A DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN.
1. How to Distinguish Between a Good and a Bad Double
2. Which should one choose - Light or Heavy Double Barrel
3. Which is preferable - Ejector or Non-Ejector Double
4. Defects in a Double Barrel Gun?
5. What is a Pattern of a Gun?
6. What is the Range of a Gun?
7. What is the Difference Between a Cylinder and a Choke
8. Which Guns for Defense and which for Sports?
9. Why Prices vary for the same Brand Guns?
10.What are the Different Types of Cartridges?
11. How to Shoot Straight?
12. In Which Circumstances can a Shotgun be Used?
1. HOW TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A GOOD AND A BAD DOUBLE
between a good gun and a bad one can be narrowed down to two
general criteria; a) material used in its manufacture and
b) the quality of workmanship:
A gun is made up of three major assemblies which are taken
apart while dismantling, 1) The Body 2) The Barrel & 3)
The Hand Guard.
used: The Body and the handguard
parts are made from mild steel. Barrels are mostly made from
Mild Steel with a few using EN-9 or EN-19 steel. One manufacturer
of Mandi (H.P) reportedly uses High Carbon High Chromium Steel.
to distinguish between the steel used:
material used for barrel making throughout the world is EN-19.
The manufacturer which use EN-9, EN-19 or any alloy steel
for barrel making display prominently by way of permanently
engraving on the barrel the type of steel used. Most of the
manufacturers who produce cheap guns generally use mild steel.
The internal mechanism of all the guns is of mild steel except
that of the guns produced by the Indian Ordnance Factories,
the production of which has been discontinued.
Some "Case Harden"
the moving parts resulting in a non-breaking tough core and
a hard external surface which does not wear easily even by
repeated use. One can easily find out if the metal used for
internal mechanism is of hard or soft material by dry firing
the weapon and listening to the tone of the sound. Soft material
will produce dull sound and hard material will produce high
pitched shrill sound.
Wood used: Walnut,
Assam Teak and Shesham are the preferred choice for wood used
in stock making. All the manufacturers in Jammu use walnut
(Being easily available), those in Monghyr you Assam teak
except a few who use walnut and the manufacturers in other
parts of the country mostly use shesham wood.
Every gun manufacturer will claim to produce guns with
superior workmanship. The only method to judge is by
examination: a) Metal Finish: There are two
types of metal finishes prevalent in India. One is the cold
rusting process and the other hot caustic bluing. In the cold
rusting process the gun takes a dull sheen with a very durable
surface whereas in the hot caustic bluing the metal takes
a very shinny look, which wears out comparatively quickly.
The colouring is chosen as per individual choice and has no
bearing on the working mechanism of the gun.
Visual Examination for accuracy in fitting: Particular attention
should be paid to check out the following:
There should not be
any gap between the barrel, the body and the hand guard in
a fully assembled gun. In other words the metal to metal and
metal to wood fit should be tight and snug as seen in Fig.
1 (a). When the barrel, the body and the hand guard are separated
the surface on the under side of all these parts should be
smooth with no rough marks. Improper fitting is seen in Fig.
The fitment of the working
parts of the gun can be reasonably ascertained by checking
the seating of the barrel on the body. The Hand Guard is removed
from the Shotgun. It is then opened by pushing the top lever
till it just disengages the slide (this is the piece which
holds the barrel in place). Any further opening the gun the
top lever will fall back in its place. Pressure is applied
to the barrels in the sideways direction while holding the
butt firmly to see if there is any movement, as seen in Fig.
2.. The better gun will have less sideways movement in half
open condition. Excess movement results in loosening the barrel
from the body after a few cartridges are fired and consequently
more recoil is encountered.
2. WHICH SHOULD ONE CHOOSE -LIGHT OR HEAVY DOUBLE BARREL
The weight of all guns
made in India vary from 3.75 kg. to 4.5 kg. A light gun is
definitely preferable due to ease of carrying and using it.
But, this criteria should not be solely kept in mind while
purchasing a locally produced gun. All the Indian guns are
proof tested by the Indian Ordnance Factory before being released
in the market. The Ordnance Factory fires a charge equivalent
to three times the power of normal cartridge and then certifies
it. Sometimes the practice is not meticulously followed and
in many other cases the manufacturers lightens the barrels
by scrapping off the metal after it has proof tested (as shown
in adjoining Fig. 3) Because of this the gun becomes light
and often dangerous. A heavy charge when fired may injure
the shooter himself. Barrels made of EN-9, EN-19 can withstand
heavier charge as compared to mild steel barrels of same thickness,
so these should be preferred.
