The longer I remain involved in shooting sports the more aware I become of the vast differences in the ways we approach the various aspects of the sport we all love. Whether it is handloading, shooting techniques, rifle or scope choices, cleaning and barrel break-in rituals and the reasons for it all... we are certainly a diversified body of thinkers. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Some guys keep it simple with the reloading. A modest single stage press... basic no frills loading dies... maybe no powder measure at all, or perhaps a cheap one... fifty dollar beam scale... Other guys step it up a notch, and perhaps get a better press, higher priced loading dies, maybe an electronic scale. Then we've got the groups who have literally thousands invested in the reconstitution of metallic cartridges. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] We've got neck turners and non-neck turners, each often trying to convince the other of what is and isn't necessary. The list goes on ad nausem...
There are factory rifle guys and custom rifle guys and guys with custom barrels screwed into their relatively unmodified factory actions.
But the group that interests me the most is that group of guys who have been doing things "their way" for many, many years. Experience truly can't be oversold here. If something has been working for a man for twenty or thirty or even fifty odd years--who shall argue with his methods?
I hereby sheepishly admit that I have all too often taken experience to task. I have debated guys who have had things "all worked out" for decades. Some since before I knew what a rifle was!
Did this make me wrong in my arguments? Not necessarily. But it did show disrespect on my part toward experience. And for that, I'm sorry.
You see, we will not always come to the same conclusions about what works and what doesn't... what's necessary and what isn't... what is truly essential and what is a total waste of money. We won't always agree on Winchester or Remington or Savage. Or on Redding or RCBS or Lee. Our shooting techniques will vary. Our rifle maintenance techniques will vary. Our ideas of what is and isn't a good group will be different.
Much of this dissent among experienced riflemen and handloaders is owing to the fact that our needs and certainly our expectations are different. Then, to further foil any chance of a consensus on what works and what doesn't, we each decide what level of profficiencty we are striving for, and when we reach that point, we often get the idea that our way is the best and only way. Standards lower than our own are decried, while standards higher than ours may be referred to as "anal." [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
The thing is, there are many ways to get from point A to point B. And some guys aren't aiming for point B at all, but rather, point G--for good enough for deer hunting. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
I think that it is quite posisible--and even advisable--to show respect for experience even when we disagree. If something has been working for a man for decades, why upset his apple cart? If you're convinced that your way is better than his, then continue on your own path. If something you're doing is truly better than what the other guy is doing, he'll notice soon enough. And if he doesn't, it's his loss. Right? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
I'm reminded of a poem I read in grade school. The author was listed as anonymous. I remembered that poem at first because it was funny. I recall it now because I see its simple wisdom...
I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on the knife
I know what you mean. Only more of my experience come from the facility I wrok at. It began life back in the mid 60's, and we are still running a LOT of the same equimment today.
Unlike the petrochem industry, our facility provides a service to the medical buildings and hopitals, so we cannot afford to run stuff till it craters. We carefully monitor it and pull routine maintenance on it every week, month, semi annualy and annualy. WE provide service 24/7/365 with no interruption.
When we get new hires, they are often placed with me as I have been there for close to 25 years. I have work on just about all of the equipment and know what most of the little quirks are with each piece. It is a lot like rifles in scense, as each might be the same make, but none of it is identical. Well most of the new folks have been in the industry in one place or another. They have worked on all sorts of equipment, however stuff the size we have is rare. THey mostly all come in with an I already know that attitude, which is sometimes hard if not impossible to get out of their heads. It takes time and patients to help them to understand that your way might be great, but we have kept this stuff up and running year in and out, doing it this way. Do it our way now, and the next time we will try it your wway and see if it works out for us or not.
I know that at 42, I am not the brightest bulb on the tree, however I can hold my own in most circumstances. I will listen to an idea or approach, weigh the time we have, the idea against what we are doing, and go from there. SOmetimes changes are made to proceedures in this fashion, sometimes they are implimented later on, sometime not at all.
The overall results is the same in both cases here, no matter what the standard is, there is always room for improvement from somewhere. Wether the improvement is a valid one, which will make a long term difference, remains to be seen. However, you always have to keep an open mind on things or else you might as well go through life with blinders on.