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Some Kuntzisms to ponder over

Having long fit the description of “old geezer” and “curmudgeon,” I have made certain observations over the decades that relate to the out-of-doors.  Following are some “Kuntzisms” that you may or may not agree with.

*Shotguns with longer barrels do not “shoot harder.” There are reasons to use longer barrels (28” or 30” in repeaters) — they swing more smoothly, preventing one from stopping the gun, and they provide a longer sighting plane. But “shooting harder” is not one of them.

*Brands and styles of monofilament fishing line are bewildering in number. Still, Dupont’s Stren, the pioneer monofilament continues to be excellent. The same can be said for any line made by Berkeley.

*It makes more sense to spend $1,200 on a binocular and $300 on a rifle scope rather than the other way around. On a typical big game hunt you will use the binocular for hours each day and for days or even weeks on end. You will use the scope only at the time of the shot, if there is one.

*The .22 rimfire has been in existence since the 1880s and is still the most useful creation for small game hunting, plinking and practicing … if you can find the ammunition.

*Modern synthetics have made outdoor clothing lighter and offer insulation that was unheard of 50 years ago. However, a quality wool mackinaw still is a good choice for spring fishing and fall hunting.

*The Model 12 Winchester, manufactured from 1912 to 1963, was the greatest pump gun ever built. There are other good pump-action shotguns, the Remington Model 870 Wingmaster among them. But there was only one Model 12. That is the reason I own three of them.

*Shooting groups with a rifle over a benchrest is a good way to check loads and rifle accuracy. More important is to be able to shoot accurately in the field from conventional positions: prone, sitting, kneeling and offhand. And better yet, a rifleman should be able to incorporate one of those positions into an improvised rest by using a log, rock, tree trunk, fence post or some other contrivance to make one’s position more steady.

*Neck-sizing centerfire cartridge cases has no place in reloading cartridges for big game hunting. Neck-sizing is fine for benchrest shooting but it is an invitation for malfunctions in the field. You don’t need chambering or extraction problems when a fleeting opportunity presents itself on a big game hunt.

*Hollow glass fishing rods were a revelation when then were introduced in the 1960s. However, in the 1970s graphite rods made their debut and they have been getting better every decade. Some of graphite’s advantages: incredible sensitivity, availability in everything ultralight to saltwater rods, fly rods, bait casting and spinning.

*A quality binocular in 7X, 8X, 9X or 10X is crucial for any kind of big game or varmint hunting. If you venture to any greater magnification greater than 10X you will need your glass mounted on a tripod. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hold it steady enough to use.

*You will be able to see far more through a high quality 8X binocular than you will through a cheap 10X. In optics, dollars spent translates to quality, effectiveness and satisfaction. Don’t be a dummy and try to use your oversize rifle scope as a substitute for a binocular. That may involve pointing your rifle at someone like me, and that person certainly will not like it!

*Most hunters who pursue elk and deer would shoot far better with milder cartridges compared with fire-breathing magnums with their increased muzzle blast and recoil. Some good milder rounds are the .25/06, .260, 7mm-08, 7 X 57, .270, .280, .308, and .30/06. With the fine quality bullets being manufactured today any of these cartridges will kill an elk, moose or deer with one shot … if you hit it right.

*Synthetic stocks are all the rage now because they are stable and stand up to foul weather better than walnut. But unlike a fine walnut stock with hand checkering and a hand-rubbed oil finish, the synthetic-stocked rifle has no soul.

Bernie Kuntz, a Jamestown native, has been                             an Outdoors columnist for The Sun since 1974