3. WHICH IS PREFERABLE -EJECTOR OR NON-EJECTOR DOUBLE
we describe the gun as a selective ejector, it means, on opening
the gun, only that cartridge will eject and fall to the ground
which has been fired and the other, if not fired will remain
in the chamber, extracted by about 0.5” for easy removal by
hand, if required. When the cartridge has to be manually lifted
from the chamber after firing, it is called a Non- Ejector
Gun. The selective ejector is much preferred but should not
have the following drawbacks which makes it less attractive:-.
and unloading the gun should not be difficult. If we
place two spent cartridges in the chamber and open the
gun after pulling both the triggers, opening the gun
should not be difficult. Similarly closing of the gun
should not be difficult. In some ejector guns opening
of the gun is difficult and in some closing is difficult
and still in others both the opening and closing the
gun is difficult.
Retrieving a live cartridge should be trouble free.
If we place two live cartridges in both the chambers
and close the gun, then, there should not be any problem
in extracting them as seen in Fig. 4 (a). In some ejector
guns the extractor does not bring the live cartridge
sufficiently outwards on opening the barrel that it
becomes a problem in removing them from the chamber
except by way of tilting the gun and letting the cartridges
slide out as seen in Fig. 4 (b). If, however, the cartridge
is slightly moist and has expanded then it can only
be extracted by a long rod pushed from the muzzle end
of the gun.
3. Repair of the ejector
is time consuming and very costly. When the ejector has become
defective the cartridge becomes struck inside the chamber
and can only be ejected with the help of a rod put in the
barrel from the muzzle end. The ejector strips in a double
barrel gun are very thin and the material used is mostly Mild
Steel, which is soft and easily wears out.
4. DEFECTS IN A DOUBLE BARREL GUN
The most common problems encountered
- Non extraction of cartridge
- Accidental discharge of live cartridge.
pin should strike at the center of the cartridge. Spring tension
should not be checked by striking coins and making them jump
in air. Misfire because of low spring tension can be reasonably
ascertained by striking the firing pin in a hard wood and
checking the depth of penetration. The gun after purchasing,
should be fired with loaded live cartridges to check the readiness
of the gun. This is because Indian guns are not test fired
with live cartridges at the factory premises before dispatch.
ejection of cartridge (Specially in an ejector gun:
Firstly, one dummy cartridge entered in one barrel and the
gun is closed, then the gun is opened to see if the cartridge
extracts easily. Then the process is repeated with the second
barrel, then two dummy cartridges are placed simultaneously
in both the barrels and the process repeated to check that
cartridge does not get struck inside the barrels. The entire
process is repeated again but this time each trigger is fired
before ejection of the cartridge. This process should be meticulously
followed as there are many defects in new guns.
of live rounds: When we
open the gun to place the cartridge in the chamber, the gun
automatically gets loaded. There are three functional parts
trigger, hammer, and sear. When the gun is loaded, the
hammer has displaced from its original position and is locked
in the new position by sear. By pulling the trigger, the sear
gets disengaged from the hammer. The hammer by spring action
falls back to its original position thereby firing the cartridge
placed in the chamber. To check that it does not fire accidentally,
the gun is loaded slowly (as slow as possible) to see if both
the sears load simultaneously. Each sear will load with a
click sound. Both the sounds should be simultaneous. If a
person suddenly closes the gun after placing the cartridges
in both the barrels when only one click sound is heard, then
there is a possibility that it may fire the moment the gun
is closed. This is because only one sear has engaged the trigger
where as the other sear is free and on suddenly closing the
gun the sear which has not engaged the trigger falls back
in its place thereby firing the cartridge. Also the sounds
should be loud and clear which shows that the sears have engaged
firmly. If the sound is feeble and muffled it means the trigger
has not engaged properly and the gun may discharge on minor
5. WHAT IS A PATTERN OF A GUN
distribution and spread, around a targeted region, of pellets
from a shotgun is called its pattern. Generally, the patterning
of a gun is measured in an area of 30 square inches because
the shooter is expected to hit the target in this area. The
patterning of a gun at 30, 35, 40, 45 meters etc. is represented
by the percentage of shots hitting at a target of 30 square
above table shows the percent of total pellets in the thirty-inch
circle for four different choke borings of barrels at the
6. WHAT IS THE RANGE OF A GUN
As a layman when we say “range
of a gun”, we mean that the effective distance at which the
gun hits a target. There may be many reasons for not hitting
the target like, 1) The shots have dispersed too much, the
bird being small escapes being hit 2) The shots have not uniformly
distributed, there being clusters of shots in a small area
3) The effective strength of the shots have decreased thereby
not harming the bird.
