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Big & beautiful. E. M. Reilly 4 gauge SxS Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun

Big & beautiful. E. M. Reilly 4 gauge SxS Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun

If you collect big bore, waterfowling shotguns, or want to start, you’re in luck: Two of finest you’ll ever find are coming up in James D. Julia’s April, 2017, auction. In their day, big bores like these were far too expensive to be used by commercial hunters as “market guns.”

Instead, they were bought by well-off sportsmen and used to pass shoot ducks, geese and even swans. From what I’ve read, as hunting pressure along the Eastern flyways increased,  waterfowl became warier (and scarcer). To bring them down, hunters needed guns that could reach out further. With their big loads and heavy charges, big bores were able to do this.

Big & beautiful. E. M. Reilly 4 gauge SxS Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun

Big & beautiful. E. M. Reilly 4 gauge SxS Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun

A monstrous & fabulous E.M. Reilly 4 gauge Side-by-Side hammer shotgun. I’ve had this double in my hands, and it’s incredible. To help it resist corrosion, it was nickel-plated and it features no engraving. It was probably made in England in the 1870s, and it remains in incredible — and to my eye — all original condition. Interestingly, it has stalking safeties on it – a feature normally reserved for hammer rifles.

An awesome 8 gauge L.C, Smith Quality 2. Stunning original condition.

An awesome 8 gauge L.C, Smith Quality 2. Stunning original condition.

An L.C. Smith 8 gauge Quality No. 2 Side-by-Side hammerless shotgun. I’m pretty sure this shotgun popped up on the market a few years ago. If it’s the same gun, it’s in incredible original condition and pretty much new. L.C. Smith probably made fewer than 50 eight gauges. This one has to be the finest one in existence. The Quality No. 2 was L.C. Smith’s lower middle grade. The company built them from 1890-1914 and made 12,483 total. Of those, just 38 were 8 gauges.

An awesome 8 gauge L.C, Smith Quality 2. Stunning original condition.

An awesome 8 gauge L.C, Smith Quality 2. Stunning original condition.

Pre-Owned John Dickson & Son 'Round Action' SxS Double Barrel Shotguns

Pre-Owned John Dickson & Son ‘Round Action’ SxS Double Barrel Shotguns

Pre-Owned John Dickson & Son ‘Round Action’ SxS Double Barrel ShotgunsA pre-owned pair of 12 bore John Dickson & Son ‘Round Action’ Ejector Shotgun with 27 inch barrels at our New York Showroom. John Dickson & Son best quality round action ejector with double trigger and automatic safety. Price: $45,000 
Barrels
Barrel Length: 27 Inches; #2 GUN replacement barrels between 1937 – 1954
Chamber: 2 1/2 Inch
Rib: Game
Chokes: # 1 GUN – Right: 1/2 Left: Full; #2 GUN – 1/4(R) & 3/4 (L)

Stock
Length: 14 1/2 Inches
Bend: 1 5/8 – 2 1/8
Cast: Off 3/16 face
Grip: Traditional straight hand grip
Engraving
Description: Fine Rose & Scroll
Finish: Traces Case Coloured Finish

Other Information
Weight: 5lb 15oz
Case: Double leather with canvas conver
Date of Manufacture: circa 1934

MIDLAND GUN CO, BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND, BOXLOCK 410GA, S/S SHOTGUN

MIDLAND GUN CO, BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND, BOXLOCK 410GA, S/S SHOTGUN

MIDLAND GUN CO, BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND, BOXLOCK 410GA, S/S SHOTGUNCASE COLORED ACTION WITH SCROLL ENGRAVING, 28″ BBLS, 2 1/2, CHOKED MOD/FULL, RAISED GAME RIB, EJECTORS, DBL TRIGGERS, XXX MEDIUM DARK WALNUT, ST/SP, LOP 15″, 1 9/16, 2 5/8, 5LBS 4OZ, 98% ORIGINAL, VERY LITTLE USE! Price: $4,995
Chambers: 2 1/2″
Ejectors: YES
Condition: 98% ORIGINAL, VERY LITTLE USE!
Metal Condition: 97%
Wood Condition: 97%
Bore Condition: 97%
Barrels: 28″
Action: S/S
Triggers: DBL
Gauge: 410GA
Stock: XXX MEDIUM DARK WALNUT, ST/SP
LOP: LOP 15″, 1 9/16, 2 5/8
Rib: RAISED GAME RIB
Weight: 5LBS 4OZ
Chokes: MOD/FULL
Engraving: CASE COLORED ACTION WITH SCROLL ENGRAVING

