The punt gun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

punt gun 1
A punt gun is huge! The man has a conventional shotgun in his other hand for comparison.

This report covers:

  • Market hunting
  • What is a punt?
  • What is a punt gun?
  • The nasty part
  • Punt guns in the movies
  • Why the punt gun today?

I’m having some fun today, and I want to invite all of you to have some with me. First of all — what do punt guns have to do with airguns?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

About the only thing I can say is that both things have the word “gun” in their title.

Market hunting

I will step across the politically correct line now and talk about market hunting. Until the 20th century, market hunting was one of the ways the human race survived. Today we go to the grocery store. In 1875 we either raised our own meat or else we bought it from a meat market that, in turn, bought it from either a local rancher or a market hunter.

A market hunter is a person who kills wild game and sells it to others for money. For the program to work there needs to be lots of game and people need to be affluent enough to be able to afford to pay somebody else to provide it to them. There also needs to be no laws in place that limit the amount of game that can be killed.

Before you start preaching to me about how wrong this is, allow me to present a 21st century equivalent. Wild pigs are fast becoming a problem all across the United States and Canada. In the state of Texas they are considered to be a plague by none other than the Smithsonian magazine. They are out of control and breeding faster than hunters and natural attrition can keep up. They destroy crops and valuable ranchland, ruining it for cattle. There are no limits on the numbers of wild Texas pigs that can be harvested (killed) by hunters. They are even hunting them from helicopters to try to keep the numbers in check!

And yet — wild pigs are edible by all those who don’t have religious restrictions that bar them. I have eaten wild pig meat and it tastes as good as any other swine when it is properly prepared. If a hunter were to start selling meat harvested from wild pigs, as long as the proper care was taken and the necessary inspections were done, there would be few objections.

Well — the same held true for wild ducks, geese and, yes, even swans, in the latter 19th century and earlier. These waterfowl abounded with seemingly no end in sight, and market hunting was a common practice. Enter the punt and the punt gun.

What is a punt?

A punt is a small boat that has a very shallow draft. It is moved about by a pole in contact with the bottom of a shallow river or pond. Punts were not intended for recreation initially, though they are often used that way today. Punts were primarily intended for market hunting or market fishing in shallow waters.

sighting punt gun
The punt was a one-man craft with a shallow draft. It was essentially just a mount for the punt gun.

Today, punts are used in many places for sightseeing — similar to the gondolas of Venice. But a century and more in the past they were more for business — the business of getting meat from below and above the surface of the water.

What is a punt gun?

A punt gun is a huge shotgun with a bore that’s nominally 2-inches across, though there are smaller examples that could actually be fired from the shoulder. One of these has a bore as “small” as 0.928-inches, so just over 92 caliber. It weighs only 10.5 lbs. and is a flintlock. I am wondering whether it qualifies as a true punt gun, but it’s certainly on the large side for a fowler! And, no flintlock fowler was ever well-suited for birds on the wing because of the delay in the lock. So, maybe the sellers are right.

Most classic punt guns weight in the neighborhood of 250 lbs. and have a recoil that can crack a wooden boat transom. So, there was padding in the form of straw stuffed between the butt of the gun and the boat.

These monsters fire copious quantities of lead shot for the purposes of harvesting great numbers of waterfowl with a single shot. They are loaded from the muzzle like a cannon and most of them fire by means of a percussion lock. The trigger was pulled by the gunner, but he stayed away from the butt. As I just mentioned it was braced against the stern of the boat. The tremendous recoil would move the punt in reverse when the gun fired.

punt gun 2
“Brother, can you lend a hand?”

Punt guns were made by hand, one at a time, so there are no specifications. Most bores were about two inches across (200 caliber, if you will), but that’s just an approximation. Since they were loaded through the muzzle and since their smoothbore barrels launched shot instead of solid projectiles, the size of the bore wasn’t that critical.

The nasty part

No doubt by now you have figured out how the punt gun was used. The punt was poled or paddled (by both hands over the side of the boat) slowly toward a large flock of waterfowl that were sitting on the water. When the boat was as close as it could come to the flock without spooking them, it was “aimed” by steering the prow of the boat until the muzzle of the gun was pointed in the direction of the greatest concentration of birds. Then the trigger was pulled. A single shot might take as many as 50 birds that the gunner would then gather and take to shore for processing.

This was not a sport. It was hunting for food and it was done on a commercial scale. If you compare it to sporting conduct it appears cruel. But don’t do that because that opens the conversation to modern meat harvesting techniques that are even less sporting than this was.

