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Sixteen years old and friend was going dove hunting. This is long before I knew what Trap even was. Looked for several weeks, decided the new Mossberg pump with the adjustable choke and the safety on the tang was the next best thing to a model 12 and at about half the price it had to be the steal of the century. Think it was like $29.00 and change. Got my dad to take me to the sporting goods store in Washington, DC. Really thought I was something when we walked out of the store with my new hunting machine. Don’t think I even test fired before the dove hunt.

There was a farm that grew 100’s of acres of corn just off route 50 couple miles short of Leesburg, Va. There where were literally tens of thousands of doves. They feed on the corn left after harvest and would fly from these fields a couple miles to the north and water in the Potomac river. Back and forth several times a day. With no exaggerations sometimes the sky was blocked when thousands would take flight as we walked from field to field.

Well here I am with the new super hunting machine. Droped a round in the open action, closed, proceeded to load the magazine. Boy now I’m gonna be the envy of my buddy Richard, I’m ready to show him how it’s done. Well all didn’t go to plan. First dove that flew over we shot at. Really don’t remember if either of us scored. Do remember when I racked the action and fired a second shot the third round released from the magazine and wedged itself under the bolt. The action was jammed. End of my first and less than glorious day of doving. Young dumb and not very savvy went home with my Mossberg between my legs.

At home was able to take a kitchen butter knife and managed to get the round back into the magazine. Don’t remember all the following repeat issues, a lot and all the same, so had a noted gunsmith in Falls Church area that looked at it and said it’s a bad design. Mossberg eventually went to a double action bar like the “more expensive guns” I hadn’t bought and supposedly solved the problem. I can’t attest they did but I was never happier than once that #%#* was sold.
 

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My first shotgun I shot as a kid growing up was a single shot H&R .410 that was bought for my grandmother to small game hunt many years prior. She never used it after one bad hunting trip. my father kept it after she passed. So I used it for squirrel and rabbit hunting around the game. And then in my teenage years, if I was lucky, Dad finally let me use his 12 gauge 1100 for things. Very fond memories with both.
 

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Ya can't miss with a shotgun
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My first hunting shotgun was inherited from my dad when he passed away when I was 10 years old. It was his father's gun before his; a Remington model 11 Sportsman in 12 gauge with a 30 inch Modified choke barrel. I still have that gun and still take it afield when I'm feeling nostalgic. It's in excellent condition and totally unaltered. I even have the owners manual.
The first gun I bought on my own was a Remington 870 Wingmaster in 12 gauge with a ventilated rib on a 28" Modified choke barrel, and factory recoil pad..... I was flying high. I saved up the $275.00 by working in our family pizzeria..... worked my butt off and closed up every working night at midnight.

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Savage 22/.410 single shot that was my mothers. hunting season in 1960. In 1963 Dad gave me his 16ga model 12 with a 26" mod choke. he let me have one shell in the mag, and none in the chamber. Had to pump it to get my shot. Damn I was in hog heaven. By Christmas since I had not shot him or my uncles he started to let me carry one in chamber and have a full mag. 12 1/2 years old and I was wearing big boy pants. I'm setting here with tears in my eyes thing about the old man and remembering the good times I shared with him. The savage now lives with my boy, the mod 12 is still my field gun, a picture of it is in my avatar. That's not how it looked in the 60's. Simion Engraving did it up for me.
 

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Perazzi MX10RS
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H&R Topper 20ga for my 10th birthday. Still have it. First bird I shot with it was a giant honker in Northern North Dakota using a 3" mag BB federal shell. I still have the hull and the box of shells. And so began my love affair with waterfowl hunting.
 

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Ljutic Nut
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1960 I was 12 years old. Took the Greyhound bus up to Kesslerings gun shop and bought a as new Remington 870 Wingmaster with a plane modified barrel. Got back on the bus to return home with the gun in a cheap gun sock with 2 boxes of shell and a receipt with a note on the back from the shop owner. The note was to my dad and it said if he was unhappy with the purchase I could bring the gun and shells back for a full refund.

I still have the gun and it still shoots just fine. I still have that receipt and I think I will just keep the gun.
 

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Mine was a Winchester model 37 single shot 20 gauge given to me on y 8th birthday.

A few years later, he gave me his Remington 1148 12 gauge with a vent rib and a Cutts. No telling how many game birds I killed with that thing.

Boy, I was some kind of proud of that gun!

Good Luck and Good Shooting!
 

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My dad's JC Higgins 12 gauge bolt action was my first one. Right handed bolt and I shot left handed....it was all I had and became quite quick with it. A local guy saw me shooting pigeons at the farm I worked at and invited me to the gun club to shoot trap. One day I decided to go. When I got there I proudly put my trusty gun in the rack next to all the Browning Broadway's and model 12s,etc. (1972 and I was 16) After buying a bag of 25 reloads for $2.00 from one of the "local pros" I watched some guys just smoking targets with thier fancy guns, then looked at my trusty old beat up bolt action and was so ashamed that I loaded into my car and left. Never shot a round of trap until 1980.
I never forgot that and always try to make new folks feel comfortable regardless of what they are shooting for a gun.
Btw, the old bolt action is still in my safe!!! Will never part with it.
 

