You didn't insert my favorite quote of yours: "loaded up like the Joad pick up heading for California".
Thanks for remembering that little line, and for keeping the thought alive. It still makes me smile a little too.
I don’t know that anyone outside of a Post-War American Lit. survey course even reads Steinbeck or The Grapes of Wrath
any more. Maybe a few insomniacs watch the movie, but, you know, like what’s up with all the black-and-white stuff, dude? Perhaps a better image would have been Jed Clampett’s family heading for Beverly Hills, although even that might be a little long in the tooth now.
Still, one of the surest ways to sabotage your light-weight Scout rifle—or any general-purpose rifle for that matter, is to start playing Barbie-Dress-Up with it and pile on a bunch of accessories. Of course that’s just my opinion, and I’ve made just about every mistake you can, so you’d be wise to just ignore me. Individually, all those cuffs and lights and range-trajectory tapes and stuff look so attractive, but pretty soon you end up with something like what appears in this famous photo:
I’ve got no discipline when it comes to stuff like that, so I gotta draw a line in the sand and just stick to the basics (rifle, sight, sling). Otherwise, the next thing I know I’ll be ordering up a Picatinny-rail-compatible cupholder with a 64-ounce Big Gulp Bladder Buster hanging off the side of the stock in case I get thirsty while I’m shooting.
I know lots of people on this Forum like those butt-cuff cartridge holders, and I've got no bone to pick with any of them either. They're just not for me. If my tactical doctrine dictated the need to carry individual cartridges like that, I think I'd rather have a belt slide. But whatta I know?
That’s also why I think, for me, it makes more sense to go walking with the Ruger GSR’s five-shot magazine in the rifle and with the ten-rounder(s) on my belt. The difference between a loaded five-round mag and a loaded ten-rounder is almost half a pound (0.454 to be exact). If someone gets a 20-round M1A/M14 magazine to fit into the Ruger they’ll be adding about 1.1 pounds to the rifle (compared with the loaded five-round magazine). Not to bag on anyone who can make the conversion work—I’d like to have one myself!
Here’s another quote for you, this time from the great Raymond Chandler’s The Long Good-Bye
: “There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.”
I’ve found this particularly true when it comes to women, guns, and motorcycles. Ya start thinking that one accessory is a great thing (or one more wife, or one more bike), and pretty soon you’re looking at those cupholders again and another alimony check. It’s a slippery slope, made slicker by the lubrication of our own fantasies. Better the grab-and-go bag hanging on the same peg with the gun. Weight is always the enemy, but weight carried in the hands (or on your rifle) is a lot worse than that same weight on your belt on in a daypack.
It’s easy to gain weight, both in our personal lives and on our rifles. I had the cash for the new Ruger GSR sitting in the bank, but I made a deal with myself: I wouldn’t buy the rifle until I lost the (catalog claimed) seven pounds it weighed. That took a little while. If I add more weight to the rifle, then I have to lose more weight from my gut.
Right now I’m happy with both my waistline and the new Ruger.
Thanks for the kind words regarding the post. I have no idea if anyone actually reads any of this. It just takes a couple of jerks to put me or anyone else off from posting on a forum like this, but a thumbs-up now and then means a great deal to me.