10 reasons why you SHOULD buy a side-by-side shotgun…

A few weeks ago I posted this video: Is there a “problem” with side-by-side shotguns? In it, he makes a lot of good points and points out some of the same trends and attitudes I see every day.

Well, yesterday things got a little more interesting. The same outfit posted the video above. Did they have a change of heart? Did the side-by-side deep state get to him? Or did they realize what I’ve always known: SxSs are just ‘friggin cool? Watch it find out.

10 reasons why you SHOULD buy a side-by-side shotgun...
10 reasons why you SHOULD buy a side-by-side shotgun…

Good gun alert: 20g Browning Superlight …

Browning Superposed O/U 20 Gauge Superlight
Browning Superposed O/U 20 Gauge Superlight

With modern dimensions, straight grips, 2 3/4″ chambers, and reliable single triggers, twenty-gauge Browning Superlights are fantastic O/U shotguns for grouse and woodcock.

Here’s your chance to get one at a fair price.

Browning Superposed O/U 20 Gauge SuperlightOriginal Belgian Superlight field grade made in 1969. Has 26½” modified/improved cylinder barrels, and straight stock. A recoil pad has been added, L.O.P. is 14⅜”. Near excellent condition with light wear. Price: $2,995

Browning Superposed O/U 20 Gauge Superlight
Browning Superposed O/U 20 Gauge Superlight

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss…

H. Mahillon – SxS, Full Sidelock Ejector, 16ga, 27 ¾” choked Light Mod/Full
H. Mahillon – SxS, Full Sidelock Ejector, 16ga, 27 ¾” choked Light Mod/Full

H. Mahillon – SxS, Full Sidelock Ejector, 16ga, 27 ¾” choked Light Mod/Full: Nicely figured straight grip stock, leather covered pad, splinter forend, double triggers with the front trigger being articulated, automatic ejectors, splinter forend, game rib, full coverage ornamental scroll engraving over a coined finish, gun remains in excellent condition. 6 lbs. 2 oz, 14 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 2 1/4″ Price: $9,999

Winchester Model 21 - 16ga - 28” - M/F - Splinter Forend - Pistol Grip - WInchester Red Butt Pad - 14 1/8 X 1 3/8 X 2 7/16 - 6lbs 13ozs
Winchester Model 21 – 16ga – 28” – M/F – Splinter Forend – Pistol Grip – WInchester Red Butt Pad – 14 1/8 X 1 3/8 X 2 7/16 – 6lbs 13ozs

Winchester Model 21 – 16ga – 28” – M/F – Splinter Forend – Pistol Grip – WInchester Red Butt Pad – 14 1/8 X 1 3/8 X 2 7/16 – 6lbs 13ozs: This gun is in fine-fine-fine shape. Nothing to apologize about here… ready for the field.  SN: 11852. Price: $7,995

Ed Kettner 24 gauge boxlock SxS shotgun
Ed Kettner 24 gauge boxlock SxS shotgun

Ed Kettner 24 gauge boxlock SxS shotgunThis is a sweet and trim little double. Kettner made very high-quality doubles. It has just been restocked and looks great. The 24 ga.was the European ga. for European woodcock.  Serial Number: 2686, Barrels: 28 1/4 inches, Action: extractor, Triggers: double, Gauge: 24, Stock: Comb: 1 & 1/2″, Heel: 2 & 3/8″, Cast: 1/4, Fore End: semi BT, Butt Pad: plastic, LOP: 14 & 3/4 inches, Rib: concave, Finish: blued and bright, Weight: 5 lbs. 7 oz. Chokes: ic/mod, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: 30 thou., Minimum Wall Thickness Right: 30 thou. Price: $4450

Parker VH 12ga, 1 1/2 frame, SxS Shotgun
Parker VH 12ga, 1 1/2 frame, SxS Shotgun

Parker VH 12ga, 1 1/2 frame, SxS Shotgun: Serial Number: 172487 Price: $2,300

.410 - SALVINELLI - AMBERCROMBIE & FITCH - BOXLOCK EXTRACTOR OVER/UNDER - 26" VENT RIB BARRELS CHOKED CYLINDER/FULL - 3" CHAMBERS
.410 – SALVINELLI – AMBERCROMBIE & FITCH – BOXLOCK EXTRACTOR OVER/UNDER – 26″ VENT RIB BARRELS CHOKED CYLINDER/FULL – 3″ CHAMBERS

.410 – SALVINELLI – AMBERCROMBIE & FITCH – BOXLOCK EXTRACTOR OVER/UNDER – 26″ VENT RIB BARRELS CHOKED CYLINDER/FULL – 3″ CHAMBERS: CASE COLORED  ACTION WITH 100% COLORS REMAIN – SEMI PISTOL GRIP SINGLE NON SELECTIVE TRIGGER IN REAR POSITION LOP 13  13/16″  X  1 1/4″  X  1  15/16″ – NEAR NEW CONDITION Price: $1,650.00

Auction alert: 8-gauge Ralph Grant SxS plus ammo …

8 gauge Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun
8 gauge Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun

Here’s something you almost never see for sale in the U.S: A modern 8g SxS shotgun. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the online auction ends on 2/4/2019 @ 8:30 PM.

