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Old 10-25-2019, 02:13 AM
RCPG83 RCPG83 is offline
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Default What kind of a long gun should a European buy first?



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Greetings from Finland, a small country in the Northern Europe!

I have been lurking on and off for quite some time, and I admit that the topic has been discussed ad nauseam. Still, I believe it is worth going over it one more time as my situation is somewhat different compared to most board members in the US.

If I go through our gun laws shortly, here in Finland you need to apply for a license for every weapon you want to acquire. Getting the license basically requires you to be mentally fit, to be of a good moral character, and to prove a valid reason for the weapon (hunting and sports shooting are the most common, even though there are others defined in the law). The weapon should be well-suited for your intended use and it should not be of 'excessive firepower', which is somewhat arbitrary and differs by the granting authority. Oh, and thanks to the latest round regulations, we are now limited to 10 round magazines in long guns and 20 round magazines in handguns (nope, cannot have pre-ban magazines, although sports shooters can apply for an exception). If the weapon you want to acquire is semi-automatic, you will have to prove every five years your valid reason still exists or your license for that weapon will be revoked. And do not get me started about handgun licenses. Ordinary people can only have them for sports shooting. Even then you have to prove, in addition to your valid reason (an IPSC safety course together with an IPSC club membership will do, for example), that you have participated in 10 handgun shooting sessions in the span of two years before you may be granted a license for your own handgun. A two year cooling-off period... for a handgun. California is not so bad after all, is it?

Thankfully, my needs are somewhat different compared to most American preppers. The defensive potential is not all that essential to me. The Finns are pretty homogenous so there is no great potential for major civil unrest, IMHO. Even if it comes to that, less than 15 per cent of the population owns a legal firearm(s), so if you have one, you already have the upper edge in any encounter, statistically speaking. (Although being capable of defending against canine sized predators would be preferable, I wonder if a .22 would do for that...)

While at the moment I am an unarmed city dweller, I am genuinely interested in my grandfather's hobby of small game hunting, and especially grouse hunting. After I take my hunting license exam and buy a permit to hunt on public land, I should be ready to apply for a weapon license sometime early next spring. Most Finnish hunters would probably recommend me to get a shotgun first and a rifle after that if I like the hobby, and I have to admit that a shotgun can be an extremely versatile weapon. Although I like rifles more.

As a short- to mid-term plan I am thinking of a .22 lr bolt action rifle with a silencer (yes sir, we can own them - no tax stamps, no hassle), a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun (Rem 870 with interchangeable chokes???), and a centerfire rifle in either .223 or .308. Does that sound realistic?

For the .22 I have been thinking of something coming with a synthetic stock, a threaded barrel, and iron sights or a picatinny rail to mount iron sights to (in case optics fail). Although there are not many suitable rifles available locally. I would basically be choosing between the Marlin XT-22/295, the Ruger American Rimfire (and Compact and Precision...), and the Sako Quad, the Marlin being the cheapest and the Sako being the most expensive. And why a bolt action? Because the police will not give as hard a time about granting a license than for a semi-automatic. Apparently bolt actions are also more reliable and easier to suppress than semi-automatics. Although the .22 lr is only allowed for smallest of small game... But it would be an invaluable training aid, right? A lot of very cheap firing practice.

For the shotgun I am pretty sure the 12 gauge would be an ideal caliber as I am an average sized male. The Remington 870 might be a good choice as they are common all over the world, including Finland, and the availability of accessories and spare parts is pretty good. With a few different chokes and a variety of ammunition it should serve me well for many years, shouldn't it? Although for survival purposes shotguns kind of suck. The limited range would not be much of a problem especially in my environment, but the ammunition weighs a lot and is reasonably expensive. Is it really worth it or can a rifle do all that a shotgun does when it comes to survival?

The centerfire rifle is giving me a particular headache. I would really like to own an M4gery or perhaps the H&K MR308 (16.5") but I am not even sure if it is worth applying for. I have read about people getting their applications rejected because of 'excessive firepower', then again some people tell me how they got a semi-automatic for hunting and are urging me to apply... If I, however, do apply, what do you think of the caliber? I am inclined to go with the .223 Remington as the ammunition is cheaper and lighter. Although the police would probably rather grant me a license for a bolt action or a straight bolt action rifle in .308... Would such a gun be worth buying if my application for a semi-automatic gets rejected?

