I’m the Devil, the 30-06 sucks, and don’t drop your SIG.

Last week NRA’s American Hunter published an article on their website titled, “The 30-06 Sucks.” I wrote that article. In less than a week, all over social media I have been branded as just about every bad thing a human could be. The NRA has received demands that I be fired, and I’ve received death threats.


The 30-06 Sucks – NRA American Hunter

One reader messaged me to make sure I was OK, after all the stuff being said about me. I assured him I was, and that if what folks said about me worried me, I’d have never written the article or became a cop.

Actually, what I’m really worried about is the emotional state of the folks who left the hundreds of thousands of comments. The idea that a human could be so emotionally attached to an inanimate object is kind of frightening. Imagine what would have happened if the article had been, “Ford trucks suck.” (They do by the way, and so does Pepsi Cola.)

I stand by the article and the facts that support my conclusion/opinion. An African professional hunter friend of mind likes to use the phrase, “the big thing is,” and I’ll borrow it in here. The big thing is, if you shot 10 elk with a 30-06 and 10 elk with a 308 Winchester, using the same bullet, and then conducted an autopsy of every animal; you could not tell which cartridge killed which bull.


Would a 30-06 have killed this bull at 320 yards just like the 308 did. Sure. But, the undeniable fact is that the rifle would have been longer, weighed more, and kicked harder.

The other thing is, I’d recounted the story of an uncle whom everyone in the family despised. I shared that his love for the 30-06 prejudiced me against it. Many of the commenters said that was a “silly” reason to not like a cartridge. But the truth is – and the underlying message of the article was – that’s as good a reason as any to not like any cartridge.

If you don’t like a cartridge because its 100 fps slower than another, that’s fine by me. It won’t matter unless you’re shooting at distances where you can’t hit anything anyway. If you don’t like a cartridge because it has Winchester instead of Remington on the headstamp, that’s just fine too. It still does not matter. And, if you don’t like a cartridge because your wife’s x-boyfriend used it to kill a bunny rabbit bigger than the one you killed, hell, that’s even a better reason.

We have so many cartridges that essentially do the same thing, pick one you like – for any reason at all – and learn how to shoot. 260 Remington, 308 Winchester, 270 Winchester, or even the over rated 7X57, for the true rifleman it will make no difference.


Cartridge choice is really not that important. It’s mostly a personal thing and that’s really how it should be.

Sadly, the political correctness overcoming our nation has slipped into the world of guns. It’s just not acceptable anymore to state facts, because someone will get their feelings hurt. Fortunately for me some guy on the Internet realized that if you drop a SIG P320 a certain way it just might go bang. That little gem of a video might have saved me from some lunatic trying to attempt an exorcism.

The lesson here is, regardless of who made it, don’t drop you handgun on a hard surface. There will be, and always has been, the potential for something bad to happen.

I still think the 30-06 sucks. For most stuff it’s too much, and for what little is left, it’s not enough. If that hurts your feelings to the point you gotta go ballistic – yes, pun intended – dude, you need serious help. Oh, and by the way, cartridges don’t have feelings.

Rifle School and the Professor


Rifle school. I’m not talking about a rifle school where you learn to shoot; I’m talking about a school where you learn how a rifle works. I’m not sure a school like this actually exists but because I have a friend who could be the lead professor of that school, I’m unofficially enrolled.

You see, about once a month I come across something about a rifle I do not understand. This usually results in a call to telephone number (304) 292-0600. That’s the direct line to New Ultra Light Arms in Granville, WV and when you call that number Melvin Forbes answers. We talk about the kids, the weather, if the beans in the garden are ready to pull…and then we get to the rifle question.


When you call Melvin Forbes, be prepared to take notes.

This happened today, like it usually happens about every 30 or so, and about halfway through an explanation of pure logic – logic so simple no one seems to ever think of it – I stopped Melvin and said, “Do you know the difference between you and everyone else making rifles?” I then answered the question for him, “You operate on the principle of how the rifle is made, everyone else operates on the theoretical concept of what they believe works.”

To quote Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” 

Melvin builds rifles on a centerline he can control with the machinery he uses. Everyone else builds rifles and tries to incorporate procedures and features that have – been deemed through examples of one – to enhance performance. Melvin does not mess with foolishness like 11° target crowns or fluted barrels, because regardless of how much you might think these things help rifles shooter better and weight less, they cannot be accomplished with the perfection needed to meet the centerline requirements Melvin demands.


Melvin Forbes at his workbench.

This is of course one of the reasons his rifles have never been successfully copied, even with stolen technology. It is the reason serious rifle folk like me own multiple rifles built by Melvin. And, it’s the reason there is not a better example of a lightweight sporting rifle available for purchase. Building rifles is not just about building what is cool and en vogue, it is about the meshing of the tools used, to the steel being crafted, into a finished product.


Impala ram, 330 yards from seated position, NULA model 20 in 243 Winchester.

I don’t know if Melvin will let you enroll in his “rifle school” that really even does not exist. But I do know that if you call him and ask about ordering a rifle, and ask about why he does this and that, the way that he does, he will tell you. The education you can receive about rifles, just by ordering a rifle from Melvin Forbes, is worth the price you will pay to get the pinnacle of bolt-action rifle exceptionalism.


The professor with someone’s graduation certificate.

The conversations you’ll have with Melvin during the ordering and building process is the education, the invoice you receive is the tuition, and the rifle he builds you is the graduation certificate.