The Gun Makes the Grouse Hunter

Autumn is the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" and—as John Keats omitted to mention—the sound of shotguns and the thud of birds falling to the ground. From Aug. 12, the date on which grouse come into season, until the beginning of February, which sees the end of the partridge and pheasant seasons, the rituals of game-bird shooting play themselves out in Britain as they have more or less for centuries.Ever since the Georgian gunsmith Joseph Manton, who perfected the double-barreled...
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