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James MacNaughton Skeleton Round Triggerplate "The Edinburgh", circa 1907

James MacNaughton Skeleton Round Triggerplate “The Edinburgh”, circa 1907

James MacNaughton Skeleton Round Triggerplate “The Edinburgh”, circa 1907: A very scarce skeleton (bar-in-wood) triggerplate round action from this famed Scottish maker having only approximately 100 ever being made, 12 bore, 2 1/2″ chambers, replacement 28″ fluid steel nitro proved at 3 Tons barrels by the makers in 1972 and choked .006 Skt. and .009 IC, smooth concave game rib engraved “James MacNaughton & Sons, Hanover Street, Edinburgh”, 14 3/4″ LOP over a leather pad, 1 1/2″ DAC, 2 1/4″ DAH, 3/16″ cast off, 6 lbs. 12 oz., ejectors, double triggers, straight grip, splinter forend, automatic MacNaughton “lever” safety, later barrel cocking design with normal top lever length, typical top tang inspection plate and inspection plate screw with cutout, fine typical MacNaughton skeleton grape vine engraving pattern with “MacNaughton & Sons” engraved on both sides of action, triggerplate engraved to match action, originally no. 1 of a pair with “1” in gold inlay on top lever and barrel rib, highly figured European walnut stock, A&D push button forend release, stock gold oval engraved with a rather mystical animal head. Excellent condition gun that is tight and sound and without any cracks, a few spots of thin barrel blue, exceptional bores and walls on the newer barrels and ready for it’s next 100+ years of service.  These are very rare guns with MacNaughton making the most at about 100 and Dickson having made only about 12-15 skeleton round actions. Price: $24,950

Winchester Model 21 Skeet Grade Field gun in 16 gauge: With 28″ matted rib barrels and choked M&IM ( Chokes measure .012 & .020 ) Beautiful pistol grip stock with 14 1/4″ LOP over checkered butt . Hard grip cap. Beavertail forend . Single selective trigger, Auto ejectors. An outstanding model 21. Price: $7,995

Winchester Model 21 Skeet Grade Field gun in 16 gauge

Winchester Model 21 Skeet Grade Field gun in 16 gauge

W & C. Scott and Son 12g Premier grade double – barreled SxS shotgun

W & C. Scott and Son 12g Premier grade double – barreled SxS shotgun

W & C. Scott and Son 12g Premier grade double – barreled SxS shotgun: With patented crystal indicator windows. 12 gauge with two sets of original Damascus barrels remaining in near fine original condition . The first set of barrels measure 30” in length with 2 ½” chambers choked .20 for modified left and 0 for cylinder right. The second set measure 30” and are choked modified and modified and show almost no use with 95% to 98% bright original tobacco brown finish and serial numbered to match with near fine bores. The stock measures 14 ½” to the end of a English type pad and nearly 14 inches to the end of the wood. There is a 3 ¼ inch drop at the heel with a 2 inch drop at the comb. The wall thickness measures .26 left barrel and .33 right barrel. The barrels retain 90% to 95% of their original light brown finish with some minor scratches and just beginning slight aging. Approximately 95% of the Damascus pattern shows well and there is some very vivid tobacco colored brown finish remaining. The frame shows 85% to 90% case hardening that is just drifting and toning slightly. The action is profusely engraved with bank note scrolls and profuse game bird scenes. The gun locks tight and the bores are still bright. Price: $5,900.

