No — that’s not a typo, and the price shown is not missing a zero. Here’s is a 20 gauge James Woodward & Son sidelock side-by-side shotgun for just $3,000. But of course there’s a catch: this double barrel is missing its forend.
This gun was made around 1896. For some reason, it looks like it was proofed for nitro loads a few years later. James Woodward was in business from 1874 to 1948. In all, they made around 4500 or so guns — far fewer than Boss, Purdey, or Holland & Holland. Twenty-gauge, best-quality side-by-side Woodwards are rare. The last one I saw sold for a around $40,000, and a decent one could easily bring $50,000+ today.
Three thousand dollars isn’t a bad price for this one. Building a new forend will be expensive, but it is doable — especially if the barrels are sound and the rest of the gun is in good shape. But because the seller has listed the gun “as is,” you won’t know if restoring it is an option until after you own you own the gun. And if the barrels are bad, you’ll have spent $3000 on a paperweight, some firewood, and a fancy stake for a tomato plant.
So are you feeling lucky?
J. Woodward & Sons, English “Best Gun”, 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels: Being sold as a “parts gun” as it is missing a complete forend. Without the forend, it will not cock. Butt stock has been shortened and added to. Bore is shiny without evident pits. Right barrel on underside has small ding/dent, felt when running hand up and down. No evident pits on metal. Purdey and other English gun makers have been contacted for an appraisal as to restoring gun to shooting condition. Estimates have been as high as $31K. U.S gunmakers contacted have not been willing to undertake project. Gun closes tightly and is not loose in any part. Receiver metal has light patina. C&R/FFL needed. No sale to CA. Ask any and all questions. More photos can be asked for. Seller has given up hope of restoring as restoration cost may exceed value of finished gun.