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It looks like Grandpa's shotgun, but it's not.
March 8, 2010 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Double guns were invented so you can shoot twice. Double guns have been around for a long time now. They followed the British around the world, to Africa and India. You can buy one if you can afford it.
posted by Sukiari (58 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm talking here mainly about rifles, but in the old days smoothbores and Paradox guns were quite the thing.
posted by Sukiari at 3:08 PM on March 8, 2010


I've always wanted to fire a lupara, which technically isn't a double gun. But still...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:12 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, like the shotgun in Half Life that you can shoot out of one or two barrels at once?
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:13 PM on March 8, 2010


You know those guns, that are, like, double guns?
posted by Ratio at 3:15 PM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa, would this do it for you?

And, no, Tim, you probably wouldn't want to shoot both barrels at once. The idea is to hit something and not destroy your arm.
posted by Sukiari at 3:15 PM on March 8, 2010


mccarty.tim, it depends. My experience is largely with shotguns. In the double-barreled variety, some have a single trigger that activates both barrels, one after the other. Others have a double trigger, one for each barrel, that would allow for simultaneous fire.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:16 PM on March 8, 2010


2 shots? Pff. You want one of these.
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on March 8, 2010


I've always wanted to fire a lupara, which technically isn't a double gun. But still...

Awesome, I never knew those sawed-off shotguns Michael's bodyguards carried in The Godfather had a name. Seriously, learning new Godfather-related facts excites me, so thanks!
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:27 PM on March 8, 2010


Lupara sounds so much fancier than sawed off shotgun. I can just see someone discovering one under the seat of a car on Cops.

"Jackpot! We got a lupara under here. Mind telling me what you're doing with this?"
posted by Big_B at 3:31 PM on March 8, 2010


4 barrel pistol
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on March 8, 2010


I have a relative who has an old Holland & Holland double gun. Someone told him it was a fake, so he called the company in London to ask about the gun. He read them the serial number and, about an hour later, they faxed him the original bill of sale for the gun from something like 1880, clearly written in fountain pen calligraphy, and some identifying information that allowed him to verify that the gun was legit. Pretty cool company.
posted by Mid at 3:32 PM on March 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Although I'm looking at my Godfather movie poster next to my desk, and the gun that the guard that eventually sold Michael out carries clearly has two barrels. They're short barrels, but the Lupara in the Wikipedia article looks like it only has one.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:33 PM on March 8, 2010


I'm guessing the number of barrels depends entirely on what sort of gun you start of with be for you lupara it.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on March 8, 2010


2 shots? Pff. You want one of these.

This is something that's along the same lines but a bit more practical.
posted by Sukiari at 3:35 PM on March 8, 2010


Oh, like the shotgun in Half Life that you can shoot out of one or two barrels at once?

Sort of. Except these aren't shotguns. Usually they are chambered for something ridiculously powerful (like the .470 Nitro Express) and were commonly used for big game like elephants and rhinos.

Others have a double trigger, one for each barrel,


This is the most common configuration as it allows you to decide which barrel gets fired in what order. You'll typically see the alternating on a single trigger on smaller over-under guns like Derringers where a single hammer is operating both barrels.
posted by quin at 3:35 PM on March 8, 2010


I like that four barreled pistol. It would be especially useful if you could get four ruffians to stand just so before you discharged it.
posted by Sukiari at 3:37 PM on March 8, 2010


Mid, most of the British double gun makers that have been around for a while have kept their records intact, and will not only offer to research your gun (often for free) but recondition it to as-new condition by hand (for a lot of money).
posted by Sukiari at 3:39 PM on March 8, 2010


Quin, I don't think that most of the double rifles from the past century or so have two triggers. Double barreled shotguns, for sure, so you can select the choke pattern as one barrel is usually more tightly choked than the other.
posted by Sukiari at 3:40 PM on March 8, 2010


The only guy who could really shoot one of those things was Jimmy Page's grandfather. But he could shoot the hell out of it.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:41 PM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and Tim, the HL/ HL2 shotgun is unfortunate. It's a single barreled number (the tube on the bottom is the magazine) but for some reason they allow you to shoot it twice at once if you follow me. Doesn't make sense, but it is good for the tougher baddies. Gameplay mechanics trump realism.
posted by Sukiari at 3:42 PM on March 8, 2010


I read a while back, can't remember where, that in WWI the Brits were having trouble with Germans who started carrying plate steel shields and advancing behind them. Think of a riot shield on wheels. Their .303 rifles couldn't penetrate the armor plate and it was becoming quite a problem.