ITHACA NID, GRADE FOUR 12 GAUGE, HEAVY FRAME 3" MAGNUM, 26 " BARRELS

ITHACA NID, GRADE FOUR 12 GAUGE, HEAVY FRAME 3″ MAGNUM, 26 ” BARRELS

ITHACA NID, GRADE FOUR 12 GAUGE, HEAVY FRAME 3″ MAGNUM, 26 ” BARRELS: EXCELLENT BLUE, MIRROR BORES, TWIN IVORY SIGHTS, BRILEY STEEL SHOT CHOKE TUBES, FORCING CONES LENGTHENED. AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER, TYPICAL ENGRAVING PATTERN, PHEASANT ON RIGHT, MALLARD ON LEFT, PLUS SCROLLWORK AND FINE BORDERS. STRAIGHT GRIP STOCK, BEAVERTAIL FOREARM, FINE FLEUR DI LIS CHECKERING, GORGEOUS HIGHLY FIGURED WOOD, GOLD INLAY IN BUTTSTOCK. GREAT DIMENSIONS 1 1/2″ X 2″ X 13 3/4″, ORIGINAL ITHACA SUNBURST PAD. ITHACA PRODUCED A TOTAL OF 87 12 GAUGE HEAVY MAGNUMS, ONLY 14 GRADE FOURS WERE MADE. ALL ARE SERIAL NUMBERED OVER 500,000. 8 POUNDS 6 OUNCES. THE PERFECT WATERFOWL DOUBLE SHOTGUN. AN EXTREMELY RARE GUN. Price: $4,850

 

Charles Hellis & Sons Ltd. 121 & 123 Edgeware Road. Hyde Park. London W. 2" game gun built in 1939

Charles Hellis & Sons Ltd. 121 & 123 Edgeware Road. Hyde Park. London W. 2″ game gun built in 1939

Charles Hellis & Sons Ltd. 121 & 123 Edgeware Road. Hyde Park. London W. 2″ game gun built in 1939:  26″ Cyl/IC extractor barrels with makers name and adress and “FOR 2 INCH CASE ONLY” inlayed in platinum on the rib. Gun is totally in proof with original 2″ chambers. Bores measure .732 right and left. Choked .002 on the right and .008 on the left. Minimum wall thickness is .026  Reciever retains 60% original case colors with border engraving only. Barrels retain 96% blue with 60% blue on bottom of reciever and trigger guard. Stock and forend completely solid with some fairly nice figure in the buttstock. 14 1/2″ LOP to checkered butt. DAC 1 1/2″  DAH-2 3/8″   Checkering has been recut and a light refinish on buttstock and forend. This gun remains in excellent mechanical condition. It is tight and on face. Barrels ring like a chime. Weighs in at 5lb 9oz  These 2″ game guns are few and far between with many not in proof or in poor condition. This is a real gem for the avid woodcock or quail hunter. Price: $4695

 genuine James Purdey & Sons Ltd. Catalog, probably from the '60s.

genuine James Purdey & Sons Ltd. Catalog, probably from the ’60s.

 genuine James Purdey & Sons Ltd. Catalog, probably from the '60s.

genuine James Purdey & Sons Ltd. Catalog, probably from the ’60s.

Here’s a late alert for something that great to have if you’re a serious Purdey collector: It’s a genuine James Purdey & Sons Ltd. Catalog, probably from the ’60s. It’s on Ebay.com now, and the auction ends today @ 12:12PM EST.

Old catalogs like this are great reference tools. I like them because they give you the chance to see just how the maker promoted and sold his guns – which features they called to mind, the terms used to describe certain models, etc. These old catalogs also let step into the mind of a buyer from 50-60 years ago to see the options they were presented with.

Good luck bidding.

Amoskeag Auctions two-day November sale starts tomorrow, 11/22, 2014 @ 9am. There are a number of nice looking guns in this auction  – from a slew of rare American-made bolt rifles to the double barrel shotguns listed below. That P. Mullin and the William Schaefer and super rare American side-by-sides, and from I’ve heard, the Schaefer is superb.

