That Darn Gun

This is about a gun. A particular gun I once owned. The tale is mostly about how we parted company. It's a story that I recently found out is still told to this day among my gun enthusiast friends back in hometown Detroit.

I grew up in Michigan and hunting is a popular sport there. Since my parents owned a piece of farmland, me and the boys thought we might try our hand at pheasant hunting. Need a gun for that.

I have always had penchant for the unusual and unique. So when I went to buy my first shotgun I poured over the Stoeger catalogue and spotted a piece that would do the trick. A 12 gauge, double barrelled shotgun. Hand made in France. With a unique sliding breach action receiver. Instead of breaking in two like most double barrel shotguns, my Darne shotgun had a butterfly tipped lever that pulled the breach straight back for loading and unloading. It is a design I believe is unique to this make, and the setup is reputed to be very solid and sturdy.

Well, first shot at a clay pigeon, and that darn thing broke. The fore stock split in two right in my hand. Fortunately the good gun smith who sold me the gun fixed it better than new. It turns out that the loads in France where this gun was born are lighter than those we use here in the US of A. Who knew?

Well, the real story is how one day in New York City I have the gun in my closet. No license. At the time I was pretty much against firearms in general. And, with no license, selling the piece would be problematic. Plus, I didn't want to have on my karmic list selling the gun to someone who would use it for who knows what and where. I devised a stealthy scheme to make that thing disappear.

One fine day I took the gun apart, wrapped the two sections in towels, and put them in a large shopping bag. Once underway on the Staten Island Ferry in the middle of New York Harbor I casually sauntered to the side of the boat as near to the waterline as I could go. After looking around to be sure no one was watching, I removed the two units and casually let them drop into the murky depths. Never to be seen again. One supposes.

Can you picture it though. Me, like some criminal dropping the evidence over the side of the boat. If I had been spotted, who knows what I would have had to answer for. Headline: "Police divers retrieve illegal weapon from NY Harbor. Suspect in custody. The nut won't crack even after hours of strenuous interrogation."  

I've been told the boys still talk about that. I can understand. Today, that darn gun is a collectors items, worth thousands. Well, a few anyway. And, to a gun enthusiast, throwing away a good piece of equipment is not in the realm of comprehensibility.

A unique gun, and a somewhat unique story.

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