Tuesday, 11 February 2014

GUNS

NOTE: PISTOL HANGING ON BEDHEAD. READY FOR ACTION.LORNESLEIGH. LATE 1960'S.
I want to say upfront. I’m not a gun enthusiast myself but I can see a place for a firearm. In the Australian bush especially there’s definitely a need to carry a firearm whether it be a pistol or rifle.
 You never know when you’ll have to put down livestock that are in pain or unable to walk. There may be the need to shoot dingoes who attack and kill the cattle. Wild cattle known as shrubbers will also be shot as they can’t be mustered and will definitely kill a human if approached.
It may sound cruel and unnecessary to some, but cattle are your livelihood and they have to be protected. A firearm will be carried these days in four wheel drive ( RV) but in the old days, they were carried on a horse. I remember my dad, carrying a pump action Remington rifle in the car which he called the dingo gun. When riding a horse, my father carried a pistol and my grandfather Bell, had a lever action Winchester in a holster attached to his saddle.

Yes, I almost forgot, a gun may even save your life in the bush. Apart from rampaging shrubbers coming out of the bush at you, there are snakes and just before I was born in the late fifties, the rivers on our cattle stations were full of crocodiles. My dad shot the last one when I was a baby. Apparently. But that’s another blog.  I have to add,native animals such as kangaroos were not considered as animals to shoot by my family.  
Horses, cattle and the land are the building blocks of my family’s dna but my father and his brother were the gun nuts for want of a better term. Between them their gun collection probably could have outfitted a large partisan group who wanted to take on the Nazis. Their collection comprised many types of firearms, ranging from conventional rifles, shotguns and pistols to a World War One machine gun that had once been mounted on an aircraft. I remember that was stored under a bed. As you do.
Yes, there was the Martini Henry that had been used by the English in the Zulu War. It took bullets made of wrapped brass with a lead bullet and when fired, enveloped the area in a white cloud.  You had to look under the cloud to see if you had hit the target. There were many military rifles from several countries; British, American, Italian, Japanese and German.  It’s all worth another blog.