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Gordon R

Darne sliding breech

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Posted (edited)

Saw one of these this morning at Rishton GC. When the action was closed, it wasn't easy to see the joint, so good was the engineering. Very impressive.

French-DARNE-Shotguns-with-Sliding-Breech-Block-10-660x370.jpg

Edited by Gordon R

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excellent engineering...............there was a thread recently on this type of gun..............not easy to load quickly.......

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That's so pretty I've just fallen in love with it.

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Posted (edited)

That is a model v21.  I think it a Matthew Brown (Losgi) photo?

darne 4.JPG

darne 1.JPG

Edited by JohnfromUK

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Posted (edited)

As said, lovely engineering and ‘supposed’ to have little recoil due to the negligeable space between the breech face and cartridge head. However, they are very light so recoil can be an issue. Nice to shoot with light cartridges but reloading can take some getting used to. They are still made by Bruchet Darne but are very expensive. S/H ones go very reasonably as they are not too popular this side of the channel.

OB

Edited by Old Boggy

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Chap I was talking to about these said that he wouldn’t want to have a breech that moved a matter of inches from his face. He hadn’t heard of any accidents, but even so... 

 

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They are in fact extremely strong and pass French 'triple proof' (every gun as far as I know).  In fact it is little different to a bolt action.  I feel 100% safe with mine, but it does kick (mainly because they are very light).

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No wonder the design never lasted. Looks very complicated. 

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Posted (edited)

Never lasted?  I think they started about 1893 (the company was founded by Regis Darne in 1881), and are still in production today!   http://www.fusildarne.com/models-gun-rifle-juxtaposed-express?model=2-fusil-juxtapose&lang=en   Been around longer than all current o/u designs.

There are "pro's and con's";

Pro: Light, strong, very fast handling, elegant to look at, beautifully made in the better grades.

Con: Slow to reload, very expensive new, difficult to fit, trigger pulls can be heavy and difficult to adjust, handling takes some getting used to.

Edited by JohnfromUK

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Not sure why these are viewed as difficult to reload. Lift the top lever, pull the breach back, fired cases drop off at the sides and you insert fresh cartridges into the chambers. I don't find mine awkward to use at all.

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1 minute ago, Sako7mm said:

Not sure why these are viewed as difficult to reload. Lift the top lever, pull the breach back, fired cases drop off at the sides and you insert fresh cartridges into the chambers. I don't find mine awkward to use at all.

The one pictured in the thread (all the pictures are the same gun) is mine.  It isn't exactly difficult to reload ........ but it is quite slow - and it is possible to get pinched (and very painfully!).

I like mine for its fine engineering, elegant looks and just being an unusual item.

For me, it is much slower to use than a 'conventional' gun such as a s/s AyA or English gun.

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Had mine for 25 years or more and never been 'pinched' by it yet. Maybe that'll prove to be famous last words, but what are you pinching?! With one hand around the barrels/foreend and the other on the top lever I'm struggling to see what's loose to get nipped unless you're shooting naked! 

Nice gun, by the way, John. Mine is also a Plume, but a lower grade than yours. 

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1 minute ago, Sako7mm said:

Had mine for 25 years or more and never been 'pinched' by it yet. Maybe that'll prove to be famous last words, but what are you pinching?

I've had mine longer than that I think!  As far as I can remember I bought it early 1980s, 2nd hand and a little 'sorry for itself' for very little money.  It can pinch your hands when closing.  As you push the lever down the final fraction of an inch it is possible for it to 'nip' you.  I can't remember exactly how it happened - (it was when I first had it) - but it drew blood.  I have heard similar from another owner.

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10 minutes ago, Sako7mm said:

Nice gun, by the way, John

Thanks; It was a bit sorry for itself when I acquired it.  The stock had been shortened and a horrible rubber recoil pad (cheap Silvers lookalike) fitted which had perished and gone all 'sticky', the wood was dented, and the barrels dented.

I had it fully tidied, stock extended in well matched wood, barrels fully straightened out and re-blacked - done by William Powell many years ago when still in Carrs Lane in Birmingham and run by the Powell brothers.  I think I paid more for the work than I did for the gun!

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24 minutes ago, Sako7mm said:

Mine is also a Plume, but a lower grade than yours.

