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BlacknTan

In a quandary

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BlacknTan

I've been going back and forth with shotguns in my head for months. I thought I had it figured out, but apparently I don't. I know that no one can help with my decision, but I'm putting this out there for thoughts.

I've been energized since the new pup came along, and I want to get her as much work as possible with my ailing knee, which everyone thinks needs replacement, but i keep trying to hang on for one more year. Even with good joints, my best gunning years are behind me, but still, I ain't dead yet. I'd like to get my pup back to her old stamping grounds in Maine with Maine guide Frank Lepore. He's got Gordons of very similar breeding, and God willing, and the creek don't rise, I'd like to spend some time with him in the Fall.

Anyway, the problem...

I've got a 20 ga. Weatherby Athena. An SKB O/U dressed up in Weatherby attire, In other words, garish! I can deal with most of it, but I bought this gun 30 years ago when I thought I knew what I was doing. I obviously didn't, as this is a 26" gun. I've shot it alot, at birds and skeet, and did pretty well with it, but there are birds I missed, that I felt I should have hit.... I don't expect a different gun to change that any... I think we've all been there. The one thing I could not stand any longer, besides the short barrels, was that godawful white diamond in the pistol grip. It looked good in the 1980's. but now, not so much. I talked to a stocker in Rochester NY about an Old English pad, which it will get, and possibly removing the rosewood grip extension and white diamond, and replacing with ebony, which could be rounded a bit.  He suggested a brown magic marker... I thought he must be nuts, but brown magic marker makes it disappear neatly. Problem solved!

To solve the short barrels, awhile back I ordered Trulock choke tubes. These protrude 1 5/8 inch beyond the muzzles, and add nearly three ounces. Not a terribly signifigant change, but since shotgunning is 90% between the ears, and the rest mental, I can fool myself into behaving like a 28 inch gun, particularly when the pad is installed,  and 2 or 3 ounces of wood is also removed from the butt. I expect the dynamics, for better or worse, to be changed a bit. But, I do favor weight forward in a shotgun.

I've been looking a Winchester 101's in 20 ga. The 28 inch guns are less commonly available than the 26 and 27 inch guns, and a very nice example can command near $2,000. Deals sometimes come along, but do not always work out to our advantage... Besides, the chokes on a 28 inch gun would have to be opened, and an Old English pad added, as these Winchesters were usually a bit on the short side.

So, we have the CSMC Revelation checking in at $2,400, with upgraded wood, and the wood I've seen thus far is pretty fantastic!

 

So, I don't need another shotgun, and my wife would agree, but there is a niche, albeit small, that needs to be filled. I've been grappling with for a long time, so I'm interested in thoughts from folks that can see the forest for the trees...

 

Here's the Weatherby. I like SKB's, a nice little gun with dark tiger stripe wood, and the extended chokes, to boost my confidence in it..

 

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Hammergun

By the time and cost for messing around with this gun, you might as well apply it to a new Revelation. I personally would get a 20 ga with 30” barrels and straight stock. But that’s the point is that you can get it just the way you want.  I also think it would start out way better than a used 101 too by the time you have to fix a used guns chokes and lop. I have tried to fix things on guns and end up being disappointed. That’s my two cents. 

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Marc Ret

Your pretty new girl deserves a pretty new gun. It sounds like you do too, BlacknTan. If you're of the belief that your time in the grouse woods is closing in on the tail end, might as well finish with a bit of style. 

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lee sykes

I saw pictures of another Revelation bought by a member of this board.  I cannot reveal his identity as he contacted me via private message.  I will tell you that it has even nicer wood than mine.     Also,  it weighs within an ounce of mine.  I think you will like the balance.  My gun balances an inch in front of the hingepin and gives a very stable mount.   but neither the birds or the pup will care about any of this.   :)

 

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oak stob

Quandry clearly solved...when someone stops you to once again admire your new Revelation, then blame Lee for lighting the fuse.

 

 

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Greg Hartman

Lots of folks consider guns to be tools, like a shovel.  That's just fine (and, frankly, it is the only rational approach), but I've never been one of them.  A nice gun that I like to handle and look at makes my day in the field or on the range a little better - doesn't necessarily make me shoot any better at all, but makes the day more enjoyable for me.  That is the whole point, after all.  Sounds like you may fall into that category, too.  Otherwise, why not just own and use one modern 12 gauge gas auto and be done with it?

