Bourjaily: The CSMC A-10 American

A year ago I visited Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company and witnessed a Marvel Of Our Age - a world-class fine double gun maker located right here in the US, in New Britain, Connecticut, to be precise. CSMC employs about 70 craftsmen, and, save for a few springs and widgets, every part of every gun is made entirely in house.

This week they announced their latest project: the A-10 American, which you can see here: a10american.com. It's a sidelock O/U, not unlike the Boss or Woodward O/Us from England, or the Fabbri O/Us from Italy. "Sidelock" means all the parts of the lockwork are located on the inside of the steel plates on the sides of the receiver. On most sidelock guns, these sideplates unscrew by means of a little twirly-screw (I believe that's the technical term) that you can undo with one finger, meaning you can easily pop the locks out to clean, repair or admire. On this gun, the locks detach by means of little flush mounted tabs that pop up to release the sideplates. It is a very elegantly made gun.

If the A-10 is built as well as any other gun that comes out of Connecticut Shotgun, it will be gem. That's the good news. The bad is, it lists for $7,995, which, while a bargain for a sidelock O/U (you can spend ten or twenty times that amount on an English or Italian model), is still a lot of money. If you order now, and pay in full, the price drops to $4,995, still well out of my price range, but not so far out that I can't dream a little.