The William Powell Princeps

Trigger of a fine gun

What I love about the British gun trade is that the next big thing can often be more than a hundred years old. Take the new William Powell Princeps, which combines the mechanics of a triggerplate action with the aesthetics of a round-bodied over/under. In the UK the triggerplate shotgun emerged circa 1880, while the look of the modern O/U dates from 1909. Now famed Birmingham maker Powell has brought us an Italian-sourced shotgun that offers the best of both.

The sideplated body, forend tip and steel-capped pistol grip feature hand-engraved scroll. Barrels are proofed for high-performance steel shot, have 3" chambers and are available in 28", 29", 30" or 32" lengths with Half & Half fixed chokes. Stocks are grade-four Turkish walnut featuring a semi-palm-swell grip and are made to the buyer’s measurements. A selective single trigger is standard, but double triggers are available. Other options are Teague multi-chokes or Powell’s multi-choke system, an elongated forend iron like that on the famed Boss O/U, upgraded wood and bespoke engraving.

Retailing at £11,000 ($13,200), the Princeps is available in 12 bore, and a 20 should be ready by this summer. “A 16 will be available as well,” said Gunroom Manager Tom Peachey. “We haven’t had one made up yet and are working on the engraving to be just right.” The 12 and 20 are built on scaled actions, and a 12-bore with 30" barrels weighs 7 pounds 4 ounces. The price includes a gunfitting session in Powell’s Oxfordshire premises and a leather-covered ABS travel case.

Since 1802 William Powell has been synonymous with producing fine shotguns. The Princeps over/under adds to this rich heritage. For more information, visit williampowell

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