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Thread: Tell me about your first, favorite or other gun story...

  1. #1
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Default Tell me about your first, favorite or other gun story...

    I grew up in a Winchester family. Winchester-Remington was like Ford-Chevy, Republican-Democrat or Catholic-Lutheran where I grew up. My best friends and neighbors the Fink boys, were democrat, Ford, Remington nuts, what's worse is they went full bore using semi-auto shotguns for duck hunting. Our family was more conservative, My dad drove an Oldsmobile, voted republican and shot Winchesters, Model 94 lever actions on the ranch, Model 70 .257 Roberts for deer hunting and the trusty old Model 12 for small game and birds, he wouldn't dream of using a finicky auto in the marsh over the proven pump gun. The thing is my Dad never duck hunted while that was the whole world to the Finks, so I was heavily influenced by them when I started duck hunting at 15. Here's a pic of me at 15 with Dave Fink's (he was 12) Savage Stevens .410/22 over under.


    A year later my Dad surprised me with my fist gun. Though he and I would spend hours reading the Shooters Bible, endlessly pouring over the ballistics tables and arguing the merits of the 30-06 versus the .270 for deer size game, checking out all the guns and dreaming about our perfect arsenal, we somehow missed the big news that things had drastically changed at Winchester the prior year, this was 1965. So my dad meaning to buy me a Model 12 was forced into the new and improved Model 1200. Regardless I loved that gun and shot very well with it right out of the box. It was a field grade 12 gauge with 28" modified barrel and vent rib. I shot three pheasants with my first three shots, a year later on a dove hunt in Arizona I shot nine straight, missed one then got my tenth (a limit) with my next shot. I also got my first double on ducks with it that first duck season. All that said, I started comparing it to the solid steel, beautifully machined Model 12, and even the much less finished, solid "ordinance steel" 870, and became disillusioned with the 1200. So I sold it to a guy to buy an 870.

    My Dad and I drove down to Pachmyers in downtown LA and ended up buying a nice used 870 TB that came with two barrels, a 30" full choke that would be my pass shooting duck barrel and a 26" modified that I used for upland and decoying ducks. The gun was 2-3/4" which I didn't consider a handicap even though the Fink boys now had 3" Magnum Remington 1100's. This trap grade with standard stock dimensions had upgraded wood and was very nice. I still have it to this day. It was a better built gun than the 1200 and better looking too, but I never shot it as well as that good old 1200. That 1200 just fit me better. I learned to shoot the 870 and killed many limits of ducks over the years, but I had just learned to adapt to the gun, it wasn't a natural fit. That truth became evident some thirty years later when I was hunting with Neil. it was afternoon and we were picking up. Neil was out wading to pick up decoys while I was on shore putting gear away. A flight of mallards swung in as they only do with everyone standing out in the open and no gun in hand. I looked around saw Neil's old beat up 1200 laying against a log, picked it up and shot a double out of the flock without thinking.

    Now that I'm older and have a little more means I own way too many shotguns, a few nice over under's, Parker and Lefever side by sides, 870s, my Dad's 16 ga. Model 12 and more than I can think of off the top of my head, but there is something to be said for sticking with the gun that fits you best. I wish I still had that plain Jane Model 1200.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brad's Avatar
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    My first real riffle besides a 22 was a remington bolt action 30/06 made in the 40s with a Texan scope on it. My dad bought it for me at a pawn shop. I have had duct tape on it for probably 20 years to keep the magazinee from falling out when I shoot. There was an articall in the News paper about the gun and scope. I lost the article but it supposedly was a sniper riffle in WWII. The Texan scope at the time was made here in factory in Tyler for the milatary and the article read they were the best optics at the time. One of our gunshops always tried to buy it from me when I needed repairs on it cause he said his dad built it. I still have it with the original duct tape.
    I bought a 270WSM tikka about 5 years ago and was dissapointed in the grouping compared to my 1940 something model 30/06