New York Underlever 12g Double Hammergun By Patrick Mullin

New York Underlever 12g Double Hammergun By Patrick Mullin

Lot 245: New York Underlever 12g Double Hammergun By Patrick Mullin: Serial #1, 12 ga., 28″ barrels with bright very good bores which show some scattered light pitting, a spot or two which might be slightly more moderate. The barrels show lovely plum and gray contrasting damascus pattern their full-length, appearing to have been very nicely, very professionally re-struck. The concave rib is marked “P. Mullin New York” and the breeches show very light geometric engraving. The frame is primarily a dark plum brown and speckled case-hardened patina with some generous colors atop the short tang. There are graceful chiseled “cap deflecting” contours behind each fence and the hammers retain their cap deflecting ridges at their leading edges. The lockplates are unembellished and show some silvery speckled and gray case-hardening with the right lock more of a pewter, the left more of a blue-gray with colors in the areas of the hammers. The straight grip English walnut buttstock rates very good plus showing nice grain figure but with some added finish, also retaining a few sparse minor dings and dents from the years. It is checkered slightly coarsely in a wrap-over pattern and there is an un-engraved shield-shaped silver monogram plate atop the wrist. The forend is in a similar state of condition and is near overall checkered and features a nice horn tip insert. Likely a very late shotgun, nearly all of Mullin’s forearms are retained by wedge and tenons while this example is a lever-release. Twelve gauge guns by Mullin are actually very rare as he was known for making large-bore fowling pieces. Most of his guns are 10 and 8 bore, with some 4 bore guns known. The barrels fit ever-so-slightly loose with the lever at the end of its travel and the locks are crisp and mechanically functional and are non-rebounding. A very nice example overall from this prolific New York maker of big bore single and double barrel fowling pieces. Estimate $1500-$2500

Lot 249: Wonderful 12g William Schaefer Boston Top Lever Double Hammergun:

Lot 249: Wonderful 12g William Schaefer Boston Top Lever Double Hammergun:

Lot 249: Wonderful 12g William Schaefer Boston Top Lever Double Hammergun: Serial #2, 12 ga., 28″ barrels with .004″ constriction in each tube and with excellent bores. This shotgun is marked on each lock “W.R. SCHAEFER” and the top rib is engraved “W.R. SCHAEFER BOSTON MASS.”. This shotgun shows fabulous workmanship and remains in fabulous original condition. The barrel flats and watertable both show a single “2” and the barrels and action show no proofs of any kind; the barrel shows the initials “W.K.S. just ahead of flats. The shotgun features beautifully executed raised ridges on the fences around the firing pins. The only engraving is a small wedge on the rib at breech and a nice border around the breeches. The forend tip is of iron and beautifully formed as are the perfectly fit toe and heel buttplate. The barrels retain about 90 – 95% evenly thinning original damascus pattern. The action, locks and hammers show about 90% original color case-hardened finish faded to a pewter gray on the belly but showing nice contrast on the locks. The top lever is finished in blue, the triggerguard in color case hardening which is faded to gray. The checkered straight grip buttstock and forend are of beautifully figured walnut and rate excellent with 90% plus original finish remaining and with sharp checkering. The stock features dropper points and a beautiful iron toe and heel buttplate with smooth center and a gold monogram plate on top of wrist which is engraved with fancy monogram. The forend is checkered in a fancy pattern and is wedge fastened with the head of the wedge fitting flush into a recess in the escutcheon. All screws remain properly indexed. This is a very fine Boston double with lovely little details which showcase the pride that this highly talented maker took in his work. Estimate $2000-$3000.

Lot 281: Parker 28g Vh Grade Boxlock Double Shotgun

Lot 281: Parker 28g Vh Grade Boxlock Double Shotgun

Lot 281: Parker 28g Vh Grade Boxlock Double Shotgun: Serial #128240, 28 ga. on No. 0 frame, 24″ barrels choked cylinder and improved modified with bright excellent bores. This is a rare little Parker, one of only 38 original V grade guns with 24″ barrels. The barrels retain about 90% evenly thinning original blue finish. The action is mostly a silver gray patina with bright color under top lever. The walnut stocks appear to factory Remington replacements, the buttstock is excellent and fits beautifully, the forend is not quite as nice. The forend checkering pattern is a little different than factory and the buttstock has a “REMINGTON” marked gripcap. The stock has a 14 7/8″ length of pull over a Redhead pad with outward rake at the toe and drops of 1 3/4″ and 2 3/4″. This is a rare little smallbore Parker that should be fun to hunt. Estimate $6000-$8000.

