Friday, May 28, 2010

Got a theropod problem?

Got a theropod problem?
No, I'm sorry, Mr. Seligman, but I can't take you hunting Late Mesozoic dinosaur.

Yes, I know what the advertisement says.

Why not? How much d'you weigh? A hundred and thirty? Let's see; that's under ten stone, which is my lower limit.

I could take you to other periods, you know. I'll take you to any period in the Cenozoic. I'll get you a shot at an entelodont or a uintathere. They've got fine heads.

I'll even stretch a point and take you to the Pleistocene, where you can try for one of the mammoths or the mastodon.

I'll take you back to the Triassic where you can shoot one of the smaller ancestral dinosaurs. But I will jolly well not take you to the Jurassic or Cretaceous. You're just too small.

What's your size got to do with it? Look here, old boy, what did you think you were going to shoot your dinosaur with?

Oh, you hadn't thought, eh?

Well, sit there a minute . . . Here you are: my own private gun for that work, a Continental .600. Does look like a shotgun, doesn't it? But it's rifled, as you can see by looking through the barrels. Shoots a pair of .600 Nitro Express cartridges the size of bananas; weighs fourteen and a half pounds and has a muzzle energy of over seven thousand foot-pounds. Costs fourteen hundred and fifty dollars. Lot of money for a gun, what?

I have some spares I rent to the sahibs. Designed for knocking down elephant. Not just wounding them, knocking them base-over-apex. That's why they don't make guns like this in America, though I suppose they will if hunting parties keep going back in time.

-"A Gun For Dinosaur", L. Sprague De Camp

Got a diplodocus tearing up the rhododendrons? Maybe a rogue giganotosaurus scarfing the hounds out of the back yard? Yard boy get eaten after you equipped him with one of those feeble Drake & Co. Garands fitted with a BAR magazine?

Dinos getting bigger every year? Holland & Holland .600 Nitro just not doing a job on the local pests the way it used to?

Never fear! The Stoltzer & Son's 2 Bore is here!

Firing a solid bronze bullet nearly a half-pound in weight at roughly 1500 feet per second, the 2 Bore cartridge develops over eight tons of muzzle energy, easily enough to down the most voracious sauropod in your cabbage patch! Be the first time-travelling scientist gentleman adventurer on your block to own one! Enquire today at


Turk Turon said...

Eight tons of muzzle energy. A .50BMG has, what, 13,000 fpe? So it would be like firing a Barrett from the shoulder. Zounds!

perlhaqr said...

Wow. That's pretty much all I got on that.

Nathan said...

Good. God.

og said...

Does it come in a double?

RevolverRob said...

I...want it....

Holy crap that awesome. As a Paleontologist, I have a real need for a 2 bore! Why just last month I was working in Montana in the Jurassic and we uncovered a large dinosaur. I had to run away, because my .357 Magnum just wasn't enough. My friend managed to turn him away with a .45-70, but that wasn't doing much. I guess I'm going to have to go bigger...much bigger.


Arthur said...

And after you shoot your dino, you have to hope another doesn't come along and eat you while you're flat on your back concussed from the recoil.

ZerCool said...

My first thought, of course, is, "How much??"

Followed by, "If you have to ask..."

Then I clicked through to the photos.

IT'S A LEFTY! How sinister!

(Damn, it is pretty.)

Anonymous said...

Do you recommend the book?


Joanna said...

Oof. I'll have to loosen the whalebone for that one, won't I?

Fred said...


I still want one.

Tam said...


"Do you recommend the book?"


It's rare that somebody who is as enthusiastic about firearms, hunting, and dinosaurs puts them all in the same tale and makes it a cracking good yarn to boot.

It was a stand-alone short story for years until constant pestering from fans convinced De Camp to write enough companion pieces to form a standalone volume called Rivers of Time.

David Drake did an homage piece, Time Safari which is also excellent. (His professional hunter used a Garand with a BAR mag firing black-tip M2 ball... ;) )

Kevin said...

Unintended Consequences author John Ross will have to trade in his 4-bore double on one of those. Though I understand that the 4-bore on African dangerous game wasn't a 'base-over-apex' gun. The solid projectile would just go completely through an elephant, which then took a minute or two to understand that it was dead.

A lot can happen in a minute or two.

Tam said...

I'd imagine that De Camp was referring to the old "Taylor Knockout Value", which is good for an argument at any gun forum on teh intertubes. ;)

Jon Woolf said...

Huh. I never realized Time Safari was meant as an homage to "A Gun for Dinosaur."

