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#614488 05/04/22 12:55 PM
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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Hanging out at Whittington got me salivating to own a hammergun yet again. The reasons for having one are purely affectation, but there is no denying their appeal. As far as tastes go, mine are fairly conventional...I'd prefer back-action locks, damascus barrels, nitro-proofs, a top=lever opener, etc. Variations on that theme are probably allright (bar-actions are fine too & a sidelever would be very appealing). Because I'm fooling myself into believing that I'd actually hunt with it, I'd prefer one that was in the 6 3/4 lb range, with an English stock I could live with (1 1/2, 2 1/2, 14 5/8, etc.) and because of my left handed-ness I'd prefer something with only minimal cast off (if not actually neutral or cast-on). I owned a circa 1892 20-gauge Thomas Bland that actually met those requirements some 20-years ago now, that I really enjoyed looking at in it's cute little case, but it just didn't make the grade as a ruffed-grouse gun (I couldn't cock those hammers fast enough) so... it went on down the road. A big name gun is clearly too-much to hope for (Purdey, Horsley, Blanch, etc.) so I'm open to the provincial makers, provided their work is up to snuff. I'm also torn between the artistic and the practical ends of the scale here, as a modern Italian version would work just fine as well, but...it wouldn't look quite-right to me. A 16 would be lovely but a 12 seems much more practical (and available). Black powder proofs are fine as well, provided the tubes are substantial-enough to be comfortable with low-pressure (but modern) ammunition. I see a number of examples on the Vintage Doubles webpage, and the entry-level price seems to be in the $2,400 range. Kirby's been a good source of guns for me before, so I'm comfortable with his descriptions and the conditions of his guns (within reason). I know there are hammergun variants all-over the map here, but English, old, and straight-stocked seem to the parameters I can't live without. And...since good repair options are becoming extremely expensive, a healthy example would seem to be de-minimus as well.

Am I missing anything? What says the cognoscenti here?

Last edited by Lloyd3; 05/05/22 10:35 AM.
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Possibly chokes ?

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Through lumps, third fastener. I prefer guns without through lumps and with third fasteners. Side clips are a plus

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You need to go on a good bender, and allow this foolishness to pass.

Best,
Ted

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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Side-clips, through-lumps, rebounding hammers and chokes would all be a plus, no question, but they're not deal breakers. Fine Damascus would be preferable as well, but skelp or even twist barrels in very-good condition wouldn't put me off either. I suspect that use would be mostly limited to nice days at the trap range and the occasional dove hunt. Cased would be extremely nice as well.

Ted: after spending a bunch of money on boat-docks and 4x4 truck repair, I might feel like I've been on a bender. The net-effect will likely be the same. I'll even have to move a few guns to build a war-chest here, so I'm in no hurry.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 05/04/22 01:56 PM.
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As a guy who owns, shoots and hunts with hammer guns in 10, 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge, I say go for it. You seem to have covered all the major points. Ted likes Darnes (as do I - have two), so it's not as if he's not gone down his own rabbit hole with out of the ordinary shotguns.

I have not been particularly successful in cocking the hammers upon a grouse's flush, but I'm not particularly successful killing grouse with any gun. The only one of my hammer guns I'd try to hunt grouse with is my SIACE 28 gauge and that only because it has a tang safety as well as hammers. The others include two British (10 with damascus barrels; 12 sleeved with fluid steel barrels); one pre-war Austrian (16); and two modern Italian (20 and 28).

Don't forget that you can probably have the stock bent to move cast off to neutral or cast on. I suspect Mr. Hoyt could tell you which of the guns he's offering would be good candidates for such an adjustment.

Looking is half the fun. Hope you find one that suits you.

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Lloyd, I have dealt with a few rounds of this particular bug and can say that while it isn’t especially virulent it is persistent. I personally have three, a 28” twist, a 30” Damascus, and a 32” twist, all 16’s and can say that I’m glad every day that I have them and also that I now seemed to have acquired a natural immunity to the bug. (But we’ll see.)

Over on 16ga this same bug hit one of the fellows at the beginning of the year and there is some good feedback there. The thread is currently at the top of p. 2 of the “Guns” section.

Glad you’re going to have to work and wrangle a while to get ready for the purchase. Adds to the fun. Keep us posted on the journey don’t forget pics when you get there.

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I have hammer guns in 12-16-20, American classic Damascus, 19th century Brit twist, Belgian Damascus, modern Spanish and Italian fluid steel. They are all fun, and the Brit (Brummie) gun is clearly the best of the bunch. BUT, my Belgian 16 Damascus is nothing to sneeze at, and my advice is to keep the Belgians on your search list.

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I’m pretty sure my ancestors left Europe to get away from hammerguns, well, that, and all the criminal royalty class. I’ve never met anyone that made the claim that hammerguns improved their odds on gamebirds.

Not even here. That, is saying something.

Best,
Ted

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Lloyd, sent you an email of possibles.

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