Lot 390: Rare Hoffman Arms Company Double Ejectorgun

Lot 390: Rare Hoffman Arms Company Double Ejectorgun

Lot 390: Rare 12g Hoffman Arms Company Double Ejectorgun: Serial #98598, 12 ga., 29″ fluid steel barrels both choked a light full with bright excellent bores. The barrels retain about 80% original blue, the loss is some even light fading and toning with the some wear along the lower right edge of the right tube where it looks as though there was some light surface oxidation which was removed with steel wool. The right barrel is engraved “Made by Hoffman Arms Co No. 482″ with the left tube engraved “Ardmore Okla 12 ga.”, there is light engraving at the breeches and on the rib extension; there is no wall thickness noted below .035″, closer to .040″ over most surfaces. The barrels exhibit British nitro proofs for 1 1/8 ounce loads and are equipped with dual beads. The frame shows very nice vivid color case-hardening, toning only on the edges of the fences and the rounded portions of the belly. The gun features nice loose flowing scroll with foliate decoration on the belly of the frame. The right and left flats show pheasant and hunting dog motifs, the fences with foliate decoration, nicely matted along the top of the frame. Additionally the top lever shows some nice scroll and geometric decoration with a very nice scroll on the bow of the guard. The straight grip English walnut stock rates very good plus to excellent with minor dings and handling marks from the years. The checkering is nice with mullered borders and there are dropper points at the rear of the stock cheeks. The splinter style forend is in a similar state of condition with its hardware still exhibiting very nice color case-hardening. The length of pull to the Hawkins recoil pad is 13 1/2″ with drops of 1 1/2″ and 2″; the lower left and right leading edges of the stock show repaired chips, the left side appears to have the original chip re-affixed, the right side has had a piece very nicely spliced in. Lockup is tight with the top lever still slightly right of center and the gun seems to operate properly, the ejectors fitted very tightly to one another, occasionally one dragging the other up with it slightly upon ejection, it does not kick the shell out of the unfired barrel however; if the two are fired simultaneously they kick the shells robustly. Really a very lovely example overall in a very fine state of condition, Hoffman shotguns very rarely encountered. Estimate $3000-$5000.

Lot 575: 20g Beretta Asel Model Over Under Shotgun

Lot 575: 20g Beretta Asel Model Over Under Shotgun

Lot 575: 20g Beretta Asel Model Over Under Shotgun: Serial #27653, 20 Ga, 27 1/2″ ventilated rib barrels choked modified over improved with bright excellent bores. The metal surfaces retain 95-97% original blue finish on the barrels, lever, triggerguard and lower tang with some light loss at the carry point; the coin finished scalloped frame rates very good to near excellent displaying moderate engraving around the edges with some faint tarnishing present in a few areas. The checkered straight grip walnut buttstock and forend rate good to near very good with several dings and handling marks present as well as some added finish; a Pachmayr White Line rubber recoil pad has been outfitted with the length of pull measuring out to 14 1/2″. A fine Beretta ASEL over under shotgun that would perform well afield. Estimate $1500-$2500.

Lot 699: 20g Webley And Scott Boxlock Model 700 Double Ejector Shotgun

Lot 699: 20g Webley And Scott Boxlock Model 700 Double Ejector Shotgun

Lot 699: 20g Webley And Scott Boxlock Model 700 Double Ejector Shotgun: Serial #140187, 20 Ga, 28″ barrels with a matted rib choked improved modified and full. The barrels retain 98% original blued finish. The frame retains 95% of its case-hardened finish with the exception of light slivering along the lower edges. The checkered straight grip walnut buttstock has a grooved butt for a length of pull of 14 9/16″ and drops 1 3/4″ and 2 1/4″. The walnut finish on the stock and forend rates excellent with the exception of a small ding on the forend checkering. The gun features double triggers, ejectors, and an automatic safety. This gun is in excellent overall condition. Estimate $2000-$3000.

Beretta BL-3 - 28ga, Over Under, 2-3/4", 28":

Beretta BL-3 – 28ga, Over Under, 2-3/4″, 28″:

The twenty-eight gauge is one shotgun I’ve never talked myself into buying. But after seeing this one, I’ve been having the 28g-talk with myself again. This little Beretta is an awfully nice looking, and the BL-3s are super all around doubles. I doubt I’ll run across another one like it with 28″ barrels. Pistol-grip aren’t usually for me, but on a gun this light, I bet the extra wood gives you a little more control over things going on at the other end of the gun.

