Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

PA Farmer's Guns

This Stevens single-shot was my father's first gun, my first deer-hunting weapon (on loan from Dad), and the only firearm in the gun cabinet that I insisted was mine after Dad passed away.

Sure, I've got some "museum guns" that might be as old as these and probably more valuable, money-wise, but these family treasures hold more history to me than a Springfield or Garand which may or may not have seen action. This 16 gauge Stevens has dispatched many a copperhead or ground hog around the barn, as well as a stray kitten stricken with distemper.

My grandfather kept this Ithaca 16 gauge side-by-side in the kitchen corner, with a margarine dish full of shells atop the cabinet next to it. It's claimed several snakes and critters down by the barn, as well as a rattlesnake coiled inside a frying pan in the cellar pantry. My grandmother was equally proficient with it.

I'm not sure about the history of this simple 16 gauge; it had spent decades in the home of my grandfather's cousins and came into Dad's possession after that generation passed away. We've been warned not to fire it.

These guns have something in common: they're no-frills, utilitarian tools for the low-budget farmer.


  • At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I started shooting with a Stevens 311 side-by-side. Some years later, I tried to buy one and they were no longer on the market.

    Last year I got one for $120 at an auction! It needed a bit of work, but is going great now that I have cleaned 50-odd years of crud out of the action.

    Now it's mainly my cowboy scattergun, but also gets a bit of use on rabbits in close country.

    It's not worth much moneywise, but it's a special gun to me!

  • At 6:22 AM, Blogger AlanDP said…

    The first gun I ever dove-hunted with was my dad's old single-shot 16 gauge.

  • At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Utilitarian Artwork at its best.

  • At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe my grandfather had one of those and now my father has it. I don't believe that is usable anylonger , but is a wall hanger. I wish it was able to fire.

  • At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have the brother to your 16 gauge... My first purchase was the Savage Stevens 20 gauge single shot - $45 (in the 70s). Still have it.


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