Cole Custom Beretta Special 20 Bore OU Shotgun

Cole Custom Beretta Special 20 Bore OU Shotgun

Cole Custom Beretta Special 20 Bore OU Shotgun30″ barrels with flush mount screw-in chokes, ejectors, 6 lbs. 3 oz., 14 1/2″ LOP over a pad, 1 1/2 DAC, 2 5/16″ DAH, neutral cast, round knob grip, wide vent rib with mid-bead removed, single selective trigger, bone charcoal case colored action, highly figured select European walnut with oil finish, low lustre matt blue finish on barrels, lightly used condition with minor handling marks.  This is a Cole Gunsmithing custom gun on a Beretta barreled action but with Cole’s serial number.  Note, this is a field gun but as 30″ barrels are not available from beretta on field models, the barrels only are from Beretta’s sporting line.  A very attractive gun. Price: $4,500

Charles Osborne Model Boxlock Non Ejector SxS Shotgun Caliber 410 GA

Charles Osborne Model Boxlock Non Ejector SxS Shotgun Caliber 410 GA

Charles Osborne Model Boxlock Non Ejector SxS Shotgun Caliber 410 GAThis is a little gem of a 410 double built by London maker Charles Osborne.  We have been privileged to handle several guns from the R. B. Dunphy estate in San Francisco.  All the firearms are from the turn of the 19th Century.  This little gem has 27″ barrels choked improved cylinder, improved cylinder.  The length of pull is 14 1/4″ over the original wood butt.  The bores are bright and shiny with the left bore showing light staining around the chamber area.  The action is beautifully decorated in classic tight English scroll.  Both right and left action panels bare the Charles Osborne company scroll.  Some case colors remain on the frame as does blue on the top lever and barrels.  Great opportunity to own a 410 double from a London best maker.  Price: $2950

BROWNING SUPERPOSED 12 GA SUPERLITE OVER UNDER SHOTGUN

BROWNING SUPERPOSED 12 GA SUPERLITE OVER UNDER SHOTGUN

BROWNING SUPERPOSED 12 GA SUPERLITE OVER UNDER SHOTGUNMADE IN BELGIUM IN 1968.  BARRELS ARE 26 INCHES WITH A SOLID RIB AND CHOKED I.C. AND MOD.  95% CONDITION.  GREAT SHOOTER OR NICE PIECE TO ANY COLLECTION.  Price: $2,350
Condition: VERY GOOD
Metal Condition: VERY GOOD
Wood Condition: VERY GOOD
Bore Condition: VERY GOOD
Action: O/U
Triggers: SINGLE
Stock Comb: 1 1/2 ”
Stock Heel: 2 1/2 ”
LOP: 14 3/8 ”
Rib: SOLID
Weight: 6 LB 14 OZ

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

The gun trade, like all trades, has always had its rogues. From gunmakers like H.J. Hussey to gunshops like New England Arms in Kittery Point, Maine.

From what I’ve heard, Frank Malin was another of these rogues. A Brit who set up a gunmaking business in Canada, Malin, and the guns his guys built, have been the subject of all kinds of rumors. You can read some of them here. Regarding his guns, I’ve seen a few of them out there, including one which sold for $$8,625 back in 2006.

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

In my opinion, the Malin side-by-side below looks more Spanish than British. That being said, the metal work, blueing, color-case harding, and stock are all very well done (the stock looks awesome, actually). If the entire guns checks out and is sound, it’s a great deal.

BTW: The folks at Cabela’s failed to mention that this shogun features a Holland & Holland-style self-opening system. You can clearly see the plungers in the pics of the barrels.

