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Sitting in front of the fireplace last night, sipping an eggnog-enhanced alcoholic coffee-based beverage, I suddenly asked myself “This tastes really good. Why don’t I drink eggnog all year?” And then I remembered why: it’s about as healthy as an aperitif consisting of melted butter mixed with Type F automatic transmission fluid. With a little bamboo umbrella in it. Eartha Kitt purred ‘Santa Baby’ through my stereo speakers, and this got me to wondering “What guns and gear should I beg RF, to send me for testing and reviewing?” Could Farago Claus slip an AR under my tree, if only for a week or two? If not, what about . . .

Ithaca Model 37 shotgun

ANY Ithaca Model 37 shotgun, in any gauge or finish or configuration.  I’ve never owned, fired, or even handled a Model 37, but I’ve always wanted one and I’ve always been put off by their scarcity and high asking price at gun shows. The thought of setting a handcrafted American shotgun, made of steel and walnut, to my shoulder makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  The pump shotgun is America’s version of the English side-by-side, and the Wingmaster, the Model 37, and the Winchester Model 12 are its classic exemplars.  I’ve already shot the other two, and I want to complete the trifecta.

Anything made by FN

Anything. If the Belgian gunmaker made a rubber-band gun, I would test it for TTAG. I’m just kidding. I’d test it for the children. Always for the children. RF’s review of the FN Five-SeveN was catnip to this writer, who understands that not all guns are suitable for all purposes, and the ones most suited to fun are to be forgiven for any sin save explosion or implosion. Unless they’re black powder guns, which you kinda forgive for that too. [ED: I’m sending you my FN SCAR to review. No really.]

Smith & Wesson Model 500

I know you want one yourself, but you really owe it to yourself to let me be the guinea pig and try it out first. That way you’ll know if it’s legal to have that much fun. If you insist on reviewing the Smith & Wesson 500 yourself, (or if you don’t want to spot me a few hundred bucks for .500 Magnum ammo), send me ANY classic K-frame or N-frame Smith & Wesson revolver and we’ll call it even.

ACOG, Aimpoint, or Eotech combat optic

Because there aren’t enough shooters who lust after them already. {ED: Also headed your way. On top of an ArmaLite AR15.]

.357 Magnum Ruger LCR

Because most of us will never carry a firearm as elegant as a classic Smith & Wesson N-frame. Or as heavy.

I think I’ll keep my wish list short and (oh so) sweet.  There are certainly other firearms curiosa I’d love to put through their paces, like a Taurus Judge or a converted Saiga 12-gauge AK shotgun (with a honkin’ huge drum magazine), but none of them would make me feel like Ralphie with his Red Ryder on Christmas morning. Hey RF, can you spot me the optometrist’s bill?

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  1. I begged my Mom for a Red Ryder but she told me I’d shoot my eye out. That was in 1960, before “A Christmas Story” was a gleam in Jean Shepherd’s un-shot-out eye. Dad, being a skilled politician, agreed with Mom and bought me a new Remington Nylon 66 instead. Mom was aghast, but Dad told her that the Remington was a real gun and that I wouldn’t treat it like a toy, so my eye was safe. So, I guess I’m the original Ralphie. Thanks, Dad. You were right. And so was Mom.

  2. If you ever get down to North-Central Florida, let me know and I’ll let you shoot both of my Ithaca model 37 pump shotguns. The 1st. I bought new in 1976, satin nickel finish, only been shot 25 times! The other is a new one I ordered 2 days ago 2/14/11 from the Ithaca factory. Should be here in 3 weeks. Both are 12 gauge, 20 inch barrel, 8 shot capacity. Yes the older one has slam-fire capability. I’ll even supply the ammo and clean the guns afterward!! Roy.


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