Clifford Simak also did a "time travel/hunting dinosaur" story, a very short novel or long novella called Mastodonia. I have often muttered angrily about the fact that he died before he could write the sequel that he obviously had in mind.

Crucis said...

Really, has anyone actually fired that 2-bore and lived? Really?

Stranger said...

The bore/muzzle energy/weight is much the same as some of the early safari guns. Of which one middling large (160 pound) Sahib said he always remembered aiming, and waking up with his nose bleeding. Everything between was a black hole.

I would not care for some, the more so with a pair of new corneas, but a large man who pays attention to the details should be able to do so without lasting damage. Just keep it off the collar bone.


Jack said...

Time flies. It must be 50 years since I read that story. The base-over-apex bit rang the bell.

Tam said...


The interesting part is that the first story in the book, "A Gun For Dinosaur", has the old-fashioned, tail-dragging, cold-blooded dinosaurs, while all the subsequent ones were written in the '90s, post-Bakker.

Colin said...

Thank You for the compliments everyone.

I have not shot this one yet, but if you dig around my website, you will find video's of me shooting the 2 Bore Boxlock I built last year, so yes they are shootable.

As for price tag, they don't fall into the category of if you have to ask you can't afford it. I'm a one man shop and I can be very flexible with financial arrangements.

It doesn't some in a Double YET, but I have been discussing building one with a customer for the past couple weeks. So it probably will eventually.

Tamara K., Thank you for the link back to my website and the interesting lead in to introducing my rifle.

Colin Stolzer
Stolzer & Son's Gunsmithing

Ed Foster said...

Actually, if it was black tip, it was 165 gr. AP.

Little known fact (at least I didn't know it until I took the curator's tour at the Springfield Armory Museum a couple of years ago). The standard rifle for the invasion of Japan was going to be an M-1 with a BAR magazine. They have racks of them upstairs in the pattern room, which only gets shown twice a year.

Cool thing was, they all had a little threaded plug on the back of the reciever, in line with the bore. I suspect it was something they copied from the Russians, letting them clean the bore from the chamber end.

They also have most of the world's supply of the Japanese M-1 variant, with a box magazine loaded from the top with two Arisaka stripper clips. If they'd hit the main island in '46, troops on both sides would have been thumping away at each other with the same weapon.

Colin, it's beautiful, but I have a question.

I thought anything smoothbore over 10 gauge, or anything rifled over .50 was a no-no, with the big British cartridges grandfathered.

How did you get the Feds to play?

D.W. Drang said...

Anything by Lyon Sprague DeCamp is recommended, including the stuff he did with Fletcher Pratt, Land of Unreason especially.

Colin said...

Ed Foster,

Actually they didn't argue about it at all. The 2 Bore is one of the original pre-1898 Bore Cartridges, and the weapon I built it in is of course a replica of a pre-1898 firearm, so it meets all the criteria of an antique according to the BATFE.

Even if I had chosen to go a different route with the project, it really isn't that hard to get a sporting exemption for cartridges over 50cal, it just takes paper work.

Colin Stolzer
Stolzer & Son's Gunsmithing

PA State Cop said...

Sweet Baby Jesus, I'd hafta make a dentist appointment just to shoot the bloody thing. None of my fillings would be the same after that!

Anonymous said...

...i can't even afford the powder...

Joanna said...

Seriously, nobody's mentioned "A Sound of Thunder" yet? I'm disappointed.

rickn8or said...

In the immortal words of Jerry Reed, "A thing like this could purely revolutionize coon-hunting".

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, when I was in my "over .40" stage, somewhere I came across the nugget that bigger guys had more issues with recoil than smaller guys. Seems that us over 180 pounds types tend to get hammered and the more whippet styled folks tend to "roll with the punch" better than heavier folks. YMMV....

wv - carrea - Uh Oh, where's Larry?

Ed Foster said...

Colin, perhaps we could talk sometime about a double rifle in caliber .58 Musket?

A buddy of mine has a Remington-Geiger split-breach in .58 US Musket, and I was going to have the toolroom boys spin up a few dozen cases. I already have the Minie ball molds.

I could make up a dummy sprue plate for the bottom. Without the baseplug, I imagine those puppies would be heavy enough to be used for canoe anchors.

Buddy said...

I had the honor, and priviledge, some years back, of meeting the DeCamps at a con in Dallas... They lived locally until they both passed.
I now know the meaning of "a true gentleman and his lady".
I have been collecting his works, ever since!

Ed Foster said...

Ooohh. If the Feds consider it a pre-1898, can I make a punt gun?

