My New Bird Gun....


Dave McCracken
November 2, 2007, 05:06 PM
I don't do much bird hunting these days, but if the opportunity or need arises....

Those who peruse these threads may recall one from two weeks ago from Supereverb called "Paging Dr McCracken". It concerned swapping stocks.

Long story short,. SR had stumbled on a real deal on a 28 gauge 870 Express. He wanted it for his twins, 8 or 9 years old. The 28 was near new in appearance but the hardwood stock had been modified into a straight grio and was meant for an adult.

Meanwhile back at Casa McC, the kids had not only ignored the 20 gauge 870 Youth Express I had bought for them 10 or 12 years ago, but had the temerity to grow up into young adults. Son's youngest, and he graduates from one of MD's best,albeit expensive, state universities next month. Daughter's in Grad School.

So, we had a shotgun no one could use well, and SR needed a short stock for his kids. You can connect the dots.....

We swapped last Friday in a downpour. I installed the stock and with more foresight than usual placed a shim to add a bit more drop before I tightened things up. With the buttplate and straight grip, it was trim and handy. just long enough to be used by a behemoth. Unless my scale is lying, it comes in at 6 lbs, 2 oz. That's a good lb less than Frankenstein or Number Six, my two wingshooting 870s. However, it balances right at the front of the loading port as they do. IOW, it handles like two shotguns I have plenty of history with.

As for the straight grip, the two doubles I've had with straight grips both shot well for me.

Today was the first time I could shoot it. A couple of boxes of 7/8 oz loads from Ye Ammo Stashe, 7.5s in Remington Game Loads and 8s in AAs traveled to PCC with me and the usual 12 gauge stuff.

I see a hand up. " PGC has that silly 23" barrel minimum rule, sir. Youth Expresses have 21" barrels. Wazzup?"....

I confess. I snuck it onto Range 9 before most of the Geezers showed up and the trapper was elsewhere. The lone Geezer there became a co conspirator when I let him try it out. But first....

Standing at Post 3, I shot Low Gun. I destroyed the first 5 targets,moved past Post 5 and broke my string with a bad mount. I hit three or four more, missed one and moved again. The little 20 pointed like a finger.

And a few times in that string I had flash Satoris where I know the clays are destroyed AS I trigger off the shots. Nigh instinctual insights that I've done it all correctly. Loud Zen.

More Geezers showed, and I showed it off a little. Another Geezer who owns many fine shotguns dry mounted the little 20, raised his eyebrows, mounted again and said just two words with a smile.

"Quail Gun".

I agree.

After the normal convolutions, I snuck it out again when the trapper went to lunch. It did its job nicely when I did mine.

Then, I climbed into the Cherokee and as the big Michelins did their job I enjoyed the ride home, listening to the Allman Brothers' Jessica.

I did a favor for a friend and came out ahead thereby.

Something of little utility here became much more useful and enjoyable,

I must be doing something right....

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November 2, 2007, 05:34 PM

Congrats Dave!

November 2, 2007, 06:03 PM
What is the deal with that minimum barrel length rule anyhow?

BTW- Finally completed my Solar Decathlon project and am pretty anxious to see if I can remember how the dance goes.

November 2, 2007, 06:28 PM
Make me smile, why don't ya??? :D

The Yoot stock from your 20 is mounted on the 28 and fits both Twinseses like a glove! I managed to sand off all of the purplish stain from the fore-end and hit it with a coat or two of Watco's dark walnut stain followed by 3-coats of a semi-gloss spray poly. It still looks like crap, but it least it almost matches the buttstock LOL!

I'm feelin' sorry that I didn't make it out there this AM, but I've had a sinus headache for the past few days that has really taken it out of me.

Next Friday. tho....

Dave McCracken
November 3, 2007, 08:58 AM

Steve, the version on my Ipod is much longer. Possibly the best truckin' music ever made. Thanks.

You did give me an idea. Yeah, blame Steve. While I do not name all my guns, I believe I'll call this one Jessica. SR has a Parker Repro with that moniker, but I think we can tell them apart.

B5, glad to hear your project is complete. Shall look for you at PGC. Don't worry, your 870s will remember what to do.

As for the 23" rule, the official line is it's to lessen noise. Since they do not ban ported barrels, the real reason lies elsewhere. My guess, it's to keep riff raff like us from shooting skeet with riot guns and otherwise offending delicate sensibilities. I doubt I'll do it again.

The 20's not a clays gun anyway. It's much better for following a dog with, or easing through the hardwoods watching the canopy or while kicking brush piles.

SR, sorry you didn't make it, you'da had fun. Next week for sure...

Whole Hog
November 4, 2007, 08:39 PM
I remember when they were the Allman Joys, playing at the Special Events Center in Melbourne, Fla. They only got better.

Today I took a coworker out to shoot clays with his new Beretta 391. He's normally a pistol shooter, but his grin after breaking three for three more than paid for all the targets and all the shells. He's ready to try quail hunting for the first time.

Dave McCracken
November 4, 2007, 09:59 PM
Early in the 70s a friend gave me a copy of Idlewild South. I wore it out, then two copies of Live At The Fillmore East. Now most of that's on my Ipod. Along with Jessica, Greg's I'm No Angel, etc.

Take that coworker hunting. Another hunter helped through the first steps is good Karma.

November 5, 2007, 01:21 AM

Twinseses, are really going to like this gun set up for them.
Neat Factor for sure! I mean Mr. Dave and Daddy and all this stock swapping and all for gun fit.

Kids pay attention to all this, and while they appreciate all this at the moment, years down the road even more appreciation is gained.

Passing forward to perpetuate as we do...
Neat is a kid , mom, even a grandparent with a tie-dye T shirt, new gun put together with a kid, for kid and they are in the mood for Allman Bros , Pink Floyd , Seger, CCR, Steppenwolf...

""In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, <target> Bang! I bwoke it!" -kid

Born to Wild that kid..."
"Yeah, I'm just Comfortably Numb with all this..."


Dave McCracken
November 5, 2007, 09:17 AM
Steve, besides the 28, SR has Son's NEF 12 gauge with short stock and Kickeez pad. Twinses are well equipped.

So am I, especailly with friends.....

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