Shot my Dad's gun the other day.


April 6, 2005, 02:51 PM

A little Colt Diamondback .38 Special. He purchased it some time in the early '80's for home defense, so I'm guessing it's a '70's production gun (R393XX). Pretty accurate little pistol for such a short barrel (2 1/2"?). DA trigger is a bit heavy, but SA trigger is nice and crisp. It feels a bit strange in my hands (I'm more accustomed to semi-auto grip angles), but it shot well nonetheless.

He never shot it, being the type to buy and not practice, so he gave it to me a few years back when I started collecting guns myself. I've only shot it on two or three other occasions myself, it being an older piece in near-new condition. I decided to shoot it again a couple weeks back.

You see, my father passed away last month. He battled lung cancer for several years, living much longer than the three months the doctors initially gave him. He lived long enough to see and hold his first grandchild, my newborn son. He was a good man, hard-working, strict, and honest. I miss him so much, all I can do is hold my own son.

I don't think I'll shoot the Colt much anymore. Just had to shoot a box through it that day. I'll probably just clean it up and oil it, then buy a nice little box for it. When my son's old enough, I'm gonna bring out Grandpa's old Diamondback and teach my son a little about shooting. And maybe a little about Grandpa, too.

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April 6, 2005, 03:00 PM
I ended up with several of my father's guns when he passed away. I plan to keep them in the family and give them to my sons later. I wrote a "history" on each giving information as to how it was acquired and what he used it for. I hope that they will continue to pass through the family and the history will build. You have a pretty unique revolver that should collect quite a story over the next century. I think your son will appreciate what you are doing.

April 6, 2005, 03:19 PM
Sorry about your Dad, Bam. Touching post. I'm really envious of you guys that have a tradition of firearms in your families. I can imagine the memories those old guns carry with them.

Standing Wolf
April 6, 2005, 04:25 PM
When my son's old enough, I'm gonna bring out Grandpa's old Diamondback and teach my son a little about shooting. And maybe a little about Grandpa, too.

I hope so. An awful lot of kids don't have fathers or grandfathers any more, still less any solid connections to them.

Missouri Mule
April 6, 2005, 04:34 PM
Sorry to hear about you losing your Dad.
I lost mine in '99.
The loss doesn't get any less difficult. But it will eventually get easier to deal with. As the saying goes, Life goes on.....

By the way, awesome little Colt!

April 6, 2005, 04:45 PM
Your post made me smile a bit, then get all misty eyed. (Really, it's just the allergies... :( )
Sounds like your Dad was a great man. And he left you a great gun! Cherish it, give it to your son when you know he's ready, and it sounds like you'd better teach him more than a little about his Grandpa!

He was a good man, hard-working, strict, and honest.
And now you know the legacy he left you.

Like the Paul Overstreet song says, "I'm seein' my father in me, I guess how it's meant to be, and I find I'm more and more like him each day. I notice I walk the way he walks, I notice I talk the way he talks.....and I'm happy to see my father in me." God Bless You. :)

Bear Gulch
April 6, 2005, 04:46 PM
I feel very lucky, I still have my dad. He is 84 and his alzheimer's has taken much of him from us. But thank you for reminding me to be grateful! My son has been lucky to get to know his Grampy!

April 6, 2005, 06:48 PM
My grandfather's gun collection has been passed on from my father to me. My dad likes to shoot on occasion, but has far less interest in firearms than I do.

The collection included:
1942 03A3 built by Remington
Springfield Armory model 1899 carbine (.30-40 KRAG)
Colt DA-38 (yup, in .38 long colt)
6.5mm Arisaka carbine
7.7 Arisaka rifle (mum intact)
FN-Herstal 1910 in .32acp
Marlin model 39 (not a 39A)
Yugo Model M98 (just a captured K98 action)

I really enjoy shooting these guns and hope one day to pass them onto a son. Don't have one yet though.

