Well last Saturday as a guest at a small syndicte shoot I decided to give my ancient hammer gun an outing. It is nothing fancy a rather plain Army and Navy sidelock with steel barrels and has been in my ownership since 1959 when it cost my the princely sum of £15 and needed 3 old pence spent on a new nipple spring. As far as I can judge by the proof marks the gun is pre 1904 and is proofed for black powder only. It was my main sporting weapon for 35 years, since then a Thomas Wild hammer gun has come and gone , and a new pet lurks in the gun cupboard in the shape of a W.R.Pape boxlock ejector. Which cost a considerable bit more than the Army and Navy gun, the Pape has recently been joined by a rather nice John Dickson round action now being prepared for re-proof.
As I said the hammer gun has not been out for a while and some of the younger shooters could not really get their heads around it and wondered how it cocked and seemed doubtfull if its ballistic performance would match that of their modern OU guns. Well it did direct a shotstream to two rather good hen birds and a further less challenging one, missed entirely two cocks and a hen plus a pigeon or two but it was good to know the old musket could still knock a bird down when pointed in the right direction.