Punt guns in the movies

One reason most people don’t know about punt guns is they seldom show up in movies. In fact, the only movie I know of that featured one was Tremors 4-The Legend Begins. In the Tremors series, iconic conservative counterculture hero Burt Gummer is a prepper who leans heavily on his firearms, his military experience and his knowledge of apocalyptic household chemistry to survive. In Termors 4 his ancestor, Hiram Gummer, resorts in the late 1800s to a punt gun to kill one of the Graboids (30-foot-long wormlike monsters that live underground).

Why the punt gun today?

We looked at a most unlikely double barreled air shotgun earlier this week. Writing and thinking about that got me thinking about today’s subject and I thought I should share it with you.

I know that many of you know as much as I do about punt guns. But I’m hoping there are some readers who have never heard of them. Today’s blog is for those people and for their wonderment as they read this!

114 thoughts on “The punt gun

  1. B.B.,

    So for all practical purposes the point guns were the resurgence of the olde handgonne. Cannons attached to a stock. Hmm…punt hunting probably also gave rise to the phrase “sitting ducks” which is what the main targets were.

    Siraniko


    • “punt hunting probably also gave rise to the phrase ‘sitting ducks’ which is what the main targets were.”

      Siraniko, as far as I have ever read, that is exactly the case; thank you.



        • Being raised in rural Louisiana, and having a interest in guns from an early age, I remember one of my dads friends had flintlock one on his wall.

          I always wanted to see it fire.
          As a kid, it was HUGE, and I could touch it, and to me, that was the bees knees of guns.

          I have always had a gun bucket list, of things I either got to shoot, or be present to see fired.

          I have pulled the lanyard on a 155mm.
          Been present to see a Seargent York M247 attempt to hit a target.
          Been next to a M1 Abrams fire.
          Seen a 5 inch gun fire.
          Watched many A-10’s fire on practice runs at the Claiborne range.

          And many small arms, up to pulling the trigger on a 20mm solothurn S-18.

          But one that I know will never be fufilled, I would like to have been on deck to see a 16 inch naval gun go off.
          Just to see that much firepower go off at one time..


          • 45Bravo
            If you were ‘On deck” when a 16 incher was fired you might not be here today. Unarmored metal would cave in and your internals would be damaged by the concussion and you may even be burned from the heat of the blast. Think about the spotters near the target watching tanks flying through the air as a round left a 30′ wide and 30’ deep crater.
            Some say it’s more like an explosion when they are fired. All hands inside taking a brace when the third bell goes off.

            I thought it would be nice to be on deck of an aircraft carrier when they fired off a guided missile until I saw them repainting the damaged sponsion area that launched it the next day.


          • 45Bravo,

            It is a shame the Sargent York did not work out. That was a lot of firepower letting loose. Perhaps they should try again with a Phalanx system on an Abrams or a Bradley chassis? That is a lot of stuff going out mighty quick.

            As far as the 16 inch, no you did not want to be on deck. Maybe IN the bridge.



              • 45Bravo
                Just talking about the A10’s firing makes my heart start thumping. I would love to see and hear them firing in person.

                Awesome gun and awesome plane. Oh and I use to make 3 different 30mm rounds for it’s gun back in the 80’s and 90’s.


                • Pre-9/11 a ham radio friend was the meteorologist at the calibourne range out side of England AFB where the A-10’s were stationed prior to the base closing.

                  Another friend worked in the gun shop for the GAU-8.
                  And another was a pilot.

                  I dated a girl in armament so she loaded the munitions.

                  I used to visit the range and would watch them roll in, and line up with the targets, 2 drogue chutes suspended between poles and scored by acoustic microphones.

                  They would fire a burst, and kick a little rudder and shoot the second target.

                  The scoring tower and meteorological shed were half way between the firing line and the targets. But several hundred meters to the side.

                  So you would see a burst of smoke from the gun, hear a freight train of projectiles go by, then hear the muzzle blast.

                  We lived 20 miles from the range and if the wind was right you could hear them shooting.


                  • 45Bravo
                    That’s just way cool stuff.

                    I have always been into RC airplanes since I was a kid. I even had a A10 Warthog in solid green.

                    I’ll see if I can find a picture of it at the RC flying feild and post it.

                    It looked like the full size plane when it was setting out on the runway to launch.

                    Love that stuff.


                  • 45Bravo
                    Here’s a picture of it. Not that good of a picture and I thought I had one of it flying but can’t seem to find it.

                    This was back in the early 90’s when I had it.


                    • Very cool, I have always been into RC myself, planes, helos, boats, and cars. . Used to race the electric 1/10 scale electrics in the 90’s, but my heart was in the nitro powered models.

                      Used to run nitro and gas powered boats with a group of friends, some of them are into airguns too.

                      Loved the smell, sound, and speed of the nitro models. .

                      But now, the newer technologies haved pushed nitro out of the top spot for power and speed.

                      Now, still into nitro, but have started exploring. The brushless lipo powered models now.