Most importantly, which one should I prioritize? It might take me a year or so to afford all of them. The 12 gauge because it is versatile and can handle both small and large game and defensive duties? The .22 because of the cheap ammo and training before I get a larger caliber rifle? Perhaps the centerfire rifle would be the most important?

Any input is much appreciated! (And sorry for any typos in there, I have not slept very well. )
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:04 AM
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If is like it is in the USA and the lower is the only part of an AR that is a gun AND you can own an AR, then get an AR. You would have one gun (lower) that you can change to multiple calibers (upper).
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:23 AM
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Well there are some excellent bolt action rifles made in your country. Sako rifles
Are amazing. And their Tika line is pretty good.

I’d start there honestly. Unless they also limit the number of guns. I’d try to get a semi auto after if it’s harder. Get. A semi auto handgun for sure. Or a revolver.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:20 AM
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Given Finland's history of being drawn into wars on its own turf, and it's rather strategic location, my first weapon would also provide some abilities for defense in a conflict.

A bolt action in .243, .270, 30-06, or 300 win mag, and a couple cases of ammo would be my first pick. If everyone owns one, then you achieve the "behind every blade of grass would be an American with a rifle", defense reputation.

A .243 is a wonderful rifle. The high velocity provides a lot of accuracy in an inexpensive weapon.
Remington has an inexpensive all Stainless steel model (the 770).
Or the Savage "axis".



If you want to hunt grouse , then obviously a 12 or 20 ga. shotgun.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milita...g_World_War_II
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:58 AM
jvtater jvtater is offline
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Having to apply forv each gun. I might opt for a over and under rifle shotgun combo.

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Old 10-25-2019, 08:11 AM
Major Mjolnir Major Mjolnir is offline
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Didn't you guys stick with the 7.62 x 39 cartridge? I'd probably get something in that to go along with the others?
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:47 AM
RCPG83 RCPG83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuteandfuzzybunnies View Post
Well there are some excellent bolt action rifles made in your country. Sako rifles
Are amazing. And their Tika line is pretty good.

Iíd start there honestly. Unless they also limit the number of guns. Iíd try to get a semi auto after if itís harder. Get. A semi auto handgun for sure. Or a revolver.
Oh yeah, a Tikka T3(x) would definitely be a nice rifle. And on top of that it is easier to solve any issues that may arise when there is the possibility of sending the gun straight to the manufacturer instead of the importer.

Thankfully, the total number of guns you can own is not limited by some arbitrary number lawmakers came up with. Although you must have a certified gun safe if you own more than five firearms. Five or less and you can store the firearms in any locked place, like in a locked closet.

Also, proving your 'valid reason' can become more difficult if you already own a suitable gun for your intended purpose. Like if you already have two large caliber hunting rifles the police might question your application for a third one.

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Originally Posted by Zuriss View Post
If is like it is in the USA and the lower is the only part of an AR that is a gun AND you can own an AR, then get an AR. You would have one gun (lower) that you can change to multiple calibers (upper).
Barrels, bolts, receivers etc. are regulated but you can buy them for your legally owned firearm as long as you do not have enough parts to assemble multiple working firearms. Also, the caliber must not change and the action and the type of the firearm (SBR, rifle etc.) must remain the same. Although the lawmakers changed the SBR limits recently so that rifles and shotguns may now be as short as 60 cm (with the stock at it's shortest position) and the barrel may be as short as 30 cm (12").

So, I could have both a carbine upper and a rifle upper if I so wish. It is definitely something I value in the AR-15 platform.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:02 PM
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I have once said that my next rifle will be a Sako or Tikka. A common caliber of .270 Win. would be powerful enough.

I already have a Voere Titan repackaged by KDF , in .270 ...(It is still a tack driver)
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:06 PM
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You situation suggests buying a nice O/U combination gun, or drilling.
For grouse, and medium game I would look for a 308 win over 20ga.
Then if you ever get the chance, pair it up with a military grade battle rifle, such as an AK, or M1a.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:09 PM
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I don’t think I will ever get the 5 minutes spent on reading OP’s statement back. What in the you know what is going on in Finland. I wouldn’t be able to reside there. It’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I understand other countries are worse in terms of restrictions, but at least they keep it even.

