Some unusual uses for firearms


January 29, 2004, 07:12 PM
The old saying is "A gun is a tool," and at the compound this winter I've been putting that to the test. Most of my ordinary tools are buried under about seven feet of snow, not to resurface for another two months. So in the mean time I've been relying more on my firearms for some rather unusual field work. A few examples:

At one point in late November a deep cold came down the Susitna valley and dropped the temp to 40 below zero. I was away, and my roommate was stranded there with a propane heater that stopped working at twenty below. To summon help, she was able to cap off a series of three shot groups. The neighbor came and she survived.

During a very wet blizzard one birch tree started bending further and further over. Before it could snap and fall on the boxes below (and possibly someone walking under it), I cleared the area and popped it low in the trunk with a low-recoil 12 ga. slug. The snow load instantly fell to the ground with a *thuwmp* and the tree sprung upright again.

I recently found that a small tree had snapped and fallen across the generator's little shed/box. The base of the tree was about seven feet away under a very deep berm of snow, and the snag was still pretty well attached and could not be removed. COuldn't get in with an axe without trying to walk through the berm and I had just my street shoes on. What to do? Pulled out my Walther PP and nailed the base of the snag with two Winchester silvertips. Snag broke loose, and I carried it off without leaving the trail.

Shortly after getting a fire started outside to clear up some garbage wood and snags, I noticed what appeared to be a small propane canister at the base of it. The thing had been tossed there, covered with snow, and only reappeared as the flames melted through the snow. Were they empties? No way to tell. If a full one went off with me standing there poking it, no more cosmo! So I got back to safe range and nailed it with my M-39 Mosin. No explosion

See--a gun is a tool :D

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January 29, 2004, 07:24 PM
I have visions of a certain simpsons episode in my head right now-- guns can be used to:
1)Open beers
2)Turn on/off TVs
3)Turn off lights

Well according to Homer anyway.

January 29, 2004, 07:34 PM
Interesting uses Cosmo!!

All that comes to mind right now is - the ''ultimate lock-pick'' ... well, unless door is hardened steel of course!!:p

January 29, 2004, 07:41 PM
If they're not good for anything else they do make good bookends.
This one holds up books a lot better than it shoots.

January 29, 2004, 08:04 PM
Is that Faffrd and the Mauser lurking behind that .38?

January 29, 2004, 08:05 PM
Sisco, nice bookend, now go get The Two Towers, for I don't see it on your shelf.

January 29, 2004, 08:07 PM
All that comes to mind right now is - the ''ultimate lock-pick'' ... well, unless door is hardened steel of course!!

Now that you mention it, the shotgun did come in handy to free an ice-bound door on a trailer :D

January 29, 2004, 08:34 PM
now go get The Two Towers, for I don't see it on your shelf.
It's there, along with "The Hobbit". Bought those back in '75 or '76 after I wore the paperback versions out.
Gun is a Clerke 1st .22 cal. Gave $5 for it when I was in High School, still feel like I got ripped off.

January 29, 2004, 08:40 PM
Gave $5 for it when I was in High School, still feel like I got ripped off. Bwhahaha ..... :D Sorry dude .... found that funny!! Mind you .. must not forget what 5 Bucks meant back then, in all seriousness.

One other use maybe ..... for a heavy clunker that needs little or no TLC ... a door-stop!!:p

January 29, 2004, 09:25 PM
Sounds like you need to move to Florida Cosmoline! :D

January 29, 2004, 10:54 PM
You know...I know a guy on another forum who lives in Alaska, is a big fan of Mosins, recently got himself a Walther, and has used those very three weapons in those very three ways.

I'm starting to think this isn't coincidence.

January 29, 2004, 11:07 PM
That's neat.

I used an AR15 once to expel a nest of fire ants.
I stood up on the porch about 10 feet away and above it and let loose with a couple of 30 rounders.

Must of got the queen because they didn't come back.

Got some yellow jackets the same way. They were a little more resiliant.

Got a black hornets nest with a 12 gauge.

Did I mention that I HATE insects?

