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Happy Easter.

Happy Easter! Have a great day.

Happy Easter! Have a great day.

Beretta ASE 20 EELL Scarce 20 Bore O/U

Beretta ASE 20 EELL Scarce 20 Bore O/U

Beretta has been in the gun biz for a long time, and since they introduced their first O/Us around 1935, they’ve refining their designs and developing new over unders.

Beretta introduced ASEs in 1949. A boxlock version of their SOs, ASEs were introudced in the 1960s as lightweight hunting guns. They’re made with SO-type actions and feature the SO’s Kersten-style top bolts and removable bbl cheek pieces.

ASEs came in 12g and 20g, there were built in 3 grades (ASE, ASEL, and ASEELL). T0day, the ASEs are common, but top-of-the-line models like the EELL you see here are scarce.

Beretta ASE 20 EELL Scarce 20 Bore O/U: Circa pre-1964, 20 bore, 2 3/4″ chambers, 26″ barrels with a hand file cut solid rib and choked .015 Mod. and .025 Full, 14 3/4″ LOP over a 7/8″ leather covered pad, 1 7/16″ DAC, 2 5/16″ DAH, 1/8″ cast off, 5 lbs. 11 oz., ejectors, single gold trigger, straight grip, coin finished receiver with very fine hand engraving of large and bold stylized acanthus scroll with foliate and floral work signed by B. Consoli, bottom of action also engraved “P. Beretta, Gardone” and “Brevettato”, nicely figured European walnut, excellent condition with some handling marks.  These ASE guns are very scarce and were very limited.  20 bores are even more scarce. Price: $14,995

Beretta ASE 20 EELL Scarce 20 Bore O/U

Beretta ASE 20 EELL Scarce 20 Bore O/U

Beretta’s BL over-unders were built from the late ’60 into the ’70s. Like ASEs, these O/Us are boxlock-style guns. With the BLs, Beretta introduced the dual locking bolts used on many of the O/U’s the make today. The Garcia Sporting Arms Corporation Beretta BLs and they offered them in four grades: BL-1, BL-3, BL-4 & BL-5. In 1970, the BL-4 below cost $375. At the same time, sidelock Beretta SO-3s started at $1200.

This one is on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends Monday, 4/21/2014, @ 4:26:58 PM ET.

Beretta BL-4 12g Over Under Shotgun: This shotgun has 30 inch vent rib fixed choke barrels, twin beads, an engraved receiver, a tang mounted safety/barrel selector, selective ejectors, and a very nice checkered hardwood stock with a black grip cap and an attached recoil pad. It is in very good 90% condition with a little bit of freckling on the barrels and some handling marks on the stock. The bore are in mirror bright condition and the action is very tight. Choked full over modified. 14.25 inch length of pull. 1.5 inch drop at the comb, 2.5 inch drop at the heel. 3 inch chamber. Made in 1971.

Beretta BL-4 12g Over Under Shotgun

Beretta BL-4 12g Over Under Shotgun

Beretta BL-4 12g Over Under Shotgun

Beretta BL-4 12g Over Under Shotgun

 

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns

Over the past few years, I’ve developed a real appreciation for German and European O/U shotguns. Continental gunmakers built some of the first breechloading, over-under shotguns. Gebruder Merkel was making O/Us as early as 1903, and the company continues to make them to this day.

The Merkel O/U you see here looks like it was made around 1952 or so. It’s a 200E, built on Blitz-style action  with double Kersten bolts. Overall, it’s a very solid gun and extremely well made. It’s on Gunbroker now and the listing ends on Sunday, 4/20 @ 8:56:14 PM ET.

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns: Straight grip. It has working cocking indicators, double triggers and auto ejectors. It has 28″ barrels the chokes are .685 on top barrel and .700 on the bottom, and the length of pull on front trigger is 14 5/8″ and 13 5/8′ to the back trigger. The weight is about 7 pounds + -. The bluing is very nice, and it still retains some of the case color. The wood is solid with no visible signs of cracking. There are some light marks on the wood work which can be seen in the photos. The bores are very bright and shiny.