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel SetTwo barrel 20 ga. set by F.E. Malin, London, Ontario, Canada.  Barrel sets are numbered and the Number 1 set have a couple of light storage marks on the left barrel.  Number 2 set appears unfired and all bores remain excellent.  Wood is also excellent. Action and sideplates are beautifully engraved and case colored and remain excellent.  Wood is also excellent.  Complete with leather case and all original accessories.  Outstanding. Price: $5,649.99

Manufacturer: S/N – 81XXX

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

F.E. Malin Victoria Deluxe SxS Sidelock Shotgun ~ 20 Ga. ~ Two Barrel Set

Caliber: 20 Ga.
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Excellent
Barrels: 28 in.
Triggers: Double / Non-Selective Safety
Stock: Checkered Walnut
Stock Dimensions:
15 in. LOP – English Grip
Fore End: Checkered Walnut – Splinter
Butt Pad: Checkered Butt
Weight: 6 lbs.
Sights: Single Brass Bead
Chokes: Set #1 ~ Cylinder/Improved Cylinder Set #2 ~ Modified/Improved Modified

Evolution of Westley Richard's doll's head & toplever. Earliest at top. From The Explora.

Evolution of Westley Richard’s doll’s head & toplever. Earliest at top. From The Explora.

So far in my tributes to Simon Clode, the former Chairman & Managing Director of Westley Richards, I’ve mentioned two of his company’s most important contributions to side by sides: The Anson & Deeley boxlock action and the Deeley ejectors. Now it’s time for WR’s third and most significant.

If you ever shot a SxS or an O/U, you’ve used it. And while it was revolutionary in its day, it’s so common and obvious now I doubt you’ve ever wondered where it came from.

So what is it? It’s the toplever.

Back in the 1850s, shotguns were moving from muzzleloaders to designs that broke open to be loaded from the breach. Lefaucheux’s pinfire was shown at London’s Great Exhibition in 1851. By the end of that decade, other makers had designs for these doubles.

Westley Richards’ version featured a doll’s head and came out in 1858. To make it function, the company patented its first style toplever the following year. This toplever reached all the way down to the nose on the stock. In the years that followed, WR cut it back to the shorter size we’re familiar with today.

Evolution of Westley Richard's doll's head & toplever. Earliest on left. From The Explora.

Evolution of Westley Richard’s doll’s head & toplever. Earliest on left. From The Explora.

Around same time WR introduced its design, other gunsmiths and gunmakers were introducing their inventions: The Jones Underlever, the Purdey thumbhole, the Daw lever. But time showed they were all two-legged stools compared to the top lever. Once Purdey patented its sliding bolt and W & C Scott came up with it’s spindle, the toplever was able to operate them and introduce a design which has been used on tens of thousands of OUs and SxS since.

LANCASTER 280 FLANGED- NEVER HUNTED & APPEARS UNFIRED- PRE-WAR PIECE FINISHED in 1946- SIDELOCK with 26" CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- 1946 NEW

LANCASTER 280 FLANGED- NEVER HUNTED & APPEARS UNFIRED- PRE-WAR PIECE FINISHED in 1946- SIDELOCK with 26″ CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- 1946 NEW

LANCASTER 280 FLANGED- NEVER HUNTED & APPEARS UNFIRED- PRE-WAR PIECE FINISHED in 1946- SIDELOCK with 26″ CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- 1946 NEW: #18803, Charles Lancaster Sidelock 280 Flanged That Never Went Hunting & Appears Unfired, Pre-War piece that was finished in 1946, WWII altered the intended use of many Sporting Firearms and I believe this gun is one of those as it remains to this day like a new rifle. The address is 7 Bury Street, St. James’s, London: A Bar Action Sidelock with 26″ Extractor Chopper Lump barrels with A Dolls Head rib extension plus a third bite, 1/4 rib with 1 standing & 2 folding rear sights, London Nitro Proved, Regulated with 140 grain bullets, Bushed strikers, Double triggers, Lever forend release, 14 13/16″ LOP over a checkered butt, 9 lbs. 14 oz., 95% coverage of period scroll engraving that is very well cut, 99% original case colors that remain bright & vivid, 99% original barrel black with near perfect striking on the barrels, The original stock finish remains at 98% with a few gun cabinet marks, The checkering is at 100%, The inside of the forend has 100% case colors, The breech face has 100% case colors, The bores are new.
Price: $35,500

