“Double Deuce” 2-Bore Rifle: A Gunsmithing Spectacle

Double Deuce rifle
Lil’ Deuce pistol

The largest sporting rifles ever actually used in the field as more than an exhibition were 4-bore stopping rifles, firing roughly 1″ in diameter (25mm) projectiles. These were intended to not simply kill a dangerous animal, but to stop it immediately in a charge, which might require shooting through thick bone or horn protection. For that purpose, the 4-bore could have some value – assuming you had an assistant to carry it when danger was not imminent!

However, there have been a number of gunsmiths who have built 2-bore rifles, like this example named “Double Deuce” by its maker, Stolzer & Son of Kansas. At 44 pounds, this behemoth is definitely too heavy for practical use, but it sure is an impressively huge piece of work! It fires a 1.33″ (33.8mm) ball weighing 3500gr (227g) at about 1250fps (380 m/s)…if you can hold it on target long enough to get an accurate shot.

You can check out Stolzer’s YouTube channel for a whole slew of videos on the making of these two guns, and more.


  1. A 44 pound rifle to take down a charging rhino? Why not empty an AVS-36 or a Vickers K vehicle twin mount into the brute? Oh wait, those are overkill!

    • “Why not empty an AVS-36 or a Vickers K vehicle twin mount”
      Because 2-bore is technologically older than weapons, it could exist and work as intended in era of black-powder when later could not.

    • 3500gr at 1,250 works out to about 12,100 FPE, or about the energy of a standard .50 BMG round.

      Which kicks harder, a 44-pound double elephant gun firing only one barrel, or an LAR Grizzly Big Boar .50 BMG single-shot weighing 30.4 pounds?



      • “Which kicks harder”
        For recoil comparison, momentum is more useful.
        3500 gr @ 1250 is in metric 225.8065 @ 381 which mean momentum ~86032
        For comparison 12,7×108 B-32 bullet (or in full name 57-БЗ-542 cartridge with 7-БЗ-2 bullet): 48.2 @ 818 which mean momentum ~39428
        Thus in case of weapons of same mass AND without muzzle break AND being fully rigid (no significant mass moving after firing), recoil should be bigger for first.

        • “Thus in case of weapons of same mass ….”

          Unfortunately or the other way around, it is the weapon’s weight which makes more of the difference. One phenomenon which adds to feel of recoil is “jet effect” produced by gas exiting from muzzle; it is more noticeable with short barrels.

          When you merely compare momentums of projectiles you are correct and consistent as was often the case in past.

          • If you calculate the momentum of the weapon from the momentum of the projectile assuming no support for the weapon, you get a pretty good idea for recoil comparison between different weapons, but of course only if you assume equivalent support in actual shooting.

            Nevertheless, the jet effect is a large factor as well for short barreled rifles (or carbines) and pistols, as anyone who has shot an M44 Mosin-Nagant or Lee-Enfield No.5 Mk I “Jungle Carbine” knows. Both have significantly more felt recoil than the short rifles that preceded them.

        • Depending on literature you read it is sometimes cited, that “recoil energy” is really the more relevant factor.

          The weapon which is allowed to ‘coast’ (not held firmly enough into shoulder) is known to kick more. Its motion’s velocity derives from ratios of mass and velocity bullet versus the weapon – thus from momenta ratio as you alluded to in first place.

          More you get into it, more tricky it gets. Simple thing on surface which can be made into real science. 🙂

          • For fairness, when comes o sources I have used in past Notes on Ballistics by J. Rocha, one time engineer with Springfield armory. It was noted and linked to one time on FW.

          • “Notes on Ballistics by J. Rocha”
            There exist pulse of recoil of cartridge used for comparison of recoil of cartridges loaded with smokeless powder. Empirical formula by Благонравов is as follow:
            mc – bullet mass, kg
            mp – powder charge mass, kg
            V – muzzle velocity, m/s
            Following examples of cartridges are given:
            a) 9×19 Parabellum: 8 g @ 360 m/s, charge 0,4 g (muzzle energy: 518)
            b) 5,7×28: 2 g @ 716 m/s, charge 0,5 g (muzzle energy: 513)
            If you use given formula (remember about adjusting units! So 9×19 has 0,008 kg bullet and contain 0,0004 kg of powder) for both results will be as follow:
            a) 3,39
            b) 2,07
            So as you can see despite similar muzzle energy second give smaller recoil impulse.
            From short article in Russian available here: https://zbroya.info/ru/blog/6403_neskolko-myslei-ob-otdache-oruzhiia/
            However note that this is formula is for CARTRIDGE-employing fire-arms using SMOKELESS powder, also this value is always attached to CARTRIDGE, not fire-arm.

          • You may call it “empirical” (based on experience and that is fine. There are also ballistic pendulums which quantify energy of recoil on freely suspended firearm which results in pretty accurate comparative measurement.

            In practical perception of recoil there comes however the most complex and unforeseen part and that is human body structure and the way it is used to counter the recoil.
            I received some lecturing by known ballistician years ago and his line was: “when comes to human engineering I stop right there”. Therefore, talking about firearm’s dynamics in isolation is not whole story.

  2. I would only want one barrel rifled, the other one smooth bore.

    This would allow me to fire 2-bore buckshot.

    If my math is correct, 9 pellets would fit into this shell. (It might have to be a bit longer than the bulleted one shown in the video). Each pellet would be almost .60 caliber, and would weigh almost 325 grains.

    This should be a good load for thin skinned but still large and dangerous animals.

    Just the thing for that trip to Jurassic Park!

  3. ah, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson’s new rifle. I wonder what the muzzle velocity would be for the pistol, 100 grains of black powder isn’t a lot compared to a 3,300 grain bullet weight. 500-600 fps?

  4. Obviously the modern tank was invented to give this something to shoot at.
    Clearly, not ‘tother way ‘round.
    Can’t wait for driverless modern armor to show up and learn to deal with cognitive human opponents.
    Should be most amusing for all concerned.
    (Stretch a steel trip wire ‘cross the path an we’ll be interested on how it goes:););))

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