If you could only own 3 doubles, which would you pick?

If you could only own 3 double-barrel shotguns, which ones would you pick? This isn’t a question I want to face, but if I had to, my answer would be:

PURDEY - BAR IN WOOD 12 GAUGE
PURDEY – BAR IN WOOD 12 GAUGE

A 12-gauge hammergun like this JAMES PURDEY & SON BAR IN WOOD. I’ve always been fascinated by old school SxS shotguns. I’ve shot these SxSs, and every time I pull back the hammers I feel like I’m traveling back in time. I love how hammerguns do this and link you to a style of gunmaking and to a sporting world that’s long gone now.

LEBEAU COURALLY 12 1932 SIDELOCK EJECT 30" WHITWORTH CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. TOTALLY ORIG. AFTER 86 YEARS VERY NICE WOOD BUILT as a PIGEON GUN.
LEBEAU COURALLY 12 1932 SIDELOCK EJECT 30″ WHITWORTH CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. TOTALLY ORIG. AFTER 86 YEARS VERY NICE WOOD BUILT as a PIGEON GUN.

A true pigeon gun like this LEBEAU COURALLY 12 1932 SIDELOCK EJECT 30″ WHITWORTH CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. TOTALLY ORIG. AFTER 86 YEARS VERY NICE WOOD BUILT as a PIGEON GUN. Pigeon guns were built for competitive live pigeon shoots. These shoots were — and are — serious business. Up until around WW1, they were as popular as today’s professional sports and newspapers reported on them the same way they cover NFL games are today. Top competitors won thousands of dollars and demanded that their guns were built to withstand thousands and thousands of shots without fail.

LINSEY BROTHERS, LEEDS ENGLAND - CASED for sale.
LINSEY BROTHERS, LEEDS ENGLAND – CASED for sale.

A lightweight, 12g game gun like this LINSEY BROTHERS, LEEDS ENGLAND – CASED for sale. As an upland hunter, I carry my gun far more than I shoot it. So I like to hunt grouse and woodcock with a gun that weighs around 6 1/4 pounds. But I also like the proportions of a 12 gauge (most of the time, anything smaller than a 16 feels too small). Twelve-gauge ammo is also easy to come by, and it comes in all sorts of loads. So with one gun, I can hunt quail on Monday, pheasants on Tuesday, and grouse the rest of the week (in theory, anyway), and I can always use ammo that’s just the day’s game.

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5 thoughts on “If you could only own 3 doubles, which would you pick?

  1. Oh to be so lucky as to own 3 SxS guns. I feel lucky that I’m still in possession of a very light Charles Daly o/u that I bought new in the mid 80’s. With its IC and Mod chokes it’s a versatile gun for all upland birds and has taken a number of ducks and geese over the years. So, I aspire to 3 but am nonetheless happy with one.
    I have to admit, I have a lovely Ithaca pump in 20 gauge that gets some use as well…

  2. Greg,

    I like your idea of a lightweight 12ga, but you need to go lighter. The 2” 12 bore from the mid-30s is the icing on the cake for all sorts of upland hunting. These guns can be found with 27-28” barrels and weighing in the 5 1/2 lb range. Easy carry for all day hunting. RST makes some nice loads for these guns.

  3. I would take a nice Parker hammergun. But lightweight, 12-gauge American SxSs are hard to find. And they usually have issues like short stocks, lots of drop, etc.

    Gregg

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