Triple Barreled German Krupp Stahl

My friend Mike Branson got to photograph his co-worker’s father’s 100 year old gun. The engraving is just stunning.

A coworker’s father owns this beautiful German Krupp Stahl “drilling” (combination gun) made over 100 years ago. The two shotgun barrels are 12 gauge and the rifle barrel underneath is an unknown caliber but possibly 9.3×72.

I begged her to let me take it home so I could take macro photos and document the engraving, which enthralls me. Someone in pre-Great War Germany spent a lot of time crafting this fine piece. The optic on top is a 2x Kahles unit featuring a tapered reticle.

The detail Mike captured really show the craftsmanship of this fine firearm.


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Edit: Luckily Michael’s co-worker still had the gun on hand. But MIchael did not have his good camera. Here are some phone pics he took of the markings under the barrel.

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Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Johnsmyname

    Wow, gorgeous…

  • QuadGMoto

    I usually find extensive ornamentation to be ridiculous and annoying. But this piece is gorgeous.

    • Swarf

      Me too, because 999 times out of 1000 it is ostentatious and overwrought. A cry for attention. Like a Trump building.

      But this is what engraving is meant to be.

      • Jim

        Hd to throw in a dig at Trump didn’t you. FYI if your Hillary took the election that shotgun would have to be destroyed as it has a rifle.

        • Swarf

          Woah guy. You are clearly still upset about your team winning the big game. It’s okay, you’ll get over it.

          You might consider the possibility that that name Trump was synonymous with gold-leaf level tastelessness way before November 5th.

          Something about you has led you to make a lot of assumptions about me (when did I say anything about Hillary Clinton) based on a throw away line about Donald Trump’s basic tastelessness.

          So take your Generalized Anxiety Disorder and your Breitbart-induced chafing and put a salve on it. Something like Hoppes no.45 Grease Up For Sore Winners.

  • Stunning! If anyone is really passionate about drillings, they should pick up the book “Austrian and German Guns & Rifles” by Marco Nobili. It’s quite the visual feast! It’s been my coffee-table book of choice for two years now.

    Also, on a sadder note, a lovely Merkel drilling in 16ga was my “one that got away.” She still haunts my dreams. *looks longingly up at the moon*

    • Swarf

      Woof. That’s a pricey coffee table book.

      • Still cheaper than the Larry Vickers AR book. Plus, it doesn’t smell like a kitchen.

        • Swarf

          Oh, I’m sure it’s worth it, with photographs, etc, but still…

          I didn’t know Larry Vuitton’s book was that asspensive… but I’m not surprised. I’m sure it all goes to charity.

    • Tassiebush

      Gotta love a good special subject book!

    • Tassiebush

      They (drilling) call out to me like a siren (the hot sort).

  • Cameron Bissell

    how is it that the owner doesn’t know the caliber but put new mounts on the rifle?

    • Craig Miller

      Mounts may or may not be new. Can’t tell for sure without pics of the scope markings. These guns were kept with the scopes removed from the QD mounts and carried in a leather sling bag/case. Scope was only mounted when the Hunter felt it necessary. They were mostly shot with the iron sights. I have seen a well worn drilling dated to 1926 where the scope looks like it was manufactured a couple of years ago. The reason you see so few of the “bring backs” without the scope is that none of the GIs knew to look for the cased scope. Also, it is most likely an interwar gun because it has the QD scope. Most pre-WW1 guns are iron sights only. The only way to tell for sure is to see the rest of the markings on gun.

      • Cameron Bissell

        while i agree with the scope vs unscoped. hex screws weren’t used to my knowledge (1910 US pat.) Khales has been making scopes since the late 1800’s but i don’t think the scope is that old either looking at the adjustment ring

  • kirk

    Beautiful craftsmanship. Is that an American elk engraved on the reciever?

    • Tassiebush

      Probably a red deer (closely related)

      • Sebastian

        Yeah probably. The engraving in the other side is roe deer.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Damn, it is so easy to screw up engraving but when its done right its impressive.

    • M.M.D.C.

      I like the mixture of floral motifs and scenery. Very nice variation in textures as well.

      Lots of ‘honest wear’ on it. Thanks for sharing.

  • YZAS

    Gees, talk about t*ts on a bull. take the damn scope off of that incredible work of art already.

  • datimes

    The plunder of war?

    • codfilet

      I was wondering the same thing-brought back by a WW2 GI?

