For those of you interested in such matters I wandered about the National Gun Show today. It was at the Dulles Expositions Center. It was terribly crowded with a multitude of folk of various description. I bought the world's greatest knife sharpener from a man who had sharpened my pocket knife gratis. Basilisk had predicted that I would buy a gun. I was doing my best to resist this thought when I spied the lovely old thing pictured above. It is a Savage Arms "over and under" combination with a .22 magnum barrel over and a 20 gauge shotgun barrel under. It has little engraved sketches on the sides of the receiver. On one side is a fox and on the other a ruffed grouse. I suppose that is why this gun is typically called a "silver fox."
I owned one of these a long time ago. I bought it in Panama at the Canal Zone Rod and Gun Club. That must have been in 1965. I owned it until the late 70's when I took it with me to visit my dear friend Colonel Bob Sawyer and his wife Ellie at their retirement retreat near Bow Lake, New Hampshire. I had brought it with the idea that a country gent should have a gun like this. We were standing in a meadow shooting at empty tin cans with the Savage when for some reason he told me that the day was the anniversary of a day in early 1944 when a kampfgruppe of the 17th Panzer division overran and destroyed his company of infantry of the 26th (Yankee) Division. This was just short of the Rhine. The platoon he commanded lost half its men, including many he had served with in the National Guard in Massachusetts.
As we walked back to the house. I handed him the gun and said "this is yours, don't argue about it."
I saw this gun today and it became impossible to leave this old friend behind in that noisy, impersoanl place.
Basilisk and Harper waited patiently while I filled out the forms. pl