A Young Man's First Firearm

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sheriff john

Jan 5, 2019
Father was a shooter/hunter/collector, grandparents a 200 acre farm. Many guns between 1955 and today. Grandmother took me to the creek bridge to shoot "billy gar" with a Winchester single-shot model 1904 and Remington "Rocket" .22 shorts. Seldom hit any but it was fun.

Daisy "Golden Eagle" bb gun had a plastic scope, held a jillion bb's. Wore it out. Sheridan .20 blue streak followed, still have it and many guns from Dad. He bought a 12 ga pecussion "cornstalk gun" in rough shape and a subscription to "Muzzle Blasts", my intro to black powder at age 12 or so. Later, got to know a man who made rifles from original parts, freshed out and rifled barrels, etc. My M/L mentor. I was 19.

40 years in Law Enforcement, 18 years as county sheriff and 28 years an NRA Law Enforcement firearms instructor. Way too many guns to talk about. At 72, thinning the herd at gunshows while the law allows. Started my son at age 8 with an Italian .45 caplock I shortened the buttstock/refitted buttplate and had gunsmith shorten/recrown barrel on He shot offhand with adults at our weekly muzzle loading rifle club, hooked on BP. He now works for RCBS as a product manager.

Taken many deer on our farm with ML's - percussion, flint, and one with a Ruger
Old Army. Finally shot one mallard with my flint fowler (wade and shoot with a 44" barrel was a challenge I won't repeat).

Once there were many M/L matches, even some at county fairs. Now - none. Friends I once shot and hunted with are all ...dead. Plastic has replaced wood and side hammers seldom seen. "Hunting" shows with M/L's are filmed inside elevated blinds with scoped in-lines of deer shot under feeders.

Somewhere, I like to think, theres a youngster on an iron, wooden floored bridge shooting billy gar with his grandmother holding a box of .22's.