Massive gun alert: a 4 gauge shotgun by A. Peterman…

Massive 4 gauge, A. Peterman, Philadelphia, Single Barrel Waterfowl Shotgun
Massive 4 gauge, A. Peterman, Philadelphia, Single Barrel Waterfowl Shotgun

Yeah, that’s right – a 4 gauge. The shotgun for the manliest man.

Back in the 19th century, 4 gauges guns were used for everything from big-game in Africa to waterfowl in US and UK. The 4s came in a number chamber sizes–2 3/4″,  3″ ,  3 7/8″, and 4″– and they pushed up to 4 ozs of lead. That’s a lot of shot. Today’s mag tens have 3 1/2″ chambers and push just 1 5/8oz– flabby babies.

With a 40″ barrel, this 4 gauge was definitely built for ducks, geese, and swans. It was made around 1870 by Abraham Peterman, a gunmaker/gunsmith working in Philadelphia 1850 to 1880 or so. Peterman had a shop next to John Krider – a famous American gunmaker and sporting good retailer. Krider was a big deal with prosperous clients. For Peterman must have been successful to have a free standing storefront next door. The shotgun here suggests why. Even though it’s a beast, it looks very well made. It’s in great condition, too, and the metalwork looks all original.

Massive 4 gauge, A. Peterman, Philadelphia, Single Barrel Waterfowl Shotgun
Massive 4 gauge, A. Peterman, Philadelphia, Single Barrel Waterfowl Shotgun

Here’s more about it from the seller:

A. Peterman of 151 Walnut St. Philadelphia 4 Gauge Hammer Shotgun with Damascus Barrel. The gun appears to have the original case coloring and brown finish on the barrels. The wood has had a coat of oil added at some point in time. I do not think it was sanded as the wood to metal fit is perfect. The barrel is 39.5 inches in length and the length of pull measures 13 and 3/8. The gun is in good working order and locks up tight. Price:$37,500

Massive 4 gauge, A. Peterman, Philadelphia, Single Barrel Waterfowl Shotgun
Massive 4 gauge, A. Peterman, Philadelphia, Single Barrel Waterfowl Shotgun
A 12 gauge shell loaded into a massive 4 gauge by A. Peterman, Philadelphia
A 12 gauge shell loaded into a massive 4 gauge by A. Peterman, Philadelphia
Walnut & Second St, Philadelphia, Circa 1871. John Krider was on the corner, Wm. Robertson and A. Peterman were next door.
Walnut & Second St, Philadelphia, Circa 1871. John Krider was on the corner, Wm. Robertson and A. Peterman were next door.
Frederick Courtenay F.C. Selous, Explorer, Hunter, with his 4 gauge percussion rifle
Frederick Courtenay F.C. Selous, Explorer, Hunter, with his 4 gauge percussion rifle
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