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 Post subject: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:36 pm 
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Not sure this is the best forum--it could better go on the Gun ID one, except that I might do some restoration, depending on what I hear from other, learned members; and I apologize for the size of the photos--I will remove them, once I get what answers can be had.
Same fellow that gave me the Remington Model 58 to repair, today presented me with this strange beast! Two 16 gauge barrels on top, about a 30 caliber rifle below; Damascus barrels, I guess; they are 18.5 inches long. A lever under the barrels to open the breech, a smaller lever on top that (I'm guessing) selects rifle or shotgun, somehow. No identifying names; no obvious way to take it apart.
I don't want to start projicking with it, till someone tells me it's not some priceless one-of-a-kind whose value I will destroy if I do so! So: What do I have here?
Beach004

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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:35 pm 
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Hi Beach:

You are looking at what's called a 'drilling'. This is not drilling as in drilling a hole, it's pronounced "dry-ling" and is taken from the German word for the number three, "drei". Below are two links to drillings for sale on GB:

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewIt ... m=22086454

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewIt ... m=22172058

These guns were typically made by German craftsmen; the rifle chambering is most often a European cartridge such as 7x57, 8x57 or 9.3x72. 16Ga is a common shotgun chambering for them.

My advice to you is to leave any restoration or repair work to a professional. These guns can be worth big dough, and are not conventional in the way that most uf us in the US are familiar with. A fine double guy might give it a go, but I sure wouldn't, and I've worked on alot of shotguns.

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Last edited by JWiley on Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:49 pm 
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Whew! Thanks JW. While this gun is not in a class with the two links you found for me--it's got external hammers, and nowhere near as well preserved--I take your point very much to heart. I can figure out (since I wrote above) how to get the forearm off, I think: you push out a clip that runs through it. I only know that because coincidentally about six months ago someone brought me two really beat-up muzzleloaders and that's how they worked; but till I know more, I won't even do that to this gun.
BTW, do you know how one chooses to fire the rifle barrel? It surely has something to do with the lever on top, but I can't see how it would function; which hammer would be diverted to fire it, instead of the shotgun barrel?


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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:40 pm 
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You've got me on that one, Beach. There's another thread on drillings going right now in Gun Opinions:

http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=8724

I'd ask that question of Luv2safari or Quilomene, they're drilling guys and might have a better idea than I. Sorry I ran out of data for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:59 am 
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Apparently you have a Guild Drilling, most likely German or Austrian. It's an early one, probably before 1880. It's a shame about the barrels, because the old gun seems to have a lot of condition. Not likely any great worth with the short barrels. Cheers .. Bushrod


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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:01 am 
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JW,
No, you've been a great help--given I had no idea what this critter was! How do I move this post from here, over to Gun Opinions, where it properly fits?
Beach004


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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:12 am 
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Hmm, I don't know how to move a topic to another Forum, although one of the Moderators could do that, I'm sure. It might be enough to pop over and ask them the question, and direct them back to this thread.

Also, Bushrod is pretty well dialed into gun values, and he has a specific point about the length of the barrels. Is there any evidence that they have been shortened, or does this appear to be an original mfg condition? Look for unusual tool marks in the metal, and color uniformity of the metal to the rest of the bbl surface.

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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:12 am 
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duplicate

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Last edited by JWiley on Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:25 am 
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JW,
I've done as you suggested--just copied the note over to ID, with a link back here. I suspect the barrels have been cut off: It's smooth enough, but there is no front sight, which argues that way. Pity. Guess it will serve as a conversation piece--if the owner even knows how it came into his family.
Thanks for your expertise, all.
Beach004


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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:27 pm 
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JWiley wrote:
Hi Beach:

You are looking at what's called a 'drilling'. This is not drilling as in drilling a hole, it's pronounced "dry-ling" and is taken from the German word for the number three, "drei".


Actually, the word is pronounced just like the English word that means "boring a hole", it is not pronounced "dry-ling" (except in error, which is quite common in the US).

The word is derived from the German word "drei", meaning "three", which is pronounced "dry". However, you should be aware that the Germans are very particular about their spelling and pronunciation - unlike English-speaking peoples, the Germans spell words the way they are pronounced, and pronounce them the way they are spelled. If they wanted the word to be pronounced "dry-ling" they would have spelled it "dreiling". When the spelling is changed to "drilling", the pronunciation changes as well.

The German dipthong "ei" is pronounced as a hard "i", while "ie" is pronounced as a hard "e". An "e" or "i" alone has a softer sound. Thus "drei" is pronounced "dry", but "drilling" cannot be pronounced "dry-ling" because it contains only the single letter "i", not the dipthong "ei".

So, you might well ask why they don't spell and pronounce the word "dreiling", since it is derived from "drei". Probably the same reason we say "triplet" instead of "three-let" - that's exactly what "drilling" means, "triplet".

Thanks to DJM for his explanation of this common question, several years ago on another web site.

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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:53 pm 
As to the selection of the rifle barrel, the top lever does select it. Watch just below right hammer area, and you will see an interrupter move outward, which the right hammer strikes at a different spot on the hammer assembly. This little part that moves out is the striker for the rifle barrel. It also prevents the right shotgun striker from being impacted.

These older hammer drillings don't command high prices like the more modern drillings, but are still wonderful old guns. I hope that you were in error about the barrels being 18.5 inches; they've been hacked off if they are that length, and the gun is now just a curiosity. The usual barrel length for the older hammer drillings is 27.5 to 31 inches. The later hammerless nitro proofed drillings run from 21.5 to 28 inches as a rule.

I wouldn't shoot the gun at all! The twist barrels would probably have eroded soldered joints between the steel rods.

Clean it up as a wall hanger, and enjoy the workmanship.

luv2


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 Post subject: Re: Three barrel shotgun/rifle
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 9:33 am 
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I have now had a good gunsmith take the drilling apart. Pity--the interior of the receiver is pristine; the rifle caliber is 10-72 or some such obsolete black powder load; but the barrels have indeed been whacked off, and I intend to return the gun to its owner, to keep as a wall hanger and conversation piece. Thanks for the expertise.
Beach004




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