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#9 Shot Grouse
Unread 04-22-2018, 03:24 PM   #1
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Tom Flanigan
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Default #9 Shot Grouse

I was looking through some pictures and came across this one. Birds on the back porch were taken by me with #9 shot and my grandfather’s VH 20 bore. I’ve often wondered just how many grouse that gun has taken for me and my grandfather. He used to say that you could fill the back porch with all the grouse he has taken. I believe him.
I had a string of woodcock hanging also but I had already picked all but one when I took this picture. There were a lot of resident woodcock but when the flight birds came in things got crazy. Its funny, but the flight birds were found mostly in the same section of covert year after year. When the flights started coming in, I knew where they would be.
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Unread 04-22-2018, 04:15 PM   #2
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Tom,

Would you tell us a little more about your Grandfather's VH 20? Just curious how it's choked, etc.

Thanks,
Mike
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Unread 04-22-2018, 04:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for asking. The little 20 bore VH has 28” barrels and unusual high dimensions 1 3/8 DAC with a LOP of 14. It is bored IC and modified. In my unenlightened youth, I had a silvers pad installed to increase the LOP. I wish I hadn’t done this.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the gun has an interesting history. It was owned by an old market hunter named Dee Slocum. He got it in trade for some of his furs. As far as I know he never hunted with the gun. He called it a “toy” and sold it to my grandfather for $50 in 1916. My grandfather liked the gun and used it for all of his grouse and woodcock hunting for many years. My grandfather was proud of all the grouse I took with his little Parker. He saw me and his Parkers as his legacy.

I’ve forgotten the name of the fur trader but he stopped by every few weeks or so to buy Dee’s furs. Barter was part of the process, which is how Dee came into position of the VH. In his market hunting days, Dee used a sawed off ten bore hammer gun with #10 shot. I don’t know the make.

After market hunting was outlawed, he shot a Colt hammerless double for his table grouse. My grandfather always regretting not getting this gun after Dee died. He wanted the gun as a reminder of his friend and fellow grouse partner.

In later years, I recut the checkering which was nearly worn off, blued the barrels and restored the stock finish. The gun was well used but never abused. My grandfather made sure that I fed my bird dog (a two year old finished Brittany that he bought for me) and wiped down the gun down and oiled the bores before I was allowed to sit down to dinner.

The gun is still my go to grouse gun. I play with a 28 bore Holland from time to time but when I want birds for the freezer, the little Parker gets the nod.
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Unread 04-22-2018, 05:11 PM   #4
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What a great legacy to pass on to the next generation. I wouldn't choose #9's for grouse however.

I think most of us have our "go to gun". Mine is a straight grip DHE 20 with 26 inch barrels choked cyl/cyl. I call it "The meat gun". I think I've shot more grouse with that gun than anything else in the safe.
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Unread 04-22-2018, 05:40 PM   #5
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That's a great story and picture, Tom! Thanks for sharing.

I understand your regret over the silvers pad, but that could be reversed and it was an act that gives your gun a story to tell. That character is the reason why I walk past the new guns and gravitate toward the used gun rack. To hunt with a family gun and know that you'll someday pass it to the next generation to add to the story is a special thing.

My Grandfather is the reason I bird hunt. I fondly remember helping him brush out and feed the setters and wipe down the guns before we sat down to a meal too. Important lessons for the young hunter to learn.
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Unread 04-22-2018, 06:10 PM   #6
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That DHE of yours sounds like the ideal grouse gun. My grandfather had a couple of DHE's but never bought a higher grade although he could have afforded it. I always asked him why he didn't buy more Parkers and higher grades. He response was "I had all I neede

Pretty good response. He ordered his DHE's through a bicycle shop in Poughkeepsie. I can't even begin to imagine being able to order any Parker I wanted. Those old boys had it pretty good. A new Parker whenever they wanted one and incredible grouse numbers.

He bought the DHE's for pheasant hunting and duck hunting in Tivoli, NY which is on the Hudson River. I've hunted his Tivoli spot and there still are a lot of ducks there but nowhere near the numbers he talked about.
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Unread 04-22-2018, 08:33 PM   #7
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great stories by all...charlie
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Unread 05-16-2018, 09:39 AM   #8
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Tom; If someone told me your picture was my late second cousin I would not know the difference. Amazing.
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Unread 05-17-2018, 01:09 PM   #9
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OMG.....there is two of me out there.
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Unread 05-17-2018, 01:44 PM   #10
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First couple of years I shot #9 out of the first barrel and #8 out of the second. Way too many cripples and broken wings with #9 but most birds I ended having to kill by hand. #9's ok for Woodcock but not enough for grouse. Today I use #7 almost exclusively.

It's hard to beat a 20 g V-grade for an all around gun. Like the stories and photos, the gun is truly priceless. No money can ever replace them.

JDG
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