Firearm Companies Provide Gifts to Ailing Youth

posted on February 9, 2021

COVID-19 is particularly perilous for young Paxton Spencer, from Columbia, Mo., due to his congenital heart defect and 17 surgeries that have compromised his immune system. When members of the gun industry learned about his health-mandated confinement to his parents’ property for more than a year, and passion for shooting, they stepped up to help ease cabin fever.

Paxton was born with hydroplastic left heart syndrome. In layman’s terms, he has half a heart and only one functioning lung. One out of every 3,841 babies born each year is afflicted, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organization explains, “Infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome may have lifelong complications.  They will need regular follow-up visits with a cardiologist (a heart doctor) to monitor their progress. If the hypoplastic left heart syndrome defect is very complex, or the heart becomes weak after the surgeries, a heart transplant may be needed.”

Leaving home during the winter—when common colds and other viruses are widespread—has never been an option for Paxton. The pandemic’s timing has confined him there for more than a year and, depending on vaccine distribution and efficacy, likely longer.

The industry got involved when Ken Flood, vice president of sales for Warne Scope Mounts, received a phone call Freddy Spencer, a close friend and Paxton’s father. “Paxton is stuck at home and fortunately, the family lives in the country allowing Paxton to be able to shoot on their property,” Flood explained. “When Freddy asked me what type of rifle Paxton could use to shoot long range and also hunt whitetails, I had an idea. I believed we could get our industry partners to provide not only a rifle, but all of the accessories needed for Paxton to be successful shooting long range. The response was amazing.”

There’s no doubt he’s anxious for a chance to visit friends, but until then Paxton’s equipped with the kind of gear to ease any enthusiast’s isolation. He now has a Masterpiece Arms PMR Pro Rifle chambered in 6 mm Creedmoor, one topped with a Kahles K624i scope anchored with a Warne Skyline Mount.

Add the company’s Skyline bipod, Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistic Computer with HUD and MK Machine steel targets and scope lever, and he’s ready to put his science studies to a long-distance test. Midway USA provided a combo rifle case, and Armagedon Gear donated shooting bags and a rifle case. The cartridge shortage isn’t a hurdle, either, because Hornady sent two cases of match ammo.

“When we surprised Paxton with these items, he was blown away,” Spencer said. “I can't thank the shooting industry enough for this amazing gift for my son. He will enjoy this rifle and gear for many years to come.”


Confederate battle flag shown with the 48-shot Virginia Pacificator repeating rifle along with patent drawing overlay top left
Confederate battle flag shown with the 48-shot Virginia Pacificator repeating rifle along with patent drawing overlay top left

Virginia Pacificator: "The Greatest Gun Of The Age"

If Lorenzo Sibert, whose gun had the enormous capacity of 48 shots without reloading, had gotten into production, those gallant Southrons who claimed they could "whup th' Yankees with cawnstalks" might have done just that in the first year of the war with the "Pacificator."

Buck Knives Reopens Factory Store

Family-owned for more than 120 years, Buck Knives is celebrating the grand re-opening of its 1,600-sq.-ft. factory outlet store located in Post Falls, Idaho.

Preview: Burris SpeedBead Vent Rib Mount

Burris has added to its SpeedBead line of shotgun red-dot mounts with the recent release of its Vent Rib Mount.

Single-Actions For Home Defense

For more than 100 years the single-action revolver held the top spot as the go-to home-defense arm, only to be supplanted by modern semi-automatics, but the single-action, though a vestige of yesteryear, remains a viable tool for defensive use in and around the home.

New For 2024: Wilson Combat EDC X9 2.0

After introducing the double-stack EDC X9 in 2016, Wilson Combat is revisiting the concept with its EDC X9 2.0 model.

Preview: Traveler’s Guide To The Firearm Laws Of The Fifty States 2024 Edition

Lawyer J. Scott Kappas’ Traveler’s Guide To The Firearm Laws Of The Fifty States has notable updates for 2024, including more than 100 changes from the 2023 edition.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.