January 30, 2004, 08:12 AM
I routinly use my Benelli Nova to clear a path for my satalite dish.Dam tree is always growing where it's not supposed to.:what:

El Tejon
January 30, 2004, 08:16 AM
How about shooting a hornet's nest out of a tree?:D

Did that (once) with the first shot with a .22 many moons ago. Probably used up all my "good shooting" qi since then.:D

January 30, 2004, 08:47 AM
EL T I've done that...flying critters get a bit "testy"...thank goodness for Adidas tennis shoes. :D

Single shot, shotgun bbls make great emergency "cheater bars". Well pump handles,and turning off the main gas at meter.

Also when the spout on a funnel is not long enough to fuel a farm /ranch truck from a gas can...a 20 ga. 870 bbl works. :)

January 30, 2004, 04:18 PM
Effective for removing unwanted trees.

These are pictures of the d@*#ed junipers behind my pistol range.

January 30, 2004, 04:38 PM
Smoke -- ''Ballistic tree surgeon''!! LOL ........ :D :D

January 30, 2004, 04:38 PM
A timber company actually has a crew that shoots trees. I'm not kidding they get paid , get compensation for guns, and free ammo to shoot trees!

You sure there were not doves in those Junipers Smoke? I understand the grey missles kinda get under your skin? :D


January 30, 2004, 04:41 PM
A timber company actually has a crew that shoots trees. Any up this way Steve? ... hell, sign me up!!:p

January 30, 2004, 04:52 PM
Hey it was news to me as well.
Some guys went to teach a NRA safety course these guys needed to stay "current". Now I don't know all the details but probably a dealie req'd by the timber company. I'm thinking Hunter Safety. They shoot dead limbs it seems.

I understand sometimes little furry creatures during certain seasons , tukeys, and deer end up in the truck as well. All legal. Can you imagine having a job, shooting trees , with license and tags on Timber property and the go ahead to fill a tag while on the job during respectful hunting seasons?

Probably the only job where folks will not miss work during Turkey and deer season.

Chris...we are in the wrong line of work :)

January 30, 2004, 05:01 PM
Chris...we are in the wrong line of work Ain't that the truth eh!!

Bet you the guys who do that stuff ... never get the jobs because of what they know ..... reckon it's because of who they know.:p The line - up of applicants in ''normal circumstances'' would go clear round 10 city blocks!!:D

January 30, 2004, 05:48 PM
Yep, I was gonna mention that an on-the-fat-side friend says 12 gauge is great for trimmin' trees. but I sse some of you guys been there and done that.

An old employer and I were needing to stake out the specific corners of a soon-to-be-built warehouse in Lubbock many years back and, lacking a transit or long-enough string line for one side of property line, used an 8' CB antenna and the scope on .222 varmint rifle, which happened to be handy on and in the "company pickup".

The job site was well within the city limits, so we were somewhat discrete to not cause "public alarm". Once we located the two appropriate corner pins, the antenna, a short broke-off tree branch and 9X setting on scope got the job done, good enough for non-government work anyway.

January 30, 2004, 06:03 PM
I've had a couple of CHL students to whom I had to suggest their handguns be used for trot line weights ...

January 30, 2004, 08:01 PM
I've been told that Ruger 10/22 barrels make good tomato stakes - a little short, but sturdy.


Brian Dale
January 31, 2004, 01:18 AM
sm, if it was a timber company crew, were they collecting cones for seed, rather than trimming the branches? Where I went to school, people doing tree genetics used to collect spruce and fir cones with shotguns, then grind up the seeds & analyze enzymes. Forest tree genetic research is important {that's pronounced "can make your company profitable or a money-pit"} if you're planting trees for timber production.

In our case (my lab mates worked on spruce and fir; I tagged along), collecting was done in remote areas, usually by my advisor (major professor/ boss; the guy whose lab I worked in — a Good Guy). Cut the twig that the cones hang on, the cones fall to the ground, and nobody falls out of any trees. It's faster than climbing trees, too. Shooting mostly straight upward (yeah, yeah. calm down, everybody), so a gas-operated auto was the gun of choice.

