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This garniture of six weapons was made by Nicolas-Noël Boutet and presented to (then) General Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797. The reported cost was 1,000 Louis, or roughly 20,000 francs — an immense sum at that time. The set was first put on display in London, at an exhibition in 1816 to celebrate Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo. Most recently, it formed part of the collection of Robert M. Lee. Photo courtesy Rock Island Auction.
The Hand of Bonaparte
When an item sells at auction for more than two million bucks, the air is…
Patterns in the Cloud
For more than a century, the ability to see a shot pattern in the air…
Mannlicher-Schönauer Model 1956, in .257 Roberts, outfitted for accuracy with set triggers and a Schmidt & Bender scope.
SET … MATCH
Anyone who has done any precision shooting at all, from a 1,000-yard rifle match to…
Rarer than hen’s teeth, boxes of factory .256 Winchester Magnum ammunition are collectors’ items. Neat little cartridge, though, huh?
Yet Another Boyhood Dream
Every time I write about finally acquiring something I first desired a half-century ago, I…
Mark and Dinny, with the dogs: Fiagia, the red-and-white, Harry Flashman (rear) and the puppy, Arthur. All being de-burred.
One of our number, arriving in Platte, South Dakota, the day before we were to…
There are few better books for travelling than Gene Hill. Wieland has forgiven him for having his James Woodward fitted with choke tubes. The gun is a Purdey, circa 1880.
Wingshooters are truly blessed in that we have at our fingertips a wealth of literature.…
A top-quality rook rifle from Joseph Harkom, one of Edinburgh’s finest makers (later absorbed by Dickson’s). In all likelihood, it was made by W&C Scott to a design by Holland & Holland and (perhaps) finished at Harkom’s shop at 30 George Street. It’s chambered for the .300 Rook.
A “rook,” as in “rook & rabbit” rifle, is a black bird, found in England,…
The author in his element. The rifle is a Snider-Enfield.
Learning the Ropes
When I was but a boy, when dragons roamed the Earth amid smoky tendrils from…
The Malin Hoax Revisited
The name “Frank E. Malin” means little to anyone these days. In fact, it never…
A good day in North Dakota in 2012. At least, Leon looks content, and the Charles Lancaster did its job well. North and South Dakota are proud of their pheasant populations — but the future looks grim.
History Explains Everything
It appears this will be yet another mediocre pheasant year in South Dakota, which means…
This J. Braddell & Son combination gun from the 1870s is a marvel of good taste and a testament to the skill of the anonymous Birmingham craftsmen who created it.
Ruminations of a Scroll Guy
Would that I had a dollar for every time someone has picked up a gun…
H.J. Hussey pigeon gun from around 1912, restocked in 2008. H.J. himself was a noted pigeon shooter, gambler, and all-around rogue, but his “best” guns were truly best.
Understanding Pigeon Guns
As a teenager, poring longingly over the Browning catalogue, I was puzzled. Why, I wondered,…
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