April 6, 2005, 11:07 PM
You have my sincerest sympathy. I lost my dad in January. I had bought him a Tuarus 85 .38 as a Christmas present a few years ago. Mom gave it back to me a couple of days after he passed away. Two days before his funeral i took it to the range. I only put about 100 rounds through it but, somehow just shooting it, made me feel alot better. I haven't had a chance to shoot his old S&W .38 (he bought it in 1941) yet,i guess i'm just waiting for the right time.

Someday you're son will be awfully proud of learning to shoot "Grandpa's old Colt"

April 7, 2005, 02:25 AM
Thanks for the thoughts, guys. Every little bit takes a weight off my soul. :)

April 7, 2005, 12:14 PM
BamBam, that's a great and heartbreaking story at the same time. I'm very sorry for your loss.

April 7, 2005, 01:50 PM
This is the best thread I've read in a long time. Sorry about your father.

April 7, 2005, 01:59 PM

Shoot it every once in a while for your Dad, and use it to teach the kids about 2 things...

1. Grandad
2. All the important RKBA things, and their personal repsonsibility for their own safety and Grandad knew about it.

Black Majik
April 7, 2005, 07:13 PM
Very moving post, Mike...

You have my sincerest sympathy. I do agree to take the gun out every once in a while to shoot a box thru in memory of your father.

You son will appreciate the little Colt very much, very much family history and sentimental value in it.

Fred Fuller
April 7, 2005, 09:59 PM
Those of us who have something passed down are lucky to have a piece of the past, a reminder of people dear to us. These things are physical connections to times and places and people now gone, keys to memories that are almost time machines in their power to evoke the past. These objects may be relatively prosaic, but their power is understood by people who place value where it really lies. They see to it that these things get passed on.

And that is how it is done, has been done for as long as there have been treasured objects of use in the field. They have been handed down across the years and across the generations, from wrinkled hands to smooth.

That is as it should be. I hope it stays that way as long as there is an outdoors and people to enjoy it.

Your story brought to mind a similar piece that I have never forgotten. One of the best treatments of the theme ever written appeared in the _Field & Stream_ of my own youth many years ago. It was good enough that the editors of the much changed modern version of that magazine still see fit to keep it available in digital form. If you'd like to read it, here's the link to the inimitable Corey Ford's Lower Forty column, titled "Across The Years."


Bob F.
April 7, 2005, 10:07 PM
Yeah, what they said; me too.

April 7, 2005, 10:12 PM
Bam-Bam - I too am touched by this post. My Dad died '97 - and sadly had had to give up shooting many years previous due to parkinson's. Even more sad - I have no guns that could be handed down by him.

Your experience is probably quite a common one but - somehow the gun is a link to the departed - I know it sounds crass to say it but - the gun holds ''something'' of the previous owner. Imagine if you will this scenario. You take said gun to the range and shoot it - enjoying the delightful perfection of quality engineering but - stop also and imagine. There is your dad .. a sorta ''fly on the wall'' - watching to see you enjoy and, most likely wishing you nothing but pleasure and very little remorse.

Put it away again by all means - and for sure - pass it on later... but do your Dad a favor too - just now and again - as a salute to him and a favor to yourself. Go shoot it again - let it be a link such that despite how much you will still miss him - it helps in a way to ''connect'' ... honor a memory if you will. I sincerely hope when I am gone, my son will do just this - and embrace any grief by balancing the books with some celebration too.

In a sorta similar vein - Take a peek at this thread - Last Range Visit ( - where I relate a story about a dear old friend I used to shoot with - and realize that guns do so many times, forge and cement things dear to us.

April 7, 2005, 10:22 PM
Nice piece of memory bro'. Lost my dad in 87 from diabetes complications, 3 weeks before my first was born. Nearly killed me too. Cried often for 5 years. Now just a precious, happy memory. I have his guns, tools and his old pickup in the drive. The guns rarely leave the safe. I just thank the Lord that he gave me a good dad that gave me an example of how to be one. Not everybody had that. hang in there Bro', it will get better.