                      Too many hobbies, never enough time or money.


                  • 45Bravo
                    Cool and pretty much the same for me. But never got into boats. One of my buddies did boats and I use to go with him when he raced it.

                    And same for me. Love that nitro and the sound too. I use to race the quicky 500 planes. Had a couple Rossi engines and a Nelson engine. 30,000 rpm was no problem with the Nelson engine when it got on pipe.

                    But now I have one of the brusless out runner electric motors on a 40″ wing span plane that weighs right at a pound fully loaded with the battery and it’s very durable too.It’s got 3 times the power to weight ratio. Very responsive. It can fly slower than I walk but is still fast. I fly what they call 3D aerobatic flying with it. And it’s a outside plane not for inside flying.

                    Fun stuff.

                    Oh and it will fly for 20 minutes on a charge with a lipo battery.


                    • I liked slope soaring, and the war birds. Never got into the 3D stuff, but admire the skill of those that can do that.

                      When I was flying there were no ARF’s or RTF planes. So you built it or bought it from someone who built it.

                      But The models were so expensive and had very little plastic other than the Mylar coverings over a balso frame.

                      And the helicopters were metal with wooden blades you had to match and balance.

                      There again an expensive and time consuming if you wrecked it.

                      When I raced boats, picco was the “affordable” high performance engine, and Ron Paris was the guru of tuners, he could make those engines develop so much extra power and rpm over stock engines.

                      They ran the best and the fastest right before they threw a rod.

                      When you are screaming at 30,000 + rpm and suddenly stuff a wave at 60 mph, the engine gets instantly filled with water, and goes from operating temperature to ambient air temperature, something has to give.

                      And it was usually made out of aluminum, brass, or chrome.


                  • 45Bravo
                    I started as kid sloap soring 2 channel gliders. Then put the little box .049 engines on the front then finally the little OS. .10 size engines on the front. Then it progressed on to other planes after that. I bet I have 40 pictures of planes I built from war birds to racing planes and scaled down Extra 300 aerobatic planes.

                    And yep everything I had was a kit or I scratch built from balsa and light plywood then covered with mono kote.

                    I had one of the Extras that had smoke on it and it weighed 35 pounds ready to fly. Had a Moki 1.8 two stroke nitro engine and swung a 22″ prop. I’ll see if I can post a picture in a minute. I’ll post it from the top where we started talking getting thin down here.


          • 45Bravo
            Here’s a couple pictures of that Extra 300. And yep that’s me about 27 years ago when I was 30. Still look the same but a little fatter and less hair on top. 🙂



            • Very cool, we all resemble that remark on our looks.
              I thought it was just me with the text area getting skinny.

              My photos of my Rc days are somewhere in storage, since 2015, my job has taken us from Mississippi, to Wisconsin, to 3 different cities in Massachusetts, Memphis, and now Houston.

              I gotten into the hobby in the 80’s, and had gotten out of the rc hobby in mid 90’s while raising kids, but once she moved out and went to college, I have been stepping back into the pool again so to speak.

              I have been playing with cheap quad copters, I have flown friends FPV racing drones, while fun, I refuse to go down that racing expensive rabbit hole again..

              Currently have a 1980’s vintage Kyosho nitro car (I like vintage cars like I like vintage Airguns) a more modern short course nitro truck for bashing.

              And 2 electric brushless on road cars that I came into in a trade, one set up for drifting, the other set up for parking lot racing. Every Friday and Saturday night, a group of people locally get together for parking lot racing and chasing..

              Just run what you have, and have fun..

              I Had a 1/4 scale car back in the day, but no one near me owned one, so later sold it.

              1/5 scale is taking off, running unleaded gas, I repaired and rebuilt one for a friend that isn’t mechanically inclined, it let me see that the quality of the engines today, are not what we used to run in the 80’s , and the nitro engines today, unless you are running OS max,, Nova rossi, Supertiger or some other quality made engine, the new Chinese made ones are just disposable, Back then, you very rarely wore out a piston and sleeve, but today, that is a common occurrence, and the replacement parts cost, are more than a replacement engine.


              • 45Bravo
                Never had the Nova engines but had the others and they were nice engines. Very dependable. And yep with the China engines. And really the sleeves and such ain’t holding up. I haven’t done nitro since back around 2000 so not familiar with the newer nitro engines. 2000 is when I started do electric planes. But I did have a all wheel drive nitro on road car that I took the front drive shaft out and made it into a drift car. It even had a 2 speed transmission you could adjust for when you wanted 2nd gear to come in. Worked real nice for the drift set up. That’s one I shouldn’t of got rid of.

                But yep all I have now is that one electric 3D plane and a couple helicopters and one quadcopter that is a YF22. And what’s kind of nice about electric is it’s quiet. Not that it matters where I’m at now. But definitely can fly at places that you can’t with nitro.