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns

12 Ga. MERKEL FRERES SUHL Double Barrel Over Under Shotguns

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Wow: $3,000 for a 20 gauge J. Woodward sidelock SxS shotgun…

J. Woodward & Sons, English "Best Gun", 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels

J. Woodward & Sons, English “Best Gun”, 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels

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.

J. Woodward & Sons, English "Best Gun", 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels

J. Woodward & Sons, English “Best Gun”, 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels

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.

J. Woodward & Sons, English "Best Gun", 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels

J. Woodward & Sons, English “Best Gun”, 20 gauge, 28 inch barrels

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Bet your dog can’t do this: A truly versatile spaniel….

Now this is what I call versatile. Jess the springer spaniel feeds a baby lamb from a bottle.

Now this is what I call versatile. Jess the springer spaniel feeds a baby lamb from a bottle.

Pointing, retrieving, tracking game – sure some versatile gun dogs can do all that.

But Jess springer spaniel goes one step further. Watch as she feeds an orphaned lamb from a bottle.

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Amazing bird dog work from Sweden….

From the website http://landins-hund-katt.se/

From the website http://landins-hund-katt.se/

I didn’t know English Pointers spoke Swedish. But this orange-and-white female does (hahaha).

Check out these videos to see how much control this guy has over his dogs. He’s running up to four at once: Britta the Pointer plus a trio of Drahthaars. The relationship between them and the trainer is amazing to see. Find out more about the trainer and his dogs here.

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This week’s good guns: Powered by Gunsinternational.com…

WESTLEY RICHARDS OVUNDO BEST QUALITY O/U 20 GAUGE

WESTLEY RICHARDS OVUNDO BEST QUALITY O/U 20 GAUGE

WESTLEY RICHARDS OVUNDO BEST QUALITY O/U 20 GAUGE28″ SOLID RIB 2 1/2″CHAMBERS  004 AND 009 SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER EJECTORS FIELD FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT WITH HEEL AND TOE PLATES EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION WITH LIGHT HANDLING MARKS 5LBS 9 OZ X 2 X 1 1/2 X 14. Price: $33,500

Beautiful Belgium Browning Diana Superlight 12 gauge: 26 1/2″ bbl, 2 3/4″ chambers, im/m, 14 1/4″ LOP, 1976 gun. 100% original, excellent condition, barely fired. M. Dodson engraved, striking wood. There were only a handful of these beautiful Diana superlights made, it is difficult to find one without pad. Trades considered.
Price: $11,750

Beautiful Belgium Browning Diana Superlight 12 gauge

Beautiful Belgium Browning Diana Superlight 12 gauge

Winchester Model 21, DUCK, Factory 2 BBL Set

Winchester Model 21, DUCK, Factory 2 BBL Set

Winchester Model 21, DUCK, Factory 2 BBL Set: Beautiful, Original Condition, Winchester Model 21 DUCK,.  Factory 2 Barrel Set. Matches Cody letter to the “T”. 32″ Full/Full, 30″ Mod/Imp Mod (for those incomers). English, Beavertail, Winchester Factory Pad as per letter. 97+% wood, 98+% bluing, flaking floorplate. Barrels ring like churchbells, Perfect bores, no chips splits cracks of rust. Please note forearm, each side, missing dime sized semicircle above checkered boarder, each side??? Price: $8,999

Parker DHE, 20 Gauge California Duck Gun: 32″ barrels, XFull / XFull. Interesting California provenance, Hanford Duck Club. Matches Parker letter with the exception of a period Silvers pad. This was a wealthy gentlemans Waterfoul hunter, certainly not a museum piece but enough original condition to be left alone. No rust, splits, chips or cracks.  Moderately pitted barrels. .030 minimum barrel wall thickness. This is an extremely stout, long range subgauge shooter.  1 of 128 so configured. 1 1/2 x 2 3/8 x 13 3/4 .  Unstruck barrel weight 3/13. Price: $8,999

