This was not a Hollander who could aviate, but a legendary sailing ship, doomed to wander the oceans forever, never reaching port. Wagner wrote a boring opera about it, but I digress. Apparently I have a former rifle that is a flying Dutchman, destined never to find a home.

It began life as a .378 Weatherby Magnum that I bought new in 1971. It came with a beautiful claro walnut stock as did many Weatherbys at the time, but being a classic-stock snob, I took it to Griffin & Howe, the custom gunmaker, and had all sorts of neat stuff done to it, including the addition of G&H iron sights, a QD side mount, a Canjar trigger, and a custom stock—a very handsome piece of nearly black French walnut.

The rifle was very accurate—you could shoot cloverleafs with it—but had one consuming fault: It kicked like the hammers of hell. The .378 Weatherby (actually a .375) sends a 300-grain bullet on its way at 2,950 fps, courtesy of 115 grains of powder, and produces 75 foot-pounds of recoil, which is a lot. But it was not the foot-pounds that killed you, it was the speed at which that rifle came back. You couldn’t roll with it—all you could do was suffer.

So in the late 1970s I sold it, and since then I’ve had the chance to buy it back at least 4 times but never have. Other people have owned it (one of them had the floorplate inlaid) but no one keeps it. It just keeps popping up in the internet, forever an orphan.