There was a lull of activity at the workplace. My coworker shared a dream he had, where he was living back in time during the Old West. When a wolf ate his daughter, he gathered a posse to hunt down the beast!
The reason he wanted to relate this example of night time daring-do was because one of the posse members was equipped with a strange shotgun. It consisted of four barrels, all lined up next to one another.
“Oh, you mean like in Phantasm II!” I piped up.
This puzzled my fellow wage slave. “Phantasm two?” He claimed to have never heard of the horror film franchise, let alone seen any of the movies. But when I pulled up a picture of the quad shotgun wielded by one of the protagonists, he clapped me on the shoulder and yelled “THAT’S IT!!”
He might not remember ever seeing or hearing about the horror film that featured the quad shotgun so prominently, but his insistence that the prop is an exact match for his dreamtime weapon indicates that he must have caught a glimpse of it somewhere over the years.
This does lead to the question: Are there actual 4 barrel weapons out there that are intended for serious use, as opposed to novelty items and conversation pieces?
The answer, of course, is that there are!
Below is an example of a Prinz-Vierling rifle. These are expensive, hand crafted weapons intended for rich big game hunters that can afford to go on safari.
One shotgun barrel, one small rifle barrel, and two barrels chambered for a rifle cartridge suitable against large and dangerous game. The actual configuration is the choice of the client.
Okay, so fancy guns none of the rest of us will ever be able to afford are fine and all. Are there any four barrel shotguns within reach of the general public?
Not that I’m aware of, and I think that is fine and dandy.
Each barrel increases the weight of the gun by a significant degree. Double barrel shotguns are popular because they have a simple and extremely robust action, which increases reliability. The extra barrel means an extra shot is immediately available in case the first round is ill-aimed.
If any more rounds past the second are required, then one is well advised to get a repeater of some kind. This means autoloader or pump action.
Any extra barrels beyond two results in a case of steeply diminishing returns. All that metal and weight being added to the gun, all for single extra shot?
Anyway, I’ve always gravitated towards repeaters myself. Double barreled guns are nice and all, but I prefer firepower over tradition.
The diagonal ends on the barrels as shown in the photo of the guy in the desert would have a very bad effect on the shot patterns from the barrels.
Interesting little article James. And an interesting rifle, though after a certain point I wonder if you are just paying for the sake of paying rather than any actual increase in quality. Though it would be kinda cool to own one, and very nice to be able to afford one.
But on the subject of four barrelled shotguns, if you get a chance, check out the New Zealand movie ‘Utu.’ It’s set during the Maori wars and while it’s been awhile, I do recall it as a good movie.
And also, while offering 25% less firepower, there is: http://www.chiappafirearms.com/products/135
Wait after the failure of Phantasm, they made a two, really? REALLY? thats just wrong.