View Full Version : Gentleman's Shotgun?

November 23, 2008, 01:27 PM
I have an old Mossberg 500 that I use for skeet/trap shooting when I go (very rare these days), but am otherwise a total novice when it comes to shotguns. During the election season, you always seem to find a story about a senator or congressman going on a hunting trip or shooting trap with a group of wealthy businessmen. But I was curious what kind of shotguns they might use and this is never mentioned in any articles I've read.

What are some of the classic "gentleman's shotguns"? For example, let's say a senator invites you on a bird hunting trip or a rich Scottish laird invites you to shoot skeet on his castlegrounds. What sort of shotgun would you take, assuming you could only have one but it didn't matter how much it costs?

Would it be an over/under, side-by-side or something else? What gauge would be the best choice (i.e. be the most versatile for skeet/trap/hunting)? What are some classic brands and models you might see at these types of gatherings?

Smitty in CT
November 23, 2008, 01:37 PM
Dick Cheney shot his lawyer friend with a Perazzi on their pheasant (or quail) hunt....

November 23, 2008, 01:39 PM
If I remember correctly, it was a 28ga also.

November 23, 2008, 01:50 PM
Money is no object?
I'd like one of these, please. (http://www.hollandandholland.com/gunrooms/london/bespoke_weapons/the_sporting_over_and_under_shotgun/) That might cross the line from "gentleman's shotgun" to "nobleman's shotgun", but as a statement of taste it's hard to find a better one.

I'm told that the waiting list is hellacious, but I'm sure it would be worth it, too.

November 23, 2008, 01:56 PM

November 23, 2008, 02:09 PM
Adrian, get that in a 20 and a 12 and send me the one you don't like as much....:eek:
I don't reckon I would be mistaken for a gentleman if'n I showed up with either my maverick 88 with glued up wood stock or 18 inch 20 gauge 500 with plastic stock.
I shoot mossbergs 'cuz gentleman won't!:cool:

Death from Afar
November 23, 2008, 02:44 PM
I had the pleasure of turning up on a pheasent hunt with some clients and collegues from work. It was very snooty, Judges, several people with "Sir" in front of their names ( i.e knights) and so on. The guns were exquisite, lots of british side by sides, high grade Aya's and Berettas and so on. I can report that i was looked at rather oddly when i pulled out my black M2 Benelli, which is now pretty battered. The irony was- and you would think that i would be saying that I outshoot them all, but was put in my place by a High Court Judge using a high grade Browning! So maybe the gun does matter!

November 23, 2008, 02:51 PM
refers to a side-by-side shotgun, sometimes an Over & Under is allowed).

Not the meat-hunters magazine, trombone-action shotgun.

November 23, 2008, 06:03 PM
I have a pretty nice Grrade II Ithica side by side I wouldn't be ashamed to show up with at any gentalmens shoot.

Have to wear a tie and jacket with those type shotgun though.

November 23, 2008, 08:19 PM
A good O/U or SxS. That is unless you go w/a senator or congressman, I don't like the idea of slugs out of a fire double:rolleyes:

November 24, 2008, 12:22 AM
Anything with five digits on the price tag and the first one is not a one. SO grade Berettas.

November 24, 2008, 11:14 AM
Purdey, Fabbri, Boss, H&H, etc.

if you want to learn more, there are a few forums and sites like doublegunshop and shooting sportsman

November 24, 2008, 12:56 PM
Honestly, I don't think it matters as long as you can shoot it safely, hit something with it hopefully, and do so with good manners.

I would shoot a Browning O/U 30" barrels ( depending on the game we were hunting, what we were doing, I'd probably take at least 2 guns, one 12ga and one 28ga ) - and not feel bad about going anywhere to shoot in the field, sporting clays, skeet, etc. Manners and safety out-trump engraving every time ....

But if I was using the trip as an excuse to tell my wife I needed a new gun - I would probably order one of these:


but order it with an adj comb, Trap stock on it, a 12ga barrel and a carrier barrel with a full set of tubes in 20, 28 and .410 . ( and then I'd only take 1 gun - with a 50 lb gun case ..). But unless I had at least 5,000 shells thru it before I left, I wouldn't take the new gun .....so I better order it now ( along with a new Lexus for my wife ...).

November 24, 2008, 01:06 PM
BigJim brings a good point.... If you pick off a clay bird at 60 yards with a 30 dollar rusty NEF and humbly accept the accolades of your shooting buddies then you are a gentleman thus your firearm is a gentleman's gun... But if you hit said clay bird then turn and say "BOO-YAAAA.... GIT 'ER DONE BOYZ..." While "air punching" with a $60,000 dollar O/U than it is just a gun in a feller's hands... :D:rolleyes:

November 24, 2008, 02:43 PM
Hell i would be happy with my Mossberg 12ga. but i like to keep things simple.

but I think actions speak louder than guns: act the part.

i think a 20ga will be a good all arounder, if you don't know what you are doing (skeet, hunting)


November 24, 2008, 03:02 PM
I have no direct experience, but I admit I read too much.

