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bosco mctavitch

purple cows

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bosco mctavitch

For some reason I seem to be drawn to purple cows, i.e. I choose things that seem to be uncommon.  My dedicated target gun is a 100 year old SxS with double triggers, I hunt grouse with a lab (now a brace of them!), etc...

Recently I have been thinking about a gun for the rare occasions when I go pheasant hunting.  I have guns that fit the bill fine, but I'd like one of them to be a 12ga and none of mine are.  I've been thinking about making this gun an O/U, but I'd like it to be in "game gun" form--i.e. not too chunky, light for the gauge (certainly less than 7lbs), faster handling, straight stock, slim foreend, double triggers.  This seems to be somewhat uncommon, as with very few exceptions most of the O/U guns I see are heavier and slower handling unless they have an alloy reciever, almost all are pistol grip/single trigger guns, etc.  Certainly one can customize a beretta, rizzini or the like with a straight stock and DT's too, a la Hunshatt.

I'm wondering who has a gun like this, what is it, how do you like it, and please post a picture of it!

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RookieEP

Caesar Guerini Tempio Light.  Weight right at 6lbs, and double triggers can be added through CG

TempioLgt.jpg

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Rex Hoppie

I recall a gun sold by Sears and Roebuck.  A 12 o/u with two single non selective triggers.  One fired the under barrel and then the over barrel, the other fired the over barrel first and then the under barrel, best of both worlds so to speak.  Don't know about the weight.  It had a pistol grip stock with basketweave checkering and you would have to work on that I suppose.,  A purple cow for sure.

I have seen a Browning Superposed with two single nonselective triggers also.  Don't know if it was factory or custom.

As far as purple cows, I worked at a soda fountain when I was a teen and we had a promotion called a purple cow for awhile.  I can't recall the recipe but it was a take off of a brown cow which was a root beer float.

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lee sykes
B. Rizzini  Upland EL from Wm. Larkin Moore and Browning Superposed Superlight, come to mind.   I guess you'd have to learn to live with the single trigger with the Browning but the Upland EL Classic has two triggers.  I'm not fond of alloy receivers either.

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J.M.
I found a FAIR Rizzini in 20 guage O/U set up as a "game gun" with 28" bbls straight grip, solid rib and double triggers. Mine also has upgraded wood and hand engraving. I picked it up on a closeout from Cabelas, and really like it. A comparable 12 guage would be a sweet all purpose bird gun. Do some searching on some of the popular gun auction sites etc, I bet you can turn something up. Happy hunting.

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Henry Rackliff
It's not exact but my Beretta 686 Ultralight is a 12 gauge.  26" barrels and pistol grip.  Weighs less than 6 lbs.  I don't know if Coles can put double triggers in it or not.

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Guest

 Certainly one can customize a beretta, rizzini or the like with a straight stock and DT's too, a la Hunshatt.

I'm wondering who has a gun like this, what is it, how do you like it, and please post a picture of it!

Well, one of Hunshatt's Cole Berettas was customized by Cole for me, quite awhile ago. I had Cole build it to replace a very fine european Rizzini mdl 702, 20 ga. that I had. It had double triggers, 29.25 inch (metric) barrels, straight hand stock, and was so ridiculously light I want to say it was right on 6 pounds or under. It was a Euro model so it had a blued frame with the 24k gold wire borders. It had extremely nice oil finished Turkish walnut, and false sideplates. I had it fit by Dudley at La Becasse, and it was a VERY serious gamegun.

 I however shoot the hell out of my guns regardless of how much they cost and what the weather, and after about a week of hunting grouse in the on and off rain, I put a couple extremely fast handloads through it, and I noticed a small crack developing at the base of one of the sideplates. I sold it and decided to have cole build a gun that was similar but much heavier duty.

 Also I'ved owned exactly two nice sidelocks...enough to know that I am not interested in sidelocks in any way. I'm plenty happy with boxlocks, so any "gamegun" I discuss will only be a boxlock. Now after having said that..........

 At one time I was actively searching a Beretta SO2 or later, so I am a fan of O/U gameguns.

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brueggemanns
I love my Beretta Silver Pigeon.

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Guest

B. Rizzini  Upland EL from Wm. Larkin Moore and Browning Superposed Superlight, come to mind.   I guess you'd have to learn to live with the single trigger with the Browning but the Upland EL Classic has two triggers.  I'm not fond of alloy receivers either.

Thanks Lee.... Your post reminded me of the girl that got away. I just went digging through my archives, and pulled out my old Browning Letter from Glen Jensen the Browning Historian.

 I LOVE THIS GUN AND WILL DO NEARLY ANYTHING TO GET HER BACK.

 12 ga. Browning Superposed B2G Hunting model B25 Superlight. Serial # 863PM0XXXX Choked IC/IM

 Sold to Jaquas, shipped on 1/11/83 I have the invoice number.

 Can't friggin' believe I ever let her go.........

