Friday, May 11, 2012


In this picture...

... there are 6 guns.  All used on the Chesapeake by watermen to harvest waterfowl for market.  These put money on the table and food in the pocket.  Or vice versa.

The 3 horizontal ones, the one in the middle is the a 12 gauge.  The BIG honking ones are punt guns.  A 'punt' is the smallish rowboat the duck harvester would mount the beast in.  2 inch barrel, and a pound of shot.  The shot may have been made here, at the Baltimore Shot Tower.  If the gun didn't shake your boat apart you'd about swamp it adding 50 dead ducks to it.  You had to muzzle load em like a cannon.  Only thing cooler would be an Italian scooter with a cannon on it.

The 3 vertical pieces are a four barreled contraption, also boat mounted, and 2 double barrel 4 gauge shotguns.  I wonder if you could shoot enough ducks to make enough money to get the doctor to fix your shoulder after firing a 4 gauge?

These hunting methods were frowned upon as they devastated the bird population, and soon they were forbidden, but poachers used them up through the 20th Century.

Sourced from this book, page 228


[What?  I've never had a scanner.  I like playing with it.]

Mike wanted me to see this pic, so he sent it to me


abnormalist said...

and in an odd twist of fate, punt guns are still allowed for use in the UK where you nearly need the blessing of the queen and parliament to get as much as a 22 pistol.

Naval artillery apparently though is just fine

Paladin said...

I was watching Auction Kings the other night and they found a punt gun rolled in carpet in a storage unit they won at auction. Seems someone had made a working replica back in the sixties. Pretty neat even if it wasn't an antique.

They strapped her down to a bench and shot the thing at a piece of plywood covered with shooting clays... pretty cool.

mikelaforge said...

On the Vespa, it is not a cannon, it is a recoiless rifle. I've a better pic somewhere.

Ritchie said...

Hence the term, shoot n' scoot.