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Basic Information

A Drilling is a class of multi-purpose firearm, distinguished by having two shotgun barrels and one rifle barrel, usually in an under-over configuration. The name is derived from the German word for "triplet", given the three barrels and the fact that this sort of weapon seems to be most popular in Germany. Most designs are single action break-loading or (in the case of ancestral weapons) muzzle loading1. The generic term is combination gun which can cover weapons with any number of barrels2. In all cases calibres vary from model to model but generally use a rimmed cartridge (which is normal for break-action weapons).

Drillings are normally hunting weapons, allowing the hunter to prowl loaded for both small game (with a shot-shell) and large game (with a rifle round) without carrying two weapons about.

For the same sort of thing in a pistol format, consider the LeMat revolver.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Apparently quite common in early modern Germany - and very useful for a pot-hunter who is not too concerned about what it is he shoots as long as he brings something home. Thus, likely to be quite a common weapon to be found at hand or operated by local militia. Probably less common in the gun-room of the schloss, but not to be ruled out if the local lord is prepared to stoop to rough shooting.
  • The Soviets, who struggled with re-entry control, stored a drilling (the TP-82 "Space Gun") in the return capsules for their space programme as a survival tool whilst the crew were waiting to be found and recovered. The Luftwaffe developed a similar weapon (the M30) for aircrew use for more or less the same purpose.
    • The luftwaffe version could turn up pretty much anywhere from the Middle East to North Africa to the Arctic circle, all of which were entirely in scope for landings of German aircraft, controlled or otherwise.
    • Conceivably escaping Nazis could take them even further afield after the war.
  • Two barreled combinations - known as "Cape Guns" were popular in sub-Saharan Africa for many years.
  • The Americans also produced a variety of aircrew survival weapons such as the M6, a two barrelled combination.
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