Somebody had the idea of sending home for their Nitro Express big bore double, and it ended up cutting through that plate like a hot knife through butter. Thousands were in use at the front eventually.
posted by Sukiari at 3:45 PM on March 8, 2010


Oh, and Tim, the HL/ HL2 shotgun is unfortunate. It's a single barreled number (the tube on the bottom is the magazine) but for some reason they allow you to shoot it twice at once if you follow me. Doesn't make sense, but it is good for the tougher baddies. Gameplay mechanics trump realism.

50 round mag and a grenade launcher on an MP5!
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on March 8, 2010


(lots of Luparas are side by side usually 12 gauge, often with exposed hammers)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:50 PM on March 8, 2010


Looks like the HL2 shotgun was based on a SPAS-12, which has a semi-auto feature. I suppose if you give the HL developers the benefit of the doubt, you could see the double shot as the semi-auto kicking in, though I don't think the argument is very convincing.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:51 PM on March 8, 2010


You may be right, Sukiari. My hands on experience with them is pretty limited, and one of the ones I handled actually had two different calibers in one rifle, so like a shotgun you could select which would be more appropriate.

Though if you look at the shadow of that absurd 4 bore linked, you can see two triggers.
posted by quin at 3:52 PM on March 8, 2010


I think a practical dangerous game double would have two triggers, each independently operating its own firing mechanism. That way if half the gun fucks up you still have a chance at stopping a charge.

And, Artw, I believe the machine pistol is supposed to be something like the HK MP7 PDW which has a rail which could conceivably mount a grenade launcher.

Craven, yeah, I think you are right there.
posted by Sukiari at 3:56 PM on March 8, 2010


Those paradox guns seem like they'd be pretty gimmicky. It seems any kind of rifling would make for less than optimal shot patterns. Or am I missing something? ISTR some interchangeable rifled chokes that did the same thing for an appropriate shotgun barrel. At least they were easily changed out.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:56 PM on March 8, 2010


The Paradox guns were usually intended to fire a slug. The small amount of rifling apparently did stabilize the projectile enough to increase the accuracy to some degree.
posted by Sukiari at 4:03 PM on March 8, 2010


Not knowing a thing about weaponry, "double gun" sounds to me like something from Axe Cop. Like a gun that shoots out tiny guns.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:04 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


HL2 is the MP7.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on March 8, 2010


If you aren't too squeamish, you can see a double gun in action in some Mark Sullivan hunting videos. Not really my cup of tea, but they do show real double gun action. I think there are some preview clips online. Definitely NSFAnimal lovers or gunshy.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:09 PM on March 8, 2010


And in some versions HL1 has an M16... which makes a bit more sense.

Not really sure where the grenade launcher is supposed to be on the MP7.
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on March 8, 2010


And yes, the HL shotgun is a single barrel SPAS 12.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on March 8, 2010


How about three barrels (two smoothbore, one rifled) and a machete?
posted by Rhomboid at 4:15 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


.42/.36 revolver, 16 gauge shotgun
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mark Sullivan is interesting, that's for sure.

Anybody who lets a charging hippo get 3 feet from themselves before shooting it has taken the idea of sporting to the next level.
posted by Sukiari at 4:19 PM on March 8, 2010


Here's a video of Sullivan doing his thing with a double rifle.
posted by Sukiari at 4:23 PM on March 8, 2010


Never mind, Archive broken.
posted by Sukiari at 4:25 PM on March 8, 2010


Some people think you need guns like these when they go big game hunting. It simply isn't so.

When I go tiger hunting, I usually wait high in a tree. When I spy my prey below, I leap silently down upon him, with only a large buck knife between my teeth. After single-handedly dragging the carcass into the nearest village. I go into the chief's hut, kick him out and take his woman for the night. After the tropical equivalent of bodice ripping, I sip brandy and smoke a cigar, wallowing in the glow of my own testosterone and machismo.

Using a gun would only spoil the kill.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:32 PM on March 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


I prefer to sit around and eat organic sprouted wheat bread, comfortable knowing that, sure, I probably killed thousands of small field vermin to get that wheat, but, hey, I didn't have to see it, right?
posted by Sukiari at 4:45 PM on March 8, 2010


Tiny, tiny twin barreled rifles firing needles would sort that for you...
posted by Artw at 4:52 PM on March 8, 2010


I found some a video of mark sullivan shooting a hippo on youtube, but fuck if I'm going to link to that colossal asshole.
posted by empath at 5:22 PM on March 8, 2010


This is something that's along the same lines but a bit more practical.

lol... practical is the last word I'd ever use to describe the terrible gimmick gun known as the Taurus Judge.
posted by hamida2242 at 6:07 PM on March 8, 2010


Yeah, empath, hippos are assholes. Eating starving African villagers' cabbage patches and shitting all over the hard packed earth in the middle of the village.

