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Thread: Does anyone here use a combination gun?

  1. #1

    Does anyone here use a combination gun?

    Just recently I've been allowed to take Deer on a pest shooting patch I've had for a year or so. I started off there shooting Squirrels but due to my reliability and I think because I've proven myself trustworthy I've now been told I can take the odd Deer if I want one for my own consumption. The trouble is I have to do one job or the other. I want to stalk (obviously) but at the same time I want to do the job I'm there for (Squirrels) because I'm very grateful to be allowed to shoot there.

    I go out every other week with the 12 bore and see Deer. Loads of them, every time I go! Then I go out with the rifle and see Squirrels! Always up the bloody tree and there's nothing I can do! I did get one a few weeks back that made the mistake of watching me from the trunk of a vast oak tree. It didn't realise that I considered the trunk to be a suitable backstop and ended up having a rather bad day! Usually though they're in the canopy and I just have to watch them knowing there's no way I can take a shot.

    What I want (I think) is a combination gun. It's eather that or a .444 Marlin which can (don't grill me for this) chamber 2.5" .410 shells! The trouble with the Marlin is that it's rifled and the shot pattern looks like an over sized polo mint. Not an issue with me because my shot is never spot on anyway but still, not ideal. A combi gun would work great. I could put a low powered scope on it and still shoot squizzers with it because they don't move fast. I would then have a barrel for Deer at the same time.

    Simplified, do any of you use a combi in the uk? How do the police view them? What stops you from pulling the wrong trigger?

  2. #2
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    I had the same problem you did about twenty years ago! I had a German 16 bore over .22LR combination gun. Orginally something like 7mm or 8mm the rifle barrel had been lined to .22LR. The bonus was that it RETAINED its claw mounted 'scope!

    It was deadly accurate on squirrels with the .22Lr and magpies and crows that were sitting. The truth was that in reality I never used the 16 bore capability AT ALL except for blasting dreys.

    You won't either as again the "bullet" option is cheaper, less noisy, more comfortable on the shoulder.

    Combinations guns work well on the continent where a "mixed day" is just that. Feathered and cloven game. In the UK? I think that they are pretty pointless. And one with a decent 'scope in a legal deer calibre will be expensive...and effectively useless on the squirrels giving you the possibility of a real thump in the eye if are not careful too.

    I'll be crucified for this by some...but...

    Are these deer at SHORT RANGE and causing damage? Then use the advantage of the "occupier" provisions of the Deer Act and acquire authority for 12 bore slug and get a good American single barrel 12 bore that you can practice with using the slug to be able to place any round within a 2" of where you aim it (a 4" circle) at up to seventy-five yards.

    There was a lot to recommend the Mossberg 500 Slugster. And it was available with a UK legal 24.50" barrel.

  3. #3
    I do - got a Ferlach made 7x65R under 16 bore and really pleased with it. See a number of earlier topics / post on combination guns. They tend to be pretty accurate as a rifle and not bad as a shotgun. Both Jagare and Howa243 also use them.

    A number were sold to day at the Holts auction ( and prices didn't seem that high for what you get. Certainly I only paid the price of a good 2nd hand Sako for mine - and it was handbuilt in Ferlach by Joseph Hambrush and came complete with 6x42 Zeiss scope in claw mounts.

    The only slight issue is that rimmed ammo can be a bit hard to find, but now have the dies for it and some empty cases will be rolling my own.

  4. #4
    And as regards pulling the wrong trigger - has never occured to me - simple - treat it purely as a rifle and always make certain of your backstop. I also only load the rifel barrel when a rifle shot is imminent -- and you can do so very much more quietly than with a bolt action.

  5. #5
    Some good replies chaps, thanks for your opinions.

    The slugs for Deer thing did cross my mind, but I'm not sure I like it. I'm a bit of a traditionalist and I'd rather use a rifle. They can be close range, but sometimes not. A rifle would be better.

    Why would it be pointless here? I can shoot Pheasant, Duck, Partridge, Pigeon, Squirrels etc with the shotgun barrel and Deer with the rifle. Winged and cloven game is exactly what I get to see at this place. It's very informal, no rules to speak of just take what I want when I want. I am having some real trouble deciding what to take out with me so a gun with both options would be perfect.

    Loading the shotgun only would be a good idea I think. I'm sure in time I will know which trigger to pull confidently, but the empty rifle chamber would help. I think I'd feel a bit odd pointing a 7mm at the sky and pulling possibly the wrong trigger. On an island as small and densely populated as ours it's not a mistake that could be made too many times without running out of luck!

    How do you go about asking for one? Do you have to ask for the calibre of rifle and shotgun or just the rifle but state combination?

    I was looking at a Baikal! 500 gets a combi, although it may not be as special as a custom! In fact all the baikals I've seen are pretty rough around the edges!