Parker DHE, 20 Gauge, Double Barrel, California Duck Gun

Parker DHE, 20 Gauge, Double Barrel, California Duck Gun

F W Kessler Side-by-Side 24 Gauge Shotgun

F W Kessler Side-by-Side 24 Gauge Shotgun

F W Kessler Side-by-Side 24 Gauge Shotgun — Excellent Condition: Perfect for quail and woodcock or for scooping up some shooting silver at the Vintage Cup or Southern Side-by-Side this rare and beautiful Kessler 24 gauge is a wand. Fiocchi 24 gauge ammo is available and so are reloading components. A little smaller than 20 gauge but with more punch than a 28 this handsome double is a great shooter that you will be proud to own. *** Kessler is a maker of high quality firearms still in business today in Germany. This handsome double trigger boxlock is covered with dense scroll engraving and has a nice patina with vestiges of its original case coloring. The side clips are nicely engraved and add to the sturdiness of the gun as does the Kersten cross-bolt. Gold cocking indicators protrude through the top strap where they are clearly visible to the shooter. Overall weight is 5lb 10oz. *** The 27” non-ejector barrels are topped by a raised solid rib that has been hand cross-hatched. They appear to have been professionally reblued. Bore dimensions for the right barrel are 0.588 bore diameter with a constriction of 0.019 for Improved Modified choke. The left barrel has a bore diameter of 0.589 with a constriction of 0.027 for Full choke. *** It is stocked in a beautiful piece of walnut with straight grip and splinter forearm. The forearm has an ebony tip. The stock has been refinished and the checkering is crisp. Stock dimensions are 14-1/4” over a thin plastic buttplate by 1-3/8” by 2-3/8”. Slightly cast off for the right hand shooter.  Price: $4,795

Aya Custom 10ga 32bls 3.5 chamber 1968 mfg 98+%: 32 inch barrels, full and full, pistol grip with cap,EJECTORS, 14 3/4 lop,BEAVERTAIL DOUBLE TRIGGERS EJECTORS, raised solid rib, Butt plate with AYA logo, 3.5 inch CHAMBERS, mfg in 1968 CUSTOM ORDERED by Amarillo west texas oil man to shoot geese on the playas,which he did once and then put the gun away for the next 46 years. this shotgun is special and shows it and is like new. Price: $2,295

Aya Custom 10ga 32bls 3.5 chamber 1968 mfg 98+%

Aya Custom 10ga 32bls 3.5 chamber 1968 mfg 98+%

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Good gun alert: a 28g Ruger over-under, 28″ barrels…

28 gauge Ruger Red Label Over Under Shotgun

28 gauge Ruger Red Label Over Under Shotgun

Yesterday I mentioned how I’m always thinking about the value of firearms – what were they worth in the past, what will they be worth in future. This 28 gauge Ruger is one shotgun I consider to be an outstanding value, and I bet it will hold its value into the future.

Most of the Ruger 28s I see have 26″ barrels. The extra two inches on the ends of this one make it harder to find and more desirable.

Ruger Red Label 28 gauge Over/Under Shotgun: In good used condition. 28″ barrels come with 7 chokes. There are some light handling marks from use. Slight blue wear at the muzzle. LOP is 14 5/8″ to a thin pad. Please see pictures for accurate condition and description. See my other items for additional Ruger shotgun. Sale price includes shipping in the cont. US. Price: $1,595.

28 gauge Ruger Red Label Over Under Shotgun

28 gauge Ruger Red Label Over Under Shotgun

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They cost how much? Check out this 1965 Holland & Holland new & used gun catalog…

1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog

1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog

Value is something I always think about when I’m looking at old guns. Is this Purdey a good value? What about this Parker? Which ones will people want 20 years from now? Which will fall out of favor? To understand stuff like this, I collect old gun catalogs – especially ones with price lists in them.

