Happy me­mories

Sporting Shooter - - Readers’ Letters -

I was re­ally in­ter­ested in Dig­gory Hadoke’s ‘Lever-cock­ing Langs’ ar­ti­cle (Jan­uary is­sue) as my favourite game gun for many years was a 12g ex­am­ple of this type. Due to ill health I no longer shoot and I parted with my gun last year, but Dig­gory’s ar­ti­cle brought back many happy me­mories.

My 12g ver­sion had slightly dif­fer­ent en­grav­ing but had those heav­ily carved fences that gave the gun such a fine look and had “Lang’s Patent” en­graved on the top strap. I paid £225 for the gun (I be­lieve it was no. 6253 and orig­i­nally one of a pair of guns) back in 1996, but de­spite hav­ing had its bar­rels sleeved for 2.75" ni­tro-proof loads, it still han­dled and bal­anced well.

I was sur­prised that Dig­gory omit­ted to men­tion the quaint safety- and fore-end-se­cur­ing latches, some­thing I’ve never seen on any other vin­tage gun. In­stead of the stan­dard slid­ing safety catch, the Lang had a latch that swung from left to right and was ob­vi­ously a non-au­to­matic safety. The latch that se­cured the fore-end was sim­i­lar and was ini­tially loose, un­til the gun was ser­viced and tight­ened by Chris Tan­ner at Nor­folk Sport­ing Guns. Although I had an ejec­tor gun, I rarely used it, and the Joe Lang be­came my main gun for all types of shoot­ing. De­spite its age and funny ap­pear­ance it shot well, as con­firmed by bet­ter shots than myself who bor­rowed the gun oc­ca­sion­ally.

I was once told that the Lang gun of this type was ac­tu­ally of the Mur­cott ‘mouse­trap’ de­sign, but per­haps Dig­gory could con­firm this. Ei­ther way, I hope the owner of the 16-bores fea­tured in Dig­gory’s ar­ti­cle en­joys us­ing them as much as I did my old Lang gun.

M. Lorne

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