What Do I Need To Know Before I Buy A Vintage Double-Barrel Shotgun?
There’s a lot of beauty in wingshooting: From the staunch point of an English setter to the camaraderie of friends who get together season-after-season to chase pheasants.
For many hunters, vintage double-barrel shotguns are another aspect of this beauty. With two barrels, and capable of firing two shells, double-barrels are the original repeaters. Back before pumps and semi-autos were invented, they ruled wingshooting.
Today, many upland hunters are rediscovering vintage doubles, especially ones built by classic American, British, and European makers. If you’re looking to get into these vintage shotguns, there’s a lot you need to know before you buy one. To get you started, here’s a crash course.
While firearms with two-barrels have been around for centuries, the doubles we know of today were created in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. At that time, companies throughout the U.S., U.K. and Europe were building them. These doubles were similar in some ways and different in others.
Key parts they have common
What sets them apart
Over the last two centuries, there have been thousands of gunmakers in the U.S. While many have made double barrels, the big boys of the business were Parker, Ithaca, Fox, L.C. Smith, the Lefever Arms Company and Browning.
Great Britain used to be home to hundreds of gun companies building all kinds of double-barrel shotguns. Here are three of the most famous and most important.
Double-barrel shotguns used to be built throughout Europe. A lot of these them were beautifully made. Today, these shotguns are some of the best buys on the market. As you search for them, here are some gunmaker names to look for:
And keep in mind
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