Favorite Firearms: A French Shotgun Brought Home

posted on July 20, 2021
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My father acquired this 16-ga. shotgun in Germany during World War II. He was with the 1262nd Combat Engineer Battalion. It is a French gun, a Robust No. 32, manufactured in Saint-Étienne, France. He got it in the vicinity of Erlangen or Heroldsberg, Germany, toward the end of the war when German civilians were required to turn in any firearms they had.

It has fluid steel barrels and is in good functioning order. Many years ago, a gunsmith reamed the chambers from the European 2½" to the much more common 2¾". It has a spring-loaded leather sling that rolls up into the stock and attaches to a clip on the underside of the barrels.

I often wonder about the history of this gun. Were French guns sold and used in Germany at that time? Did a German soldier bring it or send it from occupied France earlier in the war? I guess I’ll never know the details, but it is nonetheless one of my favorites.

Thomas R. Hopkins, Virginia


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