I love reading Sporting Gun and have been shooting from a young age. I’m
Dutch, but used to live in Germany where I also started my sporting career. At the moment we are moving to Scotland after working as a gamekeeper/estate manager in the Netherlands near the German border for 16 years.
Your article on drillings is not entirely correct. Drilling is the German word for triple. In this case it means three barrels. These could be anything from two shotgun barrels and one rifle barrel to three different barrels.
A drilling is a typical German gamekeepers gun – not an elegant game gun, but more a versatile multi-tool. Since most German keepers deal with anything from wild boar, roe, fox, badger and all kinds of flying game and vermin they often need a gun that suits these situations.
There are – as I mentioned earlier – a lot of different combinations in drillings, but the most I have seen being used is the “standard” two 16-bore shotgun barrels on top of a 7x65r rifle barrel, for example. One of the shotgun barrels is often inserted with a .22 cal rifle barrel (22lr.,22hornet). This setup covers all German hunting laws concerning minimal calibres for game. Although you can use them without a rifle scope most of these do have one mounted, making it even more heavy, but since these guns are mostly used from a high-seat this is of no great concern for the Jagdaufseher or Förster ,who is most likely to use it.
As said, it is more of a Swiss Army knife type gun and not meant to be elegant. Given the right situation these are great guns, but you don’t see them on German “small game” shoots because they are just too heavy.
If you have any questions on subjects like these I am more than happy to give you a helping hand.
Rody R Wigmans, Hawick, via email
Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike George George George George George George says: says: says: says: says: says: There is obviously a difference in the meaning of the term “drilling” between English and several different languages in Europe. In Britain the term is used to describe any combination gun with two barrels or more, one of which is a rifle barrel. However, my German-English dictionary tells me that “drilling” means “triplet”, so Rody is correct. Go to https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combination_gun for a good description, with diagrams, and the correct terms to describe combination guns with two, three and four barrels.