April 7, 2005, 10:41 PM

I actually been lurking for a bit, but Registered Just because of your post!

You keep hold of that gun and remember your dad every time you touch it. Shoot it if you will. I am Very sorry to hear about your recent loss, and I know, it hurts. I am also very thankful that he got to hang on life till he held his grandchild.

You see, I lost my father after a 4 month battle with pancreatic cancer a yr ago last february. LUckily, I was able to bring all his grandkids up to Chicago to see him before he died. One of the kids he never got a chance to meet till he was dying.

The one thing I was able to get from his widow that means the most to me is a S&W 586. I "sold " him that gun in 1987, because he knew I needed the money. But from that, he took up shooting for fun.

Now every time I go shoot, I will bring and shoot it, kinda like the gangsta's pourin a little out to tha brothers that dead before drinking.

Nuff my rambling, but good show Sir, keep that Colt, no matter how broke you get. And thanks for the reminder, you made my anger that I am feeling towards my teenage son after our latest fight drop down a notch.

April 8, 2005, 02:27 AM
Never thought remembrance of my Dad would affect people the way it has. Just thought it'd be cathartic. Does my heart good to see it resonating with other fathers and sons. I hope you're seeing this, Dad. :)

Don't Tread On Me
April 8, 2005, 04:19 PM
It is posts like these that make me so very angry when I hear of gun-banners and gun-controllers refusing to acknowledge guns as valueble family property. I would be DAMNED if I ever let some government confiscate a handgun that my father gave to me.

I feel terrible for those people in Australia and England who lost firearms that had been in their family for over 100 years. Sad.

A painting, a vose, a pen, a watch can all be special items of inheritance or sentimental value, OH NO, but not a gun. Guns are "special". :fire:

Sorry to hear about your dad, touching post.

June 17, 2007, 05:24 AM
Happy Father's Day, Dad. :)

June 15, 2008, 07:17 PM
Father's Day bump! :)

Hope everyone's showing love to their Dads today! ;)

June 15, 2008, 07:25 PM
Excellent post, Bam.

Be good to your children, fathers. I wish I had a father as good as Bam's. The best I can do is hope to right the wrongs of my father when my wife and I start our own family.

Oh, and try not to baby that Colt TOO much! If it's pristine, yes, it's worth more, but are you really going to sell a Colt revolver your dad gave you? Take it out on his birthday, Father's Day, Memorial Day (was he a vet?), opening day of his favorite sport, or whatever.

June 15, 2008, 07:30 PM
Call Your Father, Guys, And Tell Him Ya Love Him.

June 15, 2008, 07:40 PM
Sorry about your dad, Bam. Wish I knew what else to say in that regard.

Other than that, great post. I'm sure your son would love to know about his Granddad, and hopefully will appreciate the revo as well.

my Grandpa died a few years ago, after battling Alzheimer's and then cancer. He had a hell of a life, and loved to tell me stories when I was a kid. Being stupid and young I never listened much to those stories, and when I grew older and was more able to appeciate them, and more eager to hear them, it was already too late. I still have many, many amazing memories of the man, but the guilt I carry for not paying better attention to those stories, and those lessons, will follow me for a long time.

Don't ever forget your dad. I know that may sound strange, but I don't think people really understand how important it is to know and remember those who came before you, and what they had to give to those around them.

Snapping Twig
June 15, 2008, 08:52 PM
I am sorry for your loss. My Dad passed in 86 - still miss him, but time is your ally.

FWIW, I'd take that roscoe to the range and I'd think about my Pop every time I used it. My Dad didn't own any guns, save for his Father's 12ga. side-by (1912 Fox Sterlingworth) which I have now. My kid's going to have perhaps too many guns some day. ;)

June 16, 2008, 01:23 AM
I learned to shoot with several of my grandfathers guns. A S&W Victory model(navy stamped) that belonged to him was the first centerfire handgun I remember shooting. I shot squirrels in the same river bottom he hunted, with the same well used 870 wingmaster he hunted with. Sometimes, dad let me use the Winchester pump .22(Model 61? it's hammerless) instead of carrying the shotgun. Dad said that grandpa could pick sparrows off the barb wire fence 70 yards away with that rifle. I've shot dove with the Franchi 48AL he owned.

