Friday, March 25, 2011

A Good Gun... like a good friend, a good dog, and a good woman. Take care of them and they will take care of you; treat them with respect and they will be loyal for all of your days; put them away in the closet and forget about them, and man, you are in a world of hurt!
the author's 1941 Winchester Model 12
I have been blessed with all four. Recently, my buddy, Stu, aka "Big Cat" from North Carolina, agreed to clean my Winchester Model 12. This is my primary shooting gun for sporting clays and pheasants. (It is also that thing that holds the corner of my closet up most of the time.) This gun was my grandfather's and was passed down to me when he passed several years ago. Ducks Unlimited's March/April 2011 issue pays homage to it, calling it "the most elegant and refined of all magazine repeaters."

My Model 12's serial number is 862490, putting its production year at 1941. I love knowing this because I imagine my grandfather - whose looks and character I tend to favor - buying this gun for bird hunting, only for that dream to be put on hold, while he fought in WWII.  He enlisted January 24, 1942 - 48 days after Pearl Harbor was bombed; but he didn't leave before he could help conceive my dear mom who was born nine months later (oowah oowah).

History and anything classic are admired by preps, but it goes well beyond that. History and classic family heirlooms are a part of us, define who we are, and are our tangible connections to the past. Cherish them, but don't forget to cherish your friends, your dog, and your woman, too.

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