My pile of firearms is more a collection of guns than a gun collection. Let me explain the difference. A gun collection is the result of a planned accumulation of a certain category, class, brand or model. My old friend Roy Jinks is the quintessential gun collector with an unparalleled collection of Smith & Wesson guns and memorabilia.
A collection of guns, on the other hand, is a eclectic assortment of whatever strikes the owner’s fancy. A hodge-podge of this and that, with no rhyme or reason other than a common denominator that each gun is interesting to its owner.
In this context, I think my pile is a (somewhat) typical collection of guns and (somewhat) indicative of how the gun business works.
As I consider the matter further, I realize that I buy most guns because of their functionality. For instance, the latest gun I bought, just this week, is a Benelli “Cordoba” 20 ga. It’s dove season and even though I have a perfectly good 12 ga. – another Benelli as a matter of fact – I wanted a lighter-recoiling 20.
Interestingly, I customized my ‘80’s vintage 12 ga. Benelli with virtually identical modifications to what are now standard on their Cordoba model. My buddy Ken Kelly at Mag-Na-Port performed a “Pro Porting” job on the 26-inch barrel and Claudio Salassa at Briley Mfg. lengthened the forcing cone and installed a set of extended Briley chokes. I removed the magazine plug myself to get four-plus-one capacity.
My new 20 ga. Cordoba has all that and more. It comes ported and the 28-inch barrel (even better than my upland-length 12 ga. tube) comes with a lengthened forcing cone and is back-bored, both of which help to reduce felt recoil. Additionally, the recoil pad is some sort of super-squishy sponge-like substance that Benelli’s wingshooting designers also put on the comb of the stock.
This is a brilliant touch and proves that the honchos at Benelli know what serious wingshooting is all about. They call it "ComforTech." I salute them for knowing that your cheek, not your shoulder, is what takes a pounding on heavy-volume dove shoots.
Which is what this gun is all about. It’s named after the famous dove shooting province in Argentina where hot barrel shooting is simply superb.
My only complaint with the new Cordoba is its futuristic look. I’m not a fan of Jetsonian gun design and, here of late, the “Killer B’s” of Italian gunmakers, Beretta and Benelli, have fallen for the Buck Rogers look big-time. Beretta’s Storm (both in pistol and carbine forms) is right out of the hands of Hans Solo while Benelli’s new Vinci looks like it belongs in an armory aboard the Battlestar Gallactica.
The Cordoba is a great gun – witness that I wrote a four-digit check for one. The Gucci-esque styling is nothing that a couple of cans of Krylon “camo” colors won’t fix. I’ll post my version of my hand-painted Insider De Vinci and how I will transform the svelte black Cordoba into a true dove gun inanotherpost.
In the meantime, consider whether you have a collection of guns – or a gun collection.