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  • A .22-caliber rifle is one thing. It's what I grew up with, what I spent summers shooting at Boy Scout camp. The recoil is more caress than kick.

    But a .45-caliber handgun, which I also shot at the range a few weekends ago, is the kind of weapon that leaves you with shaky hands and jangled nerves. You can hear its unsettling roar on the audio recording, but even that hardly compares to actually firing one, bracing yourself as you squeeze the trigger, so much power in a thing so small.

    With a low-powered rifle, you shoot, you have fun, and you forget.

    With a .45 in your hands, its rounds as wide as your trembling finger, you remember what a gun was built to do.
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