The specifications of
the cartridges produced by Indian Ordnance factories is that
it propels the lead shots in 16 inches of the barrel, thereafter
the gun powder does not contribute to the thrust of the lead
shots. This is because the major portion of the gunpowder
has already been burnt and its speed becomes less than the
speed of the shots. The shots are further controlled only
by the barrel. In a short barrel they start spreading earlier.
It means that the percentage of pellets hitting a target
with the same type of cartridge with a short barrel
gun will be less than that with the long barrel gun. The penetrating
power of the shots is the same irrespective of whether they
are fired from a short barrel gun or a long barrel gun. This
can be checked by firing two cartridges, one each from a long
barrel and from a short barrel gun at a wooden piece from
the same distance, then, it will be seen that the shots penetrate
equal distance in both the cases. To check whether a particular
gun is suitable for the intended purpose patterning chart
of the particular gun should be asked for. At present no manufacturer
is giving its patterning chart and it is best to test the
gun itself to see its usefulness.
7. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CYLINDER AND A CHOKE
To a layman Choke simply
means that the inner diameter at the muzzle end is less than
the diameter at some point before the muzzle end. Any shotgun
barrel constricted at the muzzle to the extent of .005 inch
may be termed a modified cylinder bore. A full choke may be
reduced to the extent of .030 inch. Some even constrict the
choke more which are found on the cheaper arms. After passing
a certain limit in reduction, the choke always defeats its
main object, by giving irregular patterns; often it reduces
the pattern to such an extent that it does not spread, except
at a certain distance, which often varies. The above diagram
shows how the shots disperse in a choke barrel gun and a cylinder
In a cylinder barrel
gun the shots are widely spaced and there is a fair chance
that the bird may not be hit at greater distance. The figure
below illustrates the three usual forms of' "choke".
The last type of choke is found on cheaper guns and is also
referred to as Swedge or Jug Choke. Many times we come across
barrels which have a perfect taper from chamber to the muzzle
which should never be more than .002 inch in different places
throughout the entire length. Barrels having more taper will
behave very inconsistently. Different Types of Chokes are
seen in Fig. 5.
WHICH GUNS FOR DEFENSE AND WHICH FOR SPORTS
self-defense we mean that we want to scare away a thief, or
hurt him when he attacks. The distance which lead shots travel
or the energy they possess does not change whether it is fired
from a short barrel gun or a long barrel gun but only the
size of the pattern varies. For self-defense we need a gun
which can be handled easily which means that it can be pointed
at the target quickly; concealed easily; and carried easily.
Only a short barrel gun can fulfill all these conditions.
Moreover a person needs to carry a weapon while traveling,
Car is the most popular means of transportation and very often
a weapon needs to be carried in it. A short barrel gun can
be carried easily whereas a long barrel gun whose barrel length
is 32 inches will damage the roof of the car if carried in
an upright position. In the market the shortest barrel length
available is 20 1/2 inches. This also comes in two models
one is in which the butt length is standard 16 inches and
the other is in which the butt length is hardly 4 inches and
is folded downwards like an end of a hockey stick. The drawback
of the hockey stick butt is that it cannot be lifted up to
the shoulders and fired. Due to this proper aim cannot be
taken, but who cares, it is to be-used only for scaring the
criminals away (A new model of Shotgun Butt has come in the
market which can either be folded like a hockey stick or extended
like a full size Butt. Click
here to see it) Choose a gun with maximum barrel length,
which you can easily handle. The length of the barrel will
depend on the height of the shooter, the taller the shooter,
the bigger the gun he can handle.
WHY PRICES VARY FOR SAME BRAND GUNS
are about 30 manufacturers in Jammu and a similar number in
Monghyr (Bihar). The manufacturers in Jammu have individually
installed machines and complete the gun in their own premises
and produce guns of uniform quality. The rates of these guns
will not vary much from dealer to dealer. The manufacturers
of Monghyr are confined to an enclosed premises where all
of them have been allotted space inside an old jail whose
gates are guarded by an official of the State Government.
