Pantgun - a giant rifle for the genocide of ducksBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/pantgun-a-giant-rifle-for-the-genocide-of-ducks
Many have seen old photos of people posing with incredibly huge guns. You might think that this is a prop for a movie about Gulliver or just an attempt by gunsmiths to set another record. But there is no catch here – this is a real hunting weapon and it is called a pantgun or a duck.
The name of this incredible weapon comes from two English words: punt - a flat-bottomed boat and gun - a gun. In general, a gun for shooting from a punt boat. The length of the trunk of this monster reached 4 meters, and the caliber could be from 12 to the first, and sometimes even higher.
To carry such a gun, it took 2-4 people, and even a few strong guys were not able to hold it in their hands during the shot. The duck was attached to the boat, and if it was of a particularly large caliber, it was also attached to a special carriage that absorbs recoil energy.
Some hunters installed several pantguns on the boat at once, turning it into a real floating battery. The volley of such a watercraft inflicted devastating damage to flocks of birds. Judge for yourself – one small duck with a length of 2.75 meters, a caliber of 50 mm, weighing 80 kg, was charged with 900 grams of 3.96 mm shot, that is, the number of deadly balls reached 2560 pieces! At the same time, the lethal force of the charge was maintained at a distance of up to 90 meters. But there were also much more solid guns.
One shot from a pantgun hit at least 25-30 birds, and with a good hit, more than 50. They say that particularly lucky hunters could shoot down a hundred ducks with one shot. Since the volume of production was impressive, at least two boats were sent to hunt. On the first there was a shooter with a duck, and the second floated after and the people sitting in it collected prey. They were also armed, but with ordinary guns - they were used to finish off the wounded.
Pantguns were invented in the UK, but this weapon was also popular in the USA. At the same time, the Americans, with their characteristic maximalism, created the most fantastic shotguns in scale. If the British had such duck hunting as a vacation and, sometimes, business, then in the USA they often competed – who would kill more birds with one shot or a volley. Craftsmen installed pantguns on boats with a fan, so as not to leave the ducks a single chance.
The passion for hunting with ducks by the end of the 19th century put ducks in the United States at risk of extinction. Huge shotguns began to be banned in one state after another, and by 1880, pantguns were outlawed throughout the country. However, this did not prevent poachers from still hunting with their favorite weapons, although already secretly.
In 1918, responsibility before the law was introduced in the United States for the use of clarifiers and there were much fewer cases of mass shooting of birds. In England, hunting with pantgans was considered a good old tradition and it was not banned, but only limited the caliber of guns to 1.75 inches (approximately 44 mm).
Surprisingly, in the 1990s, during the global inspection of the kingdom's hunting farms, 50 pantgans were found in working condition, the oldest of which was made in the early 19th century. Among the guns there were both factory samples and unique homemade ones. In general, the refinement of pantgans was very popular, which often led to sad consequences.
Having overreacted with the barrel or bolt, the owner of the miracle gun risked being seriously injured or even killed when his gun ruptured. But the passion for hunting was so strong that even the news of tragic cases on the hunt did not bother enthusiasts who were modernizing and even making the ducks with their own hands.
As for factory guns, the products of the French company Verney-Carron were in the greatest demand in England and the USA. Back in the early 20th century, the plant produced guns of three calibers: 33, 42 and 48 mm. The length of the trunk of the largest pantgan reached 3.5 meters, and the weight was 240 kg. For shooting from such a gun, a factory carriage was used, rigidly attached to the bank or the side of the boat.
The ducklings were big guns, but not too expensive. Even the biggest pantgun cannot compare in price with the VO Falcon Edition rifle, which costs like several supercars.