Lessons Learned

Having walked this earth for a half century I’ve learned a few things. I’ve spent lots of time in classrooms and in various labs being instructed but the best lessons I learned the hard way. My Grandfather was a good teacher but he went about the task in kind of a hillbilly way, like when he suggested I pee on the electric fence.

One of the best lessons Grandpa taught me was not to screw around with a hornet’s nest. We were at our hunting camp and I was throwing rocks at a huge bald-face hornet nest under the eve. (For the record, nothing stings like a bald-face hornet.) He repeatedly told me to stop. I didn’t. Finally I scored a hit and here they came. I had a plan; it was to run around front and go in that door. But, when I got there, Grandpa had the screen door latched and was standing there with a smile. The hornet hit me right in the ass. Since then I’ve taken great care with the stringing kind.

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Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and a cousin. Circa – 1960. I had good teachers!

Here are a few other lessons I’ve learned that you might find of some benefit.

 

1. If you have to use a public restroom the first thing to do when you enter the stall is to make sure there is plenty of toilet paper. For the same reason, it’s always a good idea to wear socks and carry a knife no matter where you go.

 

2. Examples of one mean nothing. A single three shot group that‘s astoundingly small does not translate to a tact-driving rifle. And, just because you shot a deer once with a .243 and it ran 100 yards does not mean the .243 is not a good deer cartridge. Sometimes the gun gods shine on us, sometimes they don’t.

 

3. The harder a gun kicks, the harder it is to shoot well. This applies to all guns and all shooters.

 

4. Most women hunters do not care about foot-pounds, feet per second or bullet weight. Women hunters have learned something most men try to circumvent with technology, numbers, and theory and that’s that shot placement matters most.

 

5. Everybody is right because everyone’s opinion is guided by his or her perception and reality is 90% perception. If you want to change minds and win arguments you must be able to alter perception.

 

6. Kids like learning to shoot but only when it is relatively easy and fun. Start them off with a red dot sight and reactive targets. The red dot requires the least effort and kids like to see things explode, pop, or burst apart.

 

7. When selecting a defensive handgun for everyday carry, priority number one is to choose one you will carry, priority number two is that it must be reliable and priority number three is that you learn to shoot it. Beyond that the argument gets deep in the weeds.

 

8. Watching videos makes you lazy, reading makes you smart, and hard work builds character. This is why some folks are just plain worthless.

 

9. Don’t waste time trying to keep squirrels out of bird feeders. If you are serious about it, shoot them.

 

10. Finn Aagaard, Jeff Cooper and Towsend Whelen were 100% right in what they wrote about 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time they were completely wrong. This should be considered a monumental achievement; modern gun writers – me included – run about 50-50.

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Nice group. But, will it do it every time? This rifle would. (Photo taken in 1983. Remington 700 ADL in .270 Win. My first deer rifle.)

Which of these lesson do you agree with? (Check all that apply.)

  • Public restrooms. (11%, 41 Votes)
  • Shot placement. (11%, 40 Votes)
  • Defensive handguns. (10%, 38 Votes)
  • Teaching kids to shoot. (10%, 38 Votes)
  • Examples of one. (10%, 37 Votes)
  • Perception. (10%, 36 Votes)
  • Recoil. (10%, 35 Votes)
  • Videos, reading and hard work. (9%, 34 Votes)
  • Squirrels. (9%, 34 Votes)
  • Gun writers. (9%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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