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    My Grandpa bought me my first gun when I was 12; a youth model Remington 870 (20ga) pump; brand new in the box. (We were a Remington family) It was a solid and nice gun, that beat the snot out of me for years (it would make my head ring anytime I shot it); and I could never hit anything with it (everyone else could just pick it up and nail anything). Getting frustrated after a few years; I bought a Remington 870 12ga (pump), beat the snot out of me as well (still no-where near as bad as the youth 20ga and after I got it cut down I could kind've hit things, albeit the nice bruise I'd sport on my cheek a week after shooting with it). However I was still a terrible shot, (hard to be a terrible shot in a family of guys that can pick-up a gun and hit things); So I started taking some lessons; instructor Identified that I was ~ 95% left eye dominate (most women are); and my gun didn't fit me worth a crap (most Guns don't) . So I saved up and bought a Beretta 491; I swear I was nauseated on spending so much on a gun; and it was not a Remington . A season with that and I don't shoot anything else, I will probably never shoot anything else. I still have both Remingtons; the 12ga is my HRC test gun (primer loads don't kick ). I took the 20 ga out of the safe a year back; to try out on quail; (thought I was over remembering on how hard a little 20ga could kick) (I WASN'T)it is still the worst kicking gun; I've ever shot. I see stars every-time , but my grandpa bought it for me, and I still have it, I will always have it and If I ever have a son; it'll be his first gun. If I have a Daughter; she'll shoot a semi-automatic; be taught to shoot the proper hand for her (eye dominance), and have a gun that fits her . Boys can just pick things up as they go along; but we got to have good woman shooters .
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 11-11-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    I'm glad you got professional instruction. The big disadvantage most kids have is that they learn in a hand me down fashion from their Dads. This is a very cool family tradition that is wonderful in many ways, but the reality is our Dads are probably not great instructors. Many who are very good at a number of things can do them much better than they can teach them. Learning from a teacher is much better. My wife never shot a gun until she met and married me. The advantage she had over a guy is that she had no preconceived notions or built in bad habits. Guys grow up thinking they should be a sharpshooter by pure genetics. A woman or open minded guy with no prior experience is a clean slate for a good instructor to mold into a good shot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    My first gun that I ever got to try was from my oldest brother Ely in Austin, it was a new(circa 1969) Browning Superposed Lightning Gr II O/U at the original Austin skeet range, later that summer I went on my first dove hunt shooting a Winchester 101 20 gauge, that gun has seen many a pheasant, duck, dove hunt from Nebraska to Texas


    Two years later I was passed down the "family" gun, it was a Ted Williams/JC Higgins 12 gauge pump with a Cutts compensator and Vari choke, I shot my first dove limit with that gun, It has been passed from my brother Ely >Clint>me> hopefully one day my son Adam..

    I have owned and squandered many a shotgun through the good years and the lean years, but my favorite two were when I was shooting a lot of skeet. I had a Remington 3200 O/U and a Kreighoff K80 with Briley sub gauge tubes,and Remington 11-87 12 gauge autoloader,Beretta 687 Gold EL, when my son came along finances became a premium so I liquidated all 4

    I currently shoot a RM 1100 or a Citori 20 gauge O/U and only shoot skeet when the mood hits
    All my Exes live in Texas

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    A few things that I learned still ring true. "Lanse when you get a gift, say thank you and walk away. When you get a screwing walk away. You are going to get a lot more screwings than gifts"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mark Littlejohn's Avatar
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    My first and favorite gun story:

    When I was about 12 yo growing up in SW Houston, our next door neighbor, Mr A.F. Haslip, invited me and my Dad to join him on his regular Saturday morning skeet shoot. AF was a good ‘ol boy from Tennessee. He traveled the country selling chemicals for DuPont, fixed cars, smoked Lucky Strikes, drank whiskey, reloaded shells, and liked shooting – skeet, quail, dove, whatever. He had a daughter and no sons.

