Most of my friends will probably tell you the same thing. I’m over the top on things I really like. I don’ t know why I’m like this, maybe it’s because I have way too much enthusiasm for one human being. I love things that grab onto me and rock me back. I think part of it came from my childhood. This goes back to the days of toys made in Japan that broke if you looked at them wrong. I had lots of those. It sort of made a life impression on me. I can’t stand anything that resembles “milk toast.” Middle of the road doesn’t cut it. Either get to my side of the road or get the hell off of it.
Fake hood scoops, stick on stripes, phony this and that will never be a part of anything on my cars or in my life. If my car can’t come by its appointments honestly then that part isn’t on it. I have a curiosity about lots of things that’s like a thirst I can’t get past. I usually try to come by my answers myself. Once in a while I get tired of trying and just ask. I have people who are my mentors. I don’t make any bones about telling anyone that they know way more than I do about the question I fielded them. If it’s one thing that really makes me laugh are posers. Yeah you know, the guys that ask you the questions then turn around and mouth back your answers to their friends like they’re the Shell Answer Man or some shit? I learned my stuff by doing it all wrong most of the time. I’ve been down all the one way streets to screw ups in the wrong direction. I have also learned things by experimentation. I have ruined parts and systems in the process. I do have the ability to realize if I screw something up I try to make sure it’s worth is something I can afford to lose. If you don’t try something you will never know how it might have worked. I know some people who won’t try anything new. My Mother was one of them. She detested new stuff. It bumped her out of her comfort zone, and the worst part was that she never trusted me to know enough about the thing she was afraid of to help her thru it! I always resented that part of her behavior.
So when I got old enough to start buying my own cars, guns, motorcycles and everything else I wanted to spend money on I had to try some of the more outrageous stuff. The first pistol I bought was a .44 magnum Ruger Super Blackhawk. I had a .41 Blackhawk, but I wanted the top dog in the pistol family at that time. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to shoot it because it was just “too much gun.” Funny thing, I would up shooting it as good as any of the rest of my pistols, usually better.
I started competitive shooting with the International Metallic Handgun Silhouette Association. Shooting 68 pound armor plate rams off their feet at 200 meters is a good trick. It requires a large-caliber handgun. .357 magnums used to be touted as the bad boy on the block in handguns, even sometimes overshadowing the .44.
In the world of the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association, the .357 magnum was the absolute bottom end of the handgun set that might have enough power to topple a hard set ram at 200 meters. I’ve seen direct body hits by .357 mags that just went bang and rang the ram a little. It never toppled it over. In the sport of Metallic silhouettes if you don’t knock the target over you might as well have missed it completely because it don’t count friend! Truth be told I liked even more knock down power than a .44 mag when it came to dumping rams off their stands. Oh yes there are pistols out there that even at that time made the .44 look fairly anemic. I had a .357 Harrett (a .30-30 Winchester case necked up to .357 diameter that I shot a big slug of Norma 200 in with a 250 grain .358 Hornady spire point it. It would knock just about anything on the silhouette range down if you could hit it. I shot three guns in a match. Sometimes a revolver, (.44 mag), a production gun, (Thompson Center Contender with a 10″ barrel in .357 Harrett, and an unlimited Remington XP-100 chambered in full length .308 Winchester. Yep this bad boy had a 14″ Shilen barrel and shot a big load of Hodgdon BLC-2 that pushed a Hornady 165 grain spire point flat base bullet down range at a taste over 2250 fps. It was damn sure positive on rams. You could hit these guys ANYWHERE and it would spin’em right off the stands like a metal ballerina!
IHMSA had different levels of proficiency in each pistol category. The Highest was International. Then it went down from there. I forgot the lower ones. I shot International status in the Unlimited class for a few years. I just sort of move up the scale like that, it’s just in my nature. Lots of guys are content to shoot at a lower level but not me.
I started shooting rifles just for the hell of it. I learned to shoot the real way with my father. He taught me how to shoot and it’s stuck with me today. I consider myself not to be recoil sensitive. Some folks don’t like to get pushed around with the bad end of the rifle stock. Me, I don’t really even notice it that much. I look at recoil like this; if it doesn’t dislocate my shoulder or break it I’m ok. So what if I got some black and blue marks? I like stuff that rocks me back, remember? I bought a .460 Weatherby Lazer Mark and would shoot over 120 grains of powder in this thing with a 500 grain Sierra round nose in front of it. Yeah it kicked the shit out of me but I liked to shoot it. It was fun. I can still use my arms and shoulders. I later on bought a C. Sharps Arms 1874 Long Range express rifle chambered in .50 X 140 X 3 1/4. This is the hardest recoiling rifle I’ve ever shot. It’s just downright brutal. Sorta like getting ran into by a water buffalo. It will knock you, the chair you’re sitting in and the table your on back about 6 inches when you pull the trigger. It shoots about 130 grains of FFG black powder with a 700 grain Brooks Spire point cast lead bullet. I really think you could take out a T-Rex with this thing if they were still around. I know it would kill anything on the planet with a solid bullet in it.
I also have a Marlin Lever gun in .45-.70. Yeah it’s a light gun and shoots a 400 grain bullet and it lets you know it’s there. I have a real sweetheart of a Winchester 1886. It’s chambered in .45-90. It shoots the same bullets as the .45-70 with a few more grains of powder. So what? It don’t kick much because it’s so damn heavy!
A few years ago I bought a Weatherby chambered in .338-.378. Talk about overbore capacity! Not really any worse than a .338 Lapua actually. I think it has a couple of fps in velocity on the Lapua, but it’s just apples and oranges. This gun has a muzzle brake on it. Takes most of the sting out of it. It’s about like shooting a .300 Winchester mag. Some guys don’t even like shooting those things!
I have a good friend named Teresa Stegmann. She’s a gal after my own heart. She works for a Harley dealership. I was having some work done on my Harley and had to see her to pay for it. I noticed several large-caliber cartridges sitting on her desk. I asked her is those were hers and she said they were. I got to looking at them and she had a .460 Smith and a .500 Smith and Wesson Magnum sitting there and some other ones. Naturally we got into a discussion about guns and she admitted to me she had a large-caliber jones on handguns like I do. Cool! I didn’t have a .500 Smith at that time, but I came home and looked the ballistics up on it and decided I needed one. Oh I have a real pretty Magnum Research .50 Action Express with a 10″ barrel on it. No compensation on this bugger either. It jumps up and rolls sideways in your hand when you let’er go. Hard hitting thing too! Well I decided to get back in touch with an old gun dealer friend of my named Royd, because Teresa told me he got her Smith for her right away. I called Royd and told him what I wanted and he had it for me in two days! Cool!
My friends think I’m over the top. I guess I am. My pro street Olds is too, but it figures don’t it?