Some of the questions you asked in the post of March 18th were so good I feel compelled to answer them without further delay or, as we say in Latin, sine die. If I did not choose your question to answer here, it’s probably because it would take too many words or because I don’t like you. Oh, and by the way damo450, avoid men carrying nets unless you want to go for an unscheduled vacation.
Q: How could Phil and I descend to doing television, since we are print guys, and better than that?
A: Easy; they paid us.
Q:** Whatever happened to the full-length feature article?
A: It went the day of the passenger pigeon in the mid-90s.
Magazines don’t have the space to do them any more because they can’t make enough money to publish the number of pages it takes.
Q: What is the proper way to cycle a bolt-action rifle?
A: With considerable violence. That’s what they’re designed for.
Q: Other than looks, was/is there a purpose for Mannlicher stocks?
A: Yes. To make gunsmiths rich trying to get rifles cursed with them to shoot.
Q: How long can I store smokeless powder?
A: If the canister is sealed, and it’s in a cool, dry place, just about forever. It does go bad, but in 50 years of handloading, I’ve never seen it happen.
Q: Is that a rug on your head?
A: No. If it were a rug, it would have a hell of a lot less gray in it.
Q: Why do so many people keep using the .30/30 when there are so many better deer cartridges around?
A: Because it works. You can’t do better than that.
Q: Why does the military still use brass casings? Why not something lighter?
A: A great many military casings are steel, covered with a copper or tin wash to prevent rust. Aside from that, because brass is still the best thing around.
Q: Will you answer my Booth Babe questions?
A: I can’t. They don’t let me near the Booth Babes. The young guys do all that stuff.
Q: Should the military drop the .223 as its primary infantry cartridge?
A: Not practical; we have far too much invested in it. Also, we are already a three-cartridge military (.223, .308, and .50 BMG) and will likely stay that way.
Q: What do you think is a good survival knife?
A: The Marine Corps Ka-Bar is just as good today as it was in 1942.
Q: Are you really a grouch, or do you have to act like one when you become a gun writer?
A: I really am one, and no, it’s not required. A number of my colleagues are extremely nice guys and as cheerful as you could want. The hell with them.
Q: How do I avoid firearms harassment when I fly?
A: Ship your gun ahead UPS, and insure the living hell out of it.
Q: What is your idea of a reasonable and fair gun law?
A: No gun law at all. I believe that if all 25,000 were swept away tomorrow it would make absolutely no difference in the crime rate or anything else.
Q: Is it better to pull the trigger with the tip or the first joint? Also, do you prefer to squeeze it or slap it? The trigger, that is.
A: I use the first joint for anything heavier than 2 pounds; for the real light ones, use the tip. I prefer slapping to squeezing. Triggers, that is.