Quotes of Note – How Times Have Changed

During the latter decades of the 19th Century, Frenchman Édouard Foa traveled, and hunted extensively, from one end of Africa to another. The diversity of species taken, the extensiveness of his geographical and natural history observations, as well as his description of equipment carried, provides a wonderful journal in his After Big Game in Central Africa. For me, one of the most delightful aspects of Foa’s text was its historical setting. The following quote concerning his views on the newfangled piece of equipment he called a ‘telescope’, but we know as the ‘riflescope’.

“A telescope adjusted on the barrel [of his .303 rifle] is intended to magnify and consequently bring the quarry nearer; but I was never able to use this instrument, and I recommend you, if one is suggested to you, not to make this useless expenditure.”

On the off chance that the reader had not understood his point Foa added:

“As to diamond sights, telescopic sights, or others…which imaginative gunsmiths invent at every moment, the only object which they reach is, most certainly, the pocket of the sportsman.”

.700 Nitro Express? Yes, Please!!

Thank you Jérôme Lanoue of L’Atelier Verney-Carron for providing me the opportunity to fire his personal rifle chambered in .700 Nitro Express

Load - Cropped

Jérôme told me to aim between the target’s ‘bulls’ as if it was the boss of a charging Cape Buffalo.


The moment of truth…


I pulled the shot a bit to the right (if you squint, you can see the hole near the left corner of the right bull)…

Hole in Buffalo Appears

And, there’s the HUGE hole made by the passage of the 1000-grain soft-point!

Hole a bit right! - cropped.jpg

I will need more practice, but I am still smiling after being given the chance to shoot this magnificent rifle!

Still Smiling! - cropped


Verney-Carron Classic: Azur .450/400 3” N.E.

The Verney-Carron Azur rifle sent for this review was equipped with ejectors, double triggers, pistol grip with extended trigger guard tang, steel pistol grip cap, recoil pad, a lovely Turkish walnut stock, light English style hand engraving, 24 lines to the inch hand checkering, a fixed single leaf rear sight, a pivot scope mount, sling swivels and a night/day front sight; the rifle weighed 11 pounds unloaded. The Azur side-by-side has a uniquely-designed receiver that includes a front closure, an interior cross brace, and a double interior longitudinal brace; all of these features yield added strength to areas affected by the pressures of Nitro Express cartridges. What is not reflected in these accurate, but one-dimensional, facts is the superb craftsmanship evident in the details of this double rifle.

(Full review to appear in Africa’s Sportsman Magazine, 2019, October/November/December issue)

Verney-Carron ‘Side-by-Side’

Yep, a deliberate and somewhat inaccurate (photos are actually top-to-bottom…) play on words, but also reflective of the cool illustrations shown below. These photos captured the instant cartridges ejected from a Verney-Carron double rifle in .450/400 3″ Nitro Express and an SD Eloge Grade 20-gauge. I am currently writing up the SD review, and the double rifle review will appear soon in Africa’s Sportsman Magazine. Hope you like these photos as much as I; the photos were taken by my very talented photographer and wife(!), Frances Arnold.

Thanks again to Jérôme Lanouel of L’Atelier Verney-Carron (www.l.atelier.verney-carron.fr) and Ken Buch (www.kebcollc.com), the US Importer and Distributor for Verney-Carron firearms, for sending me the rifle and shotgun for review.