These days, 8-gauge shotguns are mythical beasts, like Gryphons or a Hydras.  But at the end of the 19th century and into the first part of the 20th, good-quality 8 gauge shotguns were common up and down the Eastern seaboard and anywhere in the US where guys hunted waterfowl. And no, they weren’t used as “market” guns. Instead, they were used to pass shoot ducks, geese, and swans at long ranges.

8 gauge Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun
8 gauge Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun

Unfortunately, in the 1930s the Federal Government outlawed the use of 8 gauges on migratory birds, and that killed demand for them. Today, some states allow you to use them for turkeys and predator hunting. Others state don’t allow you to hunt with them at all.

That being said, the 8 gauges have always had a following in the UK and they remain legal. This gun was made to meet that demand. Built in Spain and imported into Great Britain, it found its way over here. Now you have the chance to bring it home.

8 gauge Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun
8 gauge Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun

Ralph Grant Eight Bore SXS Shotgun plus Ammo 8 Ga: Ralph Grant, a retailer from Leicester, England marketed these fine Spanish made shotguns in England and the water table bears both Eibar and Birmingham proofs. Made in 1985, it features 32” barrels with 3-1/2” chambers, full chokes (fixed) and raised matted rib with mid and front beads, engraved and coin finished double bite boxlock action with bushed firing pins and automatic safety, double bordered hand checkered stocks with beavertail forend with Anson release and 14-5/8” LOP butt with ventilated recoil pad.

8 gauge ammo for the 8g Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun
8 gauge ammo for the 8g Ralph Grant Boxlock SxS shotgun

It comes with two sealed boxes and two loose rounds of English made Gamebore Cartridge Company, Ltd. The Mammoth Heavy Load 3-1/2” black powder 2-ounce number 5’s for a total of 22 cartridges. It is in excellent condition retaining 98% high luster blue with thinning at the muzzles and breech ends, 99% bright finished frame, perfect bores and completely sound stocks with scattered light to moderate handling marks. Lock-up is 100% on-face with zero play, the top lever comes to rest well right of center and the action works perfectly. Ya know that bird that’s laughing at you from way up there? Ruin his day.

Rare gun alert: 16g A.H. Fox SPE Skeet and Upland Game Gun …

16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS
16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS

Here’s one of the rarest American SxSs you’ll see. It’s a 16g A.H. Fox SPE, Skeet and Upland Game.  Introduced in 1932, the SPs (SPecials) were designed to be streamlined versions of regular Fox shotguns. They came in two models: standards ones that were unengraved and had pistol grips and Skeet & Upland Game Guns like you see here, which had a straight grip, a beavertail forend, and a bit of scroll engraving on the action. Both models came with ejectors or without ejectors (SPE or SP).

From an A.H. Fox catalog, 1935
From an A.H. Fox catalog, 1935

From 1935 catalog: SP Grade Skeet and Upland Game Gun 12, 16, 20 gauge

“The Fox SP Grade Skeet and Upland Game Gun is an arm with black gun-metal finish frame, handsomely engraved; imported walnut stock and forend with fine mesh checkering. The length and boring of barrels are correct for use on quail, partridge, woodcock, and other upland game birds at ranges up to 35 yards. These specifications are also correct for skeet shooting.”

16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS
16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS

16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS: Extremely rare Fox 16 gauge SPE. I am told only about 48 SPE Foxes were made in 16 gauge. This gun SN 303359 has 26″ barrels with very good original blue and excellent bores. There is one minor ding on the left barrel near the muzzle. Straight grip stock with a 14 1/8″ LOP to the end of a worn leather covered pad. This Fox weighs 6.48 lbs on my digital scale with a DAC of 1 5/8″ and a DAH of 2 3/4″. The single trigger and BTF ejectors all function properly. This is a very nice gun. Price: $6500 

Extremely rare Fox 16 gauge SPE.
Extremely rare Fox 16 gauge SPE.
Copy of the order tag for an extremely rare Fox 16 gauge SPE.
Copy of the order tag for an extremely rare Fox 16 gauge SPE.

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss ….