                And that parking lot racing/chasing with your RC cars is fun. We use to do that too when I was into cars. Definitely fun stuff.


        • Now you’ve done it by opening the door with this punt gun info.

          In all fairness you now have to do your bit with an article on the Anti-Tank Rifles of which there were several and ALL were impressive and designed for a small team to engage enemy TANKS ( and other targets of opportunity.

          The couple I’ve fired were “interesting” in that even with deflectors AND a ground tarp under the muzzle targets were generally obscured by a small cloud of dust and debris. Those available to me were either bolt action single shot or small magazines.

          How about it?



            • I’m just guessing but I imagine your day involved the M60 Patton or a variant and possibly the M1 Abrams (unless you were a lucky tanker in a Cav unit with that little speedster the M551 ARAAV Sheridan, which wasn’t really even a tank although, on second thought might be a good bridge to this specific article because of its air evacuator and flechette round making it a really large 152mm punt gun?).

              As an 11D scout I still would have liked one more than the LAW. That soft and juicy top and belly armor of even an M60 wouldn’t have been impervious to a well placed shot or three.

              Get pieces of a .55 or 14.5mm or a 20 or 30mm bouncing around in the turret and you’re sure to spoil a tanker’s nap.

              A .177 break barrel isn’t something most of us would take on a hog with but it’s been done and that tiny pellet put done to the hog.
              https://youtu.be/tZeyMf74sIk

              Never saw it done, but heard about a couple of M4s put out of action by Japanese anti-tank rifles by targeting the cannon bore. A 75mm target isn’t very large but was engageable while laagered up (we all know how loaders never have liked getting out of their moving foxhole to sit in a perimeter LP. ;-). )

              Heard that some Brits did something similar to a German 88 with their Boys .55 – guess even an 88 had trouble with pressure when a 1000 grain, over half inch projectile was wedged against their own round.

              Honestly can’t think of a better place for such an article. I mean this one on punt guns got a discussion about RC planes, boats, and cars going and even brought up the venerable old Warthog.


              • Edodaniel,

                I tell people that I’m a tanker because they can understand that without a lot of explanation. Actually, I’m Armored Cav (3d ACR) and have been on the M60 and the 551 Sheridan. At Ft. Knox I was one of the first officers to receive a driver’s license for the XM1 that became the Abrams.

                I was a scout platoon leader in the States and I commanded a Combat Support Company in Germany, so I had scouts, mortars, bridges, Redeyes and radars. Our 114s mounted 20mm automatic cannons that might have given a battle tank second thoughts, though I wouldn’t have wanted him to slew on me after I shot him!

                B.B.


                • Actually, my first thought when you said tanker was “AHA! He drive a POL fuel vehicle”, after all, the 194th and Armor School both had them. (just kidding)

                  XM-1 huh? Then you remember those “thunder runs” along range road out to St Vith where the 25 mph speed limit wasn’t observed but the MPs couldn’t do anything about it as it was covered as part of the convoy speed movement protocols?

                  With better track that that rubber band that 114 had you would have had a chance to out maneuver his slewing the turret. After all that was the original armored sport vehicle. 😉



                    • You were a nice guy. I got mine interested in maintenance by keeping tabs of who spent their time working on the tracks and who didn’t. Then at “quitting time” I’d tell those who preferred doing other things that I wanted them back in the motor pool 15 minutes after the mess hall closed so they could finish the work they didn’t get done because they had too many distractions.

                      After working through the night and only getting enough time for a QUICK shower before breakfast I found my scouts and the mortar platoon both to be quite motivated when any work had to get done.



  2. B.B.,
    I knew a little about punt guns, but learned some new things here, thank you.
    Going back to your comment about wild hogs, I have a friend with a working cattle ranch in Florida.
    He also does a LOT of guided hog hunts, as well as leasing parcels to hunters to hunt on their own.
    In spite of all that, he is barely able to keep the hogs in check; he told me that if he did not have hog hunting,
    he would soon be out of the ranch business; the wild hog population explosion is no joke!
    Thanks again for pointing that out.
    take care & God bless,
    dave


  3. Pretty much the equivalent of the Sharps rifle for buffalo. Both this and the punt guns were used to decimate wildlife, and not for food as a first objective. To this day wildlife is still trying to recover.


  4. BB
    I remember we talked about these on the blog before. But don’t think you ever done a report on them.

    And just thinking. I bet that gun is loud when it shoots. And I wonder how much powder they used for each shot. And how much shot they actually used and what diameter it was for each shot fired.


