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Fosbery’s Paradox, by Holland and Holland

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Lt. Col. George Fosbery was a British Army officer who was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions in India in 1863 – and that was not the only thing he did while stationed there. He also realized that there was an unmet demand for a sporting gun capable of firing both birdshot and solid ball with equal ease, for British officers interested in hunting in places where one might be equally likely to encounter fur or feather. And so he created the Paradox – basically the world’s first rifled shotgun choke. A wide pattern of rifling was engraved in the last 1.5 inches or so of a shotgun bore; enough to give a spin to solid projectiles to improve their accuracy, but not enough to severely disrupt the pattern of a load of birdshot. The result was a gun quite sufficient for either use, and Fosbery licensed his patent to Holland & Holland of London, who made beautiful guns with his Paradox name from 28ga up to 8ga.

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