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Keystone Shooter
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I was 14, and it was a borrowed Mossburg bolt action .410. My Dad was not a hunter or gun person. When I got into hunting, with the help of one of my Dad’s friends who had beagles my Dad contacted another friend who loaned me the Mossburg. I shot a lot of bunnies and pheasants with that little .410, but always wanted my own gun, a pump 12 ga.
On my 16th birthday my Dad took me to the local gun shop and bought me my first “real” shotgun. A Mossburg model 500 12 ga. Pump. It had a 30 inch plain barrel full choke. I traded that barrel to my cousins husband who was a turkey hunter in exchange for a 28 inch ventilated ribbed fixed modified choke barrel. I still have the gun. It’s beatup from all of the brier patches I stomped through over the years chasing bunnies and birds. My grandson will get it, and all the rest of my guns.
 

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My Dad was a hard working Guy, had money, but earned it. I got a Browning A-5 Lt 12 for Christmas, when I was 13. Shot, used and abused that gun for every thing. There were no, “Trap”, or, “Field” guns. Had a great time and many good memories with that gun. My brother got same model in a Lt. 20. Sister got a citori 20 gauge. When My Dad passed, had Arts do a complete restore, back to new condition. It’s in the rack in the reloading room, where I can see it and remeber Him and experiences with that gun, as a kid.
 

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I still have it.

Pretty sure it was 1969. My dad grew up in Northwest Iowa/Southeast South Dakota and did a lot of pheasant hunting in his youth, and was a damn good shot. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I don't ever remember seeing him take a shot and miss. We didn't see many birds back then, so the few we saw were memorable.

When my older brother turned about 12 (I would have been 8 turning 9 that October) my dad decided it was time to get us out in the field. We lived in Omaha, and I remember my dad and brother and I going (I think, but not sure) to Guns Unlimited in Omaha. Back then, the store was in the Benson neighborhood, or at least I think so. I was pretty young so my memory may be faulty.

Dad got two nearly identical Savage-Stevens Model 311 20 gauge side-by-sides for us. The only difference was my brothers was a "B" model without checkering, and mine was a "C" model and it had pressed checkering. I vaguely remember seeing the two guns and saying I wanted the one with checkering and my older brother, probably not wanting to make a big deal out of it, acquiesced to pacify the little brother who probably would have pouted over such things.

In college my roommate and I stripped the original finish off it because it was peeling, and he rubbed it with Danish rubbing oil. Years later I contacted Savage Arms to see if I could figure out how old the gun was, and they put me in touch with a fellow who was an arms historian. He estimated the gun was manufactured in 1967, so it was pretty new when dad bought those guns for us. Years later, my brother's gun was stolen out of his apartment. He was pretty bummed about that.

One of the reasons I am pretty sure it was 1969 is because on one of our hunting trips, sitting in the back seat of the car on the way back home, I remember listening to a Nebraska football game on the radio. Being 9, I hadn't yet become the huge Nebraska football fan I would eventually become, but I remember there being some sort of significance to this game and the name Steve Owens being mentioned over and over and that somehow Nebraska had won and it was a bit of an upset, or at least it seemed so.

My mom's cousin had some land near North Bend, NE and we would go there with my cousins and uncle (my mom's brother) and hunt, sometimes with the second cousins who lived on the farm, though not always, and usually without dogs, and seldom saw any birds. Things were sparse back then.

I vaguely remember my mom's cousin had a hand set trap field on his farm and he would host turkey shoots on Sundays. My dad let me shoot a couple of rounds of trap...never hit a single target. But I loved pulling the trigger.

Dad had an Ithaca Model 37 16 gauge with a full choke. He would let my older brother use it sometimes since my brother shot left-handed and it had the bottom eject. Not sure whatever happened to that gun. But I think he traded it in for an 870 that my youngest brother has now. I saw one at a gun show that looked just like it, so I bought it. It goes with me when I visit my cousin who now lives in Sioux Falls. Indeed, he is one of the same cousins we'd hunt with in the late 60's/early 70's.

I could never hit the broad side of a barn with that side-by-side back then. I only ever remember actually winging a bird once, but it was a hen that was trailing behind the rooster I was trying to shoot. The concept of "lead" wasn't fully integrated into my shotgun pointing skills yet. But really, I was pretty sure there was something wrong that gun. That old side-by-side didn't see much use between once or twice hunting in college, until I found some folks to hunt with in my early 30's in Kansas. I still wasn't a very good shot with it even then. Until I took up skeet shooting, learned how to shoot with both eyes open, then my daughter tried trap shooting, following which I took up trap shooting.

Funny how much better that gun shot after I learned how to shoot. I've bagged many a pheasant and quite a few quail with it.

It's a good gun...

There's a young fellow who will be born in about 4 months who may get a chance to shoot it some day.
 
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