When Good Guns Happen to Stupid People

_by Phil Bourjaily
_
Spend enough time surfing the internet and you will see horrible sights. This video is one.

During last week's discussion of the Benelli Montefeltro, the Winchester Model 50's name came up. Thinking it would be interesting to write about the Model 50*, I went looking on Youtube in search of a video illustrating the gun's unique action. Unfortunately, the video here is what I found instead. It's probably better that some readers (Tom from Cody, I'm thinking of you) don't watch this at all. This is a gun project so horribly wrong-headed I almost didn't get through to the end of the clip myself.

The guy who posted this says someone gave him this Model 50 as a gift and, since he "doesn't hunt yet" he modified it to use as a tactical gun, until he could afford "a proper tactical shotgun" such as an 870 or Mossberg 590. All he has done is wreck a neat old hunting gun in the name of having a stopgap tactical gun. And, for the price of the sights, heat shield and shell holder, he could have paid for about half of an 870 Express while keeping his Model 50 intact. Someday, if he does take up hunting, he finally will realize what he has done.

*The Model 50 is an interesting gun, made in the 1950s and early 1960s with an inertia system that featured the floating chamber developed by David "Carbine" Williams that actually moved almost a tenth of an inch under recoil. (The first guns could be fired without a barrel attached, causing concern at the federal law enforcement level. Winchester modified the gun so it could not shoot without a barrel attached). Winchester made both a steel and an alloy "Featherlight" receiver version, and the gun formed the basis for the great and weird steel and fiberglass-barreled Model 59. Winchester made a couple hundred thousand of them, and while the gun wasn't a huge success, Model 50s still show up regularly in used gun racks which is a testament to their durability.