Jacking up a 13-bedroom cabin from its foundation to retrofit underground luxury men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, fitness center and sauna within a nine-month timetable shows the real chops of Griffin & Howe CEO, Steve Polanish and his predecessor Guy Bignell as their Hudson Farm sporting grounds fulfills its new calling: “How a Legacy is Crafted.”
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.
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.
In late March and early April of 2017, Shotgun Life visited the legendary Gardone Val Trompia in the province of Brescia, which is the heart of Italy’s shotgun manufacturing. We spent time with shotgun makers Perazzi, Beretta, FAIR and F. illi Poli as well as master engravers Stephano Pedretti, Creative Art, Francesca Fracassi and Cesare Giovanelli. Here is Part 7 of our eight-part series called Shotgun Life in Gardone Val Trompia.
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.
Two years ago, I was living in an apartment in the basement of a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was working in private practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and spending most of my weekends driving two hours both ways to upstate New York to do something in the outdoors. I was tired and burnt out and when a relationship I had been in ended, I needed a change. Little did I know that the catalyst for that change would be my seven-year-old black Labrador, Goose.