Letter Re: An Exercise in Humility–Starting a Poll on Embarrassing Mistakes

Freeholder’s comments on the need for real world experience in animal husbandry are part of a larger issue. How can we gain hands on experience in so many diverse survival skills and still have time for work, family, friends etc? Even if we wanted to, how many stupid mistakes would we make without someone mentoring us? It’s just as important to know what doesn’t work as what does. This blog has had a lot of great ideas of what to do. Now I’d like to see some of what not to do, otherwise, I’m likely to do that same dang fool thing myself. I’m putting out a call for all the embarrassing mistakes you’ve all made. Don’t assume that it’s too stupid for anyone else to make it. I’ll start the ball rolling. The first 600 rounds of 9mm that I bought won’t shoot reliably from my ported Glock pistols. I need to have non-ported barrels to use them. Did I buy 115 grain target ammo to start? Yup. I didn’t know any better. Here’s another. After I heard the sound of breaking glass in my house today, knowing my family was out I tried to clear the house with my long-barrel shotgun. Nope, I just couldn’t make it through the stairway with that thing and still work the angles. Turned out it was just the wind knocking over a picture frame but it made me realize I had the wrong tool for the job. – SF in Hawaii

JWR Adds: Let the poll begin! I think that this will be a very valuable learning experience for all of us. Humility is considered a virtue by Christians. I’ve been involved in family preparedness for 30 + years, and in that time, I ‘ve had my share of humbling mistakes. Some have been costly. Here is just one of mine: When I was was 16 years old , I thought that the “ideal” firearms for survival would be an M1 Carbine and Ruger single action revolver, both chambered in the same cartridge (.30 U.S. Carbine.) What I soon discovered was that .30 U.S. Carbine is a poor stopper for deer–even the small coastal deer of California. (Sadly, I crippled one and had to blood trail it for 12 hours before I found it. My foolish choice caused that animal to suffer needlessly.) I did some research and learned that .30 U.S. Carbine is an even worse stopper for self defense when facing two-legged or four legged predators. I also learned from experience that handguns chambered in .30 U.S. Carbine are incredibly loud and have a huge muzzle flash. Thus, they are not practical for much of anything. Needless to say, I soon sold both of those guns. I eventually settled on .308 Winchester / 7.62mm NATO for most of my rifles, and .45 ACP for most of my handguns.

I look forward to reading other people’s “lesson’s learned” on preparedness. Let the poll begin!