As another hunting season comes to a close, shooters typically reflect back on the memories, and assess the season: What went right, what went wrong, and how to improve things for the next season. If you hunt with your own dog, that usually means assessing your “partners” performance. More specific, what you would like to improve. For some hunters, the post-season reflection confirms their dog’s old age has finally indicated the time to start looking for succession.
We drove slowly up the private gravel road of Durham County Wildlife Club in Morrisville, North Carolina looking at the 3D archery target course and hearing the rhythmic pop-pop of a registered skeet competition in the background. Wes parked his Chevy Silverado and continued with his description of the club’s amenities. I was listening, but remained far more focused on the unblemished Browning box in the bed of his truck.
Suppose you were a connoisseur of fine shotguns. And suppose you possessed a vision of the best way to sell those beautiful firearms to fellow disciples of the shotgun sports. And finally, let’s suppose you were a successful retired banker with the time and resources to make your vision a reality.
There were at least two Browning Superposeds in Ernest Hemingway’s life. One of them was a very early model that may have come indirectly from Val Browning, the son of John Browning, the genius who designed the gun. However, neither its serial number nor its fate are yet known. However, the second B25 − as the Superposed is still known in Europe − is a standard–grade 12-gauge field gun, Serial No. 19532, with double triggers and 28-inch barrels (both choked Full) with a ventilated rib. It was made in Belgium and sold to Master Mart, a retailer in Fremont, Nebraska, on 26 October 1949 for $195.20. After that, we don’t know how, when or where Ernest Hemingway acquired the gun, whether new or second-hand, or what he accomplished with it, but we know where it is today and how it got there.
The mule-drawn bird wagon trundled through Chokee Plantation in Leesburg, Georgia − a 5,800-acre homage to the vanishing wild-quail hunts that for generations put meat on the table and tendered sporting birds by the good graces of the land.
Most all shotgunners know that proper footwork goes a long way toward successful shot making. It wasn’t light enough to shoot ducks yet, but I was wishing I had a knowing shotgun instructor behind me with some useful advice. But it was shooting assistant Lucho behind, and he didn’t speak much English, and my Spanish is somewhat of a joke. So no help from Lucho. Did I mention my feet were stuck in the mud – in Argentina?
Let’s think of Jimmy Muller as the Elon Musk of the shotgun choke universe. You know Mr. Musk as the founder of Tesla Motors and Space-X – a visionary disrupter whose innovations achieved extraordinary breakthroughs in transportation and space travel.
In late March 2017, Shotgun Life visited Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini, or F.A.I.R. as we have come to know it, in Brescia Italy. Owner Luca Rizzini impressed us as a straightforward, unpretentious guy committed to manufacturing affordable wing and clays guns that would last for generations.
As September approaches, in our secret heart every shotgun disciple anticipates their annual pilgrimage to a beloved place. For some of us it’s the autumnal woods of Maine for woodcock, a goose hunt on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, sporting clays at The National Shooting Complex in San Antonio or maybe throwing clays from that rusty hand-loader at a family barbeque. Personally, that special journey takes me to Griffin & Howe’s gorgeous Hudson Farm in Andover, New Jersey.