  5. B.B.,

    Thank you. Fine article. I have seen pictures before, maybe here, but I did learn some new things. One picture I have seen before showed the gun being held upright. But, from your description of use, laid down in a boat makes it all make sense. Also, I have never seen any this big. That is pure insanity!!!! 🙂

    On the wild pigs,…it is a shame that all that meat goes to waste. I am sure that some gets used, but it sounds that the majority is wasted. It would seem that there is an opportunity for a processing plant to be set up? There is no cost of raising, so the on-the-hoof price to market would be nil, yet still deem a price per pound for the hunter. One difference is that current pork is brought live to the slaughter house. Plus, no lead projectiles are laying within the meat that would need to be recovered before going to market.

    I suppose this has been kicked around already in areas where they are a plague?. It just sounds like land owners are more concerned with pure survival and not worried about making any money or using the meat. I can understand that. Even if brought to market,…. would there be a market for it? I would for sure at least try it.

    Good Day to one and all,…… Chris


    • Chris,
      My friend’s ranch is in Kissimmee FL, and without the intense hog hunting, there would be no ranch.
      All the meat gets used for food; they process the hogs right there at the ranch.
      (It’s Florida, not that cold even in the winter; animals to be used for food need to be processed quickly).
      And here in Georgia (other states too, I’m sure), we have a Hunters for the Hungry program.
      You can shoot a deer or hog and it will be processed for free and all the meat donated
      to local churches and soup kitchens that know who the hungry are.
      Good point you made there; thank you.
      take care & have a blessed day,
      dave


      • Dave,

        That is very good to hear that at least a fair portion is being consumed. There is a huge trend in antibiotic free, hormone free, free range, no nitrite or nitrates in meat these days. How more natural can you get for pork than these free range hogs?

        We have something similar in Ohio for road kill deer.

        Chris


        • “We have something similar in Ohio for road kill deer.”

          Chris,
          That’s cool. =>
          And the pork from those free range hogs is great as they are mostly acorn-fed.
          The first hog I shot on his land, when I grilled the tenderloins outside,
          had all kinds of neighbors stopping by to ask what I was cooking. =>
          take care,
          blessings & a great weekend to all,
          dave




          • It’s probably been at least 20 years ago but I played in a golf tournament at the Arrowhead golf course in Colorado where the inventor of road kill helper was in our foursome. During our 4+ hour round he reluctantly told me about the lawsuit that forced him to retract roadkill helper from marketing. Factoring in the cost of the lawsuit he didn’t make any money in his clever venture. We had a few beers and then took the golf cart to the parking lot to put our clubs in our cars. He reached into the back of his car and gave me a box of his roadkill helper. Don’t know what happened to that box but wish I still had it


  6. I remember Buldawg76 that used dogs and a big knife. That’s it. Guns were secondary. Some dogs did not make it. It is what it is. Myself, I would prefer a big gun and lot’s of good buddies,.. also with big guns!


  7. B.B.

    Glad you mentioned it because when I first saw this article I thought, :Oh another blog about the Seneca punt”. LOL.

    OK what are we going to do about the coyote population?

    -Y
    PS wild bore in Europe is considered quite a delicacy.


  8. … and now for something completely different. This sure is 🙂

    Interesting stuff. Don’t think that punt-gun harvesting of waterfowl was viewed as being much different than netting fish as far as the perspective was back then.

    Looking at the scale in the picture I would guess that that gun/cannon had to be 10 -11 feet long – quite the beast!

    The picture of the punt boat is intriguing, beautiful lines on it. Been thinking of making a light, shallow draft boat for fishing some of the small local rivers – this just might be the design I am looking for.

    I was not aware of feral pigs in Canada, never heard of them in my area (central Ontario). The idea of wild pork on the hoof sounded good (bacon, ham …ribs 🙂 ) until you pointed out the problems they are causing. Can see that – a 20 pound raccoon is an enough of a nuisance – can imagine what damage an animal that much bigger would cause with its foraging.

    Curious about these. How big are the wild pigs? Can a cougar or pack of coyotes take down an adult or would it take a tiger-sized predator?

    Since the pigs herd together, would it be practical to setup portable traps (like the “weirs” used for fish) and drive them in?

    Would hate to see all that pork going to waste but I know that dumping large amounts of wild-pork on the market would upset the domestic pork farmers. Maybe the meat could be forwarded to “soup-kitchens” to provide food for the needy.

    Thanks for the blog B.B.!

    Happy Friday all!!
    Hank


    • Hank
      I would say a pack of coyotes could do in a wild hog. Have never seen them get a wild hog but have seen them get hogs on our farm when I was a kid. All I can say is there is no mercy on the hog when the coyotes are on their mission.


