Thursday, December 18, 2008

I never would have expected this...

...Seriously, though, it's a real eye-opener and interesting read too, thanks for the link, Linoge:

...another rifle of military origin is moving rapidly into prominence in the hunting and sport shooting world: the AR15 .223 and AR10 .308. And, like its predecessors, the AR platform is meeting resistance, even outright opposition, from many hunters who are personally wedded to earlier gun designs. No surprise there; when the lever action was first used for hunting, traditionalists, whose idea of a "real" hunting gun was a single-shot muzzleloader, distained the need for a repeat-fire tool.
First-generation bolt-action military surplus rifles were also disparaged by many sportsmen as "inappropriate" for hunting.
But the AR design's proven capability has already made it the rifle of choice for top-level civilian high-power rifle competition. It is also increasingly the rifle of choice for serious long-range varmint and predator shooters, and it's appearing in increasing numbers in the big-game hunting arena, as well.
It should. ARs are not all just .223 caliber. In fact, most people are probably not aware that the AR design originated as a .308 (7.62mm), not as a .223 (5.56mm).

To be honest I never would have thought about hunters in the earlier years being disdainful of more modern technology. Metcalf here makes a near-airtight case for the utility of a semi-auto rifle for hunting. And I never would have guessed that the AR design was originally a .308. One would think the very first line of Metcalf's story would give pause to the Fudds:
Virtually every type of centerfire sporting rifle in existence started off as a military weapon.

Note he didn't water it down by saying "military-style." As for yesterday's letter-writer having never seen anyone using semi-auto rifles such as the ones mentioned in HR 1022, I think there's actually a very simple explanation for that. I'd think that has a lot to do with the folks he's been hunting with for however long he's been hunting. The letter said over 50 years. Well, the popularity of ARs and such has only made itself known over the last four years or so, if I am not mistaken, since the sunset of the Clinton-era "Assault Weapons" Ban. Meanwhile, all the folks who had been hunting before and after still went on using those scoped bolt-action rifles (aka, of course, those military-style high-powered long-range sniper rifles), oblivious and resistant to the semi-auto trend just as their forebears were resistant to the lever- and bolt-action rifles. But any way you look at it the Fudds are still craven assholes.