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16 Shooter, boon hogganbeck, Dave Weber, LeFusil, Ted Schefelbein
Total Likes: 9
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#609470 01/13/2022 9:22 PM
by 16 Shooter
16 Shooter
Here is a new to me Darne 20 gauge R15 I picked up. The gun appears to be all original with .004 and .013 (IC/M) chokes, 25 5/8" barrels, original butt pad and 2 3/4" chambers as marked on the barrels. This particular Darne was a gun built and imported for Stoeger as you can see engraved on the barrels. The 20 comes in at 5lbs and 12 oz on the scale. I patterned the gun with some 7/8 oz 7.5 shot and it patterns very well at 40 yards. The recoil isn't much with 7/8 oz loads. I will not be shooting big magnums through this Darne. This will make a very nice, light carrying pheasant gun next fall.

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Liked Replies
#609481 Jan 14th a 01:27 AM
by LeFusil
Originally Posted by Stanton Hillis
I've waited a long time to ask this, and this may not be the best venue, but why would anyone want a Darne? Before you flame me let me explain my question a bit, please. I'm not a naysayer against any double gun design, unless the design is just stupid. But, Darnes are so different that I can't get my head around why someone who is a boxlock/sidelock enthusiast would want one. I am known here for not being a Darne enthusiast, but I am still open to reason concerning them.

If someone is especially enthusiastic towards the French way, I can accept that. But, other than that I am at a loss to understand it. Whatever the response, I will give it consideration. It may not shift my paradigm, but I am willing to listen and consider. Convince me. I will not offer any argument to any reason, and I will appreciate any gentile replies.

It is one of the most simplistic designs. Very few parts & mechanisms to go wrong. They use levers. They use coil springs. Big coil springs (same springs found in Lebel battle rifles)….they just don’t break.

It’s the strongest shotgun action out there, bar none. Well….I’d like to see George Hoenigs rotary round in a strength test against a Darne. That would be interesting.

These guns were designed to be virtually maintenance free. That’s for real too, damn near maintenance free. Take the breach block off, dip it in kerosene or diesel, dry it….put it back on the action and go to work.
You’ll never ever see a loose Darne either.

They made heavy ones too, but Darne is synonymous with lightweight 90% of the time. Lightweight but well balanced.

It’s convenient to use in a tight corner. Think a duck blind. Break action guns in tight quarters, especially a blind are a P.I.t.a to load/unload. A Darne isn’t.

It’s in the eye of the beholder…..I find Darnes very attractive. Most all Bruchet built guns, especially the V grades are gorgeous and built to very high standards of fit and finish. The engraving patterns are wonderful too.

They’re different. Different is cool when it works, everytime. It’s a bonus if you can shoot it well, unfortunately most people seem to have trouble shooting a Darne….stock fit, especially cast is one draw back. I’ve owned 5 Darnes. 4 of them fit me well and I shot them well….my little V19 20 gauge was unfortunately not one of the 4. I did fine on wild birds with it, but was horrendous shooting clays with it. I sold it.

Darnes…I’m a fan.
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#609482 Jan 14th a 02:39 AM
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Bravo. Couldn’t have said it better myself. The spring that drives those strikers will continue to work, even if they do break.

I’m at a point where I believe there are more important differences in the people who are trying to run sporting shotguns than there are in the guns. Some guys can run a pump (I used to be that guy) others, can’t or, maybe more importantly, won’t. There are a lot more people that have never even seen a Darne, much less used one for a season or three, than people who have. I sold new Bruchet guns to guys who pretty much became converts, and sent anything else they had, down the road. I am not that guy, by the way, I enjoy lots of different guns. Or, did. Still sorting that out. Unfortunately, one of the guns I shoot best at the moment, is an ugly Remington 20 gauge autoloader. I’m not happy about that. But, shooting an 1100 will sure beat the hell out of joining the kids I grew up with, who, to a one, have aged out of the field, for a game of cribbage or 500 on a fall afternoon.

Which camp are you in Stan? Ever seen a Darne? Run one?

Anyway, a guy who can run a Darne and enjoys it, is still a guy who is out there. That should be enough for a bystander.

1 member likes this
#609476 Jan 14th a 12:26 AM
by 16 Shooter
16 Shooter
I have never hunted ruffed grouse or woodcock. Most of my hunting has been relegated to the prairie part of Minnesota. I have hunted prairie chickens and sharp tails out west and hope to head up to the northern part of the state one day to grouse hunt.

1 member likes this
#609509 Jan 14th a 09:06 PM
by Remington40x
I have 2 Darnes: a 10 (which is a pretty rare gauge in a Darne, at least in the US) and a 12. The 10 is finished to the level equivalent of an R-10, although it probably dates to the late 1890s or very early 1900s and I'm not sure the R/P/V nomenclature was in place when this one was manufactured. The 12 is a P-19, but clearly pre-war, as it came home in a GI's barracks bag at the end of the war, according to the seller.

I like the way they handle, although I do find the safeties less ergonomic than the tang safeties on most of my sxs and o/u shotguns.

Darnes tend to be at the lighter end of the scale for gauge - my 10 weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces, which makes handloading for it mandatory. It has 2-7/8 inch chambers and I use a lot of 16 gauge card wads filling the shot cup to get the shot column level (generally 1-1/16 ounces of shot) up to a point where I get a decent crimp. I was shooting RST shells when they were available, but they are not currently available, so it's handloads or nothing. On the other hand, the 12, which has 2-1/2 inch chambers, weighs almost 6-3/4 pounds, more like a standard British game gun proofed for 1-1/8 ounce shells.

They both kill clay birds dead and do the same on pheasants (when I do my part). I like them.
1 member likes this
#609514 Jan 15th a 12:41 AM
by keith
Originally Posted by Ted Schefelbein
Originally Posted by Brittany Man
Darne shotguns are at least interesting & I can think of a lot of US & European double guns that are uglier.

For those more well informed, what is the proper pronunciation of "Darne"? I apologize for my ignorance but my 1 year of high school French in Mrs. Cohee 's class was wasted conjugating verbs & such as opposed to anything useful in learning to speak French.



Well, I learned something today.

I wasn't sure of the correct pronunciation either, but was told by a pretty knowledgeable gun guy that it was pronounced "Dar-nay". I have assumed that was correct ever since. But knowing that Ted was a U.S. Distributor for this brand, and that he has actually been in their factory in France, I am quite satisfied that he knows the correct pronunciation. I will even take Ted's word for it that there actually is a real physical Darne factory with buildings and actual gun making employees... which is more than we can say for E.M. Reilly. smile
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