So some arbitrary process is going to decide who is worthy of getting a semi auto v bolt action v shotgun depending on what you claim on a piece of paper? Right... so the mass murderer is going just notate that on the application. Ah ha. We got you. SMH. My God how obvious is it that they are more interested in hindering the process so greatly that most people won’t even bother with it. It’s too much trouble. Hence the 15 percent.

It just amazes me the gall of certain governments as if people actually buy their BS. I know they do, but really who are they fooling. Anyways. If I was in your shoes, I’d go straight to a 308 bolt action and try to set it up as a decent sniper option. Just don’t put it on the application. Uh, I want this gun for sniping purpose. They’ll lose their marbles...
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:17 PM
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I think you have some well thought out arguments on your various options. Given the laws that govern how you must apply and justify the purpose of your gun purchase, and a limited budget, perhaps the best first purchase would be a shotgun then a 22. This is a good baseline that would cover a lot of scenarios. If you are an hunter, I would then purchase one of those fine Finnish bolt actions made in your country with a caliber suitable for the larger game in your country. Being you are in a northern climate like alaska, if you have moose a 308 should be fine assuming 308 is common. Add a handgun and you have a pretty good baseline.
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabotage39k View Post
I donít think I will ever get the 5 minutes spent on reading OPís statement back. What in the you know what is going on in Finland. I wouldnít be able to reside there. Itís the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I understand other countries are worse in terms of restrictions, but at least they keep it even.

So some arbitrary process is going to decide who is worthy of getting a semi auto v bolt action v shotgun depending on what you claim on a piece of paper? Right... so the mass murderer is going just notate that on the application. Ah ha. We got you. SMH. My God how obvious is it that they are more interested in hindering the process so greatly that most people wonít even bother with it. Itís too much trouble. Hence the 15 percent.

It just amazes me the gall of certain governments as if people actually buy their BS. I know they do, but really who are they fooling. Anyways. If I was in your shoes, Iíd go straight to a 308 bolt action and try to set it up as a decent sniper option. Just donít put it on the application. Uh, I want this gun for sniping purpose. Theyíll lose their marbles...
I apologize on the behalf of our lawmakers.

It is absolutely ridiculous that nobody can accurately predict whether or not one will get a license for a certain gun for a certain purpose. The police evaluates the applicant, the weapon, and the documentation of the valid reason. Then a decision is generated from that information. Not that most issuers want to be ****s but they surely don't want to questioned over granting a license for a school shooter. (There were two incidents in 2007 and 2008 where the perps acquired .22 handguns legally - one applied for a 9 mm first but was denied and instead got a more beginner friendly .22, the other had a previous DUI but was still granted a license for the apparently less dangerous .22... Go figure.)

The system might have worked 30 years ago when there was a police department in almost every town. Back then the local police often knew the applicant in one way or another, and even though I have no doubt the decisions were sometimes biased, the general trend was much less restrictive. After numerous mergers there are now only a few dozen departments in the whole of Finland and the issuing authority rarely knows the applicant personally.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
Given Finland's history of being drawn into wars on its own turf, and it's rather strategic location, my first weapon would also provide some abilities for defense in a conflict.

A bolt action in .243, .270, 30-06, 300 win mag, and a couple cases of ammo would be my first pick. If everyone owns one, then you achieve the "behind every blade of grass would be an American with a rifle", defense reputation.

A .243 is a wonderful rifle. The high velocity provides a lot of accuracy in an inexpensive weapon.
Remington has an inexpensive all Stainless steel model (the 770).
Or the Savage "axis".



If you want to hunt grouse , then obviously a 12 or 20 ga. shotgun.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milita...g_World_War_II
A Russian invasion is definitely a concern so that speaks for a centerfire rifle. Although I do not plan to hang around in an occupied country for very long, a rifle might prove useful in crossing the border without going through passport control.

