By Steve Thornhill.
The percussion double was advertised on Gunsamerica.com as a 28 gauge. Small bore percussion doubles are rare in any gauge, I was interested. Further correspondence with the seller stirred my interest even more; he really wasn’t certain what the gauge was but that it compared favorably with a 28 gauge he had, maybe a little smaller. At the word smaller I knew I was hooked!
The gun arrived and after inspection of the Belgium proof marks, I determined that with a bore diameter of 12.8mm (stamped on the underside of the barrels and confirmed through careful measurement) the gun is a true 36 gauge. Since .410’s are often referred to as 36 gauge guns I figured that a picture of the guns muzzle next to the muzzle of a .410 double would be of interest to those perusing this website, so here it is:
My 36 gauge muzzle loader is on the left; my .410 is on the right. Both guns have no chokes. Please excuse the condition of the two guns bores; I’m afraid the left needs a polishing and the right needs to have lead build up removed.
For the curious, here is a picture of the guns side by side with the 36 gauge on top and the .410 on the bottom.
With no apparent makers name, both are “guild guns” though, based on proof marks, the top 36 gauge gun is Belgium and the bottom .410 gun is British.