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8 bore / big bore wildfowling


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Looking for general advice if possible please?
 

I’ve got a terrible craving for a double 8 but it’s almost a whole different league in itself. I was wondering if folk could talk me through a few bits and pieces if possible?

Is there anyone that can independently assess these guns and give a valuation separately from the shop or private seller? There seems to be fair fluctuations between the 5k mark and double figures.

What shot are people generally putting  through their guns. Assuming no lead. Bismuth?

General reloading gear required? Is there any alternatives to brass cases? I’ve heard these are about £30 a case? Not that that’s much compared to the cost of the gun but just to get an idea.
 
Chamber size. A lot seem to be 3 1/4. Is there any ‘pros/cons’ as far as chamber size goes? I take it some of the singles are just a larger chamber to throw up 3 0Z? General shot charge and range would also be interesting,(user abilities depending obviously).
 
Are they still holding their value? I know for ages they were probably looked at as an investment but a lot of people seem to be going the opposite way and shooting 28 gauge / TSS these days.
 
Any feedback on them otherwise pros or cons would be interesting!
 
 
Cheers!
Edited by wildfowler.250
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I wouldn't buy  anything these days unless the barrel wall thickness was done , and the choke measured .

I know folk have all the equipment to do this job, who regularly still buy big fowling guns .

I've seen a few  half decent ones lately still with plenty of choke at 5k .

You will find alot are on their second stocks as well, and a fair few face off the action !

Anything decent still does still command good money, I would buy a half decent one you can use regular, and not worry to much about getting it dirty 

Check out Giles Marriott gun shop they are selling off a collector's stash of guns , I've had mates look at some of these and they are not worth the money and pretty much wall hangers. 

Pretty basic tools required for reloading , brass cases are originally for black powder , so any Winchester or Remy kiln cases will do , clay and game sell nearly all you need for components .

If you like your fowling you will find having a big gun another branch of the hobby ! Sourcing all the loading gear and making your shells is interesting , as far as an investment I wouldn't get hung up on that, they are not worth the money like they was 10 year ago .

 

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A lot of questions but will cover each as follows as I use an 8 from time to time.

Assessment by an independent gunsmith who knows these guns. Mine was assessed in Brum but that was over twenty years ago. You don’t say where you are so difficult to advise

i use ITM but difficult to find so yes bismuth is the alternative.

You can use Remington plastic cases, I do but they need resizing.

Standard chamber is 3.25” and that will take the above plastic case. I can’t see the point in using longer chambers. You are just cramming more shot in. If you can’t kill with a couple of ounces of ITM or Bismuth there is no hope.

Big bore guns are not holding their value as they did and some good guns to be had at half sensible prices. Depends if you want a showpiece or sound working gun!

They are a great gun to use on foreshore geese which is what they were built for. In truth i shoot most geese with a modern 10 or 12 but there is something magical about killing with this.

21977871-C2AC-496C-BEFC-2604F9868A0F.jpeg

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I think Dave has covered this well ... 

ITM can be picked up and stripped from loaded shells if you keep your eye on auctions etc. Often works out a bargain when you consider cost/kilo.

For me, it's not about having the most efficient and far reaching weapon in your arsenal ... far more about looking after that bit of history.

I'd keep talking to folks as often the best deals on buying an 8 are through acquaintances as retail prices can be high.

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1 hour ago, ClemFandango said:

There's not much to gain from an eight bore over a modern 10 bore in terms of effectiveness with Non-lead ammunition. 

Unless you are also looking for the nostalgia you might find it is easier to go down that route? 

Killing power of modern 10 or 12 with big steel shot is beyond doubt but if, as you put it, you want nostalgia you can’t beat using an eight as our predecessors did.

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1 hour ago, Dave at kelton said:

Killing power of modern 10 or 12 with big steel shot is beyond doubt but if, as you put it, you want nostalgia you can’t beat using an eight as our predecessors did.

Yeah of course. I can definitely see the appeal. 

 

I guess it depends on the OP's motives.

