The Remington Model 11

$200 via an online gun auction. The Model 11 was a favorite of Depression-era gangsters and lawmen, and I wanted a facsimile for my personal collection. I pruned the tube back to 18" and mounted up a new front bead to create a spitting image of John Dillinger’s handheld howitzer. His original Model 11 is the centerpiece of the Dillinger weapons display at the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC.

The steel on my gun sports a beautiful brown patina, and the forearm was naturally split. I carefully glued and clamped the cracks back together before drilling tiny holes crosswise against the grain. I glued toothpicks into these holes and then gently sanded the edges flat so the repairs are legitimately invisible. The toothpicks now rigidly secured in shear make the forearm stronger than when it left the factory. There is an engineering solution to every problem.