Kick the conventions

Re­gard­less of the gun’s brand, all con­ven­tional breakac­tion guns have cer­tain sim­i­lar­ites. How­ever, has any­one dared to cre­ate a gun that doesn’t fol­low to con­ven­tion?


e all know what a con­ven­tional breakac­tion side-by-side or over-and-un­der looks like, don’t we? It doesn’t mat­ter whether the gun is a Baikal or a Lon­don-best Boss, there are cer­tain sim­i­lar­i­ties which we ex­pect to find, what­ever the gun’s worth.

So, has any­one dared to kick the conventions and ap­ply some in­de­pen­dent think­ing on how a gun should be de­signed? Of course they have, and the first gun­maker that springs to mind is

Regis Darne. Need­less to say for a man

Wwhose in­ven­tion was thought of as cranky by some and a work of ge­nius by oth­ers, he was French. Also need­less to say, he founded his com­pany in the French cap­i­tal of gun­mak­ing, Saint Eti­enne.

Strange logic

When­ever I think of Darne’s side-by-side shot­gun, I also think of the Citroen DS19 of the 1950s – an in­cred­i­bly cranky car to drive, but also one de­signed with a strange kind of logic which set it apart from any­thing else in the world at the time.

The in­cred­i­ble thing about Darne’s shot­gun is that, although on a ca­sual glance, it looks as if it ought to break for load­ing and the re­moval of spent car­tridge cases, it doesn’t. In­stead, when you pull back on two ear-like pro­jec­tions lo­cated where the top lever is nor­mally found, the breech block un­locks it­self from

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