    • Hank,

      If you are going to build a small boat, one design that you might want to look into is the Cajun pirogue. The better constructed ones have a dished-out or concave bottom that is supposed to allow the boat to sit on sort of an air bubble to reduce drag in the water, making it easier to punt ( push with a pole). They also incorporate a cleverly designed pair of holes in the bottom of the boat, one fore and aft, to allow you to push a stick into the bottom of the marsh to hold the craft steady while you fish or wing shoot waterfowl.

      Half


      • Half,

        Thanks for the Cajun pirogue suggestion, I have looked at these designs – sort of a cross between a canoe and a kayak. The “air-bubble” approach is a new one for me. I’ll have to research that a bit.

        I made a fishing kayak (17 footer that weights 44 pounds) which is great on the lakes but I want something that I can stand in to fly fish from.

        Foe the new boat I want good displacement for shallow draft, width for stability in a light weight craft for rowing in rivers (up and down stream in moderate current).

        After much deliberation (and waffling) I think I am going to go with a cedar/spruce strip design based on the 18 foot, 56 pound canoe I made. Figure if I cut it to 10 foot (with a square stern) it would be fine for one person and balance to row well. Should be OK to stand in, if not I’ll add a couple of “pool-noodle” foam outriggers. Plan of cutting the wood strips before winter sets in.

        Like the idea of being able to push a stick into the mud to hold the craft steady. Thanks for that.

        Oh, here is a picture of the “template” canoe…

        Cheers,
        Hank


    • Hank,
      I shot about a half dozen in various hunts on my friend’s ranch (in Florida).
      The biggest one, the first one I ever shot, was a little over 200 pounds
      (I got him at 50 yards with a Hawken replica using a .50 caliber patched round ball over 70 grains of Pyrodex).
      The rest were between 120 to 160 pounds; any gun suitable for deer works well.
      I used a .308 for one long shot (157 measured yards…may not be long for others, but it was for me!);
      the rest were shot with a Winchester model 94 .30-30 or my Hawken replica.
      When a herd of hogs is rooting in an area, they destroy fields, and make holes where a cow can break a leg
      which is why they are considered such a nuisance to farmers and ranchers.
      Happy Friday & awesome weekend to all,
      dave


    • Hank,

      In some areas of Texas and other southern states, ranchers employ specialized companies to help eradicate the pigs. They set up huge pens with radio controlled drop gates. They will watch the pigs for weeks counting the members of the herd with night vision goggles and game cameras until they are sure that they are going to get the entire herd. They want none to get away because they are smart and will be harder to trap in the future. They bait and survail until all the the pigs they can draw are in the pen then drop the gate, with twilight scope equipped riflemen ready to nail each of the porkers that won’t go in the trap. It really is like a special forces operation being conducted against pigs.

      On the videos that I have watched they say that amateurish attempts at trapping are responsible for training the pigs on how to avoid traps. I have also heard that not everyone is as intent on eradicating them because guided hunts have become a pretty good business in some areas. Also, many of the folks that hunt them are after the tender little piggies and don’t kill enough boars and breeding age sows.

      Half


  9. Nice report. Being from NC, market hunting of waterfowl was big business here. I the Museum of Natural History in Raleigh they have a punt gun on display. Truly amazing at the shear size of this weapon.


  10. The only other cinematic use of a punt gun that I can think of is when a punt gun was used by a secret agent in the British TV series “The Professionals” in about 1978. I seem to recall that a wild British agent obliterated the villains’ speed boat by firing a shot from a punt gun tied into the bow of his own boat. They certainly are impressive firearms and were once widely used by wildfowlers in Britain. Many are still preserved today but I am not sure if any are still in use.



    • Shooting Party,

      I did find pictures of men lined up shooting them today, but I didn’t publish it. Also, yesterday, John McCaslin, the owner of AirForce Airguns, told me one of his UK friends that he sees at IWA and the SHOT Show every year was building or repairing a punt gun. So there is still some interest in them today.

      B.B.


  11. B.B.,

    Excellent topic!

    There are many online videos of punt guns in use (just for fun, not for hunting). I sense that many of those are being given light charges out of safety concerns.

    One occasional issue with a punt gun was the small boat would end up on the opposite end of the pond after being propelled by the recoil, so a lot of poling or paddling was required to get back to the dead birds. Also, if the shooter didn’t know what he was doing, a good percentage of the waterfowl would be utterly pulverized and unusable.

    I just had a quick look at Wikipedia and see that the largest bore listed is a 1/4 Bore (2.65 inches/67.34mm), which shoots about four pounds of lead shot.

    I once held a 4 Bore shotgun, and that is about 1.1 caliber. It had to weigh at least forty pounds. As I understand it, a four bore, if the barrel is long and heavy enough, can be used ashore as a chunk gun for market hunting.

