I was shooting 5 stand at elm fork yesterday, and met a ex- army combat medic named Andy that collects old school shotguns.
He brough 2 with him that he had just picked up and had brought to show Larry an instructor at Elm Fork that throws 5 stand for us
I had never seen either shotgun before :
DARNE SLIDING BREECH DOUBLE GUNS It was a Damascus Barrel & will be a wall hanger
Régis Darne established his gun-making business in Saint Etienne in East Central France in 1881. Saint Etienne had become an arms making center as far back as the 16th Century and had even been briefly renamed Armeville (Arms Town) during the French Revolution. So it was a natural place for Régis Darne to establish a gun-making business. Saint Etienne in the 16th Century had initially been centered around edged weapons such as swords and spears but soon moved into making muskets becoming a national center for gun-making in much the same way as London and Birmingham became centers of the British gun trade.
What set Régis Darne guns apart from other makers not only from Saint Etienne but also everywhere else in the world was his system of having fixed barrels and a sliding breech block to open and close the gun. The benefit of this cannot be fully appreciated just by looking at pictures or video of a Darne gun in action. To fully understand the beauty of this design it is necessary to actually pick up one of these guns, shoulder it a few times, and then try shooting it. The balance and feel of a Darne is different by comparison to a typical break action gun. The weight of the gun is very much “between the hands” and the effect is one of a gun with lightness and liveliness, a gun that is arguably at its best when mounted and fired from “low gun” or field position. It is a style of gun that has particular appeal to shooters looking for a gun with light and lively handling.
The Spencer Pump: America’s First Pump-Action Shotgun
Christopher Spencer, not John Browning, invented the first pump shotgun
Most shotgun enthusiasts think John Moses Browning’s Winchester 1893 was the first pump shotgun. But it was Christopher Miner Spencer, an engineer that also built the Union Army a seven-shot repeating rifle that helped win the Civil War, who built the first pump. Spencer was granted a patent in 1882 for his repeater, which he manufactured in Windsor, Connecticut. It’s an interesting gun that one prominent museum curator called a “Rube Goldberg invention.” (Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist best known for his drawings of convoluted and complicated machines that performed simple tasks.)
The Spencer pump-action shotgun operates using a toggle breech that pivots up and down when the action is cycled. The extractor is spring mounted in front of the action on the right-side action bar and as the bar moves rearward it grasps the head of the fired shell and pulls it out onto the dished-out top of the toggling bolt. At the same time, a fresh shell is released from the magazine into a cutout in the bottom of the toggle. The last bit of rearward pumping action causes the breech to quickly flip up tossing the fired shell up and away from the top of the breech. The extractor then grasps the head of a fresh round and pushes it into the chamber with the forward stroke of the pump handle. It’s not exactly a simple process.
The Spencer looks like a modern pump shotgun with its tubular magazine beneath the barrel. To load the Spencer, the fore-end must be pulled back clearing the magazine for loading. Measuring about 15½ inches long, the magazine could hold seven or eight 2 9/16-inch shotshells, the common length of 12-gauge shells in 1882. To complete the loading process, the fore-end is then cycled to send a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber.
A unique feature of the Spencer is its second trigger. Mounted in front of the firing trigger, in case of a misfire, which was a common occurrence with early paper-cased shells and handloads, you pushed the second trigger forward, which cocked the hammer for another go at the reluctant shell.
By 1885, Spencer was in serious debt and sold the patent rights to Francis Bannerman, who continued to make the Spencer pump until 1907. Bannerman put his name on the side of the action, and all was well until 1893. That’s when Winchester launched its Model 1893 pump designed by John Browning. Slick and smooth, it was a far more shooter-friendly repeater than the Bannerman-Spencer toggle-action shotgun. Enraged, Bannerman sued everyone associated with Winchester. Winchester conducted a worldwide survey of patents issued prior to 1882 and found that in Britain there were three pump-gun patents granted, plus another in France. From the patent drawings, the Winchester Model Shop made a working model of the Krutzsch (the gun is in the Winchester Collection at the Cody Firearms Museum in Wyoming). The design was close enough to the 1893 for the judge to toss out Bannerman’s lawsuit.