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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.
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.


I sure do... I started with an old Eastern Arms single shot 16 ga. The gun belonged to my great uncle. It had a rough life as many of those guns did then it provided many meals for their family. The gun is known as the Rhodesian Rabbit Riddler amongst our family.
 

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My first shotgun was the Browning Belgian Auto 5 shotgun in 12 gauge which I used many times when I hunted pheasant and quail in California. Unfortunately I lost this gun along with several other guns in my parents housefire in 1991.
 

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Stevens model 59 bolt action 410. It was my great grandpas, handed down to my dad, handed down to me and I hope one day handed to my grandchild. I received several boxes of old Remington and Peters paper shells. Like any young kid I blew through them like they were going out of style. Looking back now thinking of all the fun I had and thinking I wish I still had those old boxes of shells.
 

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New England Arms 12 gauge single shot……I could probably still pick that thing up and shoot it as well or better than I can any of my other field guns. Trouble is, it’s a long way through a box of shells with that thing.
 

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Eastern Arms 101.1a single-shot 16-ga. Never owned a shotgun before, and got this as a gift from the ex- who found it at a yard sale. Needed to be refinished/refurbished. That was 1983. Still own it.

ETA: Still, never hunted with it. Moved onto 870's, trap O/U's, and a steady trail of debauchery....
 

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When I passed hunter safety in 1987 my father gave me a Remington Sportsman 12. Cheaper version of the 1100. He let me use a Mossberg 20 gauge bolt for my first pheasant. Took my first pheasant with it. I then used his Spanish double 20 which till this day I still like. My brother is the owner of this now
 

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I still have mine. Savage Fox B 16ga. SxS, was given to me about ‘72. It’s a nice little gun and have always kept it pristine. I just never like the overall length fit. My first shotgun that I payed out my own personal cash for was my second shotgun. I believe it was in ‘75 or possibly ‘76. Still have that also. An 870 WingMaster 20 ga. That is a full frame size. Bought it with (2) barrels from the guy. Many years later I had Carlson CT one of the barrels.
 

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I was 12 years old, shooting my grandfather's 1890s' Francotte SXS. My grandfather shot trap and hunted with it in the early 1900s. Gun was taller than me. Had really tight chokes, tended to blow up game at close range. It's in poor shape now. Have it in my safe, hasn't been shot in many years.
 
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