From what I’ve heard, the 28g has a lot going for it. Loaded with 3/4-oz shells, they deliver more than enough lead to put down a grouse or woodcock, provided you put the lead in the right place.

McIntosh said the 3/4 oz., 28g is “…one of the most balistically efficient shotshells ever devised” when loaded with hard shot and pushed along by a quality shot cup. He knew a lot more about balistics than I ever will, so I’ll have to agree.

Beretta BL-3 – 28ga, 2-3/4″, 28″: M / F (.020 / .025), Extractors, SST, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″, Weight 5 lbs. 15 oz. Hard to find gun with 28″ barrels! Great 28ga Dove Gun! Nice Tight Gun – Lever to Right of Center, Tight to Open. Wood shows some handling marks and scratches. Metal 97%. Wood 93%. Price: $1,675

Beretta BL-3 - 28ga, Over Under, 2-3/4", 28":

Beretta BL-3 – 28ga, Over Under, 2-3/4″, 28″:

Henry Graves 1933 Patek Philippe Supercomplication, from paulfrasercollectibles.com

Henry Graves 1933 Patek Philippe Supercomplication, from paulfrasercollectibles.com

Banking, unlike blogging, is a great way to make money. Henry Graves, Jr. was born into a family of bankers, and he made huge coin through the early parts of the 20th century in oil and railroads.

Rich got richer, and with all this money, Henry Graves, Jr, did rich guy things: Buying European art, building big houses, etc. One of his things was commissioning fancy watches from exclusive makers — like this pocketwatch from Patek Phillippe. It just sold for $24.4 million dollars, a new world’s record for a watch.

Henry Graves, Jr, was also into shotguns, and for many years he was one of Von Lengerke & Detmold’s (later Abercrombie & Fitch) best customers. Graves preferred the top British makers and the guns he ordered were always the best of the best: Holland & Hollands Modele DeLuxes, pairs of small bore Kell-engraved Purdeys, and his favorites, Boss O/Us. On one day in May of 1922, Graves ordered three of them: A pair of 10 gauges and the 28g  pictured here.

Three of Graves's Boss O/Us, as noted in a page in Abercrombie & Fitch's order books from 1922.

Three of Graves’s Boss O/Us, as noted in a page in V. L & D’s order books from 1922.

The 28g is the Boss O/U pictured here. It popped up on the market in April, 2013. The asking price: $500,000. From what I can see, it’s about as original as they come. In fact, it looks like it was never used. When Graves guns pop up on the market, they’re usually in this kind of condition. So while Graves like ordering doubles, it looks like he like he didn’t use them One thing to note about this 28g: Check out the gold cipher inlaid onto the toplever. It reads H G Jr. Graves had this cipher added to a number of his guns.

I’ve never heard a thing about Graves’s the pair of 10 gauge Boss O/Us ordered on that day in May. If you have them, or if you own any other Graves shotguns, please reach out to me. I would love to learn more about the gun.

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

C. G. Bonehill, Ltd., Birmingham. Magnificent prewar “pinless” sidelock double rifle in .450-.400, 3¼” NE, ca.1920’s

C. G. Bonehill, Ltd., Birmingham. Magnificent prewar “pinless” sidelock double rifle in .450-.400, 3¼” NE, ca.1920’s

C. G. Bonehill, Ltd., Birmingham. Magnificent prewar “pinless” sidelock double rifle in .450-.400, 3¼” NE: ca.1920’s. Weight: 10 ¼ Lbs. Stock Dimensions: 14”x 1 ½”x 2 ½”x ¼” cast-off. Superb 24” chopper-lump barrels of absolutely peerless quality retain 100% re-black finish and bores are absolutely mint with mint muzzle crowns as well. Quarter rib with several folding-leaf rear sights and ramp front sight with spare front sight blade still in the original brown oil paper wrapper in the compartment beneath the grip cap trap door. Beautifully sculpted and engraved action with doll’s head and concealed third fastener, large firing pin bushings, ejectors, and double triggers. Magnificent Joseph Brazier (maker of the finest locks of that or any other era) “pinless” side locks with intercepting safety sears. Action body, locks, and forend iron retain much of the original hardening color. Barrels and mounts re-blacked. Original highly figured stock and forend retain most of the original varnish and show little evidence of use and no wear whatever. Checkering is crisp and un-retouched. Cased in an original period oak and leather case with all the appropriate accessories including some spare parts. Owner’s name, “Major H. L. Howell R.A.M.C.”, would appear to have been the original owner as his name also appears on another label in the case which dates from prior to 1928. This superb rifle was the favorite of a dear friend of mine who used it to good effect on elephant, buffalo, lion, and other dangerous game during several trips to Africa over the years. Overall an absolutely stunning rifle in near mint condition throughout with all the peerless quality and finishing touches that earned the best British rifles of that era the reputation as the “Best” rifles in the world. Price: $69,500