      • Swarf

        I have one of these (a bring back from Germany) that I inherited from my Grandfather via my still living father. 16ga over 8mm.

        Unfortunately it spent a lot of time in a pillow case in a closet and being dry-fired by my Dad as a kid, so it’s not a pristine example like this and would take an expert hand to bring back. Still though…

  • codfilet

    Now THAT’s an example of the engraver’s art-not like that Iraqi you had a while back.

  • hellofromillinois

    How are they so certain it’s pre-1916? They made these right up to WWII to my understanding. Krupp Stahl doesn’t tell you who made the gun, just the kind of steel.

    Pics of the proofmarks and other markings on the bottom of the barrel would tell more.

  • Galen Burgett

    The “Krupp Stahl” stamp simply indicates that the barrels were made using Krupp steel. Krupp was the giant German steel maker known for its high quality ordnance steel and was a sign of quality. Have you looked at the stampings on the barrel lugs and watertable? There should be more information there. Have you investigated who the gunmaker was that produced this fine drilling?

    • Nicholas C

      Just posted some quick and dirty pics of the markings.

      • Galen Burgett

        Thanks Nicholas C. The proof marks are East German. Gun was probably made in Suhl. It is a post-WWII gun. The claw mounts for the drilling came from the factory it was made in. These drillings were made in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Kyle

    I am burning with envy looking at that. Or maybe that’s the clap burning.

    • Gary Kirk

      You didn’t pick up one of the ew Standard Manufacturing ARs or 1911s lately did you??

  • Julio

    Lovely pictures of fine engraving are always a pleasure to behold, but, as others have suggested, it is simply exasperating that there are no images of the stamps on the breech ends of the barrels and the action flats. They may look dull in comparison, but those little punched markings would tell you the place and date of manufacture, the exact calibre, and (probably) allow you to identify the maker.

    • Nicholas C

      I told my friend and he just took some phone pics of the markings. They are a little hard to see. But I posted them.

      • Julio

        Thanks for taking the trouble. At first glance the marks show it’s a 16g not a 12g, and a nominal 7.7mm not a 9.3, and was made in the post-WWII era and not before WWI. The proff marks are DDR-era proof marks from Suhl. The actual chambering is probably an 8mm cartridge, the 7,7mm stamp being necessary to circumvent a contemporary prohibition on cartridges of 8mm or larger calibre. I’m sure there’s more that can be made of those marks, but equally sure others will beat me to it (or put me straight!)

  • Sebastian

    Are positive it’s 12 gauge? Usually the caliber is 16/65 gauge. 12 Gauge in an old drilling is rare at least here in Germany. You can verify the caliber on the underside of the barrel. Usually there is a stamp there.

  • Oldtrader3

    Those are proofed as 16 Ga., not 12 Ga?

  • Jim

    The Drilling says 7.7 mm in the last photo so wouldn’t that be the cal.? BTW The engraving is absolutely beautiful and done by a Master!

  • Mystick

    The scope… it’s wrong. It’s all wrong. It doesn’t belong.

  • Dave

    What I like about that scope is that it means someone was actually serious about using this, not just looking at it. I’d like to think a boar was taken with it. Very beautiful, thanks to owner and your friend for sharing.

  • wscottbarber

    I had the honor and pleasure of seeing one of these in person that somebody had asked my gun guy to do some repair work on recently. Pictures do not do this gun justice compared to the details you see in person. Little things like a leaf flying up as a rabbit disturbed it running… Incredible artistry. I looked at it for about 45 minutes and saw something new upon each scan of the gun. They are truly works of art.

  • BLH557

    When I was a kid my dad won one in a poker game. It was a hammered 16 gauge with the 9.3X72 rifle barrel below. The gun came with some bullets (they were long) and he even took a deer with it one year. I hunted ducks and geese with it for several years.

    Unfortunately, we fell on hard times and he pawned it to a bar-owner… and the bar burned down before he could get it back. Too bad. It was a beautiful gun.

    He replaced it with a 12 Gauge LC Smith Queen steel double gun that I hunted with for many years… and was burned up when his house burned down in the ’80s.

    He was a great shot, but couldn’t play well with fire.

  • Tumbleweed

    Just amazing!

  • carlcasino

    The condition is amazing, maybe in 20 years I’ll look that good! My B-B-Que bud of lots of years had a 12 ga. Stevens that had some amazing engraving done by a local, No one in his family knows where it disappeared to. Yeah I know Stevens? I travel in eccentric company.