Seems to me we're still talking about two different guns. The subject has moved over to discussing what is commonly referred to as a "best" gun, a title tradition has bestowed, rightly or wrongly, to a few London shops. In this category you'll hear little objection from me. However, in the context of a "best" gun for most American shooters around 1900, give or take a few years, the American guns stood the test of having to be all things to all masters quite well, better than almost all of the overseas competition. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this gun often had to get up way before dawn and work in the duck marshes then after a late breakfast be ready for a day's work in the grouse and woodcock covers. Or, if the dinner menu included rabbit then off to the farmyard. Come afternoon it might be laying across the lap of a hopeful hunter skillfully clucking to that gobbler coming through the timber. This is the gun we began talking about and the American makers responded, turning out hundreds of thousands that answered the call exceedingly well. The gun typically would sport thirty inch barrels, weigh somewhere around 7 to 7 3/4 lbs and have a stock selected for strength rather than glamour. And, lacking inherited wealth, the gun had to be affordable by the working man.

The American shotgun does not need to offer any apologies to anyone. For its time and purpose no gun ever built on this earth has ever done so well for so many.


If we feed our faith our fears will starve, if we feed our fears our faith will starve.