Share your family heirloom and its story

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Jul 6, 2011
Central Arkansas

That's Grandpa's .410. He had it as long as I can remember. Im 26 and he gave it to my brother when I was 8, then he got a pump .410 that Christmas and I inherited it. My favorite memories was him unwrapping it from an old heated blanket that the element went out in(that generation never threw anything that useful away), then dusting the old box of ammo off to get one shell from. Loaded up but still broke open he'd walk out to the "old house" that was his temporary house after WWII he converted into a barn after he and the local Amish family built his permanent home. He'd find what animal had scratched in and was riling up the chickens and dispense it with one shot.

One day we had a "Pet" Boar get out and turned mean on everyone who tried to get him back in his cage. My brother and cousin tried shooting it with several arrows to kill it which didn't work. Grandpa grabbed the .410 and a shell from the "Special" box teasing my brother saying "they couldn't kill time". He went out and stood about 10 feet away from the wounded animal aiming for behind its ear and shot. It flinched and turned to face him. Walking back to the house he laughed and said "Hell, guess I can't either". Our neighbor came over and went out back and finished off the pig with a larger rifle. He came inside to tell us and noticed the Razorback sticker and made a few jokes (he was a LSU fan).

This is the gun my little boy gets when he gets old enough.

Show your favorite heirloom and share a few stories if you want.
I have my Grandpa's Win Model 12. The shotgun was made in 1919. My Grandpa got it in an unusual way. Back in the depression, he made extra money by being a duck hunting guide. One day the hunter lost his balance in the boat and the gun went over the side. The next spring Grandpa went out and found the gun in the river they were hunting on. It is badly pitted and has replacement wood but the insides were like new. It served him many years and my Father too. I got it and it has been residing in the safe ever since, the last 20 years. Last year I bought another barrel which I cut down to 20 inches and installed on the gun. It still had the original Winchester wood three shot plug in it. It is now my HD gun. Being as old as it is, it was made without a trigger interupter so all you have to do is hold the trigger down and it fires as fast as you can work the slide. It will be passed on to one of my nephews when the time comes.....chris3
Grandpa gave it to dad & dad gave it to me , Winchester model 90 !
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I need to get some pictures of it; I've told the story about my Arisaka and it's history before.

I've only inherited one firearm, and that's only an Arisaka type 38. Not worth a lot, but it gives me a connection to the man who once owned it, whom I never got to meet.

My step-dads father was a tail gunner in a B-17 in WWII. After being shot down over Europe, he wound up on a hospital ship. Next time he saw land, he was on the island of Tarawa, on the other side of the world. He made bombing runs over Japan, and after the war, was stationed in Japan as part of the Army of Occupation, which is when he picked up the Arisaka.
When the US Air Force was created as a separate service, he went over. He was also one of the first men promoted to the newly created rank of Chief Master Sergeant. He retired the day my step dad got his commission as a 2nd LT in the Army.

So to me, the Arisaka isn't just some old milsurp, it is a piece of family history.
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My great grandfather bought a single shot .410 when he was a kid. He got the money for it by butchering chickens when he was a kid. His dad told him in order to get the shotgun he would have to figure out a way to pay for it. Over the years my grandfather had it sitting in a corner. I am 29 and went to Christmas at my Dad's house and recieved a gift in a well know shape. I opened it and it was my Great Grandfather's .410. The BEST gift that I have received to date!! No xmas gift that I have opened made me tear up until that day.
Have three.

First is my Great Great Grandfathers Winchester 1873 in 38WCF (38-40) along with a bowie that he carried while serving with the 44th NY during the War Between the States.

The second is my Grandmother's Winchester Model 37 Red Letter in 28ga. that my Grandfather got her when they married in 1936 for hunting rabbits and small birds.

And the third is my Dad's Smith and Wesson 44 Magnum (pre-29) that he bought in 1956 and a Winchester Model 1892 rifle, that was converted sometime in the 50s to shoot 44mags.

All will be pass to the next generation so don't ask if they might be for sale.
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Winchester 101 from my grandpa. He had this growing up and said he shot more pheasants and rabbits with this than he can remember. They used to go out with empty pillow cases and fill them to the brim. Then they'd hike back to the farm, go down to the basement, and spend the rest of the day drinking whiskey and cleaning the meat. I've had the privilege of hunting with it once or twice's also no stranger to a skeet field where it does pretty well. I'm lucky and proud to have it. My son/daughter will get it someday.

My heirloom is a flintlock 'squirrel rifle' - a gift from my father-in-law.

It is a handmade rifle crafted by one of his shooting mentors back in the '40s. The story is that "Grandpa" found a rotting flintlock in a farmer's barn. He restored it using a piece of 'gnarly' maple that he been holding on to for a stock. He estimated that the lock mechanism was from the 1820's. We call it a squirrel rifle because of its modest 36 caliber.
I have a 1903 colt 32 ACP pocket pistol, made in 1917. I was my great uncle's, given to me by my grandmother.

He got the gun from a friend a long time ago. He said the friend came home from work one day and his wife was waiting for him with his own pistol. She pointed it at him and pulled the trigger. Click! nothing happened, next person he saw was my uncle, who he gave the pistol to get it out of his house. The gun had never malfunctioned before that day.
"Old toasty" here, my father's Colt 1903, made in 1919 and passed to him by his father in the early 50s. It was the first real gun I saw up close. At the time, my father actually showed us how to load, rack, and fire it, with the assumption that knowledge would create respect, rather than curiosity causing accidents. It seemed to work. It was given to me by my mother, many years later, who wanted it out of the house due to my father's rapidly advancing Alzheimer's Disease. My father asked me about it once, about a year after it was given to me and I told him I had it and was getting it restored for him. He nodded his approval but assured me he did want it back. It hurt like hell to lie to him about it, but it was for the best and Mom was appreciative. He never asked about it again and died about a year later. It then became legally mine with a simple note from Mom to the local PD about it's history and it's intended bequest.
We have two family heirlooms. The first is also an Arisaka that my Uncle brought back from the Pacific (with an unmolested chrysanthemum), that my brother and I played with growing up.

The second is my first gun, a Dan Wesson .357 bought new in 1977.

Both are now in my son's possession, but I have a lot on heirlooms in waiting.
Well I don't have any heirloom guns as when the first of my grandfathers to pass did his sons all grabbed up what guns there were.
And the second of my grandfathers to pass on fancied himself a 'trader' but he always got the worst out of the trade.
The only heirloom I got is the pocket watch my second grandfather used that was originally purchased by his grandfather.
About 6 months before he passed, my Grandfather passed along an octagon barreled Savage 1903 22 pump action with a box magazine. He said the rifle was given to his Mother when she homesteaded in South Dakota in 1905. The barrel is rough, and the stock has a crack that has been repaired, but that's part of the character of the rifle. I also have a Mossberg Model 42MB that my Father gave to my son when he started to shoot. My dad bought it when he was a kid in the mid-40's. Niether gun is worth much, but both are almost priceless in the family history.
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