This gun started its life as a hunting gun. The Harrington & Richardson Model 176 is a long 10 gauge shotgun chambered for 3 1/2-inch shells. It is a beast. This would be a great gun for knocking high flying geese from the sky.
But more and more, these old 10 gauge behemoths are seeing new life as defensive guns. I remember three chapter headings from an old Time Life book on mining I used to read when I was a kid. The first was “How to make a Hole.” Chapter two was “How to make a Hole Bigger.” And the last was “How to make a Bigger Hole.” The 10 gauge makes a bigger hole.
The H&R Model 176
H&R still make a 10 gauge turkey gun that is very similar to the old 176. But if you’re looking for something to monkey with, the used market is flush with them. A good 10 gauge single-shot will sell from $100 on up, depending on scarcity and condition.
The old 176 was a handsome gun for what it was. Someone had tried to refinish the stock on this one earlier, so it had a washed out look that wasn’t so flattering. But the case hardening was nice for such an inexpensive shotgun.
These guns had barrels that were 3-feet long. This helped shoot tight patterns at ridiculous distances.