By Douglas Tate
British gunmaker E.J. Churchill recently unveiled a new over/under called the Hercules. But it isn’t the first time the firm has offered a model by this name. In the past there was a boxlock built in Birmingham, and then an over/under made in France. I asked Rupert Haynes, Churchill’s gunroom manager, how the new gun differs.
“Our goal with our new Hercules model is to offer the customer a custom specification in 12, 16 and 20 gauge, with options on barrels being 28, 30 and 32 inches and the ability to have a custom stock dimension,” Haynes said. “The new model is made in Italy to our unique specifications and hand finished by ourselves in our own workshops here in West Wycombe Park. When we take in a new Hercules gun from our manufacturer, we are then going into vast cosmetic and internal procedures to give the gun an English oil finish and to check operation. The team then goes into all the internal mechanisms and polishes and times the working parts to perfection.”
The Hercules is built on a triggerplate mechanism and with decorative sideplates engraved with bold acanthus scroll over a stippled silver finish. Stocks have English-style forends, with a variety of grip and forend options available. The gun has a single selective trigger and can be ordered with an automatic safety. The barrels are steel-shot proofed, sport a solid rib tapering from 8mm to 6mm and come with multi-chokes.
According to Haynes: “The weight of the gun is 7 pounds 10 ounces in 12 gauge with 30″ barrels, a capped Prince of Wales grip and a slim game forend. This will differ depending on stock specifications, barrel length and wood density. The new Hercules is available to view and shoot at our E.J. Churchill shooting ground in the UK, and we have orders in process and guns being delivered for the forthcoming game season.” The price of £9,995 ($12,400) for a single gun or £21,989 ($27,300) for a pair, inclusive of British VAT, includes a full leather hard case.
For more information, visit ejchurchill.com.