Blast from the Past: Steyr Shotgun

Sited near the Erzberg mine in what is now the state of Upper Austria, Steyr has been an important ironworking center since the 11th century. Steyr Arms got its start in 1821, when a blacksmith named Leopold Werndl began making gun parts. His son Josef took over the business, which grew to the Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft (translation: Austrian Arms-Manufacturing Company—but it looks so much better in German) that comprised several companies, among them Steyr-Mannlicher. Much better known for its rifles, such as last week’s gun and, on the military side, the AUG bullpup rifle, Steyr has made a few shotguns during its long history as well. From all accounts I can find, this fine quality Austrian Steyr was produced in 1903. This 16 gauge sports 28.5-inch "special luftstahl" (fluid-steel) barrels choked Full and Full and has 2 9/16-inch chambers. The semi-pistol grip stock has a horn grip cap that matches the horn buttplate. The wood appears to be French walnut, and like many continental guns, this one has sling swivels and a cheekpiece. From my best guess this gun was built/ordered to be light as possible. They were made to shoot, after all, and it’s nice to think that at 115 years old, this gun will get out into the field this fall.

Last week we had a Steyr rifle. This week we’ve got something much less common: a Steyr shotgun. Sited near the Erzberg mine in what is now the state of Upper Austria, Steyr has been an important ironworking center since the 11th century. Steyr Arms got its start in 1821, when a blacksmith named Leopold Werndl began making gun parts. His son Josef took over the business, which grew to the Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft (translation: Austrian Arms-Manufacturing Company—but it looks so much better in German) that comprised several companies, among them Steyr-Mannlicher. Much better known for its rifles, such as last week’s gun and, on the military side, the AUG bullpup rifle, Steyr has made a few shotguns during its long history as well.

Steyr shotgun
This 115-year-old shotgun will go bird hunting later this fall.

From all accounts I can find, this fine quality Austrian Steyr was produced…

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