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  1. #1

    Default Family Heirlooms

    With my Fathers passing this February, I recently inherited this Browning "Twelvette" shotgun. This gun is loaded with great memories for both him and I. He bought it when he was in college and used it to hunt dove and pheasant on his family's farm. When I started hunting he let me use it for the same purpose until I could save enough money to buy my own shotgun. I will miss him and our times in the outdoors together, but every time I take this shotgun out this fall, I will be bringing a little bit of him with me. This thread is for all of you who have a firearm or other piece of outdoor equipment that has a special part in your family history. Let's hear your story.Name:  image.jpg
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  2. Default

    I'm sorry for your loss but happy to see that you will always have that physical reminder to help connect you with memories of your father for the rest of your life.

  3. #3

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    I don't have a great story about them as I never hunted with my grandfather but I have his Winchester 88 284 Winchester and his Westerner fixed blade hunting knife. Used only on Michigan whitetails and black bear, now that the rifle and knife are here in Wyoming I think I'll take them up the mountain this year after mule deer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Posts
    421

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    I have a pre 64 Winchester model 70 .270 that my grandmother gave to me when grandad died. They are both gone now. She thought she bought it for him in around 49 but wasn't sure on the year. I cherish that gun and have used it on elk, antelope, deer and moose and still hunt with it today. I have instructed my boys that it is never to leave the family.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
    Posts
    933

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    We just went by the one year anniversary of my FIL's passing, and its been a long process sorting through the belongings he left. Of course there is a ton of hunting gear, the guns for which Hunting Husband can recite the history of each one, the knives that the men of the family would gift each other with to mark special events or occasions. But I think the most precious thing he left were his hunting journals. He started keeping them in the 70's. He started by writing down all the memorable hunts from his childhood, then wrote religiously after each day in the field up to the day he died. It's been quite something to have those to read.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Laramie, WY
    Posts
    10,177

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    Cool topic...surprised more people haven't chimed in.

    A few years back I applied for a cow b tag in Montana to fulfill a "goal" I had. My Grandfather, Father, and I have all killed elk, deer, and pronghorn, in Montana, with the same pre-64 model 70 in 30/06.

    This elk I shot completed the goal.

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    Same rifle, with the MT bighorn Dad shot.

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    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
    -Norman Maclean

  7. #7

    Default

    I'm currently babysitting my Dad's M70 270, built in 1951. And his model 12, also built in 1951. The year before my parents were married. I'll hold onto them till it's time to send them along to someone else in the family who will appreciate them. I've also got a m70 338 winmag that my dad bought in the early 70's. Dad gave that one to me when I moved back to the mountains, along with 30 years of load data. I'm half afraid to carry it anymore, because when dad carried it in the field, he harvested an animal every 6 days. I've carried it 5 and don't want to mess up the juju. When we moved Dad into his current living situation, I asked siblings if they wanted three specific firearms. A m70 in 375 h&h from about 59, still fitted with a williams peep that my Dad used to kill his first alaska moose, a late 90's m70 fwt in 6.5x55, one of my favorite calibers, and a savage o/u in 222/20 that I killed my first grouse with. All three are currently in my safe and I'll see if I can get them out more in the fall. Every time I pull one of these out I have fond memories of my father, in happier, healthier times. I've got no photos on currently, I'll try to update later.
    we owe it to our children to give them two things, roots, and wings

  8. #8

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    Buzz, the lineage of that winchester is incredible. Thanks for sharing.
    we owe it to our children to give them two things, roots, and wings

  9. #9

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    Cool thread.
    Right now, my dad has 7 or 8 of his grandpa's guns. He hasn't fired any of them, and I don't think any have been shot in 25+ years. There is a really neat old .300 Savage that my great grandpa did most of his deer hunting with that I am going to get cleaned up for my dad to use. I'll let him see it for his birthday in October
    To see America as history, to conceive of destiny as a becoming, to smell a hickory tree through the still lapse of ages- all these things are possible for us, and to achieve them takes only the free sky, and the will to ply our wings~ Aldo Leopold

  10. #10

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    Hunting in my family began with me. I'm one of 8 siblings and the only one to hunt. I never inherited any guns. However, my adult kids have already begun asking for their heirlooms. Do your giving while your living, so you'll be knowing where it's going.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by glass eye View Post
    Do your giving while your living, so you'll be knowing where it's going.
    In 1969 my late brother and I received new matching Browning Light 12 Gold Triggers. When he passed my Sis in law gifted his to me and I gave mine to my son. I thinned the herd with a couple of rifles to my boys a few years ago. The grandsons are coming of age so more will leave the safe shortly.

