Quote Of The Day

Robert Ruark (Uhuru, The Honey Badger, Something Of Value, etc.) was always one of my favorite authors, as alone among many, he “got” Africa — in fact, I think he actually coined the expression “Africa wins again” in one of his more cynical moments.  Of course, he was a real hunter, so when it comes to hunting and guns, he should be carefully listened to.  This was sent to me by Mr. Free Market:


And here’s a picture of Ruark, with some of his guns:

From memory, after he died (at age 49, from cirrhosis of the liver) his estate contained well over fifty rifles, most of “African” calibers (.375 H&H, .470 NE, .404 Jeffery, .416 Rigby, etc., which gave credence to one of his other books, Use Enough Gun ) and an unknown number of handguns and shotguns.

Now I’m not saying we should all copy the great man;  but I am saying that if we do end up with a similar number in our collection, we should feel energized, not remorseful.  I remember my own situation, back in the day…

Not all of those were mine, but most were (all the Mausers, for example).

And for the record, I’ve never woken up in the morning hating myself for having purchased a gun the day before.   That’s certainly not true of women.


  1. I’ve woken up several times in the morning hating myself for NOT having purchased a gun that I fancied the day before.

    1. This.

      Some have turned out to be pieces of shit, but now I know they’re pieces of shit, I don’t have to forever wonder what might have been or possibly buy the shit later at a higher price.

  2. If I could I’d buy a lot more ammo I would, but I just can’t justify the cost per round, and, I’m not hurting at this point. So instead, I’m going to park some excess windfall on some more guns, specifically, hand guns. I’m currently looking for a Ruger Mark I and a Peacemaker .45. And a 1911. And a .357 revolver. I expect all of them, and maybe more, to be in my stable by years end. I’d prefer them to be lightly used and not registered to me, but I’ll take however I can get em.

  3. I was at a fancy car dealership last week getting my wife’s car serviced. I find the new models completely unappealing. There are very few fun cars made any longer at any price.
    My biggest desire these days – 20+ acres of land with a comfortable house. You might call it a “Splendid Isolation” and a good place to ride out the coming unpleasantness.

  4. Regret for the gun not purchased rings true to me. Years ago I had my eye on a Walther P-38 in a gun shop that was clean and fresh looking, it was several hundred dollars so a week later I went into the gun store with cash in my pocket. The guys, two of them behind the counter were talking and visiting with a couple of other men with a drawn out gun conversation and I tried to get their attention and was told abruptly that they would be with me in a little bit which pissed me off and that was a pistol that I missed out on, I guess I showed them, huh?

    I was visiting on the phone the other day with one of my good friends in Oklahoma who is a semi-retired Doctor in his early 80’s. He has a fair number of guns and used to be part of our dove hunting group. We were talking about guns & ammo and he is very well stocked and made the comment that if things get real goofy with our monetary system he might be using .22LR bullets to buy food, he could bullets becoming excellent coinage with established value for barter. I could see how that could happen with a total financial collapse but I hope I never see it happen.

    Save your bullets and aim carefully, yesterday I was at the local range shooting .22 pistol and shot five ten round magazines aiming carefully and that was enough, a few months ago I would shoot 150 rounds just to tune up a bit and do that every week. I suppose more people are slowing down on number of rounds expended each trip to the range.

    1. You got that right. A regular session with the 1911 used to be 200 rounds; now, it’s a few mags.

    2. I haven’t been to the ranges in ages. Ammunition is now an irreplaceable resource. You can’t, in good conscience, shoot enough rounds to get better, so I’ll stand pat with dry fire and assorted drills. Periodically, I’ll spare a few rounds for checking my zeroes, but aside from that, nope.
      The ammo locker is too valuable a piggy bank, for use or for barter, to do anything else.
      Things we used to joke about.

  5. “And for the record, I’ve never woken up in the morning hating myself for having purchased a gun the day before. That’s certainly not true of women.”

    I’m happy to say that’s never happened with women. I’ve never woke up with a woman other than my lovely wife.

    I’ve certainly regretted NOT buying a gun; I can’t remember regretting buying a gun. I know there were a few I think I paid too much for, but in hindsight that wasn’t a bad price; many of mine have tripled, or more, their value. I was fortunate to buy many during the great sell-off of (mostly) European powers’ ware houses, and the resulting glut of cheap mil-surps, many from WWII, right in my collecting wheelhouse. Of course, as my better half reminds me, that doesn’t matter if I’m not going to sell – and I’m not selling.

    I remember my wife being shocked at how many there were, wondering how that happened. I tried to explain to her how they tend to multiply while in the safe . . . . .

  6. Thanks for the gun porn pics. They lifted my sagging spirits.

    I have always been crazy about Robert Ruark and Peter Hathaway Capstick. They are outstanding authors when it comes to African game hunting.

    I haven’t read Teddy Roosevelt’s “African Game Trails” yet, but it’s on my on deck/mean to list.

    Those guys stalked dangerous prey, almost all of which regarded humans as a protein source. They waded through the long grass, not knowing what was in it.

    They hunted with stunning hunting parties, consisting of every kind of servant conceivable.

    My favorite Hemingway book is “Green Hills of Africa”, which is about his 1933/1934 safari with his second ex-wife, Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway (whose parents pretty much owned Arkansas, in addition to many heavy industrial holdings). Her rich uncle paid $25,000 for the Safari. I can’t imagine how much that would translate into in today’s (fiat) money. The great white hunter for Hemingway’s safari was the inestimable Phillip Percival. Hemingway’s inspiration for the trip was Teddy Roosevelt, whom he admired deeply.

    I have seldom, if ever, regretted a gun purchase, but I have sure regretted selling some guns over the years (like Chris Rock says about servicing a stripper in Dallas – What was I thinking?).

    1. I discovered Peter Capstick’s books back around the time he died (1996). Great reads. I particularly enjoyed the stories of how he would go into the brush after wounded lions with a Winchester Model 12 loaded with slugs. His British friends said that using a pump shotgun “just wasn’t done” but it made lots of sense to me. I ran into an old timer here in Oklahoma who spent lots of time hunting in Africa back in the 70s and 80s. I asked him if he’d ever met Peter Capstick and he replied that most of his stories were “greatly exaggerated”. I didn’t know the players, but I do know that I immensely enjoyed both Robert Ruark and Peter Capstick.

      1. Reading their books makes me want to GO there.

        The only animal which ever got a piece of Capstick was a jaguar in South America.

        He survived it, but it sure got his attention.

  7. And this.

    “A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”

    ― Rudyard Kipling

  8. Pre 1999 divorce, my bookshelves did include the COMPLETE works of both Ruark and Capstick.

    Don’t even ask me about the wall-full of stereo gear and LPs that were lost, too. When you bail out from 2,000 sq. ft. to a 30 ft. sailboat, much is left behind in the doing. Costly, but a necessity at the time.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  9. I live in NC and have visited Southport, where Ruark’s boyhood as described in The Old Man and the Boy took place, and have even visited the Old Man’s grave in nearby Wilmington, NC. The Old Man’s house is now a beautifully restored bed and breakfast. A century after the events of The Old Man and the Boy the Southport area is far more populated and built up, but there are still areas of wilderness not far away; one can boat and adventure on the Cape Fear River as Ruark did, and the giant sea turtles still trudge ashore on the beaches to lay their eggs.

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