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Antique Percussion Shotguns
Like the rifle, the shotgun was forced to evolve as times changed. As percussion rifles became the norm, percussion shotguns didn’t trail far behind.
A percussion shotgun works by placing a small metal cap filled with a shock-sensitive explosive on top of a nipple, then striking it with a hammer. This creates a spark which ignites gunpowder and propels the shot forward. Many blunderbuss weapons and fowling pieces were converted to percussion from matchlock.
Double-barreled shotguns grew in popularity with the advent of percussion caps. They quickly became the standard by which shotguns were built. These shotguns were favored by cavalry units for the same reason that blunderbusses were: it was easier to strike targets from a moving horse. Hunters, ranchers, and farmers preferred the double barrel for its ease of use, power, and ability to kill in a single shot. Percussion weapons are relatively young and many are still in firing condition.
The Confederate cavalry was legendary for their usage of percussion shotguns
Percussion caps and modern manufacturing developed the rabbit-ear hammers still found on double-barreled shotguns
Colt produced a revolving percussion shotgun known as the model 1855. It offered more than double the firepower of a double barrel but was expensive and brittle
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