    Much used Light Twelve


    Future heirlooms....pistolas will go last


  12. #12

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    My grandpa left me all his rifles and shotguns.

    His deer rifle, a 7.65 argentine mauser. it's still in stock form, no sporterization done to it. He bought it the 1st year center fire rifles were legal for deer in SD. It had been just shotguns slugs prior to that. He got the rifle with 200rds of ammo for 20 bucks.

    I watched him time and time again roll deer with open sites at 500yds with this rifle like it was nothing.

    I also got his very well used model 12. I still set the beretta aside a few times a year and go chase pheasants with the old Model 12, but I always am forgetting to pump the dang thing.

    My very favorite rifle he gave me is the .22 I learned how to shoot with. It's a very old Stevens marksman, a break action. I only this rifle could talk!
    I recall one conversation grandpa and I had about this rifle. Grandpa always had taught me to take very good care of any firearm. I noticed that this particular rifle had his initials carved into the stock. I remember thinking, defacing a rifle like that was not on par with taking care of it. So I asked grandpa about it. He said that this rifle came from sears and roebuck, which at the time was about the only place to order a rifle from. So naturally all the other kids at school had the same rifle. They all carved their initials into the stock so they could tell whos was whos in the coat hall at school.

    I've got a few others from him but these 3 hold a special place in my heart.

  13. #13

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    Dad left me the collection after he passed in 13. He was an avid enthusiast who spent a lot of time during his retirement finding firearms that fit some pretty unique nitches. He focused a lot on the Victorian and Edwardian era of British hunting as well as the pre-WWI period of German firearms. I also have a few that were passed down from my grandfather, who was an avid collector and circuit riding preacher in MT during the 40s - 60's, and then moved to Wyoming in the 70's.

    Here are some of the better guns I've inherited:

    German Guild Drilling in 16 gauge over 8x57JR. I lengthened the chambers to 2 3/4 and it dumps a 200 grain Woodleigh into about a 2 inch group at 100 with open sights:

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    Browning BSS that dad purchased in early 2007. One of the first guns he bought after retiring. I refinished the stock:

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    Here's what's on tap for elk this year. An 1870's - 1880's vintage Rodda 577/500 No. 2 Black Powder Express. It's about like a 12 guage slug gun in power, or a 30-06. Shoots a 365 grain bullet at about 1650 fps:

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    Last edited by Ben Lamb; 07-15-2016 at 10:56 AM.
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  14. #14

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    I got this when my Dad passed in 2011. It has been in the family since he got it from his Father, but I have no idea where it came from. It is one of the first Henry Repeating rifles (44-40 rimfire) made in the early 1860s and has a 4 digit serial number that is under the rear sight. Dad was offered $10,000 cash sight unseen for it back in the early seventies by a collector that found out he had it and I have no idea what it's worth today.
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  15. #15

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    That's a rugged beauty top.

  16. #16

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    Dang Topgun.

    That's one of the holy grails in American firearms right there. I'd wager it's worth twice that much now. Looks like it's in fantastic shape!
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  17. #17

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    No family heirlooms yet, but here are pictures of a future family heirloom. It's my custom rifle I had made last year. The same year my son was born and it has our initials on the bottom metal. I plan on killing all of my western big game animals with this rifle and someday passing it down to my boy.

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  18. #18

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    Thanks everyone for sharing some great stories about some of your firearms and the family members that made them special. i enjoyed "TimeOnTarget"'s story about his grandfathers explanation for carving his initials into his 22 stock. As a middle school teacher in 2016, I can't imagine a school where you would hear a teacher say, "Class is about to start, just put your rifle in the coat hall with the others and have a seat."

