Confidence

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 6,560 Senior Member
There's been a lot of discussion in here lately about what chambering/cartridge is good enough for the intended game. For instance, is the 7mm-08 enough gun for elk? What about the .270? And so on.

I think that these are good discussions to have, but one issue that has been overlooked is the confidence one has in the firearm he/she is carrying to do the intended job. In my humble opinion, that is a major factor. It doesn't matter what you carry, or how well suited it is for the job at hand, if you're not confident that it can do the job, or that it has the needed accuracy, or that you can shoot it accurately enough to do the job, it's a hindrance.

How important do you think confidence in either your firearm's ability or your ability to use said fiream is in a hunting situation?
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    As Wambli said, it's a huge factor.

    Ability can make up for chambering in quite a few circumstances.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    I am totally confident I can take an elk cleanly with a 7mm-08 and 140gr Patition or Accubond. Practice and knowing you can hit at different distances what you are aiming at can not be stress enough as a huge confidence factor. BP nailed it when he said, "Ability can make up for chambering in quite a few circumstances."
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,066 Senior Member
    I have done a lot with a 7-08 class performance up to bull elk.
    Total confidence in that rig and in my ability to shoot well with it in the field.
    If you doubt your rig or your ability to use it, don't take it in the field.
    An old taxidermist I knew in Greeley, CO used an old 300 Savage every year for elk, and just about every year he filled his tag
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,355 Senior Member
    Great topic, Jerry.

    Confidence is everything. I didn't learn this until I lacked it and refused to pull the trigger on a shot because I found out, at the moment of truth, that I lacked confidence in the load. It was only 250 yards, but the load was shooting 2.0-2.5" groups @ 100 yards and the angle I was presented was head-on. This was a small, meat buck that would've been shot purely for the freezer, but I still didn't want to risk a poor shot. I let him walk as a 100% result of lack of confidence.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Great topic, Jerry.

    Confidence is everything. I didn't learn this until I lacked it and refused to pull the trigger on a shot because I found out, at the moment of truth, that I lacked confidence in the load. It was only 250 yards, but the load was shooting 2.0-2.5" groups and the angle I was presented was head-on. This was a small meat buck that would've been shot purely for the freezer, but I still didn't want to risk a poor shot. I let him walk as a 100% result of lack of confidence.

    Good illustration Six-Gun, you are not the only one that at times a certain shot has presented a problem due to confidence in the rifle and load.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,551 Senior Member
    Confidence trumps pretty much everything. When you pull the trigger, you should be surprised if something doesn't fall down.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,230 Senior Member
    I have to agree that confidence is everything. We are talking hunting and I really don't need to bring anything home to feed the family so I would just rather let something walk if I am not confident in my ability with a certain shot or the limits of the rifle/load/bullet. Confidence might be just shooting a few rounds at a target to check zero before going hunting or the massive vetting that my .338 Federal will be going through but one way or another, I will have confidence in whatever I use out in the field. Would I shoot a deer with a .223 in the situation that Wambli described? If I was aware of my and the rifle's capabilities like he was, certainly. 243 for elk? Why not with the right ability, shot presentation, bullet, and range?

    Confidence boils down to the shooter's knowledge of his equipment and his abilities with it.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    As Wambli said, it's a huge factor.

    Ability can make up for chambering in quite a few circumstances.

    Yet the reverse is often the exact opposite and NOT true, but unfortunately a commonly made mistake
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,355 Senior Member
    Yet the reverse is often the exact opposite and NOT true, but unfortunately a commonly made mistake
    Very true. More than once, I've heard someone tell me that they want a chambering that "will kill them dead on the spot every time" (or something to that effect.) To that, I reply, "there's no such thing," at least not in a shoulder-mounted chambering. I'd bet money that even a .50 BMG won't garauntee a DRT gut shot. I say that because it's usually the guys who think a chambering will make any shot a garaunteed kill are the ones who make the piss poor excuse for a shot in the field.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    I let one of the biggest white tail bucks that I have ever seen afield walk one day. He was 400+ yards away and the blind was shaking in the wind and I just didn't want to take a chance on wounding him and letting him run off and die and not find him. What a waste! But that's hunting.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • DurwoodDurwood Senior Member Posts: 970 Senior Member
    Confidence and experience with my equipment is a big part of which rifle I pick up when I go to the stand. I prefer to stick with something that has worked for me nowadays...I wasn't always like that. I used to try something different every year just for fun. I still like to mix things up a bit rifle wise, but I don't take an unproven rifle to the field.


    I don't think I've seen anyone say this, but I do think some folks (not us of course) get too much confidence in a particular rifle and then start getting sloppy with checking zero etc. I have a good hunting buddy who is guilty of this. He's a great hunter, but a poor rifleman:nono:
    You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts:guns:
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,869 Senior Member
    I believe confidence makes up a high percentage of if someone should take a shot or not.
    Yes, I have missed on occasion, even have made 3 "bad" shots over the years (2 gut shots one of them lost, 1 front leg broken) but in every case, I could have, and SHOULD have made the shot. I KNEW the firearms (2 rifles 1 single shot pistol) and the ammo were up to the task and I just simply blew it. If I hadn't been confident I wouldn't have pulled the trigger.
    On the other hand, I own one rifle (Rem 799 7.62x39) that until I figure out what it is going to take to get it shooting better than the current 4"+ groups @ 100 yards, I doubt it will see the game field this season (though I MIGHT try it on one in the back yard, since that will only be a 25-45 yard shot MAX)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,527 Senior Member
    JBC, you nailed this one right, I would put this in the high 90% range.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,066 Senior Member
    I want to have so much confidence in my handguns, that if I make a bad shot, I know it is me, not the gun.
    Then with practice, that gives me confidence or trust. The more I use use it, the more comfortable I am with it.
    Now, it is up to my judgement whether or not I am up to the task for that set of conditions.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 848 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    Confidence trumps pretty much everything. When you pull the trigger, you should be surprised if something doesn't fall down.

