Friday, February 24, 2006

Interesting Survey Results

How do you like that, a magazine ran a survey and didn’t consult me, although its results do seem to represent my views handily. I stumbled on a post about a Field and Stream magazine survey of over 2,000 respondents. While far from a scientific survey (whatever that truly means) it’s interesting reading. What’s even more interesting is that it’s written by Field and Streams’ blogger, David E. Petzal, “The Gun Nut”. Who knew they had a blogger? Here’s my take on the survey’s results.

The first of several sections revealed people’s choices in guns. The venerable Remington 870 was high in all categories in which it could be considered. It was the number four deer gun (there’s a lot of shotgun hunting in the east), the highest ranking gun for waterfowl and turkey hunting, and took second place for upland bird hunting. No surprise that respondents also named it their favorite shotgun.

The Remington is an old model that several generations have used--it's no johnnie-come-lately to gun store shelves. Plus 870s are reliable, sturdy, and perfect workhorses. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg so no one will fear dinging it up in a hunt. No surprise here. Surprisingly though, the Remington 700 won out as the best big-game and deer rifle. I would have thought the Winchester Model 70 or even the oldie-but-goodie Winchester 94 would’ve surveyed higher.

Most respondents preferred the 100-year old .30-06 for their Whitetail deer cartridge. No wonder Winchester got into trouble when too few people bought its Ultra-Short Magnum rounds. Why buy a new gun and expensive fodder when an old reliable and time tested cartridge is at hand? I was surprised again when the .30-30 only ranked number three in the respondents’ hearts and minds. I guess not enough curmudgeons responded.

Handgun selections were no surprise. John Moses Browning’s wonderful 1911 took the favorite handgun prize with only a little competition from Colt’s Peacemaker and Ruger’s Single Six.

So far, what we have in common is blued steel and real wood, which lightens the heart of gun traditionalist like me. Now, I grant you survey respondents are readers of a magazine dedicated to hunting. If “Tactical Fantastic Fanzine” had sponsored the survey its results would’ve been totally different.

Let’s leave guns for now and look at peoples’ attitudes. Referring to my last paragraph, 60% of respondents don’t mind polymer and exotic metals. Now, I feel abandoned. My love of wood and metal guns leaves me in a minority. Sigh. (I do own and shoot a couple of black guns, but….)

96% of those surveyed have never had any gun-related problems with ATF, TSA or local police. I’m guessing here, but I think that most of the remaining 4% had dealings with TSA while shipping hunting guns by airplane. Of course, 4% of 2,000 means 80 people had unpleasant dealings (hopefully with no serious repercussions) with public servants. That’s too many people, but a lot better than I might have suspected given news about ATF’s probable mendacities, TSA’s incompetence, and local police being gun grabby (looking at you here Chicago).

Political attitudes include one or two mild surprises—25% thought gun control supporters might have a good idea or two. Harrumph, get real and get educated you people. However, 57% did write their representatives about their gun control stands (hopefully that 25% don’t have access to stamps or can’t write or something).

Finally, 72% of respondents like the idea of Cowboy Action Shooting while another 14% think their mamas dress 'em funny. 14% said something like “Cowboy what?”

There are many more questions I didn’t cover here and the post includes comments that are worth a read. Enjoy.

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