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What is a Brush Gun?

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Eric answers the question, “What is a brush gun?” in this episode. He says the term gets thrown around a lot, especially when it comes to hunting. One of the common concepts when it comes to brush guns appears to be that they have to be some big-caliber shotgun that can punch through the brush and get on to the other side of the woods to make a kill. Eric says there have been stories of hunters missing out on their kills of a lifetime all because they “didn’t have a brush gun.” Is there any validity to these claims? He says even he has fallen to these presumptions, as he was taught that since he was a kid.

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He starts by placing a piece of steel on the other side of the brush, and will shoot through with a few guns that are considered “brush guns” by the general populace. Eric starts with a Ruger M77 .22 rifle. There’s around 15 yards of brush between him and the target — he says he’s not advocating to use a .22 to hunt deer, but it’s just a baseline for the rest of the guns. When he checked, only one round hit the target, while the others hit the backboard. Eric says he’s sure it wasn’t his aim, and this is a pretty reliable gun with a range of 25 yards, so it’s a pretty sure thing that brush will cause a .22 to veer off its course and hit elsewhere.

The next is an 18DMR .556. Eric fires, and on inspection, he finds that one hit close to center and one hit low, and the other hit almost two feet away. He notes that a lot of soldiers preferred the M14 to the M16 in jungle fighting precisely because of this reason. So he’ll test a BM59 to check this theory. This time, the rounds didn’t hit in the same place either, but they did punch through the board and the two-by-four, so they maintained their power, at least. Sp don’t shoot a .308 if you want a clean kill.

He moves on to a 1951 Marlin .35, which is an acceptable brush gun — the quintessential kind of gun used in the woods, Eric says. This proves that if you see it, you can kill it, as the rounds hit a pretty good group, which would have been a humane kill. Then it’s the 1972 Marlin .444, and he has some difficulty seeing through the brush. One of the rounds went through some branches and busted them open, but still hit the target. The last is the Henry .45-70, the “Papa of the brush.” There was no resistance at all, and all three rounds landed in the exact same spot, proving this gun’s worth as a brush gun. Eric tests his 58 Snider, just for fun to see how it holds up in the woods.



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