Hopkins and Allen shotgun


Well-Known Member
At a gun show this morning and one of the old falling block Hopkins and Allen shotguns shows up cheap, complete and the action seems to work as it should. Haven't bought it yet, but these have always intrigued me as to wondering if they could be sleeved or barreled to some kind of low pressure rifle round. I don'know much about them, but the barrel is not Damascus. Thoughts on these old guns.


High Steppes of Eastern Washington
My shooting buddy has two, one sleeved to 50/70 and the other 32/40. Be aware that the receivers are cast steel and unhardened. He has shot them both with black powder and they seem to work ok with that.


Well-Known Member
Various friends have done several of them over the years. One--IIRC, a 375 Winchester (because 38-55 wasn't "practical")--blew up when a factory cartridge was accidentally slipped in. Minor injuries, broken receiver wall, much profanity. After that, they've all been in cartridges that have no smokeless equivalent. There are a couple done up in "40 shorty's": 40 caliber, straight case cut to hold ~50 grains black powder, done on 30-40 Krag or 303 Brit cases.

I always point out that the same money can sleeve or re-barrel a trapdoor. Cast actions, whether H&A, Ballard, or whatever, make me nervous.