Advice on a golden oldie
Q I have a Greener box lock non-ejector Empire model Live Pigeon 12-bore, which was made, I believe, in the mid 1950s. It’s in very good condition. Since my main shooting now is the odd local day on pigeons or clays, and, in the season, wildfowl over ponds, could I have it bored out to ¼ and ½ choke so I could use steel shot, and could you advise as to what it could cost?
A DIGGORY HADOKE replies: The Greener Empire was a solid and simple design. It was intended to see hard use by farmers and outdoor types all over the world. You can bore out the chokes, but to use steel shot with confidence you really need a gun proof-tested for steel shot, and bearing the correct steel shot proof marks. You’d be best advised to talk this through with a gunmaker or consult the Birmingham Proof House for the gun’s suitability to proof for steel shot. I would think that if it remains in largely original condition, the action and barrels should be strong enough to be converted for use with steel.