Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Grandfather's Shotgun

Some of my earliest memories are of going on hunting trips in the woods near Liberty, MO with my grandfather (Robert Earl "Dad" Bowles).  He loved to hunt, especially squirrels, and always used this vintage shotgun--it is a Marlin lever-action .410 gauge.

The gun is interesting.  First, lever action shotguns are rare.  And Marlin made only 5,500 of this model in the years between 1929 and 1932 (the serial number of mine is 3118).  They were given away as an incentive to buy Marlin stock after the Depression--four shares of stock at $25 each and you also got the shotgun.  I have no idea what happened to the shares of stock, but the company had a series of financial problems and I doubt that it was a good investment for Grandad.  He loved this shotgun, though! 

When Grandad died in 1968 all of his guns, including the shotgun, went to my uncle Dick.  And when he died, the shotgun went to one of his sons, my cousin Barry.  But Barry is not a hunter and was happy to send it on to me.

I found out that shipping guns from one state to another is fairly complicated--they must go from one dealer to another, and eventually, it got to me.  Opening the case, I realized it had been at least 50 years since I had seen this gun.  It was in very good condition considering its age and the fact that Grandad had used it so much.  It looked great and brought back so many memories.  I think Grandad would be pleased.

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