[ I am pleased to present this guest post written by Matt Green ]
This Ruger .45 my Dad left me is one of the first weapons I ever fired.
My grandparents had a farm in central Minnesota, near St. Cloud, and we would drive the two hours to visit every month or six weeks or so. Nearby was an old iron bridge, crosshatched with braces, bedded with wood that beginning to rot as the bridge neared the end of its first century of usefulness. The newer highway bridge went over the slow moving creek a couple of hundred yards upstream, so the metal bridge on the dirt road was relegated to cars and small trucks. It was too small for any modern farm machinery to pass across it.
But it was a great place to learn how to shoot. Dad would bring out his Ruger Mk1 .22 and this Blackhawk, and my three brothers and I would take turns shooting pop cans and empty ammo boxes floating in the river, tossed in on the upstream side of the bridge. Dad would occasionally take a turn with the .22, but he mainly used his .45, usually stoked with ACP ammo, since it was less expensive than Long Colt. It was also a way for him to see if we’d been fooling with his pistols in his absence, as he caught my younger brother once when he hadn’t put the ACP cylinder back in. Dad loaded a .45 ACP round, and it dropped deep into the LC cylinder. One look at the bunch of us, and he knew which brother was guilty.
When we exhausted the .22 ammo, we’d each get a cylinder full of .45 to shoot, or most of one, since five rounds each made the box come out even. It was harder to shoot well than the .22, and much louder (I don’t remember that we bothered with ear protection back then), but it was very satisfying to shoot it well and have Dad comment as much.
I miss him, and think of him whenever I shoot the old Ruger, or really, whenever I handle firearms in general. The interest I have in firearms now was sparked long ago by shooting with him.