My father acquired this Marlin Model 1893 lever-action rifle in the summer of 1959 from a hobo living out of a boxcar in a rail yard in Schuylkill County, Pa. My father, a collector of historic guns, was concerned for the wellbeing of the firearm and wanted to keep it in a safe place for generations to admire.
My grandfather, a civil engineer for the Russian Tsarist government, obtained this Iver Johnson Safety Automatic .32-cal. blackpowder revolver sometime in the early 1900s on one of his trips to Finland or Britain.
My passion is collecting old British Lee-Enfield rifles. Reading books on Lee-Enfield rifles, investigating their proofmarks and regimental markings, and exploring their developmental history is all part of the fun.
My favorite firearm has been in my family for four generations. It’s a Winchester Model 60A single-shot, bolt-action, .22-cal. rimfire chambered for the Short, Long and Long Rifle cartridges.
My father owned a 6.5x55 mm Krag Jorgensen—a so-called “boy’s carbine”—designed for rifle training in the Norwegian high schools in the early 1900s. He used this gun for hunting and target shooting. My favorite thing was to show off this gun to my friends and show how to take it apart.
I grew up in the Schuylkill County area of Pennsylvania. It was a rural and predominantly poor area. My father was a hardworking coal miner, with not a lot of extra money on hand as he was raising a family of five. Despite that, I did receive a Daisy pellet rifle for Christmas at an early age.
I still remember the look of extreme loss and grief etched on the mother’s face as my father and I sat in her living room. The despair so clearly displayed was over her son dying during aerial combat in the skies over Korea.