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The 'Holy Grail' of the gun world: TRIPLE-BARRELLED shotgun from 1891 goes under the hammer
Daily Mail UK ^ | 12 June 2012 | Eddie Wrenn

Posted on 06/17/2012 8:25:18 AM PDT by Lorianne

... back 1891, one gun-manufacturer came up trumps - developing the world's only triple-barrelled shotgun, subsequently dubbed the 'Holy Grail' of the gun world.

Now the gun - built by Edinburgh gun makers John Dickson & Son - has a new owner, having just been sold in London for £43,000.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: bangbangbang; banglist; scotland; scotlandyet; unitedkingdom

1 posted on 06/17/2012 8:25:27 AM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

That barrel(s) sure has a nice finish.....wonder if anyone ever shot it.


2 posted on 06/17/2012 8:28:09 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Lorianne

These guns were hand made using chisels and files. Take a close look at the workmanship, the fit and finish, and the engraving. I’m pretty sure at least a 1,000 hours of hand labor went into the gun, and probably more. The firm of John Dickson produced some of the most beautiful guns ever made.


3 posted on 06/17/2012 8:32:53 AM PDT by Stevenc131
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To: Lorianne

Prolly a little heavy to pack around hunting. If I had the money, however, I would like a drilling in 12ga over some rifle caliber.


4 posted on 06/17/2012 8:33:30 AM PDT by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
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To: Lorianne

It is interesting but just doesn’t look right to me.

You never can tell tho, it might handle better than it looks. Then again it might be awkward as all get out.


5 posted on 06/17/2012 8:41:14 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: umgud

Then your in the market for a Savage Mod. 24. There was a rifle round/s over a 12 ga. made. I have a .22LR over a 20 ga myself.


6 posted on 06/17/2012 8:51:18 AM PDT by TMSuchman (John 15;13 & Exodus 21:22-25 Pacem Bello Pastoribus Canes [shepard of peace,dogs of war])
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To: TMSuchman

I’ll stick with my old L. C. Smith...


7 posted on 06/17/2012 9:06:25 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: TMSuchman

A drilling is typically 2 shotgun barrels over a rifle caliber. Usually European and expensive. I had a Savage 12ga over 30-30 back in the 70’s. I wouldn’t mind having a 20ga over 22 or 22mag.


8 posted on 06/17/2012 9:08:32 AM PDT by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
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To: umgud

I once had a Tikka 12 gauge over a .243. It had a flip up rear sight with a square front and square blade. Made a nice sight picture.

One of those guns I wish I had back. The .243 even with iron sights was unusually accurate.


9 posted on 06/17/2012 9:18:45 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: umgud

Long time ago I had a chance to buy a Sauer drilling in 12ga/30-06 when they weren’t hideously priced. Did get to handle one at a gun show. JMHO, it didn’t point like a shotgun nor aim like a rifle.

Drillings are masterpieces of the gunsmithing art, even so. Heard of this three barrel gun many years ago but didn’t know it was unique.


10 posted on 06/17/2012 9:22:06 AM PDT by elcid1970 (Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind. Deus vult!")
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To: Lorianne

Wonder why three barrels didn’t catch on? Seems like it would have been a good coach gun.


11 posted on 06/17/2012 9:22:58 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: WKUHilltopper

Seems like the 3 triggers would just be awkward to me.


12 posted on 06/17/2012 9:35:30 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Stevenc131
“These guns were hand made using chisels and files”

I wonder why they did not use lathes and mills and drill presses and stuff that the other gunmakers used.
I can understand Marshall Williams using chisels and files to build his rifle, but not this.

13 posted on 06/17/2012 9:44:38 AM PDT by Tupelo (TeaParty member, but no longer a Republican)
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To: TMSuchman

I’ll take a SEAL-modified Stoner, .223 over a grenade launcher. (XM 148?)


14 posted on 06/17/2012 10:11:13 AM PDT by DPMD
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To: umgud

The article says it was only 7 lb.s which surprised the heck out of me. Practical or not it’s still a thing of beauty.


15 posted on 06/17/2012 10:16:42 AM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TMSuchman

There’s also a 243 over a sixteen gauge model I have in the closet.


16 posted on 06/17/2012 10:16:57 AM PDT by STD ([You must help] people in the community…feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless)
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To: yarddog
This gun was made by a well known strict Protestant family of devout gunsmiths. They built it to pay homage to the Holy Trinity 'there is nothing more powerful'. The barrels were actually christened; from Right to Left; the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

The joke of the day published in the iconic cartoon Punch opined that if you hadn't taken your prey after exhausting the Trinity, quit hunting altogether, because you were totally lost.

Modern hunters know that state law calls for plugs put into the magazine of pump and semi-auto shotguns limiting them to three rounds. I seriously doubt that a mass produced top break side by side by side would ever be durable enough for routine shooting. It would have been pretty cool to try wing shooting pheasant with three barrels. Leading your target would have become even more fun. American youth hunters like Col. Bong Gen. Yeager might have proven even more deadly fighter pilots; if that were even possible?

