Join Date: Jan 2011
If you are trying to identify a coaching gun, as opposed to a sawn-off, there are things to look at.
Barrel taper, if it is made as a short barrel gun, then it will have a fast and elegant taper, rather than an abrupt end with an awkward profile and excess metal at the muzzle.
The rib, either as midrib or under-rib will have a finished end rather than being open, which is the dead giveaway of a home made alteration.
It will balance, with the but-stock proportioned to the length and weight of the barrels.
In other words, whatever the calibre and age, think more on the lines of a carbine, rather than a sawn down musket or rifle.
In the Middle East, you can find quite a few mini-pieces made as serious weapons for the saddle boot, sometimes called knee-guns because they were braced on the knee rather than the shoulder. More like a shoulder stocked pistol than a cut down shoulder arm.
There has always been a demand and a use for a handy sub length long arm. They were issuing mini AR15's (?) for vehicle personnel in Vietnam... or so I have been told.
I also remember a shooter (British) bemoaning the change in the law that meant the handy DB gun at 23" barrel length was no longer legal, because it was so good in dense reed and marsh hunting.