Farm Guns And The Jobs They Do

My Trusty Dan Wesson .357 Farm Gun

My Trusty Dan Wesson .357 Farm Gun

Frank W. James demonstrates the proper way to blog about guns (the 10MM Auto) —specifically by how well they function in the context of a tool to carry to accomplish certain tasks. (CLICK LINK HERE (LINK IS NOW DEAD, For Reader Convenience Fair Use Excerpt from Frank W. James at bottom of page))

His comments remind me just how different life is out on the farm.

About 10-15 years ago I started to hang around an Old Farmer’s “back 40” on a fairly regular basis and came to appreciate how common views about guns and shooting over the course of my lifetime have become skewed in favor of complete foolishness.

It matters not whether the foolishness is the foolishness of “responsible gunownership” Nazis wherein every demand of every gungrabber must be met without complaint or resistance or the foolishness of competition shooters where the race to shoot the lightest load out of the most delicately assembled racegun and holster overtake the practicalities of hitting a target with the intent of threat elimination-it is all foolishness!

A few trips to Farm Country and the noise of the competition racegun rabble or responsible gunowner goons fades to the reality of a vital need for protection against things that will poke you, bite you or eat you every chance they get.

While the Old Farmer’s farm is not blessed with wild hogs, there are a “gracious plenty” number of critters-coyotes, feral dog packs, snakes and etc. enough to make a fella need to have something handy–as in holstered on your belt–even if the house is only 100 yards away.

The Old Farmer knew that and he knew it in a way that dated back to the 1950’s and 1960’s when everyone else knew it as well.

It baffled him how a fella like me would go to a shooting range and fire rifles and pistols and then pack them up in a box and lock them in a closet.

Initially, I did NOT realize how much it would scramble my brain to spend time in the urban part of one county and then go out and spend time on a farm two counties over in a rural part of the state.

Hard to believe but the truth is urban and rural environs are two very different parts of the universe. In an urban setting the rabbits come right up to the back door of the house and you just about have to shoo them away to get into your truck.

In a rural setting the rabbits spot you and break out of the underbrush 20 yards away and hightail it for parts unknown like their hind quarters are on fire. Forget about those fancy shooting range timers;it is pure luck to have three seconds to draw and fire a pistol at a rapidly shrinking target.

While coyotes are bigger than rabbits, they appear to run even faster when spooked by predatory humans. I believe an antelope might not be able to pass a coyote as he plowed a path through the wiregrass at the edge of a fenceline.

For me, the mind scramble started when enough incidents accumulated in my personal archive of tall tales and other stories.

I now understand just about everything I have been told about the care and feeding of weapons is not only wrong, but just a little bit dangerous.

My military training on the M-16 certainly did not qualify as comprehensive education on the proper use of weapons. The only reason three of us in my company qualified “Expert” on the range was because we all shot .22’s as teenagers.

In my Hunter’s Education Course Game Warden Ricky Ranger actually lectured the class on the importance of leaving your $1000 rifle up against a tree where you fired at Bambi to establish you were not trespassing when you recover the carcass.

How have we collectively gotten to this state of idiocy codified into law?

Spend enough time in the fields and woods of farm country and you will soon question every premise of every lecture you have ever heard about “responsible gun ownership”.

Why in blazes would someone triple lock their pistol just because they need to stop at the Post Office to pick up some stamps?

How is it a mortal threat to society to wear a holstered pistol to the hardware store to pick up some carriage bolts?

We should all return to the world Mr. James inhabits- keep your pistol or rifle readily available to do a specific job in a specific way.

Audie Murphy was a farm boy before he was a combat soldier. The lessons he learned on the farm saved the lives of many Americans. (CLICK LINK HERE)

As I repeat myself from elsewhere: someday most everyone will figure out weapons are not toys, not for relaxation or sport or entertainment, but tools to be treated with utmost respect and caution and have but one purpose: to harm some critter before some critter with four or two legs can harm you.

