same long range performance as other rifles like the Winchester model 70. I am buying a Savage because of the new Accu-trigger and they are good guns.

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from Matt Oursbourn wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Mr. Joe Wyrill-Your opinion on Benelli shotguns is not only extremly biased, but also likely untrue. My brother and I both own Benelli Novas and my father owns a Super Black Eagle II. All three of these guns have been put through hell and back during target shooting, upland bird hunting, duck hunting, and most of all, spring turkey hunting in the Ozarks. I have never seen any of these guns malfunction even once. You may know a lot about ballistics for your age, but I am only 16 and I can see that you still have a lot to learn about respect.-Matt Oursbourn

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

another thing about shotguns, how come theres nothing about the Baikal shotguns? (which is now spartan gunworks) these guns are damn good guns at a very cheap price! you get more gun for the money with a gun like this! i own 2 spartan's. a old model of the 1st o/u, and a s/s model 210. those are amazing guns right there. now for hanguns. my all time favorite handgun is the ruger hunter model with a 71/2 inch barrel, in a .41 mag. thats a tack driver up to 200 yds. with a good rest. for an automatic pistol i would take a 1911 colt, government issue. nothing else, especially a damn glock, in a 9 mm. those are stupid. now for my all time favorite rifle is the ruger m77 mkII. its a great gun because of the mauser based action. and we all know how good the '98 mauser action is! i have two m77s. one in a .204 ( which is a tack driver) and the other is a .260. another good gun. well those are my opinions, hope you all enjoy!

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from Joe wyrill wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

im only 18 years old, but i know alot about hunting and shooting for my age. i know more about balistics and types of guns than many older men. (thanks to my dad)but why does everybody think Benelli automatics, (and the nova) are such great reliable guns? i know for a fact benellis are a piece of shit. i shoot a beretta 391. i have not had any problems with it. i have shot it for 3 intense years at sporting clays, and birds. it never fails. most people i know that shoot an automatic, and are berettas. maybe even a browning auto 5 in there somewhere. but the benelli's ive seen a few times and every time i see someone shoot it it jams on them, then they slow up shooting contest and take the gun apart and try and fix it. and it was the middle of the summer!! during the wintertime and jamming i can see that, because everybody knows a pump is better than an automatic in reallly cold weather. sometimes an automatic wont cycle in cold weather. but in the summer, i just have to wonder. a guy tried telling me that benelli shotguns are more reliable than a beretta automatic. i said to his face hes a damn liar. all the berettas ive seen and have always perform. in the poll in the latest issue, i didnt see a single category in the shotguns section the name beretta. whats the deal? at least put it as a choice in the poll! i know what im talking about.

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from Rick Rappe' wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

The mag. just arrived today and this is my first visit here. Not bad Dave. The only criticism is sample bias. In the main these are good choices, but the bias is that so few of the partipants have wide enough experience for their picks to be objective. Rifles? Yes the 700 is a top pick but no better than others in the same price zone. And the Marlin is indeed a better gun than the Winchester. In Shotguns, Yes to the 870 as a widely distributed favorite, but no to the 1100/1187. This statement is partly based on a bunch of personal experience, but for evidence read of those Argentine dove shoots where the only guns to stand the pounding were the Benelli's. I heard tell of one with 2,000,000 rounds through it, and for the last season or two the Beretta 391s are meeting the Benelli challenge. The 1100 is too center of mass heavy. A longer barrel helps some, but the Beretta especially proves a gun doesn't have to be heavy to shoot softly or swing well so long as the weight is well distributed. The 1100/1187 is dated in that it lacks the adjustable stock shim feature of several newer guns too. To be fair, this same too "center heavy" problem afflicts the Over/Under and is exactly why longer barrels are back in popularity. As for the Citori, I have a Superlight 12 with the English stock and in I/C-M is a keeper. But Browning stock dimensions are typically too low, (Ruger too) and if you want to shoot light loads or sub-gauge tubes in a Citori the gun needs an $85 trigger job to adjust the inertia mechanism. There are better O/Us. You were a bit light on handgun questions IMHO, but about the only thing I'd add is that here, there is some old stuff and not just the SAA and 1911 Colts or DA Smiths that were fine tools.Changing subject sort of, as Beretta appears to fast becoming the dominant gun company conglomerate, with arguably great if not the best guns in just about every category, I've not seen anything in print laying out the interrelationships of its various affiliates. How about it?

