Friday, June 19, 2015

Dad, Happy Father's Day

Last week I wrote an article about taking my dad to a local sporting clays facility and reuniting him with his old shotgun. The back story of this gun is that it originally belonged to my dad's brother who was killed while approximately 30 years old. Being the only remaining son, Dad inherited this shotgun.

I remember hearing all kinds of hunting stories as a kid; my dad loved this shotgun. It is a Remington 878 Automaster and was later replaced by the Remington 1100. Remington made this shotgun from 1958 to 1963 if I remember correctly, with dad's being manufactured in 1960. He hunted with it every weekend as I was growing up.

Dad lost interest in hunting approximately 25 years ago and at the same time, the shotgun began to misfire. With problems continuing after several cleanings, I finally took it to a gunsmith shortly afterwards. I used the shotgun on the first dove hunt I went to after picking it up from the gunsmith. The gunsmith said, "It just needed a good cleaning." After firing it only a few times, the same problems began again. It would not cycle properly and sometimes it would fire unexpectedly. Dad later gave the shotgun to me as a keepsake and it has been in my safe for years.

As last week's article mentions, I decided to give the shotgun one more try when my brother and I surprise Dad with a trip to the sporting clays range. Gunpowder literally fell out of it as I pulled the gun apart. I soaked the parts in cleaner for hours, used compressed air to dry it, and carefully re-assembled it being careful with just the right amount of oil.

Today, I fired a box of shells through it without any issues at all. I was about 80% on the clays and quickly learned why my dad was so crazy about this smooth, light, and quick firing shotgun. It also reminded me of my own younger years when I, beginning around 8 years old, would take this gun squirrel hunting almost every morning. Dad taught me firearm safety and trusted me at a very early age. I never wanted to let him down and as far as I know, I never did. Well, there was that time I shot the window out of his car by accident - a rare car at that - but I'll save that for another story.

I know my pop is not reading this so I can proudly tell my readers, the 55 year old shotgun is going to be reunited with my 77 year old dad for Father's Day. My dad and "his boys" are going to shooting clays.

No comments :