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Guest
I recall a gun sold by Sears and Roebuck.  A 12 o/u with two single non selective triggers.  One fired the under barrel and then the over barrel, the other fired the over barrel first and then the under barrel, best of both worlds so to speak.  Don't know about the weight.  It had a pistol grip stock with basketweave checkering and you would have to work on that I suppose.,  A purple cow for sure.

I have seen a Browning Superposed with two single nonselective triggers also.  Don't know if it was factory or custom.

As far as purple cows, I worked at a soda fountain when I was a teen and we had a promotion called a purple cow for awhile.  I can't recall the recipe but it was a take off of a brown cow which was a root beer float.

Grape float? sound good.

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lee sykes
They were special guns, Al. I've always wanted one but it never happened.  Perfect bird gun.

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Greg Hartman

Interesting topic – thanks for posting.  I’m anxious to see the responses from others.

Yes, O/U game guns are very rare critters - similar to the rarity of their opposite numbers - full-race target guns in SxS configuration.  

I agree mostly with your definition of what attributes should be found on an O/U game gun.  I would add a solid rib to the list of absolutely mandatory attributes for a gun to be called a game gun – there is utterly no reason for a vent rib afield.  I would change your straight hand to a Prince of Wales grip.  This is purely personal aesthetics, but to me a straight grip ONLY looks “right” on a slender SxS game gun with minimalist splinter fore end.  A straight hand grip on an O/U looks very “wrong” to me – like those strange Chevy “pick-up trucks” that are also convertibles - just something  really wrong with the picture.  

I would not make being a sidelock a requirement, but that does add to the cool factor.  A friend just had a Purdey 28 gauge sidelock O/U built.  Neatest gun I’ve ever seen bar none.  He even let me shoot it – an experience I will not forget!

If cost were not a factor, I’d go for a David McKay Brown round action O/U in 20 gauge, six pounds flat, with 30” bbls (screw chokes for versatility), POW grip, nice wood and 100% coverage engraving – much like these:

droppedImage_4.jpg

droppedImage_2.jpg

Way cool looking, exquisitely made, plus the ultimate O/U game gun in terms of function.  Note they are single, non-selective trigger guns.  Interestingly, my reading indicates that most McKay Brown O/U’s are made with single triggers and the maker himself prefers single triggers.  

A McKay Brown gun is not something I can afford - oh well.

My first O/U game gun was a 1934 Beretta S3 – a 12 gauge sidelock with solid rib, POW grip, double triggers, amazingly well-done engraving and beautiful wood. It weighed just a touch over 6 pounds.  This shot taken while dove hunting on the family farms is one of the few digital pics I have of it (also Maggie as a young dog - neither of us had gray muzzles in those days):

Hunt2001-9-MaggieDoveHunting.jpg

It was a cool gun and absolutely deadly.  The problem was that, even though it looked great cosmetically, it was basically worn out – the bbls had about as much thickness as aluminum foil.  Each time I pulled the trigger I cringed expecting the bbls to let go and to lose a hand or an eye.  I couldn’t afford to have it rebarreled at that point, nor could I afford to just turn it into a wall hanger.  Finally, I couldn’t take the cringing anymore and sold it to a fellow who wanted it as a wall hanger and maybe later a candidate for rebarrelling.

Some years went by, but I never forgot that gun.  When I was able to afford to do so, I acquired its modern equivalent – a Famars round action – 20 gauge, 6 pounds even, 30” solid rib screw choke bbls, POW grip, minimalist fore end, drop lock, so a broken spring or something thousands of miles from home doesn’t bring a hunting trip to a halt – just mount the spare lock – takes about five seconds; nice for cleaning and maintenance, too.  Nice wood, fine engraving with 100% coverage.  The only area where it varies from your O/U game gun definition is that it has a single non-selective trigger.  I like DT’s and there are times when I wished I had them on this gun, but there weren’t an available option when it was built, so I “suffer” with the single trigger, like a typical McKay Brown round action.  

Famars guns are not inexpensive, but I feel they represent a great value among top tier guns – for example, when compared with English “best” O/U game guns, McKay Brown O/U game guns and so on.

This O/U is not my most expensive or fanciest gun, but it is by far my favorite gun.  It is the gun I use for 95% of my hunting, east and west.  I also shoot targets with it more often than I use my full-race target gun (another Famars drop lock O/U, but in 12 gauge).  Many thousands of rounds are run through this gun each year and I shoot it very well (for a half-blind old guy) – usually within one, or at most two, targets per 100 of my 12 gauge target gun.

You’ve seen a bazillion pics of Famars 20 gauge O/U before because it’s my go-to field gun.  Here are just a few recent ones:

In the Badlands a couple weeks ago:

9-21-10-SkullandFamars20Bore.jpg

After two local hunts last week:

10-23-10-firstdaylimit-1.jpg

10-23-10-firstdaylimit-2.jpg

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Hunshatt
the real question is...how, with a straight face,can U  call   2 labs a brace? :glare:  :glare:

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grousegunner

The Rizzini round body always catches my eye.  I'd love to have one in a 16 with 30" tubes.

B-Rizzini-Inverness-Round-Body-Shotgun.j

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