I've been a hunter, reloader and competitive rifle, pistol and shotgun shooter for over 50 years. I've especially enjoyed trap shooting, having shot competitively for more than 30 years. At one time I participated in an organized trap shoot for many years with a minimum of 50 participants every Thursday night.
One Thursday afternoon while feeling quite mischievous I decided to have some fun with my friends that evening. I gathered a few boxes of 12 gauge paper hulls (yes, it was that long ago) that I reloaded with 3 drams of FFG GOEX black powder and 1 1/8 oz. of 7 1/2 shot. I decided to give my A.H. Fox single barrel trap gun a well deserved rest and uncased a late 19th century Remington New Model double barrel, 12 gauge shotgun with damascus steel barrels and exposed hammers to bring with me that evening.
When my time came on the line I unzipped the case and produced my pristine example of Americana for my fellow competitors to feast their eyes on! Some of my friends started laughing and said that I wouldn't be able to hit the side of a barn with that relic! Were they in for a surprise! I told them, "time will tell" and proceeded to the line. What they didn't know was that the 28 inch barrels were choked cylnder bore and at normal trap shooting distances the spread of the shot was about 3 feet in diameter, I couldn't miss.
After shooting my first clay pidgeon (which I smoked) and after the guys stopped laughing and stopped coughing from the white smoke that enveloped them, they teased me saying that I just got lucky. To that I replied, “we will see.” After a few more smoked birds they started getting serious and tried very hard to beat me. I then proceeded to break 25 straight and then the match went to a shoot-off with 1 competitor who also shot 25 straight.
As luck (and a rapidly spreading pattern) would have it, my competitor missed 1 clay pidgeon and I shot another 25 straight to win the match. Amid much protest I thought I would have some fun and press my good fortune. I insisted that I was shooting 1200 fpm the regs required and they were welcome to chrono the shot speed, etc. No one took me up on my offer. They finally were able to ban my weapon from additional matches on the grounds that the inhaled smoke was unhealthy and should be outlawed from competion. I gratiously consented to the ban but reminded them that their firearms some worth many thousands of dollars were no match for my "relic."
Going forward at subsequent matches, every time I unzipped my gun case all eyes were upon it to see what surprise I may have in store for them. It was great fun!
Bobby DiPaula, Boynton Beach, FL.
Gun Collector, Competitive Shooter, Hunter & Reloader.