6 Guns Every Hillbilly Should Own
Despite the stereotype of the yoke-free shoes, hillbilly folks are mostly independent-thinking and responsible people with an aversion to postmodernism and Big Brother. They paraphrase Sturgill Simpson from his song “The Ballad of Dood and Jaunita” and leave the lacquer of their words, fear neither animals nor humans and are harder than the nails that were hammered into Jesus’ hands. Hillbilly are indelibly associated with West Virginia, but their reach extends beyond that. Originally Scottish-Irish and German settlers pushed into the hill country because they were the only ones who were difficult to live there, modern backwoodsmen can be found everywhere except in the cities. If a hillbilly is in town, he is most likely in the bank or in jail. One thing is for sure, real backwoodsmen are always well armed. Here’s a look at six guns you can expect to have backwoodsmen around you.
1. Muzzle loader
Author’s John Walker East Tennessee traditional long muzzle loading rifle. Richard Mann
No, it’s not because they can’t afford a real rifle. And not because a previous crime prevents them from being armed with a modern center fire. Hillbilly have a traditional muzzle loader because it was passed down from grandfather or built by their neighbor and because they know it’s the only weapon they can always rely on when the world is turned upside down. It could be a Hawken, Kentucky, or the East Tennessee rifle shown above, hand drawn and hand built by the West Virgine Johnny Walker, now from Kodiak, Alaska. When a real hillbilly pulls out a long rifle, don’t doubt it. You can bet his freezer is full and you’ll have to run fast and far to get out of range.
Hillbilly have shotguns that can be trusted, like a Remington 870 or this Winchester Model 12. Richard Mann
Life in the country requires special tools such as an ax, shovel, mule, and plow. Chainsaws have replaced axes and tractors and ATVs have replaced the mule, but for real hillbilly nothing has replaced the shotgun. Hillbilly will have a shotgun behind the door to deal with shoppers, traveling salesmen, carrot-eating marmots and foxes stealing chickens. It is used to put squirrels in the pot and turkeys in the oven. When squeezed, a shotgun with a punkin bullet will kill a deer or a bear. But don’t expect new age wonder scatterguns; a Remington 870 or Winchester Model 12 is everything a real hillbilly needs.
3. Lever gun
The author and his Custom Marlin 336 in .35 Rem. Richard Mann
Yes, lever rifles won the west, but in the hands of men like Devil Anse Hatfield they solved all problems in the east. Hillbilly folks will snort at white-tailed hunters as they drive up the ridge with the latest sniper bolt rifle; They know that shots are generally close and often in the blink of an eye where the lever gun shines. Winchester 94 and Marlin 336 and 1895 are the norm, but occasionally you see something special. Something like a take-down lever pistol in the photo here, equipped with a Scout scope and XS sights built by hillbilly gunsmith Jerry Dove at Dove’s Custom Guns. A hillbilly without a lever rifle is like a hunting dog with short ears: he is not a hillbilly at all.
This Single Seven .327 Federal Magnum is a handgun that can fire five different cartridges. What’s more hillbilly than that? Richard Mann
A pistol generally describes a semi-automatic handgun, but to a hillbilly, all handguns are pistols. And for miners, revolvers are probably the most common pistol you’ll find in their waistband or under their pillow. Reliability is one reason hillbilly people prefer the revolver, but versatility is also part of it. A .357 Magnum will fire .38 Special ammunition and a .44 Magnum will fire .44 Specials. Both will work to scare away baddies or marauding bears, but so will Ruger’s Single Seven in .327 Federal Magnum, especially Lipsey’s 4-5 / 8-inch barrel version with XS Sights. And it will also fire .32 H&R Mangum, .32 Long, .32 Short, and .32 Auto ammunition. It is as if this pistol was designed by a hillbilly.
5. .22 rifle
No hillbilly battery is complete without a serious .22 rifle, like the author’s New Ultra Light Arms Model 20RF .22. Richard Mann
Not only will every serious shooter, hunter, and competitor have a .22 rifle, but every hillbilly will have a serious .22 rifle capable of head-shooting a squirrel at 75 yards. It’s the rifle he uses to teach his kids to shoot, expose raccoons to his dogs, kill rats in the garbage dump, shoot crows off the power line and kill snakes, muskrats, weasels and well, damn it, everything else The pig or ox that needs to be slaughtered. You will see all kinds of .22s in the hands of backwoodsmen; anything from a Remington Nylon 66 to a Marlin 39A. But for West Virginia hillbillies – miners – the ultimate .22 is one of the light wonder rifles from Melvin Forbes of New Ultra Light Arms; You will shoot 50 yards through the hole in a Life Saver.
Don’t be surprised to find a hillbilly with an AR15, and a damn good one like this Wilson Combat Protector Series Carbine. Richard Mann
Don’t think that backwoodsmen are less savvy when it comes to firearms. Their addiction to muzzle-loaders, lever rifles, and revolvers doesn’t mean they are lagging behind. They just know what a good weapon is and they know how to use it. However, they also know that it is the duty of every patriot to be well equipped in the event of home defense, and they understand that they are responsible for their own safety as well. A hillbilly may have a muzzle loader on his hands during deer season, but you can bet there is an AR in the pickup truck or at home. And don’t be surprised if it’s one of the top of the range, like a Wilson Combat Protector Carbine in 300 HAMR with suppressor. Hillbilly know how to make noise when partying, but they also know when to be quiet.