A note from Bruce…
At Bruce Bowen & Company we build each gun custom made to the fit the customer. We do, however, usually have new guns in stock for immediate delivery. Quality guns are accepted in trade.
The gun can be built to weigh to whatever you prefer within reason. Typically, our gun is under nine pounds in the 34 inch model. We have four different points of impact to choose from as well as four different barrel lengths from 32″ to 35″. We have over 200 sets of high quality wood in both English walnut and Turkish walnut. English walnut is standard. Turkish and select English walnut are upgrades. The stock is custom fit in either regular or Monte Carlo styles. An adjustable comb is available at no extra charge. A pull trigger and a release trigger are included with every gun as well as a custom case. Engraving is another upgrade available. The base price for the Bowen Trap Gun is $16,500.
Our prototype, Serial #1, has fired 127,000 rounds and still uses the original firing pin, locking bolt, ejector, trigger and sear. We replaced some of the springs, of course, as springs tends to shorten and weaken. We have thousands of springs on hand, as well as many parts, usually enough parts for about 50 guns. So far, we have replaced very few parts.
The Bowen Trap Gun is a very close replica of the original Tom Seitz Trap Gun. The most significant change is point of impact. We felt the takedown system on the original gun was very important and a great example of Tom Seitz’s inventive genius. Break open guns loosen because the hook on the monoblock (which hooks on the hinge pin) bends down from continuous shooting and from the barrel which drops down on opening. The original design, also used in the Bowen Trap Gun, completely surrounds the hinge pin and, therefore, the gun stays tight. To take our gun apart, simply remove the keeper pin and push out the hinge pin. The process takes about 10 seconds, a very small compromise in exchange for the durability.
Every surface inside and out of the Bowen Trap Gun is polished. All the internal parts are polished and titanium nitride coated. We make our guns from 4140 steel, which is heat treated to 45/47 Rockwell. The internal parts are made from S7 steel, which is heat treated to 58 Rockwell. This process doubles the cost of production because the parts must be remachined and polished after heat treat. Most shotguns today are made from prehardened material which is much softer and less durable than heat treated 4140. Some guns are made from stainless steel, which doesn’t compare in durability, either.
We use the best barrels available and measure the concentricity and straightness of each blank. Our concentricity tolerances are +/- .004. (Many trap guns we have measured show a concentricity of .010 or more). We guarantee this tight tolerance and have ultrasound gauges to accurately measure over the full length of the barrel. Barrels that are not concentric will change point of impact as they heat up.
We shoot each gun over 50 times in our underground range during the manufacturing process to insure 90%+ pattern density and point of impact. We also shoot a SAAMI proof load in each gun to ensure strength and safety. We mark each gun on the bottom of the barrel, near the monoblock, with the bore size (generally about .740), the choke size (generally about .704), and the point of impact and the date of manufacture.
Our factory uses as CNC furnace to silver braze the one-piece ribs onto the barrel. This furnace is programmed to subject the barrel to minimum stresses during the brazing process. We NEVER bend or straighten a barrel.
A custom try stock is built for the customer. After shooting at the range, we build the final stock from exhibition English walnut or Turkish walnut. You can view samples of our wood on this site.
At Bruce Bowen & Company we do whatever is necessary to build a truly custom, high performance shotgun and ensure customer satisfaction. If you talk to any of our customers, we think they will verify. Our customers have WON the prestigious Missouri Fall handicap, TIED for the Spring Grand Handicap; several were in shoot-offs at the Grand American in 2004; THREE made the 2004 All-American Team. One of our customers broke 98, 99 and 100 in three consecutive handicap events from 27 yards. We are often asked why more of the famous shooters aren’t shooting our shotgun. The answer is simple: we don’t discount the price or give our shotguns to anyone! To use, the difference between our shotgun and similar models is clear. If the difference is important to you, we would be honored to build you a shotgun. Good Shooting!