 

James Purdey Bar-in-Wood 12ga/30" Hammergun (2 1/2" Chambers)
James Purdey Bar-in-Wood 12ga/30″ Hammergun (2 1/2″ Chambers)

James Purdey Bar-in-Wood 12ga/30″ Hammergun (2 1/2″ Chambers): Serial #120XX — If you are looking for a high-quality hammer gun in excellent condition look no further. This gun is good and tight with modern shooting dimensions and what appears to be the correct case. 30″ barrels are choke CYL/CYL (.002″/.002″) with original 2 1/2″ chambers proofed 1 1/8″. This is a very nice gun overall. Price: $9,750

16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS
16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS

16 Gauge Fox Special SPE SXS: Extremely rare Fox 16 gauge SPE. I am told only about 48 SPE Foxes were made in 16 gauge. This gun SN 303359 has 26″ barrels with very good original blue and excellent bores. There is one minor ding on the left barrel near the muzzle. Straight grip stock with a 14 1/8″ LOP to the end of a worn leather covered pad. This Fox weighs 6.48 lbs on my digital scale with a DAC of 1 5/8″ and a DAH of 2 3/4″. The single trigger and BTF ejectors all function properly. This is a very nice gun. Price: $6500 

Rizzini ~ Artemis ~ 28 Gauge ~ OU ~ Game Gun
Rizzini ~ Artemis ~ 28 Gauge ~ OU ~ Game Gun

Rizzini ~ Artemis ~ 28 Gauge ~ OU ~ Game Gun: New with original case. Manufactured: Circa 2017, Caliber: 28 Gauge, Chambers: 2 3/4″, Metal Condition: New, Wood Condition: New, Bore Condition: New, Barrels: 28″ Blues Steel with Ventilated Rib, Triggers: Single Selective Trigger with Ejectors, Stock: Deluxe Checkered Walnut Round Knob Butt Stock , Stock Dimensions: LOP: 14 3/8″, Fore End: Checkered Walnut, Butt Pad: Wood Butt Plate, Weight: 5 lbs. 10 ozs., Sights: Single Brass Bead, Chokes: Rizzini Choke Tubes: Full, Improved Modified, Modified, Improved Cylinder & Cylinder. Price: $3,999.99 

Browning Citori Lightning Gr. 3, 16 ga., 28 in. barrels
Browning Citori Lightning Gr. 3, 16 ga., 28 in. barrels

Browning Citori Lightning Gr. 3, 16 ga., 28 in. barrelsInvector chokes (3). Used but extremely great condition with Box & Manual. Beautiful Wood & Engraving. Price: $3275.00 Shipped 

BERNARDELLI GAMECOCK 28GA SXS EXCELLENT
BERNARDELLI GAMECOCK 28GA SXS EXCELLENT

BERNARDELLI GAMECOCK 28GA SXS EXCELLENT: A very nice game gun ready for field or range. Gun is good to go with no issues and in Excellent condition! Chambers: 2 3/4″, Condition: EXCELLENT, Metal Condition: EXCELLENT, Wood Condition: EXCELLENT, Bore Condition: EXCELLENT, Barrels: 25 5/8IN (65MM), Stock Comb: 1 1/2IN, Stock Heel: 2 3/8 IN, Butt Pad: ORIGINAL, LOP: 14 1/4″, Weight: 5LBS 11OZ, Choke Left: MOD, Choke Right: IMP/CYL. Price: $1895

Auction alert: 20g Beretta BL3 OU, 26″ bbls …

 

Beretta Model BL-3 OU in 20GA with 26" Barrel (IC/M)
Beretta Model BL-3 OU in 20GA with 26″ Barrel (IC/M)

Yes — another auction alert for 20g Beretta BL-3. I can’t help myself. These are great guns for short money, and I feel obligated to get the word out about everyone one I come across. This one is on Gunbroker.com now and the listing ends Sunday, 1/20/2019 @10:00 PM.

But there’s one thing to point out about this listing: It’s an “AS IS – No refund or exchange” sale. So when you buy, it’s yours — regardless of any issues you discover. Even though this guns looks pretty clean and original, here are a few questions I suggest asking the seller before bidding:

  • Are the barrels tight and on the face?
  • Are there any dents, dings, or bulges in the barrels? Any pitting?
  • Does the gun cock, fire, and function as it should?
Beretta Model BL-3 OU in 20GA with 26" Barrel (IC/M)
Beretta Model BL-3 OU in 20GA with 26″ Barrel (IC/M)

Beretta Model BL-3 in 20GA with 26″ Barrel: (IC/M) and inertia trigger. Barrels are Improved Cylinder and Modified with a selector which one will go first. Excellent condition. Manufactured about the end of the 60’s, beginning of the 70’s.

Beretta Model BL-3 OU in 20GA with 26" Barrel (IC/M)
Beretta Model BL-3 OU in 20GA with 26″ Barrel (IC/M)

Auction alert: Per-War, 12g Merkel 201E Over Under …

Lot #277 - Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun
Lot #277 – Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun

Don’t be afraid of this double. I know it’s an old German OU with two features Americans shy away from (a cheekpiece and sling swivels), but I guarantee you it’s a nice shotgun. PA Auction Center in Quarryville, PA, has it and the live auction begins Saturday, Jan 19, 2019, @ 11:00 AM Eastern.

Lot #277 - Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun
Lot #277 – Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun

Merkel is one of the world’s oldest gunmakers, and, in a lot of ways, they initiated the creation of the modern OUs we shoot today.

