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Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

I’ve been on a bit of German/Prussian shotgun kick the past few months. The more time I spend looking at these doubles, the more I like them. Lately, I seem to run into one every few weeks that I would love to own.

This double barrel by Frederic Surkamer/Merkel is the latest one I’ve fallen for. If I only I could come up with a reason to own it — and the cash to buy it. Check out how beautifully made it is — stout as NFL linebacker but still elegant. What a gun!

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun: A Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action proved in January of 1929 with 30″ F/XF Krupp Steel ejector barrels with raised file cut solid rib with ivory mid and front beads. Bores are as new measuring .724 top and bottom. Choked .046 top and .040 bottom. This is the best of Merkel boxlocks with double underlugs and double bite. Double Kersten top lock. Bushed strikers. Triggers turned for the right hand.

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

Extensive and very well done German Acanthus leaf and gamebird engraving. Stocked in English Walnut. Two piece forend with wrap around checkering. Pistol grip buttstock with arrowhead points and Monte Carlo. 15 3/8″ LOP to a solid 5/8″ pad. DAC-1 1/2″ DAH-2 1/2″ although effectively less with the Monte Carlo configuration.

Frederick Surkamer was a noted Chicago gunsmith born in Illinois in 1871 who was a contemporary of Fred Adolph and R.G.Owen. He built custom rifles on Springfield and Mauser actions. He did work for the great sporting firms Von Lengerke & Antoine and Marshall Fields in Chicago. He also imported drillings and shotguns from Europe and stocked these guns.

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun

The pistol grip cap reads “From Mother TAK [Theo A. Koch] 1928. This is an outstanding Pre -War gun and a true piece of Americana in outstanding condition showing minimal use. Overall condition is 99%. The previous owner had this gun for 50 years and acquired it from the original owner. It is an outstanding collector piece and well configured for Sporting Clays or Live Birds. Price: $4995

4 Responses to “I wish I could come up with a reason to own this…”

  1. That gun reminds of a line from my forthcoming novel, “Double-Ought Buck”. …”He placed his best guns in the same category as beautiful women–they could be appreciated and enjoyed simply by holding them and admiring them.”
    What an exquisite, enduring piece of ordnance.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Gregg says:

    Don-

    Thanks for comment – and the great sentence. Very true.

    Gregg

  3. Jeff Wemmer says:

    It’s really a great gun and way under priced in my opinion…Why does my opinion matter you may ask? I own a Surkamer! It’s a very nice, high quality piece. Mine is a 3-barrel ejector gun in 20 ga. and is testament to Mr. Surkamer’s skill in not only gun making, but willingness (and ability) to take on projects that were less than conventional in design. Very few gun makers could then, and none today can produce 3-barreled gun with selective triggers and ejectors. I know as I tried to get a very venerable Austrian firm to build a 3-barreled ejector gun for me a couple of years ago and they couldn’t come up with a method for the ejector system. Surkamer pulled off that feat back in 1933! So, it’s safe to say he was one of the best ever and certainly the best maker of his era here in the states. My gun has no European proofmarks, thus was most likely entirely made here in the states. I have several RG Owen, G&H and Hoffman, (Parker, Fox & LC Smith are not even in the same league) shotguns from the same era to compare with and the Surkamer gun is superior in all aspects aside from the innovative design.

    I’m not a big fan of OU guns, but somebody would do well to add this one to their collection should they prefer vintage high-grade O/Us. I love the grace and elegance of the Boss & Woodward, but when it comes to quality versus price and pure performance nothing compares the the pre-war German O/Us…(thank god the collecting world has yet to wake up to this fact) You can’t get this kind of quality in today’s new gun market and certainly not for this kind of money!

    JW

  4. Gregg says:

    Thanks for the comment. I would love to see your 3-bbl Surkamer. Any pics? Do you know any more about Mr Surkamer?

    Griffin & Howe just had an R.G. Owen sidelock 28g for sale. The gun was made in Belgium by Lajot. Nice gun.

    Gregg

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