Chevys and Fords

Back during the Pleistocene era—when I was young—we guys used to tout our allegiance to certain makes of cars, usually Chevys and Fords, though a few rebels clung to Dodge. Taunts like, “I’d rather push a Ford than drive a Chevy,” or, “Ford: Fix or Repair Daily,” were tossed to and fro with pedantic regularity. I confess that I participated in this sophomoric exercise in self-entertainment. Fact was, of course, that with the exception of a few kids from relatively well-heeled families, most of our cars were not too reliable. That was because, one, we were poor and had worn-out cars, and two, most of us thought of ourselves as master mechanics and tinkered with those cars all the time. And because of that false premise our Chevys and Fords would sputter up and down the road, only occasionally firing on all cylinders and giving us a glimpse of what they once were—kind of like us old coots today.

Apparently this jejune form of behavior remains at the core for many of us who are gunnies. Trouble is, way too many of us believe this line of cow scat as gospel.

Before we tread forward, I will make a confession: I have a warped sense of humor…always have, and probably always will. One unfortunate consequence of this is that I will too often say—or write—something I perceive as funny, even though I don’t really believe it to be true. We used to call that “needling.” It just comes out as an effort to inject humor, but the originator—in this case me—fails to realize that there are some folks out there who take this stuff much more seriously than they should.

One area where this is prevalent today is the 1911 vs. Glock bunch. Most of you know I am a 1911 guy…again, always have been, and always will be. And I have done my fair share—perhaps more—of needling the Glock pistol. I cannot help but be perfectly honest: I do not care for this pistol. It’s not enjoyable for me to shoot or carry, and it lacks anything remotely aesthetically pleasing to me. However, there is no denying that the Glock is a reliable and reasonably accurate handgun and wildly popular among many who carry a pistol on a daily basis. Does that mean I really am that arrogant enough to believe that anyone carrying a Glock is begging to lose a gunfight? Of course not. The Glock pistol has a record of reliability and service that any gun manufacturer would love to have.

Conversely, just because I—and a whole lot of other folks—choose a 104-year-old design to protect our hide, we are not begging to lose a gunfight or lost in some romantic notion of yesteryear. The 1911 has a much longer record of exemplary service.

Just as most of us have learned a Chevy, Ford, Dodge, even—God forbid—a Hyundai can get our fat butts down the road with equal aplomb, a 1911, Glock, even—God forbid—a High Point can serve as a self-defense firearm. It’s the nut behind the steering wheel—or trigger—that determines success.

Dave Campbell
Dave Campbell began his hunting career with a spear off the southern California coast in the late 1960s. It did not take long for him to graduate to the gun on land. Campbell is the founding editor in chief of the NRA’s tremendously successful Shooting Illustrated magazine. In 2006 he also edited the iconic book of terminal ballistics, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter—A Definitive Study. He returned to his beloved Wyoming in 2007 as a freelance writer, though he usually refers to himself now as a “recovering editor.”
  1. Brad Reply

    Well done, Dave. You are so correct on the nut behind the wheel!
    To be effective with a handgun we must be one with the gun, no matter which one.

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