Lot #277 - Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun
Lot #277 – Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun

According to the seller, this Merkel was built in 1937. That’s when the company’s gunmaking skills were near their peak, and OUs from that era are incredibly well made. They were also expensive. In their day, even lower-grade Merkels like this cost more than most Foxes, Parker, or L.C. Smiths.

Lot #277 - Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun
Lot #277 – Merkel 201E Pre War 12 Ga OU Shotgun

Lot #277 – Merkel 201E Pre-War 12 Ga: Over-and-under with auto ejectors, full choke, solid rib, boxlock, double trigger, ivory bead, elaborately engraved frame, raised cheekpiece stock, 28 1/2″ barrel, SN 24844. Made in 1937. 14 1/4″ LOP. Includes a copy of the production card. Condition: Some normal wear but in overall great condition. Mirror bores.

Watch & learn: T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers …

Watch: T R White & Co Gunmakers, a film  by Matthew Jopling

For 30 years now, T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers has been building its reputation as one of Great Britain’s top gunmakers. a background that includes time spent at W. & C. Scott.

T R White & Co Gunmakers, a film by by Matthew Jopling
T. R. White & Co Gunmakers, a film by Matthew Jopling

Established in 1989 by Tony White, whose background includes time spent at W. & C. Scott, the business includes his son, Matthew White, and gun maker Edward Atkinson. Together, they build SxS and OUs, boxlocks and sidelocks. In this video, you can learn a bit more about what drives them to create such beautiful firearms. Watch: T R White & Co Gunmakers, a film  by Matthew Jopling

Boxlock by T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers
Boxlock by T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

 

RARE PARKER BROS. AAH {LIVE PIGEON} DOUBLE 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN
RARE PARKER BROS. AAH {LIVE PIGEON} DOUBLE 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN

RARE PARKER BROS. AAH {LIVE PIGEON} DOUBLE 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN12 gauge, 30″ with the Whitworth steel barrels marked “PIGEON”, No. 2 frame,  extractor’s, gold plated double triggers, and non-automatic safety.   Shipped March 1, 1895, to Griffith & Temple Co., Louisville, KY. for P.L. Atherton.  The original stock was a half pistol grip.  Returned to the factory on Dec. 6, 1895 for a straight grip stock to be fitted to the gun with a pull measuring 14 1/2″.  Comb: 1 3/8″  Heel: 2 3/8″.  Factory records further indicate that Parker notables Runge, Rockwell, Stokes, and Phenix performed work on this gun.   The gun is accompanied by its factory letter and a copy of the ledger.  A letter from Larry Del Grego dated Feb 3, 1976, is included indicating the extent of his work on the gun.   Serial number 80729   In excellent condition with the barrels retaining all of the blue and perfect bores.  Beautiful wood and checkering.  Mechanically perfect. Price: $29,500

Scarce and Extremely Desirable Beretta AS-EL OU in 20ga
Scarce and Extremely Desirable Beretta AS-EL OU in 20ga

Scarce and Extremely Desirable Beretta AS-EL OU in 20ga: We are proud to bring to you this scarce and extremely desirable Beretta ASEL over and under shotgun in 20 gauge.  This shotgun appears to be in its original condition.  The 27.5-inch solid rib barrels displays a beautiful shiny bore with a fixed improved cylinder and modified choke.  The automatic ejectors work perfectly.  The action is smooth with a tight lock up.  The length of pull from the front trigger to the end of the checkered butt is 14 inch with a 1.25-inch drop at the comb and 2.25-inch drop at the heel.  This weighs in at a total 5.5lbs.  Don’t let this pass you by as they are extremely hard to find! Price: $8999.99

Stephen Grant Sidelock SxS with stunning Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels in its makers case:
Stephen Grant Sidelock SxS with stunning Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels in its maker’s case:

Stephen Grant Sidelock SxS with stunning Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels in its maker’s case: The condition of this fine shotgun is very nice and appears in original condition seeing little if no restoration. There is a small stock extension which we could remove and replace with a fine leather covered pad if one would like for a LOP up to 15 1/2″. Completed in 1903 this is a true Edwardian era gun ( Queen Victoria died in 1901 thank you Austin). The gun is found in an original Grant case which also is in very nice original condition. Serial Number: 7450, Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 30″, Barrel Type: Damascus, Action: Sidelock  Gauge: 12 gauge, Stock Comb: 1 7/16″, Stock Heel: 2″, Stock Cast: 1/8″, LOP: 15″ (14 1/2″ original), Weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz., Choke Left: .017″ Mod, Choke Right: .010″ IC, Proof:Nitro: 2 1/2″, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .025″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .024″. Price: $8,600