If you're going to shoot birds the traditional British way, you will need a matched pair or a true pair. You shoot one while the other is being loaded for you. You can't let the birds get away as they fly overhead because the income is needed for the farm (okay, the estate.)

www.doublegunshop.com/ryder2.htm - by E.J. Ryder

"However, by the 1830's and 1840's a change was taking place. Gentlemen hit upon the idea of having servants walk toward them, driving the game forward, while the guns themselves stood still. It was soon discovered that the weight of game presented by this method was far greater than simply walking up birds. As the single guns were loaded and fired more and more rapidly, they soon became too hot to handle. Further, many shooters were now presented with missed opportunities as the birds flew overhead while the gentlemen and their attendants struggled to load as quickly as possible. The solution was to have two guns and to train the attendants to load while the gentlemen shot."

The article includes info on True Pairs (built to order) and Matched Pairs (one gun built later to match the first), among other interesting tidbits.


P.S. - And don't show up in camo or some gaudy ski parka. :)

November 24, 2008, 03:09 PM
Speaking of Scotland, in my dreams I would own David McKay Brown guns. I'd start with a pair of SxS guns and a pair of round body O/U guns.



They start at around $30k pounds each. That's about $45k American.

November 24, 2008, 04:04 PM
Johnbt is right, it is traditional for a loader to accompany you in the field in Scotland, load one gun - hand it to you / take the fired gun from you and reload it and hand it to you when you're ready ....

so I'd have to buy 2 Kolars .... but that's ok because the
Lexus SC-09 for my wife was going to cost me $ 75K anyway ( so we're still even ...).

( I have no experience shooting in Europe either ... but maybe someday ..)

November 25, 2008, 09:08 PM
When I think of gentlemen hunting, I can't help remembering the scene from the film The Magic Christian. Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) is filthy rich and his hobby is tearing down established traditions -- remember this was made in 1969. Click here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_mzLagHJOI) for my Youtube the scene, enjoy. :D

efgf, your "What sort of shotgun would you take, assuming you could only have one but it didn't matter how much it costs?" is inappropriate, because you'll need several guns to go shooting with the gents. What kind of answers do you think you'd get if you said: "I've just been invited to play golf with Tiger Woods! What one golf club should it take, no matter what it costs?" Shooting everything with your Mossberg 500 (or any one gun), is like playing golf with one club.

Forum members have voiced their preferences for many fine, unlimited budget, shotguns; however, I doubt any of these guns is versatile. When you spend big bucks for a gun, you won't abide any compromises. The more you spend, the more specialized the gun tends to become. Your Mossberg 500 is the exact opposite, all of the decisions have been made to make the gun as average as possible to appeal to as many folks as possible. Many Mossbergs (and other entry level guns) are impulse purchases. When you order a big dollar gun there many decisions to be made, and unless you're a very experienced shooter, it's real easy to make a wrong selection. This is why there are shops that specialize in high grade guns to assist with luxury purchases. You might order an extra set of Skeet barrels for your upland gun, but you'd not take that gun after ducks.

Just for fun, here's a Purdey order form. Each time you check a box, or fill in a blank, you're making a decision that specializes the gun's function or aesthetics. This form gives Purdey enough info to put a preliminary price tag on your gun. I wonder how much an option like gilded internal mechanisms adds to the price.
http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/895/purdeyze5.th.gif (http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/895/purdeyze5.gif)

November 25, 2008, 09:13 PM
As I can't afford the doubles I'll stick with my Weatherby SAS 12ga

November 26, 2008, 06:15 AM
I'm a side-by-side sort of gent. Both SKBs, one M100 with 26" IC/M barrels that's good for upland game hunting and skeet, and a M200E with 28" M/F barrels. That one is strictly for the trap range. Like all nice doubles, they're fairly expensive. I got them a long time ago (~30 years) when they weren't too much. I paid $200 for the M100 and $400 for the M200E. Triple that today. SKB discontinued the SxS line, so I doubt they'll go down in value. Besides, all gentlemen use SxS shotguns. ;)

November 26, 2008, 06:55 AM
Besides, all gentlemen use SxS shotguns

of course...but it must have a straight english stock with certian crowds of upper crusties.

ejectors or extractors?

thats the real nitty-gritty question.