A few weeks ago, in the Pentagon, the big brass of the Ordnance Department sat around for several hours listening earnestly to an 18-year-old boy from Scotia, N.Y. The young lecturer was Herman K. Pribis Jr. and he was explaining his theories on the care and cleaning of guns. The reason the Pentagon had summoned him to Washington was that Herman had already perfected such startling improvements in this field that the Army felt they might use some.
One of them had especially caught the eye of the Pentagon planners: a collapsible cleaning rod which can be fitted inside a hole bored into the stock of the Army's M-1 Garand. It is sealed inside by a hinged butt plate which keeps it safe and ready for emergency use. It cannot touch the lands of the gun's bore. And it really works.
Herman claims he got to be an inventor because he's got a lazy streak as long as a gun barrel inside him. "So," he explains, "when I sit down to do a job I hate, I start to figure out a way to make it easy on myself."
A VERY SPECIAL AFTERNOON
Herman likes to hunt, but he hates cleaning guns. On this very special afternoon when his work-hating turned him into an inventor, he'd just come back from a squirrel foray.
He got out his cleaning rod, his patches and his oil. He rested the stock of his gun grimly on the floor and set about the dreary business of cleaning it. As he cleaned, he kept telling himself that there had to be an easier way than this to clean a gun.
This time something came of it. Perhaps his subconscious was tired of being pestered. Whatever it was, Herman's kid brothers stared in surprise as Herman suddenly jumped up.
On the double, he headed for the camp woodpile. There, he picked out some fir scraps. Then he put them together in the form of a crude cradle—a thing that wound up looking like a pint-sized sawhorse.
Herman returned to the camp with the cradle. He placed his half-cleaned gun on it as though it were a log about to be sawed into stove-size lengths. And he discovered that he finished the cleaning job in a way that was better both for the gun and for himself.