Snake charmer question


Scott W.
October 25, 2009, 11:15 PM
Who made the first snake charmer? I have a friend who's aunt recently passed and she left him her snake charmer. It has a wooden presentation box with it. Not sure of much on it. It looks completely original. the thing is its got a fairly short barrel. I was wondering who made it first and If it could have been made and sold with a short barrel. Thanks for any info.

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October 26, 2009, 04:29 AM
If you are talking about a compact .410 shotgun that is currently marketed and is actually called "Snake Charmer," then you are describing a stainless steel gun with a plastic stock and short, but legal 18" barrel and which is also greater than 26" overall length.

If you are describing something that is a shotgun with a barrel LESS than 18" and a pistol grip only, such as an H&R Handy Gun, then your friend is in possession of a highly illegal NFA weapon, unless it was originally duly registered prior to the passage of the GCAs of 1934 and 1935. (They were legal to own prior to that.) If not, it is a Federal felony and your friend, in a worst case scenario, can do hard time and get a big fine.

If, by chance, the gun was properly registered (if it is what I think it is), then your friend can legally inherit the gun without having to pay the AOW tax of $5.00, but still has to submit paperwork to BATF.

Bottom line: If it has a barrel less than 18" and is smoothbore, don't be talking about it on a public forum, and for God sakes, don't publish any pictures of it.

Ron James
October 27, 2009, 09:21 PM
The H&R "Tamer " came out in 1994. Only later was it called the snake charmer. 19 1/2 inch barrel. At least I hope you're not talking about the H&R Handy Gun.

October 28, 2009, 12:37 AM
Positive that's older, 84 at least. I wanted one when I was a kid and they were never expensive.

According to recent research the current Snakecharmer (since 2002) is made in Turkey for a French company (Verney-Carron) and sold here. The originals were made in Texas by a small maker, H. Koon. Most recent original H. Koon one I've seen for sale was here in Colorado and went for $180ish with an original leather scabbard. I've never seen one in a presentation case but I'd expect that $300 is a really high for one of these unless it's an NFA weapon.

October 28, 2009, 03:26 AM
I would think the first marked one is the Koons single barrel, had the black plastic pistol type grip

Ron James
October 28, 2009, 03:56 PM
You are right Dr. Rob, With out thinking I referenced one of the resurrections of H&R, not the original.:uhoh: OK, the original Snake Charmer was made in the 1980's by Homer Koon { still trying to find the exact date it went on the market}, it was made in his factory in Dallas , TX and later manufacture was moved to Sporting Arms Manufacturing. All I have right now. 18 1/4 inch barrel, 28 5/8 inches over all.

Ben Grimm
April 14, 2010, 01:30 AM
Ok, I know this thread is old, but I will help as I can. The "Original Snake Charmer" was designed and built by Homer Koon. It was designed to fit the need for Texas Bass fishermen to keep in their boats in case they ran across a snake, hence the name. It was built to be the shortest "legal" shotgun that you could buy. the stainless steel construction was to ward off the rust. I saw the original prototype as a child growing up. the rights to the design were sold to Sporting Arms at a later date. If you find an H. Koon Snake Charmer, buy it, it is the real deal.


P.S. They were manufactured in Flower Mound, Texas, not Dallas.

April 14, 2010, 06:11 AM
I purchased my H. Koon Snake Charmer shotgun in 1979 and paid $84.95. This is the sales brochure. I can post the owner's manual, with parts list, if anyone needs it.

September 8, 2010, 12:44 AM
My dad purchased one of these a few years ago, now manufactured by a French co. out of KS (?), but looks identical to yours. Anyhow, it did not come with an owner's manual, and for the life of me I can't figure out how to open the break-action. If you could share the manual would be appreciated. I can be reached at!

September 8, 2010, 06:05 AM
The barrel release latch is located in front of the trigger guard. Pulling rearward on it releases the barrel. I have included the owner's manual and parts list.

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