The local junkyard has lots of old contruction equiptment. An old live axle would make a really neat barrel blank, and we have CNC lathes at work that will pass a foot diameter through the headstock, and spin 14 feet between centers.

Put that in a Barnegat Sneak Boat, and... I don't know what I could fire it at:-(

Nothing edible anyway. Never mind.

Colin said...

Ed Foster,
You can contact me through my email or by phone, my contact information is on my website.

Yes you can build a punt, as long as it meets all the federal criteria for an antique(replica antique), I don't know of anywhere in the U.S that you could still hunt with it though.

Colin Stolzer
Stolzer & Son's Gunsmithing

reflectoscope said...

Tell you what, build a carriage for it along the lines of what the M777 has, with a nice long lanyard on it, and I might consider firing that thing.

In the meantime, I'll be content to wait for the video.

Very nice workmanship just the same, though.


Jack said...


The late farmer-gunsmith Al Peterson of Riverhurst, Saskatchewan, made his barrels form old truck axles. Much tougher than the usual barrel steels and well tested for flaws while they were still in the truck.

og said...

Colin: very, very nice. Have you ever read "After Big Game in Central Africa"? The author describes a Galand rifle in 577 nitro, and gives pictures- an underlever back action hammer double, plated with steel riveted onto the stock to make it proof against being stepped on by large creatures. I've often thought this would be one of the coolest reproductions ever, if you're ever looking for a project.

beautiful, beautiful work.

benEzra said...

Hmmm, you can always try your hand at dino hunting virtually...

Yup, a first-person dino shooter. I played the trailer (Jurassic: The Hunted) on the 360. A pack of raptors flanking you when you've run your primary dry makes Left 4 Dead 2 look positively relaxing by comparison...

Anonymous said...

Some might use the gift of time-travel to go way back to stalk the giant lizards and such.

Me, I've often wished for such an awesome ability, but mostly it would just need to jump me back about two minutes, to the time right before I did something really, really dumb.

As in "Man I sure wish I had not lit off that frakkin' shoulder cannon just now...just give me back those last two minutes and I will never, ever be that dumb again".

Of course that's a promise I can't keep, so yeah, just give me a two-minute reset machine and I will likely wear that mother out.


Tam said...


You're very welcome. :)


"I thought anything smoothbore over 10 gauge, or anything rifled over .50 was a no-no, with the big British cartridges grandfathered. "

Not grandfathered, but rather receive specific "sporting purpose" exemptions, which is how come you can buy rifles in .700 NE and .585 Nyati and other decidedly non-vintage big chamberings.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

It was a stand-alone short story for years until constant pestering from fans convinced De Camp to write enough companion pieces to form a standalone volume called Rivers of Time.

Thanks, Tam! It's been over 40 years since I first read "A Gun for Dinosaur" (which I recognised from the first line of your quote, though it must be 20 years since I last read it), but I had completely missed Rivers of Time. Going to have to do something about that....

Jay G said...


Can I get it in a five shot scandium revolver?

Tam said...

Jay G,

"Can I get it in a five shot scandium revolver?"

You know there are people who will beat on you all day long for less than the cost of a Scandalum Smith, if that's your thing, right? ;)

Kristopher said...


Makes my Pacific Rifle Co. 8 bore look kinda small ...

RevolverRob said...

Tam, I blame you. I went to the local Half-Price bookstore and got a copy of Time Safari for a whopping 3 bucks. They didn't have Rivers of Time, so the hunt will continue for that one.


PS: I've met Bob Bakker on a couple of occasions, he is an "interesting" guy to say the least...He's a little far out...

Tam said...


My last trip to Chicago, we went to the Field Museum, which I had last visited as a schoolchild before moving down to ATL in the late '70s.

The change in the dinosaur exhibits in 30 years was nothing short of breathtaking; all that change hit me all at once. :o

RevolverRob said...

Being a young guy, I've always experienced exhibits from the current revolution of thinking. With that said, it's pretty cool and it's one of the reasons that I chose Vert Paleo as my field of choice. As a collective field, paleontologists are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating previously proposes hypothesis. In the last 20 years, great strides in the science have occurred and continue to occur, because people aren't limited by any particular constant.

It's a fun field to be in and I'm glad to be part of it.


Jim said...

That's enough gun to put paid to every "bear-thread" ever posted.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

HTRN said...

Og: No, I don't know of anybody building 2 bore doubles - Butch Searcy builds a 4 bore double for 85 grand, and a 3500 grain(8oz) mold is available from NEI. Barrels are available from Kreiger, for those who want to build their own(hmm, a single shot break action..)