By Regis Giles
My reputation is notable; my name legendary. I’m the gun that won the West and recently won over the heart of a 21st-century girl. Designed in 1894, built in 1941, I have seen many places and have traveled great distances. I’ve fought in wars, protected my owners’ land and provided meat for hungry families. Carried by cowboys, farmers and hunters alike, there wasn’t a scabbard that would reject me in sight. Everyone knew I was no sprat and they sprang at the chance to claim me. I am lightly built, short barreled and I can carry up to seven rounds of ammunition. I am fast and accurate as can be, which has been proven throughout my years of shooting, and yet little did this 21st-century girl know how precise I can be.
I remember her being apprehensive about me with my open sights. However, confident in my build, I knew my buckhorn sights were true and that she was going to be in for a surprise. The 150-grain bullets she loaded into my barreled magazine printed a tight grouping at the range. This 21st-century girl no longer had doubts about me. I passed her test. I was going hunting.
After waiting a couple of weeks in the gun cabinet, my time finally came. I was placed in a travel case and we were off to the Lone Star state, a most familiar place for me. We were bound to the hill country of central Texas. Upon arriving there I noticed a change in the climate conditions. Rather than the Florida humidity and heat, it was a dry and cold air that surrounded us. The 21st-century girl was alarmed this might affect me; however, I wasn’t concerned one bit. My lever action and hammer have seen the worst of weather conditions; this slight temperature change was no challenge for me. To be sure though, she shot a couple of rounds off at a target, which proved to her again that I am the best of the best.
We ran around for a couple of days, unsuccessfully hunting a sika deer one day, until the hour finally came for me to shine. The 21st-century girl was up earlier than usual one morning. She had an adventure planned for us. We traveled quite far to reach our location and that is when I realized we were going hunting! It was well worth the trip also. The Cross Ranch was quite picturesque and the definition of what Texas hill country should look like. I was getting anxious and I could tell the girl was too by the way she was gripping my stock. She was ready to hunt and I was ready to discharge some rounds.
Her quarry for the day was the Texas Dall ram, a beautiful specimen that is white-coated with curling golden-blond horns. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for me that day. The wind wasn’t blowing too hard, so my bullets wouldn’t drift, and the sun was out, so the 21st-century girl could see clearly through my iron sights. I had reason to be optimistic. All I needed to make sure was that I hit the target where she aimed and that is precisely what happened.
After making an effective stalk on her prey, she had me rested in shooting sticks and pointed my 20-inch barrel at the ram she was told to collect. My metal butt plate rested on her shoulder, I felt her take a deep breath, pull my hammer back and squeeze my trigger. Immediately after the shot, I was reloaded, but there was no need. I placed the bullet right where it needed to be at 93 yards away! I don’t mean to gloat, but that is a superb shot for a gun of my age.
That day, I proved to her I can perform just as well as any rifle with a scope on it. That day, I proved to her a gun well made, is a gun that lasts. That day, I became a trusted friend. That day was a great day.
By the .30-30 (As told to Regis Giles)
Regis Giles is a hunter, Second Amendment activist and the purveyor of GirlsJustWannaHaveGuns.com