12G KERSTEN ANTINIT O/U ENGRAVED SHOTGUN
12G KERSTEN ANTINIT O/U ENGRAVED SHOTGUN

12G KERSTEN ANTINIT O/U ENGRAVED SHOTGUN: #654A, 12 ga., 31” bbls., extremely full choke almost down to a 16 bore, fully raised matted rib with 2 ivory beads, action engraved with game scenes, left side has a fox watching 4 pheasants flying, right side has 2 pointers watching 4 grouse flying, both are in an outdoor scene with brush, trees, hills & so forth, bottom of frame has a hawk sitting on a dead Mallard in an oval, also has “FCR” initials in gold on bottom of trigger guard with engraved scene around it, bbls. are also engraved & marked “Bohler Antinit”, the right side of bbls. marked “Nitro”, SST, ejectors, cocking indicators, top tang safety, flat panel on both sides of stock behind the receiver, fancy checkered PG with engraved steel PG cap, oval gold inlay in bottom of stock, leather covered recoil pad, 15” pull, checkered forend with Deeley lever forend release, beautiful condition with 100% bbl. blue, mint bores, 100% casehardening, very high quality. Price: $6950 

CASED ALEXANDER HENRY DOUBLE BARREL 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN
CASED ALEXANDER HENRY DOUBLE BARREL 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN

CASED ALEXANDER HENRY DOUBLE BARREL 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN: This gun features a top opening lever system. Excellent condition 28-inch barrels retaining nearly all the bright Damascus finish. Vivid case colors on the hammers and sidelocks. Walnut stocks are in very good condition measuring 14-1/4 inches to the end of the correct leather covered rubber buttpad. Checkering is crisp and sharp. Mechanical condition is excellent. This is an absolutely beautiful outfit fitted in an oak and leather case with brass corners. Looks like the inside has been re-lined with red felt. It has the original Alexander Henry label inside the lid. Complete with some snap caps, 3-piece cleaning rod, and an oil jar. Price: $ 5,975.

 

 

Is there a “problem” with side-by-side shotguns?

Side-by-side or OU — which’s better? This debate that’s been going on for over 100 years now. In this video The Problem With Side by Side Shotguns, the folks at  The Gun Shop in Botley Mills, Hampshire, UK have their say on this issue.

They point some of the “problems” they see with SxS and also bring up some valid points on why these doubles are falling out of favor in the UK. Here’s a taste of what they have to say:

“They’re beautiful and anyone should be proud to own and use one. However, there are a few things to consider in the discussion of side by side vs over and under.”

The video makes several excellent points. Overall, I have to agree with him, and many of the trends he points out are also leading to the decline of the SxS over here.

The Problem With Side by Side Shotguns
The Problem With Side by Side Shotguns

Auction alert: LNIB 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28″, box & papers…

Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28" bbls, new in box
Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28″ bbls, new in box

Here’s another chance to get his great all-around OU: the 20g Beretta 686 Onyx. Beretta introduced these guns around ’88 and built them until around ’99 or so. For some reason, whoever bought this one never used it even though it has these features:

  • 28″ barrels
  • Lightweight
  • Choke tubes
  • Single selective trigger

It’s on Gunbroker.com and the listing ends tomorrow, 1/10/2019, @ 2:31 PM.

Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28" bbls, new in box
Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28″ bbls, new in box

Pre-owned Beretta Model 686 Onyx “Black” Over and Under shotgun chambered in 20 Gauge: This shotgun features a 28″ two shot 3″ capability vent rib barrel, a Walnut stock and forearm, manual safety w/ barrel selector and interchangeable chokes. This weapon originates from an estate and was pre-owned and never used nor fired by its previous owner and is LNIB. The weapon still has its hang tags and remnants of factory grease still under the forearm. Currently, the barrel has a FULL and a Modified choke installed from the factory. The third choke is an Improved unopened still in the box. The LOP is 14.5 and Overall length is 45″. Included with the weapon is its original factory box, manual, warranty papers inside their plastic sleeve and 20 gauge choke wrench. This weapon is over 20 years old and in pristine condition. It would make a wonderful augment to any Beretta shotgun enthusiast. Buyer agrees to pay a flat rate of $40.00 shipping in lower 48.

Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28" bbls, new in box
Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28″ bbls, new in box
Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28" bbls, new in box
Auction alert: Vintage 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, 28″ bbls, new in box

Avoiding Double Trouble – A Beginner’s Guide to Vintage Shotguns …

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:

Avoiding Double Trouble – A Beginner’s Guide to Vintage Shotguns

This article originally appeared in Issue Zero of Project Upland Magazine.

“What do you love about bird hunting? For me, it’s everything from the clanging of dog bells and the smell of woodsmoke outside my cabin at night to the bittersweet emotions I feel when I kill a bird as beautiful as a woodcock.

Of course, I also love the guns, especially vintage side by-sides.

W. & C. Scott Premier double barrel side by side shotgun
W. & C. Scott Premier double barrel side by side shotgun

I’ve been obsessed with old side-by-sides for decades now. I’ve owned ones by all the major American makers, and I’ve owned others from the United Kingdom and other European makers. I actually haven’t owned a gun—like a Holland & Holland Royal or a Dickson Round Action, but I’ve held many examples in my hands. Even with all this experience, I learn new things about old shotguns all the time.