    Buzz H. is putting some serious pressure on whoever is next in line in the "H" family to receive that Model 70. You could really make life difficult if you added a bighorn to the list.

    Glass Eye has a good point about passing things down while you are still around. My great grandfathers 30-40 Krag ended up in the hands of a second cousin who was a non-hunter, and he promptly sold the gun before I could express an interest in making the purchase. It looks like Noharleyyet has his firearms all nicely assigned to their next owner, and won't let them end up in the hands of someone that doesn't appreciate them.

    Glad Ben Lamb joined the thread as I have always enjoyed the beautiful guns which he has shared on other threads and the pictures he takes of them are catalog quality.

    Keep those stories coming.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Posts
    421

    Default

    jnagel32, that is a beauty of a rifle and the initials and date are a great idea. I use the "future family heirloom" excuse with my wife when I buy new guns. It actually works most of the time.

  20. #20

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    Grandma's WInchester 94 in 32-40 is in the safe, and usually makes 1 trip to a whitetail blind during the season. I've yet to take a critter with it, but love shooting it at the range. It's got the recoil of my Red Ryder and accurate as sin out to 100 yards, with the original buckhorn sights.

    Somewhere around Winnet, MT circa 1949 or so:

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    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  21. #21

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    Couple more. The pre-64 Winchester Model 70 was a gift from a friend and has taken pronghorn and deer in MT, WY and lord knows where else. it will be passed on as well to someone who is worthy of such a fine gift. It's right next to the Mortimer 450 3 1/4 BPE, which is an absolute hammer on whitetail. It's a little heavy for toting around the woods at 10 pounds, but great fun in a blind or hunt without a ton of hiking. It's circa 1885 or so.

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    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  22. #22

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    Cool stuff Ben. I like to think of all the places those firearms have seen. I'm sure my imagination isn't vivid enough to relive all of the times they've been handled, and who depended on them to fill freezers and dreams.
    we owe it to our children to give them two things, roots, and wings

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lamb View Post
    Dang Topgun.

    That's one of the holy grails in American firearms right there. I'd wager it's worth twice that much now. Looks like it's in fantastic shape!
    That's for sure Ben! However, it is not in the shape I wish it was if you saw closeups because it was definitely used hard by whoever had it way back when. None the less, just because it is what it is makes it worth a lot of money.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Laramie, WY
    Posts
    10,177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lamb View Post
    Grandma's WInchester 94 in 32-40 is in the safe, and usually makes 1 trip to a whitetail blind during the season. I've yet to take a critter with it, but love shooting it at the range. It's got the recoil of my Red Ryder and accurate as sin out to 100 yards, with the original buckhorn sights.

    Somewhere around Winnet, MT circa 1949 or so:

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    Ben, that's a cool picture and a great rifle...the family also has a 32-40 in a '94. It originally belonged to my great grandfather who passed it on to my Dad. I shot a mule deer doe with it in the mid-90's.

    You are right, they are scary accurate at 100 with the buckhorn sights....actually very impressive.

    I'll get some photos put up of that rifle here soon.

    Choc dogs, I talked to my Dad last night, and his 30/06 was purchased from Herb Gibson, brand new at his newsstand store on Higgins Street in Missoula. My Grandfather bought a model 70 in 300 Winchester in about 1967 or so and gave my Dad the pre-64. Also still have the 300 Winchester, which my Grandfather shot until he died in 2000.

    Here he is with his 300 when he was 80...shot this deer in the morning, filling his B tag.

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    Later that same evening, he killed his last elk ever with the same rifle. Shot this elk through the shoulder at just over 200 yards resting the rifle on the side of a tree:

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    My Dad has also shot all 3 of his Shiras Moose with that same 300 Winchester.
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
    -Norman Maclean

  25. #25

    Default

    With all the negative press regarding firearms these days, it is to bad that some of these stories showing the proper use of said firearms can't be shown in the media. These "tools of the trade" have given us some pretty great memories. Then again the animal rights crowd would have a field day with some of the grip and grin shots on this thread. Oh well, carry on.

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