September 23, 2009
Bourjaily: A Remington 870 Can Last Forever
By Phil Bourjaily
The October 2009 Popular Mechanics “Self Reliance Issue” is all about fending for yourself: surviving emergencies, living off the grid, as well as just being generally handy. One feature, “The Soul of an Old Machine” profiles do-it-yourselfers who prefer to fix and maintain old stuff rather than replace it. It includes a sidebar called “Tomorrow’s Classics,” listing four tools which, if given a modicum of care, will work for you and for your children. They are:
Channellock 421 Pliers
Stanley Powerlock Tape Measure
Troy-Bilt Garden Tiller
Remington 870 Shotgun
The 870 copy reads:
“Harry S. Truman was president when the 870 was born. Since then, millions of the no-fuss pump guns have been purchased to hunt everything from doves to deer. A little light oil on the breech bolt and a good scrubbing with No. 9 solvent are all it takes to make this smooth slider last for generations.”
First of all, kudos to Popular Mechanics for giving the 870 its due as a tool for the ages. Second, I am sure this list could be much, much longer.
So, the floor is open for nominations for classic tools that are indispensible, easy to maintain, and will last forever. Although guns and outdoor gear are obviously more than welcome on this list, any tool of any kind is eligible. My wife’s KitchenAid stand mixer would make the cut, for instance: it’s 22 pounds of steel, made in the USA since 1919, iconic, unbreakable and virtually maintenance-free. There’s one. What else?