Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin
As it turns out, there is one more story to tell, and this one didn’t have a happy ending.
A boy about the age of 10 years went hunting with his father and took a double barrel 12 gauge as they normally did. On this day, if I remember the story correctly, they were walking the fence row for rabbits and come to a spot they could cross. The father leaned the firearm up against the fence as they both crossed. Because of the boy’s eagerness, he was the first through the fence and had walked a few steps ahead. Back in this time frame, double barreled shotguns had exposed hammers and one of those hammers just happened to snag a wire as it passed over. As the gun was pulled, the hammer slipped off the wire and came down on a loaded chamber causing it to fire. At point blank distance, the shot was one solid mass moving out of the barrel and went into the father’s side, killing him.
The gentleman’s name was James M. Durrill and he passed away on November 12, 1905 at the age of 52. He was my Great Great Grandfather, Grandfather to my late Grandmother, Ruby (Durrill) Mahin. This story was told to me by my Great Uncle, Kenneth Durrill, so I thought it fitting to add it here. The shotgun has had several lifetimes of use and as far as I know, they still have it as a family heirloom.
Till next time, tell the ones you love the most that you do while you can.