WATCH: This May Be the Most Beautiful Four-Barrel Long Gun You’ve Ever Seen

The Vierling from Johann Fanzoj is part gun, part work of art (Photo: Fanzoj)

“Gimmicky” might be the best way to describe most long guns featuring more than two barrels, but the new Vierling from gunmaker Johann Fanzoj is anything but a gimmick. The Austrian company has been making firearms for over nine generations, and they’ve spent the last six years crafting a totally custom four-barrel rifle/shotgun for an unnamed customer in the U.S.

The Vierling (which comes from the German word Vier, meaning “four”) is “an astonishing technical tour-de-force, from the conception, design & crafting of this masterpiece over a six year span, following a client’s specific request and fantasy,” the gunmaker says on its website.

The rifle/shotgun combines a side-by-side rifle chambered in 9.3x74mmR with an over-under 20-gauge 3-inch chambered shotgun. The rifle’s caliber has been popular in Europe and Africa for decades and is commonly used to hunt medium-to-large sized game.

The long gun’s break-open action allows users (or, in this case, user) to load two rifle and two shotgun cartridges simultaneously. Dual triggers combine with a rifle/shotgun selector on the comb to enable the user to fire all four rounds before unloading the firearm.

The gun also features deep-relief ornament engraving depicting a variety of animals by Johann Fanzoj’s master engraver F. Mak.

SEE ALSO: 18 Millimeters of Awesome: Shotguns for Home Defense and Everything Else

But the Vierling is more than just a pretty face. Weighing in at 10.1 pounds, the gun “handles magnificently” and is “perfectly balanced,” according to the company’s website.

Fanzoj gunsmiths also regulated all four barrels to one point of impact using both iron sights (at 35m) and a scope (at 100m). We reached out to Johann Fanzoj for a more detailed description of this process, and they described it as a “technical somersault” that relies heavily on the gunmaker’s extensive experience.

“This method has now been used for about 150 years,” a company rep told us via email. “It involves aligning the set of barrels straight to the bore axis and then soldering them with the ribs and sight. A solderable shim on the muzzle then enables the barrels to be regulated relative to each other.”

“The gunmaker keeps testing and soldering until the point of impact is satisfactory,” the rep continued. “It is a time-consuming process based solely on a sense of proportion and experience. The gunmaker essentially tests the rifle by firing a shot and moving the shim (alternately) until he succeeds in adjusting the two barrels’ point of impact to ONE particular distance.”

To prove the quality of their work, Johann Fanzoj published images of group sizes. The group on the left was shot with the rifle barrels from 100m using a Swarovski scope, and the group on the right was shot from 35m using the shotgun barrels.

Four-barrel firearms aren’t entirely unprecedented. Charles Lancaster famously manufactured four-barrel rifles, shotguns, and pistols in England in the nineteenth century, and, more recently, Winchester produced a four-barrel “shotgun Derringer” in the 1960s.

(Photo: Fanzoj)

(Photo: Fanzoj)

(Photo: Fanzoj)

(Photo: Fanzoj)

(Photo: Fanzoj)

The company rep didn’t say precisely how much they charged their American client for this six-year project, but she did say the final bill was comparable to the MSRP of a Mercedes-Maybach “without extras”: $170,000-$200,000.

Don’t expect to find a Vierling at your local gun store, but the gunmaker does offer a collection of rifles and shotguns ready to be hand-crafted for their next client. They even have this pre-made 5.6X50RM rifle available to purchase today (no price listed).

You can find out more about Johann Fanzoj on their Instagram (@johann_fanzoj), Facebook, and website.

***Shop for Exotic Shotguns on GunsAmerica***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • interventor July 17, 2018, 4:25 pm

    Such firearms require expert gunsmiths. Double barreled rifle barrels must be inclined to allow both rounds to hit the same spot.

  • Al July 17, 2018, 12:02 pm

    I keep drooling on the keyboard!!!!

  • Kyle July 14, 2018, 10:10 pm

    That’s a pure display of talent. I’ve bookmarked the site just on the off chance I ever win the lotto.

  • Charles Babington July 13, 2018, 10:45 am

    I thought I saw 4-barrel combination guns in the 1955 Shooter’s Bible, which was my introduction to the world of firearms beyond the 22 rifle I had shot. The layout I picture was a side by side shotgun, with two different caliber rifle barrels stacked on the centerline, below the shotgun barrels. So I don’t think the suggestion in the article, that Vierlings haven’t been made since the 19th century, isn’t correct.

    The local Cabelas had several drillings (3-barrel) guns in their Gun Library a few years ago, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real Vierling. Thanks for reminding us of what CAN be done.

  • Sgt. Pop July 13, 2018, 9:44 am

    Beautiful art and craftsmanship combined, were I in a different income bracket, I sure would be looking closer, anyhow, really wouldn’t want to tote it on an extended outing, then again thats what I have 7 grandsons for…….”gun boys”

  • The hunter July 13, 2018, 8:52 am

    CRAFTSMENSHIP such a beautiful work of art !

  • Greg July 13, 2018, 5:35 am

    So nice to see a feature on a classic European combination gun. I’ve been a drilling enthusiast and gunsmith for close to half a century. These guns are lovingly crafted one at a time by true artisans. I have a drilling by Fanzoj. Incredible workmanship. 16 ga over 6.5x57R. Would love to see more on this type gun.
    “If God intended us to have plastic stocks, he’d have planted plastic trees” :). More on classic combination guns at my website. Classicsportingguns.com

  • SPM July 13, 2018, 4:54 am

    I think that 30-30 would be a better mach with 20GA. Just My .02$.

  • Daniela Fanzoj July 9, 2018, 8:19 am

    Thank you, Jordan, for featuring our four-barrelled masterpiece, and yes, we represent the Extreme in high-end sporting arms, a demonstration what CAN be done, both mechanically and aesthetically in gunmaking; only a limited number of pieces per year. Old-World-Craftsmanship at its best. Thank you.

  • Blue Dog July 6, 2018, 4:18 pm

    Thank you GunsAmerica for including write-ups on firearms like this Vierling. This combination gun is an excellent expression of the art that gunmaking can be. The fact that it costs more than my house is unsurprising; many wonderful works of art do. Woe be to any muppet who cannot look beyond the price tag and see the beauty that lay before us.

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