No, I do not consider armed resistance movements to work very well against Russia. Russians usually avenge their own losses by executing civilians, Chechnya is a great example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Mjolnir View Post
Didn't you guys stick with the 7.62 x 39 cartridge? I'd probably get something in that to go along with the others?
Correct.

The thing is, the Finnish Defence Forces have not bought new rifles in that caliber since the 1990s, so the FDF will probably start to replace them in 10 years or so. Although they are currently in the process of modifying tens of thousands of RK-62s with picatinny rails and Magpul telescopic stocks, I believe it is only a stopgap solution for our infantry. The eventual replacement will probably be chambered in 5.56 NATO (or whatever caliber the NATO moves towards).

Also, I am personally not a fan of the 7.62 x 39. Especially the trajectory bothers me. If you want to hit a barn door, you will have to aim well above the roof. (j/k)

P.S. You don't happen to be an avid martial artist, do you? I am just thinking of a Mjolnir on a Finnish board...
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:05 PM
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Because you are a city dweller, I would recommend a .22 rifle or target pistol, because there are more likely to be shooting clubs nearby having indoor ranges where you can learn and practice, and justify your ownership of the gun. If you live in a more rural area where there is a shooting club having an outdoor range where you can shoot clay targets, and perhaps participate in a hunting club, then a shotgun might be a better choice.

The .22 is most affordable and is the best first choice.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:38 PM
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Couple of website pages for you that may help.

http://www.guns.connect.fi/gow/arcane1.html (English)

http://www.guns.connect.fi/gow/gunwsuom.html (Not English)

Personally I would go for whatever Mauser 98 bolt action that I could find, get ammo and start loading for it. See links above.

And a good .22 rifle.

No high power rifle, I could get along with a 12ga and the .22, but I would prefer the rifle normally.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:01 PM
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The rifle that I have been giving the most attention lately and have grown very fond of is my CZ527 in 7.62x39. Its also offered in 6.5 Grendal and .223. It has serious potential to become a go to. Mini-Mauser action, very good fixed sights, can be scoped, detachable "standard" capacity magazines, carbine length, and an overall great shooter. I would feel perfectly safe with it, if I was unable to get to my AK.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:20 PM
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Most useful for general purpose, a shotgun. A remington 870 with long and short barrels, and a mag extension will take care of anything you need a shotgun to do. As far as a general purpose rifle, the Ruger GSR should do pretty well hunting any game you need to, plus it's a bit sturdier.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:59 PM
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If you intend to hunt with a semi auto centerfire rifle you need to read your hunting regulations. On top of getting approved for the rifle, they are restrictive as to a minimum bullet weight and energy at 100 meters for different game. A 223 wouldnít be legal for much more than a roe deer. I donít see that as a bad thing but a 308 would be legal for a lot more game.

If I was in Finland for hunting my first choice would be a Tikka in 6.5x55 Skan. Second choice would be 30-06.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:25 PM
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12 ga 870, with an extra rifled barrel, accurate to at least 100 meters, and all kinds of ammo available, i have a few and they take abuse well, and if it jams you can beat it on the ground holding the fore grip and they clear easily. If i had nothing and had to start from scratch, that would be the first thing i would replace.
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCPG83 View Post
Greetings from Finland, a small country in the Northern Europe!

I have been lurking on and off for quite some time, and I admit that the topic has been discussed ad nauseam. Still, I believe it is worth going over it one more time as my situation is somewhat different compared to most board members in the US.

If I go through our gun laws shortly, here in Finland you need to apply for a license for every weapon you want to acquire. Getting the license basically requires you to be mentally fit, to be of a good moral character, and to prove a valid reason for the weapon (hunting and sports shooting are the most common, even though there are others defined in the law). The weapon should be well-suited for your intended use and it should not be of 'excessive firepower', which is somewhat arbitrary and differs by the granting authority. Oh, and thanks to the latest round regulations, we are now limited to 10 round magazines in long guns and 20 round magazines in handguns (nope, cannot have pre-ban magazines, although sports shooters can apply for an exception). If the weapon you want to acquire is semi-automatic, you will have to prove every five years your valid reason still exists or your license for that weapon will be revoked. And do not get me started about handgun licenses. Ordinary people can only have them for sports shooting. Even then you have to prove, in addition to your valid reason (an IPSC safety course together with an IPSC club membership will do, for example), that you have participated in 10 handgun shooting sessions in the span of two years before you may be granted a license for your own handgun. A two year cooling-off period... for a handgun. California is not so bad after all, is it?