    Mike

    Great topic,
    I agree with Linefinders post, I have sold the odd rifle because I missed a couple of times and simply lacked confidence in the next shot,when that happens you get nervous for what should be a bread and butter shot.
    I'm not talking about shot's where you can immediately find a reason, hurried, felt pulled etc, but those shot went you aimed fired and nothing happened, that wrecks confidence.
    As above , everytime I squeeze the trigger I expect to hit what I'm aiming at and if that doesn't happen I like to kniow why.
    Not arrogance, simply confidence.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • ritchey sr.ritchey sr. New Member Posts: 14 New Member
    That is why you need to shoot as much as you can at a range. Confidence building is the first step to breaking in a new hunter. Once confidence in what your using is established the rest of the pieces fall into place and results in a quick and humane harvest.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    Confidence in my ability to put a high-powered rifle bullet exactly where I want, at the range I expect to shoot, means that I will wait patiently for the shot I know I can make. For now, I'm tickled with my .30-06, because both of the shots I took with it last year went exactly where I wanted them to, made a quick, humane kill, and did not ruin a single morsel of meat (I don't eat deer ribs). Of course, both were under a 100 yards, so a .30-30 would have probably done the job just as well.

    This year, I'll probably be shooting at longer ranges, but still in the sweet spot for .30-06 (150-200 yards), so I'll see how that goes.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    It's a great feeling to make a really clean kill with the rifle of your choice and especially with your own hand load. Then eating it is icing on the cake.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    I'd bet money that even a .50 BMG won't garauntee a DRT gut shot. I say that because it's usually the guys who think a chambering will make any shot a garaunteed kill are the ones who make the piss poor excuse for a shot in the field.

    Yes, some actually believe and promote this philosophy that the cartridge will make up for bad shots. Shot placement above all things is paramount for a good kill.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    I want to have so much confidence in my handguns, that if I make a bad shot, I know it is me, not the gun.
    Then with practice, that gives me confidence or trust. The more I use use it, the more comfortable I am with it.
    Now, it is up to my judgement whether or not I am up to the task for that set of conditions.

    Great stuff, YES!!! and I have seen from your targets and hunting pictures that the above is exactly what you do. Well said Ernie!!! :beer:
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    One other element I would like to add to the great comments and posts on this thread. If you have a rifle that you just can't warm up to even though it shoots good but not as good as you would like, and for some reason you really don't like how it feels, carries or handles in the field and you are not that excited about the rifle, and are not really crazy about taking it on the hunt, GET RID OF IT!!!

    It will impact your hunt in ways that you might not realize at the time. If I don't believe in my rifle 100% even though I know I practice and can make a good shot, I don't carry it on my hunts and in fact it does not last long in my battery of guns. Just me, but that is how I feel about some rifles I have owned. Your mind set in the field in reference to your rifle and your use of it, is almost as important if not as important as anything else you do, because how a person feels also impacts the tangible realities and results of the hunt.
  • Waltor09Waltor09 Banned Posts: 1 New Member
    it is a factor but not the main one
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,968 Senior Member
    It will do the job
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,047 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »

    How important do you think confidence in either your firearm's ability or your ability to use said fiream is in a hunting situation?

    Well, the Poles "confidently" charged German tanks with small arms on horseback in 1939, and look how far it got them. The gun is enough gun or it isn't. "Belief" doesn't have jack to do with it.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    Confidence in my rifle and ability to shoot it is pretty much the whole ball of wax for me. It's the reason I tinker all year long with my gear, just for those few seconds before I make the decision to shoot, and then execute it. Some of the folks I have hunted with shoot rifles that are sighted at random distances with cheap scopes and don't even know what MOA is, but they are pretty good hunters, nevertheless. I'm just not wired that way.

    My deer hunting is based on the idea of creating the circumstances in which I can get a fairly specific shot that I know I can make, every time (so far). If I don't think I can hit a very small spot on a whitetail, it gets to walk away, and I'll still be satisfied with my performance. That's the reason my longest shot to date is 118 yards, and why I have, on occasion come up empty when everyone else is scoring. I will take a longer shot, but I have always passed, so far, because I was not certain I could make it, for one reason or another.

    I've lately started practicing for longer range shots, but I won't take one until I'm as confident as I've always been with ~100 yard shots.
  • AiredaleAiredale Banned Posts: 624 Senior Member
    We tend to forget classic cartidges.
    The 300 Savage is comparable to the 308 Winchester.
    Jim
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,078 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Well, the Poles "confidently" charged German tanks with small arms on horseback in 1939, and look how far it got them. The gun is enough gun or it isn't. "Belief" doesn't have jack to do with it.

    Some carried lances
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,066 Senior Member
    A gun that is capable along with a shooter who is also capable (From that comes a confidence in the ability/accuracy of said weapon and his ability to use it).
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    How important do you think confidence in either your firearm's ability or your ability to use said fiream is in a hunting situation?

    VERY! I carry my .308win everywhere. It's plenty accurate enough at any range I'm comfortable with and I'm a firm believer that shot placement combined with my chosen load will drop anything I shoot at in a single well placed shot. So far, everything has preformed as expected.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    I think confidence plays a huge part. However, I have to have good experiences with a cartridge and/or rifle before I have this confidence. If i have a rifle that has failed me on more than one occasion, it sort of blows my confidence in it, no matter what reputation or how popular it may be. In 45 years of hunting with it, my .270 Win. has let me down maybe twice. And thinking about it, those were probably my fault. I do know that with the right bullet and if I put it where it needs to be, it will kill with regularity.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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