Happy New Years !!
Just a story to warm my heart.
Some years ago, I was acquired by a Grade II L. C. Smith in 10 gauge that was made at the old plant. I feel that she is one of the last hammerless made at the Syracuse plant. She has damascus steel barrels that are beautiful to look at. One day she and I were involved in a gentle warm discussion and she asked me if I would take her duck hunting. I tried to explain that the rules had changed and now steel shot was required and smokeless powder was the norm. She looked at me with that special way that only she can do and said "Please, please." Well, no way that I could say no to "Her Sweetness."
So what is a fella to do. I found 25 Alcan all brass shotshell hulls that take the 57 size primers. I made a sizing die to insure they might fit into her sleek chambers. She was really excited when I showed her the brass hulls. She said she remembered the days when brass and also paper hulls were very common. Wow, is she pretty when she smiles. Now, I found some 1F black powder, and some 10 gauge over shot wads. I also bought some MEC 10 gauge steel wads which I cut off to the correct length to fit into the alcan hulls. I talked it over with her and said I would only be using #3 steel pellets to insure she would not get swollen. She sure did appreciate that. So, I combined the hulls, primers, dipper load of 1F black, cutoff MEC wad, same dipper of #3 steel shot and topped it off with an over shot wad and Elmer's glue around the edge. I did insure the shot volumn was a little smaller that the wad volumn to insure all the shot stayed in the wad during the travel down the barrels. I showed the finished cartridges to her and wow, did she shine with joy. Well now we made a date to go to the duck blind. I was so proud to show her off to my buddies, I mean who would not brag if his special gal would get up and go so early in the morning. Well, here came the test, I caressed her and THEN here came the ducks and it an instant, she was up and spoke with authority and power. Smoke was everywhere, but when it cleared TWO green head mallards were feet up on the water. WHAT A JOY. She has told me things that she has kept in her heart for years. She and I have grown closer and closer. We often just gaze at each other and smile. She does wonder if any of her old girlfriends out there hunt any more. I did assure her that I would find out.
Enjoy the hunt,