Lessons of firearm ownership.
NEVER throw anything [ANYTHING!] away. Always obsessively hoard components when it comes to firearms…
I am currently enjoying the result of this advice. I have a habit of keeping and saving any component I change out, even the items I modify – I hoard. Nothing is discarded: there is always a plastic container to hold it. Old triggers, old safety buttons, barrel clamps, sights, all sorts of screws, bolts, and nuts. All from shotguns, from air guns and even from slingshots. You never know when they will come in handy.
I have had my Mossberg 500A for a few years now. I must be frank – I think I have gotten it to where I need it to be for now. From a stock PGO [Pistol Grip Only] Mossberg 500A to the installation of Magpul SGA furniture, an enhanced safety button, a 24-inch rifled barrel, Williams Slugger shotgun sights, very rugged sling attachments and rails for lights or lasers as the case may be. With Lyman 525 slugs, I am having 3 to 4-inch accuracy from as much as 50 yards. Good enough for hunting and personal defence. So, with the right anti-rust treatment [Liberal application of grease!], Mathilda has presently gone back to the safe, until when next I might want to go hunting with a rifled barrel, or, God forbid when I need an extra trigger hand for LOUD NOISE and bullets from another corner of the fort. [One gun good, two guns BETTER!]
I got another Shotgun…
There has been this Turkish EFE Falcon ‘Automatic’ Semi-Auto 12gauge shotgun I had been babysitting for a friend for several years now. How it came to reside with me is the subject of a very interesting story – which is also reflective of the life fraught with insecurity and criminality all around us that we have to live here in Nigeria.
A close friend of mine was at home one evening with his family when an attempted home invasion happened. His dogs alerted them and he was able to grab his shotgun and fire off several accurate shots at the home invaders. He did possibly hit them, there was bloody evidence the next morning. He stopped them from getting into his house that night. They had used an old dirty mattress to get over the barbed wire on his fence but in trying to escape, they tore themselves up badly too as they abandoned the mattress and scaled a different part of the fence. As they escaped they ran into a police patrol and were immediately killed. Policemen actually praised my friend, and told him that they liked his kind of person!
My friend handed his Shotgun to me for safekeeping…
My friend lived in a remote area near a creek then; but not one of those nice picturesque creeks that you might think. It was not far from a filthy run-off from the lagoon, heavily polluted with oil and rubbish, hiding dens of illegal oil refineries, pirates, and other criminals. So this was an area that the bad guys had access and reasonably free movement. Police presence was very minimal.
He had been able to use his firearm to save his family the trauma of the home invasion, but within a short time he noticed very funny and strange activities around him, including hard-faced people tailing him and weird noises at night. They had to move. My friend ended up selling the house and moving his family to another city, eventually moving to join his family in that city. He didn’t want to carry his firearm with him and so he wrapped it up and asked me to keep it safe for him.
This shotgun has been with me since I think 2011, locked up and occasionally cleaned and oiled. My friend was completely not able to take it back and move it across the country to his new home. So recently himself and I came to an agreement where I paid for the firearm and he transferred the license and ownership to me. Of course with police approval.
It came to me as a basic Turkish pistol-grip-only shotgun as you can see in the pictures below: and as usual with me; my usual desire to improvise and fabricate and make some changes on the firearm kicked in.
My Turkish-made EFE Falcon ‘Automatic’ Shotgun…Original look and function…
I have modified this firearm now; added some new sights to replace the bead, added some old ghost-ring sights I had lying in the house in my plastic containers as the rear sights. I have also been able to replace the Pistol grip with an old Mako stock that I have. It is a solid folding stock which gives a lot more portability and manoeuvrability. These are items I had decided to hoard over the years.
Tadaaaa! Mathilda’s younger brother: [Mathilda is my Mossberg 500A]
Worked on and installed the Rear Ghost Ring Sights: Windage and Elevation adjustable.
I ended up drilling into the top of the rib to fit the sights.
Front sights: improvised…Many different bits and pieces put together… Windage adjustable.
Mako Folding Stock: originally for a Mossberg 500. [I did quite a lot of Dremel work, and used adaptors to get it to fit as it did.]
It can shoot while folded: but some small work required to create an allowance for the reciprocating charging handle.
Six-Shell Side Shell Holder: basically ‘Sugru-ed’ to the flat side of the receiver. Sugru works!
One thing I like about this shotgun is the fact that the bore is chrome-plated, it is semi-auto [which some of you would remember is how I started into shotguns] and it is smoothbore but does come with a factory improved choke. I really look forward to shooting this one though I would limit it to birdshot and buckshot for now.
If I eventually decide to shoot slugs, I will shoot only my soft – lead cast Lyman slugs. I have determined them to be the right weight and size to avoid any possible barrel obstructions or blowouts.
My Lyman 525 Sabot Slugs
So what’s the lesson here?
I was able to convert and modify my shotgun with items that I had learned to hoard from old projects and old purchases. If I had thrown them away, I wouldn’t have had these items to use in making these modifications. These have given this shotgun a totally different look and a totally different functional “tactically” too.
I strongly encourage all to ‘hoard’ firearms components, parts and pieces because you never know when you might need them.