Perazzi MX 20 Over/Under Shotgun

Perazzi MX 20 Over/Under Shotgun

Perazzi MX 20 Over/Under ShotgunNew-in-box 20 gauge Perazzi MX20 Over/Under shotgun with fixed chokes. Shotgun comes complete with a Perazzi hard case. Wood is lighter colored with a prince of wales stock and light Perazzi engraving and blued receiver and barrels. Choke constriction is Top: .028, Bottom: .020. Price: $8,999.99

Arrieta 801 20 Gauge Side-by-Side NEAR NEW, 28", MANY OPTIONS, UPGRADED WOOD, SELF OPENER: Price: $7,950.00

Arrieta 801 20 Gauge Side-by-Side NEAR NEW, 28″, MANY OPTIONS, UPGRADED WOOD, SELF OPENER: Price: $7,950.00

Arrieta 801 20 Gauge Side-by-Side NEAR NEW, 28″, MANY OPTIONS, UPGRADED WOOD, SELF OPENER: Price: $7,950.00
Barrel Length: 28″
Chokes: .002/.005  CYL/IC factory
Bores: perfect
Bore Diameter: .621/.622
Wall Thickness: .026/.027
% Blue: 99% factory
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Ribs: tight, hand cut filed
Sights: single
Action: tight, right of center
Ejectors or Extractors: ejectors, strong, timed
Case Color: 99% factory
Screws: perfect
Engraving: clear, sharp fine English scroll
Trigger Type: double, crisp
Trigger Guard Color: 99% factory
Type: figured French, English stock/splinter forend
LOP: 14 11/16″
LOP To End Of Wood: 14 1/4″
DAH: 2 1/2″
DAC: 1 7/16″
Cast: 3/16″ off
Checkering Condition: perfect
Butt Treatment: sporting clays black

MAINWARING - SIDELOCK W/EJECTORS, 16 ga

MAINWARING – SIDELOCK W/EJECTORS, 16 ga

MAINWARING – SIDELOCK W/EJECTORS, 16 ga27 1/2″ BLS. M/IM, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, 100% COVERAGE IN SCROLL ENGRAVING, STRAIGHT GRIP, BUSHED FIRING PINS, 14″ x 1 3/8″ x 2 1/16″ x 3/8″ OFF, WEIGHT 6 LBS. 2 OZS., CC 50%. FIRST RATE GUN.  Price: $6,500

W.W. Greener – Damascus SxS Hammergun – 12 ga: Price: $5,900

Ejectors: No
Trigger: Double

W.W. Greener - Damascus SxS Hammergun - 12 ga: Price: $5,900

W.W. Greener – Damascus SxS Hammergun – 12 ga: Price: $5,900

Grip: Rounded Pistol Grip
Forend: Checkered
Lop: 14 ”
Pad thickness: ”
Type of butt: Factory
Drop comb: 1 5/8 ”
Drop heel: 2 3/4 ”
Cast amount: 3/8 ”
Cast: Off
Weight: 7 lbs, 4 oz
Manufactured in: England
Manufacture Year: Finish: Case Colored
Overall condition: Very Good
Stock condition: Very Good
Metal condition: Very Good
Stock: Original finish
Metal: Original finish
Type of Case: none
Extra barrels: 0
Gauge: 12 ga
Chamber: 2 1/2 ”
Length: 30 ”
Chokes: Full
Rib type: Concave
Comments : Gun is in very good condition with some light handling marks.

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun

The second I saw this OU, I thought “buy it”. It’s easy to see why. Overall it looks pretty much new. On top of that, the color case hardening is gorgeous, the wood is understated but elegant, and the round-knob grip is very well done. And the gun grouse engraved on it and 29″ bbls – very cool. Honestly, if it’s as good as it looks, I don’t know how you could go wrong with this double.

John MacNab is (or was) a British company founded by gunsmith Patrick Keen. I’m not sure if they’re still around (or if he’s still in trade). A decade of so ago, MacNab was having OUs made for them in Italy by one of the Rizzinis and Sabatti. (Here’s a review of one of their sporting-clays models.)