 

None of us are getting any younger.  Dealing with my wife's unspeakably horrible life every day, constantly reminds me that you never know when it's all going to come to a screeching halt, perhaps not through your doing at all.  For people who like nice guns, life's too short to hunt with an ugly gun.  And we all know the birds prefer to be killed with a "fine" gun.  :)

 

Of course, there is the small matter of money and what one can afford (OK that's NOT a small matter).  Obviously, each of us must provide for ourselves and our families and not be so financially incontinent that we become someone else's burden when we are old - BUT if we are meeting that standard, what is the "extra" money for?  To make our kids rich when we die?  I think not.

 

So.... if you want a new gun of whatever kind and you can afford it, why the hell not?

 

I've never seen one of those Revelations (other than the pics of Lee's pretty new gun), but they sure seem like a ton of gun for the money.  You could set one up as the classic purple cow bird gun - 20 gauge 30" bbls, etc.  Niiiice.

 

If you came here looking for sensible, conservative answers, such as "Save your money and put it in the bank for your kids", you came to the wrong place, my friend.  :D

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BlacknTan
33 minutes ago, Hammergun said:

By the time and cost for messing around with this gun, you might as well apply it to a new Revelation. I personally would get a 20 ga with 30” barrels and straight stock. But that’s the point is that you can get it just the way you want.  I also think it would start out way better than a used 101 too by the time you have to fix a used guns chokes and lop. I have tried to fix things on guns and end up being disappointed. That’s my two cents. 

I tend to agree with this, but have been trying not to...

28 minutes ago, Marc Ret said:

Your pretty new girl deserves a pretty new gun. It sounds like you do too, BlacknTan. If you're of the belief that your time in the grouse woods is closing in on the tail end, might as finish with a bit of style. 

I like the way you think, Marc :D

12 minutes ago, lee sykes said:

I saw pictures of another Revelation bought by a member of this board.  I cannot reveal his identity as he contacted me via private message.  I will tell you that it has even nicer wood than mine.     Also,  it weighs within an ounce of mine.  I think you will like the balance.  My gun balances an inch in front of the hingepin and gives a very stable mount.   but neither the birds or the pup will care about any of this.   :)

 

I saw it! A mutual friend sent me photos... Just beautiful!

4 minutes ago, oak stob said:

Quandry clearly solved...when someone stops you to once again admire your new Revelation, then blame Lee for lighting the fuse.

 

 

Unfortunately, I'm weak enough that I can't blame Lee for lighting the fuse. Just for shortening it!

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BlacknTan
2 minutes ago, Greg Hartman said:

Lots of folks consider guns to be tools, like a shovel.  That's just fine (and, frankly, it is the only rational approach), but I've never been one of them.  A nice gun that I like to handle and look at makes my day in the field or on the range a little better - doesn't necessarily make me shoot any better at all, but makes the day more enjoyable for me.  That is the whole point, after all.  Sounds like you may fall into that category, too.  Otherwise, why not just own and use one modern 12 gauge gas auto and be done with it?

 

None of us are getting any younger.  Dealing with my wife's unspeakably horrible life every day, constantly reminds me that you never know when it's all going to come to a screeching halt, perhaps not through your doing at all.  For people who like nice guns, life's too short to hunt with an ugly gun.  And we all know the birds prefer to be killed with a "fine" gun.  :)

 

Of course, there is the small matter of money and what one can afford (OK that's NOT a small matter).  Obviously, each of us must provide for ourselves and our families and not be so financially incontinent that we become someone else's burden when we are old - BUT if we are meeting that standard, what is the "extra" money for?  To make our kids rich when we die?  I think not.

 

So.... if you want a new gun of whatever kind and you can afford it, why the hell not?

 

I've never seen one of those Revelations (other than the pics of Lee's pretty new gun), but they sure seem like a ton of gun for the money.  You could set one up as the classic purple cow bird gun - 20 gauge 30" bbls, etc.  Niiiice.

 

If you came here looking for sensible, conservative answers, such as "Save your money and put it in the bank for your kids", you came to the wrong place, my friend.  :D

 

You make good sense, Greg, as did everyone here. But, I half expected a few to say just use the SKB, but, I've been down that road before and not been completely satisfied. And, as you say, I do have enough to last my wife and I the rest of our lives, and even pass some along. But, I did work hard doing that, and I should enjoy a bit of it...

