With some things in life, the hard way is actually better. That’s the way I have always felt about side by side shotguns with external hammers. Going back to the late 1980s when I was one of the first big boom of new SASS shooters (I am 19811), I always preferred to shoot hammer guns to the other options out there. Of course I also used to shoot Colt Patersons back when they were legal as well (these days you can’t shoot them because they only have 5 rounds). For me, when it came to cowboy shooting, I was there to enjoy myself, and really to shoot against myself, not everyone else. And I always came in last, regardless of the class in which I was shooting.
This past year Century Arms figured out a way to get a classic externally hammered coach sized side by side into the hands of American shooters for under $300. As you can see from the video, the gun has a bunch of ugly markings on it, but it works great.
If you are reading this, it could be that you clicked on the SHOT Show video that I did with Cimarron just a few weeks ago. They have been selling a cleaned up version of this gun for some time, for a lot more money. Now they have an even cleaner and more dainty hammer gun from Pakistan. This gun is not in the class of the fit and finish of those guns, but again, it does work. For $300, that’s really all that matters, and they are available from retailers right now.
I noted in the video that even if you aren’t into the cowboy thing, this gun would make a great trappers gun or guide gun, just to take with you in case game should appear. You could carry it either the with the safety off and the hammers down, or hammers back with the safety on. With bird shot in one side and a slug in the other, you’d be really for anything, in a very small investment that you won’t mind if it gets dinged here and there.
For cowboy shooting, I don’t see you winning any competitions with this gun, but if you loosen it up it probably won’t be inferior to the more expensive Cimarron gun, purely from a performance standpoint. Visually, I guess you could get a local gunsmith to buff out the printing and reblue the barrels. I don’t know why they don’t force the Chinese to print less on the gun, and in a hidden location where possible. A black sharpie will probably make the gun tolerable at least. Overall it’s a good buy, and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one if you are in the market for a hammer gun.