Last Minute Barney’s

Seems like every year the week before opening day I get inundated with dozens of guys who have waited until the very last minute to get a scope mounted or a rifle sighted in. I call these guys last minute Barneys.

As I sat in my office yesterday my phone rang and on the other end was Barney. You see he had purchased a new rifle about 4 months ago but just had not had time to get it sighted in and asked if I could hook him up. Even though I had several irons already in the fire I agreed because a simple sight in job wouldn’t take but about an hour and I could squeeze that in.

Well old Barney showed up with a Lee Enfield in .303 British and a cigar box with mounts and cartridges mixed in it. Two and a half hours later I had pieced together enough parts to begin mounting a scope. The scope now that was a thing of beauty. Big white letters with the words K-Mart were right there for the world to see. This wonder of the arms world was a complete package deal bought for the unbelievable low price of $75.00 at a garage sale. At this point I knew I needed to walk away but Barney was bending my ear about how this was his year to get that buck he had missed for the past 3 seasons because he only had a shotgun etc. so I took pity and continued to work. At this point I didn’t know if I should break out the MIG welder or a book of spells and a wizard hat because that’s what it was going to take to resurrect this once venerable firearm.

Three hours in and I finally have a scope and a solid mount squared and level. Ready to sight in. I took Barney and his rifle to my range behind my house where I proceeded to attempt to match up the best of his random ammo so I could sight it in. The first shot jarred the glass right out of the front of the scope. At this point I am just wanting the nightmare to end. I full well expected Bill Murray with the theme from Groundhog Day playing behind him to walk up. I told Barney he needed a new scope to which he replied he couldn’t afford one which really concerned me about my fee for my work but I dug through my pile of junk scopes and came up with an old 4x Tasco. After I got in tightened down in the mounts it only took me a few minutes to get her zeroed in about as well as it could ever be.

I handed the rifle off to Barney and told him it would be $100. Which in my book wasn’t bad for 4 hours of work and a scope as well as sighting it in. Barney took 6 months to pay the 100 bucks but he paid it. Every year I have no less than a dozen Barneys who show up with busted, broke, unshootable guns a week or less before opening day and they all need them ASAP and ready to hunt. God love’em cause I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way…

Story by Jeff Stewart

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