The Gun Room

The gun is a W&C Scott Monte Carlo ‘B’.

Just to show the all-around sporting nature of the good major, he also wrote a book on fly tying, another on hunting big game in the Himalayas, and a third on sporting rifles.

In the Gun Room was first published in 1930, then revised and reprinted in 1951, so it’s from a quite different era than Innes Shand.  But I would not be without either one.

Many of my acquaintances have gun rooms.  They seem to be the province of shotgunners more than riflemen or big-game hunters, but then shotgunners are generally more romantic in their outlook.  And fine shotguns beg to be displayed, where rifles do not.  Personally, I think of a gun room as a reading room, as much as a place to store guns.  Not having a gun room in the sense of Innes Shand, I often pick out an appropriate rifle or shotgun—or even a duelling pistol—and place it where I can rest my eyes on it, looking up from a book.

This habit has caused a few raised eyebrows—Why do you have THAT out…?—but so what?  It’s the best I can do, for now.

I haven’t smoked tobacco of any kind for more than 40 years (although I still love the smell of a pipe, and a good (!) cigar, and even cigarette smoke on a crisp autumn breeze) and have eschewed alcohol for 25.  But I would include a thermidor in my gun room, and have a decanter of single malt and a bottle or two of cognac, if for no other reason than maintaining standards of civilization.

A gentleman could do no less.

Gray’s shooting editor would not, under any circumstances, have a television in his gun room, or even on the same floor of the house.  There would, however, be classical music drifting throughout.  Yes, he is an unrepentant Elitist.  With a capital ‘E.’