Since we already talked about economizing by downsizing hunting vehicles this week, today’s topic is the right and wrong way to spend money to save money. It is also tangentially about the versatility of the 12 gauge, one of the main reasons it is by far my favorite gauge.

My gun club, which is very skeet friendly, attracts a lot of reformed trapshooters. I shot with one the other day. He had a nice 12 gauge Browning Citori skeet gun but he was very interested in the Citori 725 I was shooting.

“Does that come in a 20 gauge? Now that I’m hooked on skeet I guess I need a 20 gauge O/U.”

“Why?” I said.

“Then I can save money for it by reloading. I won’t use as much shot.”

“Wait a minute. You want to buy a new gun to save money?”

“Yeah, I’ll need a new loader, too. I have a MEC 9000 in 12 gauge and I’ll get one for 20.”

Now, I realize it’s part of the Gun Nut Code to encourage people to buy new guns whether they need them or not, but he seemed like a nice guy, times are tough, and he was planning to spend $3000 to save about .60 in lead shot costs per box of shells by dropping down from a 12 gauge, 1 1/8 ounce load to a 20 gauge, 7/8 ounce load. He would have to load about 50,000 shells before he paid off his investment in a new gun and loader.

“Try these,” I said, giving him a double handful of my 1200 fps, 7/8 ounce 12 gauge reloads to try. He shot a few targets. His eyes got a big. “These don’t kick at all!” he said.

“Can I load these with my MEC?”

“Well, you will need a new 7/8 ounce charge bar,” I said. “It will cost you $12.”

When you’re spending money to save money, less is more.