Brothers and sisters, it vexes me, pains me - nay; it wounds me to admit this shortcoming, this failure, this iniquity, for I hath not found it amongst the papers of today, or amidst the tales of scandal so oft told of the heathens against whom we struggle to convert. It comes from my own bosom, and I cannot hide it from you, my companions in, but not of, this dark world full of misery and blight.
I have sinned.
Arrogance was mine, so much that I thought, not that I was perfect, but that I had immunity from this manner of error; I thought it could not happen to me, yet I am guilty of it, as sure as grits are groceries. I cannot expect your forgiveness, though I am compelled to explain my error in the hopes that I am the last lead astray in such a manner, that I will be the last ensnared by such a trap.
For years I opined - nay, preached - against the Gospel of Stoner, deriding it as an apocrypha, an heresy, at best a trifle to be indulged no more than occasionally, at worst a disease that must be eradicated. I shouted from the rooftops that direct impingement was not the answer - that only a long stroke (or at least a short stroke) could deliver us to the promise land. I testified that a .22 bullet was not seemly to use agin anything more than 70 pounds, that it was not a cartridge fit for warriors, nor adequate for the protection of their families. And the sproing - verily, the sproing did I mock, comparing it in an unfavorable light with a gun meant for BB's.
But I have seen the sign in the sky, the writing on the wall, and now my wits have returned and the most righteous message Brother Stoner (may peace be upon him) tried to bring to us all, for our betterment.
It is only now, after wasting all those years with claims of heresy that I now know to be false, have I seen the light at the end of the two tenths of an inch diameter tunnel. The .223 Remington is a superb cartridge for battle and beast alike, readily felling with a mere graze the most zealous warrior as well as stopping the charges of Cape Buffaloes mid-stride, and the AR-15 platform is surely the most divine manner of delivering them.
So I will give up my sinful ways that I thought for so long were wise. The '06 shall I speak of no more. Its .30 pill, both heavy & slow compared to the .223, shall darken my ammo shelves no longer. It is tempting to beat my clips into magazines, and turneth mine gas cylinders into windchimes, as the prophets of old saw visions of. Yet atonement must be made.
I have been shown the light, and guided to the edge of the promised land where I may look over its valleys. But I have too much sin on me, and I cannot cross over. I am not worthy of an AR, or its .223 cartridge.
But I have seen the truth now; to quote the prophet (may his parking ever more be validated), "Whenst thou picketh a projectile, let its weight be light and its speed be fast..." Though I am not deserving to possess the mighty .223 Remington (or its nearest equivalent the blessed 5.56x45mm NATO) I shall not stray from the path again.
My Garands shall be reworked, with the laborers of metal installing new tubes, ones which may be judged as near to the perfection preached by the prophet as a lowly sinner such as myself is allowed. As was the M1E10 so too shall mine be converted to an impingement that is direct! And verily, I will have them rechambered for the mighty .17-06! Surely, 17 grains of blessed boattail exceeding 5,300 fps will prove that I have mostly humbly repented of my apostasy. And maybe, after I have done sufficient penance for my depraved ways, I can step just a bit closer to the light and have them rebarreled in .17-06 Ackley Improved! Though I dare not look too far forward, lest I stumble and resume my haughty ways that lead only to ruin.
Thus let my folly instruct you, lest your path becomes as crooked and your steps as backward as mine hath been. Revere the AR-15 (was it not described as the greatest battle implement ever devised? Wise was he whose words offered such just praise!), adore the .223 Remington (as another elder proffered from his trove of wisdom, "there's nothin' a man can't fix with 700 dollars and a .223 Remington!"), and give thanks for the prophet Stoner (may Haagen-Dazs create a flavor in his honor). Wasteth not thine time and precious coin on battle rifles and cartridges capable of taking down game larger than coyotes - it is surely vanity! Buy an AR and thousands of rounds of .223 Remington that your days may be long and your nights in bear country no longer filled with dread!