Hunters Should be Proficient With Two Hunting Firearms
Kevin Felts 12.11.19
Ask any hunter what his favorite gun is and chances are there will be rapid fire answers. Whether it is a Savage, Remington, Marlin, Mossberg, or Ruger, everyone who shoots or hunts has a favorite “old reliable.”
Can we blame someone for having a preferred firearm? Of course not, as we all have one. Some of the readers may be wondering what the problem is? When our preferred firearm is in the need of repairs, we pick up another firearm that we may less-proficient with.
Some of the readers may be asking “Well Kevin, what’s the issue with being less proficient?” That means we may be less familiar with the operation and accuracy of the firearm as compared to “old reliable.”
So, how do we fix the problem? We spend time shooting our backup firearm. When we go to the range maybe bring our backup firearm and spend time shooting it. Another suggestion would be to leave old reliable at home and take the backup to the range or the hunting lease.
On a recent trip to a local shooting range (sand pit in a rural area) the Marlin 336 rifle I wanted to take hunting malfunctioned. While the Marlin was down for the count, I picked up my Remington model 700 and it never missed a step. The Remington 700 had been in my collection since the mid-1990s and had been used to harvest numerous deer over the decades. I was very familiar with how the 700 operated.
This does not just apply to rifles, but also shotguns as well. The Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 operate entirely differently. The slide release and safety are in different locations. The 870 has a cover that helps keep crud out of the bottom of the action, while the 500 does not. People who are used to loading the 500 may find it awkward to load the 870.
So while it is fine to have an affection for ‘old reliable,’ let’s not forget that a firearm is a mechanical device that can break. Relying too heavily on one single firearm could have a negative impact on our performance in the field. Next time you head to the shooting range, maybe pick up something besides your preferred rifle and spend some time with it.