Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks from our Tokyo lodgings to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!  Housekeeping note:  While Mrs. Animal and I are here in the Land of the Rising Sun, our various bits of totty (Blue Monday, Hump Day, Rule Five Friday) will reflect that location, although Saturday Gingermageddons will continue as usual.  Enjoy!

Remember last week’s Rule Five Friday?  At the end of that post I asked for your thoughts, and blogger pal Andrew from the Barking Moonbat Early Warning System blog replied with some thoughts on the origins of the Tacticool movement:

3. There is no good looking hardwood left in the USA. Plastic guns don’t need any. The skills of inletting, hand checkering, and stock fitting are nearly lost until you get into the rich guy custom rifle market.

3a. Nobody wants to treat their guns with respect anymore either. So let’s buy the All Weather flat black plastic wondergun, then leave it out in the rain or in the mess in the back of the truck.

4. It costs very little to spray and bake some finish onto a chunk of steel. Highly polished blueing takes time and skill.

5. Americans are pussies recoil sensitive. Anything with more zoot than a .243 is frightening and scary to shoot. Also, they’re weak, and always pushing for lighter and lighter rifles (which recoil harder) to put in the trunk of their ATV to carry out to the shooting range where they only shoot off the bench from the seated position. Just about the best real world hunting cartridge ever made, the .358 Winchester, languishes in obscurity. Too much recoil!!! But few can be bothered to roll their own, and make light loads with soft cast bullets, which also drop deer like magic at realistic woods ranges and have very little recoil.

6. Americans bought Roy Weatherby’s BS hook line and sinker, and continue to worship muzzle velocity as the ultimate firearms panacea. Therefore they “need” 3400fps to go into the woods and shoot a deer at 80 yards or less.

So a big factor may be the loss of the art in pursuit of mammon, and another factor may be that men are an awful lot softer than they used to be.

The comments on the .358 Winchester are particularly apt.  This fine old cartridge was one of the best woods hunting rounds ever devised, being just the .308 Winchester case with the next expanded to take a .358 bullet.  It hit like a sledgehammer and would put down big north woods whitetails with great reliability out to about 200 yards.  Out our way it was popular for dark-timber elk, as well.

When was the last time you saw a rifle for sale chambered for the .358 Winchester?

But comments 3 and 4 catch my eye in particular, as they call attention to a general loss of personal craftsmanship in firearms.  Readers of these virtual pages will know of my affection for old Winchester and Browning shotguns.  Therein lies a good example; take an old Belgian-made Auto-5, run the bolt back and let it go forward.  Those old actions are smooth, like glass.  Now try the same with a new manufacture gun; they feel gritty.

The times they are a’changin’, folks, and not altogether for the better.  It’s true that optics and projectiles have improved a great deal in the 40+ years I’ve been messing about with various shooting irons. but the overall craftsmanship hasn’t improved; it has instead become an expensive luxury.

Maybe that is part of the genesis of the tacticool movement.  There’s some logic to the thought, and that’s for sure and for certain.