I never met him, he passed when dad was around 15. At least I can hunt with the same guns he did though. :)

June 16, 2008, 01:39 AM
bam, i can relate, though it was my grandfather i lost this past January. see a few years ago he gave me a remington 700BDL in .308 and a winchester model 94 in 30-30. i can't even bring myself to shoot them yet, it hurts so bad everytime i think about grandpa. he taught me so much about life. and he taught me so much about shooting. he taught me before kindergarten what first graders were doing in public school. heck, between him and dad, they taught me to hit a baseball on a pitch before i ever played T-ball. then there are the important things i learned, hard work, honesty, integrity, staying true to your word. of course these things came from dad too. i remember the day grandpa died like it was yesterday. i hopped in the truck and high tailed it home but knew i would never get to say that last goodbye and that is what kills me. i walk into his home now and expect him to get out of his recliner and greet me but of course he never does. i have so many good memories of him, and that is what helps me. they say times heals all wounds but it seems as the months go by i cry more and more for him.

now i make it a point to call dad a few times a week just to BS if nothing else, and the day before he leaves for work(he is a roughneck, works seven on and seven off) i make sure i call and tell him to have a good safe week and i love him.

i know i kinda went off on this one but it helps to get it out for me. and someday when my three year old is mature enough he will go with me to the range, we will take grandpa's guns and he will get to hold what his paw paw worked so hard for. i don't know when i will be ready to shoot them myself but until then they will get brought out, oiled and held. they will be his someday, along with the good stories....

June 16, 2008, 02:51 AM
My papa passed away last August, one of the finest men ever to walk this earth. If you really want to shed a few tears, listen to Roger Creager's "I Got the Guns".

Song came on my laptop once I got the news that he was in the hopsital and there wasn't any stopping the flood that came.

June 16, 2008, 07:52 AM
oh i know, i can't listen to that song or Dixie Lullaby or anything close man...

June 16, 2008, 09:51 AM
Wow. I realize some time has passed, but this is first time I've seen your thread Bam-Bam. Thanks again for sharing (and reviving it).

June 16, 2008, 10:33 AM
My sympathies to y'all that have lost a loved one ...


June 16, 2008, 10:40 AM
This is one of several guns that I got from my Grandpa. My Dad gave this one to me, because he does not shoot it and he knows I'll end up with it anyway. My Gramps bought this gun new in 193? and took it everywhere with him. He was a Game biologist for Oregon Fish and Wildlife commision, based in Hines/Burns.


June 16, 2008, 11:06 AM
A very touching post. Thank you for that.

Father's Day is never the same when our Dad passes. We lost my dad a year and a half ago. The firearms he passed along to his sons and grand sons all have a story that go with them. It is rare that we all end up in the same place at the same time, but when we do, the stories always seem to include something to do with hunting and shooting.

Your Colt Diamondback is just such a link to your father and your son. Instill your father's values in him as your dad did you, add the little Colt, and you have a close tie that will bind your family tighter together with every trip it makes to the range. There is something about felt recoil and the scent of burnt gunpowder that make it seem as though it was just yesterday....

Just a link to my dad for your perusal.


June 16, 2008, 12:16 PM
My dads been gone for some time now. I cherish the Marlin 39A he handed down to me before he passed.

I still imagine him doing a "flyover" at public events when we stand for the National Anthem. He will always be with me. :)

June 16, 2008, 01:56 PM
I was a child when my father died. There was no insurance and mom sold his guns so we could eat for a while. Such is life.

This photo is from 1949 or 1950 and shows him on the side of a Missouri road shooting what has to be a 1st Generation Colt SAA with a 7.5" barrel. One of the guns she sold later on.

