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Re: [at-l]Safety - Guns?

Peter J Lascell wrote:

> Bucky (below) seems to encourage "live fire" along the trail....

> If you don't know how to safely handle and fire a gun for accuracy before
> you leave on the trail, don't take a gun.

Nowhere did I either state or imply that one should learn these
skills on the trail.

>                                            Don't expect to practice along
> the way either.  A gun owner (especially hand gun owners) should expect
> to "practice" 4 time a year and shoot up a 50 round box of bullets each
> time.  If you can't afford the time or money to do that, then you are a
> hazard to yourself, your family and those around you.

Hmmph. As with any martial art, defensive pistolcraft contains
skills that deteriorate with time. Maintaining one's proficiency
requires periodical practice. 

While basic gun handling, presentation and trigger control can
be adequately reinforced with dry-fire practice, live-fire is
the only way to effectively maintain other skills, such as
marksmanship, recoil management and malfunction drills.

And that doesn't mean slow-firing a box of ammunition into a
B-27 every three months, either. 

>                                                        It is strongly
> recommended these "practice" sessions happen on a firing range.   There,
> SAFETY rules have been established, others are on hand usually to offer
> advise or assistance, and because of the expectation of gun fire noise,
> you are not trying to hide from the public around you.

Concentration and the four rules are all you need to safely
practice solo. If you need a R.O. looking over your shoulder,
you're not adequately trained.

Furthermore, the "safety rules" that are established at many
public ranges tend to prohibit the very skills you need to
practice (e.g. no rapid fire, no drawing from concealment,
ammunition limited to range loads, etc.). This is not to say
that these prohibitions aren't there for good reason (mostly
it's liability), but it makes serious defensive shooting practice

Not being a thruhiker, nor one who would likely take a firearm
on a thruhike, I will admit that I haven't given any thought as
to exactly how and where one would practice during a thruhike.
It would, of course, depend greatly on local custom and law. I'm
sure three or four sessions could be arranged with planning.

> About changing old bullets....

Most defense-designed cartridges are already sealed. Don't carry
cheap stuff, especially in smaller calibers (they need all the
"oomph" they can get). One still needs to avoid getting oil on
their cartridges, though.

Another reason to routinely change ammunition is that the
propellent may begin breaking down after a few dozen 20-30
degree temperature fluctuations.


> The only time I ever carried a firearm was to the range.  I used ham
> radio (you could use cellular) as a crutch when help was needed.  It is a
> great confidence builder to be able to talk with someone when things are
> not going well.

"Crutch?" "Confidence builder?" If you want a talisman get a
crystal pendant from a new-age shop; they weigh less.

Radios and firearms are two entirely different tools. Both
are useful, but their respective utility hardly even overlaps.


I'll cheerfully discuss this issue further, but this is not the
proper forum. Except for Jim Owen's forthcoming reply, any
future responses to my posts in this thread will be answered by

mfuller@somtel.com, Northern Franklin County, Maine
The Constitution is the white man's ghost shirt. }>:-/> --->
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