06 November 2011



Slang term for a "casual" gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports and does not truly believe in the true premise of the second amendment. These people also generally treat owners/users of so called "non sporting" firearms like handguns or semiautomatic rifles with unwarranted scorn or contempt.
"See sonny, all those pistols in that cabinet... all thems is good for is killin people." -Example of ignorant comment from a fudd at a local gun shop. See also: Zumbo.

Making its rounds is this "I'm a gun owner but..." article.

Weer'd has an excellent post up about it.

What I am going to expand upon is the conversion process.  Turning Fudds into gun owners like me.

I have, on occasion, gone hunting with my uncle and step-uncles.  I don't particularly like hunting.  I am not a morning person and hunting seasons all seem to be when it's coldest; I live in Florida for a reason!  Dressing the carcass is a lot of work and I am lazy.  Not to mention all the damn walking around in the brush trying to be quiet.

I have zero moral objection to hunting.  If you're eating meat you're eating something that has been killed.  I worked a summer at a meat packing plant on the killing floor.  Killing animals is not something I have an issue with.  My paternal grandfather was a farmer, he was fine with killing a list of animals just to keep them from eating the crops let alone their utility as food.  The Christmas goose was always Canadian.

Among my family I am the odd duck who owns guns but doesn't hunt.

They and their friends did not get it and in 1994 or so they asked what the deal was with "assault weapons."

All of them were surprised to see how their cute little varmint gun, the Ruger Mini-14 changed from their gun to my gun.  All of them saw that it was still the same gun even though the stock and magazine were different.  What they didn't see was a need to change it from a wood-stocked varmint gun to an "evil baby killing assault weapon".  "That's cool," I said, "but do you have a problem with me doing so?  Do you think it should be illegal?"

Then some lights went on.

These are not men who want to be told how to live their lives.

But since varminting is not hunting to them, such guns were basically useless.  .223 is illegal to use on deer where we lived (heck using a rifle was illegal at the time).  But, since someone was telling them they couldn't do something, they all went out and bought something black.  Something black that sat unused in the corner of the gun cabinet.  With a pile of 30-round mags in the drawer gathering dust.  What most of them ended up with was a ban-compliant AR.  20" barrel, no muzzle threads, no bayonet lug, A2 fixed stock.

Fast forward a couple of years.

The AR had become popular!  I think that was in no small part to the massive buying spree at the end of the assault weapon ban, but my former Fudd's all bought theirs in '95 or '96 when the ban was in place.  This steady buying during the ban kept a lot of places open.

So we meet again.  "Thag, I bought the damn thing and I never shoot it."  Why not?  "Can't hunt with it because it's in .223."  Why not get a new upper in another caliber?  "Huh?"

Most of them understood how .308 and .30-06 were basically the same ballistically.  It had just never occurred to them that the technology had kept advancing.  A few of them owned a ".30-30 deer rifle" for hunting out of state.  Showing them that 7.62x39 and 6.8x43 were similar in performance got some juices flowing.

Turns out most of them liked their AR, but because they didn't have a regular use for it, they neglected it.  Once they had it in a round they could USE they started to neglect the Fudd gun.

It's kind of amusing watching the change.  The carry handle uppers all disappear when they get sick of the goofy position that scope mounts put the optic.  The fixed stocks are going away because a carbine stock can be adjusted to suit the thickness of your clothing.  Barrels sport muzzle brakes on the threads because it does help with follow-up shots.  Bayonet lugs are common because, "Heck the barrel came with it."  Normal-cap mags are the norm, "saves time at the range and they're cheaper."  Five round magazines are referred to as "the hunting mag".  THE hunting mag.

7.62x39 flared briefly with them and then faded.  6.8 is now the caliber of choice.  They see that the features they've all got on their guns were once the target of arbitrary elimination and they have become active with gun-rights movements as well as hunting.

Once they got active in gun rights, they started thinking about self defense away from their home.  Conceal carry became the new topic, "Thag you live in Florida, you have one of those permits?"

I fully expect the next series of conversations to be, "Thag, you have one of those short barrel gun, right?"

Notice the difference between my Fudds and Mr. Ceislewicz?  I call it an open mind and a willingness to learn.

Edited 08NOV11 for grammar.


  1. "Carry handle upppers"---is that the one that the M-16s the military use have?

    I must admit, I'm learning a lot about the AR rifles from your writings---I'd be tempted to pick myself up one, but the ones I've seen are so damnably pricey, I can't justify it.

  2. Build one! Still way under a grand if you buy parts.

    Hit a gun show for the lower. About $100. Not many crappy lower vendors left out there. I like Spikes best at present.

    http://www.del-ton.com/ sells flat-top carbine kits starting at $465.

    That will get you started. Mag-Pul brand for a rear sight and cheap magazines and you are off and running! Cheaper than an AK anymore.

  3. The only special tool you need for putting the lower together is the stock wrench. Otherwise it's common punches and attention to detail. The www.ar15.com Iowa hometown forum should be able to put you in touch with someone who has the tools and some experience putting the lower together.

  4. Great Post! I think a lot of people will also want to drag their ARs into the field because they were dragging that platform in the sand overseas.

    Also its nice to see Ruger and Remington marketing directly to hunters. It'll get people to start thinking about it as a hunting gun because people like us are frankly an oddity where we buy a gun and are thinking what parts we're going to swap as soon as we get it home...


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