1952 – Winchester Model 21 – TRAP Grade – 12ga, 2-3/4″, 30″: Full / Full (.036 / .036), Pistol Grip, BTFA, SST, Non-Automatic Safety, LOP 14-3/8″ to Original Pad, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2″, Weight 7 lbs. 12 oz.

1952 - Winchester Model 21 - TRAP Grade - 12ga, 2-3/4", 30"

1952 – Winchester Model 21 – TRAP Grade – 12ga, 2-3/4″, 30″

Belgium Browning 20 Bore Superlight Made in 1984 with 26 1/2" Ejector Vent Rib barrels

Belgium Browning 20 Bore Superlight Made in 1984 with 26 1/2″ Ejector Vent Rib barrels

BROWNING BELGIUM 20 SUPERLIGHT “TRADITIONAL” GRADE I- 1984- ORIG. & 99% COND.- 5 Lbs. 15 Oz.- ONLY 227 TRADITIONAL’S in 20 BORE: Made in 1984 with 26 1/2″ Ejector Vent Rib barrels; This is not your Pre-1976 Superlight but the “Traditional” Grade I offered in 1983 in 12 or 20 only with 10 times better wood & a whole lot more engraving than the pre-76 Grade I’s, In 1983 they were introduced at $1995, The records have 227 of these coming to the U.S. in 20 bore Superlight, The barrels at .622 .006 & .013 (Imp.Cyl. & Mod.), Factory choke markings are I.C. & Mod., 2 3/4″ chambers, Single selective trigger, 45% engraving coverage, Game forend with a schnabel, Straight hand stock at 14 5/16 x 1 3/8 x 2 5/16″ over the factory hard buttplate, 5 lbs. 15 oz., Very nice Claro Walnut with excellent color & contrast, The gun retains 99% original blue, The wood is 99%, The checkering is 100%, The bores and chambers are new and it remains as tight as new. These Traditional Superlights seldom ever come to the market as only 227 each in 20 bore came to these shores. I have personally seen over 2000 wild Bobwhite Quail taken with an identical Superlight and it is still being used today but it is a long ways from 99% condition. Price: $5,800

Tisdale Double 8 gauge SxS Hammer Gun

Tisdale Double 8 gauge SxS Hammer Gun

Tisdale Double 8 gauge SxS Hammer Gun: Heavy duty, commercial hunters gun from Ireland.Made by W.H. Tisdale,#17 Whitall St., Birmingham England. Serial number 6642 on trigger guard.A back action lock with a Jones under lever. Circa. 1874. Beautiful 31 1/2″ damascus barrel by the famous William Fuller. Bottom of barrels marked wjth WHT, WF,Birningham proof marks, 6642, and ” not for ball”.Left=0.792, R=0.866. Sound & fully functional.Light engraving. Blank silver escutcheon.Bone butt plate. Price: $2,700

BROWNING BSS SxS SHOTGUN SPORTER STOCK, 20 GAUGE: 28″ BBLS: CHOKED MOD/FULL EXCELLENT CONDITION APPEARS TO HAVE HAD VERY MINIMAL FIRING. Price: $1,900

BROWNING BSS SxS SHOTGUN SPORTER STOCK, 20 GAUGE: 28" BBLS

BROWNING BSS SxS SHOTGUN SPORTER STOCK, 20 GAUGE: 28″ BBLS

 

 

Lexi becomes a bird dog…

Me & Lexi

Me & Lexi

Even though our trip to Maine a couple weeks ago produced few birds, it did give Lexi the chance to get out in the woods and start on down the path to becoming a bird dog. Here’s are a few quick videos of her in action.

