by B.B. Pelletier

With a title like that, I’m sure you expect a laundry list of fine airguns, but the truth is, I didn’t get a single airgun for Christmas. In fact this report is not really about airguns, though it will touch on them more than a little. What it’s really about is contentment, because that is what I really got for Christmas this year.

Tools!
Although I try not to work on airguns and firearms any more than necessary, there are times when it cannot be avoided. My tool kit is small, as a result of this policy, but this Christmas it received some important additions.

Edith did a lot of online shopping for me at Duluth Trading Company this year, and I received three zippered pouches full of magnets, dental tools and small screwdrivers. I wept! I had been slowly putting a tool kit together because I always needs things like these and in one day with three presents she quadrupled my inventory. What thoughtful gifts.

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These tools and lights make my fixing jobs easier.

Lights!
Along with my tools came several handy lights I can use for those nasty places where the room light never shines. The inside of spring gun compression chambers, for instance. Now, I can look inside and shine a light inside at the same time, where before my own shadow was my worst enemy. I’m always working some place dark, and I can never have too many powerful lights.

Big gift
Not many people would ask for a work-related item for Christmas, but then not many people have the perfect job. For several decades, I have secretly harbored the belief that the .30-30 Winchester cartridge is the most accurate cartridge ever created. That belief, for which I have zero proof at this time, is not a popular one. I daresay I am one of the few shooters on planet Earth who believes that. But not the only one. My best bud, Mac, admitted this year that he harbored a similar belief. That admission, coupled with a single, probably atypical five-shot group shot at 50 yards from a Winchester model 94, four of which are very close, stoked up my interest to the point that I just HAD TO KNOW! You guys know how that feels.

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Four of the five shots are grouped pretty tight–especially for coming from a 94 Winchester!

So, I’ve set before me a multi-year project that will involve reducing the error of the .30-30 round until I reach the point where I can’t go any further. I won’t say just how accurate I think it can be, but it’s way less than a one-inch 10-shot group at 100 yards. Way less.

With that as a goal, Edith gifted me with a Remington 788 in .30-30. Now, for those who are unfamiliar with that model, the 788 is to accurate rifles what the Corvette is to fast cars. By that, I mean that you hear a lot of stories, not all of which are true.

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I will start testing my theory with a Remington 788, a rifle that’s an urban legend in its own right.

There’s a complete book of urban legends about the 788. It was too accurate and hurt the sales of the more-expensive Remington models, so they killed it. It has bolt-locking lugs in the rear of the bolt, so the action is springy and cannot take the strain. It was the best bolt-action ever made for rimmed cartridges, and so on.

So, not only am I about to test a theory that will be considered by most to be highly improbable, but I’m starting the test with a rifle that lives under its own cloud of superstition. Controversial, to say the least. And that’s probably why I like it.

I love controversy. I love hearing why Crosman could never make a PCP in the United States, and then listening to the crickets chirp when they made not one but four in two years. I loved reading on a popular forum in November of 2009 that AirForce would probably not bring out the Edge for another year. I smiled when some person wrote a story about hunting deer with a Career Dragon Slayer, in which he said he was probably the first person in history to have killed such a large animal with an airgun.

And, in three weeks I’ll be in Las Vegas at the 2010 Shot Show, trying to stir up more controversy in the airgun world. I can’t wait!

So, were does contentment come it? Why, with you guys, of course. This blog has evolved into the nicest place on the internet, in my opinion. And I no longer have to know everything, because you guys cheerfully chip in and help the new airgunners find answers to their questions. I’m finally involved with a website where people are more intent on enjoying their hobby than with passing rumors and sniping at each other.

Thank you!