The Art of Bubba: A Celebration
Bubba gets a lot of hate.
Perhaps rightfully so – we’ll be the first to admit that a good amount of our social media bandwidth is spent tracking down the most appalling offenses against firearms that Bubba’s own hands hath wrought.
A borderline obsession with the gruesome, not-unlike your spouse’s healthy diet of murder drama TV shows, that hinges on the crime scene we know Bubba’s going to leave behind when he’s done with that Mosin Nagant.
And yet we sit idly by – all too ready to hit ‘share’ and spread Bubba’s grisly work to more unassuming eyes. Truly, if we found Bubba’s art so reprehensible, would we so swiftly propagate his atrocities into our social spheres?
I’d argue: No. For you see, dear reader, I’d argue that we don’t hate Bubba at all. We respect Bubba. We admire Bubba. Perhaps, we even love Bubba.
Which isn’t to say we love what Bubba does – such as his fondness for mutilating sometimes rare military surplus or historical firearms with occasionally irreversible modifications.
However, such brutality may just be the price of admission for a very particular kind of art show, and Bubba’s art just happens to use the guns you love as a canvas.
We gasp, we gawk, we hamfist outraged comments into our keyboards.
Yet we always want more.
You can make plenty of criticisms of Bubba, sure – but let it never be said that Bubba lacks vision.
It takes a special kind of genius / mad scientist / trailer park surgeon to look at a perfectly functional SKS and think, “you know, what if I just JB welded some shit on here”.
Bubba does this, and he does it unflinchingly. Bubba is a problem solver – even if he has to invent the problem before solving it in the crudest manner possible.
Is it pretty? Almost assuredly not. Does it work? Perhaps momentarily – but therein lies the beauty. Bubba is a man who lives in the now, with minimal (if any) doubt or concern about whether or not whatever thing he’s about to do will work, function correctly, or eventually maim him.
Where Bubba sees a hole, you can be damned sure he’s going to find a way to get a peg in there. Even if it’s a square one.
Of particular note is the fact that Bubba doesn’t do these things out of any sort of necessity. Throughout the span of time, armed combatants both amateur and professional have found ways to improvise to gain the upper hand in a fight.
In conflict areas, the world over, the specific combination of ingenuity, scarcity, and need often result in battlefield improvisation that may look like Bubba’s doing at a glance, but which often have at least semi-legitimate reasons for existing.
Whereas Eastern European criminals may have functional (if illicit) reasons for chopping a Mosin down into an Obrez handcannon, it’s important to remember that Bubba generally isn’t getting shot at day-to-day, and his projects often begin and end with “Hey brother, betcha a bullpup Marlin 60 would look bitchin.”
Spoilers: It didn’t
I’m sure most of us have at one point or another had a brief flicker of inspiration for a project, task or undertaking that we very shortly thereafter realized we lack the necessary skills, tools, or acumen to pull off in a way that would do the initial vision in our mind’s eye justice.
Maybe it becomes a pipe dream for you. “Heh, that’d be nice. Someday”, you think to yourself. Maybe, you set about honing the skills that will eventually allow you to bring your vision to life somewhere down the road.
Bubba experiences none of this. Bubba doesn’t care that he isn’t a gunsmith, armorer or artist – for he is a master of the art of self-assurance. Bubba grabs his dremel and doesn’t look back.
Bubba sees all of them fancy folks with their race guns and knows in his heart of hearts that the Slickgun industry’s just there to rip him off. Bubba’s going to stipple those grips and beat handholds into that homemade ported slide until the Slickgun itself yields in anguish.
While we may laugh at Bubba from the sidelines, there is something inarguably admirable, enviable even, about such wanton confidence combined with such a lack of skill.
Indeed, I would make the argument that deep down inside, we love Bubba – not for his crimes against Milsurp rifles, but for his sheer determination and can-do attitude, despite all evidence to the contrary.
We just wish he’d stop making things like this.
Looking for some (hopefully) non-Bubba stuff? Check out Editor’s Picks for our favorite guns and gear.
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