By Mike Yardley of The Field
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Testing the Darne Damon Petrick 20-bore
The most unusual feature of this gun is the sliding top cover action. This cover-cum-bolt moves over the rear 1⁄8in or so of the barrels and bears against the barrel shoulders which are machined into the monobloc. The system is seen in the Remington 32 and 3200 and the Krieghoff, not to mention the Manufrance Falcon(long since discontinued). Miroku has also made a sliding top cover gun (Model 3000),as has Valmet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this design in concept; on the contrary, it is exceptionally strong and wears in with use. What I have yet to establish is whether or not Remington, which was much applauded for its Model 32 in the Thirties, got the design from France.
I took this gun to the partridge stands at West London with little idea of what it would be like to use. When I broke the first incoming clay thrown over a bank I was pleasantly surprised. The Damon Petrick Darne continued to impress. It not only shot well, it shot and felt like the handmade gun it was. Felt recoil was not excessive. It shot instinctively - the better the gun, the less effort one needs to put into the process of shooting. There was none of the hollowness and vibration that one gets in many machine-made guns with stock bolts. Even with tightish chokes, few if any targets escaped it. Practically, I liked the form and the crisp pulls on the double triggers; the ejectors were strong, and the prominent "button" on the top strap safety was ergonomically efficient (though in action less than positive).
Overall, the gun scored highly. Its fundamental form was sound and the mechanical design clever and well executed. As an advertisement for the work of the Atelier Bruchet it succeeded admirably. Bruchet will make you over-and-under or side-by-side, shotgun or rifle, the old-fashioned way to any specification you might desire (with delivery from about six months).
Darne Damon Petrick gun review
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