I was lucky enough to have a gun handed down to me when my Great Uncle Buddy passed away. Well, it was handed down to my dad and because of the fact he shoots left handed and the custom stock would break his cheek bone at every shot it got handed down to me. This gun has a lot of tradition and history behind it.
Let me explan. To the best of my knowledge it is a military springfield a3-03 that was "sporterized, as they like to say." I am not positive on this because the barrel is engraved- RA 4-44. If anyone can clue me in on this i would appreciate it. My Great Uncle Milton, whom i have never met cut down a walnut tree and made a stock for the gun back in the 50's. It is beautiful and even has an ivory diamond on the stock. He made this stock with his hands using the tools he had available at the time. My Uncle Buddy also hand loaded his own shells and a few of these came with the gun. It was topped with an old weaver scope that i am not sure of the date but i am assuming it was around when the stock was made.
When i first held this gun i was in love. The action on it was unbelievably smooth. A dollar bill soon revealed that Great Uncle Milton had free floated the barrel perfect. My first thought was i wonder if this thing can shoot. I looked at the scope and thought wow this needs upgraded. My Uncle and I were about the same size so the gun fit like that old camo hoodie that you just cant throw away because it feels so perfect.
So we hit the range with the handloaded shells and set out a spring turkey target that you would use to sight in your shotgun. It was all we had at the time and i figured it would work. I was optimistic to say the least with this old "hunk of junk" scope and a handmade stock from the 50's. I put the gun on the bench and aim for the turkeys neck. BOOM! The kick was not that bad but these shells felt a little hotter than the usual 150 gr remington coreloks i use in my other 30-06. I could not see the bullet hole so i told my dad i would shoot again to get a group. BOOM! Shot felt perfect and trigger pull was beautiful. My dad and i travle up range to the 100 yard target.
"Dad, your not going to believe this! I put up a half inch group dead center on the turkeys neck." I was shocked. How could this old weaver scope on a weapon that fought in the war be this on. I used it that year in deer season and harvested a button buck. The shot was about 150 yards and i blew the heart out. The deer started to run toward a steep hill so put another one right in its lungs.
The next season I took the gun out and hunted my Great Uncle Clydes Property. He had just passed away and i thought it would be nice to go out and reflect. I took Great Uncle Buddy's gun that Great Uncle Milton cut the tree down and made the stock. That is some history. I was hunting hollow when I saw a monster doe making her way down to the trail. 90 yard shot and dropped her.
This point was very tough for me knowing that for the first time in my life Uncle Clyde wasn't going to be there to see the deer. He was always adimate about hooking up the quad and trailer and coming back to get my deer. I just took that for granted so many times. Now not only was I not going to get to see uncle clyde but i had to drag this behomoth up the hill to his house.
This gun has been with me for a few years now. It is by far my favorite gun. It has never once missed in the time i have had it and all deer were shot through the heart. I retired it last year as i hunted in a little bit of rain and i could see points where the stocks "clear coat" was coming off. I do not want to ruin this piece of family history so i put it away. It will be my sons some day and hopefully be passed on to his child.
I will post a few pictures of this piece of my familys history by tomorow and let you all see the beauty of Great Uncle Buddy's gun.
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