Saturday, August 28, 2010


It's a double barrel sawed off shot gun, y'all. Sicilian style. You can start your journey to knowledge about double barreled SXS (Side by Side) here at The Lupara, a great short history by Rob over at Stefi's of the use of this fine weapon in Italy and Sicily.

All of this is more relevant because my buddy Max is VERY INTERESTED in getting a Double barrel SBS. Like me, he grew up watching characters that were sidekicks to John Wayne in movies like BIG JAKE who carried a sawed off double barrel in addition to or instead of a Colt .45. During my police days, I arrested several folks who were true fugitives who were armed with (both in fact carrying them on their person) sawed off 12 gauges ( "A GAUGE" as they are referred to in certain parts of the 'hood). Both had been home modified and one was a clunker that even the armorer ws afraid to test and the other was made from a high quality Beretta, an old one.
As I understand it, a "Lupara" has external hammers, but for the purpose of this post, I'll refer to any sawed off, whether internal or external hammers, as a Lupara.
Here's a brief article about The Lupara. Here's a much better one: They say it's called the Hillbilly Dueling Pistol. I can see that.

I shot the Beretta, and it was a nice shooting gun. In America, if you obtain the proper license from the ATF and pay a $200 transfer fee on a sawed off shotgun, you can legally own it. Max is really thinking seriously about getting one for "home defense". And not just any modified sawed off shotgun, but a custom gunsmithed one.

So being the obsessive compulsive type of person I am when it comes to tools of the trade and toys (I smugly catagorize this as both, although Mrs. El Fisho would undoubtedly say only the latter, and an unnecessary one at that).

I can devise all sorts of justifications, need and want for a sawed off shotgun. I'm as attracted to the factory made Remington 870 14" barrel pistol grip (or even fully stocked) shotgun as well as the double barreled pistol. I've seen a few over-under sawed offs, and I actually think this would be a more concealable weapon that could be carried in a large Bianchi X-15 shoulder holster or perhaps a bit large custom made version of that holster or a holster made for an AutoMag or a Desert Eagle.

But right now, I'm thinking the side by side (SXS) as yet another "home defense weapon". Mrs. El Fisho says we don't need anymore home defense weapons, and of course I heartily disagree. I have no doubt reason will prevail in the end.

I'd like to have a cowboy rig leather holster rig, perhaps made my El Paso Saddlery or a custom maker. That would be a great rig when I'm fishing at the place or at a friend's place, where I can carry a pistol openly. Great snake gun and a great hog gun, although I prefer a good .30-.30 scoped lever action for hogs. Go for the long gun when you can.

It would also be a fun blow the hell out of stuff gun, and I wouldn't want to underestimate the theraputic value of making things like watermelons and water jugs simply vanish into thin air. For fun and snakes, shoot it with birdshot. For defense, buckshot. And you've always got the option of a reload with slugs in case buckshot is not doing the trick.

Wild hogs of various types, in most of the parts of Texas that I fish, continue to be a big problem. They are destructive and overpopulated. The decimate game animals and can ruin many months of a farmer's work in several hours. Most of my friends, even us, grow food in small gardens for personal consumption, and those who live on acreage tend to have large plots of veggies and the like for eating and trading for other organic or natural homegrown foods. A herd of hogs can just destroy a sizeable garden food plot of an acre or two in less than an hour, ruining a seasons food. Fencing is rarely an affective deterrent, unless a very solid rock or wood fence.

So most of my friends shoot hogs, both for damage control and when smaller and younger hogs are available, for food. The older and larger hogs tend to be tough and gristley. Hogs can also attack domesticated ranch animals like chickens and goats and sheep. Wolves and more likely, coyotes are always a problem for stockmen in many parts of Texas.

So a Lupara would be a great gun to take out after a large hog with, whether on horseback like my friend COWBOY does or in an ATV in a style reminiscent of Chuck Conner's sixties TV show "Cowboy In Africa" or the John Wayne movie "Hitari!". Or if one was "riding the early morning fog that often engulfs rural Texas humid summer areas at dawn", you'd be likely to see a coyote pack heading pack to their den for the day.

With both barrels at one, you might be able to take out a buzzard. I've been encountering some pretty damn bold buzzards over the past ten years. At out last home, near a huge nature preserve, there were some particularly bold buzzards that would have huge buzzard fights in the street over a squirrel or possum or armadillo that had been run over by a car. Lots of these fights were taking place in front yards or on neighborhood streets, with lots of kids nearby. Finally, our local cops just blasted into them with an 870 one day when they were at the playground with the nearby levee as a backdrop bullet stop, and took care of business that way.

A Luparo is probably a great buzzard gun.

Max is enamored with guns made by the Hatcher Gun Company, and frankly, so am I. I'm hoping he will get his in the next few months so that I'll be spurred on to ask Santa for one. I'd like to shoot the Hatcher, double trigger and no external hammers, the cheapest of the guns, which is made from a Remington I believe.

And you know, if you were able to buy a Hatcher SXS and get a nice western cowboy rig from El Paso to carry it, you'd really HAVE to get a nice Bowie knife in some classic design to carry on the other side, just to finish off the outfit.

I have to note that GATOR, from which both Bert Reynolds and the late great Jerry Reed are pictured above with SXS's, is a great white trash movie and Reed does an excellent job as a real bad guy. Of course, Resident Evil chick knows the value of a pair of sawed offs (one was cut out) and I think that really says it all.

In a self defense situation, or just having fun on the farm or shooting range, one could do a lot worse than a SXS in the weak hand and a high capacity 9mm (say, a Glock or Browning Hi Power with a 33 round mag) in the strong hand. Or vice versa. Or have the handgun as immediate backup to the Lupara, but with the laser sights available today, anyone with a moderate amount of coordination and shooting ability should be able to blast the hell out of a close quarters combat target with a Luparo in one hand and a laser sighted hi cap 9mm in the other. And of course, if you've got the kind of place where you can practice shooting like that, such as private land, then it would be a lot of fun shooting that particular combo.


  1. If you go with a non-NFA pistol grip or folder, I highly recommend a pistol foregrip.


    They really help with control and absorbing the recoil. My truck carry gun is a min length barreled side folder pistol gripped Win 1300 with a mag extension. No CCW required.

  2. I think you're absolutely right, Kevin, and thanks for stopping by.

    As with all guns that will take them, I'd like to have a nice Pachmayr presentation sized grip on a "gauge". I've seen pictures of shotguns with them, and I bet they work well.

    For the past thirty years, I've had a variety of folders, pistol gripped and regular stocked Defenders, Mossbergs and 870's. You can't beat a pistol grip or folder with a min bbl (18" in Texas) and an extended mag.

    There are so many options now for carrying spare rounds as well, although the rounds carried on a sling has always appealed to me more than rounds mounted on the receiver. The buttstock round carriers are nice looking, but I have never tried them.

    Thanks again and keep on commenting.