Hunting Guy or Tactical Guy.

A big chunk of the shooting community seems to be in two camps. Hunting Guys and Tactical Guys and I’ve heard arguments between the two about who is better and all that nonsense. I know guys on both sides of that line in the sand.

One side buys long brown guns and fire rounds never used by the Military. They will also use pointy sticks and strings to bring down big game. These guys can load their guns backwards and then kill an Elk with it. They camo up and blend in with their surroundings like the Predator and will mimic their prey and get within spitting distance.

The other guys buy guns that are Black or Coyote Tan and they fire rounds by the bucket loads and practice shooting their Semi’s with speed and accuracy that is unprecedented in Military History. They will rip into a target like a hurricane, dominate a situation, and counter any threat they come across. Both sides have strong points.

I don’t try to separate myself from one side or the other and I can do both as the situation requires.   I think any real serious Shooter should be versed in both schools. You can’t take a tactical guy that has never hunted before and expect him to bring back a buck. Just like you can’t take a guy that has only shot a Weatherby and expect him to get through an urban patrol without some issues.

Just like the Mary Anne or Ginger question… the best answer is Both. Don’t let yourself get into that “I’m that guy” mindset… telling yourself you are only going to buy these kinds of guns and you are only going to buy these kinds of optics or ammo… and you are only going to practice this one kind of shooting… You are going to handicap yourself. Don’t try to be Specialized… because A, you are missing out. And B, you are not going to always be in that one situation where your specialty is useful. The History Channel Show, TOP SHOTS has proven to be an excellent vehicle for taking world class champion shooters and making them look like chumps.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.   -Robert A. Heinlein


5 thoughts on “Hunting Guy or Tactical Guy.”

  1. I’m just a shooting guy.

    The fudds and the tactical tommies are a minority amongst gun owners.

    The majority buys guns because we CAN, and just shoots for fun at the local range, back forty, gravel pit, or federal land out here ion the west.

  2. I’m with Kristopher….just a shooting guy who likes variety over specificity….

    Actually, it seems the gun advertisers are the ones who divide shooting into hunting-vs.-tactical….too bad….they’re really missing a significant niche…..the “shooting stuff is fun” crowd…..

  3. I don’t hunt due mostly to lack of time. Once a year I’ll be out at a friends property in PA and “IF” I get lucky to see one, I’ll bag a coyote. I also find sitting in a tree stand waiting for a deer to come within range(can only hunt with shotguns and smokesticks in NJ) rather boring. That’s not to say I haven’t done it, but would rather be shooting than waiting.

    I’m more than capable of putting food on my table if need be, from killing it to butchering it and finally cooking it. I do however prefer the “run and gun” sport of shooting much more. My B.I.L. and I are planning on converting a 450’x50′ gully in the back of his property into a better range than it currently is(right now just a gully with 1 large board to staple targets to).

    I don’t wear 511 clothing nor do I “camo up” to sit in a stand. I just like to make noise and watch targets drop, whether steel plates or walking dinners.

  4. George, you just described only the top 5-10% of those types of “shooters” because not all hunters actually know how to properly hunt and a good number of tactical shooters actually know how to shoot and use proper tactics. These are perishable skills and if they aren’t needed out of necessity then chances are the skills are simply lost because they aren’t used. These days you can go to the Wal Mart and buy an electronic game call, the newest Real Tree camo, scent blocker in a spray bottle and then head out to a rented and well manicured food plot that is monitored with real time game cameras. Not much skill in that. Where I have hunted (on game lands in NC) it sounds like a shooting range because the “hunters” shoot at anything that moves and I have seen vans pull up to a screeching halt and about 9 guys jump out and run into the woods. The “hunter” that you describe is a person who hunts for subsistance and someone who does it likely year round to keep their skills sharp and intact.

    Now, the “tactical” shooter you described is likely someone who is active in law enforcement, military or other agency whose life depends on their very skill in shooting and tactics…but in reality your average “tactical” shooter is either someone who competes or just has an expensive hobby that they try to keep up with. Take a look at everyone who attends a shooting class and note who brings a gun that looks practically brand new. I’d be willing to bet those people have some of the coolest, most expensive gear…but they just don’t use it. You NEVER take a brand new gun to a class, but people do it. Also look to see who is huffing & puffing half way through. Just because a person completes a course or three doesn’t make them a “tactical” shooter, what matters is what they do AFTER the class and how much they strive to improve their skill and how much time they devote to keep from losing their skill. You will find that the minority of the “tactical” shooters are serious enough and have the resources to actually be the person that you describe.

    Who am I? I could be considered neither, even though I (used to) hunt and I do like to compete in tactical shooting…but I don’t have the money or general health to be proficient in either to be considered any of the 2 people you describe. I’m more of a small-time collector and admirer than anything else. That is something that I can at least admit.

  5. Hunting Guy or Tactical Guy ….

    Another discussion for down the road …. Which one is more likely to throw the other under the bus?

    or, to put it differently …. Which one feels that the other guy will throw him under the bus?

    (Legislatively speaking)

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