The only guns I had passed down was granddad's Remington .41 O/U derringer and grandma's H&R top-break in .38 S&W with pearl stocks that was in about 99% condition. They were stolen in 1986.

I have numerous guns that have sentimental value to me, but I have no children. They will be sold by my widow.

My condolences on your father's passing. I would shoot that D'back from time to time but then I shoot all of my guns.

June 16, 2008, 02:06 PM
Bam, so sorry for your loss. I lost my father to lung cancer as well many years ago. My son has his old Wichester Model 12 pump gun. Every time I look at it I smile a little remembering pheasant hunting with him and my brother in western Kansas. Treasure the memories.

Black Knight
June 16, 2008, 06:18 PM
My dad passed in 2002 and since my brother doesn't shoot I got all of dad's guns. Create a new Father's Day tradition, take it out evry Father's Day and shoot it. If you have kids, when they get old enough take them along. When the time is right give it to one of your kids. Make it a family heirloom. Treasure it and pass that treasure on so another generation may treasure it to.

June 16, 2008, 07:08 PM
Sorry for your loss.

Came close to loosing my dad last year (stroke).
Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that he is still around. :)

June 16, 2008, 08:20 PM
When I was 10 years old my father took me to the range with him for the first time and taught me how to shoot a 22 rifle. He had also brought his Mauser to zero in for his first and only deer hunt and he let me fire it. It kicked like a mule and the scope dinged me over my eye but I shot it again and hit where I aimed.

That fall my dad shot his first deer with that rifle and was the last time he hunted. Forty six years later my dad passed away and his Mauser was passed down to me.

I have shot for years but never had the opportunity to hunt but I made the decision that I would take a deer with Dad's rifle. Last year on my first hunt I shoot my first deer and decided that I would not wait until my death to pass this fine rifle to my son. I've introduced him to hunting and this season he will shoulder Granddads Mauser for for his first deer.

I'm sure my dad will be looking down with pride at the heritage that he has left.

I really do miss him.


June 21, 2009, 06:58 AM
Happy Father's Day! :)

Sons, give your Dads a call. Dads, give your sons a hug.

Since I can't call my Dad, I'll just give my son a double serving of hugs instead....;)

(Bringing the Diamondback out to the range today as well. :D)

June 21, 2009, 07:40 AM

Thanks for reminding us (sons and daughters)...

Happy Father's Day to all! :D

June 21, 2009, 07:45 AM
I have my Great Grandfathers Springfield 1873 and my Grandfathers Springfield 06 he brought back from WW II and made it his deer rifle. Both hold a very special place in my heart for obvious reasons. Good to know the tradition will continue with others.

June 21, 2009, 08:30 AM
I'm lucky to still have my Dad, even though he lives in Australia & I rarely get to see him. He never had a great interest in guns but always encouraged me with mine. When he came to the USA to visit about twelve years ago I took him to the range & he got to shoot my No. 4 Lee Enfield .303 which he got a kick out of as it was the same model rifle he used when he was in the British Army back in the early 1950s, though he said his favorite gun from his military days was the Bren. He's had a couple of mild strokes in recent years which, along with advancing age, are beginning to take their toll but he continues being a good husband, father & grandfather. I'll never sell my Enfield, just because of the memories it brings back of that afternoon at the range all those years ago. Father's Day in Australia isn't until September, & I'll call him then, but I've enjoyed reading this thread & the memories of my Dad that it has helped bring back.

Mike J
June 21, 2009, 04:01 PM
Good post Bam Bam
huff is right if you still have your Father spend time with him while you can. My Father has been gone for about 6 years now.

June 21, 2009, 04:27 PM
Thanks for bringing this thread back. I'm going to get on the phone now and give him a ring. I've got guns from both of my grandfathers and many stories to go with them. I, too, get a little misty when I hear Creager's "I got the guns". I still miss those guys.

Happy Father's Day everyone.


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