Johann Fanzoj Vierling: Four-Barreled Rifle-Shotgun

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (2)

Johann Fanzoj, the famous Austrian deluxe hunting arms manufacturer, has published an article telling about their version of arguably one of the most complicated mechanical marvels of the break action firearms breed – the Vierling. Vierling is a German word that stands for quadruplet and it is the name of four-barreled break action firearms.

Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (1)

The company takes pride in being able to make Vierlings thus continuing not only the tradition of their family business but also keeping alive the traditions of European gun making culture in general. This particular four-barreled gun was made for a US customer. The entire process of designing and making this rifle/shotgun took the Fanzoj masters six years.

Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (7)

This Johann Fanzoj Vierling represents a blend of an over and under shotgun and a side by side double rifle. The top and bottom barrels are chambered in 20 gauge (3″ shells) and the side barrels are chambered in 9.3x74mmR. The rifle has a Holland & Holland style sidelock mechanism and automatic individual ejectors for all four barrels.

Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (5)

As you can see in the images, this gun has two triggers. In order to choose between the rifled and smoothbore barrels, the shooter needs to use the switch located behind the top lever. The forward position of the switch selects the 20 gauge barrels and the rear position – the 9.3x74mmR barrels.

Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (3)

The stock of this gun is made of high-grade Circassian walnut burl. The deep relief ornament engraving is completely handmade by master engraver F. Mak.

Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (4)

All four barrels are 23″ long (58.5 centimeters) and the overall length of the gun is 40.9″ (104 cm). The overall weight of this Vierling is 4.6 kilograms (about 10 lbs). Here is how the company describes the weight and shootability of this rifle-shotgun:

Massive, without a doubt, but not “heavy” at all this sporting weapon handles magnificently which makes a continuous series of loading and shooting free standing over open sights at 35m a true pleasure. Alternatively, the rifle is sighted in to 100m via Swarovski scope.

Regulating four barrels to one point of impact, thru a scope and open sights, enabling 4+ shots in quick succession, against the effect of thermal heating, to function flawlessly under high pressure and a changing environment, cold, heat… was in short: a challenge in every aspect.

Johann Fanzoj Vierling Four-Barrelled Rifle-Shotgun (6)

In the video below, you can see Daniela Fanzoj, the creative director of Johann Fanzoj company, shooting this Vierling.

That’s the story and description of this incredibly beautiful mechanical wonder.

Sources: ,

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at

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  • JCitizen JCitizen on Jul 08, 2018

    I'd rather have the rifle barrels top and bottom, but I supposed there is a reason for this choice? Maybe because they know their customer base sees the shotgun as a more seriously used and important feature. I like the 20 guage - I used one with great dispatch growing up, and hunting everything but geese. We didn't have geese back then. It was an effective killer, and the lighter weight and recoil was greatly appreciated. I'd take a 20 gauge any day, but I'd probably just go for a special light weight modern single barrel design, but better than the Sears and Sawbuck aluminum receiver I used as a kid.

  • Spike1984 Spike1984 on Jul 18, 2018

    In the Fallout game series, the acid shotgun is made of four barrels arranged in two rows (first-and-second-on-top-third-and-fourth-downstairs) with the idea of delivering the shots in a box formation unlike the Fanzoj shotgun where the barrels are arranged in a cross formation with the first and second vertically positioned and the third and fourth located out to the sides.