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yes i totaly agree with the other comments off other fowlers they have said big bores to much money at prescent  few years ago makeing good money  marriots guns need a big reduction in price where will these guns be price wise once the lead is finished with  sp10 remmington excellant  look at 12 bore purdeys hollands etc hard work to sell all down to lead ban looming price off bismouth not cheap

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48 minutes ago, Peterr said:

yes i totaly agree with the other comments off other fowlers they have said big bores to much money at prescent  few years ago makeing good money  marriots guns need a big reduction in price where will these guns be price wise once the lead is finished with  sp10 remmington excellant  look at 12 bore purdeys hollands etc hard work to sell all down to lead ban looming price off bismouth not cheap

Good quality guns by top makers are still holding their prices and the lead shot issue is not having an impact. You only have to follow Holts auctions to see that. The issues with big bores are unrelated in my view. There was one very prolific purchaser who is out of the market and there is the issue of fashion as well. The fad at present is around tss. 

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33 minutes ago, Dave at kelton said:

Good quality guns by top makers are still holding their prices and the lead shot issue is not having an impact. You only have to follow Holts auctions to see that. The issues with big bores are unrelated in my view. There was one very prolific purchaser who is out of the market and there is the issue of fashion as well. The fad at present is around tss. 

It should also be noted that good SP10's are far from cheap now !!

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I have considered getting one for last 5 years but decided against it.  My main issue was if i only use it once in a while, how good a shot will i be with it?  

however I do have a friend that has offered to make an adaptor so that you can shoot 12 bore carts so that you could practice on the clays

 

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It's like scratching an itch , you want one buy an 8b , get used to that buy a 4b , get bored of carrying that round , sell the lot go back to a camo auto !

I've had em and sold them , if I see anything decent again cheap I would certainly not walk past it . 

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22 hours ago, ClemFandango said:

There's not much to gain from an eight bore over a modern 10 bore in terms of effectiveness with Non-lead ammunition. 

Unless you are also looking for the nostalgia you might find it is easier to go down that route? 

I would go further than that and say a 12 with the newer shot types will easily out shoot an 8 with lead or bismuth.

I would only consider an 8 for a bit of history etc. For me, other than that, it isn't really worth it.

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Cheers gents, it’s purely the nostalgia of an old hammer gun that I’m after but may not be worth the hassle. Can any gunsmith measure the wall thickness? Is this to make sure it’s not a bored out 10?

The prices seem to be coming down a bit. Are they generally depreciating or plateaued?

 

 

Thanks for all the feedback and pictures!

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36 minutes ago, wildfowler.250 said:

Cheers gents, it’s purely the nostalgia of an old hammer gun that I’m after but may not be worth the hassle. Can any gunsmith measure the wall thickness? Is this to make sure it’s not a bored out 10?

The prices seem to be coming down a bit. Are they generally depreciating or plateaued?

 

 

Thanks for all the feedback and pictures!

I've got a chap here will do it for you, he has all the tools for the job 🤙 barrel wall thickness and choke 🤙 I'm just up the road from you . 

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  • 2 weeks later...

my big  Enos James 8 bore has 34 inch barrels an weighs in at 13.5 lbs. It was in very poor shape and I got it for next to nothing.  I had to make a top  lever spring and the barrels were poorly soldered so I sent them for a strip and relay. I also made a part for the fore end deeley latch. in the states nothing over a 10 bore is allowed to wildfowl. the only game shooting in some areas are wild turkeys and private tower shoots. my 8 has almost no choke. As far as killing birds a 12 bore with a choked barrel will take game further away.   The enjoyment of firing almost 2 oz of shot from this black powder proofed gun is still wonderfully satisfying. on the trap field its still effective. I don't know why its got two barrels you can't see for a follow up shot unless there is a strong crosswind. what with the impressive cloud of black powder smoke. not a very practical gun but one of my favorites.

Edited by simcgunner
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9 hours ago, dodgy dave said:

any pics

the eight is on the end. group of wildfowl guns. 34 in. 8bore , 32 in. Ithaca magnum 10-3.5 in.   Ithaca super10,  Ithaca ,10. 2  9/16chamber,  fleus model ,  AHFoxwildfowl 12 GA 3in magnum, Winchester model1901. Winchester model21 duck 12 GA  3 in

dguns.jpg

Edited by simcgunner
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44 minutes ago, simcgunner said:

the eight is on the end. group of wildfowl guns. 34 in 8bore , 32 in Ithaca 103.5 in magnum,  Ithaca super Ithaca ,10. 2 9/16chamber, Ithaca 10 GA fleus model , AHFoxwildfowl 12 GA 3in magnum, Winchester model1901. Winchester model21 duck 12 GA  3 in.

dguns.jpg

Lovely collection of guns 👍👍👍

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  • 1 month later...

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