Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As a lefty who couldn’t afford a pump or semi-auto southpaw model that wouldn’t eject spent shells across my face, I chose a side-by-side double barrel as my first shotgun. I found a Stevens Model 311 12-gauge new for $149 from the old JC Penney Warehouse store on Columbus far east side and I’ve shot side-by-sides ever since. Cheap ones, known as “beaters,” which I own in 20- and 16-gauge, all entry-level model 311s, as well as that original, hard-recoiling12 gauge.For years I pined for an upgrade, in 16-gauge, for that is my favorite, a size suitable for hunting everything from woodcock to wild pheasants. A year ago this month when I found a Fox model 16- side-by-side on the used gun rack at a local outdoors store at a price I could justify, I bought it.The gun showed enough wear for me to know it had been enjoyed countless days in the field, yet had received enough care to grant it many more. It swung true and felt good in my grip. I often wondered how many birds had been viewed over its single sight-bead.Two weeks ago, on a post-pheasant-season rabbit hunt with my 15-year-old son Ethan, I let him try it, while I used my old Stevens 16-gauge, so that we could share the box of low-brass shells we had. Shooting a side-by-side for the first time, the boy bagged three of our four cottontails that morning. This past Saturday, using “Dad’s new gun” he shot two out of the three rabbits that we jumped.Tuesday, February 16, he’ll wake up on his 16th birthday with a fine old 16-gauge at the foot of his bed as the old gun changes hands once again. I hope he’s still using it 16 years from now, and recalling those winter days spent walking the fencerows with Dad.