So, over at a forum on which I post, someone asked if anybody had fired a 12 gauge pistol-grip shotgun one-handed. My initial thought was "Uh, doesn't everyone who owns one do it at least once, just to see?" but then I was reminded of the most memorable time I did it, back when I was young enough to actually own a pistol-gripped shotgun and appear in public with the thing:
No $#!+, there I was...
I was working at my very first gun store, back in the early '90s, and
had just bought a 20" Mossie 500 eight-shooter and, like every
twenty-something Mossenberger owner does, I ditched the buttstock for
the pistol grip that is handily provided in the box so you can make your
gun look cool and yourself like an ignorant dork.
I was renting a room from my boss in his lakefront house at the time,
which was awesome because lakefront house, but had its downsides, such
as carpooling to work with the boss made it hard to call in sick and go
So the day I bought the gun, I ride home in the boss's truck, cheerfully
coonfingering my shiny new gat in the box in my lap. We arrive home,
get out of the truck, boss goes to let the doberman out of the back,
when I see it! Right there coiled in the driveway is ten inches of
fanged death! And the curious dog was headed right for it...
"Hold Obie!" I yell, "Even the babies are venomous!"
The boss grabbed the dog and pulled it back. I grabbed the Persuader,
slid a round of the store's cheapest low-brass #7.5 birdshot into the
magazine tube, and then worked the shotgun's action with the sound of
doom, the dreaded "ka-CHAK!" which would have sent the snake scurrying
for safety, if the snake had the brains of a 200-lb armed robber on
Checking my backstop, I moved around so as to fire in a safe direction
and, I guess for heightened dramatic effect plus a reluctance to get too close to the vicious critter which might wake up and attack at any moment, extended the shotgun in one
hand until the muzzle, wavering from the firm grip of my pipestem
forearm, was maybe two feet from the snake...
The shot column struck the driveway, which was angled downhill away from
me and towards the lake, and skipped off in a perpendicular direction as
ricochets are wont to do, scooping the snake up more-or-less intact and
depositing it in the honeysuckle about eight feet up a tree.
Elation surged through me. I had saved the dog! I'd defended the fort! I'd saved us all from certain scaled death!
I had not even returned the shotgun to its box when a friend of ours, a
postman who was both a gun nut and amateur herpetology buff, came
strolling down the drive. "Gary!" I hollered, ears still slightly
ringing, "Look up in that tree over there! Check out that rattlesnake that Obie found!"
"How did it get up in the tree?" he asked, reasonably.
"I shot it and that's where it landed."
He went to do a postmortem on our antagonist.
It was a corn snake, of course.
I console myself by realizing that Obie probably would have killed the thing anyway.
(Names have been changed to prevent anyone from being associated with my foolishness. Except the dog. She was a willing co-conspirator.)