Friday, July 8, 2011

How To Disassemble A Darne Shotgun

To field strip a Darne, first place the gun on safe and open the action.

Underneath the sliding action there is a tang, push it upwards and the ears will pop forward a bit. Don't slide the action too far back you won't be able to reach this tang as the comb of the stock will get in the way. On subgauges its even more difficult as there is less real estate to get your finger under the action.

Slide the action all the way rearward. Once all the way rearward, you may need to push the ears forward a little, pulling the action upwards a bit.

Then you can remove the entire action from the rails by sliding it off.

Inside the receiver there is the barrel release. It works like a seesaw. Push the side closest the barrels downward.

Now the barrels can be removed. Depending on your Darne, you may or may not be able to do this without much force. Some shotguns are easy and you can remove them with simply your hands and just pull them off while others require tremendous amount of force to jar the barrels free. If the latter is the case then you hold the shotgun stock with one hand and the other on the barrels. Then you can tap the end of the barrels (not too hard) on the carpet to free it. The first time you do this its quite awkward as forcing your barrels down onto the floor is very counter intuitive and rather scary.

Once you've done that, you have now the gun field stripped for cleaning or inspection.

To reassemble reverse the order.

Place the bites in their slots. Then pull the barrels forward.

Once the barrels are put back, push the rear side of the barrel release downward.

Line the sliding action with the rails.

Pull the ears all the way back slide the action forward. You may get some resistance. If you do you'll need to wiggle the ears slightly forward and back until the action slides onto the rails and locks.


  1. This is a great post. It has everything I needed to know about field stripping a Darne shotgun; plus great photos to boot. Thanks to whomever posted it.

  2. This post solved the unsolvable. THANKS for posting.

  3. thanks for this! ive been trying to take mine apart for years!!!

  4. fantastic! i have a old R13 Plume inherited form my father

  5. I just picked up my first Darne, an R15 20 bore ca. 1970 imported by Firearms Center. I'd never have been able to figure out how to get the Darne thing apart on my own. I managed, following the guideline here. It took a couple tries to get the receiver off, but eventually the ears popped forward a bit and off it slid. Then the barrels. Scary at first as noted, but after checking and rechecking, I put the muzzles on the rug, gave the butt a couple sharp taps with the heel of my hand, and off they came. Reassembly went a little smoother. Many, many thanks for posting this!

    1. Congrats on your new Darne! A 20 gauge Darne is on my list. You're a lucky guy. You'll definitely turn heads afield or on the clay range. Enjoy your quirky French gun and thanks for your comment.

  6. I'm sure someone with a V action Darne will be scratching their head about now...

  7. Just a quick heads up guys (and gals) ... from a Aussie owner of a 12 guage R13 since I was 13 (now 53) - best place for the barrels when you tap the stock to get it out - is right on the top of your foot. Note well -this is NOT recommended if you are wearing flip flops (we call them thongs in Aus but that is something you wear elsewhere in the USA from my understanding) - or if you are going barefoot - only do it if you are wearing boots and you are ABSOLUTELY certain that the gun is not loaded before you start - - and of course this trick only works if the barrels dont require nuclear levels of force to get off.