By Country Queries of The Field
Thursday, 04 October 2012
Have safety practices with shotguns changed over the years? I refer to the cover of the June issue of The Field. Her Majesty has a gentleman with a closed shotgun on her right and, it would seem, another behind her. Today when in company it is expected that a shotgun should be kept open thereby indicating it is safe. This cover photograph frightens me. Please tell me I am wrong.
JSMB, by email
have changed over the years and today it is the norm to carry one's shotgun
open on the forearm or in a slip with the muzzles down, so if the
buckle or zip fails the shotgun will not fall out.
Some older sportsmen
still carry their shotguns closed, either under the arm or on the shoulder,
with the trigger guard up and the muzzles skywards.
In this case it
becomes imperative that the shotgun muzzles are pointed in a safe direction.
People who carry shotguns in this way argue that less strain is placed on
From the editor:
"When that photo was taken it was definitely not the case that shotguns were carried broken. That is a modern innovation, and a sensible one. If you were to read Gough Thomas's gunbooks of the late 60s/70s, you will find some discussion of the pro's and con's of carrying shotguns broken or closed. The Old School maintained that the former weakened the shotgun's action. We would not use an image of a contemporary shot carrying his shotgun closed, but this is an historical image used in an historical context, akin to showing a picture of 1960's motorcyclists not wearing helmets or small children in cars without child seats".
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