On more than one occasion, I’ve seen hurtful comments on this blog to the effect that I am some kind of bloated plutocrat with enough dough to buy any gun that catches my fancy. What are you people thinking? If I had big bucks I’d be partying with Paris Hilton or hunting Ovis poli in Mongolia, or whatever it is rich people do.

Fact: I possess very few firearms. At a gun writers’ seminar last fall, the discussion turned to numbers of guns owned and I had to fake an attack of abulia and leave the table, lest I be humiliated. Some of those guys own hundreds. One of my colleagues owns more .220 Swifts than I own rifles.

Fact: It is a tradition that the shooting editors of Field & Stream and Outdoor Life use custom rifles. Jack O’Connor would have slit his wrists if he had to hunt with anything that wasn’t made by Al Beisen. Warren Page did not show up unless he could bring his Mashburn. Bob Brister did not go to a
Sporting Clays shoot without a Perazzi. Jim Carmichel dotes on his David Miller and Gary Goudy rifles. Can I do less?

Roy Weatherby made his name by selling rifles to celebrities, but he told me once that most of his customers were hunters of average means who decided to break the bank and get one really fine rifle. Or several. And that he valued them more than anyone else.

So give up crystal meth, or beer, or poker, or whatever makes you temporarily happy and save your money. You will find out, as I have, that you can own a gun or two that makes others grind their teeth with envy. And in the meantime, pick up a copy of my new book, A Hundred and One Ways to Cook with Government Cheese. I need the money.