17 posted on 06/17/2012 10:17:28 AM PDT by STD ([You must help] people in the community…feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless)
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To: TMSuchman

There’s also a 243 over a sixteen gauge model I have in the closet.


18 posted on 06/17/2012 10:17:44 AM PDT by STD ([You must help] people in the community…feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
I would too!!

When was it made?

19 posted on 06/17/2012 12:44:11 PM PDT by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
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To: painter
Sometime around 1940 or 41, according to the serial number on the gun.
It's a 20 ga. “field” (read not fancy) model.
20 posted on 06/17/2012 1:10:16 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

My mod. 24 was made in 1963. I keep it around for a great small game long arm.


21 posted on 06/17/2012 3:23:48 PM PDT by TMSuchman (John 15;13 & Exodus 21:22-25 Pacem Bello Pastoribus Canes [shepard of peace,dogs of war])
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To: Lorianne

Most upper grade Doubleguns are quite light. Especially the British made guns that were purpose built. Most American Doubles are/were utility built for a variety of game and are generally heavy by comparison. Take note the cocking indicators forward of the safety lever and also the side-lever position. This is a left hand gun.


22 posted on 06/17/2012 4:40:37 PM PDT by BillTilghman ("I'm no conservative newbie - I'm Sampleman's brother")
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To: Tupelo; All

Back in that day, there were of course lathes, but there were few mills. There was nothing like the Deckel or Bridgeport available yet - most mills were horizontal mills, and most of those were pretty large affairs. Small-scale milling of parts could be done on a lathe (ask if you’ve never seen a milling attachment on a lathe). Many of the operations we currently associate with a mill were done back then on a horizontal shaper. Shapers are slow, but oh-so-versatile.

Those barrels were polished in two stages - first by “striking” with a file (an English term, meaning to draw-file the barrels) and then with polishing compound/cloth. The blue was doubtless slow rust blueing, not the hot salt blueing used in industrial gun blues today. One of the reasons for the slow rust blueing is that the barrels are soldered together. Look at the breech end of the barrels - see those triangular wedges in between the barrels? Those have to be soldered to the length of the barrels whilst the barrels are held in position in a fixture. If you put those barrels into a hot salt blue tank, the solder would either melt and the barrels would come apart, or the salts would work into any small imperfection in the solder joint and attack the solder and steel, eating a hole into the barrels over time.

Today’s very best guns still use slow rust blueing, not hot salt blueing. Most fine guns use at least “express” rust blueing, not hot salts.

OK, some other things to point out to people:

1. See how the wood and the metal come together without a seam or line? That’s because the wood was fitted to the metal and the two were polished down together. The tang and action will have a “draft” to them, where the metal bevels inwards as you go deeper into the wood.

2. See how the screwheads are all “timed” to line up in the lengthwise direction? That doesn’t just happen. The screws have to be fitted to get the heads timed up, then the heads are polished down to the level of the surrounding metal. If the screws are ever removed, they have to be re-installed into only the hole from which they came out of.

3. Look at the checkering on the grip. See how the diamonds no longer come to a point? See how the border line near the rear tang is nearly faded out? That gun has been handled quite a bit.

4. This is not the only three-barreled shotgun made. George MacFarlaine made at least two 20 gauge, 3 barrel single trigger guns of which I’m aware. Their barrels were set up in a triangle, essentially a double set on top of a single. The fine Italian gunmakers, Famars, makes a four-barrel shotgun today:

http://www.famars.com/famars/famars-guns/-four-barrel-/famars-rombo.html

One more thing on hand files and fine guns:

Among the “London Best” gunsmiths in the latter half of the 19th century (the pinnacle of the “London Best” gun trade, IMO) and all who sought to emulate them (including Dickenson & Son as well as the continental gunmakers), it was long known that their craftsmen had to be able to drive a file. To this day, a real gunsmith knows how to drive a file. To a gunsmith, there are a lot more files than what most people have in their garage to sharpen the lawnmower.

When you have the right files and the right skills, what you see there isn’t difficult to accomplish, but it is time-consuming - hence the prices on “best guns” in the 10’s of thousands of dollars. You will need time and training, but making a fine gun with files isn’t difficult, and it is indeed how more than a couple of them were done.

Why use a file? Because then the craftsman gets exactly the results he wants. These types of “best guns” weren’t manufactured to tolerances, they were fit with a smoke lamp, file and patience.

Still, for all the fancy elegance of European best guns, my idea of a best shotgun to own is a Winchester Model 21.


23 posted on 06/17/2012 8:29:35 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: BillTilghman

Compared to US-made shotguns, the barrels of fine English/Scottish double guns are incredibly thin-walled and light. They’re quite easy to dent if dropped.


24 posted on 06/17/2012 8:58:09 PM PDT by NVDave
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