favorite gun, my favorite gun, peter j. siegel jr., hercules, hercules 12-gauge
Peter J. Siegel Jr. and his Hercules 12-gauge. Peter J. Siegel Jr.

OL reader Peter J. Siegel Jr. from Billings, Mont.,​ sent us this account of his favorite gun. To share your own, email us at myfavoritegun@outdoorlife.com. We want to know the story of your favorite gun, and what makes it special to you. And, of course, we want to see a nice picture of it. Scroll down for more stories, and tune in next Thursday to read about another reader’s gun.

By the time my favorite gun came into my possession, it hadn’t been in the field in 20 years. The metal had rusted, the stock was damaged, the firing pin was broken, and there was a bulge near the muzzle. The single-shot belonged to my grandfather, who bought it through the Montgomery Ward catalog. He mailed in $20 and they replied with the shotgun and his change. Grampa broke the stock and bulged the muzzle when he slipped in the mud and a pheasant got up before he checked his barrel. I was the only other real hunter in the family, so it came to me when my uncle passed. I had a gunsmith cut the barrel, replace the bead, and mill the firing pin. The following year I had the stock repaired, a Rem Choke system installed, and the bluing restored. I love it as you can only love a gun, and when I die, my granddaughter will inherit her great-great-grandfather’s shotgun.