Columbia, MO -(AmmoLand.com)- MidwayUSA is excited to announce the release of “Best Guns” a short story by Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA.
“Some of my fondest memories are the hunting and fishing stories Dad and my uncles shared with us kids back then – generally around the wood stove, and other times in the field,” said Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. “Unfortunately, it was pure and simple storytelling, so all I have are the memories. Now, as a father and grandfather and having hunted and fished all my life, I am taking the time to write down some of my own stories – for the enjoyment of my children, grandchildren, friends and Customers. These are all real stories that I participated in, nothing is made up; and I write them purely for your enjoyment.”
By Larry Potterfield
The British refer to shotguns simply as guns.
During the 19th century, London’s top gunmakers began using the term “best” to indicate that their guns were made to the highest standards of design, materials and craftsmanship; thus a “best gun” was the best shotgun available. The term stuck; interestingly, it takes about 700 hours of skilled hand labor to make one.
Best guns were originally made for Kings and Queens of England, members of the court and other affluent people. Word got around, production increased slightly, and others, who could afford the best, were customers for a best gun.
The design of a best gun is based on driven birds, a shooting style in England for grouse, pheasant and partridge. While Americans were walking up game birds, using pointers and setters, affluent hunters in England were positioned at the end of large fields and the birds were driven to them. The lightweight game gun was developed for this type of driven bird shooting; it’s typically a 12 gauge side lock, with 28″ barrels, straight grip stock, double triggers and automatic ejectors — and weighs only about 6 pounds 12 ounces. This weight was designed to comfortably handle a 7/8 ounce load of shot (standard 12 game load in England).
Being a serious student and shooter of American side by side shotguns, it was just a matter of time before I was exposed to English guns. It happened at the Tulsa Gun Show in March of 1994. There on a table was an English box lock side by side; with permission, I picked it up and my life was changed forever. It was a William Cashmore with 26″ barrels, weighing only 5 pounds 13 ounces and had a feel and balance that simply begged to be shouldered and fired. It was tight, in very good condition, and for $1750 it was mine.
Studying British guns began to occupy more of my time, and it’s always easier to study with one in hand. I bought a couple more guns by Cashmore, and finally my first best gun, a Purdey 10 gauge made in 1872. But the real prize, the lightweight game gun, eluded me until I bought a pair at the Safari Club Show in January of 2006.
They were made by Thomas Boss in 1962; it’s a humble feeling to hold and shoot them – knowing the handwork involved and the long tradition of best guns.
Read “Best Guns” here: http://media.midwayusa.com/cms/larrys-stories/2016_4/145_best-guns.pdf
To read the rest of Larry’s Short Stories, please visit http://www.midwayusa.com/larrys-stories.
Both country kids from Missouri, Larry and Brenda Potterfield turned their passion for shooting sports into a career by opening a small gun shop in 1977 that would eventually become MidwayUSA (http://www.midwayusa.com). They instilled family values like honesty, integrity and respect for others into the business, and strive to maintain this culture with each Employee added to their growing team. For over 38 years, MidwayUSA has maintained an unyielding focus on Customer Satisfaction and continues to offer JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING for Shooting, Hunting and the Outdoors.
For more information on MidwayUSA, visit their website (http://www.midwayusa.com), find them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialMidwayUSA), or follow them on Twitter (http://twitter.com/midwayusa).