What have we here?
Q I have recently purchased an old side-byside gun and I would like to find out some more about it. I have included a photo [below]. Can you shed some light on it for me? A
DIGGORY HADOKE replies: The photo shows what appears to be an early 20th century Belgian folding .410 shotgun. It has been ‘sawn off’ and the stock reduced and shaped into a pistol. The purpose of making these modifications was to produce a weapon that was easy to hide and effective at close quarters. It was a favourite tool of the bank robber, or if we are being charitable, the gamekeeper for dispatching animals in traps or snares. Whatever the reasons for the historical modifications, the result is that today it falls under Section 5 of the Firearms Act as a ‘Prohibited Weapon’. Possession is a serious offence and could lead to a prison sentence. Hand this in to the nearest police station immediately, or call your Police Firearms Unit to arrange a handover. If you get caught with it you will be in