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun

Regardless of the maker, the MacNabs I’ve seen have been built on the same trigger-plate OU design used on almost all the lower-priced Italian over unders (except for Beretta). It’s a reliable design that has been around for decades. So for the most part it has had all the kinks worked out of it.

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under ShotgunMade in Italy. Price: $1,599.99
Caliber: 20 Gauge
Chambers: 3 Inch
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Excellent
Barrels: 29 Inch

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun

John MacNab Highlander 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun

Triggers: Single
Stock: Walnut
Stock Dimensions:
14 1/2 Inch LOP
Butt Pad: Checker wood
Weight: 6 Lbs 5 Oz
Sights: Bead
Chokes: Cly/Mod

Deeley ejectors in a Westley Richards, Anson & Deeley hammerless SxS shotgun. Pic from The Explora.

Deeley ejectors in a Westley Richards, Anson & Deeley hammerless SxS shotgun. Pic from The Explora.

Here’s the next post in my continuing tribute to Westley Richards’ former Chairman & Managin Director Simon Clode.

I have mixed feeling about ejectors. Part of me appreciates them. Ejectors can satisfy. If you think of breaking a clay or downing a bird as a sentence, hitting your target is the verb and the shells kicking free of the chambers is the exclamation point.

Deeley sxs shotgun ejectors, contained in their "box"

Deeley sxs shotgun ejectors, contained in their “box”

But another part of me thinks ejectors just complicate things and eventually break. Some designs are unreliable, and a lot of them make it a pain to pull unshot shells from the chambers. On top of this, ejectors are absolutely unnecessary for all of shooting I, and most of us, do.

Back in the 19th century, ejectors  were brand new. While not revolutionary, they were evolutionary and a sign of how the newest shotgun designs were adapting to the newest shooting craze: driven game.

In 1885, Westley Richards patented their Deeley ejectors (nine years after their Anson & Deeley hammerless shotgun).  Self contained in a kind of box and complex, it was difficult to make. But it was also easy to install as a completed unit. This led many makers to buy finished ejectors units and install them on their own SxSs.

In this video, you can see just how complex Deeley ejectors are.

Westley Richards Anson-Deeley Cutaway, pic from The Explora

Westley Richards Anson-Deeley Cutaway, pic from The Explora

Many of you know Simon Clode,  the Chairman & Managing Director of Westley Richards, passed away last week. In tribute to him, I’m putting up a series of posts dedicated to his great company.

Today’s, we’re covering one of Westley Richard’s huge contributions to the world of double barrel shotguns: The Anson & Deeley action. Patented in 1875, the A & D action was simple, rugged and easy to build. It was also revolutionary and one of the first successful “hammerless” shotgun designs created.

A: Hammer, shown forward in “fired” postion

Key parts of an Anson & Deeley boxlock SxS shotgun, from Finegunmaking.com, Steven Dodd Hughes

Key parts of an Anson & Deeley boxlock SxS shotgun, from Finegunmaking.com, Steven Dodd Hughes

B: Mainspring, drives hammer

C: Cocking level, tips hammer into position when bbls drop

D: The spring with hold the trigger sear (E) in place.

E: Trigger sear, releases hammer when trigger is pulled

In the late 19th and into the 20th century, it was the basis for thousands of side-by-sides made throughout the UK and across Europe. After WW2, it even found its way to Japan, where it was used by companies like Miroku and the Sakaba (SKB) Arms.

Today, a handful of companies still make true Anson & Deeley boxlocks: Westley Richards (of course) a few British and European firms, and Connecticut Shotgun (see their oddly named “Christian Hunter“).

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas from Dogs & Doubles.

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas from Dogs & Doubles.

Stunning Westley Richards Droplock Double Rifle, 300 Sherwood, Treasure Grade

Stunning Westley Richards Droplock Double Rifle, 300 Sherwood, Treasure Grade

Simon Clode, Chairman & Managing Director or Westley Richards, passed away this week. In honor of the man and company he worked so hard to keep at the forefront of British gunmaking, I’m going to dedicated a few posts to Westley Richards’ fabulous guns.

To start, let’s leap back in time and check out this jaw-dropping, “Treasure Grade” Westley Richards droplock double rifle in 300 Sherwood. Made in 1912, it’s 100+ years old and still in stunning original condition.

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