I'd probably say I was shooting dead limbs if I was on one of those crews, too. Gotta know which cones came from which trees for genetic studies to work. Don't want freelance collectors thinking that the cones might be worth money to the company, then collecting cones themselves and bringing them in — they're now unidentifiable, therefore worthless. And could have been on private land, or at least paid for under contract somehow. Best to keep it under one's hat, and keep the resource (information) intact. Those things don't just grow on trees, you kno— wait ... Umm, never mind about that part.

January 31, 2004, 01:53 AM
Colorado winter backpacking can get somewhat frustrating at times. I've used pretty stout hard cast .357 loads to do the "power auger" bit to break through ice, getting to unfrozen water - creeks 'n such.

Melting snow is rediculous & ice isn't much better. Free-flowing water can be hard to get at under several inches of ice.

& Cos, rather than smokin' the tree w/a slug & maybe trashing it, why not a birdshot load into the snow-bearing area up high? ;) Just wondering out loud. ;)

January 31, 2004, 02:58 AM
This pales by comparison to some of the other stories here, and it was more fun than "work", but ...

I was at my range one morning around 6 AM. I'd made coffee with my single burner propane stove. I took the burner off the cylinder, and continued to smell propane. The cylinder valve had a slow leak, and I couldn't get the valve to seal up. Banged it on the wooden bench a few times, just wouldn't stop leaking. Didn't want to throw it in the trash, as other members occasionally burn the trash in the cans. Didn't want to carry it around in my truck. So I put it out at 25 yards and drilled it with a .357. Since I had no clear idea what the ramifications of shooting a nearly full cylinder of propane might be, did all this from behind a decent sized oak tree. Just a large white cloud for a little while. I'd always kind of wondered, now I know. Reading this over, it sure sounds boring for so many words.:D

January 31, 2004, 04:04 AM
Done the same thing, HadEmAll, with a full 16 oz propane canister - & that sitting over a campfire.

Kinda gives lie to the "Bic lighter is equal to 7 sticks of dynamite," huh?

Gotta mention this though, that during some CO rifle hunting seasons, a 3-shot "signal for distress" may only be met with the thought that "you didn't git 'em - with the first shot." It's certainly no ideal for a quick rescue. After hearing several shots - granted from different rifles - but too, from a close series, I've yet to see anybody beating feet to "rescue" anyone from a series of a "3-shot."

FWIW, & BTW, my own party has another specific method for a "rescue" firearms report. It has proven its own validity.

Best use I've ever seen far as a firearm goes is for its purposefully intended design = that of firing a projectile to do a specific task.

We get to choose.

January 31, 2004, 09:59 AM
I have occasionally shot propane cans, but mainly just to ensure they were empty - then safe to throw in the recycle.

Come to think of it, if you live in the mountains, you could probably clear avalanches with a .416 Rigby?


January 31, 2004, 11:41 AM
Job shooting trees huh? I could do that. Of course it took several thousand rounds to reduce the tree to the point in the picture.....but then, I wasn't aimin' at the tree.:D

When hurting for tragets as a kid we used to try to sever mesquite limbs with a .22. Seems I have a history of tree shooting.

Think I'll go work on my resume.


January 31, 2004, 05:25 PM
1911 with slide locked to rear has TWO beer bottle openers.

My son-in-law made a hood orniment out of a gold plated Lorcin for his 89 Lincoln town car(still being driven today)

Had an elderly uncle who swears he drove a mis-behavin Model 12 Win into the ground and tied a milk cow to it.

January 31, 2004, 07:41 PM
Now I'm really gonna show my age !!

1. I can remember a small firing squad sooting the damaged-and dangling steeple off a church in my (childhood) home town. They fired one volley from their rifles - a 30.06,some sort of Savage lever action,and a couple of good ol' 30-30's... and down it came.

2. In olden days ( before they had those sissy twist off caps) some folks would use a Colt 1911A1. Unload,lock slide open,and use the ejection port to pop those caps.:D

February 1, 2004, 06:08 AM
Whilst I was just a mere lad, Dad & I harvested a couple Christmas trees with 1-2 properly placed 12 gauge loads low to the trunk .... much quicker than any bow saw. ;)

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