Woodward Over & Under shotguns make me crazy. They are one of the most elegant double barrel shotguns every made — without a doubt — and the ones I’ve handled have been some of the finest shotguns I’ve ever seen.
James Woodward & Sons introduced their Over & Under in 1913 (Boss’s came out in 1909). I’m not how many they made before being bought by James Purdey & Sons in 1949 — but I would guess it was fewer than 300 O/Us all together.
Most of these were 12 gauges, with some 16 gauges and a handful of 20 gauges. Woodward also made at least one O/U in .410 and maybe some in 10 gauge and 28 gauge (I’ve never seen or heard of 10g or 28g Woodward O/U, but that doesn’t mean much).
With such small production numbers, decent Woodward O/Us are hard to find today. Pairs of them rarely come on the market. Pairs of 20 gauge Woodward O/Us are practically unknown. That’s why these guns that Lewis Drake has are so stunning. They’re a true pair of 20gs, made in the 1930s for King Michael of Romania. It’s good to be the king.
Pic courtesy Lewis Drake. All rights reserved.