    Michael


  12. Mr. Gaylord:
    That punt gun certainly isn’t a short barrel shotgun! But ,even though it’s a muzzleloader, with a bore of 2 inches and a charge of a pound, l’m wondering if, in today’s world, it would be classified under the NFA as either “an other weapon” or “other destructive device”. Or would it be classed as an unregulated cannon?
    Anyone know?
    Either way, I don’t know so I’ll just have to “punt” on an answer.
    Respectfully
    William Schooley



    • William Schooley,

      Today it would be considered a curio/relic/antique and be unregulated, if I’m not mistaken. If I am, indeed, incorrect, I hope someone will chime in with the correction.

      Michael


    • Mr. Schooley,

      The BATF(E) would consider it, a destructive device, as they do most anything over .50 Caliber…yes I have been informed that this could be applied to airguns since it is a device. So far they have not had a case of airguns or black powder arms larger than .50 Cal. to make the regulation either enforceable or moot.

      shootski



  13. ah yes, the punt gun. Why do fowlers hang their birds from the rafters of the garage for a week?
    Isnt it to age the meat? Moms still upset she had to help clean all that as a young girl in Iowa. But she became a Cordon Bleau chef, and says that the table where we all eat is one of the places where culture begins.
    Would love to see more(any) local butchers and bakers in my neighborhood. For better or worse, its very easy to get some country style pork at the Safeway. But it wont be as nice as the local persons product.
    Like sharpening a razor, preparing game for the table is also not as relavent in peoples lives as it once was.
    The engineers who built the Saturn 5 rocket had to learn how to on the fly, and in many cases, when those folks are gone, so to goes the knowledge, that must be relearned by succeding generations, hopefully for a proffit.
    Go SpaceX ! Have a nice day folks, R


    • Yes, they are hung to age the meat AND it does help tenderize and makes feather removal a bit easier.

      Now some oriental countries I’ve been to age all their fowl by hanging from the neck. When the weight finally causes head/body separation the bird is ripe in more ways than one. (Cooked, the meat is good and literally falls from the bone it’s so tender.)



  14. B.B.,
    I found a really interesting page on punt gunning:

    http://www.wildfowling.com/puntgun.htm

    It talks about gun size, shot size, powder charges, as well as how to employ the gun.
    The page is copyrighted so I couldn’t copy the line, but there is a place where the author claims,
    “It should not be forgotten that the effective range of a punt-gun does not differ substantially
    from other large-bore shoulder guns.”
    He mentions 60 yards as about the ideal range when using BB-sized shot.
    Overall, it’s an interesting read from the point-of-view of being a window to the past.
    take care & God bless,
    dave



    • Dave,

      Thank you for the link! It brought back memories of my youth spent paddling on the Delaware, Skuikill River and their tributaries in a one man punt boat (No Punt gun) of the design shown on the link. I use a sea kayak
      and and airguns to hunt Nutria on the waters these days.

      Those who think these punt boat hunters are the cause of wildlife being decimated should read the linked article; it clearly explains why that was not the case in this instance.

      shootski


      • “I use a sea kayak”

        Cool! I have a small 12-foot kayak I made from 2 cedar roofing shingles; I clamped the ends and spread them till they started to crack; so it’s only 26″ wide and has no secondary stability; hence, I wouldn’t even fire a Marksman 1010 from it. =>


      • Shootski, you are most welcome; I never got a chance to paddle the Delaware (just got to drive over it in a car), but I wish I had. I did get a chance to paddle a tiny creek just south of the Base today; the water was low enough that I was able to go under a huge log, and go a mile further than I ever had before. I came across this aircraft part in the water, took a pic, and sent it to my airframe buds. One of my friends says it’s an under-wing fuel tank from an F86 Sabre…
        …he also told me I need to go back and check under the surface to ensure there’s not an F86 still attached!
        (sorry, B.B., for the totally off-topic comment)


  15. B.B.,

    Thank you for this report. I found it to be very interesting, and I for one have never seen or heard of a punt gun. I think I can remember reading about 4 gage shotguns at one time but that’s it. Weren’t they called a blunderbuss or something? Amazing!

    Geo


  16. B.B.,

    Today I learned at least two things. I had never heard of the punt gun; nor had I ever heard the term “market hunting”. They were after meat for buyers, unlike the buffalo hunters who were not primarily “market hunting”.

    ~ken


    • Ken,

      That’s right. The buffalo hunters were doing two things simultaneously. They were eradicating the Indian’s primary source of food and leather, plus they were selling parts of what they killed for cash. Buffalo hunting lasted 10-15 years. Market hunting lasted two centuries. Big difference.

      U was surprised to learn that hunting with punt guns is still going in in the UK today. There are laws and restrictions, of course, but people still kill wildfowl on the water with punts and punt guns today.

      B.B.


