Puntgunning was started
by market gunners may years ago to provide meat for the table of
ordinary folk. The price of ducks was comparatively high and a meager
living could be made through shooting and fishing.
Most puntgunning was with single handed craft, and many hundreds
operated on almost every estuary around Britain and Ireland, and also on
some inland waters.
By the time of Col Hawker, a few gentlemen shooters found an interest
in the sport, and a number of double punts were developed, gentlemen
could then try their luck.
During this phase the single handed punt with no decking slowly gave
way to the modern decked punt in both single and double form.
In 1893 Sir Ralph Payne Galloway published his letters to young
shooters and established standards which persist today.
As the number of market gunners declined in the early 1900's many
sportsmen took their place and the sport of punt gunning was
Over the last 100 years the many thousand punts and guns have
declined to only double figures today. It is believed that only 40
useable punts still exist today. Many of the punts are 80-100 years old
and rapidly becoming unusable.
It is believed that no organization can or does produce punts today.
The last manufacturer of punt guns is also no longer advertising and
is believed to have stopped trading. A gun maker may consider a
commission to build a puntgun but with a very heavy price tag.
Most old puntguns now reside in the basements of museums where they
are unlikely to ever come back into use, and are seldom shown.
BASC has 2 old guns on display at their headquarters:
IRISH TOM James Roberson Justice's old gun (now illegal to use)
Col Hawker's double 1½" gun built in the 1800's.