When the purse strings have been held tight for a lifetime, Its not that easy to all of a sudden feel you're living extravagantly..

 

Thanks for not offering a "sensible" answer...xD

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George Foster

None of my concern but if it were me and I couldn't decide if I wanted to spend the money and wasn't completely satisfied, I would ask why don't use you your SKB 280?  You have that in 20ga 28"barrels and choked as you want it do you not?

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tut

I've owned three Athena's over the years.  Two 20 gauges and 1 12 gauge.  Amazingly nice looking, but IMO the buttstock was too fat on all of them.  Also, the white diamond grip cap I never liked and didn't care for the white spacer before the grip cap.  They have all been moved down the road (years ago).  I'm a sxs guy double trigger guy so if I wanted new I'd be looking at the Dickinson models.  If I did decide I wanted an O/U it would for sure be one of the Revelations with a straight stock and upgraded wood.  They are really fine looking at that price point.

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gunsrus

Not a lot of new guns trip my fancy, the Revelation Lee bought sure does .

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BlacknTan
1 hour ago, George Foster said:

None of my concern but if it were me and I couldn't decide if I wanted to spend the money and wasn't completely satisfied, I would ask why don't use you your SKB 280?  You have that in 20ga 28"barrels and choked as you want it do you not?

 

Of course, you're right George!

 

But, I'm alot closer to the end than to the beginning. I started my foray into the SxS rather late. I seem to be able to shoot a single trigger SxS well enough, but I don't have the confidence in my abilities with one as much as I do with the single sighting plane of a O/U, where I cut my teeth, and since confidence has so much to do with how we shoot, unfortunately I can't get past my O/U roots. I've even tried double triggers. I've had folks tell me that they can go back and forth between ST and DT seamlessly, without thought... again, it just ain't me.

Perhaps I'm lucky in that I have alot of options, but I'm thinking I'd like to finish out with what I know... not only for myself, but mostly for the pup. She deserves it!

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Swampy 16

Get the knee fixed first and foremost. You’re just hurting your good knee. Get it done now and be healed by bird season. It’ll make your hunting that much more pleasurable and effective, after all you’ve got a pup to keep up with. Leave the SKB the way it is and get what you want to afford. Life here is short and we can only hope Jesus has a timber cutting management plan in progress for us that love him. I too am one who loves to stare at his gun. I don’t hunt with dogs, for me it’s about the guns. I love to walk off into the covers carrying a double, especially an old one though I have new ones I love. And not all are doubles but that’s for another post. Having that bad knee will limit your exercise so before even thinking about a gun get that knee replaced. You’ll be glad you did.

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OldSarge

X2 on getting the knee fixed. I had both of mine done two years ago. Limping on my right leg blew out my left knee after time. Was up and walking same day as surgery. Having “new” knees has been life changing. Three years ago (pre-replacement) I could walk about a mile before the swelling and instability would stop my hunt. Now I can go all day, all week, all season. 

 

Go go for the Revelation as a post op gift to yourself and then go wear it out.  

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quailguy
27 minutes ago, BlacknTan said:

But, I'm alot closer to the end than to the beginning. I started my foray into the SxS rather late. I seem to be able to shoot a single trigger SxS well enough, but I don't have the confidence in my abilities with one as much as I do with the single sighting plane of a O/U, where I cut my teeth, and since confidence has so much to do with how we shoot, unfortunately I can't get past my O/U roots. I've even tried double triggers. I've had folks tell me that they can go back and forth between ST and DT seamlessly, without thought... again, it just ain't me.

Perhaps I'm lucky in that I have alot of options, but I'm thinking I'd like to finish out with what I know... not only for myself, but mostly for the pup. She deserves it!

 

  To hell with the "pup deserves it"; YOU deserve it. Greg has it 110% correct.

   My wife is happy; my son is doing well with a great wife and kid. I've worked my a$$ off since I was 16 years old and if I want a new gun I'm going to buy it. And so should we all of we can afford it.

   There are a number of nice OUs on the market, from CSMC Revalation, through B Rizinnis, Berettas, Blazers up through Perazzis. I bet you'd look and shoot pretty good with a new SC3 from my favorite gun maker. Just IMHO be sure the gun fits you, get a bespoke stock or have it bent to fit. Proper gunfit is the key to improved shooting. For the pup of course.

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