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Mother Almost Shot Me
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  1. #1

    6 Mother Almost Shot Me

    Mother almost Shot Me

    My Uncle Allen, just by coincidence, had the same last name as my Father. He married my Father’s Half-Sister, who up until then did not share my Father’s last name.

    Back in the ‘50’s Uncle Allen owned a parking lot downtown. He still had it as late as ’61 or ’62—because I can plainly remember hanging out there with my father, a few times, as a Wee Lad.

    At any rate, Uncle Allen qualified for a Concealed Weapon Permit, to protect himself as he made his nightly bank drops. It was a different era. He bought a S&W from a “Friendly Cop”—if you can imagine the same.

    It was a Chief’s Special—a “J” Framed Five Shot .38 Special with a two-inch barrel. This later became the “Model 36”, though I don’t know if they’d started so designating when Uncle’s Gun was produced.

    He came with his own leather shoulder holster, and the Tame Law made no secret that he’d confiscated the Gun and Holster from some unfortunate—no pretext of turning them in back then. The Law also told my Uncle that they preferred to see “Civilian Concealed” Weapons carried partially but discretely Unconcealed—go figure.

    I can’t tell you if that was a personal shibboleth of my Uncle’s friend, or a general sentiment among area Laws. At any rate, I don’t believe that the idea of packing 24/7 by a “Civilian” was almost certainly not part of the local paradigm.

    Anyway, Uncle Allen died. My Aunt found that she was having trouble pulling the Trigger on her little Friend. I went over to her house, with my Gunsmithing Tools—including my Vacuum Based Panavise.

    I didn’t feel good about clipping a coil or two off the Mainspring (Remember: This is a “J” Frame.) particularly without a spare Mainspring on hand, and the opportunity to test fire a several rounds—or more than several—through him.

    I did smooth the action judiciously, and made sure that the Rebound Spring Housing was very smooth indeed and then got a little Teflon based lube in all the strategic spots. Then after putting him through a couple hundred rapid DA Trigger Cycles, then cocking him three or four times, and keeping Hard Pressure on the Hammer Spur while pulling the Trigger.

    {That will often smooth the Single Action out considerably, but you shouldn’t be shooting a DA Revolver SA. My Aunt had arthritis in both Index Fingers—and she never claimed to be a Warrior or Pistolero. What’s your excuse?}

    I showed her how to Thumb-Cock it; How to shoot it with the second, stronger Finger, while pointing the Index Finger along the Frame—which is the Shooting Technique Ruby used on Oswald; or how to assume a Faux Weaver stance, and use both Trigger Fingers to pull the trigger.

    {Yes, you can get a good powder burn on your Index Finger with Method Number 2. If you are a seventy year old woman with arthritic fingers, shooting to save your life—its an acceptable trade-off. Method 3 is Bezonian, and should be adopted only when necessary.}

    I think that I’d lightened her DA Trigger pull about three pounds—and made it smoother. She said that she could DA it if necessary, but that she preferred Thumb-Cocking. Undoubtedly, some of the DA Smoothing went to ease Thumb Cocking effort as well.

    Some short while afterward, I took her to the indoor shooting range. Took my Mother too. I’d bought her a Ruger Mark I Semi-Auto .22 Pistol. This is the one with the Medium Length Tapered Barrel—He somewhat resembles a Lugar in Silhouette.

    I bought some of the old “Paul Bunion” Silhouettes—since I was trying to build confidence. A boxful of 148-grain target wadcutters later, she was shooting Small saucer-sized groups. A dozen +P 110-grain treasury loads—so she’d know what to expect—and then fifteen more target loads, so her last memory of shooting wouldn’t be too grim. My Mother also shot a few rounds through the .38.

    My Mother turned out to be a prodigy with the light recoiling .22. 25-foot groups the size of quarters, 50-foot groups slightly larger than a half-dollar. (Using a two-handed Weaver Stance like I’d taught her. I couldn’t shoot the unfamiliar Pistol any better myself.

    When I handed my Aunt her Targets, she folded them up carefully, and put them into her purse—then she got tears in her eyes. My Uncle hadn’t been in the ground all that long. She had started to say,

    “I want to show these to Allen.”

    Well my Mother fired her .22 a good deal. At some point, a red-hot cartridge case went down the front of her blouse, and into her Brassiere. She turned around clenching and shaking both fists I pain—including the one with a loaded Gun in it.

    Truthfully, I believe that if it had been anyone else—with the possible exception of my Father or My Aunt—I’d have Cold-Cocked them right upside the jaw with my clenched fist—something calculated to put them Down, and end the threat quickly. Truthfully, My right fist was clenched, and my arm cocked…

    But this was my Mother. Even then, she was little and frail, and she’d had a very bad back all of my life. A knockout punch to the jaw could have done her untold damage—maybe broken her neck, or landed her in a wheel chair.

    A good second choice would have been dropping to the floor immediately—but a man with two plans doesn’t execute either of them very well…

    If you are ever in my situation—never hesitate for even an instant, to hit the deck, if someone is pointing a Gun at you. You may look silly if they don’t actually let a round loose. You have my permission to beat them black and blue for embarrassing you, once you’re safe.

    Reading about any number of accidental shootings has convinced me that many folks had time for a quick evasive action, if they’d only have been prepared for such an eventuality (You prepare by considering hypothetical crises regularly.)


    “Are you all right?” She asked in Horror.

    “Let me check,” I said.

    Sometimes people don’t realize they’ve been shot. The bullet would have gotten me somewhere below my Navel and no lower than mid thigh—most probably in the groin area. Apparently the bullet passed between my legs, because that is just about the only way that it could have missed me.

    I looked briefly for a bullet mark on the brick wall behind us. The wall was whitewashed, but not particularly smooth. I gave it up as a futile task. I warned the Women not to say anything to the range master—afraid we’d all get banned.

    I did find out eventually where the bullet went—right through my Aunt’s heavy-duty leather purse, sitting on a stool behind us. From her description, it displayed impressive penetration.

    Mother is gone now. Uncle Allen is gone. My Father and his Sister two. I inherited my Mother’s .22—which is no more than right, being I bought him.

    My Aunt moved to Florida to live with a daughter. In one of those odd turns of fate, my cousin died before my Aunt. One of my Aunt’s Grandchildren inherited the Chief’s Special. They are welcome to him, if they treasure him properly.

    I wish that I had him though—I almost certainly know more of his Providence than any of them.

    You know, I bought a Model 36 a few years ago. I never made a note of the Serial Number on my Aunt’s Gun. So if by some highly improbable twist of fate, Uncle Allen’s Old .38 had made its way back into my possession, I’d have no way to prove it. It’s a pleasing thought.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Cute story. Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    West central Georgia
    Someone was watching out for you that day. Thanks for sharing!
    Visit my Etsy shop at

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  4. #4


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