  17. B.B., this is one of the most interesting reports you’ve ever done;
    two links both said even the Queen is in on punt guns! =>

    “Upon her 1897 Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria requested a punt gun salute.
    Since then, every coronation and jubilee in the United Kingdom has been honored with such a salute.
    During the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, a 21-punt gun salute was fired.”


  18. B.B.,

    A friends uncle hunted waterfowl in the Sacramento Delta. He loaded his punt gun with nuts and bolts or anyting else he could find. His was mounted on a large flat bottom boat. My friend has a picture of the boat pilled high with ducks and geese.

    Don


  19. B.B.

    I understand that the Aussie Aboriginal people used a similar hunting strategy with their boomerang. The figure 8 trajectory of the boomerang let the projectile return close to the boat on a miss. If the whirling sound of the boomerang spooked the flock, the fowl would fly into the boomerang. Then I guess you do not mind rowing a bit for your catch.
    Have a nice weekend all.

    -Y


    • Yogi
      That’s interesting. I had one when I was a kid. Not a toy one. It was a big wooden one.

      Never did well at getting it to return but did get it flying pretty good.


      • GF1,

        My sister is into boomerangs. There is many types. She is pretty good with them all. She is into kites as well. Many types of those as well. I have seen her in action with both. Like air guns,… it (can be) a bottomless pit. Much to learn and perfect and takes a lifetime to get really good at it. Well,… at least a half lifetime anyways. 😉

        Chris


        • Chris
          That’s cool your sister is into boomerangs and kites.

          I would like to learn more about boomerangs. And I did mess with kites for a short bit.

          But yep like us with airguns and such. It’s amazing how deep you can go once you start digging on a subject.

          And for some reason I find that I get into that ngs that fly. Be it arrows or bullets or pellets or planes. And even cars that fly. As in go fast. 🙂


  20. And on another note.

    I made a order today with Pyramyd Air since they have a discount code going on. And guess what I see at check out time.

    Out of state sales tax. Was wondering if that was going to happen at PA. Was kind of bummed.

    Guess I will be checking other sites if they are doing it now too. Guess now I need to find the place with the cheapest shipping charge now and maybe with some good discount codes. Basically sales tax was more than shipping cost. So hopefully there will be some lower dollars spent on a order and free shipping. Like say spend $99 dollars and get free shipping.

    I know, I know. It’s only like 10 bucks on my $150 order I made. But darn that’s $10 more I had to spend.

    Ok I’m done now. Back to air gun talk’n and shooting.

    Speaking of that. It’s windy as heck today with wind gusting up off and on. But what’s funny I have been shooting good groups today. Even with my lower powered FWB 300. Guess the wind is blowing right? Who knows. But it surprised me today.


    • GF1,

      Bummer Dude! The Red Wolf had none (Arizona). That would have been some tax! Since I live in Ohio,…. I always had to eat the Ohio sales tax on P.A. orders.

      Windy here too. Maybe 40-50 mph gust later. No shooting due to too many things going on. 🙁

      Yup,….. 10$ is 10$.

      Chris


      • Chris
        I heard the tax thing could happen on internet out of state orders. And of course it did.

        And it must of just started because I have recently made other orders and the tax’s weren’t there.

        And yep don’t like it at all. Heck that could of been another tin of pellets I could of bought. Hate when they do that.


        • GF1,

          A of A had an extreme bench rest competition recently. The Red Wolf showed up big time and won big time. Other top brands too. Do some searches. Looks pretty good so far.

          Chris



          • Chris U,

            That is pushing the Red wolf in my direction, still waiting on B.B.’s report on the WAR rifle though.

            You have a cool Sister, I was making my own boomerangs for a while and had a lot of fun. I tried phesant hunting with one and had no luck. I think it needs to be a flock of birds to have much of a chance.

            Don


            • Don,

              Yea,.. if you went to the Daystate site,… you see what I mean. They re-did the site which I do not care for. Yes,… once you go past a certain point, there is a lot of very nice choices with most any of them doing very well in the right hands. My choices were limited for ambi or left and a left bolt/lever which forced me there. Here is the link for anyone else interested,….

              http://daystate.com/latest-news/

              As for boomerangs,… she could throw any of a dozen or so different ones and have them come back to her within a few steps. I thought that was pretty good and far better than I did. You are right I think, a flock of birds would be ideal quarry. Throw across the top of a grounded flock, spook the birds and have them take flight right into the path of the boomerang.

              Chris


  21. While we are on the topic of waterfowl I remember a folk tail or preurban ledgend from my Dad about using (i foget the name, it is the rod across a wagon tailgate) loaded in the gun to skewer a bunch of ducks in a row. Wish I could remember the old stories. They used to be passed on for generations. My Dad had a remarkable memory, I think I had too many knocks on the head.

    Don



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