Friday, August 31, 2012

Darne R10

A few years ago I told Lou about Darne shotguns.  In time he managed to pick one up for quite a steal from a dealer in Texas.   The gun he found was a 20 gauge Darne R10, a 70s era Stoeger import.  Its a Plain-Jane model with no engravings and a case colored sliding breech.  The LOP was too short and Lou added a slip-on ventilated pad, (to my disgust), to increase it to 14.5 inches.  The wood is appropriate for such a model and therefore nothing to write home about. Fit at some places is not something you'd expect from a fine gun maker.  I had once read that the quality control during the 60-70 era was not up to par. Even with all its shortcomings, this gun is a dream, I would not be ashamed of having it in my collection (without the slip-on pad of course). I shot his R10 while dog training and it shoots nicely though like all short, lightweight guns its very easy to stop your swing.  So you must consciously tell yourself to continue on your swing.
I love that Darne action.
No engravings but is nicely case colored.
The wood is very plain and has a blond hint to it.
This needs to be removed and a proper pad must be added to increase the LOP.
Stoeger Markings.
The wood to metal fit here could be better.  I'm not sure if the wood shrank or if the rumors of 1970 era Darne's poor quality control are true.
This is a true Darne and as such is marked so on the ears.
This is a fine gun and I wish it were in my collection.  It balances quite nicely and has a feel more like a 28 guage than a 20. The chokes are very open. I believe they are Skt1/Skt1 but I'm not too certain.  Perfect over a pointing dog and our resident quail.


  1. Just a note on the quality of the Darnes in the 70s - the issue of the wood shrinking away from the metal is just that - I have a R13 bought new in 1974. It was flawless on day one but over the decades the wood has done exactly what is shown in the photo above (and in the same spot). The hand engraving, scrolling and stock checkering is pretty good (not perfect but it was done by a person not a robot) and was exceptional for the price and the time (the gun cost me around $200). It has been a faithful servant for 40 years now and is used regularly and sometimes often (up until a few years back the variety of Hops my family grows was affected by birds seeking seeds (the variety we grow now is seedless) so each year for nearly 30 years several hundred little offenders met an untimely demise at the hands of the Darne). I have always loved the low weight, sensible chokes, chromed inner barels and especially the relatively short barrels and surprising low levels of kickback. As a bird and bush gun it is hard to beat. The gun is still a hoot to use and simplicity itself to take apart and pack away after a days hunting.

    1. Another Darne aficionado! Thanks for sharing your story. May your Darne serve you another 40 years and more.