My father-in-law brought a shotgun to my youngest son last week. It was handed down to my son by his mom’s uncle. It had been my wife’s grandfather’s, but her uncle figured my sons would get more use out of it than he would.
If this weekend was any indication, he may have been right. We ran right out and got a case of 16-gauge shells, and we set up the trap thrower in the back yard. We took turns sending five shells each through that beautiful piece of American history, then each of the boys took five more shots.
We could have stayed out there all day shooting, but we paced ourselves. That old shotgun could easily handle more. I’m convinced it will outlive any of my other shotguns. After all, it’s not just any shotgun. In my opinion, it is the most perfect pump-action shotgun ever designed. It’s a Winchester Model 12.
The fact that it’s a Model 12 in 16 gauge is even better. Those are among the rarest of the Model 12s – the 28-gauge version is the most scarce. But if Logan want to complete the collection, it’ll be easier to find a 12- and a 20-gauge Model 12 than it would be to find a 16. If he wants a 28-gauge, I hope he has better luck than I have playing the lottery.
But this shotgun isn’t just a collector’s piece for Logan. It’s his shotgun. He can’t shoot steel shot through it, but there are other nontoxic options for shot. He can still hunt with it. And he could use it for trap shooting, but it has a full choke, so he’ll have to be a darn good shot.
But it’s also a piece of his heritage. It’s the best sort of a hand-me-down. It’s beautiful, functional, valuable, and it’s his.