Fuckers.
posted by Sukiari at 6:12 PM on March 8, 2010


Hamida, I don't own a Judge but have fired one a few times. It's neat. It would make a pretty decent survival weapon.

Now, a gimmick gun is the HK Mk. 23.
posted by Sukiari at 6:13 PM on March 8, 2010


This thread had me poking around, and I found this piece on four bores as well as the rather ridiculous Pfeifer single-action revolver, which is chambered for the .600 Nitro Express cartridge --

The .600 fires a 900-grain bullet at 1,950 fps, produces 3 1/2 tons of muzzle energy, and is three times more powerful than a .500 S&W magnum."
posted by stinkycheese at 6:29 PM on March 8, 2010


Aw crap, OP linked the first link on four bores right in the post. Sorry. The Pfeifer is still worth having a laugh at though.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:33 PM on March 8, 2010


Yeah, but Mk 23 directly led to the creation of the USP which is one of the greatest guns made.

Besides, if you are going to talk about ridiculous H&K guns, you have to acknowledge the most gimmicky gimmick that ever gimmicked.

The P11.
posted by quin at 6:33 PM on March 8, 2010


Yeah, Pfeifer. I guess whoever bought it paid dearly.

And, I disagree about the USP. It's a plastic gun, and lead time on parts can be upwards of six months. Basically an expensive Glock.
posted by Sukiari at 6:52 PM on March 8, 2010


A friend once showed me an old article about Paradox rifles. It said they work rather well. The hilarious thing was the caption on one of the photos: "Smoke obscures the unfortunate target."
posted by warbaby at 7:00 PM on March 8, 2010


This seems like the right place to settle an argument I was having last week...

What would happen, realistically, if you fired both barrels of a .577 at once? Would it make any difference if you were a burly guy who was well-braced for the impact?
posted by MrVisible at 7:42 PM on March 8, 2010


16 barrel pepperbox pistol.
posted by porpoise at 8:07 PM on March 8, 2010


if you fired both barrels of a .577 at once?

Cocktail napkin math here, but, wiki says that the .577 produces 6,663 ft·lbf of energy. Time two is 13,326 ft·lbf. The .700 NE produces between 8,900 ft·lbf and 14,374 ft·lbf depending on the load. Here is a guy firing one (and another).

We have no way of knowing what load he's using, but the first video seem to show that while it lifts his leg, he seems to be able to manage it pretty well, even if it was the lightest. I would guess that a .577 *2 would give your shoulder a beating, but if you were ready for it, and knew what to expect, you'd probably be ok.

If you didn't know what you were doing, you'd probably lose the gun.
posted by quin at 8:26 PM on March 8, 2010


if you fired both barrels of a .577 at once?

And what if it was double barrel (howda) pistol? (also pictured, a .70 caliber double pistol)
posted by 445supermag at 8:33 PM on March 8, 2010


Fantastic link! I've always been interested in an over-under configuration for practical applications - namely long-distance hikes/small game hunting. Double rifle sounds heavy as hell. I suppose it makes sense that its primary application fell to large game hunting in the Savannah - where, presumably, the British gentleman would hire someone to haul the thing around for him. My dream over-under combo is the Springfield Armory M6 Scout. They're not terribly expensive, but difficult to find - it's a .22/410 gauge - which is paltry compared to the links above but a .22 hornet should be good enough to take down anything smaller than a porcupine, which is my primary interest. Also, it's lightweight. Savage makes a .22/20 but I checked it out and it feels cheap. Those Springfields were built to fall out of planes during the war - so the pilots would have a survival firearm handy. I checked out the "survival" .22s that pack into their own stocks, as well, and they looked like they were made in Taiwan. I almost hate talking about the M6 because I know that the more people I get excited about this gun, the fewer of them there will be available for sale and I haven't got one yet.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:06 PM on March 8, 2010


I have a Savage 24, but the extractor for the .22 is now busted and it's impossibly difficult to find parts for since the model was discontinued by Savage Arms. The 20 gauge shotgun still works, but the single-shot thing is a drawback.

Anyone hear of the Nock Volley Gun?
posted by snottydick at 10:22 PM on March 8, 2010


I love my shotgun. Those doubles are very nice and usually out of my price range. The Judge is a perfect self defense weapon that you can use as your EDC. All of my barbers carry a Judge. Not a safe place for a bad-guy. The most well armed barber shop ever.
posted by winks007 at 5:31 AM on March 9, 2010


The Box O' Truth takes the Judge out for a spin.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:56 PM on March 9, 2010


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