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12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

The London gun trade has always been a bespoke business. If you wanted it and could pay for it, a gunmaker would build it for you — or in the case of the Henry Atkin O/U you see here, the gunmaker would find someone else to build it for you.

Henry Atkin started in the gun trade in 1848 as an apprentice at Purdeys. Around 1875, he was building shotguns in his own name, and he did so until his death in 1907. His firm continued on until it was absorbed by Atkin, Grant & Lang in 1960. Even though Henry Atkin was a talented gunmaker, he never developed a design for an over-under shotgun. After he died, his company continued their focus on side-by-side shotguns. So in 1925 when one of their customers wanted an O/U, Atkin turned to another team of gunmakers and had them build the gun instead.  I’m 99% certain this team was the Hill family.

Charles Hill played a major role in creating the over-under shotgun James Woodward & Sons patented in 1913. Unfortunately, he received little credit for his contributions (or not as much as he though he should). So Mr Hill left Woodward and started turning out Woodward-style O/Us for other makers.

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

Up until the WW2, the Hills turned out twenty or so Woodward-style O/Us for other makers. I’ve seen one other Atkin O/U – #3217 (believed to be the only Atkin-Woodward-style O/U until #2680 popped up). I’ve also seen Hill-made, Woodward-style over-unders with E.J. Churchill’s name on them and the Ogden, Smith & Hussey name on them.

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925: #2680. Twenty eight inch original fluid steel barrels with solid file cut top rib, choked quarter quarter and chambered for two and a half inch cartridges. The action is of “James Woodward” patent, fully engraved with “Henry Atkin” bouquet and scroll pattern, retaining full original colour and finish with double triggers. The stock measures fourteen and seven eighths with no extension, cast slightly for a right hander with a strait hand grip. Gun is presented in original maker’s oak and leather case with accessories. Price: £49,995

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925

 

4 Responses to “Seriously nice: a super rare 12g Henry Atkin O/U shotgun…”

  1. Ham says:

    Beautiful gun. AG&L will make them new as well, though I am not sure if it is on an identical action. And I suspect it would cost a little more than 50k pounds!

  2. Gregg says:

    Yeah – I bet it would cost more, and I doubt it would be as nice…

    I don’t think this one is worth more than $45,000. For £49,995 you can buy a real nice 12g Woodward O/U or a Boss.

    No one is looking for an Atkin O/U, and I doubt they’ll pay a premium for the name.

    Gregg

  3. michael tabor says:

    Henry Atkin guns is one of my favorite gunmakers and this gun is very special. Though not having quite the cache as a Purdey, Atkin guns were just as well made, according to many knowledgeable people. At $85,000 dollars this gun is priced for a collector that may be out there somewhere. For my two cents worth, if I was going to spend that kind of money on an older English O/U, I would buy an older Boss, perhaps even in 20 bore, at that price. Still, a beautiful Atkin gun.

  4. Gregg says:

    Yeah – that’s the problem. A Boss O/U is a better gun (I think so, anyway), and people are willing to pay more for them. Even though Atkin made beautiful guns, the company is more of a tier-2 London maker. Their guns don’t command the same premiums as Purdeys, Hollands, & Bosses.

    Very rare doesn’t always equal very valuable. But who knows? Someone with deep pockets may see it and have to have it….

    Thanks for the comment.

    Gregg

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