David E. Petzal answers your questions about guns, shooting, hunting, and life. Got a question for our rifles editor? Send it to email@example.com. We cannot guarantee polite answers to all questions.
Q: Some studies suggest that eating red meat makes a person stink. Should I forgo red meat before hunting for added scent protection? —Chuck Griffith, Elkhorn, Neb.
A: Give up red meat? I’d rather come home empty-handed. I long ago stopped paying attention to the way I smell and started paying very close attention to the wind. The system has worked out just fine.
Q: I just bought a Model 71 Beretta .22 that is identical to one I own. Have I crossed some sort of line? —Joe Kristoff, New Hope, Va.
A: Not unless you run out of money. A friend of mine owned something like 15 pre-1964 Winchester Model 70s in .220 Swift and has lived a productive life anyway. Besides, thinking up justifications prevents the brain from drying out.
Q: My son flinches when he shoots his Winchester Model 94 in .44 magnum. Can I condition him to the .44, or do I get something else for open-country deer? —G.B., via e-mail
A: I’d look very hard at a .243. The .44 is obviously too much gun, and it’s not an open-country load anyway.
Q: What’s your favorite movie, ever?—Alex Jones, Augusta, Maine
A: Wow. I could name 20, but I’ll go with The Searchers. It’s probably the greatest Western of all time and is now considered one of the greatest American films. As its director, John Ford, said, “It is the tragedy of a loner.”
Q: I run a few rounds through my rifle on a regular basis. Do I have to scrub the barrel every time?—Matt, Oakdale, Minn.
A: Three or four rounds isn’t worth cleaning. I’d let it run 20 or more before scrubbing.
Q: I’ve always put electrical tape or plastic wrap over my rifle barrel if I think it might rain. Can I do this if there’s a muzzle brake?—Mark Costello, Swoyersville, Pa.
A: I have often wondered about this myself. I think plastic wrap will cling to a muzzle brake better than electrical tape, and I can’t see how it would cause any trouble. The muzzle blast will blow it all away, so you’ll just have to rewrap after you shoot.
Q: I just purchased a new Hi-Point .45 ACP carbine. Do you think it would make for a serviceable deer and hog gun at 100 yards and in?—Drew Beman, Thurman, Ohio
A: The .45 ACP has great and terrible qualities for target shooting or as a social cartridge, but a hunting round it ain’t. If you want to pound piggies with a pistol, go for a .44 magnum or a .480 Ruger.