I've got gun-fever again. I'll be fine for a couple years - then I just have to buy a new one just because. Nine times outta ten it goes into the gun locker and collects dust. I have a whole passel of rifles I need to sell off and get rid of because I just don't shoot them anymore. As a friend once put it - I feel a need to 'de-clutter' my life, and as far as guns go - that means thinning out the herd and only keeping the ones I shoot and a few that hold sentimental value.
But today at lunch time I went into the neighbourhood purveyor of death and destruction and saw one of these:
That's the Chiappa lever gun in .45 Long Colt
It's a pistol caliber carbine that shoots the same cartridge as my new Ruger wheelgun. The last time I saw one of these, the Outhouse Gang were hooping it up on the rifle range with theirs. The old farts hooted and hollered and jeered and cheered as they shot at gongs going out to 200m. They missed a lot of those long range shot - but they hit on a bunch of 'em too! The guns themselves aren't much bigger than a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun and they shoot like a house afire! I've wanted one ever since... and like I say, there's one down at the gun shop a couple blocks from here. $1200.00 and it comes with one of those flip-up Lyman tang sights. As you can see the thing is colour case hardened in the manner of the antique originals. As a reloader I can bark up the .45 Long Colt to approach ballistic performance to that of a .44 Magnum... but as an old fart that shoots for fun and that's it... some patty-cake target loads with cast lead bullets would be right up my alley.
The hell of it is - I have gotten old. My goddamn eyes just can't handle iron sights anymore. They blur and I can't focus them. But - if my eyes were as clear and bright as they were a couple heart beats ago - I would go down to that shop first thing in the morning and buy that little rotter - cash on the barrel head! What a fun gun for the kids - big noise, big smoke - and cheap ammo!
Which brings me to my sage advice for youngsters. Younger shooters like flashy guns with high power optics and bells and whistles and doo-dads and gizmos. If any kid asked me for my opinion - I would tell them to learn how to use good iron sights - and do so as much as possible! They're funner than all get-out, and the time will come when your eyes go like mine and ya won't be able to see shit unless it hits you in the face!