My First Gun
This is a personal story of a Heym Combination Gun in Cal. 7×75 RSE vom Hofe and 16/70, some 45 years ago. It was my very first own gun as a hunter and I bought it in a Gunshop in Bonn, Germany, where I was studying after military service. With hunting guns I wasn’t so much familiar at that time, but of course I had a solid basis of knowledge after nearly one year of learning and exercising for the German hunting examination. For small game, I would need a gun – and for big game a rifle. But two guns at once meant a lot of money for my small budget. Considering the hunting opportunities I then had and expected to have in the near future, I decided for another solution: A Combination Gun – Drilling or Bockbüchsflinte. Typical German of course was the Drilling, but there were two points against. First, a good Drilling was an expensive matter and second, the reputation of it was not bad. But at that time in that region and within my social network, it often was called a “Bauernwaffe” – what means: used mostly by farmers, foresters etc. That was the reason why my “Lehrprinz” (mentor of a young hunter) suggested to look for a Bockbüchsflinte as the more elegante variant.
7×75 R SE vom Hofe
During the next visit to my gunmake’s shop Waffen Esch in Bonn, junior chief Ulli Esch presented a used Heym BBF, built in 1961 in the new premises in Münnerstadt, West Germany, where the company had started production after the war. It came in 16/70, which was perfect, but the rifle caliber from the 7mm range was not the common 7x57R or 7x65R, but the very special 7×75 R Super Express vom Hofe. Designed in 1958 by German Top Shot and Arms- and Ammunition Designer Walther Gehmann, the 7×75 R is the strongest rimmed 7mm cartridge worldwide. It was named after Ernst August vom Hofe, also a Firearms Designer, who died in 1945 and whose company name had been bought by Gehmann in 1955.
Well, weighing only 2,8 kg without scope, the Heym was not a heavy gun. It was mounted with a 1,5 – 6×36 Hensold Wetzlar, a division of Carl Zeiss West Germany, which fitted perfectly to the slim lines of the BBF. The gun was very handy, shooting perfectly with shot and ball and even with Brennecke slugs. The recoil of the rifle barrel was remarkable, but no real problem, especially for a well-trained young man of nearly 2 metres and 100 kg. I shot my first Roebuck with the Heym as well as my first wild boar. I remember a shot at a Buck in the Austrian Alps from more than 200 meters distance – no problem, there was nothing to calculate or correct. The straight 7×75 R hit all up to 300 metres precisely. It was impressive. And the knock down power on an attacking wild boar, shot from a distance of about 10 meters, left nothing to be desired for.
The Heym was a purchase I never regret. Back then it was a perfect tool. In the Eifel woods, one hunts on Roe Deer, Hare, Woodcock and Jaybirds, sometimes Duck. Wild Boars were not common, but when they came across, the Heym did a pretty good job as a Double Rifle with the Brennecke. Several years later, things were changing, the Wild Boar population grew faster and became more and more important – and one day the demand for more fire power let me buy a Mauser 98 rifle, but this is another story, which you can read here: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
The specs of the gun:
Cal. 7x75R-16/70; BL 60 cm; OL 103 cm, LOP 39 cm(1.Trigger), 36,5 cm (2. Trigger); Weight 2,9 Kg, 3,44 Kg with Scope; Kersten Verschluss with double underlugs.
Some Details in pictures