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from James A Splidsboel wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I have used a remington 700 adl since the early 70's in a 7mm mag and it's the best gun I've ever shot I had the barrel replaced in the late seventy's for a longer barrel.As far as shotguns goes the two I have are both Winchester Super X one trap grade and one in field grade which I also love I have never had any problems with either of them I tend to be a traditionalist

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from JB wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Jezz, that was fun. Hope F&S does this survey on a frequent basis. As a dyed in the wool gunnut of course my choices have to fall in the "other" catagory.My choices would break out as follows:RifleWell this is America, I'm not going to be stuck with just one action type!, so:Bolt Gun...the'98 Mauser hands down. There may be newer, flossier or more accurate guns, but there isn't a tougher, more reliable or safer action out there. I've put many thousands of rounds down range from many a '98 and they all shot and worked great. They've never failed me in the field. The one time I had a case head rupture (surplus ammo), the gas vents worked fine and I wasn't injured. enuff said.Lever guns..Based on the number I own, my vote is for the Marlin. If I had to choose a particular model, I'd go for my old Model '94 rifle in .38-40Single Shot..No contest here...The '74 SharpsShotguns I'd vote for a good sxs that fits its owner. I think that given equal fit and finish what counts is gun fit. I've been shooting a Beretta boxlock for the last 20 years or so, but I can see the day coming when my kid is going to take it over. Then it will be back to either the old Parker or L.C. Smith for the old man.Pistols...Depends on day of the week it is, but overall I'd give the nod to the SAA as made by Col. Colt. However I don't want to be limited to one kind of gun, so it's definitely S&W for double action shooting, and based on amount of shooting I due with various autos, the Luger would come in first for me..it's not completely reliable, but sure shoots where I point.These are simply my own highly prejudiced choices. I'm not knocking anyone else's picks. Afterall there is hardly anything more personal than the guns we shoot and prize.What surprised me about this survey is that fellow gunnuts don't do more shooting. I've made choices in life that have allowed me to live where I can shoot whenever I care to. Right now I've got a 200 yard range on my own property. I might have made more money or driven nicer cars if I lived my life in the city, but it wouldn't have bought me the kind of range and hunting time I've enjoyed. If you're young and serious about shooting it's something to think about.

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from Ed Stang wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

One wife at a time. That's what is socially acceptable. No such rules on guns!

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from Ed Stang wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

One wife at a time. That's what is socially acceptable. No such rules on guns!

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from Jack Bohm wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I think the Ruger M-77 deserved its place in the list. I have one myself- an allweather model in .270Win. I love it. Its accurate, and it does't beat the daylights out of me.

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from Jack Bohm wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Remember this: You CAN NOT trust ANY Gun Control Advocate. According to one I talked with recently, we hunters have no need to own a Semi-Auto of any type. According to this er, individual, We shouldn't be allowed to own such a gun. Banning one type of gun is just the first step in banning all guns.

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from Jack Bohm wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

I use a Ruger 77 All Weather in .270 for whatever I can.

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from Tishomongo wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

OK, Woodmanship and hunting and nut gathering, use Semi-Auto, M1, 7400 as in Rifles. Sweat lodge and Camp/out for 3 weeks or more and use a good rifle like the winchester 1886 in 40-82 or a Fox or parker on fowl and squirrels. Most of the newer rifles are set up for cheap and fast machining. Bolt actions like Bodding likes to claim is not the best. Calibers of 6.5 mm and .338 have good sectional densiy with the .308 a compromise in the middle. I use 6.5 Ariska on every thing up to big fat bears and the .338 on large game like brown bears and large Pigs. I think large wild Pigs are more dangerious than Grizzle. Hunt everything from Bow to Muzzle loader to modern, here the season goes from Oct 1 to January 7. Use camo and Rit dye the body green and put on Oak ash and Mud with sticks and go naked with nothing more than leaves, with the Red hat you pass for a wood pecker!

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from Kris Wittlieff wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

Every gun owner needs to realize that what ever gun you choose to shoot matters. It does not matter who you are, a "shooter" is a shooter. Do not criticize another for thier choice of gun!

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from Dan Herd wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

The Remington 700 won not just because it works but because it is superbly accurate out of the box. Ask around at any range, it has that reputation and lives up to it.I wish you would have surveyed 22's, they are widely used hunting guns too.

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from Tom Brackett wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

There is nothing like walking through the woods on a crisp, Fall morning with my flint lock squirrel rifle doing what I enjoy best. I hope I never reach a time when I can't do this anymore. I am a traditionalist.

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