    We drove early that morning for what seemed like forever to Carters Country up on Hwy 6 north. AF loaned me one of his oversized guns. I (poorly) shot skeet for the first time, and was hooked. Dad quit going but I didn’t. About a year later, AF bought his daughter a 20ga Browning A-5. Looking back, that was an odd thing since she had never gone with us to shoot, and for all I know had never touched a gun. He loaned it to me and I think I hit 23/25 with it that first day.

    Knowing this was the gun for me, I decided to buy my own. Eighteen months - 2 summers and a lot of lawns later- I had saved the $219.64 needed to buy my first gun: a Belgium 20ga Browning A-5 with vent rib from Glenn Slades on Post Oak Road, where the Houston Galleria now stands. Good thing I did too, since soon thereafter Browning moved production to Japan.

    Years later, after college, marriage and a couple of my own kids, I learned that AF had been found dead in a hotel room. A few weeks after the funeral, his wife called me over to their house. She presented me “his daughters” Browning, and said that had always been the lousiest lie he had ever told. I was the son he never had.

    I now have 2 sons and 2 very special, nearly identical A5’s. Shot flyers in the 4th with one of them a couple of weeks ago. No question whose hands these guns will be in after I cross the bridge.
    Last edited by Mark Littlejohn; 11-12-2013 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Remembered correct price (gimme a break, its been 40 years!)

  7. #7
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Great story Mark, but I thought you were going to marry the daughter and get the gun that way.

    John

  8. #8
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    My first firearm (had BB gun at about 7 years old) was a 1904 Winchester single shot bolt action rifle. Woodchucks, gophers, rats , rabbits and squirrels met thier demise. My grandfather gave me the rifle when I was about 12 years old..My next gun at about 17 years old was my grandfather's Remington Model 17 full choke pump 20 gauge. I took many a life of Pheseant, rabbits, ducks and one slug shot deer. Of course no real instruction, cans floating down a creek where I learned to lead a bird, bottles and cans thrown in the air etc. By the time I learned to field strip and any real instruction was with a M1 Garand. I bought my first new shotgun in 1968 and it replaced the Remington (I still have the Remington Model 17 and the Winchester 22) with the Remington Wingmaster 28 inch bbl 2 3/4 plain bbl 12 gauge. (still have that shotgun) it took us from the Phesant and dove fields of Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin to duck hunting in The Pas Manitoba, grouse hunting in the UP of Michigan, woodcock in Wisconsin and two deer kills.
    Got involved in retriever field trials, a rich man's sport (still is) and was given the nod to shoot many flyers, pheseants and ducks with that old pump shotgun others used their expensive O/U...Raising a family, working stiff, prevented me from buying a new shotgun. We have bought our share in recent years of "pretty looks and expensive" shotguns I own, but, the three guns mentioned have a special place . I had the 20 gauge bbl cut to 25 inches, orange bead, open bore, light weight and a woodcock killer. Anyway that's my story, there were deer rifles, many handguns, recurve bows and compounds, but none compare to the early shotgun years and hunting with the dogs!
    Earl Dillow

  9. #9
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    My first gun..

    Winchester model 1890 hex barrel,, crescent butt stock .22 Long ONLY....

    This gun was in my Dads family during the great depression, proped up against the S.E. Kansas kitchen door for farm use.

    All the 11 kids hunted squirrle, rabbits, and other stuff the supliment food supply..


    My Dad got it when he left the farm.. and joined the army to serve in ww2.

    He gave it to me on my 10th birthday...





    The interesting story though about my Dads family,, was the fact, they could not afford to shoot the gun that much.. Very poor folks,, and ammo hard to come by, and with no money,, they could only barter and trade for it.. SO,,, my prized possession,, is my dads sling shot,, cut from a Kansas white Oak tree with a perfect "y" shape,and correct bend to it.. He carried that slingshot with him in his back pocket to school,, becoming very proficient with it,, killing rabbits, squirrels and quail for food for the family...

    He carried it also with him all through europe during the war..

    It hangs in my gun cabinet,, reminder of how lucky and easy I have it now...

    Gooser
    Last edited by MooseGooser; 11-11-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    John, Is that Boswell mud on the gun? Area looks familiar.

    Jeff
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