Questions: Buying used guns. Bears on the move.

I have an opportunity to purchase an old Remington Model 58 pump shotgun (hardly used) with an extra barrel for $200. Should I buy it?

Field & Stream Online Editors

Q: I have an opportunity to purchase an old Remington Model 58 pump shotgun (hardly used) with an extra barrel for $200. Should I buy it?

A: I have current versions of every significant used-gun book on the market, and I can find no reference to a Remington Model 58 pump shotgun. Remington's very first pump was sometimes known as the Model 1908; is this what you're talking about? If it is, then $200 is a fair price, especially with an extra barrel.

Be aware that American shotguns made before 1930, even if made of modern steel, often have short chambers that can create excess pressure with modern ammo. Take it to a gunsmith to find out. He shouldn't charge more than $10 for the measurement.

Whether you should buy it or not depends on several things: How badly do you want it? Have you paid your rent? Do you have $200? In other words, it's up to you.

Q: We've never had bears down here in Montross, Virginia, but since last year there have been six to seven bear sightings, dogs have been eaten, and people are being chased. Why did the bears all of a sudden decide to come here?

A: Probably because they're hungry. Black bears have been on the increase in most of the East for a while now, but they normally don't venture into town unless they're looking for food. This can be caused by drought (which reduces the amount of acorns, berries, and other natural food in the woods), or by people feeding bears.

Feeding wild bears is always a bad idea, even if they're hungry, because no matter how cute bears look while chowing down on your leftover linguine, they become accustomed to being fed, and they get used to being around people. They sometimes get peeved if they don't find food in a backyard, so they kill pets and will even attack people. Eventually such "trouble" bears (that people created) end up getting killed themselves by a local police officer or game warden.