QUEST FOR THE MODERN HAMMER GUN
«So, does it exist? Or is it just a hypothetical gun?» asked one reader in reference to the idea discussed in the article titled «Shotgun Design- A Modern Hammer Gun?».
Aswer: well, it does and it does not exist.
For legal reasons it cannot be made in any form that might conceivably go bang. It cannot even be made in any form that might resemble a gun, and thus fall afoul of the replica laws we have in Europe.
On the other hand there is no substitute for a three dimensional structure when it comes to testing ergonomics and mechanical function. So over the years several action bodies have been made from non ordnance materials, like wood, plexiglass and styrene. When this idea first emerged there was no CAD or 3D modelling. Prototypes were built by skilled specialists whose time was scarce and expensive.
An aside regarding styrene and human intelligence. Several times in the past I tried to find a plastic that was easy to work with. The question was put to several model and craft shop owners. «Is there a plastic that can be used for model or prototype construction». Blank stares. Then by accident I bumped into styrene sheets on the Net and ordered some.
Seeking a glue that would bind styrene I showed a sheet to the same model shop proprietors. «Oh yes, styrene glue».
«You told me there was no plastic modelling medium».
«Ah, yes, but this is not plastic, this is styrene. You never said you wanted styrene». Talk about pedants!
Having made the prototype in wood, then styrene and testing the concept, it was time to go high tech. The plans were put into Computer Aided Drafting, the miracle of modern technology. Having had some experience in milling machine use and a good CAD (paradox?) man helped. Pavlos Aliferis is a mechanical engineer and expert CAD designer. He trasferred the plans to CAD, and from them came a 3D model in ABS plus, a hard plastic that despite the garish yellow color is tough and resilient.
Finally, there it was, a precision built original of the Modern Hammer Gun. The lock bits, laser cut from two dimensional plans in another workshop, fit as planned. The concept worked. The hammers cocked, fired, the rebounding system rebounded.
The action is blanked in the photos. Past experiences in dealing with some gunmakers leave me no choice but to hide what is potentially exploitable in a commercial sense. There is a story in these experiences, to be told another time.
What is so special about this shotgun design?
In addition to the inboard hammers it offers a range of choices not available before.
In the hammer gun form it can be formed into a stud opening, side pedal, under lever or even a Horsley thumb opener. This can be done with a simple punch, no other tools, not even a screw driver.
It can be made into a self cocking underlever or side pedal gun, again with no special tools. There is not single screw anywhere. All the action parts are held together with pins. There are no V springs. The simplicity allows any gunsmith anywhere to understand how it works and service and fix it easily.
Simplicity is a virtue only if it is accompanied by adequate manufacturing quality and finish. Usually simple designs are relegated to the level of cheap and nasty finishes. It is another sign of the mental inertia of gunmakers who work to a cost rather than a standard. This is NOT what is planned for this one.
Next step is to find a legal way to make one of thse in steel, properly finished and proofed in Greece. Yes, it can be made elsewhere, but then it would lose some uniqueness. Tackling bureaucracy is the next step.