J.A. Kuchenreuter Drilling 16 GA/8mm Combination Rifle/Shotgun, C&R

SOLD FOR: $855

WOA#: 240113NB009

Make: J.A. Kuchenreuter of Regensburg

Model: Drilling

Serial Number: 1942

Year of Manufacture: Early 1900’s, C&R

Caliber/Gauge: The shotgun barrels are chambered for 16 gauge, 2 9/16″ shells. The rifle barrel is chambered for .300 or 8mm.

Action Type: Back-Action External Hammer Three-Barrel Drilling With Extractor, 2 Trigger, and Tang Mounted Selector

Markings: The top of the left barrel is marked “REGENSBURG”.  The top of the right barrel is marked “J.A. KUCHENREUTER”.  The left chamber is marked “PRIMA WITTNER” (Top Grade Low-Carbon Steel Brand).  The right chamber is marked “STAHL LAÜFE” (barrel steel).    The bottom of the rifle barrel is marked “G.K.H.”, “D”, two Nitro Eagles, Crowned U, Crowned G, “1942”, “W”, “172,28”. The right barrel flat is marked with a Crowned S, Crowned W, Crowned U, Circled 16, “16”.  The left barrel flat is marked with the same proofs as the right barrel flat but they are a bit more faded are harder to rear. The chamber of the rifle barrel on the lug is marked “60”.  The receiver is marked “1942”, Crowned U, Nitro Eagle.  The inside of the trigger guard is marked “42”.  The bottom of the break lever is marked “42”.  The receiver, hammers, side plates, lever, screws, and stock metal are all intracately engraved.

Barrel Length: 26.75” Approximate

Choke: Both chokes measure Improved Cylinder with our choke gauge. Both Fixed

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade in-line dovetailed to the front of the rib. There is a folding “U”-notch rear sight which flips up when the rifle barrel is selected. (It does not flip all the way up).  The rear sight base is dovetailed and screw-set to the rib.

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with splinter forend with slight schnabel tip, horn guard, horn capped grip, straight comb with cheekpiece, hard rubber buttplate, metal door in the belly over a four-cartridge storage compartment and a sling swivel mounted to the plate for the compartment door (there is another swivel mounted to the bottom of the rifle barrel in front of the forend). The stocks have scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. The checkering is generally well defined. There is a large crack on the left side of the forend and another visible  inside down the center.  There is another crack on the left side of the grip with a screw holding the separated portion in place.  There are chunks missing on the grip right behind the hammers where the stock meets the receiver.  The LOP measures 13.3″ and 12.5″ from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the buttplate.  Overall, the stocks are in about Fair condition.

Type of Finish: Blue, Steel, Coin

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The shotgun bores are semi-bright with some scattered light erosion and minor pitting. The left bore has more severe erosion compared to the right.  The rifle bore is gray with well defined rifling, scattered light erosion and some light pitting. In this writer’s opinion the left bore rates 5/10, the right bore rates 6/10, and the rifle bore rates 6.5/10.

Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion.  This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.  For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII.  The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive primed ammunition until the 1950s.

Overall Condition: This drilling retains about 60% of its metal finish. The barrels have generally strong finish with some wear on the sides over the forend.The receiver’s coin finish is generally strong with some minor discoloration in the matted relief areas of the engraving. There are some scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The bottom receiver screw is removed. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fair condition as C&R. Please see mechanics.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a lever on the bottom to open the action. The switch on the top tang selects between the rifle and shotgun barrels. The front trigger fires the right barrel and the rear trigger fires the left barrel.  When the rifle barrel is selected, the front trigger is supposed to set forward to fire the rifle barrel.  The set trigger function does not catch.  The barrels lock up with no play to the receiver. We have not fired this drilling. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: Combination guns have been a popular “do-all” gun for generations, with some still being produced today. The combination of a shotgun for fowl and a rifle for terrestrial game allows the hunter to become familiar with one gun for all their trips to the field. There are several configurations for combination guns from side-by-side to over-under, with drillings specifying three-barrel variations. Examples such as this, with two shotgun barrels and one rifled barrel are somewhat standard, as drillings go.

J.A. Kuchenreuter of Regensburg represents a significant lineage in the history of European gunmaking, deeply rooted in the Bavarian tradition of firearms craftsmanship. The Kuchenreuter family, spanning several generations, established itself as one of the foremost names in the production of high-quality firearms since the early 18th century. Johann Adam Kuchenreuter, the progenitor, set the foundation for what would become a renowned dynasty of gunsmiths, recognized for their precision and artistry in crafting rifles, pistols, and other firearms.

Operating out of Regensburg, a city with a rich history in arms manufacture, the Kuchenreuter family contributed significantly to the evolution of firearm design and technology. Their work was characterized by meticulous attention to detail, innovative engineering, and exquisite decorative art, often incorporating elaborate engravings and inlays that reflected the high standards of European aristocracy and the discerning tastes of the period.

The legacy of J.A. Kuchenreuter is not just in the individual pieces that have survived to this day, but also in the influence they had on European gunmaking. Their firearms are highly prized by collectors and historians alike, serving as enduring examples of the gunmaker’s art and the cultural heritage of Bavaria. The Kuchenreuter name is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, a testament to the skill and dedication of this remarkable family in the annals of firearms history.

This will make a great piece for drilling or fine European firearms collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!  – L.S.

J.A. Kuchenreuter Drilling 16 GA/8mm Combination Rifle/Shotgun, C&R
J.A. Kuchenreuter Drilling 16 GA/8mm Combination Rifle/Shotgun, C&R