Model identification is available here http://doublegunshop.com/darne.htm

You have to take this with a bit of care as the idea stated that the V series has user adjustable trigger pressure and articulated triggers is not (as far as mine is concerned anyway) correct.

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1 hour ago, JohnfromUK said:

Never lasted?  I think they started about 1893 (the company was founded by Regis Darne in 1881), and are still in production today!   http://www.fusildarne.com/models-gun-rifle-juxtaposed-express?model=2-fusil-juxtapose&lang=en   Been around longer than all current o/u designs.

There are "pro's and con's";

Pro: Light, strong, very fast handling, elegant to look at, beautifully made in the better grades.

Con: Slow to reload, very expensive new, difficult to fit, trigger pulls can be heavy and difficult to adjust, handling takes some getting used to.

Sorry I should have stated never caught on. Not mainstream.  Due to being to costly and complicated, also slow to reload.

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Friend of mine had one similar years ago, it was a single barrel, I don't think it could have been a genuine darne so there must have been copycats. Much more basic finish and it was 16 bore. I think he bought it second hand from Elderkins (?) in Scotland mail order.

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3 hours ago, JohnfromUK said:

Model identification is available here http://doublegunshop.com/darne.htm

You have to take this with a bit of care as the idea stated that the V series has user adjustable trigger pressure and articulated triggers is not (as far as mine is concerned anyway) correct.

I agree that some of the information about them online is incorrect. However, I have acquired quite a bit of original advertising material over the years so am better informed than most about them, I suppose. 

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8 hours ago, figgy said:

Sorry I should have stated never caught on. Not mainstream.  Due to being to costly and complicated, also slow to reload.

It's interesting; you see so few about, it is natural to think that Darne were a short term small production thing - but that is not the case.  France (naturally) has quite a loyal following, often in 16 bore, and I believe that in Ireland it is also more popular.  The USA also has a small but active following - often in smaller gauges.

I don't think complication is an issue, but cost (new) certainly is - even lower grades are expensive new.  Best grades (V series) are very pricey, - I don't know a current price, but some years ago they were well over £20K.  Used guns can be very low compared to new (in the UK) as there is no demand.

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On 18 July 2019 at 19:57, JohnfromUK said:

Never lasted?  I think they started about 1893 (the company was founded by Regis Darne in 1881), and are still in production today!   http://www.fusildarne.com/models-gun-rifle-juxtaposed-express?model=2-fusil-juxtapose&lang=en   Been around longer than all current o/u designs.

There are "pro's and con's";

Pro: Light, strong, very fast handling, elegant to look at, beautifully made in the better grades.

Con: Slow to reload, very expensive new, difficult to fit, trigger pulls can be heavy and difficult to adjust, handling takes some getting used to.

The difficulty in fitting, i.e. casting the stock over, is due to the fact that they have a long stock 'screw' not bolt, which goes from breech and screws back into the wood of the stock. Whilst it is a pretty rigid design, it does make casting 'on' or 'off' impossible. Therefore I understand that casting of the stock has to be requested at the manufacturing stage. 

I can concur with John that trigger pulls can be on the heavy side and difficult to adjust. Having said that, the one that I've used on occasion, was pleasant to shoot with lighter loads.

OB

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

The difficulty in fitting, i.e. casting the stock over, is due to the fact that they have a long stock 'screw' not bolt, which goes from breech and screws back into the wood of the stock.

The attached photo illustrates another 'difficulty' in the fitting;  What is shown is two s/s guns with their stocks against the skirting board.  The guns have effectively the same stock length, as shown by the triggers being aligned (I have put a piece of paracord UNDER the guns where the front triggers are to show this).  I have put a second piece of paracord OVER the guns in line with the breech on the English sidelock.  The breech on the Darne is a full inch+ closer to the eye.  This makes the gun feel very short compared to what it measures.

bpQuyI1LQZ+Y249V+IsCrw_thumb_5cc.jpg

Edited by JohnfromUK

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I have owned one, but NOT for long. Trigger pulls awful and a repair costing over £300 determined it's fate  ! 

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Apart from the novelty of them I cannot see the point of re-inventing the wheel.

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I think that the appeal of them for the French, who predominantly shoot, or shot walking up, so the lightness of the gun being an advantage and the slowness of reloading was not a real problem.

Still good to own something of an aberration I think, if not just as a talking point.

OB

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