World War II Weihrauch Drilling Gun

posted on July 26, 2010
20107269432-img_1844_fs.jpg

The title of this column, “I Have This Old Gun,” is an oft-heard phrase from firearm enthusiasts. Still, I was surprised to hear these words from my guide, Cody Plank, during a recent wild boar hunt on Southern California’s Tejon Ranch.

It seems Plank’s great-uncle brought a drilling back from Germany after World War II. His mother killed her first deer with it, and 10 years later Plank shot his first quail with it. The gun was “borrowed” by family members, and Plank lost track of it. Eventually, it made its way back into Plank’s possession, and he wanted to know what he had.

The gun was indeed a drilling, a nomenclature stemming from the German drei, or three, signifying a firearm with three barrels. Most often encountered are side-by-side smoothbores with a rifled barrel underneath, which explains how Plank’s gun was used for both fur and feathers. His German-made drilling features two 16-gauge smoothbores and a rifled barrel chambered in 7x57 mm Mauser.

The gun was made by Hermann Weihrauch who, in 1899, began producing quality rifles, shotguns and airguns in Zella-Mehlis, Germany. According to Hans-Hermann Weihrauch, Hermann’s great-grandson and the current president of Weihrauch-Sport GmbH, “[T]he company was closed during the Russian occupation in the late 1940s and nothing survived.” Weihrauch reopened in Bavaria during the 1950s and today produces only .22 pistols and high-grade airguns.

Plank’s classic pre-war drilling features Germanic engraving and a carved horn trigger guard. A tab on the bottom of the stock unlatches a compartment for four rifle cartridges. A sliding engraved button on the tang selects firing pins for shotgun or the rifle’s rear set trigger. The barrels are stamped “Bueler-Stahl,” a steel company that started in the 1920s, thus helping date this gun, which has no serial number. The stock sports an Old English recoil pad by Mershon Co., which was acquired by the late Frank Pachmayr in the ’60s and is not likely contemporary with the gun.

For all their old world craftsmanship, drillings are not as popular in America as in Europe. Nonetheless, Cody’s heirloom is worth between $4,500 and $6,500—all of which is academic. “It’ll never be for sale,” says Plank. “I’m going to give it to my daughter and hopefully when she’s old enough, she’ll kill her first game with it, too.”

Gun: Hermann Weihrauch Drilling
Caliber/Gauge:
7x57 mm Mauser; 16 gauge
Condition: 98 percent (NRA Modern Excellent)
Manufactured: 1925 to 1935 (estimate)
Value: $4,500-$6,500 (U.S. market)

Latest

Don Troiani’s Paintings Of The Revolutionary War
Don Troiani’s Paintings Of The Revolutionary War

Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings Of The American Revolution

Noted artist and American Rifleman contributor Don Troiani will display some of his original artwork at his first-ever major exhibition, which is being hosted by the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pa. The exhibition opened Oct. 16 and runs until Sept. 5, 2022, in the museum’s first-floor Patriots Gallery.

Preview: Convergent Hunting Solutions Bullet HP Complete Game Calling System

With a 10-hour runtime, wireless control and IP64 weather resistance, the Bullet HP is an electronic game-calling system made right here in the USA. Thanks to a powerful 10W internal amplifier, the Bullet HP bluetooth-operated speaker is capable of exceeding 100 dBs at wireless distances of up to 300 feet.

The Armed Citizen® Jan. 24, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

New For 2022: Bergara Premier MgLite Rifle

New for 2022, Bergara introduces its new Premier Series MgLite rifle, combining carbon fiber and magnesium construction for an ultra-lightweight, long-range bolt action.

New For 2022: Stoeger STR-9C Optic Ready

New for 2022, Stoeger introduces a new addition to its compact STR-9C handgun line with an optic read model, the STR-9C Optic Ready.

New For 2022: Browning X-Bolt Speed Ovix Suppressor Ready

Browning introduces a new addition to the X-bolt Speed series for 2022 with a suppressor ready model with pre-threaded barrel.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.