Thursday, February 23, 2012

Big Shotguns

One of the odd American cultural blinkers is that shotguns above ten bore are poacher's tools, or else pre- modern (Buckingham's remarkably obtuse and inexplicably influential "Are we shooting 8 gauge guns?")

HE wasn't, but the Brits made them til WW2, and still shoot them-- and will pay good prices. Three examples from a 1996 Bonham's auction catalog; page weights a Portuguese percussion pocket pistol Betsy brought back on a Pan Am Clipper in the 60's, a boot knife courtesy of a loyal reader, a modern obsidian skinner by Callahan...

Best Scott 8, Best Rigby 8, Westley Richards single FOUR (click for bigger):


Peter said...

Wouldn't a shotgun with such a huge bore be almost unmanageable to shoot?

Steve Bodio said...

Not at all. I've handled a lot of good quality 8s, and owned one -- they make them so well balanced that they feel lighter than they are, but with enough weight to counteract recoil. Their stocks are shorter than smaller guns, and broader, with more drop. The trigger pulls are heavier but crisp. Everything works together.

4-bores, shoulder-and-punt guns, are very heavy, but they do throw a quarter-pound of shot. You don't carry them but I hear they still swing nicely.