Inside the “Gun Crank’s” Head

by Carl Knutson, Jr.


She asked, “Don’t you have enough guns yet?” I answered, “Just about! Maybe!” That little exchange got me thinking, “What’s wrong with that woman? Doesn’t she understand what’s in a gun crank’s head?”


When I see a single shot rifle my mouth begins to dry a little. My hand begins to go for my pocket before I gain control.


In buying situations such as at a gun show, one must be “cool”, right? I’m so “cool” the buyer thinks I’m “just looking”. We get down to business. I casually ask, “How much?” while maintaining my cool nonchalance. And, if it’s my day as we talk price, viola! I tuck under my arm yet another treasure for my “retirement investment”!
When I get home, I explain—“With just a little work, it will be worth a lot more, you see.” “Don’t you think it’s beautiful?” And she says, “Oh…it’s nice.”


For the first few weeks I want to lay it on my lap and just look at it. The feel of the steel edges and the wood converge with my eyes. Viewing the artistry almost makes my eyes mist.
Then comes the next phase, how will it shoot? Oh, did I mention, I can’t just look at these treasures in the safe or on the wall. Working up a load is just as much fun as acquiring the gun and lasts longer. The obscure chambering is the most fun.


I get a warm feeling every time I pick up an old gun. It doesn’t have to be a single shot all the time. A lever gun will send shivers through me. Add a “flinter” to the mix and my temperature rises!


This obsession started many years ago when my dad taught me to shoot a single shot (Remington Model #33). The smell of Hoppe’s #9 had the same effect on me and my dog. We both knew we were headed for the woods where we would nail some squirrels, all head shots of course. Those rascals still make a good meal!


Dad taught me respect, control and safe use of firearms. Along the way, my interest in the technical side began to develop. Any more about all I read is gun stuff. You know—the books, loading manuals, magazines, the internet and anything else to fill that “need” us enthusiasts seem to have.


The biggest problem is, I don’t quite get a project completed, when another chance comes along to add to my “retirement investment”!

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