The catalog you see was an especially nice find for me. It’s a Holland & Holland New & Used Gun Catalog from the Spring of 1965. It’s full of ton of useful info: prices, lots of different guns from different makers, etc. More importantly, because this catalog was shipped to customers in the UK and the US there’s a key paragraph inside which unlocks the British £ to US $ conversion mystery:

“As an indication of your approximate total delivered costs including duty you may multiply the price of the weapon in £’s in London by 3.5. For example, a gun offered at £100 will cost you about $350, all charges and duties paid”

So what did a brand new, 12 gauge sidelock Holland & Holland Royal cost in 1965? £650 pounds, or $2,275 (that’s without a case or accessories). A 12 gauge H&H Northwoods boxlock was £200 or $700. New H&H Rifles were more expensive. A .470 Royal cost £985 ($3,447.50) with case and tools. It punished you with more than just recoil.

1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog

1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog

As for used guns, decent 12 gauge Royals were £375 – £425. A 12 gauge Purdey with new barrels by the maker was £500. The most expensive used guns are both O/Us: an early and super rare 12g H&H (#36000) and a 12g Woodward. Both are £950.

As for bargains, I spotted two. One was a cased Edwinson Green 12g Best-quality sidelock for £285. I’ve seen a few of these and they are fabulous – equal to a London Best. Then there’s a 16g Szulovsky sidelock for just £130. I’ve never seen or heard of a Szulovsky, but I bet it was a very fine gun.

To make sense of the prices, here’s are some figures from 1965: a basic Rolex Submariner was around $230, a Corvette Fastback Coupe was $3947 from the factory , the typical American home sold for $19,900, and the median American family income was $6,900. A new Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was £6,557.

Today, a brand new 12 gauge Holland & Holland SxS Royal costs $118,000. A stainless Rolex Sub runs $8,000, a new 2014 Corvette Stingray costs $54,950, the typical American house sells for around $213,000, and the median family income is $51,000. And a new Rolls Royce Wraith is $379,000.

And what about that H&H Royal from the mid 1965? In excellent original condition, here’s about it’s worth today:

HOLLAND & HOLLAND (A&F) MODEL SIDELOCK SIDE BY SIDE SHOTGUN

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Very odd: a 20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun…

20g Charles Jones "Flint-Cusssion" SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

Getting a shotgun or rifle to fire has always been tricky, and since the earliest day of firearms, makers have come up with countless ways to make a gun go bang.

At the beginning of the 19th century, most handheld shotguns and rifles used flintlocks to ignite their pcharges. But in 1807, the Reverend Alexander John Forsyth developed the percussion method and changed everything.

By the 1820s, Forsyth’s system had evolved into percussion caps, which were ideal for sporting guns. Simple to use, reliable in almost any weather, and quick to fire, the percussion cap’s perfection marked the end for flintlocks and the way forward to the next generation of firearms – the centerfires.

The firearm you see here is sort of the platypus of shotguns. Part percussion and part flintlock, it looks like it was made to handle whatever shooting situation a hunter might find himself in.

20g Charles Jones "Flint-Cusssion" SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun: This is a rare and exceptional experimental dual ignition shotgun made by Charles Jones circa 1835 who was the Gunmaker to HRH Prince Albert.  This is a 20 bore muzzle loading gun with an interruption switch to block the platinum lined flintlock touch hole to fire percussion caps. Overall length is 45″ with 28.5″ barrels and LOP 14.5″. The gun has definitive London Black Powder proofs and features a wrist escuthcheon with the initials “CJ”. Possibly an experimental shotgun or a commissioned piece to offer a “belt and braces” approach to the “new” percussion caps and would offer the traveller a solution to travelling overseas where percussion caps might be difficult to acquire. The quality of workmanship is superb. Price: $18,250

Pics Courtesy of Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones "Flint-Cusssion" SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones "Flint-Cusssion" SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones "Flint-Cusssion" SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones "Flint-Cusssion" SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

20g Charles Jones “Flint-Cusssion” SxS shotgun. Image courtesy Pembroke Fine Arms

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