Overall, she handles well – coming when she’s called, hunting to the front, quartering naturally, and coming around on command. Her range stretched out to 200-300+ yards on some casts, and after she had some solid grouse & woodcock finds her under collar, she started to hunt objectives.

You can see how much fun she’s having in these videos, and how dynamic and electric she is in the field.

Webley & Scott model 700E 16ga M/F

Webley & Scott model 700E 16ga M/F

I’ve raved about Webley & Scott’s Model 700 shotguns a bunch of times. Rugged and dependable, the M700 was introduced in the 1950s as an entry-level shotgun and it went of to become one of the most popular side-by-sides ever made. While 12 gauge Model 700s are easy to find, 16 gauges are not. The one you see here is on Gunbroker.com now and the auction ends on 11/16/2014 3:07:58 PM ET.

The Brits were never big fans of 16s. But here in the US, a small number of upland hunters have preferred them. Sixteens tend to weigh less than twelves, and they push more than enough lead to drop any grouse, woodcock, or quail.

Webley & Scott model 700E 16ga M/F: Scarce 16 gauge English shotgun by Webley and Scott Birminham England. Gun is 98% original finishes, tight as the day it was made. Nice color case frame and perfect dent free barrels with bright bores. Factory marked 2 3/4 chambers proofed for 3 1/4 tons ejectors are timed and work flawlessly. Wood is a nice grade of English walnut, double triggers 14 1/2 over checkered but. 1 3/8 comb 2 1/8 heal. slight cast for right hand shooter. Auto safety 6lbs-1/4 oz Chokes are .011/.035 both bores are .662.

Webley & Scott model 700E 16ga M/F

Webley & Scott model 700E 16ga M/F

Manufacturer:  Webley & Scott
Model:  700-E
Barrel Length:  28 inch
Gauge:  16
Capacity:  2
Smoke & Feathers, a RockHouse video on Vimeo

Smoke & Feathers, a RockHouse video on Vimeo

If this doesn’t make you want to get up at 3am and head out to duck blind, nothing will. I love this guy’s percussion gun, and his attitude toward hunting and old doubles.

SITKA: Smoke & Feathers from Rockhouse Motion on Vimeo.

Me & Lexi

Me & Lexi

I’m in a funk. My big hunting trip was a couple wees ago and things did not go well – bird wise, anyway. This annual trip is my bird binge for the year, and I put a lot of hope into it. The ways things turned out left me depressed.

I’ve hit the western part of Maine for several seasons now, and in years past, the end of October was prime: the leaves were down, the woodcock flights were in, and the grouse were abundant. This year, the leaves were down, but the birds were hard to find.

Weather may be been the problem. We arrived after two days of heavy winds and flooding rain, and all week the temps were in the upper 50s (instead of the normal 40s). Lexi and I hit covers all over the place – alders, pole poplar, overgrown cuts bordering bogs, etc.

For the first few days, the woodcock were nowhere to be found. Spots where Puck and I used to move 10-20 birds were empty until the end of the week. Then they just had 4-5 flight birds in them. We saw some grouse, but not many. On the last day, we bumped  a covey of six, all sunning and feeding at the edge of a clear cut.

On top of this, one of my favorite spots was overrun by an active logging operation (so much for that), and another was inaccessible due to a bridge being out. Lexi and I struck out to some new spots, but the birds just weren’t there.

Fortunately, Lexi did see some birds — enough to turn the light on in her head and start her on her way to being a hunting dog. She handled beautifully: Quartering naturally, turning on command, and coming when called. After she had a few whiffs of bird in her nose, she was even hunting objectives. With a couple of seasons and a lot of birds under her belt, I’m sure she’s going to be a great dog.

And I did get a chance to do some fishing with my Maine-guide friend Greg Bostater. He knows where to find great fish, as you can see in the pics below.

 

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