Do 2 gauge shotguns exist?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

2 gauge shotguns do exist, but they are extremely rare and are considered to be some of the largest and most powerful scatterguns ever created. These massive firearms are commonly referred to as “punt guns” and have a long and fascinating history.

The term “punt gun” originates from the practice of using these guns in the sport of wildfowling, where hunters would mount them on the front of their punts (small boats) and shoot at flocks of waterfowl. Punt guns were primarily used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when market hunting was still legal and there was a high demand for waterfowl meat.

The size of a punt gun is truly impressive. They typically have a bore diameter of 2 inches, hence the name “2 gauge.” To put this into perspective, the bore diameter of a typical 12-gauge shotgun is around 0.73 inches. Punt guns were often over 10 feet in length and weighed upwards of 100 pounds, making them extremely difficult to handle and fire.

The purpose of these mammoth shotguns was to take down large numbers of waterfowl in a single shot. Punt guns were typically loaded with a large amount of shot, often over a pound, and fired using a heavy charge of black powder. The sheer size and power of these guns allowed hunters to effectively target flocks of birds on the water, resulting in the potential for a significant harvest.

However, the use of punt guns eventually led to the decline of wildfowl populations and the practice was eventually outlawed in many regions. The massive firepower of these guns made it too easy to decimate entire flocks of birds, leading to concerns about sustainability and conservation.

Today, punt guns are primarily found in museums or private collections. Their historical significance and unique design make them highly sought after by collectors and gun enthusiasts. Owning a punt gun is a true piece of firearms history and a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the past.

While 2 gauge shotguns in the form of punt guns do exist, they are incredibly rare and were primarily used for wildfowling in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The sheer size and power of these guns allowed hunters to take down large numbers of waterfowl in a single shot, but their use eventually led to concerns about conservation and sustainability. Today, punt guns are prized for their historical significance and are highly sought after by collectors.