Out at the Old Farmer’s farm we almost learned the hard way what it means to keep nature “red in tooth and claw” at arms length with whatever tools it takes to do the job.

Even at the delicate age of 84, the Old Farmer kept a Winchester 94 loaded with Magnum .22’s next to his chair in the den.

If he could not exactly hit when he shot he could certainly give the wildlife “aversion therapy” to trespassing close to the farmhouse.

He must have done more “aversion therapy” than the family realized because it was two or three years after his death before the coyotes tracked past the shed in the yard with impunity.

This was not a problem until one day the Old Farmer’s widow was out on the patio watering her flowers.

As she is about the age of the Old Farmer, it was not a surprise when she slipped, and yes, at that age (just like the TV Commercials) it is difficult,if not impossible to stand back up without assistance even if completely uninjured. (Which she was)

Assistance came about ten minutes later when the crowd of people inside the house realized she had been absent for an unusual amount of time.

In the ten minutes she sat helpless on the concrete patio, a coyote watched her every move from the treeline at the edge of the yard.

If you sit helpless in the hot sun in farm country, something might come along and think you look like lunch.

Nothing came of the incident, but suffice to say the torch has passed to a new generation of shooters on that farm determined to keep the critters at bay with whatever aversion therapy it takes to teach them manners.

Get the best tools you can get to do the best job you can do and have them ready to use when you need them.

Anything less is just nonsense.


Regrettably, Frank W. James has taken down his excellent blog. For readers interested, here is a fair use excerpt from his commentary on the 10MM Auto and it’s connection to farm use:

(Copyright Frank W.James Friday, August 13, 2010 THE 10MM AUTO…)

I realize what I’m about to explain is way different than what almost everyone else wants in a ‘defensive’ sidearm; but these requirements reflect my reality. I fully understand they may not even come close to yours.

First of all, I want a FLAT TRAJECTORY in the fired cartridge of my carry handgun. And by FLAT I mean I want something that shoots to more or less the same point of aim/point of impact at 100 yards that it does at 25 yards. I’ve found that with heavy loads most any decent .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum or .44 Magnum will easily accomplish this task. But you will note that with the exception of the Desert Eagle, these cartridges are only found in revolvers. (This is the main reason why I consider myself late to the auto-pistol party.)

Second of all, I want at least 1,100 fps to 1,200 fps in muzzle velocity from my carry sidearm. I know a lot of commentators put a lot of emphasis on bore diameter and bullet weight and I don’t discount their arguments or disagree with them, but I like a good muzzle velocity because it makes those ‘running shots’ so much easier to make. Why running shots? Because I’m human and I make mistakes and when you’ve run awhile to get into position, and you’re fat, you don’t always put the first round where it really needs to go. (It’s that sucking for air thing all over again.)

And thirdly, although I’ve used a .357 Magnum for a vast number of years, I really do believe in .40 caliber minimum rule; especially so if during your heaving for breath you put the bullet in their ass and not their chest as they do their “…feet don’t fail me now…” repetition. Which I’ve done more times than I, or anyone else for that matter, could care to count.

For these reasons I’ve never been all that enthused about the .45 ACP. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but for critter use here on the farm its trajectory is too curved and you have to put too much elevation on the front sight once past 75 yards. And past 100 yards its velocity requires you to really put the front sight way out in front of ’em, if you’re lucky, or good, in terms of your range estimation

I view the 10mm Auto cartridge as midway between the .357 Magnum and the .41 Magnum in terms of the knock-down/penetration/expansion power from what I’ve personally observed. It’s way more than a .357 Magnum, but even on its best day it couldn’t carry water, or even hold the coat of a heavily loaded .41 Magnum, especially with hard cast, heavily loaded Keith loads.

Yet, it is a flat shooting, relatively high velocity, .40 caliber auto-pistol that is every bit as accurate as my best double action revolvers and it is one of my top choices for a daily carry pistol here on our farms.

6 responses to “Farm Guns And The Jobs They Do

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