Thankfully, my needs are somewhat different compared to most American preppers. The defensive potential is not all that essential to me. The Finns are pretty homogenous so there is no great potential for major civil unrest, IMHO. Even if it comes to that, less than 15 per cent of the population owns a legal firearm(s), so if you have one, you already have the upper edge in any encounter, statistically speaking. (Although being capable of defending against canine sized predators would be preferable, I wonder if a .22 would do for that...)

While at the moment I am an unarmed city dweller, I am genuinely interested in my grandfather's hobby of small game hunting, and especially grouse hunting. After I take my hunting license exam and buy a permit to hunt on public land, I should be ready to apply for a weapon license sometime early next spring. Most Finnish hunters would probably recommend me to get a shotgun first and a rifle after that if I like the hobby, and I have to admit that a shotgun can be an extremely versatile weapon. Although I like rifles more.

As a short- to mid-term plan I am thinking of a .22 lr bolt action rifle with a silencer (yes sir, we can own them - no tax stamps, no hassle), a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun (Rem 870 with interchangeable chokes???), and a centerfire rifle in either .223 or .308. Does that sound realistic?

For the .22 I have been thinking of something coming with a synthetic stock, a threaded barrel, and iron sights or a picatinny rail to mount iron sights to (in case optics fail). Although there are not many suitable rifles available locally. I would basically be choosing between the Marlin XT-22/295, the Ruger American Rimfire (and Compact and Precision...), and the Sako Quad, the Marlin being the cheapest and the Sako being the most expensive. And why a bolt action? Because the police will not give as hard a time about granting a license than for a semi-automatic. Apparently bolt actions are also more reliable and easier to suppress than semi-automatics. Although the .22 lr is only allowed for smallest of small game... But it would be an invaluable training aid, right? A lot of very cheap firing practice.

For the shotgun I am pretty sure the 12 gauge would be an ideal caliber as I am an average sized male. The Remington 870 might be a good choice as they are common all over the world, including Finland, and the availability of accessories and spare parts is pretty good. With a few different chokes and a variety of ammunition it should serve me well for many years, shouldn't it? Although for survival purposes shotguns kind of suck. The limited range would not be much of a problem especially in my environment, but the ammunition weighs a lot and is reasonably expensive. Is it really worth it or can a rifle do all that a shotgun does when it comes to survival?

The centerfire rifle is giving me a particular headache. I would really like to own an M4gery or perhaps the H&K MR308 (16.5") but I am not even sure if it is worth applying for. I have read about people getting their applications rejected because of 'excessive firepower', then again some people tell me how they got a semi-automatic for hunting and are urging me to apply... If I, however, do apply, what do you think of the caliber? I am inclined to go with the .223 Remington as the ammunition is cheaper and lighter. Although the police would probably rather grant me a license for a bolt action or a straight bolt action rifle in .308... Would such a gun be worth buying if my application for a semi-automatic gets rejected?

Most importantly, which one should I prioritize? It might take me a year or so to afford all of them. The 12 gauge because it is versatile and can handle both small and large game and defensive duties? The .22 because of the cheap ammo and training before I get a larger caliber rifle? Perhaps the centerfire rifle would be the most important?

Any input is much appreciated! (And sorry for any typos in there, I have not slept very well. )
Get any hunting rifle equivalent to a 30-06 or .308 (7.62 x 51) caliber (bolt, semiautomatic or a lever action) whatever works best based on your country's restrictions. And you are set for a rifle.

A 12 gauge shotgun should, or would be your primary choice.

A .22 rifle should be a third choice.

Finally, since you reside in Europe, any 9mm pistol that's legal to own in your country is your last pick.

Then, buy as much ammo as you can to practice with and hoard for a rainy day, and hopefully, you will never need to use it for the rainy day.

JMHO
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