Many manufacturers do not have sufficient machinery to complete
a gun, these in turn sell their unfinished guns to other manufacturers
who complete these guns in their premises and in turn sell
them in the market. The quality of guns varies from one manufacturer
to another even of the same brand and so does the price.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARTRIDGES
number L.G, B.B, No:1, No:2, No:3…….. No:8, No:9 etc as written
on the cartridges denote the type of lead shots with which
the cartridge is filled with. These lead shots are filled
by weight and the total weight of lead shots whether they
are filled in a L.G, no.1, no.6 or no.8 is the. same which
is 1/12 th of a Pound. The only difference is in the size
of the shots. In an L.G cartridge the total number of shots
is seven or nine, in a B.B the shots are about 70, in no.1
they are about 98, in no.2 cartridge the shots number about
112 and in no.4 they are 148 and so on. As the number written
on the cartridge increases the total count of the lead shots
also increase, because the weight of the shots has to be the
same, so the size of the shots becomes smaller. The bigger
number is used for smaller game and for self defense the smaller
the number the better it is. L.G cartridge has been banned
in India and the only alternative is B.B or no.1 shot for
HOW TO SHOOT STRAIGHT
most important requisites lies in taking aim on the object
at which the person is expected to shoot. Nearly all people
close one eye when shooting. With a shotgun a man will learn
to take aim much sooner by keeping both eyes naturally open
than he will by holding one closed, but it is hard thing for
many people to do. Everyone has a tendency to close the open
eye when one presses the trigger. With both eyes closed the
gun will always deviate from true line of aim. One eye cannot
see the full object, since it gives only two-dimensional view
of the object and to judge the distance correctly, the object
has to be seen with both eyes. When one goes on hunting it
is useful to see through both the eyes because one eye sees
the target through the open sight and the other eye judges
the surroundings. There is less possibility of missing the
target or hitting another fast moving object near the target.
Distance of the target can only measured if both the eyes
are open and corrective measures taken so that the shot always
strikes the target. Many people momentarily close their eyes
just as they are pulling the trigger which most of the time
results in missing the target.
IN WHICH CIRCUMSTANCES CAN A SHOTGUN BE USED
gunner must be aware of his ammunition’s and weapons limitations
as well as the shotgun’s strong points. Refusal to be realistic
about what a shotgun can and cannot do is a quick way to be
killed when the lead starts flying. Shotguns are awkward,
they are long and the large cartridge used by a shotgun contributes
to the overall awkwardness of the weapon. Another important
consideration is the fact that while each shot fired with
a shotgun puts out a large number of pellets, the user cannot
limit the number of pellets put out with any given shot. The
whole lot of shot goes out even if just a few pellets would
do the job. Thus while many shot gunners like to compare the
number of pellets they put into the air to that of a machinegun.
The expanding bullet of a machinegun precisely dumps a large
amount of energy into an opponent is impossible with the shotgun.
This problem becomes greater as the outside ranges of the
shotgun are approached. A shotgun does not give an immobilizing
shot as the pellets penetrate a inch or two inside the body
which if not hit on a vital part does not immobilize the enemy.
The enemy can fire a return shot but ultimately the numerous
lead pellets will spread poison in a few days time and prove
fatal. In case of a rifle shot, which will immobilize the
enemy by delivering all the energy of the bullet, if not hit
on a vital part the enemy will recover from the wound. A man
with the rifle can place single bullets inside a small circle
over several hundred yards. The shotgun can only hit targets
with groups of pellets. Shot gunner should remember that any
time great precision is needed, a shot gunner should be backed
by another shooter with a rifle or even a pistol. The size
of shotgun shells are large to accommodate the numerous pellets
which the weapon fires. Anyone carrying a shotgun in a battle
will have a huge burden of shells to carry. Moreover reloading
the gun is clumsy and time consuming. Therefore, when possible
the shotgun should be used in a manner, which maximizes the
potential of its initial heavy concentration of fire and minimizes
the need of reloading the weapon. If a battle is decided by
who gets the most projectiles off in the shortest period (in
the case of a mob attacks), the shot gunner will usually win.
This often is exactly what is needed in ambush or counter-ambush
situation where a shotgun is an ideal weapon.
If you use a shotgun
in a combat you must realize that an opponent who knows anything
about the shotgun will try to change the battle field conditions
to his advantage. In an extended battle in order to undermine
your use of the shotgun, he may try to stay outside the shotgun’s
range and plink away at you. He may try to get behind cover,
which will stop the low penetration of shotgun pellets. He
may try to extend the time of the battle so that you run out
of ammunition. In combat, you must try to quickly end the
battle at close range by taking advantage of the shotgun’s
strengths, while keeping your opponent from taking the advantage
of your weapons weaknesses.