My friend showed up for a morning of bird dog training with this sweet 16-gauge Fox Sterlingworth. This is a very clean, original gun, circa 1924, and is a real pleasure to shoot. Though I have admired them for many years, this was my first opportunity to shoot a Fox.
One of the benefits of being a double gun enthusiast is that often my friends ask me to clean their dirty bird guns! One of those fine fellows asked me to clean up his nice old Auguste Francotte boxlock. This grand old gun was made in Liege, Belgium, I would guess in the 1920’s.
Here is some trivia – the bore diameter of a 12 gauge shotgun is derived by taking a pound of lead, making 12 balls exactly the same size and measuring the diameter of one of those balls. For a 12 gauge that measures to be about .729 of an inch. Here is the formula if you want to do the math:
If you make 28 balls out of a pound of lead then the diameter of a single ball measures about .55 of an inch. The 28 gauge, being 3/4 the size of a 12 gauge, yields a petite game gun that is a delight to shoot. I am no 28 gauge expert but so far, if I do what I am supposed to do, this little gun busts targets and kills birds as well as a 12 gauge – given that I shoot at things within range (say 30 yards?). Of course putting an additional 25% (or more) lead in the air with a 12 gauge gives the shooter more range and a better chance to hit the target! A lighter gun can be a challenge to shoot well but this little gun is a pleasure to carry in the field.
Here is an Armas Garbi 101 in 28 Gauge.
Here is Franchi’s 48 AL 20 gauge deluxe shotgun. We took this brand new gun out to the clays course to try it out. It is a light, slim, petite shotgun and was great fun to shoot. Even though it is light it feels solid and well built. It will be perfect for dove, quail, any preserve bird and I am sure it would kill wild pheasants as well. Being recoil operated (as opposed to gas operated) it reminds me of shooting the great Browning A-5.
This is a classy and elegant gun. Synthetics may be more practical and durable, but who doesn’t love the look and feel of walnut and steel (or aluminum)?
Here is Colt’s iconic Single Action Army. In production for one hundred and forty-two years, it is still made by Colt and still made in the USA. Nothing feels quite like it in hand, solid and superbly built. We love the click, click, click, click when you cock it. You should have one. This one is in .45 Long Colt, which is a pretty mild round and very fun to shoot.
With time to kill over the holiday, I worked on some gun photography. The challenge is managing light and reflection. This shot of a Spanish sidelock came out pretty good.
Taken with a Nikon D610, Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, 1.3 seconds, f/11, ISO 200