Rifles photo

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Black rifles are selling faster than manufacturers can put them together right now. Partly out of fear of possible new gun laws, and partly just because, everybody is buying them – everybody but me and my friend Tommy Akin, a gentleman and duck hunter from Tennessee.

“The day I turned mine in I swore I’d never shoot one again,” says Tommy, who served as a forward observer in Vietnam.

Me, I can’t afford to feed a black rifle. They go through ammo the way the furnace in our drafty old farmhouse burned propane. As the gun manager at one local store told me: “People come in here and buy a new AR and one 20 round box of ammunition. I tell them, that box will last you two minutes. Buy more.”

Last weekend, because the weather warmed up a little and my friend Nathan had recently bought a S&W AR carbine, my son John and I met him at the range. I brought 100 rounds of ammo, Nathan had 50. We punched paper, broke a spinner target, then we made little snowmen and shot them. It took us an hour to go through all our ammo.

Shooting a black rifle is like eating Lays potato chips; you can’t stop. They are fun, accurate, don’t kick, and before you know it, you’ve sent $100 worth of ammunition downrange with a few twitches of your trigger finger. And that is why I’m not buying one.

On a side note, snowmen are the greatest reactive targets ever. Snow is a free, endlessly reusable, biodegradable, environmentally friendly target medium. And, snowmen blow up beautifully when you shoot them.

* * *

I watched “Appaloosa” last night, which was pretty good. One of my favorite actors, Ed Harris, stars as Marshall Virgil Cole, and Viggo Mortensen plays Everett Hitch, Cole’s 8-gauge toting sidekick. Based on a novel by Robert B. Parker of Spenser fame, “Appaloosa” is full of great, pithy dialogue.

At one point a brief gunfight leaves four bad guys dead and Cole and Hitch on their backs, bleeding in the dust.

Hitch: “That didn’t last long.”
Cole (weakly): “Everybody could shoot.”