I was re-reading some of Cooper’s comments last night and I found where he hypothesized that we have too many rifle cartridges at our disposal. I’ve heard this from other shooters and it always boggles my mind. When is having too many a bad thing?
I’ve heard it said that the only time you can have too much ammunition is when you fall in the ocean or when you are on fire. I’d add that if vampires or undead unicorns are chasing you, too much ammo on your person might be a bad thing. Course, when they recovered your body they could dig it out of a pile of brass.
As a side note, at a campfire argument one night a fiend suggested that’s how he wanted to go; in a pile of brass. Another suggested they find his tortured body in a brothel. I tend to be a bit more nostalgic like Stonewall and would prefer to “…cross over the river and rest under the shade…”
But back on topic; how could having a lot of rifle cartridges to choose from be a bad thing? Sure, truth told most of us could make it through the rest of our shooting lives with a .22 LR and a .308 Winchester. If you insist on talking big nasty beasties well then, add the .375 to that list and you’re done. But a large part of shooting and guns is not necessarily rooted in practicality and at the same time, varied guns and cartridges give us a vehicle with which to express our individuality.
If that’s not reason enough consider that if you only need three cartridges then you only need three rifles. I’m sorry but unless it comes down to me against the invading hoards, I like that idea of lots of different rifles and cartridges to tinker with. That is what I do!
I have a .22 but sometimes I like to squirrel hunt with a .22 Magnum. I also have a .308 but I like to deer hunt and prowl the veldt with a .250 Savage, a .30 Remington AR and even a .35 Whelen. When I was young my father demonstrated that the .243 Winchester is every bit the deer rifle as is the .30-06 and I can’t imagine not having one to shoot now and again…even if I have a .250 Savage and a .25-45 Sharps. I’ve also have an on an off affair with the .264 Winchester Magnum. I can’t explain it but it’s a fact. And, I don’t have a .375 H&H but I do have a Marlin 1895 in .45-70 and inside 150 yards it will do anything a .375 will when loaded with the right bullets. And, let us not forget the .223 Remington, which might be the most useful centerfire utility cartridge of all time.
Around that same campfire where we were discussing how to die, the topic of rifle cartridges came up like it does at every hunting camp campfire. I said I want them all except for the ones I don’t like and that’s when another friend said you are obviously a devoted husband.
Well, yes, he was correct but I aksed, “Why do you say that?”
He finished off his bottle of beer, crossed his legs and leaned back in his chair and said, “Its simple really. When men are single they only have one or two rifles because they spend all their money on multiple women; they want them all. When they get married they only spend their money on the woman they love and all the extra cash – if they have any – goes to rifles, because, they want them all.”
I thought about it for a bit and decided my friend just might be right, and that I wanted to stay married because I cannot stand the thought of spending the rest of my life with only one rifle!
As an afterthought, if there were only a couple rifle cartridges it would surely simplify my dreams / nightmares. It seems every time I get into a gun battle I have the right rifle and the wrong ammo. Just last night I was fighting it out with rabid wolves and was trying to shove .25-45 Sharps handloads into a .243 Winchester! In the end, I pulled a S&W .357 revolver and shot a nasty looking wolf in the face six times. Obviously, I was using the wrong bullet because I had to run away…Good thing I wasn’t carrying too much ammo.