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I think in shooting there are “must haves” for me, in pistols, they’re a 1911& a S&W revolver. In rifles, it’s a bolt action in .270. In shotguns, it’s an Ithaca 37 & a side by side in 12ga., (even though I don’t hunt with either, just gotta have them).
What do you feel you have to keep around?
 

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I’m definitely biased, but for me it’s an Ithaca Model 37 12-gauge.

I’m with you on owning at least one 1911 as well.

To round it out it’d also be a good lever-action rifle, like a Winchester Model 94 in 30-30 (although in my case it’s a Henry 45-70).
 
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I think it depends on what use you have for shotguns to a point- for instance if you are a hunter, I think you would need to have some kind of classic pump (Remington 870, Winchester Model 12, or an Ithaca 37, for example). But one shotgun that I feel like everyone should have if you like shotguns, is a Browning Citori- they make models that are great for hunting and clays, and are just a quality over and under, and despite not being cheap (but maybe that’s why) they are a great value for the money.
 

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EricB,
My must have guns all say L.C. Smith on them, have a few of each gauge, my #5 guns are at the top of the list, along with my Great Grandfathers Special made Silver Breech guns. I use every L.C. Smith gun I own each year to hunt birds. Would not want to give any of them up, they get passed down thru the family.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man
 

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I had load of CF rifles from 22 Hornet to 458. Use to do a lot of hunting in US& Canada. Been selling them off for 3 yrs. Still have 28, strike that 29, picked up a Marlin 222 Rem yesterday. It’s one step foreward and two back.
As for handguns, I don’t have a wide selection of manufactures but have still got north of 60 mostly S&W revolvers 6” or better to open. Have a few older Colts, Rugers, Brownings and High Standards.
Shot guns, I’ve never had more than 24-25 at one time. Did most of my hunting with Win 12s and Brn A5s and Slug Guns. Never was a big fan of O&Us and SxS for hunting. Have had several but always ended up trading them off. Down to about a dozen presently.
Left out 22s, down to about a dozen rifles.
1 T/C Hawkin rifle, 45 cal.
* recently bought my first AR. 1st new rifle purchase in many years. Most of my rifles were bought used because my interests had been out of production for years. As a kid was able to save up and buy one m70 before they became know as pre 64s.
 

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For me, the only must have is that it's a 20 gauge. I've spent far and away the vast majority of my time afield carrying a 20 gauge. I've not been overly particular as to action type; I've used them all and still have them all, save a side-by-side. Similarly, I've not been fussy about brand, having owned Smith & Wesson, Browning, Fox, LC Smith, Classic Doubles, Remington to name several.
I've shot, by far, most of my clay targets with a 20 gauge. In fact, I use the 20 so much that when I bought my Kolar I didn't care that it was a single carrier barrel set and could not shoot 12 gauge ammo. So, for all my shotgun needs, a 20 gauge fills the bill.
 

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For me, a high condition Ithaca M37 Trap! I’m new to clay pigeon shooting (sporting, trap) but not new to shotgunning. I hunted upland here in Michigan 30 years and a number of trips to the Dakota’s. I‘ve been using SA rental’s from the club for trap and started to search for what seems to be the unattainable…
 
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