So if you’re looking to buy a vintage shotgun, trust me when I say there’s a lot you need to know before you buy one. Here’s a crash course to get you going. Before we begin, I’ll also give you a warning: Old doubles are addictive. Don’t be surprised (or sorry) if you find yourself spending hours learning about them and looking for the perfect one. It will be time well spent …”

Read all of Avoiding Double Trouble – A Beginner’s Guide to Vintage Shotguns at the Project Upland site.

Custom dog portrait, hand engraved on a Beretta SO shotgun
Custom dog portrait, hand engraved on a Beretta SO shotgun

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

 

PURDEY BEST EXTRA FINISH SXS 12 GAUGE
PURDEY BEST EXTRA FINISH SXS 12 GAUGE

PURDEY BEST EXTRA FINISH SXS 12 GAUGEALLISON HUNT ENGRAVED, 28″ BARRELS, CHOKED .015″ AND .022″, 2 3/4″ CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, EJECTORS, FIELD FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, EXCELLENT CONDITION, 6LBS 13 OZ, STOCK DIMENSIONS: 2 14/: DAH, 1 9/16″ DAC, 15 1/4″ LOP. Price: $49,500

L.C. Smith A-2 Special - 12ga - 30” - IM/F - 13 7/8 X 1 3/4 X 2 3/8 X 7 lbs 13 ozs - SN: 3517 - Spectacular Condition - Beautiful Gun!
L.C. Smith A-2 Special – 12ga – 30” – IM/F – 13 7/8 X 1 3/4 X 2 3/8 X 7 lbs 13 ozs – SN: 3517 – Spectacular Condition – Beautiful Gun!

L.C. Smith A-2 Special SxS – 12ga – 30” – IM/F – 13 7/8 X 1 3/4 X 2 3/8 X 7 lbs 13 ozs – SN: 3517 – Spectacular Condition – Beautiful Gun!: Price: $19,995 

Boss & Co. Sidelock from 1899 ~ two barrel set at an exceptional price
Boss & Co. Sidelock from 1899 ~ two barrel set at an exceptional price

Boss & Co. Sidelock Side-by-Side from 1899 ~ two barrel set at an exceptional price: Hammerless Sidelocks – According to Boss records, this fine shotgun was ordered by William Fitzgerald Esq. of Dublin Ireland on November 1st, 1899. Serial Number: 4713, Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 28″, Stock LOP: 13 1/2″,  Comb: 1 9/16″, Stock Heel: 2 3/16″, Stock Cast: 1/4″, Weight: 6 lbs. 8.5 oz. Choke Left: Orig. .005 Skeet – #, Choke Right: Orig. .006 Skeet – #, Proof:Nitro: 2 1/2″, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: Orig. .026 – #2 set, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: Orig. .020 – #2 set. Price: $9,400

Beretta - SO 3, 12ga., Sidelock, OU Shotgun
Beretta – SO 3, 12ga., Sidelock, OU Shotgun

Beretta – SO 3, 12ga., Sidelock, OU Shotgun: 27 ½” barrels, IC/M choked, Pre-war full side lock over and under, beautiful European walnut straight grip stock, vent rib, double triggers, recoil pad, Boehler steel barrels, automatic ejectors, non-auto safety, excellent overall condition, all original, the engraving features magnificent floral and scroll engraving, handmade to the very highest quality, a beautiful gun with great modern dimensions, available for immediate delivery. 7 lbs.  2 oz. 14 3/4” X 1 5/8” X 2 5/8”. Price: $8,995

Parker/ Winchester Reproduction DHE 12 Gauge SxS
Parker/ Winchester Reproduction DHE 12 Gauge SxS

Parker/ Winchester Reproduction DHE 12 Gauge SxSRare 2- barrel 12 gauge set with 28” full/modified and 26” modified/improved cylinder barrels. Has pistol grip stock, single trigger and beavertail forend. Beautiful condition with original factory leather covered case. A very desirable Parker Reproduction shotgun. Price: 5,995.00

Grouse hunters: Here’s your dream Parker SxS…

PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE
PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE

Ruffed grouse hunting isn’t for sissies. There are no horse-drawn carriages to ride in or wide-open fields to stroll through, and no one pushes birds your way as you block a shelterbelt.

PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE
PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE

If you want to chase these ruffed grouse, you need to get in the woods and get dirty. You’re going to get scratched up and bruised, and you’re going to carry your gun a lot.

PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE
PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE

That’s why lightweight doubles are popular with experienced grouse guys.

PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE
PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE

The Parker VH you see here is 16 gauge built on a 0 frame (frame = action, Parker actions ran from 000-frames, used on .410s and 28 gauges, to 7-frames, used on 10 and 8 gauges). It weighs just 5lbs, 13oz — lighter than a lot of 20-gauges – and about a pound less than your typical 16-gauge Parker.

PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE
PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE

PARKER VH GRADE 16 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE26″ BARRELS, IMP-CYL. AND FULL, 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS, VERY GOOD BLUE, MIRROR BRIGHT BORES, JIM GEARY STAMP. TIGHT ON FACE, BARRELS RING BEAUTIFULLY.  UNTURNED SCREWS, GOOD CASE COLOR INCLUDING THE BOTTOM OF FRAME.  PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, VERY GOOD WOOD WITH WORN CHECKERING.  GOOD DIMENSIONS – 1 1/2″ X 2 3/4″ X 14 1/2″ WITH WHAT APPEARS TO BE THE ORIGINAL SILVERS 1/2″ PAD, 5 POUNDS 13 OUNCES.  MADE IN 1913, ALL ORIGINAL CONDITION. Price: $3250

Auction alert: 28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28″ bbls …

28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28" bbls
28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28″ bbls

I’ve gushed about these Berettas many times before. Imported into the U.S. by the Garcia Corporation in the late ’60s and early ’70s, they were good deals in their day. Today, they’re one of the best buys you’ll find in a bird gun.

28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28" bbls
28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28″ bbls

Simple, rugged, and well made, this 28g is a ton of gun in a sexy, lightweight package. And its 28″ barrels make it extra special.

It’s on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends tomorrow, 1/5/2019 @ 11:23 AM. Even though the bidding on it starts at $950, it’s still a great deal (and it looks like it might sell for close to starting-bid amount).

28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28" bbls
28g Beretta BL-3 OU shotgun, 28″ bbls

Beretta BL3 28 gauge. 28″ barrels choked modify and full. Toe has a small crack that has not been repaired. LOP – 14 1/8″ DROP AT COMB – 1.5″ DROP AT HEEL – 2.5″. Weight: 6.00 Pounds

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

 

EJ Churchill SLE OU Shotgun
EJ Churchill SLE OU Shotgun

EJ Churchill 20 Gauge SLE OU ShotgunThe stock was cut one inch and had a wood extension added plus the pad to bring it back to 14 1/4″ Lop. Serial Number: 4222, Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 25 inches, Triggers: Double Trigger, Butt Pad: 3/4 inches, LOP: 14 1/4 inches, Weight: 5 lbs. 13 oz. Price: $22,000

John" Dickson Round action with wonderful newer barrels ~ Note the great LOP and that it is just Stunning!
John” Dickson Round action with wonderful newer barrels ~ Note the great LOP and that it is just Stunning!

John Dickson 12 Gauge SxS Round action with wonderful newer barrels ~ Note the great LOP and that it is just Stunning! : Serial Number: 4645, Competed August 13th, 1893. The new barrels appear to be by the maker. Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 28″, Stock Comb: 1 3/4, Stock Heel: 2 1/2″, Stock Cast: 1/8″, LOP: 14 3/4″ end of leather pad, Weight: 6 lbs. 12 oz., Choke Left: .034 full, Choke Right: .010 IC, Proof:Nitro: 2 1/2″ NP 3 tons, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .030″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .032″. Price: $14,900

L.C. Smith - Specialty Grade - 16ga - Feather-Weight - Very High Condition 1941 Gun !
L.C. Smith – Specialty Grade – 16ga – Feather-Weight – Very High Condition 1941 Gun !

L.C. Smith – Specialty Grade – Side-by-Side – 16ga – Feather-Weight – Very High Condition 1941 Gun: 2-3/4″, 26″ IC / LM (.007 / .010), Double Triggers, Ejectors, Automatic Safety, LOP 14-1/8″, Drop 1-5/8″ to 2-5/8″, Neutral Cast, Weight 6 lbs. 8 oz. Completely Original Gun – except the chokes have been opened to make a modern quail gun. Condition: Excellent Plus. The gun retains about 97+% ORIGINAL finishes, with a few minor handling marks on the wood, and just the slightest high edge finish loss on the frame. Price: $7950

Beretta AS-20EL 20ga 27 1/2" Over Under
Beretta AS-20EL 20ga 27 1/2″ Over Under

Beretta AS-20EL 20ga 27 1/2″ Over-Under: Rare Small Frame AS-20EL, Auto Ejectors, As New, Greener Style Crossbolt Lock System, Hand Engraved, Checkered Butt, Double Triggers. LOP: 14 1/2″, Weight: 5.75lbs, Chokes: I/C Mod. Price: $8995 

W. C. SCOTT 12GA SxS HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE:
W. C. SCOTT 12GA SxS HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE:

W. C. SCOTT 12GA SxS HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE: The quality of this old Gal shines through. A very nice example of an unmolested classic English hammer gun. Manufactured before 1887. Locks up tight. Good barrels. Nice wood. No cracks. Crisp locks. Price: $1775

Good gun alert: 20g Beretta 686 Onyx, straight grip …

 

Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel Shotgun
Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel Shotgun

Here’s one of the all-time great doubles – and one of the best bird guns you’ll ever find.

Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel Shotgun
Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel Shotgun

Beretta introduced the 686 Onyx around ’88 and built them until around ’99 or so. In that time, the gun gained a reputation for being a rugged, reliable OU that handled well and was easy to maintain and repair. I saw my first one in the mid ’90s and couldn’t get it out of my head. Like the one for sale here, it had a straight stock and its matte-black finished looked so ‘friggin cool.

Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel Shotgun
Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel Shotgun

Beretta ~ 686 Onyx ~ 20 Ga. ~ OU ~ Double Barrel ShotgunPrice: $1,399.99
Manufacturer: Serial # F0314XX
Caliber: 20 Ga.
Chambers: 3″
Metal Condition: Very Good
Wood Condition: Very Good with few handling marks
Barrels: 26″ Blued with vent rib
Triggers: Single gold metal trigger
Stock: Walnut straight grip with checkering
Fore End: Matching walnut with checkering
Butt Pad: Rubber Butt Pad
Weight: 6 lbs
Sights: Silver bead
Chokes: IC and Cyl

Good gun alert: 16g Parker DHE SxS, $4250 …

Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun

“Fair price” and “Parker shotgun” aren’t words see near each other very often — especially when a Parker is a sixteen-gauge DHE. But from what I can see, that’s just how I would describe the SxS you see here.

Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun

This 16 gauge Parker DHE looks like it’s in decent shape. If that’s the case, $4250 is a very fair price for it.

The DHE was Parker’s entry-level, “custom gun” (meaning it had to be custom ordered from the factory) and the company considered it “The Best Gun Value of Which We Know.”

Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun

Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun: This good condition Parker was manufactured in 1910, it has 2 1/2″ chambers and automatic ejectors. The barrel is 28″ choke improved modified/ modified. The LOP is 14 1/4, DAH is 2 7/8 and DAC is 1 3/4, weight is 6lb 14oz. The 14 1/4 LOP is to end of the pad and the gun is on a 1 frame. I do have a Parker Gun Club letter for the gun, it was ordered by the Tufts Lyons Arms Co. of Los Angeles Ca. on October 22, 1908.

Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker DHE 16ga Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun

The Hawkins recoil pad was added to the gun. There is still 95% finish on the barrel, looks to be original and 30% muted case color. The quality refinished wood has crisp checkering with small dings. The only issue that I know of is a repair on the forearm a small crack that was professionally repaired, you have to look for it. Price: $4250

Auction alert: 20g AYA Grade 4 SxS Spanish boxlock shotgun …

AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain

Here’s a great little double that has everything a bird gun — and a bird hunter — needs. Best of all, it’s in excellent, original condition. It’s on Gunrunner auctions now and the listing ends tomorrow, 12/19, in the afternoon.

AYA is probably the most famous Spanish gunmaker in the world. They’ve been hand-making doubles for decades. In that time, they’ve earned a reputation for good-quality guns at fair prices.

AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain

The AYA you see here is one of their Anson & Deeley boxlock models. Even though it’s one the company’s least expensive models, it costs around $4995 brand new today.

Lot 10. AYA Grade 4, 20 gauge side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain: Serial #552293, mfg. Spain. Excellent condition. Very, very nice AYA 20 ga. side by side on the tiny frame and dainty wrist. 28″ tubes have excellent shiny bores and bluing is 98%+. Choked IC/M. Ejectors. Double triggers. 3″ magnum chambers. Wood is excellent with nice figure and has a modern solid brown pad with white spacer nicely fitted. LOP is 14 1/2″ over pad. Splinter forearm has nice checkering. All matching iron and forearm wood. Case-colored receiver is 97% with slight lower edge wear and one scratch on bottom. Some light scroll work. Tang safety. Dandy quail or dove gun! Elegant and the best of Spanish craftsmanship! Light and dainty!

AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain
AYA Grade 4, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors, Hard Cased, Spain

Good gun alert: 20g Browning SxS, straight grip …

Browning BSS BOXLOCK SXS 20GA
Browning BSS BOXLOCK SXS 20GA

Sure Browning is famous for their Superposed and Citori OUs, and their A5 autoloaders.

But the company also “made” some great SxSs. I say “made” because Browning had their SxSs built by another company (just like they did with their OUs). For the BSS, that copy was Miroku in Japan.

Browning offered the Miroku-made BSS from 1971 to 1988. With a straight grip and a slim forend, the gun you see here is a Sporter model, which was Browning lightweight version of this gun. These doubles are great for grouse, woodcock, and qual, and at this price, this one is a fair deal.

Browning BSS BOXLOCK SXS 20GA
Browning BSS BOXLOCK SXS 20GA

Browning BSS BOXLOCK SXS 20GA: 26″ solid rib barrels modified to accept choke tubes, Colonial Arms choke tubes installed MOD – SKEET, smooth shiny bores, blued finish, white mid-bead, white bead front sight, very nice checkered straight buttstock – forearm, light marks consistent with field use, LOP – 14 1/2″, DAC – 1 5/8″, DAH 2 5/8″, and black Decelerator recoil pad. Price: $1,399

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