2 bore rifle photos

A while back I posted some photos of a 2 bore cartridge. While browsing the Nitro Express forum I came across this amazing photo of a 2 bore muzzleloader. All I can say is “Wow”.

I wonder which end hits harder

I read in another thread that this rifle was going to weight 32 lbs and has a 36″ barrel. To put this in perspective: the caliber, barrel length and weight are very similar to smaller swivel cannons!

I am not sure if this is a true rifle or a paradox gun (mostly smoothbore but rifling near the muzzle).

A few more photos of the rifle (click to expand):




The owner was considering a load of 275 – 325 grains of blackpowder firing 3500 grains of lead.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • A friend of mine has a 2-bore, 26″ barrel, 26 lb wt, and yes, 275-325 gr of ffg under 1/2lb lead packs a mighty wallop.
    He got the thing from a fellow who said he used it to hunt Moose in Canada with it using 500g of powder. All I can think is that he must have been Paul Bunyans long lost brother.

  • DJK

    I’m pretty sure that thing should be emplaced and crew served.

  • Ben

    wow 2gauge. That’s pretty BA. if you are worried about stopping power this is the thing for you.

  • Shawn

    I’m in Canada and I’m a pretty big man. That’s not anything I’d want to shoot more then once. If, and I mean if you hit anything. You’d have to sponge up the pieces. That’s going to leave a mark (both ends)

  • Bill

    How much did he pay for that 2 bore

  • Bill, I am not sure, I think he was building it himself.

  • Hi,

    Just thought I’d let you know that this rifle was built by Steve Zihn, a personal friend of mine and a gunsmith in Wyoming who specializes in high grade muzzleloading rifles and in Mauser based bolt action sporters. This particular rifle was commissioned by a big bore rifle enthusiast in Southern Illinois who hopes to hunt in Africa with it.

    Thanks for visiting the Nitro Express forums and referring to us here. It is a pleasure to have our forums mentioned on an excellent blog.

    Good hunting!

  • Mehul, thanks for the info. I think your forums are great and really enjoy browsing them!

  • dippy

    Well, If that’s what your in to. More power to ya. If I’m going to make something with that big of a bore, I’ll machine a cannon

  • airjammer

    cant be a gun thats useable but has a cool look….prolly just some kind of model

    • airjammer, it is 100% real. This type of gun has been used for at least 150 years.

  • Steve,

    Of course, you’re absolutely right on the useability of this rifle. The owner will be hunting buffalo in Africa with it shortly and we should have the pictures up after his hunt. It’s nice to see so much interest in this project and my thanks are especially to you for writing about it here.

    Whoever has doubts about Steve’s guns being “only models” is welcome to help with sighting them in, ha, ha! Reality hits really hard (pun wholly intended here) when someone shoots one of these monsters even once. With almost twice the muzzle energy of a 600 Nitro Express load with a full charge in this 2 Bore, it should kick quite a bit.

    Good hunting, gentlemen!

  • ilya

    This gun was used for hunting in Africa for hunting big game such as lion or elephant as a last resort, only when a bullet from a regular caliber failed to kill the animal but instead wounded it enraging it, this gun would be aimed in the general direction to stop the animal in its tracks, sending the shooter to the ground also.

  • Nathan

    It seems to me that the muzzle velocity for that thing would be pretty poor.

  • I hope this works.

    I am Steve Zihn.
    I like to chat about these things, but I am nearly computer illiterate, so I have tried and failed to get on this site in the past.
    I hope it works this time.
    You can also find me at the Traditional Muzzleloaders Association site as “Wyosmith”

    • Steve, you are on the site! Welcome!

  • Sam Suggs

    why would you make a “paradox gun”