What’s the Gun You’ve Shot the Most?

What’s the Gun You’ve Shot the Most?

A while back Thor’s Axe 777 invited me to participate in a shooter’s coffee chat collaboration between a few gun channels.  The topic of this one was “What’s the gun you’ve shot the most, and what’s the story behind it?”

I thought about this for a while, and I decided the gun I’ve probably used the most is the first one I ever owned.

It’s a Mossberg 152K chambered in .22LR.  To this day I still own it, and it shoots every bit as well as the day it was made.  This is a very old rifle, made long, long before I was even born.  The story of how I came to own it is kind of an interesting one in terms of how it speaks to the firearms community in general.

When I was still just a kid… I forget how old now, I’m going to say maybe 12 or 13 years old, a family friend decided to sell his cottage up north and asked for some help getting it cleaned up.  The property had started to kind of deteriorate over the years as these things will.  Unfortunately, the gentleman in question was getting on in years, and with the cottage being on an island several hours away, it just wasn’t something he was able to do for himself.  As young children we’d spent a lot of time playing there; he and his wife were very kind and generous with us.  I can still remember the smell of the cigars he favored, as well as way he laughed when telling a fish-stories; those were good times.  I’m very fortunate in that I have a mother and a father who live the values a lot of people just talk about, so when he asked for their help, there was really no question.

Our family heritage is British-Protestant, and my parents believed strongly in doing for others whenever you can.  They bundled us up, and we spent about a week and a half fixing this place up. We sanded and painted, scrubbed and washed, sawed and hammered, and even though it was a lot of work (and I’m anything but handy), I look back on it now as a really fond memory of something we did together as a family.  By the time we’d finished, the place looked better than I could ever remember, and it sold in relatively short order.

To thank us for helping him out, our friend invited us to take anything we wanted from the cottage.  My parents chose an antique china hutch, and I picked a clock and a survival knife that thought was pretty neat.  After we got home my Dad took my brother and I aside and told us that the owner had also given us a rifle.  My Mother was not impressed.  My grandfather had been a hunter, my Dad had been a hunter as well in his youth, and we grew up with a shotgun in the closet though I’d never fired it before, but my Mom (like many mothers), was worried.  It took some convincing, but eventually my Mother agreed to let us fire it.

My Dad taught my brother and I about firearms safety, and the responsibility that goes with gun ownership.  He also taught us the value of conservation; which meant not shooting anything we weren’t willing to clean and cook, and leaving the woods as we found them by cleaning up our brass and targets.  He also taught us to shoot, as you can imagine.  He didn’t just go out and buy us 1,000 rounds of ammo to blast any which way without hitting anything, either.  Instead, he taught us to aim, to breath, and to squeeze that trigger just right.  A lot of tin cans met their maker in the woods of northern Ontario.  Dad would buy us a box of 50 cartridges to share over a week, and you better believe we got our moneys worth out of them.  My brother and I would ration them out at like five a day each, and strategize how we’d spend them.  Whether we were standing, kneeling, or prone, we’d probably take a couple minutes lining up every shot.  It was like each bullet was made of gold, because when you’re 14 and you can’t buy more, they may as well be.  I’m obviously a little older now, so as you can imagine I’ve put an awful lot of lead through that rifle over the years.  I don’t shoot it as much as I used to, but once in a while I’ll break it out and have some fun.  When my niece and nephew are older I suspect I’ll probably teach them to shoot with it as well.

It’s always amused me that in a country where firearms are condemned as an evil force that destroy lives (naturally by people who’ve never actually held one before), some of my fondest family memories came from a beat up old, rifle and the family I shared it with.

So that’s the gun I’ve shot the most.  Though this story is mine, I’m willing to bet that the folks reading this article have one of their own, too.  As time goes by, I look back on memories like this one and reflect on what it means to be a gun owner in modern times, and how I can pass down whatever knowledge and experience I have to share with the next generation.  Whether it’s teaching a young person to shoot responsibly, helping a new reloader assemble that first cartridge, or just sharing stories like this one on TRN; I hope you’ll do the same when the opportunity presents itself.

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