  6. #6
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    I'm talking of the over under "bochbuscheflinte" here rather than a drilling.

    Because essentially a shot gun is a "weapon of opportunity" so you would need to carry the thing without the 'scope mounted on it AND need a quick second shot. That then means that you are left with using the supplied iron sights (if it has any) on deer.

    There is nothing wrong with that and in fact iron sights are just as accurate as any telescope at ranges up to one hundred yards and will give true shot placement.

    As to carrying the rifle barrel empty that does seem a reasonable idea but the "wrong trigger" problem is usually the OTHER way around in that mostly the shot gun barrel is the FRONT trigger.

    It makes sense to have the RIFLE trigger taken off and either grooved or diamond chequered by a gunsmith and then put back so that you can tell BY TOUCH what you have your finger around!

    So you go for the rifle barrel, pull the front trigger, and get a rather nasty surprise! Either a "click" or a thumping belt in the eye if you taken a low down position to use the fitted 'scope!

    I would check out what CZ offer in combination guns. I tested a .223 over 12 bore some twenty years ago for a review in Shooting Times. It was accurate enough to shoot rabbits at one hundred yards plus with its dedicated 'scope mounts.

    But if you do...have that rifle trigger grooved or diamond chequered!

  7. #7
    I use a .308/12G combi with for deer RTC etc. If you are after a secondhand one, how about a BRNO .243/12G combination for 220? Check this link:

  8. #8
    SD Regular
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    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    That's a real steal! I'd be on the 'phone tomorrow begging to leave a deposit if a combination gun is what you want! And in a decent CHEAP calibre too! Not expensive 7x65R.

    Don't worry about extraction they are built with a "stud" in the extractor that engages the groove in front of the case rim. I had no problem with that with the .223 from the same maker that I reviewed.

  9. #9
    I know of a BRNO in 7x57 and 12 bore thats for sale with plenty of ammo.

    Having used mine for a bit the Pros are:

    1) Lightweight, compact and breaks down as a nice travelling gun - I fit mine into a small leg of mutton soft case and is very discreet

    2) Accurate in the rifle barrel - 1 inch group at 100 yds

    3) Handles well as a shotgun - scope is there for sitting shots, but in preference I think having a low powered zoom - 1.5 to 6 is the way to go. I just have a fixed 6 power. Shot is very useful for close range vermin. As a travelling gun you don't need to drag along a shotgun - you already have one. I can think of several times in the past when a blank stalk could have returned with a duck / phaesant or a grouse if only I had a shotgun with me.

    4) Silent in operation - ie opening closing etc.

    5) With a 26inch rifel barreled it is not very noisy even in 7x65R - and no muzzle flash

    6) The are nice to look at and pleasant to carry


    1) A single shot - not an issue with the rifel side of it as you can reload plenty quick enough for a second shot but a single barreled shotgun can be a bit limited. If you are serious about shotgunning, then go for a drilling (albeit the few that I have handled are a bit cumbersome) or get one where you can have a set of double shotgun barrels as well.

    2) Rifle barrel is thin and heats up and cools down very quickly. Provided the barrel is cool to the touch it is very accurate. On the target a second quick shot will go two to three inches high. In practice I don't see this as a particular issue as I know what it is doing. I will have it sighted to shoot dead on at 100 yds and if taking a quick follow up shot I know to hold slightly low. But it will not be the weapon of choice if you are having to fire several shots very quickly as in hind culling. The latest Blasers, Finclassic etc all have free floating rifle barrels.

    3) Some do have very odd stock shapes with a lot of drop on the comb - most people on the continent I believe shoot with a very head up style rather than cheek scrunched onto the comb. I did look at a Merkel a few years ago that had a very odd stock shape - the comb was too low to even see the open sights - it must have been made for very chubby cheeks.

    4) A lot do have thick cumbersome Horn trigger guards which IMHO look horrible.

    I did seriously have think about a FinnClassic Over and under with an adjustable comb, a set of 3inch chambered, steel shot chambered shotgun barrels and a combo set in 12 / 7x65R and if buying from new then I would have a good look at one of these.

  10. #10
    308rws, thanks for the heads up on that .243. 220 is a real bargain too! I'm really after something a little bigger though. Ideally I'd maybe take it abroad for Boar one day and .243 may not be big enough for that? For what I do at home though it would be perfect.

    Heym, would you mind giving me a PM with the details of this 7x57? Is it the 7x57 or 7x57R? It seems the 7x57R is harder to get hold of, but you can get PPU 7x57. I think the extra mm of bullet would make it a better Boar gun, but it wouldn't be too big for Deer? No matter either way on the rimmed case, I'd want to home load anyway so as long as I can get cases or form them from something else I'll be ok.

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